Lorenzino de' Medici
|Lorenzino de' Medici|
Lorenzina de' Medici
|Father||Pierfrancesco II de' Medici|
23 March 1514|
|Died||26 February 1548
Lorenzino de' Medici (March 23, 1514 – February 26, 1548), sometimes called Lorenzaccio de' Medici, was an Italian writer remembered primarily as the assassin of Alessandro de' Medici, duke and ruler of Florence.
Lorenzino was born in Florence, Italy, the son of Pierfrancesco II de' Medici and Maria Soderini. He was educated at Camerino together with Cosimo and Alessandro de' Medici. He and the latter were later involved in several public scandals involving their escapades. In 1526 Lorenzino was brought with Cosimo to Venice to escape the Landsknechts falling on Florence, and was also saved from the expulsion of the Medici from that city following the Sack of Rome which crushed the power of the most powerful member of the family, Pope Clement VII. After a period in Veneto, Bologna and Rome, where he gained the nickname Lorenzaccio, ("Bad Lorenzo"), for decapitating some statues, he was forced to leave the city and in 1534 returned to Florence. In December 1535 he accompanied Duke Alessandro to Naples.
In March 1536 Lorenzino returned to Florence, where Alessandro commissioned him to write a play to celebrate his marriage to Margaret of Austria. Lorenzino wrote Aridosia, a comedy blending Plautus, Terence, and contemporary elements. It was successfully staged on 13 June 1536. Described as "one of the best examples of sixteenth-century theater of classical inspiration", it was published a number of times.
Probably prompted by Filippo Strozzi, Lorenzino and the killer Scoronconcolo murdered duke Alessandro on January 5, 1537. Lorenzino entrapped Alessandro through the ruse of a promised arranged sexual encounter with Lorenzino's young aunt, Caterina, abandoned by her husband, Leonardo de' Ginori, a disreputable spendthrift and gambler, who fled to Naples to escape his creditors. After this, he fled to Bologna, and from there to Venice, Turkey, France, and then back to Venice. He wrote a public defense of his actions (the Apologia), claiming that, as an ideal heir of Marcus Junius Brutus, dedication to human liberty had forced him to kill Alessandro. As a writer, Lorenzino also authored the play Aridosio, which gained him notable critics.
Cosimo I de' Medici became Duke of Florence, and condemned Lorenzino to death. The conventional history had it that two assassins in Cosimo's pay killed Lorenzino in 1548 in front of his lover's house at Campo San Polo, Venice. However, new work by Stefano Dall'Aglio thoroughly refutes this, and puts the blame for Lorenzino's murder on assassins sent by Charles V.
- Luigi Alberto Ferrai, Lorenzino de' Medici e la societa' cortigiana del Cinquecento (Milan: Hoepli. 1891)
- Stefano Dall'Aglio, L'assassino del duca. Esilio e morte di Lorenzino de' Medici (Florence: L.S. Olschki. 2011)