The Medici Family: Stories Of The Most Important Family You've Never Heard Of

By | February 14, 2020

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Lorenzo the Magnificent (1585-1644) with the major artists of the time, in a 1635 fresco by Ottavio Vannini. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Before the Rockefellers, the Kennedys, and the Kardashians, there was the Medici family. Between 1434 and 1737, the Medici family ruled the cultural hub of Italy at a time when Italy was the cultural hub of the world, amassing a huge fortune. They influenced art, music, architecture, commerce, business, banking, politics, nobility, and religion. How did one family become so important? And what happened to end their reign? Let's look at some of the stories of the Medici family, the most important family you've never heard of. 

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The powerful and wealthy Medici family controlled Florence for three centuries. (

Who Were The Medicis?

The Medicis hailed from Florence, Italy, and during their 300-year reign, they're credited with making Florence an important centerpiece of the Renaissance movement. Under the Medicis, the culture of the region reached a peak that was second only to that of ancient Greece. The Medicis financed this cultural revolution by establishing a network of merchants, supply routes, and banks that extended lines of credit to their business associates. They imported silk, spices, and exotic fruits from the Far East. Such bold and innovative business practices gave the family massive wealth and power.