1449 (1st January)
Lorenzo de Medici was born to Piero de Medici
and his wife Lucrezia Tornabuoni
in Florence. He was the couple’s fourth child, his sisters Maria, Bianca and Lucrezia were born earlier.
1453 (25th March)
Lorenzo’s brother Giuliano
was born to Piero de Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni in Florence.
Lorenzo was educated by private tutors and received a humanist education.
1459 (late Spring)
The artist, 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 Lorenzo, his brother Giuliano and his father Piero are depicted in the painting which took two years to complete.
Lorenzo began a relationship with Lucrezia Donati.
1464 (1st August)
Lorenzo’s grandfather, Cosimo de Medici
, died at his country house at Careggi. He was buried in the Church of San Lorenzo. Lorenzo’s father became head of the Medici family.
Piero de Medici examined the accounts of the Medici bank and called in many loans. This unpopular move alienated many people and increased the numbers opposed to the power of the Medici.
Lorenzo de Medici began undertaking diplomatic missions for his father.
Opponents of the Medici family, led by Luca Pitti, conspired to stage an armed coup, remove Piero from power and restore democracy. However, the plot was uncovered and the attempted coup failed.
Piero de Medici had given support to Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. This upset the state of Venice who declared war on Florence.
1467 (25th July)
Battle of Molinella
This was a battle fought between the forces of Venice, supported by Florentine opponents to the Medici and the forces of Florence supported by Milan, Aragon and Bologna. The battle was inconclusive.
Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini
were married by proxy. The marriage had been arranged by Lorenzo’s mother who wanted her son to marry into a noble family.
1469 (4th June)
Lorenzo de Medici married Clarice Orsini in Florence. It was celebrated with a jousting competition which Lorenzo won.
1469 (2nd December)
Lorenzo became head of the family when his father, Piero de Medici, died of gout and lung disease. He ruled Florence with the help of his younger brother Giuliano. Lorenzo was given the nickname the Magnificent because of his political acumen and patronage of the arts.
1470 (4th August)
A daughter, Lucrezia de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
Lorenzo recorded that the Medici family had spent 663,000 florins on public buildings and charitable work.
Lorenzo de Medici made an agreement with Pope Sixtus IV that the Medici bank would continue to handle the Papal accounts.
Clarice was delivered of twins who died shortly after birth.
Lorenzo had become the most important person in Florence. However, he had mostly attained the position through bribes and strategic marriages. Lorenzo’s methods meant that he also made enemies of those noble families who despised his position.
When famine hit Florence, Lorenzo increased the imports of grain. This earned him the support of the people.
1472 (15th February)
A son, Piero di Lorenzo de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
The people of Volterra needed finance to extract alum which had recently been discovered. The Pope had already invested and Lorenzo now loaned money from the Medici bank to Volterra. However, the people of the city soon realised that alum was worth a considerable amount of money and revolted against the Florentine bank. Lorenzo sent a force to put down the revolt but the soldiers sacked the city. Volterra blamed Lorenzo for the incident.
The Pazzi bank gained control of the Papal accounts after helping the Pope to acquire the town of Imola.
A daughter, Maddalena de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
1474 (23rd September)
A daughter, Contessina Beatrice de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence. She died shortly after birth.
1475 (11th December)
A son, Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
The artist Sandro Botticelli completed ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ a work featuring portraits of Cosimo, Piero, Giovanni, Lorenzo and Giuliano de Medici.
1476 (25th December)
A daughter, Luisa de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
Members of the Pazzi family, supported by Francesco Salviati, Archbishop of Pisa and indirectly by Pope Sixtus IV, planned to simultaneously murder Lorenzo and Giuliano de Medici. Francesco Salviati would overthrow the Signoria (government of Florence) paving the way for the Pazzi family to take control of Florence. They initially planned to lure Lorenzo to Rome where he would be killed while at the same time Giuliano would be killed in Florence. When Lorenzo declined an invitation to Rome it was decided that the murders would be done at a banquet held by Lorenzo. However, Giuliano did not attend the banquet and sent apologies that he was ill. The conspirators decided that they had no choice but to commit the deed in the Cathedral during the Easter Service.
1478 (26th April)
During the Easter service Lorenzo and Giuliano were attacked by Members of the Pazzi family. Lorenzo was injured but managed to get to the safety of the sacristy. Giuliano died after being struck on the head by Bernardo Bandini dei Baroncelli and stabbed 19 times by Francesco de Pazzi.
1478 (26th April)
Francesco de Pazzi and Archbishop Francesco Salviati were hanged. Jacopo de Medici escaped.
1478 (30th April)
Jacopo de Medici was captured and hanged.
1478 (after April)
Clarice and her children left Florence and went to Pistoia.
1478 (after April)
A daughter, Contessina Antonia Romola de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Pistoia.
Pope Sixtus IV excommunicated Lorenzo de Medici and placed Florence under interdict for executing an Archbishop. He also persuaded Ferdinand I of Naples to attack Florence on behalf of the Pope. However, Lorenzo managed to persuade Ferdinand to help him make peace with the Pope.
1478 (26th May)
Lorenzo’s nephew Giulio di Giuliano de Medici was born illegitimately to Fioretta Gorini and posthumously to Lorenzo’s brother Giuliano. He was raised by his godfather Antonio da Sangallo.
1479 (12th March)
A son, Giuliano di Lorenzo de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
Lorenzo de Medici was instrumental in the introduction of a new constitution which reduced the membership of the Signoria to 70 from 100.
1482 (25th March)
Lorenzo de Medici’s mother, Lucrezia Tornabuoni, died.
Lorenzo took charge of his nephew Giulio and raised him as his son.
Lorenzo’s daughter, Luisa de Medici died.
Lorenzo’s daughter, Maddalena de Medici, married Franceschetto Cybo, son of Pope Innocent VIII.
Lorenzo’s daughter, Lucrezia de Medici married Jacopo Salviati.
Lorenzo was taken ill and travelled to Bad Filetta near Siena to try to improve his health.
1488 (30th July)
Lorenzo’s wife, Clarice, died in Florence.
Lorenzo’s son, Giovanni became a Cardinal.
Lorenzo was instrumental in bringing the priest, Savonarola, to Florence. Savonarola’s sermons with their message of repentence and denunciation of the rich and powerful, soon drew large crowds.
1492 (9th April)
Lorenzo died at his villa in Caraggi. He was buried in San Lorenzo Church, Florence. He was buried with his brother in the Church of San Lorenzo.
Piero (the Unfortunate) –>