Italian people and events during the European Middle Ages.

Piero de’ Medici: The Underestimated Ruler

Piero de’ Medici was born around 1416 in Florence, Italy. The eldest son of Cosimo de’ Medici, Piero was groomed from a young age to become a banker. Before his birth, Cosimo had worked with his father, Giovanni, to expand the Italian Medici bank into several European branches. Due to Cosimo’s cunning and business savvy, the Medici bank became the […]

Piero de’ Medici: The Unfortunate Ruler

Piero de’ Medici was born on February 15, 1472, in Florence, Tuscany, Italy, to Lorenzo de’ Medici. At the time of his birth, Piero’s father and uncle, Giuliano, jointly ruled Florence. Although outwardly a republic, both men controlled the city behind the scenes. Piero’s great-grandfather, Cosimo de’ Medici, used his banking wealth to become the unofficial Lord of Florence in […]

Joan I of Naples: The Headstrong Queen

Joan I of Naples was born around 1326. Her grandfather, King Robert, ruled Naples from the early to mid-1300s. During his reign, Naples experienced economic prosperity and stability. Robert encouraged learning, and his kingdom flourished as a center of education. Due to his respected leadership, the king became known as Robert the Wise. Towards the end of his reign, Robert […]

Lorenzo de’ Medici: The Magnificent Ruler

On January 1, 1449, Lorenzo de’ Medici was born in Florence, Italy. The Medici were an influential family that had gained their wealth through banking. Lorenzo’s grandfather, Cosimo, had established many branches throughout Europe. In turn, his banking abilities made him one of the wealthiest men of his time. Cosimo later used his money to gain political power and ultimately […]

Calixtus III: The First Borgia Pope

On December 31, 1378, Pope Calixtus III was born Alonso Borgia in Jativa, Aragon (Spain). The Borgias were an aristocratic family that had gained prestige during the reign of King James I. In 1240, Alonso’s ancestor, Esteban de Borja, had played a role in expelling the Muslims in Valencia. In gratitude, James ennobled the Borgia family. By the time Alonso’s […]