House of Medici

House of Medici, Italian banking family and political dynasty.

House of Medici image

The House of Medici (English: MED-i-chee, Italian: [ˈmɛːditʃi]) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of Tuscany, and prospered gradually until it was able to fund the Medici Bank. This bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, and it facilitated the Medici’s rise to political power in Florence, although they officially remained citizens rather than monarchs until the 16th century. The Medici produced four Popes of the Catholic Church—Pope Leo X (1513–1521), Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), Pope Pius IV (1559–1565) and Pope Leo XI (1605)—and two queens of France—Catherine de' Medici (1547–1589) and Marie de' Medici (1600–1630). In 1532, the family acquired the hereditary title Duke of Florence.
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