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The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall

The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall

Scritto da Christopher Hibbert

Narrato da Michael Page


The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall

Scritto da Christopher Hibbert

Narrato da Michael Page

valutazioni:
4/5 (5 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
11 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 18, 2016
ISBN:
9781515983026
Formato:
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Descrizione

At its height, Renaissance Florence was a center of enormous wealth, power, and influence. A republican city-state funded by trade and banking, its often bloody political scene was dominated by rich mercantile families, the most famous of which were the Medici. This enthralling book charts the family's huge influence on the political, economic and cultural history of Florence. Beginning in the early 1430s with the rise of the dynasty under the near-legendary Cosimo de Medici, it moves through their golden era as patrons of some of the most remarkable artists and architects of the Renaissance, to the era of the Medici Popes and Grand Dukes, Florence's slide into decay and bankruptcy, and the end, in 1737, of the Medici line.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 18, 2016
ISBN:
9781515983026
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Christopher Hibbert, an Oxford graduate, has written more than fifty books, including Wellington: A Personal History, London: The Biography of a City, Redcoats and Rebels, and The Destruction of Lord Raglan. He lives with his family in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England.

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    As an art history student, my interest in the Medici family is primarily cultural, and this deeply researched book was an engrossing read about the most powerful family of the 14th century.
  • (3/5)
    Christopher Hibbert has written a comprehensive history of the Medici dynasty, painstakingly researched. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in this illustrious and often infamous family who influenced princes and kings, religious leaders, artists, scientists and political theorists. They were the patrons of the Illuminati of centuries, and left a legacy which remains to this day. My only complaint is Hibbert's often ponderous prose, and the lack of a proofreader of his prodigious work.Otherwise, certainly the gold standard of histories on the Medici. A must-read for any love of Renaissance history.
  • (3/5)
    Gossipy, broad overview of Italian history. Not much political analysis but a lot of description and colorful anecdotes. It's a good introduction. I'll look at more narrowly-focused histories to learn about areas that interested me.
  • (5/5)
    This is a fairly detailed political and personal history of the famous and colourful Medici family, who dominated the history of Florence and central Italy, and indeed more widely, for most of a 300 year period between the early 15th and early 18th centuries. Rising from the merchant class they came to dominate the republic's government and become effectively a hereditary monarchy, though for a long time Florence continued to preserve a republican constitution, in which people from the merchant class were chosen by lot to form the city government, the Signoria. The course of this book is very unbalanced in terms of chronological coverage, with the first of the three centuries of Medici dominance covering five sixths of the narrative; but this is mostly justified in terms of the wider importance and sheer drama of the events involved. There are some fascinating characters in the form of Cosimo the Elder, Lorenzo the Magnificent, the fanatical priest Savonarola who held power for a few years after a French invasion, and the two Medici popes, Giovanni (Leo X) and Giulio (Clement VII, the Pope who declined to agree Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon). After this period, the remaining two centuries are dealt with in just 50 pages. I would have liked to read more about Grand Duke Cosimo's terrible siege of Siena (my favourite Italian city), in which so many inhabitants starved, and the dramatic and murderous events surrounding his immediate heirs Francesco and Ferdinando, but these were covered quite briefly (they also formed the backdrop to an excellent novel I read recently, The Shepherdess of Siena). The later Grand Dukes were much less interesting and the line more or less fizzled out in gluttony and indolence in the 1730s (though their life spans were much longer than those of the earlier Medici rulers, who rarely lived beyond their 40s, even when they didn't die violently). Overall this was a mostly fascinating and colourful read, though I thought the referencing could have been better - there were detailed footnotes on art and architecture, but no specific sources for other stuff, including some of the more lurid anecdotes of sybaritic excess and violence. Very useful to have genealogical tables and a map showing the complex divisions of the Italian peninsula at the height of Medici power.
  • (3/5)
    Mostly history, but presented in a more general manner, but in order. Pretty fascinating stuff, but the format begs for an update - it becomes repetitive and tedious as you slog through the later chapters. Still, it's worth a look and a read, especially if you love Italy, history and Florence.
  • (4/5)
    This book, written with Hibbert's usual flair and sound research to back it, is the full history of this remarkable family from the late c14 until the death of the last of the Grand Dukes in 1737. A great read when idling by the pool on a Tuscan holiday (particularly if accompanied by a glass or two of Chianti!).
  • (4/5)
    Good overview of the Medici family's history, which makes it a good overview of the Italian Renaissance - at least from a political and social perspective. Not a ton of detail on the art and science of the time, unfortunately; I'll have to get that elsewhere. But I knew that going in.
  • (4/5)
    The family that greeds together, stays together. The Medici were such an amazing clan, a group that did much to influence history. Though Italians, they also changed the culture of France, when Caterina de Medici became the Queen of France and brought Italian epicurean standards to the still-Gothic French.

    If this family existed today, they would be all over the tabloids and probably have their own sitcom, but they were THE standard bearers for the Renaissance, so their successes and challenges changed history. It was hard to put this book down, due to the excellent biographies of each family member. The book is not overly long, thus making it a suitable companion for a weekend jaunt.


    Book Season = Spring
  • (5/5)
    This is a great introductory text on the de' Medici family, who ruled Florence and parts of present day Tuscany for a few hundred years. It spends more time on on the earlier period, when they had more influence, than the latter dukes - a rather horrible lot.What I missed was some information on Catherine de' Medici who had an strong influence on Western European affairs. She is barely mentioned.
  • (3/5)
    This is a pretty great all-purpose history of the Medici family as well as of Florence during (and immediately following) the Italian Renaissance. It’s a popular history, so it’s a quick and easy read – free from the pedantic ramblings of more scholarly books. It’s not, however, a particularly good source for art history (a general knowledge of the artistic achievements of the Renaissance might be a good prerequisite). There are fine anecdotes told in a quick, lively style. I recommend it highly as tangential reading for anyone looking at other aspects of this period more closely, be they artistic, financial, political, etc.