In the beginning of the book, the author presents the background of Florence and the Florentines, including its well-known families, its type of government and how the government positions were chosen, the condition of the Papacy, and how the Medici family was woven into this picture. As the Renaissance was blossoming, especially in Italy, in the 1400s, so too was the House of Medici, and not by coincidence since their banks were the financiers of many great painters and architects of the glorious age.
Hibbert describes how the Medici were involved in almost every aspect of Italian life, from the local Signoria to the Church to the great artists of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo and Botticelli. The Medici, because they were holders of such immense power and unsurpassable wealth, had the potential for both impeccable glory and, at the same time, the potential to suffer an unspeakable downfall because they had so much at stake.
This report prepared by Amanda Vincent