Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

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Cosimo II
Justus Sustermans 010.jpg
Cosimo II after Justus Sustermans
Grand Duke of Tuscany
Reign 17 February 1609 – 28 February 1621
Predecessor Ferdinando I
Successor Ferdinando II
Born 12 May 1590
Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Tuscany
Died 28 February 1621 (aged 30)
Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Tuscany
Consort Maria Maddalena of Austria
Ferdinando II, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cardinal Gian Carlo
Margherita, Duchess of Parma
Mattias, Governor of Siena
Anna, Archduchess of Austria
Cardinal Leopoldo
Full name
Cosimo de' Medici
House House of Medici
Father Ferdinando I
Mother Christina of Lorraine
Religion Roman Catholicism

Cosimo II de' Medici (12 May 1590 – 28 February 1621) was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1609 until 1621. He was the elder son of the then incumbent Grand Duke and Christina of Lorraine. He married Maria Magdalena of Austria, and had eight children.

For the majority of his eleven-year reign, he delegated the administration of Tuscany to his ministers. He is best remembered as the patron of Galileo Galilei, his childhood tutor. He died of tuberculosis in 1621.[1]


Cristofano Allori: Cosimo II

Cosimo de' Medici was the elder son of Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Christina of Lorraine. His father requisitioned a modern education for him: Galileo Galilei was Cosimo's tutor between 1605 and 1608. Ferdinando arranged for him to marry Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria, daughter of Archduke Charles II, in 1608. Together they had eight children, among whom was Cosimo's eventual successor, an Archduchess of Inner Austria, a Duchess of Parma and two cardinals.

Ferdinando I died in 1609. Due to his precarious health, Cosimo did not actively participate in governing his realm. Just over a year after Cosimo's accession, Galileo dedicated his Sidereus Nuncius, an account of his telescopic discoveries, to the Grand Duke.[2] Additionally, Galileo christened the moons of Jupiter the "Medicean stars". Galileo's advocacy of Copernicanism later led to his trial by the Roman Inquisition, and he was held under house arrest in Tuscany from 1633 until his death in 1642.

The Grand Duke assiduously enlarged the navy. He died on 28 February 1621 from tuberculosis. He was succeeded by his elder son, Ferdinando. The child-Grand Duke's regency was bestowed upon Cosimo II's wife and mother, as per his wishes.


  1. Maria Cristina de' Medici (24 August 1609 – 9 August 1632) died unmarried, deformed or mentally retarded [3]
  2. Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (14 July 1610 – 23 May 1670) who married Vittoria della Rovere and had issue.
  3. Gian Carlo de' Medici (24 July 1611 – 23 January 1663) died unmarried.
  4. Margherita de' Medici (31 May 1612 – 6 February 1679) married Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma and had issue.
  5. Mattias de' Medici (9 May 1613 – 14 October 1667) died unmarried.
  6. Francesco de' Medici (16 October 1614 – 25 July 1634) died unmarried.
  7. Anna de' Medici (21 July 1616 – 11 September 1676) married Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria (1628–1662) and had issue.
  8. Leopoldo de' Medici (6 November 1617 – 10 November 1675) died unmarried.


Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Styles of
Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Coat of arms of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.png
Reference style His Highness
Spoken style Your Highness
Alternative style Sir

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 12 May 1590 - 17 February 1609 His Highness The Grand Prince of Tuscany
  • 17 February 1609 - 28 February 1621 His Highness The Grand Duke of Tuscany


  1. ^ Hale, p 187
  2. ^ Strathen, p 368
  3. ^ Medici Archive


  • Strathern, Paul The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Vintage books, London, 2003, ISBN 978-0-09-952297-3
  • Hale, J.R. Florence and the Medici, Orion books, London, 1977, ISBN 1-84212-456-0

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany at Wikimedia Commons

Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Born: 12 May 1590 Died: 28 February 1621
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ferdinando I de' Medici
Grand Duke of Tuscany
Succeeded by
Ferdinando II de' Medici