Tuscany Region in Italy, Europe

Adoration of the Magi see all

Allegory see all

Baptism see all

Baptism of Christ see all

Beheading of John the Baptist see all

Crucifixion see all

Crucifixion of Saint Peter see all

David and Goliath see all

Death of Adonis see all

Deposition from the Cross see all

Entombment see all

Entombment of John the Baptist see all

Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise see all

Fall of Jericho see all

Feast of Herod see all

Holy Family see all

Joseph Sold into Slavery see all

Judith and Holofernes see all

Leda and the Swan see all

Madonna and Child see all

Madonna and Child with St. Anne see all

Maesta see all

Marriage of the Virgin see all

Martyrdom see all

Moses bringing down the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai see all

Mother and Child see all

Nativity see all

Penitent Magdalene see all

Preaching of John the Baptist see all

Primavera see all

Rape of the Sabines see all

Reclining Venus see all

Samson and the Philistine see all

Slaughter of the Innocents see all

The Annunciation see all

The Drunkenness of Noah see all

The Last Supper see all

The Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba see all

The Sacrifice of Isaac see all

Venus and Cupid see all

Zacharias in the Temple see all


After the death of Otho II., his son, Otho III., was elected Emperor, and crowned by Pope Gregory V., in the year of Christ 979, and this Otho reigned twenty-four years. After that he was crowned, he went into Apulia on pilgrimage to Mount S. Angelo, and afterwards returned by way of France into Germany, leaving Italy in good and peaceful estate. But when he was returned to Germany, Crescentius, the consul and lord of Rome, drave away the said Gregory from the papacy, and set a Greek therein, which was bishop of Piacenza, and very wise; but when the Emperor Otho heard this he was very wrath, and with his army returned to Italy, and besieged in Rome the said Crescentius and his Pope in the castle of S. Angelo, for therein had they taken refuge; and he took the said castle by siege, and caused Crescentius to be beheaded, and Pope John XVI. to have his eyes put out, and his hands cut off; and he restored his Pope Gregory to his chair, which was his kinsman by race; and leaving Rome and Italy in good estate, he returned to his country of Germany, and there-70- died in prosperity. With the said Otho III. there came into Italy the Marquis Hugh; I take it this must have been the marquis of Brandenburg, forasmuch as there is no other marquisate in Germany. His sojourn in Tuscany liked him so well, and especially our city of Florence, that he caused his wife to come thither, and took up his abode in Florence, as vicar of Otho, the Emperor. It came to pass, as it pleased God, that when he was riding to the chase in the country of Bonsollazzo, he lost sight, in the wood, of all his followers, and came out, as he supposed, at a workshop where iron was wont to be wrought. Here he found men, black and deformed, who, in place of iron, seemed to be tormenting men with fire and with hammer, and he asked what this might be: and they answered and said that these were damned souls, and that to similar pains was condemned the soul of the Marquis Hugh by reason of his worldly life, unless he should repent: who, with great fear, commended himself to the Virgin Mary, and when the vision was ended, he remained so pricked in the spirit, that after his return to Florence, he sold all his patrimony in Germany, and commanded that seven monasteries should be founded: the first was the Badia of Florence, to the honour of S. Mary; the second, that of Bonsollazzo, where he beheld the vision; the third was founded at Arezzo; the fourth at Poggibonizzi; the fifth at the Verruca of Pisa; the sixth at the city of Castello; the last was the one at Settimo; and all these abbeys he richly endowed, and lived afterwards with his wife in holy life, and had no son, and died in the city of Florence, on S. Thomas' Day, in the year of Christ 1006, and was buried with great honour in the Badia of Florence. And whilst the said Hugh was-71- living, he made in Florence many knights of the family of the Giandonati, of the Pulci, of the Nerli, of the counts of Gangalandi, and of the family della Bella, which all for love of him, retained and bore his arms, barry, white and red, with divers charges.


Simone dei Conti di Canossa, the first Florentine ancestor of Michelangelo, is made Podestà of Florence.


Giovanni Pisano abruptly leaves Siena, abandoning management of work on the lower stage of the facade of Siena Cathedral, reportedly over creative differences with the Opera del Duomo.


The Florentine historian Giovanni Villani records the disastrous flood of Florence of 1333, and reports on lengthy discussions which arose afterwards about the destructive power of water, presenting the argument almost in the form of a treatise. By the mysterious thread of tradition, the early discussions may have reached Leonardo (...)


Construction is halted on the new nave of Siena Cathedral by the Black Death. Basic errors in the construction are already evident by now, however, and the work is never resumed. The outer walls, remains of this extension, can still be seen to the south of the Duomo. The floor of the uncompleted nave now serves as a parking lot and museum.


July 23

December 21


Muzio Sforza captures Pisa and is subsequently hired by Niccolò III d'Este of Ferrara, who is being menaced by Ottobono Terzi of Parma.


Masaccio and Masolino are commissioned by the powerful and rich Felice Brancacci to execute a cycle of frescoes for the The Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence.


April 14

Lorenzo Ghiberti receives a letter from Giovanni Turini, a goldsmith of Siena.

April 16

Lorenzo Ghiberti to Giovanni Turini, goldsmith, of Siena: Jesus Honourable friend, I received your letter the fourteenth day of April and saw therefrom how dear and faithful a friend I have in you, and also that you are well. Also of your good mind toward me, which you have ever displayed; inasmuch that in case of need you would help me to polish one of these stories (reliefs) and would do it willingly: the which I know I can come only of love to me, for the which may God bless you. You must know, dear friend, that the stories are almost completed; one is in the hands of Giuliano di Ser Andrea, the other I have; and they will be finished at the time I promised Messer Bartolomeo; in sooth they would have been finished long since, but for the thanklessness of those, my past companions, from whom I received not one injury, but many. Thanks be to God, I am out of their hands, for which I ever praise God, considering in what freedom I now find myself. Being quite without company, I intend to remain thus, master in my own workshop and able to receive any friend with a good and cheerful countenance. I thank you for your perfect goodwill towards me. And I heartily beg you to commend me to Messer Bartolomeo. Also I beg you heartily to find, if you may, some means by which I may recover the drawings of the birds I lent to Ghoro (dir Ser Neroccio, a goldsmith of Siena). I know that it will be no pains to you to beg Master Domenico, the wood-carver, that he send them back to me, for I hear say that these and all other things that were in the hands of the said Ghoro are now with Master Domenico. Greet him from me, and likewise Master Francesco di Valdambrina: and if there be aught that I can do here, I am always at your pleasure. There is nothing other to say. May Christ keep you in peace. Writ on the sixteenth day of April 1425. By your Lorenzo di Bartolo, goldsmith of Florence, your dear friend


February 19

Masaccio is commissioned by Giuliano di Colino degli Scarsi da San Giusto, for the sum of 80 florins, to paint a major altarpiece, the Pisa Altarpiece, for his chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pisa.


The Medici family seize power in Florence, marking the beginning of a fifty year rule.



March 25

The dedication of the cathedral of Florence was celebrated by Pope Eugenius IV and the papal chapel, then resident in Florence. The Pope's magister capellae (master, or leader, of the chapel) was then Guillaume Dufay, a native of the region of Cambrai in northern France.


December 6

The _operai_ of the Florentine Cathedral stated that in order to improve the level of divine worship there, Ugolino de Giugnis, a canon of the Cathedral, was commissioned to elect "Magister Benotto and his associates who sing at the church of San Giovanni (the Baptistry) to sing Vespers at Santa Maria del Fiore on festive and solemn days." Another document dated the same day mentions writing to Lorenzo de' Medici, "ambassador of Florence to the pope, presently in Ferrara,' so that he could inform the pope of the decision, specifying the number of singers to join Benotto as three.



January 1

Luca Landucci enters the shop of the apothecary Francesco, at the sign of the Scala, in the Mercato Vecchio in Florence.

April 15

Leonardo da Vinci is born out of wedlock to a notary, Ser Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, in Vinci.


August 24

On 24 August, an hour before daybreak, a whirlwind of dense black vapour spreading for about two miles in all directions issued from the upper sea near Ancona, and traversing Italy passed into the lower sea near Pisa. This vapour driven by resistless forces, whether natural or supernatural I know not, and rent and driven in struggles with itself, split off into clouds which, now rising to heaven now descending to earth, dashed one against another, or whirling round with inconceivable velocity before them a wind of measureless violence, and sent forth as they strove together frequent lightnings and dazzling flames. From these clouds thus broken and embroiled, from this furious wind, and these quick-succeeding sheets of flame, came a sound louder than the roar of thunder or earthquake, and so terrible that whosoever heard it thought the end of the world had come, and that land and sea, and all that was left of earth and sky, were returning mingled together to ancient Chaos. Wherever this dreadful whirlwind passed it wrought the most astonishing and unheard-of effects, but more notably than elsewhere near the walled village of San Casciano, situated about eight miles from Florence, on the hill separating the Val di Pesa from the Val di Grieve. Between this town and the village of Sant'Andrea, standing on the same hill, the hurricane swept, not touching Sant'Andrea, and merely grazing the outskirts of San Casciano so as to strike some of the battlements of the walls, and the chimneys of a few houses. But outside, in the space between the two places named, many buildings were levelled with the ground; the roofs of the churches of San Martino at Bagnuolo, and of Santa Maria della Pace, were borne bodily to a distance of more than a mile; and a carrier and his mules were found dead, some way from the road, in the neighbouring valley. The strongest oaks and the sturdier trees which would not stoop before the fury of the blast, were not merely uprooted but carried far away from the places where they grew. When the tempest had passed and morning broke, men remained stunned and stupfied. They saw their fields devastated and destroyed, their houses and churches laid in ruins, and heard the lamentations of those who looked on shattered homesteads under which their kinsmen or their cattle lay dead. Which sights and sounds filled all who say or heard of them with the profoundest pity and fear. But doubtless it was God's will rather to threaten than to chastise Tuscany; for had a hurricane like this, instead of coming among oaks, and alders, and thinly scattered dwellings, burst upon the close-packed houses and crowded population of a great city, it would assuredly have wrought the most terrible ruin and destruction that the mind of man can conceive.




April 10

There passed through Florence a son of Don Ferante, King of Naples, on his way to Milan to fetch the daughter of the Duke of Milan to be wedded to his brother. This lad was twelve or thirteen years old; he was made much of, and was lodged at Santa Maria Novella. And afterwards he returned through Florence with the bride, accompanied by many signori and dukes, with a large troop of horse; and besides other things, there were so many damsels and matrons in his train that it was magnificent. And at this time a man was found coining false money, and he was beheaded.


January 12

During the night the Arno began to be in flood, although there had not been a drop of rain but the snow had melted suddenly, so that the river entered the town and flooded it as far as the Canto a Monteloro, and benches from the Church of Santa Croce floated across to that point. And the water went into the _Piazza del Grano_, reaching more than half-way up the door of the apothecary's shop and past the _Palagio del Podesta_. The river overflowed its banks opposite Messer Bongianni's houses, and filled the _Prato_ and the Via della Scala. Many mules and horses were drowned in their stables, and all the wine-casks went floating about, mostly towards the Arno. This flood had come suddenly.

September 1

On this day a _parlamento_ (assembly) was held in the Piazza, and there was a great commotion in the city; the shops were closed several times, for fear that they might be looted. Niccolo Soderini, Messer Dietisalvi, and Messer Luca Pitti were exiled, for having been the leaders in the plot against Piero, son of Cosimo de' Medici, when it was attempted to murder him in his way from Careggi. And after the failure of the plot, many citizens connected with it were exiled, about twenty-seven of them being restricted within certain boundaries and made ineligible for office, according to the sentences inscribed on a document inserted in this book; except Messer Luca Pitti, who made an alliance with Giovanni Tornabuoni, giving him his daughter as wife, and in consequence he was reprieved from exile, and they remained friends and at peace.

November 23

Luca Landucci moves his wife into his own house in Florence.


Leonardo da Vinci is sent to Florence to work as apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio.


Andrea del Verrocchio is contracted to make a golden ball (palla) to be placed on top of the lantern of Brunelleschi's cupola on the Duomo in Florence.

April 28

At about 15 in the morning (11 a.m.) we had the news that peace(1) was concluded. It was celebrated with bonfires, and the shops were closed. > (1) Alamanno _Rinuccini_ (_Ricordi_, etc. Firenze, 1840), says that the news of the universal peace amongst all the powers of Italy, pronounced by the Pope two days previously, reached Florence at 13 _ore_ (9 a.m.) on the 27th April.


April 15

Fifteen men were brought from Prato, who had intended to give over the place, and they were hung(1). > (1) This was the plot of Bernardo Nardi.


September 23

Six ambassadors left Florence to visit the said Pope; namely: Lorenzo de' Medici, Messer Domenico Martegli, Messer Agnolo della Stuffa, Messer Bongianni Gianfigliazzi, Piero Minerbetti and Donato Acciaiuolo; and the said Pope made Piero Miberbetti a knight and he returned to Florence with this title.


April 27

We heard that Volterra had suddenly revolted; and troops were sent there.

May 6

The Bishop of Volterra came as ambassador, but settled nothing. And on the 7th two mortars were loaded to go there. And on the 10th the Count of Urbino went there with men-at-arms; and by the 19th he took all their castles; and on the 24th he took many prisoners and captured their bastion. And on the 1st June their ambassadors arrived here to demand terms, and almost came to agreement, but everything was upset when they returned there. And so far two mortars had been used. And on the 8th June, the attacking party beheaded one of the Bartolini; and on the 9th they used another mortar.

June 18

A knight came to us (from Volterra) with the olive-branch, and an agreement was made, guaranteeing their property and persons. There was much rejoicing. But when the attacking-party entered, one of their constables, a Venetian, began to cry: "Sack it, sack it!" and our men began plundering, and it was impossible to make them observe their agreement. The count had this Venetian hung and also a Sienese. Nevertheless the unfortunate people fared badly. The count came to Florence on the 27th June, 1472; he was given the Patriarch's house, a banner, two basins, two silver ewers, 180 _lire_, and a helmet. He went away on the 1st July, 1473.

November 24


July 18

We heard that our archbishop, who was one of the Neroni of Florence, had died at Rome; and the archbishopric was given to the Cardinal of San Sisti, called Brother Piero.(1) > (1) Piero Riario, nephew of the Pope.

August 5

Leonardo da Vinci produces a pen and ink drawing of the Arno valley that is dated to this day. It is said to be one of the earliest Italian landscape drawings that focuses on the particular character of the location. The drawing is said by some scholars to be a study intended for the 'Baptism of Christ', which Leonardo painted with Andrea del Verrocchio around this time.

December 11

A poor woman in Camaldoli,(1) who had several grown-up daughters, was praying to the crucifix in their house, when they saw it break into sweat, and speaking of it in the neighbourhood, people began to go and pray to it. When the Carmelite friars heard of it, they went and fetched it reverently and placed it in a tabernacle of the _Cappella della Croce_,(2) and it was worshiped there. > (1) A portion of the city near the gate of _San Frediano_, which received its name from an old monastery of the _Camaldolensi_. It is the abode of the roughest and poorest of the people, and the name was extended to a district near San Lorenzo (the Camaldoli of San Frediano, and the Camaldoli of San Lorenzo), the appellation now signifying "rough people." (Trans.) > > (2) This is doubtless the crucifix known as _La Providenza_, and concerning which a certain G. F. B. published the _Notizie_ (Florence, 1852).


September 25

We received a letter written by Matteo Palmieri, captain of Volterra, which I saw and read; it related the following marvel, namely, that in these days there had been born in Volterra a boy (that is, a monster) which had the head of a bull, and three teeth, with a lump of skin on the head like a horn, and the top of the head was open like a pomegranate, with fiery rays coming out. Its arms were all hairy, and its feet were like a lion's with lion's claws. Its body was of the nature of a female of the human race, but its legs down to the feet were those of a bull like the head. And it lived about three hours. The mother died the fourth day. The midwives and the other women present half died of fried. And this was shown to the said Matteo as a terrible thing. And the said Matteo, captain of Volterra, wrote here to Florence with his own hand; and I copied the said letter in the actual words, neither omitting nor adding anything. And because the said Matteo was my father's intimate friend and my godfather, the letter itself came into my hands, although it was directed to other citizens.


March 6


The Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes arrives in Florence, bringing new painterly techniques from Northern Europe which were to profoundly affect Leonardo, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and others.

April 26

At about 15 in the forenoon (11 a.m.) in Santa Maria del Fiore, whilst high mass was being celebrated and the Host elevated, Giuliano, son of Piero, son of Cosimo de' Medici, and Francesco Nori were killed, near the choir of the said church towards the door which goes to the Servi; and Lorenzo de' Medici was wounded in the neck, and fled into the sacristy and escaped. They were killed in consequence of a certain conspiracy made by Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi and Franceschino de' Pazzi and Guglielmo de' Pazzi, the which Guglielma was he brother-in-law of Lorenzo de' Medici, his wife being a sister of theirs, called Bianca. And the sons of Messer Piero de' Pazzi were also there, that is, Andrea and Renato and Niccolo; and of the house of Salviati, there were Francesco, Bishop of Pisa, and Jacopo Salviati, who was son-in-law to Filippo Tornabuoni, and another Jacopo also a Salviati, and Jacopo, son of Messer Poggio, Bracciolini and Bernardo Bandini of the house of Baroncegli, and Amerigo Corsi, and many others. The conspirators brought Cardinal di San Giorgio(1) here, who was a young man; he entered Florence on the day above-mentioned, and they all came together in Santa Maria del Fiore, and, as I have said, at the elevation of the Host seized their swords, and it is said that Francesco de' Pazzi struck Giuliano, and Bandini the other. And having killed Giuliano they wanted to kill Lorenzo, but did not succeed, as he fled into the sacristy. Meantime the Bishop de' Salviati, with Jacopo, son of Messer Poggio, and two of his relatives who were both called Jacopo, went to the Palagio, with several priests, feigning to desire to speak to the Signoria, and they spoke to the Gonfaloniere, and became somewhat confused. The Gonfaloniere perceived the treachery, and he and his companions shut themslves up here and there, and ordered the doors to be closed, and the bell run for a parlamento. And what with the rumour which came from Santa Maria del Fiore of Giuliano's death and the bell ringing at the Palagio, the city was immediately in arms. And Lorenzo de' Medici was taken to his house. Meantime Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi rushed on horseback to the Piazza de' Signori, crying "_Popolo e liberta!_" (The People and Liberty!), wishing to take the Palagio, but the bishop not having succeeded in getting possession of it, Messer Jacopo was not able to enter. He then went towards his own house, and was advised to take to flight; and he fled by the Porta all Croce, together with many men-at-arms, in the Piazza and at Lorenzo de' Medici's house. And numbers of men on the side of the conspirators were killed in the Piazza; amongst others a priest of the bishop's was killed there, his body being quartered and the head cut off, and then the head was stuck on the top of a lance, and carried about Florence the whole day, and one quarter of his body was carried on a spit all through the city, with the cry of: "Death to the traitors!" That same evening the cardinal was taken to the Palagio, barely escaping with his life, all his companions being captured without exception. And the bishop remained in the Palagio with all the rest. And that evening they hung Jacopo, son of Messer Poggio, from the windows of the Palagio de' Signori, and likewise the Bishop of Pisa, and Franceschino de' Pazzi, naked; and about twenty men besides, some at the Palagio de' Signori, and others at the Palagio dell Podesta and at the Casa del Capitano, all at the windows. The next day (the 27th) they hung Jacopo Salviati, son-in-law of Filippo Tornabuoni, and the other Jacopo, also at the windows, and many others of the households of the cardinals and of the bishop. And the day after that (the 28th April, 1478), Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi was captured at Belforte. And that evening of the 28th, about 23 in the evening (7 p.m.), Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi and Renato de' Pazzi were hung at the windows of the Palagio de'' Signori, above the _ringhiera_(2); and so many of their men with them, that during these three days the number of those killed amounted to more than seventy. The cardinal remained a prisoner of the Palagio, and no harm was done him, except that he was made to write to the Holy Father, with his own hand, all that had happened. And the same day the prisoners in the _Stinche_(3) managed to break open the prison, and all escaped - with the exception of one unfortunate man who was captured and hung. > (1) Rafaello Riario. > > (2) The _ringhiera_ was the platform consisting in three steps and railing, which used to be round the _Palagio_ (Palazzo Vecchio) on the front and on the north. It was used for haranguing the people and was only demolished in 1812, when the present steps and platform replaced it. (Trans.) > > (3) The _Stinche_ were the old prisons, which formed a large rectangular mass between the Via del Diluvio (now Via del Fosso), the Via del Palagio (now Via Ghibellina), the Via del Mercatino, and the Via de' Lavatoi. The exterior walls were extremely high, and windowless. The name was derived from that of a fortress which had rebelled against Florence at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and which the Florentines retook, bringing the prisoners back as a trophy. Originally intended for traitors and revels, these prisons were used afterwards for various purposes, even for madmen; whilst later on debtors and bankrupts were confined there, and others with life-sentences. In 1835, under the Grand-duke Leopold, it was decreed that they should be sold, and shops and houses were built on the area; also the large hall, called _Filamonica_, and riding-school, afterwards replaced by the Pagliani theatre, now called the Verdi. (Trans.)

August 15

Four of the city gates in Florence were closed; the first was Porta San Miniato, the second was the Porta all Giustizia, the third Porta Pinti(1), and the fourth the Porticciuola della Mulina (of the Mill).(2) > (1) The _Porta a Pinti_, demolished with the walls in 1866, was at the end of the Borgo Pinti, and was a very picturesque gate, with a group of old cypresses. (Trans.) > > (2) The _Porticciuola della Mulina_ was near the Prato, down by the river, leading to the _Mulina_ (Mill) of the _Vagaloggia_. It was sometimes called Pirticciuola del Prato. The three last gates were taken down when the walls were demolished. (Trans.)



March 25

The Holy Father gave a plenary indulgence in Santa Maria del Fiore for one day, from vespers on the 24th March till the next vespers, on the 25th March, which people availed themselves of with great devotion. The Cause of this was the preaching of Brother Antonio da Vergiegli in Santa Maria del Fiore during Lent, which bore good fruit. On this same 25th March, a law was determined upon at the Palagio, which forbade anyone who had killed a man to return to Florence(1). > (1) The provision is of the 16th March, 1478, Old Style, and perhaps the 25th is the day on which it was published. It was made to limit the concession of safe-conducts, and the causes which led to it may be read in the exordium which I have pleasure in publishing as a document which describes the way of thinking at that time. > "The high and magnificent _Signori_ having in mind how grave is the sin of homicide, by which man, a creature made and created in the image of God, is destroyed; and seeking the reasons why it is so very frequent under our jurisdiction; find among other things that it is encouraged by the facility of pardon and roper severity not being used in punishing such a detestable and abominable excess, he who commits the homicide being allowed to be continually in the presence of those who have suffered from the offence and of those who desire to live virtuously; none of whom can regard such manslayers without great indignation and perturbation of mind. And although the laws of the Florentine people bitterly avenge and punish such crimes, and give security against them; notwithstanding, whatever may be the reason, either too great humanity (which in reality one ought to call cruelty), or else undisciplined charity, such entirely right and just decrees are not properly observed. And the high _Signori_ and discreet chief citizens wish to remedy these things which are so contrary to honest living and against divine laws, by making the fear of pubishment deter men from committing them, when they are deprived of all hope of pardon, and by adjuring the magistrates not only not to overlook such things, but to enforce the law with severity, hoping firmly that this provision may hav ea good effect" (State Archives of Florence, _Consigli maggiori Provv. Reg. ad annum_). > > The term "_Signori e Collegi_" used in the decrees meant as follows: the Signori were the eight _Priori_ and the _Gonfaloniere della Giustizia_, and the _Collegi_ were the sixteen _Gonfalonieri della Compagnie_ and the twelve men (three from each quarter) formerly called the twelve _Buonuomini_, who were summoned by the _Signori_ to take council on almost every occasion. (Trans.)

May 1

The new Signoria entered into office. That evening Andrea de' Pazzi and Brigliaino(1) were captured. And also, the same evening, returning from Pisa, Messer Piero Vespucci was captured and taken to the Palagio, as it was said that he had aided the escape of a man concerned in the plot. > (1) Giovanni di Domenico, called Brigliaino, a hanger-on of the house of Pazzi, and a worthless man.

May 3

At about 18 in the afternoon (2 p.m.), a priest(1) was captured in the Badia of Florence, who was a chancellor (secretary) of Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi, and another at the same time, from Volterra(2); they had remained hidden there from the day of the murder till now. And that evening Brigliaino and one of the cardinal's chancellors were hung at the windows of the Palagio, and when the ropes were cut, they fell down on the platform. The soldiers quarreled over robbing the dead bodies of doublets and hose. > (1) Stefano di Ser Niccolo of Bagnone, a priest in San Procolo at Florence. > > (2) Antonio di Gherardo Maffei of Volterra, scribe of the _Camera Apostolica_, or notary of the _Ruota_ (a society of Doctors of Law).

May 9

Ambassadors came to Florence from the Pope; and finally, after a few days, they were sent away again without our having consented to give up the cardinal, whom they had wished to take back with them. And at this time many armed men were placed in the Piazza, and a patrol of _birri_ (sergeants) paraded the city day and night and the city-guards all night. No one went out after one o'clock (9 p.m.), whatever class he belonged to; not a sound was heard in the city at night; and no one carried arms at any time.

May 10

They sent Andrea de' Pazzi and two of his younger brothers into a new prison, in the vault of a tower at Volterra.

May 17

At about 20 in the evening (4 p.m.), some boys disinterred it (the body of Messer Jacopo) a second time, and dragged it through Florence by the piece of rope that was still round its neck; and when they came to the door of his house, they tied the rope to the door-bell, saying: "Knock at the door!" and they made great sport all through the town. And when they grew tired and did not know what more to do with it, they went to the Ponte al Rubiconte and threw it into the river.(1) And they sang a song with certain rhymes, amongst others this line: "Messer Jacopo is floating away down the Arno." And it was considered an extraordinary thing, first because children are usually afraid of dead bodies, and secondly because the stench was so bad that it was impossible to go near it; one may imagine what it was like, from the 27th April till the 17th May! And they must have had to touch with with their hands to throw it into the Arno. And as it floated down the river, always keeping above the surface, the bridges were crowded with people to watch it pass. And another day, down towards Brozzi, the boys pulled it out of the water again, and hung it on a willow, and then the beat it, and threw it back into the Arno. And it is said that it was seen to pass under the bridges of Pisa, always above the surface. > (1) History says that the magistrates had the body thrown into the Arno, to put a stop to the boys' treatment of it. (Trans.)

June 7

He (Cardinal di San Giorgio) was accompanied by the "Eight"(1) and many citizens from the Palagio to the Nunziata; and he was in dread of being killed by the populace. That same day the Pope excommunicated us. > (1) These were the _Otto di Guardia e Balia_, at this time at the height of their power. (Trans.)

June 12

The cardinal (Cardinal di San Giorgio) left Florence.

July 2

An ambassador came to Florence from the King of France.

July 10

Another ambassador came from the King of France; he was going to the Pope, and was lodged in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni. And at this time the horsemen of the Duke of Milan came by the Pisan road, and passed near Poggibonizi, and the troops of the king continued to approach.

July 13

The King of Naples sent a herald to Florence, with the proclamation displayed, stamped with the arms of the king, and he went to the Signoria to declare war, being deputed to tell us that the king and the Holy Father were ready to oblige us in every way, if we sent away Lorenzo de' Medici: to which the citizens would not agree, and so war began.

July 19

The Sienese invaded our territory and took booty and prisoners, and on the 22nd they captured Calciano.

July 23

They (the Sienese) captured Rincine and destroyed it, and took away men and women of all classes; and our soldiers were worse than they, pillaging and working great havoc through Valdelsa, so that everyone left their homes and felt safe nowhere but in Florence. Each day there was some incursion or other, and the enemy overran Panzano, pillaging and burning.

July 31

Our men took much booty in the neighbourhood of Volterra. He who seeks evil, finds it. It was not very intelligent of them (the Sienese) to let themselves be drawn into making war in their own territory, for they will suffer two-thirds of the damage, and we the rest; whilst the King of Naples and the Pope who brought it about, will get off easily.

August 1

The enemy took Lamole, and captured more than 100 persons, and also continued to bombard the Castellina. The rule for our Italian soldiers seems to be this: "You pillage there, and we will pillage here; there is no need for us to approach too close to one another." They often let a fort be bombarded for several days, without attempting to succour it. We require to be taught by the northern soldiers how to make war.

August 15

The French ambassador left; and at this time we lost the Castellina. And Messer Niccolo Vitelozzi(1) was going about sacking certain forts of Citta di Castello, and burning men, women, and children, with every sort of cruetly. After that, Messer Lorenzo of Citta di Castello(2) burnt some of our fortresses in the district of Arezzo, and committed atrocities, burning people. They were both cruel men. Such generally come to a bad end. Godly people, as we read in Holy Scripture, never come to a bad end. > (1) Or rather, Vitelli, ally of the Florentines and of Lorenzo de' Medici. > > (2) Lorenzo Giustini, who held that city for the Pope.

August 19

A peasant was tried and hung, and was taken down as dead and placed on a bier; but having reached the Tempio,(1) he recovered consciousness, not being dead. He was taken to (the hospital of) _Santa Maria Nuova_, where he died a few days after. All Florence saw him. And on the same day the enemy (the Sienese) encamped before Radda and Panzano. > (1) The Oratory of the Company of _Santa Maria del Tempio_, which consoled those condemned to death, and buried their bodies. It was beyond the _Porta alla Giustizia_, near the _Porta alla Croce_, outside the walls.

August 21

A commissary came to us from Venice, who hired for us 3 thousand soldiers, to be paid by the Venetians.

August 24

The people about Rovezzano took fright, and the alarm was sounded and they fled into Florence with all their possessions, by the _Porta alla Croce_, so that it really seemed as if the territory were lost. Such a terror were never seen, everyone being utterly dismayed. They did not consider themselves safe even in Florence, and suffered much discomfort and misery. And on the same day we last Radda, which was sacked and burnt.

August 24

The enemy (the Sienese) made an incursion as far as Ponte a Grassina, carrying off a smith and many others.

August 27

We lost Meletuzzo and San Polo, the constable there having been guilty of treachery. And on the same day, Pretone and his brother the constable of Radda, and Jacopo Vecchietti who was a commissary there, were arrested, and they were imprisoned in the Stinche, as it was said that they had been guilty of treachery. A man of San Polo was also taken, and was put to the rack.

September 7

(Monday). Our _Capitano_, the Marchese di Ferrara, came to Florence, arriving at about 22 in the evening (6 p.m.), with a great company of crossbowmen on horseback, and musketeers, and we escorted him into the city with great honour, lodging him in the same house which he had before. He had about 50 mules laden with baggage, and remained in Florence till Saturday, the 12th, when he took his baton and went into camp.

September 14

Brolio was taken by assault. And on the same day a man died of plague, in the Casa del Capitano(1), in prison, to which he had been condemned for life; and another man who was sick of the plague was taken out of prison and carried to the hospital of La Scala,(2) where all those sick of the plague were carried. At this time the plague had increased so much, that 40 or more were sick at the hospital, and 7 or 8 died every day, and some days even 11; besides others in the district who did not go to the hospital. > (1) THe house of the _Capitano del Popolo_, which was behind the Palazzo Vecchio. > > (2) The hospital of the Scala was in the street of that name, at the corner of the Via Polverosa (now Via degli Oricellari), and where the convent of San Martino was afterwards built.

September 25

Cacchiano was lost and was given over to the flames. And on the same day, mortars were sent to Casoli di Volterra, and our camp was set up before it; but our troops never went to succour those who were losing.

September 29

We regained Castelnuovo. At this time there were between 60 and 70 sick of the plague in the hospital and district together, and it was spreading to the camp also. On this same day the enemy's camp was moved to the Monte a Sansovino. They were beginning to go a little further away.

October 6

Six Sienese were arrested here, one of them being the _Podesta_ of Castelnuovo, which had been regained. And at this time there were about 100 sick of the plague, at the hospital of La Scala, and in many houses of Florence; amongst others a man was found dead upon one of the benches in Santa Maria Novella.

October 11

A boy was found sick of the plague at the gate of the hospital of San Pagolo,(1) and no one could be found to carry him to the hospital of La Scala. At this time the enemy were bombarding the Monte a Sansovino.(2) > (1) On the Piazza Nuova di Santa Maria Novella, under the Loggie. This building, diminished in size, remained a hospital for many years. Lately, however, it has been changed into an educational institution for poor girls. (Trans.)

October 31

Notice was given, and the enemy pressed hard on the Monte a Sansovino. And there was a plot in our camp; and the _Capitano_ hung one of the chief men under him.

November 1

The "Eight," who were in office, and their notary, were deposed, for having burnt certain books. And on the same day, the Monte a Sansovino was lost; the garrison capitulating on condition that their persons and property should be respected. And everyone said that if the truce had not been made, the enemy would have had to break up their camp, as they were so short of provisions that they could not have held out more than three days. Our forces never chose to make a sortie. Hence came the evil; and everyone marvelled that the enemy were not completely victorious after this, for they won much glory.

November 14

A father and son from Pistoia were arrested for treason. They were scourged.

December 3

The traitor from Pistoia, called Piero Baldinotti,(1) was taken in the executioner's cart and hung, and the son was imprisoned for life in the Stinche. And at this time our soldiers went into quarters in the Pisan territory and elsewhere, and also the Capitano. > (1) He had wished to deliver Pistoia from the yoke of the Florentines, and give it to the King of Naples.

December 24

A peasant of the neighbourhood, belonging to the Popoleschi, was found dead in his house, having hung himself with a towel. And during these days the Arno was very high and overflowed its banks opposite Messer Bongianni's houses. It caused great damage. And the plague was also causing much mortality; it pleased God to chastise us. And at this Christmas-time, what with terror of the war, the plague, and the papal excommunication, the citizens were in sorry plight. They lived in dread, and no one had any heart to work. The poor creatures could not procure silk or wool, or only very little, so that all classes suffered.


January 10

Four French ambassadors arrived at Florence, two of whom were going to the Pope and two to the King of Naples. They declared to the Signoria here, that they were going to make peace in Italy amongst Christians, and to settle all differences, giving judgement according to reason, and protested that their king would proceed against anyone who hindered peace; if the Pope were the one to be obdurate, he would be summoned to a Council; and when peace had been made, all the powers would undertake a crusade against the Unbelievers. They left on the 16th January.

January 17

A certain hermit came here to preach and threatened many ills. He had been at Volterra, serving at a leper hospital. He was a lad of twenty-four, barefoot, with a wallet on his back; and he declared that St. John and the Angel Raphael had appeared to him. And one morning he went up on to the _ringhierra_ of the Signori to preach, but the "Eight" sent him away. And each day some incident happened. And at this time, a son of the Duke of Milan,(1) who was confined within certain boundaries in the territory of Pisa, fled from there, and went to Genoa to the Signor Roberto,(2) and joined him. > (1) This was Ludovico Sforza, called _Il Moro_, uncle to the reigning duke, and at that moment exiled. > > (2) Roberto da Sanseverino.

February 4

Chianti was pillaged. And now the plague had lessened considerably. God be praised!

February 8

Four galleys reached the Port of Pisa, two from the West and two from Barbary, which had joined forces. They came in great terror, for fear of the fleet of the king and the Genoese. It was considered a great piece of news.

March 9

A man who was said to be a Venetian was hung in the _Mercato Nuovo_, for having stolen some florns off a money-changer's table the evening before, in broad daylight; and he had been caught and taken to the rector,(1) and was condemned to be hung. At this time Signor Roberto made an incursion into the Pisan district with many men, and came as far as the Port of Pisa and set it on fire, but did not do it much harm; and then he advanced into the Val di Calci, and burnt the mills and took much booty, after which he retired beyond the Serchio. And in this direction the Duke of Calabria(2) penetrated as far as the Poggio Imperiale, with the design of capturing it, but he did not succeed. And meanwhile our troops advanced as far as Siena, and pillaged the country, and took a certain fort called Selvoli and held it for some time, that is to say, till the 4th April. And the plague was making now great ravages, having increased again. And we were continually raising fresh bands of infantry; and the Venetians sent us a number of soldiers, that were all despatched to the Pisan territory. And the Capitano now went into the Pisan territory, awaiting Count Carlo(3) and a large body of cavalry. > (1) The rector of the Arte del Cambio (Money-chamber's Guild). > > (2) Alfonso d'Aragona, son of Ferdinando, King of Naples. > > (3) Count Carlo da Montone, son of the famous Braccio, sent by the Venetians to aid the Florentines.

April 12

There was a skirmish outside Pisa between our Capitano and Signor Roberto, and a good number were slain. And it was said that our Capitano had no wish to vanquish the enemy, and therefore did not do his duty; this was the unanimous opinion of the people.

April 18

The plague had increased to such an extent that I went away to my villa at Dicomano with all my family; leaving my apprentices to attend to the shop. At this time Count Carlo came to Florence, and was appointed a Capitano, and two separate camps were formed, he going into the Perugian territory and defeating the papal troops, which departed utterly routed. And after this the ducal forces(1) could have been broken up; but through the fault of our Capitano, the Duke of Ferrara, and through the dissensions amongst the citizens, no action was taken, or else the enemy would certainly have been conquered. The Duke of Calabria pitched his camp before Colle. People continually deceive us, and we cannot be victorious, as God punishes us for our sins.

November 8

At midnight the alarm was rung in the Mugello, and everyone was overwhelmed with terror, wanting to rush to Florence. But the enemy came to Piancandoli, and did not enter the Mugello.

December 6

Lorenzo de' Medici left Florence and went to the king at Naples.

December 23

Bernardo Bandini de' Baroncegli was captured at Constantinople, the Grand Turk having given him up. He had fled from Florence when Giuliano de' Medici was murdered, believing that his life would be safe at Constantinople. News arrived that the Duke of Calabria had taken possession of Siena, but it was not true. However, to all intents and purposes, he was master of the place, for the Sienese were helpless, having left him come in with all his troops, and he did what he chose.


March 13

Lorenzo de' Medici arrived in Livorno, on his return from Naples. It was considered a marvel that he should have returned, as everyone had doubted the king allowing him to resume his post, and a still greater marvel that he should have been able to arrange everything so diplomatically. God help him!(1) > (1) Lorenzo de' Medici had gone on his own initiative, seeing that the war could no longer be borne, and not wishing to lose the favour and authority that he had acquired in Florence, especially after the Conspiracy of the Pazzi. The Florentines feared lest harm should come to him, and remembered the case of Jacopo Piccinino, who in 1465 unwarily put himself into the hands of the same king, and lost his life. Lorenzo, however, must have felt his ground carefully before moving, and when he returned after having concluded peace, he became more popular and powerful than ever.

March 15

He (Lorenzo de' Medici) arrived in Florence at 21 in the afternoon (5 p.m.).

March 22

The city gates, which had been shut shortly before, were re-opened.

March 25

Peace was proclaimed, and the image of Our Lady of _Santa Maria Impruneta_ was brought to Florence for the fete.

April 28

Messer Piero Vespucci(1) was liberated from prison, and left Florence, and went to the Duke of Calabria at Siena and stopped there. At this time it was noised abroad that the Pope had made a league with the Venetians, the Sienese, and the Duke of Urbino.(2) It was not true. > (1) The Duke of Calabria, and his father King Ferdinand, had made urgent solicitations in favour of Vespucci. > > (2) Federigo di Montefeltro.

May 27

The wife of Giovanni de' Pazzi, and one of the Giugni, and many others, were arrested, who wished to liberate the Pazzi at Volterra.

June 2

June 3

Messer Piero Vespucci was permitted to return to Florence, and was restituted in all his rights, according to the wish of the duke.(1) At this time the price of grain fell to 15 _soldi_ the bushel, and the like low prices. > (1) He, however, preferred leaving Tuscany, and went to offer his services to the Sforza in Milan, and was appointed Ducal Councillor by Ludovico il Moro. Sent to exercise his authority at the city of Alessandria, he met with a tragic end, being killed in 1485 in a popular rising.

June 20

The Duke of Calabria confined within limits 18 knights and citizens of Siena. He also kept his soldiers in the city, so that he was master of the situation. And the Sienese did not consider it at all just that he should act in this way, but he chose to do so. He had the idea of acting in the same way with regard to us; but please God, by a great miracle, it happened that on the 6th August the Turkish army came to Otranto and began to besiege it; so it was necessary to leave our neighbourhood, at the king's command, and return to defend the kingdom. The Turks were encamped in three places, being at Rodi (Rhodes), and with the Hungarians, besides at Otranto.

August 18

A cardinal,(1) one of the king's sons, arrived in Florence, on his way from Hungary to Rome. > (1) Giovanni d'Aragona.

September 2

Two silk-mercers' shops in _Porta Santa Maria_, near _Vacchereccia_(1) were burnt down; and the other night the whole _Canto di Vacchereccia_ as far as the _Chiassolino del Buco_ was burnt down.(2) And the fire rushed across to the opposite side of the street and burnt down all the other corner of the _Vacchereccia_, destroying about 20 shops of the silk-mercers and money-changers. There was great loss, many having all their property consumed. And at this time there was much talk about the loss of Otranto, and Leccio was feared for. > (1) The street still so called, between _Via Por San Maria_ and the Piazza, named after the tower of the _Vacca_, belonging to the old _Casa del Foraboschi_, and forming the lower-portion of the present tower of the Palazzo Vecchio. (Trans.)

October 27

Cosimo Rosselli leaves Florence for Rome, together with other Florentine painters, where he has been called as part of the reconciliation project between Lorenzo de' Medici, the de facto ruler of Florence, and Pope Sixtus IV. The Florentines start to work in the The Sistine Chapel as early as the Spring of 1481, along with Perugino, who is already there.

December 5

The Cardinal of Mantua(1) passed through Florence, on his way from Mantua to Rome. > (1) Francesco Gonzaga.


February 6

There was an earthquake (in Florence) at about half-past 4 (12.30 at night), but not a very severe one.

March 31

The fortresses of Colle, Poggibonizi, Monte a Sansovino, and Poggio Imperiale were restituted to us, together with other places, except the Castellina, Montedomenici, Piancaldoli, and Sarzana. The plague was now decreasing.

June 8

The _Porta a Faenza_(1) was closed, because the plague was very bad outside this gate, and was in three or four houses in Florence. > (1) This gate, which was on the _Prato_, was demolished when the Fortezza di Basso was built, or rather, it was built into the keep of the fort. (Trans.)

August 4

Twelve men were appointed, and given powers to act for the whole people of Florence. The first thing they did was to decree that whoever owed the commune anything should pay three florins interest on each florin lent.

August 22

We apothecaries arranged that we should not keep our shops open on holidays till 22 in the evening (6 p.m.), as had hitherto been the custom, but that four shops in the whole city (to be chosen by lot) should remain open all day.(1) This day it snowed in the mountains of Pistoia. > (1) With regard to this custom, I am pleased to add that on the 15th October, 1547, a decree was published by the Otto di Guardia e di Balia (the Eight), on the observance of the fetes, forbidding any work to be done on these days, and the shops to keep open, with certain exceptions, amongst which is the following: "And four apothecaries' shops, to be drawn by lot among the _Arte_ (Guild), may remain open all day; the others may sell from 21 in the evening onwards" (5 p.m.).

December 26

My brother Gostanzo won the _Palio_ of Prato with his horse _Draghetto_.


Instead of returning to Bologna to resume his studies, Girolamo Savonarola is assigned as lector, or teacher, in the Convent of San Marco in Florence.

March 14

A chancellor of Count Girolamo was hung at the windows of the Bargello. He had been captured by one of the Altoviti,(1) who was a proscribed rebel, and in order to be pardoned, found out this man, and caught him between Piombino and Pisa; and he won his pardon. > (1) This must have been the famous Cola Montano, a Bolognese; not a chancellor, but maintained by Count Girolamo Riario, and the Pope, and the King of Naples, and all the enemies of Florence, during the war following the Conspiracy of the Pazzi. That he was taken by one of the Altoviti is not mentioned elsewhere. Brought to Florence, he was put in the prison of the Bargello or Captain of the Piazza dei Signori; where he wrote with his own hand a _Confessione_, which is preserved in the State Archives of Florence, amongst the _Carte Strozziane_, still unedited, but well worth publishing, as important contributions to the history of that time. The order of the Signori e Collegi to the Otto di Custodia e Balia, of the 12th March, for the execution of Montano, still exist in the said archives amongst the papers of these magistrates. (Trans.)

March 19

A horseman of Signor Roberto was arrested on the _Ponte a Valiano_, who was carrying letters to Signor Roberto's son; which letters shed some light upon an intended conspiracy; and in consequence of this, Antonio Pucci and other citizens left for the Pisan territory, and in a few days got a number of soldiers together.

April 5

The Pazzi, who were imprisoned at Volterra, had their rights restituted, and were liberated and sent out of Italy; two of the younger ones had been liberated two months earlier, on account of illness, or else they would have died. This year there were severe earthquakes at Rodi (Rhodes) which ruined the church and killed many people, mostly in a church where 40 _Cavalieri Fieri_ (Knights of Rhodes) met their death. The precise day is not known to me, but it was during this year.

June 12

Signor Gostanzo came to Florence, on his return from Ferrara. At this time there was much talk of the worship of an image of Our Lady at Bibbona, or rather in a tabernacle about a bowshot from Bibbona. It is, namely, a Virgin seated and holding the dead Christ in her arms, after He has been taken down from the Cross; which is called by some a _Pieta_. This worship began on the 5th April, when it was transfigured: that is, it changed from blue to red, and from red to black and divers colours. And this is said to have happened many times between then and now, and a number of sick persons have been cured, and a number of miracles have been performed, and quarrels reconciled; so that all the world is running there. Nothing else is talked of at this moment; I have spoken to many who tell me that they themselves have seen it transfigured, so that one must perforce believe it.

July 11

Antonio Belandi of Siena was restricted to certain boundaries near Monte Alcino.

August 27

Many people here saw fiery flames in the air above Florence, towards the west, at about one o'clock (9 p.m.); and they were also seen at Dicomano and elsewhere.

December 24

The Cardinal of Mantua, papal legate, came to Florence on his way to Ferrara. He was received with all due honour.


January 5

The Duke of Calabria came to Florence, leaving again on the 8th for Ferrara, and taking 800 horsemen with him; amongst his force were many Turks(1). He was received with great honour. > (1) Taken into his pay after the recapture of Otranto.

February 6

Some of the Turks whom the duke was sending back, passed through. As 400 of them had deserted to the Venetians, he thought it best to send back the remainder; and we raised a Christian brigade for him here in Florence.

February 12

Lorenzo de' Medici left Florence, going as ambassador to Ferrara, in very fine array.(1) > (1) To the diet which was held there, to treat of negotiations with regard to the war.

April 1

At Siena, four men were thrown out of the windows of the _Palazzo de' Signori_, and six more were hung, who belonged to the Monte de' Nove(1); and many citizens fled into Florentine territory. > (1) A certain political party at Siena.

April 6

The Turkish ambassador came to Florence.


It rained in Florence for practically the whole month.

May 30

Our Lady of Impruneta was brought into the city, for the sake of obtaining fine weather, as it had rained for more than a month. And it immediately became fine.

August 5

The exiled Sienese came against their city, as far as the fortress of Sitorno, but were unable to do anything. The citizens took many prisoners from the fortress and carried them into Siena. In these days the Florentines destroyed a fortress in the upper valley of the Arno, called Monte Domenici, because it had rebelled. During this August of 1483, the Duke of Calabria captured many fortresses in Lombardy from the Venetians,(1) and crushed the Venetian troops in such a manner that they could not hold out any longer. This occurred because the Church had excommunicated all those who gave aid to the Venetians, which prevented them having soldies from beyond the Alps. And the fleet of the King of Naples came into the port of Ancona, and that of the Venetians set out to find it. But on the 5th September, the king's fleet sailed away without waiting for their opponents. Great things had been expected if they had encountered each other. > (1) From the 12th December, 1482, the Pope had made peace with the League, and then associated himself with it in the war against Venice.

September 7

Ambassadors came to Florence from the King of France, on their way to Rome to arrange peace in Italy; and whilst they were here they received the news that their king had died on the 30th May, 1483. And on the 13th September one of these ambassadors died at Santa Maria Novella, and the others set out for Rome. During these days, for fear of hunger and of the war going on in Lombardy, many families left it, and there passed through Florence on their way into Roman territory 50 to 100 at a time, till they amounted to several thousands. Many also went to Romagna and elsewhere. It was said that there were more than 30 thousand persons altogether. It was a most pitiful sight to see these poor people pass, with a wretched little donkey, and their miserable household possessions: saucepans, frying-pans, etc. One wept to see them barefoot and ragged; and it is the cursed wars which have caused all these. No one went by without receiving some little help from us.

October 23

A cardinal-legate came to Florence, who was going to the King of France as ambassador, to confirm to him his father's crown. And this cardinal chanced to be the very man whom the last King of France(1) had kept for many years in prison, in a cage. > (1) Louis XI. The name of the cardinal was Jean Balue, whom Louis XI. had persuaded Pope Paul II. to make a cardinal; and later, for political reasons, he had imprisoned him in an iron cage, from which he was liberated in 1481 through the intercession of Pope Sixtus IV. (Trans.)

November 10

Three Florentine ambassadors left Florence, being sent to the King of France; they were Messer Gentile, Bishop of Arezzo, and Antonio Canigiani, and Lorenzo, son of Piero de' Medici.


April 6

Seven shiploads of grain arrived at Pisa, comprising 7 thousand moggia(1); 3 thousand moggia were brought here, and 4 thousand went to Ferrara and Lombardy, where there was great scarcity. > (1) A Tuscan _moggio_ was generally 8 staia (bushels). (Trans.)

April 9

Three more shiploads of grain arrived at Livorno; but it still cost 50 _soldi_ a bushel, and the commune sold it at 42 _soldi_.


In this July a worship of an image of the Virgin Mary(1) at Prato began; people rushing there from all the country round. It worked miracles like that of Bibbona, so that building was begun and great expense incurred. > (1) This is the Madonna called _della Carceri_, which is worshipped at Prato, where there was soon built a very elegant temple after the design of Giuliano da San Gallo. Ferdinando Baldanzi wrote a fine description of it, which can be read in the _Calendario Pratense_ of 1847. A church was also built at Bibbona in the Volterrano, in honour of the other image mentioned on the 12th June, 1482. Savonarola alludes to the prodigies worked by these two images in the second of his _Poesie tratte dall' autografo_, in which he says: > > "O anima cecata > Tu senti mille segni > A Prato e a Bibbona"

August 14

At 6 in the night (2 a.m.) we heard that Pope Sisto was dead. He died on the 13th, at 14 in the forenoon (10 a.m.). On the 20th the bells were tolled for his death. At this time as many men as possible were being hired to send to Sarzana and Pietrasanta.

September 8

The Peace was published in Florence, and there were rejoicings.

October 23

The State arrested a son of Filippo Tornabuoni, called Alessandro, and he was confined within certain boundaries in Sicily. It was said to be because he had designs against Lorenzo de' Medici, who was his relative; this may not have been the case, but I only repeat what was said.(1) At this time Pietrasanta was besieged very closely. There were many of our commissaries there, with a fine troop of men. The wax tapers and the _palii_ were now removed from San Giovanni, and the order was given that they should no longer be placed there.(2) The church was thoroughly cleaned, and remained perfectly simple without these decorations; up till this time all the offerings of tapers and _palii_ used to be placed here, so that nothing of the church itself could be seen. > (1) On the day of san Giovanni (24th June) the magistrates stood on the _ringhiera_ of the Palagio, to receive the deputations sent by tributary towns, the palii being hung round the ringhiera in order: from Pisa, Arezzo, Pistoia, Volterra, Cortona, Lusignano, Castiglione, Aretino, etc. The tapers were brought on splendid painted cars. The _Marzocco_ was crowned four days before and four days after, and during this time there was an indemnity for debtors, etc. The tapers and _palii_ were all put in San Giovanni, the _palii_ being hung on iron rings, and remaining there for one year, when they were removed to place for the fresh ones. The old ones were used for decoration on public fetes, or for altar-cloths, or were sold by auction. (Trans.)

November 6

Antonio Pucci, a commissary of Pietrasanta, was brought back dead to Florence.

November 7

We captured Pietrasanta, which capitulated to Lorenzo de' Medici, and on the 11th we took the fortress. Piero, son of Filippo Tornabuoni, was made warden, and Jacopo Acciauoli commissary; Jacopo Acciauoli being put in command of the walls. The news reached here at 14 at night (10 p.m.), and the next day the shops remained closed, and there were great rejoicings and bonfires. And the same day Messer Bongianni Gianfigliazzi, another commissary there, was brought back to Florence dead.


Girolamo Savonarola delivers apocalyptic sermons in San Gimignano as a Lenten preacher.

January 13

The Genoese fleet came to Livorno, and approached the towers, but did nothing. It left again on the 1st February.

April 18

A herald came to Florence.

July 17

The Florentines made the Count of Pitigliano(1) Capitano, and gave him the baton. And the Sienese made the Signore da Farnese their Capitano. And up till now my brother Gostanzo had gained 20 _palii_ with his Barbary hose _Draghetto_, that is, 20 races from the 8th October, 1481, to the 25 June, 1485; the first was Santa Liperata, the next Sant' Anna, and San Vittorio several. Once when he won San Vittorio he sold the _palio_ to the Aretini for 40 gold florins, and then he went to Arezzo and won it back again. And when he went to race at Siena, there was a tie between his horse and one belonging to Lorenzo de' Medici, called _La Lucciola_ (Firefly), that of Gostanzo being in reality one head's length in advance of the other. And the people who were present declared that he had won, and told him to go to the magistrate, and they would bear witness. Gostanzo, however, refused to do this, out of respect for Lorenzo, and as it happened, Lorenzo was proclaimed the winner. Another year, also at Siena, a meaner trick was played him: namely, when Gostanzo's horse was a bowshot in advance, and reached the winning-post, he dismounted and got up on the _palio_; then another horse came up, and they said that Gostanzo's horse had not passed the winning-post, and that the other one had passed it. Therefore the prize was given to the other. A very great injustice, that a rider who had not won the palio should receive it! It was most unfortunate, as my brother had such a good horse. He rushed about so much after this Barbary horse that in the end it proved his death. He died on the 12th September, 1485. > (1) Niccola Orsini.

December 11

There came a certain hot wind from the south, as if it were July, and all the walls of the houses dripped inside, all over Florence, even in the living-rooms, although they had been quite dry. And in these days of February and March, soldiers were continually being hired, to send to the Duke (of Calabria), who was fighting against the papal forces; so that everyone in Florence who had taken part against the Church was excommunicated. All intelligent people wondered that anyone should go against the Church, especially as it had nothing to do with us. However, this mistaken conduct was the result of our sins and of our not fearing God.


May 9

Here in the Piazza de' Tornaquinci, by the house of the Tornabuoni, it happened that a bear of an extraordinary size, bred up in this city, being tormented by some children, seized a little girl of about six years old, a daughter of Giovacchino Berardi, by the throat, and it was with great difficulty that several men freed her, covered with blood and with her throat badly torn. But, thank God! she did not die.


March 28

The following case happened: A man was hung on the gallows here in Florence, and was taken down for dead, but was later found not to be so. He was carried to Santa Maria Nuova (hospital), and remained there till the 11th April. And those in charge at Santa Maria Nuova finding him of a bad nature, and hearing him talk of taking vengeance, etc., the "Eight" decided to have him hung a second time, and their sentence was carried out.

June 22

Sarzana was captured at 12 in the morning (8 a.m.). We had the news of it here at 20 in the evening (4 p.m.).

November 11

Certain animals arrived here, which were supposed to have been sent by the sultan; afterwards we heard, however, that they came from some good friends of Florence, who hoped to be duly rewarded. The animals were as follows: A very tall giraffe, beautiful and graceful; her picture can be seen painted in many parts of Florence, as she lived here for many years. Also a large lion, a goat, and some very strange wethers.

November 11

Two Venetian ambassadors passed through here on their way to Rome.


Michelangelo's first years in Florence were marked by his apprenticeship to Ghirlandaio and the patronage of the Medici.

April 16

We heard that Count Girolamo, Signore of Imola, had been stabbed to death, in the city of Forli, by some men of the place; and it proved to be true. A number of soldiers and militia were sent from here to Piancaldoli, men of the Romagnuoli and of the Mugello; so that by the 29th we took it. The commandant of the fortress, who was from Imola, capitulated; and he was given 4 thousand florins and a house, and the right of bearing arms for life, here in Florence, where he remained.

June 12

Messer Giovanni Bentivogli was liberated by the Florentines. Lorenzo de' Medici went into Mugello, where Messer Giovanni had been brought, and having conferred with him courteously, sent him back to Bologna with an escort and his mind set at rest.(1) > (1) This was not exactly the case, for Bentivoglio always bore a grudge against Lorenzo de' Medici afterwards. (Trans.)


July 21

They began to build the walls upon the aforesaid foundations. And at this time the following buildings were erected: The _Osservanza di San Miniato de' Frati di San Francesco_(1); the sacristy of _Santo Spirito_; the house of Giulio Gondi(2); and the church of the _Frati di Sant' Agonstino_,(3) outside the _Porta a San Gallo_. And Lorenzo de' Medici began a palace at the _Poggio a Caiano_, on his property, where so much has been beautifully ordered, the _Cascine_, etc. Princely things! At Sarrezana a fortress was built; and many other houses were erected in Florence: in the street which goes to Santa Caterina, and towards the _Porta a Pinti_, and the _Via Nuova de' Servi_, at Cestello,(4) and from the _Porta a Faenza_(5) towards San Barnaba, and towards Sant' Ambrogio, and elsewhere. Men were crazy about building at this time, so that there was a scarcity of master-builders and of materials.(6) > (1) The monastery (lately built near San Miniato) of the _Osservanza_, a Franciscan Order, who already had one at Fiesole. (Trans.) > > (2) In our days we have just seen this palace completed on its southern side, thanks to the care of its owner. In finishing this work the remains of the house opposite in _Via de' Gondi_ were demolished; this used to be the _Casa della Dogana_, and in still older times the _Casa delle Prestanze_, that Giuliano Gondi bought from the _Arte della Lana_ (Guild of Wool) to use in his building, and in it Leonardo da Vinci lived as a boy, a fact which I was the first to prove in July 1872. > > (3) _Chiesa di Sant' Agonstino_. In the siege of 1529 it was demolished together with the convent which was united to it. They occupied almost the same area as the _parterre_ and oratory of the _Madonna delle Tosse_. The monks were moved into the city, where they were given the church of _S. Jacopo tra' Fossi_. > > (4) _Cestello_ was at that time the name of the present convent of _S. Maria Maddalena_ in Borgo Pinto, which belonged to the Cistercians. In 1628 they exchanged it for that of the nuns of _S. Maria degli Angeli_ of Borgo S. Frediano, still called _S. Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi_. > > (5) See note to 8th June, 1481. > > (6) In May 1489 the Signoria, desirous of providing for the beauty of the city, and for the wants and convenience of those who might wish to inhabit it, granted an exemption for forty years from any tax for those new houses which should be built within five years "in places where there was no house or any beginning of one." In March 1494 this term was prolonged to the end of the year 1497.


January 10

The Arno froze entirely, so that the "palla"(1) was played upon it, and bonfires were made; the cold was great. > (1) Here equivalent probably to a kind of tennis.

January 17

This night there began, and continued until the 18th, a certain fine rain, which froze whilst it fell, and made icicles upon the trees. There was such a quantity of it, that the weight bowed the trees down to the ground and broke the branches. Note, by the way, that this was on the hills. For about half a mile near the river it did no injury. It began at Fiesole, and extended to the Mugello; and at San Godenzo and Dicomano it did much harm. On my land at Dicomano it tore from the roots several chestnut-trees and oak-trees, and broke nearly all the branches of the olive-trees and every other kind of wood, so that at one of my farms the branches alone made twenty piles of wood; and some of the broken limbs of the chestnuts were more than two feet thick, such as was never seen before. Those who chanced to be in the woods, thought that the world was coming to an end, when they heard everything cracking, and the deafening noise overhead. There was such a heap of grass that it weighed several pounds; and the stubble of the corn in the fields looked like organ-pipes. The stacks appeared to be roofed with glass, and it was too dangerous for anyone to walk in the country. The farms were ruined for many years, the fruit-trees not bearing fruit, the olives remaining like suckers, and the oak-trees being all spoilt. It was incredible, but true. The Arno rose very high, and ruined the mill of the _Ponte a Rubiconte_, next to Santa Maria delle Grazie, and a porter was drowned there. The mill was a spinning-mill. The river overflowed its banks in several places.

May 1

The coinage was changed: that is, silver coins began to be used; and it was decided that the _grossone_ should be worth 16 _quattrini_ and a half, like the old silver ones. All the taxes were to be paid in silver, which meant a little increase to the people, as a quarter more had to be paid, when there was need, on the contrary, to relieve them. This increase was made by divine permission, on account of our sins; because the poor are generally worse than the rich and great. Praise be to God! This same day they began a causeway between the Loggia de' Signori and the Palagio, so high that one could walk on a level from the door of the Palagio into the Loggia; with steps leading towards San Piero Scheraggio(1) and towards the Piazza, so that neither horses nor any other animals could pass there any longer. It was also rather inconvenient for people, having to go up and down again. Some persons liked this causeway, and others not; I myself did not care for it much. > (1) This church was one of the oldest in Florence; it was in the form of a basilica, its interior somewhat resembling _San Miniato al Monte_. Many political meetings were held in it. The Florentines hung the "Caroccio" of Fiesole on the marble facade (afterwards copied in marble, but destroyed with the rest of the church)l and tradition says that the ancient marble pulpit or ambone was also from Fiesole. This pulpit, when the church was suppressed, was given to the little church of San Leonardo in Arcetri, which was connected with San Piero Scheraggio, and it can still be seen there. The north wing of San Piero was demolished first, to widen the street between it and the Palazzo Vecchio (this street is named after the Capella delle Ninne), and the south wing was also closed, the central aisle being still used for service till the year 1560 when the church, chapter-house and loggia were all demolished to make place for the Uffizi. (Trans.)


January 5

The Spaniards quartered here in Florence made great rejoicings and lighted bonfires, because they heard that their king had conquered the whole of Granada, and had driven out all the Moors who were there. This was not only a beneficial and glorious thing for Spain, but also a beneficial and glorious thing for us and for all Christians, and for the Holy Church. Good and faithful people considered it a great acquisition for the faith of Christ, and the first step towards winning the Levant and Jerusalem from the Unbelievers.

March 10

Lorenzo's son, the cardinal, received the hat from the Pope.(1) It was given him at the Badia on the way to Fiesole (i.e. at San Domenico), and many citizens went out to meet him when he came into Florence to visit the Signoria; and the next day he went to hear mass in Santa Maria del Fiore. And on this day the Signoria presented him with 30 loads of gifts carried by porters, being silver plate, and basins, and ewers, and dishes, and all the silver utensils that can possibly be used by a great lord. According to what was said, they were estimated at more than 20 thousand florins, although that seems impossible to me; but it was public report, and therefore I set it down. It was certainly a rich and magnificent gift. Praise be to God! > (1) When he had been made cardinal in 1488 he had not received the insignia, being only thirteen years old.

April 8

Lorenzo de' Medici died on his estate at Careggi; and it was said that when he heard the news of the effects of the thunderbolt, being so ill, he asked where it had fallen, and on which side; and when he was told, he said: "Alas! I shall die, because it fell towards my house." This may not have been so, but it was commonly reported. And they brought him to Florence the same night, at 5 in the morning (1 a.m.), and put him in the monastery at San Marco; and he remained there the whole of the next day, which was a Monday. And on the 10th April, Tuesday, he was buried at San Lorenzo at about 20 in the evening (4.pm.). Well may we consider what a transitory thing is human life! This man, in the eyes of the world, was the most illustrious, the richest, the most stately, and the most renowned among men. Everyone declared that he ruled Italy; and in very truth he was possessed of great wisdom, and all his undertakings prospered. He had succeeded in doing what no citizen had been able to do for a long time: namely, in getting his son appointed cardinal; which was not only an honour for his house, but for the whole city. In spite of all this, however, he could not live one hour longer when the end came. Then, O man, man, what hast thou to be proud of? True humility is the fit human attribute, and each time that we grow proud, and esteem ourselves above others, failing to recognise that every spiritual, corporal and temporal good comes from God, we exceed the proper limits of humanity. Everything that exceeds its limit is evil, and those things which should be good, turn to ill. The desirable quality for man is true gentleness and humility, and always to esteem God. Man is naught, if not what God has made him; to whom be praise from all creatures, as is His due. May He pardon me my sins! And may He pardon the sins of the dead man, as I trust He may pardon me and all human beings!


January 20

The Day of San Bastiano (St. Sebastian); there was the severest snowstorm in Florence that the oldest people living could remember. And amongst other extraordinary things, it was accompanied by such a violent wind that for the whole day it was impossible to open the shops, or the doors and windows. It last from the _Ave Maria_ one morning to the _Ave Maria_ the next morning, twenty-four hours, without ceasing for a minute, and without the wind abating, so that there was not the slightest crack or a hole, however small, that did not let a heap of snow into the house. In fact there was not a house so hermetically sealed as not to become so full of snow that it took several days to clear it out. All along the streets one saw heaps of snow, so that in many places neither men nor beasts could pass. There was such a quantity that it took a long time to melt away, as sometimes when boys make a snow-lion. In fact, these mountains lasted a week. It is difficult to believe without having seen it. And the same thing happened in my villa at Dicomano. I sent Benedetto to clear the house, and he found as much snow inside as if it had been roofless; and this was after a week. So it was everywhere alike.

May 20

A Sunday; the Cardinal de' Medici returned to Florence.

August 17

It happened that a certain unbeliever, to spite the Christians, but mostly out of folly, went about Florence disfiguring the images of Our Lady, and amongst others, that which is on the pilaster of Orto San Michele, outside. He scratched the eyes of the Child, and of San Nofri (Onophrius), and threw mud in the face of Our Lady.(1) On this account, the boys began to throw stones at him, and they were joined by grown men, who in their fury stoned him to death with great stones, and then dragged his body about with much vituperation. > (1) This statue of the Virgin is by Mina da Fiesole, who made it for the Doctors and Apothecaries' Guild, whose arms were the Virgin and Child in an archway. After this act of desecration it was removed to the interior of the church for a time, and then placed outside again, when it obtained the reputation of working so many miracles that great crowds used to gather in front of it, till it was taken back into the interior of the church in the time of Cosimo I. Now, in the year 1926, it has one more been placed outside, in a niche on the south side. Formerly it used to stand in the niche now occupied by the copy of Donatello's San Giorgio, and therefor next to the group of Four Saints, one of whom is Saint Onophrius. (Trans.)

December 20

This Tommaso Minerbetti returned (to Florence), having been knighted by the Pope.


January 20

There is a heavy fall of snow in Florence, and Pietro de' Medici sends for the young Michelangelo to model a colossal snow-man in the courtyard of his palace.

May 4

Four French ambassadors entered Florence. They were lodged in the house which formerly belonged to Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi.

May 5

They went to the Signoria, and having set forth the matters entrusted to them, receive a reply. On the 7th they left, and went to Rome.(1) > (1) During their sojourn in Florence they were served with the silver plate of the Signoria; and to do them honour, the musicians of the _Signoria_ were sent to play before them.

May 19

Our Lady of _Santa Maria Impruneta_ was brought into the city, in hopes that the rain might cease: and our prayers were granted.(1) > (1) It was decreed on the 13th of the same month that this image should be brought, and on the 14th some of the Collegi were chosen and charged with making suitable arrangements.

June 10

The Arno overflowed its banks, and many cornfields were inundated, much damage being caused both above and below Florence. It was the worst flood within anyone's recollection, and began in the evening. The corn, which was almost ripe, suffered greatly.

July 10

The French ambassadors returned from Rome; one of them remaining in Florence. In these days the fleet of the King of Naples came to the Port of Pisa, and besieged Spezia and Porto Venere.

August 5

Piero de' Medici went to meet the Duke of Calabria, in the neighbourhood of Arezzo, to visit him, as one visits a great gentleman, a lord. The French ambassadors who were in Florence, having asked for their safe-conduct, and not receiving it at once, when they knew of this journey of Piero's began to suspect us of not being friendly to their king; at least this was said in the city, and it was said that the king threatened the Florentines. It was difficult to persuade them that we were faithful friends, and that their suspicions were without foundation. All this, however, I only heard by report. In these days the fleet of the King of France arrived at Genoa, and there was much talk of an encounter.

October 4

More ambassadors from the King of France came to Florence, and going to the Signoria, could not obtain a decisive answer but only a vague one; so that on the 9th they both left Florence in indignation, and returned to the king without a safe-conduct. It was then said that the king swore to let his soldiers pillage Florence; and everyone thought it had been a piece of folly and rashness not to give the safe-conduct readily.

October 26

Piero de' Medici left here to go on the way to Pisa, to meet the King of France; and when he reached the king, he caused the keys of Serezzano and of Pietrasanta to be given him, and also made him promises of money. The king wishing to know whether in truth he had been given this commission, sent Lorenzo, son of Giovanni Tornabuoni, who had gone with Piero de' Medici, back to Florence, to get it confirmed by the Signoria; but they refused to confirm it. Lorenzo, in some consternation, did not return to the French camp, and Piero was rather at fault. He acted like a young fellow, and perhaps with good results, since we remained friends with the king, thank God!

October 29

The French took Fiovizzano by assault and sacked it.


Pietro de' Medici along with the rest of the Medici family is banished from Florence.

November 5

Certain messengers of the King of France arrived and went about Florence marking the houses which they preferred. They came indoors and entered all the rooms, marking one for such and such a lord, and another for such and such a baron. And observe that there were not hundreds but thousands of the French, so that the whole city was occupied in every corner; for those houses that were not marked were occupied in a moment when the men-at-arms and the infantry arrived, going into every street, and saying: _Apri qua_! (Open there!) and not caring whether the owners were rich or poor. They gave it to be understood that they meant to pay: but there were not many who paid. And when they did pay a certain amount, _they paid for the horns and ate the ox_ (Italian proverb): "They didn't pay anything like what they cost." Few of us had sent away our womenkind, except the young girls, who were sent to convents and to relatives where no soldiers were quartered; but the French were really very well-behaved, for there was not a single one who said an unsuitable word to a woman. In their hearts they felt a secret dread, and kept asking how many men Florence could dispose of; and they were told that at the sound of a bell the city would have 100 thousand men from within and without at her command. The truth was this: that they had come with the idea of sacking Florence, as their king had promised them but they could not see the game begun, much less won. And all this was the doing of the Almighty. On this same day, five ambassadors were chosen to go to the King of France, who was at Pisa. They were as follows: First, Fra Girolamo, a preacher of the Order of San Domenico, dwelling at San Marco, a native of Ferrara; whom we believe to be a prophet, and he does not deny it in his sermons, but always says _da parte del Signore_ (I have it from the Lord . . .), and he preaches on important subjects. The second, Tanai de' Nerli; the third, Pandolfo Rucellai; the fourth, Giovanni Cavalcanti; and the fifth, Piero Soderini; all Florentine citizens. And they left the next day. On the same day a number of French arrived, who were the vanguard of the king, and lodged in the houses assigned to them, which were marked with chalk. This evening at about 2 o'clock (10 p.m.) a few strokes of the bell were heard from the Palagio; and immediately the Piazza was full of men, it being thought that a _portamento_ was going to be summoned, for everyone was excited and distrustful, continually expecting great events.

November 8

Piero de' Medici returned to Florence, coming from the King of France, who was at Pisa; and when he reached his house, he threw out _confetti_ (sweetmeats), and gave a lot of wine to the people, to make himself popular; declaring that he had settled everything satisfactorily with the king, and appearing to be in the best of humours. This same day, the Signori published a proclamation that as long as the king should stay in Florence there would be no tax on firewood or on any kind of food; and only the half of the usual tax on wine; also that anyone might sell and provide meals.(1) > (1) This proclamation is really of the 6th November, and the exemptions and diminutions of the tax conceded by it are a little different from those quoted here: the duration of these was from the 9th to the 20th, and on the latter date they were prorogued for the whole month. This was done "in order that there should be an abundance of victuals in the city both for its inhabitants and the foreigners, and to help the poor people."

November 11

A man arrived in the Piazza, having entered the city by the _Porta alla Croce_, and said that he had passed men-at-arms and infantry on the road to Florence, belonging to Piero de' Medici. Cries of _Popolo e Liberta_ immediately resounded everywhere, and in less than half an hour the whole city was in arms, men of classes rushing to the Piazza with incredible haste, and with deafening cries of _Popolo e Liberta_. I verily believe that if the whole world had come against them, such a union could not have been broken; it being permitted by the Lord that the people should make such a demonstration, during this danger from the French, who had come to Florence with the evil intent of sacking it. But when they saw of what sort the people were, their heart failed them. As soon as the truth was known, that no armed men were approaching, a proclamation was made ordering all to lay aside their weapons, an this was about the dinner-hour. The Gonfaloni, however, remained on guard day and night, with a good number of men; and horsemen and foot-soldiers belonging to the King of France were continually entering. The Signoria had had the Porta di San Friano(1) opened. This evening the King of France remained at Empoli; and more than 6 thousand men came before the king, and as many with him, and another 6 thousand behind him. And at this time the taxes were lightened and many pardons granted.(2) > (1) The Gate of San Frediano, towards Empoli. (Trans.) > > (2) I here add, that the office of the Otto di Pratica (the Eight Councillors), the Consiglio del Settanta (Council of the Seventy), and that of the Hundred, all institutions of the Medici and their adherents, were done away with and annulled.

November 12

Lorenzo son of Piero Francesco de' Medici returned, and dined at this own house of the Gora, and the same evening he went to meet the king, who was stopping at Legniaia, in the house of Piero Capponi. And on this same day the Bargello was made prisoner in the church of the Servi.(1) Also more French entered the city than any other day, and they filled every house, even the poorest, including all Camaldoli. > (1) His name was Piero Antonio dall' Aquila. The day before, a reward had been promised to anyone who would give information as to where he was hidden; and on the 14th the Priors decreed _quod dono tradatur_ to the Signor Giovanni da Maddaloni, _oratore_ (representative) of the King of France, who would receive him in the king's name.

November 13

We heard that the Pisans had risen and taken possession of the city; and pulling down a certain marble _marzocco_, had dragged it all over Pisa, and then thrown it into the Arno, crying, "_Liberta_!" We also heard that Piero and his brothers were at Bologna; and such a crowd of French and Swiss were coming into Florence, that there was great confusion and alarm and suspicion amongst all classes. You may think what it was to have all this crowd in our houses, and everything left as usual, with the women about, and to have to serve them with whatever they needed, at the greatest inconvenience.

November 14

Lorenzo son of Francesco de' Medici and his brother, and several other exiled citizens, returned to Florence, because the sentences were remitted of all those who had been exiled from 1434 onwards. Observe that Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother were also reinstated in their rights. And every house in the city was full.

November 16

Many decorations were made for the king's arrival in the house of Piero de' Medici, and principally at the entrance of the palace. Two large columns were erected outside, one on each side of the gate, with ornamentation representing the arms of France, etc., too intricate to describe. It truly was a triumph; everything was done so well and on such a grand scale. I will not even begin to tell you how the interior was ordered. And _spiritegli_(1) and giants and triumphal cars went about the town, and stages on wheels for the miracle-play of the Nunziata, whilst there were innumerable embellishments and the arms of France all over Florence. Above the gate of the Palagio de' Signori were the said arms, very large and magnificently blazoned. > (1) See note to 5th July, 1478.

November 17

The King of France entered Florence at 22 in the evening (6 p.m.) by the Porta a San Friano, and passed through the Piazza (de' Signori), proceeding so slowly that it was already 24 (8 p.m.) before he reached Santa Maria del Fiore. He dismounted at the steps, and walked up to the High Altar, there being so many torches that they made a double row from the door to the altar, leaving a way clear in the middle, along which he went with his barons and all his suite, amidst such tumultuous shouting of _Viva Francia_ as was never heard. Only think that all Florence was there, either in the church or outside. Everyone shouted, great and small, old and young, and all from their hearts, without flattery. When he was seen on foot he seemed to the people somewhat less imposing, for he was infact a very small man. Nevertheless there was no one who did not feel favourably disposed towards him. Therefore it should have been eas tomake him understand that our hearts are innocent of guile, and that we are truly devoted to him; so that he ought to feel moved towards us in uncommon measure, and to trust us absolutely. This is really the case, and he will see in the future what the faith of the Florentines signifies. Upon coming out of church, he remounted his horse and rode on to the palace of Piero de' Medici, amidst continued cries of _Viva Francia_. Never was such joy seen before, or so much honour done to anyone, with heartfelt sincerity, as we were in hopes that he would bring us peace and rest. In the end it proved not to be so, as he took Pisa from us and gave it to the Pisans, which he had no right to do, seeing that he could not give what was not his.(1) > (1) On the same day the Signoria itself decreed that as long as the king remained in Florence each householder should keep a light burning every night in a window looking on to the street, from eight o'clock in the evening till one o'clock in the morning. And there was also a debate whether the keys of the Porte a San Frediano, San Gallo, and San Piero Gattolini (now Porta Romana) should be given to him.

November 19

He again heard mass in Sa' Lorenzo; and then went for a ride through Florence, going to see the lions.(1) And it was his wish that some of the prisoners in the _Palagio del Capitano_ should be liberated, those namely who were detained for political reasons; amongst them a Ser Lorenzo, and an Andrea, and others; and this desire of his to benefit the prisoners on the occasion of his passing through the town was granted. > (1) According to ancient custom, the Republic kept some lions in cages. These cages were behind the _Palazzo del Capitano_, now incorporated in the Palazzo Vecchio, whence the piece of street between _Piazza di S. Firenze_ and the _Logge del Grano_ is still called _Via de' Leoni_. This custom was discontinued towards the end of the seventeenth century.

November 20

There were murmurs all over the city to the effect that the king wished to reinstate Piero de' Medici, and the ruling citizens seemed much vexed about this matter.

November 21

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > The city was in great dread of being pillaged, and it was considered a bad sign that the king did not wish to sign the agreement. The French seemed to be becoming more and more masters of the place; they did not allow the citizens to go about armed, day or night, but took away their weapons, and kept striking and stabbing them. No one ventured to speak or to go out after the _Ave Maria_ (at 5 o'clock); and the French went about robbing in the night, their guards parading the city. Everyone was so discouraged and intimidated, that when they saw anyone carrying stones or gravel they went crazy and struck out.

November 24

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > There was much whispering amongst the people, who said suspiciously: "This king doesn't know what he wishes; he has not yet signed the agreement." And many declared that some of his counsellors were endeavouring to hinder it, as there was a certain Signore di Bre,(1) lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, who said that he had promised some people to get Piero reinstated, and to persuade the king to ask for this, but perhaps it was not true. This was, as I say, the opinion of many of the citizens, and therefore they were in great dread; still more so when it was said that the king was going this morning to dine in the _Palagio_ with the Signori and that he had caused all the armed men to be removed from the Palagio, and he was going there with many armed men, so that everyone suspected him of evil designs. There was no one who did not take pains this morning to fill his house with bread and with weapons and with stones, and to strengthen his house as much as possible, everyone being of the mind and intention to die fighting, and to slay anyone if needful, in the manner of the Sicilian Vespers. And fear was so widespread(2) that when at the dinner hour people began to say _Serra, serra!_ (Shut everything!), it came about that the whole of Florence locked itself in, one fleeing here and another there, without any fresh cause or disturbance, the consequence being that many of the French rushed to the _Porta a San Friano_ and took possession of the _Ponte alia Carraia_. And in _Borgo Ognissanti_ and in _Via Palazzuolo_, and in _Borgo San Friano_, so many stones were thrown from the windows that they were not able to get to the gates; and when they asked the reason of it, no one knew. Therefore the king did not go to dine in the Palagio; and, by divine permission, the French became so uneasy that it caused them to change their evil intentions towards us who only had good ones. Anyone can see that God does not abandon Florence, but we are not sufficiently grateful. At this time we heard that the French troops which had been in Romagna were passing by in the neighbourhood of Dicomano. (1) Some Florentines historians call him di Bles, and it was Philippe de Bresse, afterwards Duke of Savoy. (2) The greatest confusion seems to have been caused by the Swiss, who were quartered near the Porta al Prato inside and out, and who tried to force their way through _Borgo Ognissanti_, in order to approach the king's quarters.

November 26

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > The king went together with the Signoria to hear mass at Santa Maria del Fiore and here he swore to observe the articles which had been drawn up, and which were as follows: that we should lend him 120 thousand florins, giving him 50 thousand florins now, and the rest before the end of July 1495; and that he should leave and give back to us the forts of Pisa and all the others; and leave our territory free and unmolested; and that Piero de' Medici should be confined to boundaries 100 miles away from Florence; and that the price of 2000 florins placed upon his head should be taken off, and also off his brothers'. All this he swore to observe, on the altar of Santa Maria del Fiore, before Christ Jesus, on the word of a king.(1) (1) These articles had been signed the preceding day in the palace of the Medici, where the king was quartered. The Marquis Gino Capponi published them in the _Archivio Storico Italiano_, I Serie, vol. I., pp. 348-75. There are twenty-seven articles, and the last twelve regard entirely the persons and interests of the Medici.

November 27

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > The king went out to see certain tents which had been set up on the _Prato d'Ognissanti_, and which had been presented to him by the Duke of Ferrara; there being one for the king himself that was really magnificent, with a sitting-room, a bedroom, and a chapel, and many other things besides. He was to have left this morning, but did not do so; the joy-bells were rung and bonfires were made. This morning more of the troops from Romagna reached Dicomano, and were quartered there, about 20 horses being put into my place even. I left my young son Benedetto there, and they nearly slew him several times, although he paid them proper respect, as I had impressed upon him. It was at a great cost to us. They were quartered everywhere, in the _Val di Sieve_, as far as the _Ponte a Sieve_ and the _Sieci_, and then they went on along the upper valley of the Arno.(1) > (1) The king having proclaimed that all those who were with him should pay, on leaving, for everything that they had had, the Signoria, with a proclamation on this date, ordered the Florentines to be lenient in their demands, and requested anybody who thought himself overcharged to have recourse to them, threatening to cut off the hand of anyone who should offend the French. The following day they imposed the punishment of six blows of the lash upon anyone who should molest or strike the French.

November 28

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > The king left Florence after having dined, and went for the night to the Certosa, and all his men went before or after him, so that few remained here. It was said that Fra Girolamo of Ferrara, our famous preacher, had gone to the king and declared that he was not doing the will of God in stopping, and that he ought to leave. It was even said that he went a second time, when he saw that the king did not leave, and declared again that he was not following God's will, and that whatever evil should befall others would return on his head. It was thought that this was the cause of his leaving more speedily, because at that time the said Fra Girolamo was held to be a prophet and a man of holy life, both in Florence and throughout Italy. At the same time there came to Florence the captain of the French troops in Romagna, whose name was Begni,(1) and he told the king rather dictatorially that he ought to leave on every account, as the weather was favourable, and he declared that it would be ill to delay the advance. And in fact the king did leave, for he put more faith in this _seigneur_ than in all the rest, and deservedly, as he was an extremely intelligent and worthy man, according to what was said; and this was in reality the strongest reason which induced him to leave.(2) (1) Robert Stuart, Comte de Beaumont le Roger, Seigneur of Aubigny-sur-Nerre. (2) On this day the Signori designed Guglielmo d'Antonio Pazzi, Braccio di Domenico Martelli, Niccolo Antinori, and Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici to go the following morning and accompany the king as far as Siena. Afterwards they substituted Francesco de' Rossi for the Medici.

November 29

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > The rest of the king's troops which were in Romagna went past here, coming from San Godenzo to Dicomano and to the Ponte a Sieve, and then going along the upper valley of the Arno, doing much damage. At Corella they slew about eleven men, and took others prisoners and placed ransoms upon them; ruining all the country like a flame of fire. The wall of my house at Dicomano was broken, and also all the locks, whilst my farm was entered forcibly, and suffered not a little, the wine and corn being consumed, and any household goods to which they took a fancy being carried off. Those whom they slew at Corella were certain old men who had come to receive them, but there was a misunderstanding. It is true that at first certain young men had come out and tried to force them back, but these old men caused the others to desist; these brutes of Frenchmen, however, struck them on the head and left them lying dead in the fields; and they committed cruelties on all sides.

December 4

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > An embassy from the