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April 26 1478 Pazzi Conspiracy occurs


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Pazzi Conspiracy


Murder in the Cathedral


On 26 April 1478, members of the Medici family were attacked while attending services in the great cathedral in Florence. What would drive a man to attack the most famous and powerful man in the entire city, one of the most important men in all of Italy, and to do so during Easter mass on sacred ground?


The answer is not simple, and in pursuing it we'll have a chance to look more closely at convergence of politics, family, social structure, and religion in Renaissance Italy. We'll also look at the consequences of the act, which were significant.


This essay is based on the book April Blood by Lauro Martines. Readers interested in learning more about these events should consult that book and its bibliography.







More PBS: Medicis godfathers of the renaissance


Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de' Medici

From Publishers Weekly

Although a well-mined biography topic, the Medici dynasty continues to fascinate, and critic Unger (The Watercolors of Winslow Homer) offers a smart, highly readable and abundantly researched book, making particularly good use of Medici family letters and earlier biographical sources such as Machiavelli's writings. Heir to a vast international banking empire and trading cartel with branches in Venice, London and Geneva, Lorenzo de' Medici (1449–1492) was born to rule. Naturally sociable and charismatic with a common touch, famous temper and cynical world view, the teenaged Lorenzo excelled in classics, riding, arms, archery and music. He pursued liaisons with both women and men, represented his sickly father, Piero, on an important diplomatic mission and thwarted his father's enemies during a legendary ambush. His accomplishments do not stop there: as Florence's de facto ruler, Lorenzo actively collaborated with the artist Botticelli, was a master tactician and diplomat, and survived a papal-sanctioned assassination attempt that claimed the life of his beloved brother. Renaissance Florence—where wealthy aristocrats rubbed shoulders with the poor on narrow city streets and whose art and intellectual life dazzled Europe—is itself an intriguing character, proving Unger's mastery over his facts. Illus.

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