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Antonio Maffei da Volterra (1450 – 1478) was a Florentine monk employed by Lorenzo de' Medici, and one of the Pazzi conspirators who attempted to murder Lorenzo and his brother, Giuliano.


Early life[]

Antonio Maffei was born in the Tuscan town of Volterra in 1450. In 1472, Antonio witnessed the sack of his hometown by Florentine mercenaries; he blamed the sack on Lorenzo de' Medici, and joined the Templar Order to seek vengeance against him.[1]

Aiding the Templars[]

"And Father, remember, you owe us your silence. Secrets are born here, and they die here. No one is to know about the content of this letter."
―Uberto Alberti to Antonio, regarding the monk's silence.[src]

In 1476, Giovanni Auditore, an Assassin and ally of the Medici family, intercepted a letter from the conspirators who participated in the assassination of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, the Duke of Milan. Giovanni brought the Venetian letter back to Florence, where he revealed it to Lorenzo and Uberto Alberti, the city's Gonfaloniere. Uberto quickly realized that the letter held the seal of the Barbarigo family, and that its contents were encrypted with a peculiar code. He determined that translating it would take several hours, and then handed the letter to Father Maffei in order for the monk to translate its contents.[2]

Later that night, Maffei gave the translation to Uberto, who lauded him for his skillful work, and told him to fetch Giovanni. Before leaving, Uberto made Antonio swear a vow of silence of not to inform anyone of the true contents of the letter, claiming the monk owed his silence to the Templars. When Giovanni arrived later, he witnessed Father Maffei complete a duplicated copy of the letter. Uberto claimed they were unable to decode it, and once Antonio had finished the duplicate, Uberto gave it to Giovanni for him to deliver to Rome, as was its original destination.[2]

Later that same year, after Giovanni's failure to capture Grand Master Rodrigo Borgia, he returned to his home in Florence. While his wife Maria tended to his severe wounds, Father Maffei approached the Auditore residence with armed guards, demanding entry to the home and custody of the Assassin. However, Giovanni ordered his eldest son Federico to stall Antonio, and was able to escape through a hidden passageway. Eventually gaining entry into the home, Antonio became irritated after he realized Giovanni's escape, and left the abode.[2]

Pazzi conspiracy[]

Novella's Secret 5

Antonio attending the Templar meeting

On 25 April 1478, Maffei convened with other Templar conspirators in the catacombs beneath Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. The conspirators discussed their plot to kill the Medici and usurp control of the city. Although Antonio himself did not speak, he made no objection to any of his fellow conspirators' comments regarding the plot. He ended the meeting by uttering the Templar motto alongside his fellow conspirators.[1]

As planned, the conspirators gathered at the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore the following morning, and observed the Medici as they slowly walked towards the church. Upon catching sight of Giuliano, Bernardo Baroncelli charged at him, shouting and stabbing Giuliano multiple times with his fellow conspirator, Francesco de' Pazzi.[1]

Lorenzo, hearing the cries of the conspirators, quickly turned to look behind him. While he was distracted, Stefano da Bagnone slashed Lorenzo in the back of the neck with a small blade. With Lorenzo injured on the ground, Antonio attempted to stab him, and struggled briefly with Lorenzo. However, Antonio was ultimately overpowered and thrown to the ground. Lorenzo then rose up and brandished his sword, causing Antonio and Stefano to flee inside the church.[1]


"Antonio Maffei has sought refuge atop the city's tallest structure - spouting scripture and arrows in equal measure. The man has clearly lost his mind."
―A mercenary to the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, 1478.[src]-[m]
Town Crier 3

Ezio assassinating Antonio in San Gimignano

Following the Templars' failure in Florence, Antonio fled to the city of San Gimignano in the Tuscan region. There, he situated himself atop one of the city's soaring towers, and began to spout Biblical texts, whilst defended by patrolling archers.[1]

However, the late Giovanni Auditore's son Ezio arrived in the city later that same year. Ezio met briefly with one of his uncle Mario's mercenaries, who informed him of Antonio's location. Armed with this information, Ezio then began his ascent up the tall tower.[1]

Eventually reaching the apex of Antonio's tower, Ezio stealthily assassinated the archers patrolling atop the tower. The Assassin then climbed up a small ladder, and engaged Antonio in a duel. Despite his frenzied blows and repeated screeches of supposed divine protection, Maffei proved to be no match for Ezio, who tossed the mad monk off the tower to his death. In his dying words, Antonio attempted to fight back against Ezio, and proclaimed him to be a demon, before perishing.[1]

Personality and characteristics[]

WiSC 6

Antonio watching Stefano da Bagnone stab Lorenzo

Antonio was a strongly religious man who frequently attempted to rely on God to save and protect him. While preaching in San Gimignano, he told the citizens that because of their lack of faith in God, they had caused Ezio to invade their city. He then told the citizens to join him in prayer, so that together with God, they could defeat the Assassin.[1]

Antonio's beliefs in God remained with him throughout his life, as evident when even on his deathbed, he spoke with a religious tongue. As a Templar and Pazzi conspirator, Antonio carried out his orders unquestioningly. He never found fault with anything his Templar brothers said, and remained silent throughout meetings and discussions. His insight was apparently never asked, either, bringing doubt to how necessary his involvement in the conspiracy was.[1]

Once Antonio was confronted by Ezio atop the tower in San Gimignano, Maffei attempted to fight the Assassin, taunting him; desperate and filled with hate though he might have been, he was an unskilled fighter, and Ezio easily bested the monk. In a similar vein, Maffei appeared confident when striking Lorenzo from behind, but fled when his victim drew his sword and attempted to retaliate, indicating the monk's cowardice.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Antonio Maffei is a character introduced in a non-speaking capacity in the 2009 film Assassin's Creed: Lineage, where he was portrayed by Shawn Baichoo. He later appeared in the 2009 video game Assassin's Creed II, where Baichoo reprised his role.

Historically, Antonio sliced Lorenzo below his right ear, and later found refuge in the Badia Fiorentina across from the Palazzo Pazzi. He was later arrested, and hanged from the Palazzo della Signoria on 3 May 1478.[3]

During his confrontation with Ezio, Antonio wielded a schiavona in the game, whereas in the novel he was armed with a rondel dagger.