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
Issue
Detail
Ferdinando II, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cardinal Gian Carlo
Margherita, Duchess of Parma
Mattias, Governor of Siena
Francesco
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 his death. He was the elder son of Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Christina of Lorraine.

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.[1]

Biography[edit]

Cristofano Allori: Cosimo II

Cosimo's father Ferdinando I took care to provide him with a modern education. Indeed, 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, Ferdinando II, 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, but he was a great patron of science and letters. Just over a year after Cosimo's accession, Galileo dedicated his Sidereus Nuncius, an account of his telescopic discoveries, to the grand duke.[2]

In spite of his lack of interest in governance, the grand duke did assiduously enlarge the navy.

He died on 28 February 1621 from tuberculosis and was succeeded by his elder son, Ferdinando II, still a minor at the time of his father's death. The regency for the new grand duke was bestowed upon Cosimo II's wife and mother, as per his wishes.

Patronage[edit]

Science[edit]

Galileo Galilei was named court mathematician to Cosimo in 1610, a post that freed Galileo from the constraints of teaching mathematics at universities. As court mathematician, Galileo was free to challenge the distinction between disciplines and advance theories of Nicolaus Copernicus by using mathematics to address questions of physics.[3] The already famous Galileo had used his telescopic accomplishments in his bid for patronage. Once appointed, Galileo moved to the Florence court and found a resource rich environment where he worked as philosopher, mathematician[4] and astronomer.[5] Galileo was actively involved in court life and supported the dynastic rhetoric of the Medici family. Aside from producing intellectual spectacles, Galileo used the Medici court to advance his theoretical claims and discoveries. The four moons of Jupiter he had discovered were named Medicean Stars in reference to Cosimo and his three brothers. Tuscan ambassadors were used to advance scientific debate in Europe. Ambassadors in Prague, Paris, London and Madrid received copies of Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius and were sent telescopes constructed by Galileo, paid for by the court treasury.[6]

Issue[edit]

  1. Maria Cristina de' Medici (24 August 1609 – 9 August 1632), died unmarried, deformed or mentally retarded [7]
  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

Ancestors[edit]

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

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Hale, p 187
  2. ^ Strathen, p 368
  3. ^ Roy Porter, Katharine Park & Lorraine Daston, eds. (2003). The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 3, Early Modern Science. Cambridge University Press. p. 402. ISBN 9780521572446. 
  4. ^ Roy Porter, Katharine Park & Lorraine Daston, eds. (2003). The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 3, Early Modern Science. Cambridge University Press. p. 230. ISBN 9780521572446. 
  5. ^ Roy Porter, Katharine Park & Lorraine Daston, eds. (2003). The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 3, Early Modern Science. Cambridge University Press. p. 194. ISBN 9780521572446. 
  6. ^ Roy Porter, Katharine Park & Lorraine Daston, eds. (2003). The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 3, Early Modern Science. Cambridge University Press. pp. 259–260. ISBN 9780521572446. 
  7. ^ Medici Archive

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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
1609–1621
Succeeded by
Ferdinando II de' Medici