Lorenzo the Elder
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|Lorenzo the Elder|
Francesco de' Medici
Pierfrancesco the Elder
|Father||Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici|
Florence, Republic of Florence
|Died||23 September 1440 (aged 45)
Careggi, Republic of Florence
Lorenzo the Elder (c. 1395 – 23 September 1440) was an Italian banker of the House of Medici of Florence, the younger brother of Cosimo de' Medici the Elder and the founder of the so-called dei Popolani line of the family.
Lorenzo was the son of Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici and Piccarda Bueri. He was educated by Carlo Marsuppini. In 1416 he married Ginevra Cavalcanti. To celebrate their marriage, Francesco Barbaro wrote De Re Uxoria, a document on marriage which continued to be published for centuries. Lorenzo and Ginevra had two sons: Francesco, who was childless, and Pierfrancesco, who originated the Popolani line. Ginevra Cavalcanti was an aunt of the wife of Giovanni Arnolfini.
Lorenzo followed his brother Cosimo in his moves at Ferrara, Verona and Vicenza. In 1433 he tried to muster an army to free Cosimo when the latter was arrested under the charge of tyranny. Later he joined him at Venice and returned with him in Florence triumphantly after Cosimo's rehabilitation.
Though dedicating himself much to banking activity, Lorenzo held several charges in the Florentine Republic, and was ambassador to Pope Eugene IV and the Republic of Venice. In 1435 he moved to Rome to oversee the affairs of the Medici Bank at the Papal court.
Lorenzo the elder is ancestor to all the Grand Dukes of Tuscany through his direct descendant Cosimo I de' Medici. He is also the ancestor to the kings of France from Louis XIII and on, through Marie de' Medici, who married King Henry IV of France.
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