Lorenzo's Blessing

Barrington, IL, Castle Whateley


by Tony Mitton

Italy - 1492

The prominent in Florence (ranging from Lucrezia Borgia to Machiavelli) have come to pay their respects at the funeral of Lorenzo de' Medici, known as 'The Magnificent' with good reason. Rumours talk of assassination, although the official explanation is that he succumbed to a longstanding illness.

Lorenzo was a banker, a merchant, a great patron of the Arts and the ruler of Florence. Although technically a Republic, Florence has been a Medici state in all but name for decades. Lorenzo had the powers of a Duke or King, but held only the hereditary title of 'First Citizen'. His death has left a great hole at the centre of Florentine and Medici affairs which cannot be filled by a single person.

Some call for a true Republic, while others clamour for religious control. The deals done and schemes hatched this evening at Medici Palace will certainly decide the future of Florence - and may change the world.