The History of the Medici Family: MC11

The History of the Medici Family

In this ten-module course you will discover the expansive history of the infamous Medici family, covering over three centuries. Starting with the origins of the Medici family, we then learn about characters such as Cosimo de Medici and Lorenzo the Magnificent. We learn about the dangerous period known as the Pazzi Conspiracy and also discover how the Medici were patrons of the arts, rose to be popes and even to become royals!

Samantha Morris has used her extensive travels to Italy and has combined them with her unparalleled passion for the Medici family to bring out the fascinating and sometimes gruesome details of this turbulent period in history. Along the way, you'll also meet well-known characters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, Raphael, Girolamo Savonarola, Alexander VI and Michelangelo...

Note: This is an online course of downloadable or streaming audio lectures (plus transcripts) which can be done in your own time and you have lifetime access to the course once you have signed up and paid. There is no set start or end date, you can do it at your own pace. It is open internationally.

Click on "Full description" to find out more and click on the "Buy Now" tab to sign up and purchase.

Full Description
Course Units:

  • Module 1 - The Origins of the Medici - Many have heard of the Medici family, but where did they come from and how did a family of merchants and bankers rise to rule the city of Florence?
  • Module 2 - Cosimo de’ Medici, Father of the Nation - In this module, you'll learn about some of the challenges Cosimo faced, including how he had to protect the wealth of his family from a rival family.
  • Module 3 - Lorenzo the Magnificent - When you hear the name Medici nowadays, there is one person who immediately springs to mind. And that person is Lorenzo, known to history as ‘The Magnificent’ thanks to the way he ruled Florence during its golden age, thanks to his talents, his commissioning of great artworks and thanks to his political ruthlessness.
  • Module 4 - The Pazzi Conspiracy - It all began on December 26, 1476, with a vicious assassination in Milan. Galeazzo Maria Sforza entered the Cathedral of Milan and was assassinated by a group of three noblemen. The whole affair threw Milan, Florence’s greatest ally, into absolute chaos. Pope Sixtus got a loan from the Pazzi banking family and this just made things worse... In this module, you'll learn who the Pazzi were, and why they were so important in the crisis that was soon to hit Florence.
  • Module 5 - The Medici - Patrons of the Arts - Because of the Medici family, the Renaissance truly took hold in Florence and today we can still see the absolutely stunning works of art on display in museums and art galleries across the world. In this module, we will focus on a selection of some of the greatest known pieces commissioned by the Medici, as well as the artists, sculptors and architects that shaped their world.
  • Module 6 - The Medici and Savanorola - In 1482, a young Dominican Friar arrived in Florence. His name was Girolamo Savonarola. Born in Ferrara in 1452, the very same year as Leonardo da Vinci, Savonarola grew up amongst a distinguished family. Who was this man, and how did he whip up a storm throughout the whole city?
  • Module 7 - The Return of the Medici and the Medici Popes - In this module, we learn how the political alliances of the Medici family were put to the test, leading to battles and eventually to the sack of Rome. It is said that in just one day, 8000 people were been killed. Learn how this event affected the Medici family and their fortunes.
  • Module 8 - From Dukes to Grand Dukes - This module takes us from the assassination of Alessandro de’ Medici through several members of the Medici family, leading Cosimo taking over and becoming
    Grand Duke Cosimo III. It was, however, a time in which the Medici star was starting to wane, and the end was nigh for the rulers of Florence and Tuscany.
  • Module 9 - The Royal Medici - The Medici family, no longer content with ruling their little City in Tuscany, soon turned their attention to Europe and its royalty. What better way to increase their power by marrying a daughter into one of the most powerful Royal families in Europe? Because of that wish, a little Medici girl, Catherine de’ Medici, would become one of the most powerful women in the world.
  • Module 10 - The Death of a Dynasty - On 9 July 1737, Gian Gastone de’ Medici died at the Palazzo Pitti after a thirteen-year reign. With no heir, the Medici dynasty ended with him. Gone were the days of the great Cosimo and Lorenzo and the independence of Tuscany was no more. In this module, you will discover what became of this once powerful family and why their treasures can still be enjoyed today.

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  • 330 minutes (5 hours 30 minutes) of audio lectures.
  • 10 lessons - streaming audio and/or downloadable audio mp3 files.
  • Downloadable PDF transcripts of each lesson.
  • End of unit quizzes.
  • A further reading list.
  • End of course certificate in the post.

Samantha Morris studied archaeology at the University of Winchester where her interest in the history of the Italian Renaissance began. Since graduating University, her interest in the Borgia family has grown to such an extent that she is always looking for new information on the subject as well as fighting against the age-old rumours that haunt them.

Samantha's first published book, Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell, is a brief biography which aims to dispel the myths surrounding a key member of the Borgia family. Samantha's second book, Girolamo Savonarola is an introduction to the life and times of this infamous preacher, a man who was witness to the dramatic downfall of the Medici dynasty in fifteenth-century Florence, who instigated some of the most dramatic events in Florentine history and whose death is still commemorated today.

Samantha also runs the popular Borgia website https://theborgiabull.com/.

Is there a guarantee?
Yes, see our Guarantees page.
Do I need to do the quizzes to complete the course?
No, they're optional but they're a good way of ensuring that you've taken in the information and they're also fun too.
How long does the course take?
You can do the course in your own time. Each lecture is between 20 and 45 minutes in length and you watch or listen to them at your convenience, so you can set your own pace. You have lifetime access to the course.
Do I need to buy any books or extra materials?
No, the audio lectures and transcripts are all you need. There is a list of further reading material if you want to read more about the subject, but this is optional.
When does the course start?
Our courses are online and you can start at any time and complete the course in your own time.
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Module 1 Introduction and Origins of the Medici
Wherever you go in Florence you can see the remnants of the infamous Medici family. Everywhere you look you can see their family insignia and the art that they brought to this truly tremendous city. This family ruled the city for centuries, overcoming adversity from all sides. But who were they, where did they come from and how did a family of merchants and bankers rise to rule the city of Florence?
Unit 1 Medici - Introduction
Unit 2 Origins of the Medici
Module 2 Cosimo de’ Medici, Father of the Nation
Born in 1389, little is known of Cosimo di Giovanni de’ Medici’s early life, and yet we know that by the end of his life, Cosimo had seen and even taken part in massive changes within the City of Florence. In this module, you'll learn about some of the challenges Cosimo faced, including how he had to protect the wealth of his family from a rival family.
Unit 1 Cosimo de Medici, Father of the Nation
Module 3 Lorenzo the Magnificent
When you hear the name Medici nowadays, there is one person who immediately springs to mind. And that person is Lorenzo, known to history as ‘The Magnificent’ thanks to the way he ruled Florence during its golden age, thanks to his talents, his commissioning of great artworks and thanks to his political ruthlessness. He is the true definition of a Renaissance man and a man who lived through the constant threat to his city and to his own rule. But who precisely was he, and what exactly did he do, and how did he actually become known as Il Magnifico? This module will look at Lorenzo’s life, the obstacles he overcame and his deep-seated friendships with some of the greatest artists and writers of the Italian Renaissance.
Unit 1 Lorenzo the Magnificent
Module 4 The Pazzi Conspiracy
It all began on December 26, 1476, with a vicious assassination in Milan. Galeazzo Maria Sforza entered the Cathedral of Milan and was assassinated by a group of three noblemen. The whole affair threw Milan, Florence’s greatest ally, into absolute chaos. Pope Sixtus got a loan from the Pazzi banking family and this just made things worse... In this module, you'll learn who the Pazzi were, and why they were so important in the crisis that was soon to hit Florence.
Unit 1 The Pazzi Conspiracy
Module 5 The Medici - Patrons of the Arts
One thing that the Medici are known for, probably above all others, is their patronage of the arts. Because of the Medici family, the Renaissance truly took hold in Florence and today we can still see the absolutely stunning works of art on display in museums and art galleries across the world. In this module, we will focus on a selection of some of the greatest known pieces commissioned by the Medici, as well as the artists, sculptors and architects that shaped their world.
Unit 1 The Medici as Patrons of the Arts
Module 6 The Medici and Savanorola
In 1482, a young Dominican Friar arrived in Florence. His name was Girolamo Savonarola. Born in Ferrara in 1452, the very same year as Leonardo da Vinci, Savonarola grew up amongst a distinguished family. Who was this man, and how did he whip up a storm throughout the whole city?
Unit 1 The Medici and Savonarola
Module 7 The Return of the Medici and the Medici Popes
In this module, we learn how the political alliances of the Medici family were put to the test, leading to battles and eventually to the sack of Rome. It is said that in just one day, 8000 people were been killed. Learn how this event affected the Medici family and their fortunes.
Unit 1 The Return of the Medici and the Medici Popes
Module 8 From Dukes to Grand Dukes
On the night of January 5, 1537, the Duke of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici was found dead, assassinated by his cousin Lorenzino. This module takes us from this event and through several members of the Medici family, leading Cosimo taking over and becoming Grand Duke Cosimo III. It was, however, a time in which the Medici star was starting to wane, and the end was nigh for the rulers of Florence and Tuscany.
Unit 1 From Dukes to Grand Dukes
Module 9 The Royal Medici
The Medici family, no longer content with ruling their little City in Tuscany, soon turned their attention to Europe and its royalty. What better way to increase their power by marrying a daughter into one of the most powerful Royal families in Europe? Because of that wish, a little Medici girl, Catherine de’ Medici, would become one of the most powerful women in the world.
Unit 1 The Royal Medici
Module 10 The Death of a Dynasty
On 9 July 1737, Gian Gastone de’ Medici died at the Palazzo Pitti after a thirteen-year reign. With no heir, the Medici dynasty ended with him. Gone were the days of the great Cosimo and Lorenzo and the independence of Tuscany was no more. In this module, you will discover what became of this once powerful family and why their treasures can still be enjoyed today.
Unit 1 Death of a Dynasty
Unit 2 Conclusion