November 9: Piero’s Misfortune

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Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

November 9, 1494 CE. The Medici Family is expelled from Florence. Under the leadership of Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Gran Maestro at the time, Florence saw relative peace and stability. King Charles VIII of France, wishing to capture the Kingdom of Naples due to hereditary claims, put an end to such good fortune. Initially, it appeared that the French wished only to cross Florentine borders in order to reach Naples. However, Charles secretly intended to crush Medici power and extend French power to the region. As the French threat loomed ever closer to Florence, Piero attempted to resist, only to be met with betrayal by the Florentine elite, who refused to support his cause. Faced with ultimate defeat, Piero fled with the rest of the Medici family, handing over Florence to Charles and the French. The Florentine Republic was promptly propped-up by the French overlords, ending hundreds of years of Medici rule. Not until, 1512 CE, would another Medici control Florence and its cultural prosperity.