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City of Florence

Italian body politic

1478

April 29

on Monday

There was a little rest and quiet, without more bloodshed, but people were still bewildered with terror.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1478

August 19

on Monday

3 months, 22 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Panzano was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.
Sunrise in Radda was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

1480

May 7

on Friday

1 year, 8 months, 22 days later

Ten Sesti and one Decima were voted; and a Sgravo (decrease) of 3 thousand florins was made and an Aggravo (increase) of a thousand florins.(1)

At this time the Duke of Calabria was sent a sum of 30 thousand florins, on several occasions. It may be imagined what need there was for these taxes of Sesti and Decime. We Florentines have the wise custom of giving money in payment to everyone who does us an injury, and who destroys and pillages our territory. And this is not a solitary instance; it will always be the same; anyone who wants money from the Florentines has only to do them an injury.

(1) A Sgravo means that some taxes were lowered or remitted; whilst on others there was an increase (Aggravo). See note to 13th June, 1478. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1482

April 28

on Friday

1 year, 11 months, 26 days later

The Duke of Urbino came to Florence, lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, and he was received with honour. And on the 29th he left for Milan, to take up his post as Capitano generale, stopping at Ferrara where Signor Roberto was. There they besieged a fort called Ficheruolo till the 1st June.(1)

And in these days the Duke of Calabria on the other hand was besieging Ostia, near Rome; and on the 10th June it was said that he had taken it, but this was not true. He sacked Corneto,(2) however. The Sienese now recalled some of their exiles.

(1) This is not correct; see note to 2nd July.

(2) These are all facts relating to the war which had lately broken out between the Venetians and the Pope on the one hand, and the Florentines, Milan, and Naples on the other. Federigo, Duke of Urbino, was Capitano generale, and Commander of the League against Venice, and Roberto di Sanseverino was in the service of the latter.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Ostia was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Corneto was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Venice was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Naples was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1482

July 2

on Sunday

2 months, 5 days later

We took Ficheruolo.(1)

(1) The text appears to say that the Florentines or the League besieged and took this place; but it really was exactly the contrary. Ficheruolo belonged to the Duke of Ferrara, with whom the Florentines were allied, and now fell into the hands of the Venetians.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Ficheruolo was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

1483

August 5

on Sunday

1 year, 1 month, 4 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Arno was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Monte Domenici was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Ancona was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1485

July 17

on Friday

1 year, 11 months, 17 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1487

April 15

on Friday

1 year, 9 months, 2 days later

The Genoese were defeated by the Florentines at Serrazana, and there were many killed. Our troops captured the fort and all their artillery, and succoured Serezzanello, and sent two prisoners here, Messer Luigi del Fiesco and a nephew of his.(1)

(1) Orlandino son of Obietto, brother of Luigi.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1488

June 5

on Tuesday

1 year, 1 month, 22 days later

We heard that Messer Giovanni Bentivogli had been arrested by the men of Faenza, at the instance of the Florentines, and there were cries of "Marzocco" through the city; and all this was true.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Faenza was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:01 PM.

1488

June 12

on Tuesday

7 days later

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.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Mugello was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Bologna was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1488

September 12

on Wednesday

3 months, 2 days later

The Palagio de' Signori was struck by a thunderbolt at about 14 in the morning (10 a.m.).; it struck the lion and pursued its way downards. There were two strangers at the top, just next to the bells, when it happened, a chancellor of the Pitigliani and another. The former fell unconscious, as if dead, and the other was little better; however, they did not die after all. Neither was there a great deal of injury done to the Palagio. It seemed wonderful that this should have happened to two strangers, when there hundreds of Florentines in the Palagio. People went to look at the tower and the bells afterwards.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1489

March 10

on Sunday

5 months, 29 days later

We heard that the Pope had made six cardinals, who were as follows: two French, one Milanese, two of his nephews, and one Florentine, son of Lorenzo de' Medici.(1) Thank God! It is a great honour to our city in general, and in particular to his father and his house.

(1) Giovanni de' Medici, who later became Pope Leo X.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1492

March 10

on Thursday

3 years, 1 day later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Fiesole was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.

1494

August 5

on Sunday

2 years, 4 months, 28 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Genoa was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1494

November 10

on Saturday

3 months, 7 days later

The citizens again came armed into the Piazza, and set to recruit more men. Antonio de Bernardo, Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo, Ser Simone da Staggia, Ser Ceccone son of Ser Barone, Ser Lorenzo of the Dogana, Lorenzo son of Giovanni Tornabuoni, and Piero Tornabuoni, were fetched from their houses and made prisoner. The Signoria published a proclamation commanding anyone who had, property belonging to Piero de' Medici or to the cardinal his brother, or to Ser Giovanni, Ser Simeone, Ser Bernardo, and Ser Lorenzo of the Dogana,(1) to declare it, on pain of death. And a second proclamation was published, which had been decided upon by the council composed of all the veduti e seduti.(2) There were an immense number of citizens present. Ant this morning they pillaged the cardinal's house, which was in Sant' Antonio(3) di Firenze, sending their men to claim the last things that still remained.

(1) The documents give the names and positions of these keen supported of the house of Medici as follows: Antonio son of Bernardo son of Miniato Dini, purveyor of the Monte Comune; Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo of Pratovecchio, notary of _Riformagioni _(a magistracy whose office it was to keep a register of the decrees, etc.); Ser Simone Grazzini of Staggia, notary of the Tratte (election ballot); and Ser Lorenzo son of Antonio Tucci, alias of the Dogana (Customs).

(2) Those citizens who had filled one of the higher offices, and those who had been next in order to those elected. (Trans.)

(3) Sant' Antonio di Vienna was in the Via Faenza, and was founded in the year 1358. There was a beautiful church and a large convent, with three large cloisters and extensive gardens. The canons were called Frati del Fuoco, and Frati del T. that being their arms. The church and convent were both destroyed when the Fortezza di Basso was built; but the canons built a new church near.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1494

November 17

on Saturday

7 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:42 AM and sunset was at 5:49 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:42 AM and sunset was at 5:49 PM.

1494

November 21

on Wednesday

4 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:50 PM.

1494

November 24

on Saturday

3 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.

1494

November 25

on Sunday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

There was nothing new except that the French were so alarmed that they stood on guard night and day. They took the citizens' arms from them, and robbed anyone whom they encountered at night; so that some of those bold Florentines who had had the idea of slaying the French when they met them at night, were themselves slain or wounded. If the French had stayed longer they (these rash Florentines) would have gone the right way to work to bring about trouble. It is always the case that certain thoughtless men endanger cities, not considering what it means to kindle the spark; it may happen that a man of no account arouses the anger of a king by some piece of folly, without the city being to blame.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 71

1494

November 27

on Tuesday

2 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.

1494

December 4

on Tuesday

7 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

An embassy from the Duke of Milan came to Florence.(1)

(1) To congratulate the Florentines upon their recovered liberty.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:47 AM and sunset was at 5:54 PM.

Agents

Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 42: duke
Luca Landucci (1436-1516), aged 58: apothecary; diarist

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 74

1494

December 12

on Wednesday

8 days later

12th December (Friday). Antonio di Bernardo di Miniato was hung, in the morning before dawn, at the windows of the Casa del Capitano; and he remained hanging there till 24 in the evening (8 p.m.). During these days the French in the district of Cortona had taken some silk belonging to the Florentines, which was coming from the Levant, and was worth 40 thousand florins, and were not willing to return it. They returned it in the end, however, though it cost a lot of trouble.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Levant was at 5:51 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.
Sunrise in Cortona was at 5:51 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.

1494

December 14

on Friday

2 days later

14th December (Sunday). We heard how those Frenchmen who were marking the houses in Rome had been driven away, and many had been killed; the Romans wishing to defend themselves and not accept the Frenchmen in their city.

This same day we heard that the Pope and the cardinals had entered the castle of Sant' Angelo, and that the Duke of Calabria had arrived there with a large force, so that it was judged that it would fare badly with the French. It was also said that the king had sent a proclamation to Pisa, to the effect that the Pisans should submit to the Florentines; otherwise the Florentines would make such war upon them that they would be entirely destroyed, at the expense of the said King of France; that is to say that the money which he was to receive would be used instead for the cost of such an expedition; which was not true, but there was always a great deal of talk.(1)

The same day Fra Girolamo did his utmost in the pulpit to persuade Florence to adopt a good form of government; he preached in Santa Maria del Fiore every day, and to-day which was a Sunday, he wished that there should be no women, but only men; he wished that only the Gonfalonier and one of the Signori should remain in the Palagio, and that all the offices of Florence should be there; and he preached much about State matters, and that we ought to love and fear God, and love the common weal; and no one must set himself up proudly above the rest. He always favoured the people and he insisted that no one ought to be put to death, but there must be other forms of punishment; and he continued to preach in this manner every morning. Many forms were drawn up, and there was much controversy among the citizens, so that every day it was expected that the bell would be rung for a parlamento.

(1) There must have been some truth in it, as we read in the Memoriale of Portoveneri, where there are so many notices of the rebellion and war of Pisa, that on the 4th December there reached this city a herald from the king with the articles which the latter had agreed to with the Florentines, in which it is said: "Everything must be given back that formerly belonged to the Florentines. And this day the said messenger of the King has gone to Sarzana and to Pietrasanta and to Fivizzano and to Bagnone and to Castel-Nuovo and all Luligiana, to consign it to the Florentines." This was agreed to in the treaty.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Castelnuovo was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Pietrasanta was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Sarzana was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1494

December 30

on Sunday

16 days later

30th December (Tuesday). Ambassadors were chosen to go to Pisa: Piero Capponi and Francesco Valori, together with the French one; and they were to take letters from the king with them, saying that Pisa should be given back to us.(1) They were, in fact, playing us such tricks that the people thought that the king was making fools of us, which was considered a bad prospect, as indeed it was.

(1) On the 13th November the Signoria had elected Capponi, together with two other citizens, as Proveditori for the guardianship and care of the city of Pisa. On the 24th December the Dieci di Liberia e Balia deputed Capponi and Valori "General Commissioners with full authority in every place outside Florence"; and the same day they ordered that forty gold florins should be paid to them, as "elected commissaries to go with the ambassador of the Most Christian King, to Pisa." According to Portoveneri, they were not allowed to enter the city.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1495

January 1

on Tuesday

2 days later

1st January. The new Signoria entered into office, and it was a great joy to see the whole Piazza filled with citizens, quite different from other times, as a new thing, thanking God who had given this impartial government to Florence, and delivered us from subjection. And all this had been done at the instigation of the Frate.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1495

January 9

on Wednesday

8 days later

9th January (Friday). We heard that the king had caused the French to give up certain silks belonging to Florence, which they had taken, and that they were in the hands of the Florentines in Rome; and that he was treating the Florentine nation well. And every day there passed horses with loads of French clothes (probably uniforms), which went to the French camp at Rome.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 6:04 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1495

January 11

on Friday

2 days later

11th January (Sunday). Fra Girolamo preached, and spoke much concerning the reforms in the city; and exculpated himself from various accusations, saying that there were devils who disturbed the life of the commune; and that they wrote forged letters, which made it appear as if the Frate had given Piero de' Medici hopes of returning in order to make the people turn against him. But nevertheless all this was untrue; he was entirely for the people and the common weal. He was calumniated by these foxes; but the truth would always prevail. It is the fact that he always encouraged this community of feeling amongst the people.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1495

January 17

on Thursday

6 days later

17th January (Saturday). Fra Girolamo preached; and concerned himself much about this peace and union of the citizens; and many of them began to grow angry with him, saying, Questo Fraluccio ci fa capitare male (This wretched monk will bring us ill-luck).

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1495

January 18

on Friday

1 day later

18th January (Sunday). A loan of 100 thousand florins was demanded,(1) to be subscribed to by all the citizens; and the people were so much dismayed, that almost every one stopped working, and gave way to discontent. Every one said, "This thing cannot be; the poor who live by their labour will die of hunger, and will be obliged to apply for the alms of San Martino."(2)

(1) This loan was demanded, after having been approved by the Consiglio del Popolo on the 12th January, and by the Consiglio del Comune on the 13th, judging that "for the preservation of liberty and to defend ourselves from the insidious attacks made upon it, it is necessary to have a provision of money." The citizens were to be entered as creditors in a book which was called "the Loan of MCCCCLXXXXV., so that it may always be known who felt affection for their city, and that others might follow their example," etc.

(2) See note to 6th December, 1494.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1495

January 20

on Sunday

2 days later

20th January. Many Florentines arrived here, about 400, driven out from Pisa by the Pisans, and having left their wives and children and their shops, after being very ill-treated.(1)

(1) Of this bad treatment there is testimony even in the Pisan documents. A letter of the 27th January, 1494 (1495, New Style), refers to an apothecary who "on his departure was nearly dead," and "his wife was insulted and frightened, . . . and threatened with being carried off" (Archivo di Stato di Pisa Lettere agli Anziani, i. 29).

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1495

January 21

on Monday

1 day later

21st January. Our commissioners left for Pisa, and took with them many courageous young men fully determined to punish the Pisans. We hired many soldiers also, and large bodies of infantry went from the neighbourhood of Pistoia and all the country round, without pay. Everyone was ready to go there, thinking that the whole district would be sacked. No one thought much of their power of resistance; but we were mistaken, as will be seen later, for they were very persistent and united in their defence.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:16 PM.
Sunrise in Pistoia was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:16 PM.

1495

January 23

on Wednesday

2 days later

23rd January. We continued sending men to Pisa.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:09 AM and sunset was at 6:16 PM.

1495

January 28

on Monday

5 days later

28th January. We heard that our troops had captured many forts from the Pisans and were making raids all over the country.(1)

(1) See Ammirato and Portoveneri.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.

1495

February 2

on Saturday

5 days later

2nd February. We heard that the King of France had been defeated at Terracina, on entering the Kingdom (of Naples), and that there were hundreds slain.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:18 PM.

1495

February 11

on Monday

9 days later

11th February. There were negotiations with the cardinal concerning giving Pisa over to us, and he wanted 70 thousand florins.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:18 PM.

1495

February 20

on Wednesday

9 days later

20th February. We heard that he had taken Gaeta.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Gaeta was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.

Agents

King Charles VIII (1470-1498), aged 25: king

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 83

1495

February 22

on Friday

2 days later

22nd February. We received the news that the King of France had taken Capua, and was near Naples. It was thought that he would capture it quickly.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.
Sunrise in Capua was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.

1495

February 25

on Monday

3 days later

25th February. We heard that the King of France had taken Naples, and how he had entered it on the 21st without a blow. The King of Naples took refuge in the Castel dell' Uovo. This news was proclaimed here with great rejoicing, with drums and fifes, and the shops were shut. There were many bonfires and lights(1) on the towers, and other manifestations, to commemorate such a conquest.(2)

(1) These pangeli were pieces of stuff swimming in oil or dipped in grease, and placed in flat round tins.

(2) This is confirmed by a decree of the Signori on this date, which besides commanding the shops to be shut, also orders processions to be made on three successive mornings.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.

1495

February 27

on Wednesday

2 days later

27th February. The Cardinal Sa' Malò left here, who had come to deliver Pisa over to us, and had not done so; but he carried away with him 22 thousand florins, and returned to the king at Naples.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:16 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:16 PM.

1495

March 4

on Monday

5 days later

4th March. There were very grateful letters from the King of France, telling us how pleased he was that we had celebrated the conquest of Naples.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:09 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

Agents

King Charles VIII (1470-1498), aged 25: king

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 84

1495

March 6

on Wednesday

2 days later

6th March. There was much argument as to why the king did not give Pisa over to us, seeing that we were such friends of his country and also that he had promised it us on the capture of Naples.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

1495

March 10

on Sunday

4 days later

10th March. Piero Capponi went to our camp at Pisa and took money to the soldiers.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1495

March 16

on Saturday

6 days later

16th March. There was a debate how to keep peace amongst the citizens, and about doing away with the authority of six votes(1); and this was carried through by the Signori and Collegi.

(1) The original provision (see Reg. di Prow, ad an.) is entitled Lex pads et appelationis sex fabarum Provosio, and contains arrangements for the peace, as the Diary says; which consist in an indulgence, or amnesty as we should now say, within certain limits, for anyone who had favoured the Government in power till the 9th November. There is also an article which ordains that anyone eligible for office who for some reason of State has been condemned by the Signori or the Otto di Balia or di Guardia to death, confinement, banishment, or imprisonment, or to a fine above 300 (large) florins, can and may appeal to the Great Council," and be absolved by them with certain ceremonies. And it is this, I think, that was meant by doing away with the authority of the six fave, i.e. the six votes with which the Signori or the Otto could condemn.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1495

March 22

on Friday

6 days later

22nd March. We heard that the king had taken the Castello dell' Uovo.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1495

April 1

on Monday

10 days later

1st April. Fra Girolamo preached, and said and testified that the Virgin Mary had revealed to him, that after going through much trouble, the city of Florence was to be the most glorious, the richest, and the most powerful that ever existed; and he promised this absolutely. All these things he spoke as a prophet, and the greater part of the people believed him, especially quiet people without political or party passions.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1496

July 2

on Thursday

1 year, 3 months, 3 days later

From Rome. Christus. On the 2nd day of July, 1496.

Magnificent Lorenzo, etc., — I write this merely to inform you that on Saturday last we arrived here in safety, and went immediately to visit the Cardinal di San Giorgio, to whom I presented your letter. I believe he was glad at my arrival, and he straightway expressed a desire that I would go and inspect certain statues, which detained me for the remainder of that day, so that I was unable to deliver your other letters. On the Sunday the Cardinal went to his new house(1) and there caused me to be summoned. I went to him accordingly, and he asked my opinion of the statues I had seen. I told him what I thought ; and certainly I consider that some of them are very beautiful. He then asked me if I had sufficient courage to undertake a beautiful work on my own account. I replied that I should not be able to produce any work equal to those I had been shown, but that I was willing he should see for himself what I could do. We have bought a piece of marble sufficiently large for a life-size figure, and on Monday I shall begin to work upon it.

Last Monday I delivered your other letters to Pagolo Rucellai,(2) who offered to place the money at my disposal, and to Cavalcanti. Afterwards I gave the letter to Baldassarre, and asked him to give me back the Cupid (banbino), saying that I was willing to refund the money. But he answered me only with rough words, saying he would rather break it into a hundred pieces : he had bought the banbino he said, and it was therefore his: he had letters from the person to whom he sold it showing that its new owner was well satisfied with his bargain : and he did not think he would be compelled to return it. He complained bitterly of you, saying you had spoken ill of him.

Some of our Florentines took the matter up, hoping to get it settled, but they were unable to do anything. I am now hoping to arrange the matter through the medium of the Cardinal's good offices, for so I have been advised to proceed by Baldassarre Balducci.(3) I will keep you informed as to how the business proceeds. I have nothing more to add. I commend myself to you. May God guard you from evil.

MICHELAGNIOLO, in Rome.

(1) The Palazzo della Cancelleria.

(2) Paolo di Pandolfo Rucellai, who died in 1509. The Baldassare mentioned in the letter is Baldassare del Milanese, the vendor of the Cupid, already referred to.

(3) A Florentine engaged in the banking house of Iacopo Gallo, the latter a Roman. Both were on terms of considerable intimacy with Michelangelo,

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

Source: Primary

Michelangelo; Buonarroti, Michelangelo, trans. Robert W. Carden. "Michelangelo. A Record of His Life", p. 2-4

1498

March 18

on Friday

1 year, 8 months, 19 days later

After much debate and steady pressure from a worried Florentine government, Girolamo Savonarola withdraws from public preaching.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

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