The House of Medici was the de facto ruling family of the Italian republican city-state of Florence in the 15th century, later establishing themselves as the Dukes of Florence and eventually, Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Lorenzo de' Medici was the head of the house in the late 15th century, and a close ally of the Auditore family, and their Assassin connections. Due to their de facto control of Florence during this period, they were subject to a major Templar attack.
The Medici family came from the agricultural Mugello region, north of Florence, being mentioned for the first time in 1230, although the first possible ancestor of the family lived in the 11th century. The origin of the name Medici is uncertain, although Medici is the plural for Medico, a doctor.
Throughout a great part of the 15th century, Cosimo de' Medici, followed by Piero de' Medici, and lastly Lorenzo de' Medici ruled over Florence. Cosimo de' Medici, whose power stemmed from his vast wealth, ruled over Florence until his death in 1464, when he was succeeded by his son, Piero.
Piero's reign was short, spanning only five years before he succumbed to gout. After Piero, his sons Lorenzo and Giuliano became the joint heads of the Medici family. Like his grandfather and father, Lorenzo ruled Florence, through surrogates in the city councils, threats, payoffs, and strategic marriages. The Medici under Lorenzo were great patrons of arts and culture, and with his rule, Florence became the center of culture and innovation.
The Pazzi conspiracy
In 1478, while attending High Mass, Lorenzo and his brother, Giuliano, were attacked by members of the Pazzi family and their allies, in an event that would later be known as the Pazzi Conspiracy. Although the conspirators managed to kill Giuliano, Lorenzo was saved by Ezio Auditore, who then escorted Lorenzo to safety at the Basilica di San Lorenzo. Once there, Lorenzo instructed Ezio to kill the main conspirator, Francesco de' Pazzi. After Ezio assassinated Francesco, he met with Lorenzo at the Ponte Vecchio. Once there, Lorenzo gifted Ezio a codex page as well as the names of Francesco's co-conspirators. After the meeting, Ezio left for the Tuscan countryside to pursue the Pazzi family patriarch, Francesco's uncle Jacopo and his co-conspirators.
Once Ezio had killed all those who played a part in the conspiracy, he returned to Lorenzo, who then presented him with the Medici cape as a symbol of faith and trust, and the two parted ways, although Lorenzo continued to give Ezio assignments across Italy via courier pigeon at least until the late 1480s.
Savonarola's take over
Ezio Auditore returned to Florence in 1497, only to find that Savonarola had taken control over the city from the Medici. Throughout the year, Ezio worked to liberate Florence and claim Savonarola's Piece of Eden, culminating in the assassination of Savonarola in 1498.
Despite Savonarola's fall, the Medici were unable to reclaim Florence, and the power vacuum was filled by one of Piero's former favorites, Piero Soderini, whom the Medici eventually exiled when they returned in 1512, along with Niccolò Machiavelli, who had been a senior figure in Soderini's administration.
|Cosimo de' Medici|
|Piero di Cosimo de' Medici||Lucrezia Tornabuoni|
|Giuliano de' Medici||Fioretta Gorini||Lorenzo de' Medici|
|Giulio de' Medici||Piero de' Medici||Giovanni de' Medici|
- The Auditore and Medici families' friendship began when Giovanni Auditore rescued the six year old Lorenzo from drowning in the river Arno. Although there are records of Cosimo de' Medici appointing a friend of his named Ilario Auditore as gonfaloniere before 1442, it is unclear if he was related to Giovanni in any way.