1389 (27th September)
Cosimo de Medici was born Cosimo di Giovanni degli Medici, to Giovanni de Medici and his wife Piccarda in Florence. His twin brother Damiano died shortly after birth.
Cosimo’s father inherited his uncle’s banking business.
Cosimo’s brother Lorenzo was born to Giovanni de Medici and Piccarda in Florence.
Cosimo de Medici’s father, Giovanni, founded the Medici Bank. He soon had branches in Rome, Florence, Venice and Geneva.
Cosimo de Medici married Contessina de Bardi
, daughter of the nobleman Alessandro di Sozzo Bardi. The marriage was arranged by their parents and they lived with Cosimo’s parents in Florence.
Cosimo de Medici was nominated Priori, a member of the Signoria (government) of Florence.
1416 (19th September)
A son, Piero
, was born to Cosimo and Contessina in Florence.
The Medici Bank gained the Papal accounts.
Filippo Brunelleschi was commissioned by the Medici family to create the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence.It would take 21 years to complete.
1421 (3rd June)
A son, Giovanni, was born to Cosimo and Contessina in Florence.
1429 (20th February)
Cosimo’s father, Giovanni de Medici died. Cosimo became head of the family and the Medici Bank.
A son, Carlo, was born illegitimately to Cosimo and a slave woman named Maddalena in Florence.
Cosimo had many rivals including the Albizzi family and Palla Strozzi. In a bid to reduce Medici power, they accused Cosimo of rising above his station, a serious crime in democratic Florence, and he was arrested and imprisoned. He managed to convince and bribe members of the Signoria to commute his sentence to exile. He left Florence for Padua taking his bank with him.
Cosimo de Medici, accompanied by his brother Lorenzo, left Padua and travelled to Venice where he and his bank were warmly received.
In Florence the loss of the Medici bank had a negative effect on the economy and Cosimo was invited to return. On his return his opponents were exiled.
Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi was hired to design a palace for the Medici family. Work began on the Palazzo Medici, it would take 40 years to complete.
Cosimo founded the first public library in Florence. The people of Florence were allowed to use the library free of charge.
1444 (3rd June)
Contessina’s son, Piero, married Lucrezia Tornabuoni.
Cosimo de Medici established the Neoplatonic Florentine Academy to reintroduce the teachings of Plato to Western Europe.
1449 (1st January)
A son Lorenzo was born to Piero de Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni.
1450 (25th March)
Francesco Sforza became Duke of Milan. Sforza had served Florence and Venice during the late 1430s and he and Cosimo shared a mutual desire for peace.
Cosimo’s illegitimate son, Carlo, became canon of Florence Cathedral.
Cosimo de Medici’s son, Giovanni, became Prior of Florence.
1454 (9th April)
Peace of Lodi
This was a peace agreement between Milan, Naples and Florence.
1454 (30th August)
This was an extension of the Peace of Lodi. Signed in Venice it agreed a peace between Florence, Milan, Naples, Venice and the Papal States.
Pope Pius II visited Florence.
1459 (late Spring)
Benozzo Gozzoli began work on a mural ‘Journey of the Magi’ in the Magi Chapel of the Palazzo Medici showing the three wise men making their way to see the infant Jesus. Many members of the Medici family, including Cosimo’s grandson Lorenzo, are depicted in the painting which took two years to complete.
1464 (1st August)
Cosimo de Medici died at his country house at Careggi. He was buried in the Church of San Lorenzo. His son, Piero
succeeded him as head of the Medici family.