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Is Medici a True Story?

May 2, 2020
3 min read

‘Medici’ is a historical drama series that follows the Medici Family during the Renaissance period in Italy. The series is set in the 1400s when the head of the Medici family passes away to be replaced by his son, who is now in charge of managing the family bank. One of the richest banks at the time, there is a lot of politics that ensues to maintain its power.

The subsequent seasons of the series follow the future successors of the family bank, who embark on their own different journeys to keep the family legacy, which is its banking business. It is intense in its plot with the cultural and historical aesthetics of Italy highlighted in the backdrop for its viewers. The subplots contain their marriages arranged between renowned families and other alliances.

Is Medici Based on a True Story?

Yes, ‘Medici’ is based on the true story of the House of Medici, an Italian family that set itself apart through their business in banking. Not only did they grow as an affluent family bank but also as strong political pillars of the society in the 15 century. Their economic affluence had them controlling certain political institutions to their advantage. All that said, it is important to remember that though based on the true story of the Medici family, the series is not without its own dash of drama.

The Medici Family

This family is part of history for over six centuries. It started its concentration of power through small means before they could capitalize on it. The family used its money to further expand itself through their bank. At one point in history, they were considered the wealthiest family in all of Europe. They also invested in art, which led to Florence rising as the hotspot for the Renaissance Period. This cultural shift welcomed many to the city.

Photo Credit: Pontormo/lovefromtuscany.com

The family’s roots lie in Mugello Valley, in the north of Florence. In the 14th century, Giovanni de’ Medici started the bank in Florence. He was also assigned with the task of governing Signoria, which was the council of guild members. Under Medici’s guidance, the council received much political power. The Medici bank then became the official bank of the Popes of the time. This was a major breakthrough. The bank was also involved with the construction of the Medici Chapels. Giovanni made it a point to pass down his legacy through his son Cosimo de’ Medici and further through his grandson Lorenzo de’ Medici. All of its successors expanded the bank to immeasurable heights. The family has various buildings made to their credit. This fact is highlighted in the series as well.

Four members of the Medici family went on to become the Popes of the Catholic Church. Two girls from the family also grew up to be the queens of France. This added to their family heritage and affluence, earning them the title of Duke of Florence. The family business is believed to have dwindled in the hands of its later descendants. Though the lineage still continues through its descendants in contemporary society, they do not hold the kind of power they once did.

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