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Lorenzo de Medeci and the Renaissance - Research Paper Example

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Lorenzo de’ Medici and the Renaissance Born in 1449, Lorenzo de’ Medici lived in the period when early Italian Renaissance reached its peak. For many scholars his contributions to the Italian society in the span of his lifetime are crucial in the manner by which the Renaissance developed and evolved…
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Lorenzo de Medeci and the Renaissance
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Download file to see previous pages Through a combination of skill, capability and the Medici family’s dominant position in the Florentine government and society, Lorenzo was able to impose his secular views on the Italian society, changed its politics, help create a spurt of renaissance art and engage and influence the church and its role in the Italian community. Collectively these developments spilled over the rest of Europe, in effect, making Lorenzo’s influence far-reaching. Secular Views One of the defining concepts of the Renaissance is the humanist movement. Here, Italy started to veer away from the religiosity that typified the medieval tradition and focused more on creating art or works of literature, materialism and wealth (Romano 31). Lorenzo is crucial in this area because these are the very concepts that he believed in, promoted and supported. He was the quintessential Renaissance ideal who believed that the ancient Greece and its mythologies could teach and educate people in Renaissance Italy on important ideas that include beauty, way of life, values, among others. This is the reason why Lorenzo was a generous patron of the arts and that he saw fulfillment in the humanist values. Poets and artists are welcome in the Medici palace and Lorenzo was known to have supported Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Botticelli. He himself wrote poetry. This attitude towards humanism, which was deeply rooted in Lorenzo’s appreciation for the Greek mythology, has facilitated the humanistic movement in the Renaissance. The case of the poet and humanist scholar Angelo Poliziano demonstrates this point. Poliziano was taken into the Medici household after he caught the attention of Lorenzo through his epigrams. He studied in the extensive Medici library and was charged to educate Lorenzo’s eldest son. His most important work, however, was his contribution to Lorenzo’s compilation of the Raccolta Aragonese (Aragon Collection). Here, he aided Lorenzo in the revaluation of vernacular poetry which came to characterize the increasing use of the Italian vernacular in literature in addition to the Latin language. Poliziano eventually brought his humanistic works with him as he travelled and stayed in several Italian estates such as the Gonzaga court in Mantau where he wrote Favola d’Orfeo (The Fable of Orpheus) (Cirigliano 217). Political Influence When his father died in 1469, Lorenzo de’ Medici began a steady ascent to power. His family’s wealth enabled him to rule Florence in de facto capacity. The city council contained his surrogates and his domination of the polity was achieved through clever manipulation, coercion, bribery and even strategic marriages. Lorenzo’s excellent grasp of Florentine politics was attributed to an early grooming in his younger years. The influence of his grandfather, Cosimo de Medici, the man responsible for the maintenance of peace and balance among the northern Italian states, also did its part. There are several crucial events that displayed Lorenzo’s political acumen and cleverness but his altercation with the papal authority during the time of Sixtus IV demonstrated this best. The conflict stemmed from the so-called Pazzi Conspiracy, wherein members of the Pazzi family and their cohorts tried to assassinate Lorenzo in Florence (Najemy 352). They operated under the support of the Archbishop of Pisa and the reigning Pope Sixtus IV. When the attacked failed, the perpetrators of the attack ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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