Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino

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Lorenzo II de' Medici
Portrait of Lorenzo di Medici.jpg
Lord of Florence
Reign 17 March 1516 – 4 May 1519
Predecessor Giuliano de' Medici
Successor Giulio de' Medici
Born (1492-09-12)12 September 1492
Florence, Republic of Florence
Died 4 May 1519(1519-05-04) (aged 26)
Careggi, Republic of Florence
Noble family Medici
Spouse(s) Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne
Father Piero the Unfortunate
Mother Alfonsina Orsini

Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici (Italian pronunciation: [lo'rentso di 'pjɛːro de ˈmɛːditʃi]), (12 September 1492 – 4 May 1519)[1] was the ruler of Florence from 1516 until his death in 1519. He was also Duke of Urbino during the same period. His daughter Catherine de' Medici became Queen Consort of France, while his illegitimate son, Alessandro de' Medici, became the first Duke of Florence.


Lorenzo was born in Florence on 12 September 1492, a son of Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici and Alfonsina Orsini. His paternal grandparents were Lorenzo the Magnificent and Clarice Orsini. His maternal grandparents were Roberto Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo, and Catherine San Severino. Niccolò Machiavelli dedicated his political treatise The Prince to Lorenzo to inform him of tactics to use in unifying Italy, though the entire intent behind this dedication is shrouded in mystery.

His uncle, the Medici Pope Leo X, made him Duke of Urbino in 1516 at the age of 24. After the short reconquest by the former duke, Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Lorenzo was named commander of the 10,000 men sent to recapture it, but was wounded and retired to Tuscany. Lorenzo regained the duchy through a treaty signed in September of the same year (see also War of Urbino). The territory reverted to the Della Rovere family after Lorenzo's death.

As Duke of Urbino, Lorenzo married Madeleine de la Tour, daughter of the Count of Auvergne, on 13 June 1518. The marriage produced a daughter, Catherine, who was born in 1519; she went on to become Catherine de' Medici, the famous queen of Henry II of France, in a marriage arranged by her cousin, the Medici pope Pope Clement VII. Pope Leo X also took care of her throughout her childhood.

Lorenzo died from syphilis only 21 days after his daughter's birth. His tomb, along with its companion piece, the tomb of Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici, is in the Medici Chapel in the Church of San Lorenzo. The tombs are ornamented with sculpture by Michelangelo, with the figure known as Pensieroso representing Lorenzo.

Due to the fact that the duke shared the same name, Lorenzo de' Medici, with his more famous grandfather, Lorenzo the Magnificent, who is buried nearby, the grand tomb is often mistaken for that of his grandfather.[2] [3]


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Lorenzo II de' Medici
Born: 12 September 1492 Died: 4 May 1519
Italian nobility
Preceded by
Francesco Maria I della Rovere
Duke of Urbino
Succeeded by
Francesco Maria I della Rovere