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Soldier

1369

May 28

on Sunday

Muzio Sforza is born in Cotignola.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Cotignola was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1398

28 years, 7 months, 15 days later

Muzio Sforza is at the service of Perugia against the Milanese troops of Gian Galeazzo Visconti.

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1401

July 23

on Thursday

3 years, 6 months, 23 days later

Francesco I Sforza is born in San Miniato.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in San Miniato was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1402

5 months, 12 days later

Muzio Sforza fights for Florence against Visconti but at the battle of Casalecchio is defeated by his former master Alberico da Barbiano.

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1406

4 years, 1 day later

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

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1417

11 years, 3 days later

Muzio Sforza is sent by Joan II to help the pope against Braccio da Montone, together with his son Francesco.

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1423

6 years, 1 day later

The city of Aquila rebels and Muzio Sforza is sent to reconquer it. In an attempt to save one of his pages during the forging of the Pescara River, Sforza drowns and his body is swept away by the waters.

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1431

8 years, 2 days later

Francesco I Sforza leads the Milanese army against Venice.

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1433

2 years, 1 day later

Francesco I Sforza leads the Milanese attack on the Papal States, but when he conquers Ancona, in the Marche, he changes sides, obtaining the title of vicar of the city directly from Pope Eugene IV.

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1440

7 years, 1 day later

King Alfonso I occupies Francesco Sforza's fiefs in the Kingdom of Naples and, to recover the situation, Sforza reconciles himself with Filippo Visconti.

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1441

October 25

on Monday

1 year, 9 months, 28 days later

Francesco I Sforza marries Bianca Maria Visconti in Cremona.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1465

April 10

on Monday

23 years, 5 months, 23 days later

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.

Attachments
Portrait of Francesco I Sforza, Duke of Milan
Portrait bust traditionally identified with Ippolita Maria Sforza, daughter of Francesco I, by Francesco Laurana
Portrait bust of Don Ferante, King of Naples
Alfonso II, brother of Duke Ferante, King of Naples

Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 5:57 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:57 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1466

March 8

on Thursday

11 months, 2 days later

Francesco I Sforza dies in Milan, leaving the throne to his first-born son, Galeazzo Maria Sforza.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1478

August 15

on Thursday

12 years, 5 months, 13 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Città di Castello was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1481

2 years, 4 months, 20 days later

Draft of a letter from Leonardo da Vinci to Ludovico Sforza:

Your Gracious Highness! I have sufficiently seen and tested the productions of all who are considered masters of the art of inventing war-machines. And since the working and function of these instruments is no different from that of the machines in common use, I shall endeavour -- approaching no one else -- to make myself clear to Your Excellency and reveal my secrets. I shall put them at your disposal whenever you desire and hope for good results from the things which I shall now briefly describe ...

First: I have a means of making very light bridges which can be very easily transported ... And I have others which are proof against fire and are thus indestructible in battle, easy to take down and put up again, and I also know of a means to get fire to the bridges of the enemy and destroy them. Secondly: In besieging a place I know how to cut off the water in the dikes, also how to construct many drawbridges and other apparatus necessary for such an undertaking. Thirdly: If during a siege the engines cannot be effectively used on account of the height or strength of the town wall, I have a means to destroy every tower or fortification ... Fourthly: I know of a kind of siege-engine which is very light and easy to move and which can be used hurl fire-bombs. Their smoke will terrify, confuse and severely injure the enemy. Fifthly: I know how to construct subterranean caves and winding passages which can be made without any noise ... Sixthly: I can make sound, indestructible armoured vehicles. If these reach the enemy with their cannons, they can compel the largest forces to retreat and afterwards the infantry can follow them in safety and without any let or hindrance. Seventhly: I can make, if necessary, bombards, mortars and other field-guns ... Eighthly: Where cannons cannot be used I shall construct stone-throwing machines, catapults, slings and other instruments, amazing and hitherto completely unknown ... Ninthly: If this should be necessary, I know of apparatus for use at sea for attack and defence, such as ships which can withstand the force of the strongest opponents and produce dust and smoke. In time of peace I believe I can achieve something in architecture, as well as another, both in building public and private buildings and in channelling water from one place to another. Further, I work as a sculptor in marble, bronze and clay and can paint as well as others with whom I may be compared. I could also add my labours to the bronze horse which is to contribute to the undying fame and eternal memory of your father and the renowned house of Sforza ...

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Source: Primary

Leonardo da Vinci; 'Letters of the Great Artists', p. 34-8

1481

October 2

on Sunday

9 months, 4 days later

Signor Gostanzo di Pesaro(1) arrived in Florence, with a fine troop of men-at-arms, and several squadrons of crossbowmen on horseback, being on his way to Milan.

(1) A Florentine captain, to whom the baton of Capitano generale was given two days later.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 5:46 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.

1482

June 12

on Monday

8 months, 13 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Bibbona was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1482

September 14

on Thursday

3 months, 4 days later

Roberto il Magnifico(1) died at Rome; he who had been so famous for his victory over the Duke of Calabria near Rome, when he took 300 men-at-arms. These two great captains died with a few days of each other, just when they imagined that they were at the height of their glory. What errors are made by the world! Men incur so many perils in order to slay and kill others, and to obtain a short-lived fame on this earth, not considering what it means to kill a man, and how soon they themselves will have to die and render an account.

(1) Roberto Malatesta, a captain sent by the Venetians to aid the Pope.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.

1483

June 21

on Thursday

9 months, 10 days later

In a tabernacle in Orto Sa' Michele there was placed the figure of San Tommaso beside Jesus, and the Jesus in bronze, which is the most beautiful thing imaginable, and the finest head of the Saviour that has as yet been made; it is by Andrea del Verrocchio.

At this time the Duke of Calabria and Signor Roberto left Ferrara and went into Lombardy, where much damage was being down on all sides, and Signor Gostanzo was poisoned there.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1489

5 years, 6 months, 16 days later

Leonardo da Vinci receives the Sforza commission from Ludovico Sforza, to cast the largest equestrian statue ever, in honour of Ludovico's father.

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1492

January

3 years later

Leonardo da Vinci directs the tournament of Galeazzo Sanseverino.

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1494

2 years, 1 day later

Study

Baldassare Castiglione begins his humanist studies in Milan, studies which would eventually inform his future writings.

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1497

March

3 years, 2 months later

Giovanni Paolo I Sforza is born in Milan.

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1499

1 year, 10 months, 6 days later

On the death of his father, Baldassare Castiglione leaves his studies in Milan to succeed his father as the head of their noble family.

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1500

November 3

on Saturday

1 year, 10 months, 6 days later

Birth

Benvenuto Cellini is born in Florence.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1502

1 year, 1 month, 29 days later

An anecdote from Luca Pacioli's De viribus quantitatis relates an incident with Leonardo da Vinci in his capacity as military engineer on campaign with Cesare Borgia.

One day Cesare Valentino, Duke of Romagna and present Lord of Piombino, found himself and his army at a river which was 24 paces wide, and could find no bridge, nor any material to make one except for a stack of wood all cut to a length of 16 paces. And from this wood, using neither iron nor rope nor any other construction, his noble engineer made a bridge sufficiently strong for the army to pass over.

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Source: Primary

Charles Nicholl; Nicholl, Charles. "Leonardo da Vinci. Flights of the Mind." E-book, p. 602.

1502

In Cesena, Leonardo da Vinci begins work as senior military architect and general engineer for Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI.

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1502

Leonardo da Vinci creates a map of Cesare Borgia's stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage.

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1502

Leonardo da Vinci gifts to his pupil Salai a precious garment given to him by Cesare Borgia.

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Agents

Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke
Giocomo Salai (1480-1524), aged 22: painter

Source: Primary

Pedretti, Carlo. "Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style", p.142.

1502

June 26

on Thursday

5 months, 26 days later

Extract from a dispatch of Machiavelli to the Signoria of Florence concerning Cesare Borgia:

This Duke is so enterprising that nothing is too great to be discounted by him. For the sake of glory and the enlarging of his dominions, he deprives himself of rest, yielding to no fatigue, no danger. He arrives in one place before anyone knows he has left the other, he gains the good will of his soldiers, he attracts to him the best men in Italy, and he has constant good luck. For all these reasons he is victorious and formidable.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke
Machiavelli (1469-1527), aged 33: historian

Source: Primary

Machiavelli; "Leonardo da Vinci. The Flights of the Mind"; E-book, p. 595.

1502

August 18

on Monday

1 month, 23 days later

Passport drawn up in Pavia granting Leonardo da Vinci free access to the dominions of Cesare Borgia as his chief military architect:

Cesare Borgia of France, by the grace of God Duke of Romagna and Valence, Prince of the Adriatic, Lord of Piombino etc., also Gonfalonier and Captain General of the Holy Roman Church: to all our lieutenants, castellans, captains, condottieri, officials, soldiers and subjects to whom this notice is presented. We order and command that the bearer thereof, our most excellent and well-beloved architect and general engineer Leonardo Vinci, who by our commission is to survey the places and fortresses of our states, should be provided with all such assistance as the occasion demands and his judgement deems fit.

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Astronomical Events

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

1502

December 26

on Friday

4 months, 10 days later

Cesare Borgia kills Ramiro D'Orco; this incident is referenced in Machiavelli's The Prince.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Agents

Machiavelli (1469-1527), aged 33: historian
Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1502

1502

December 26

on Friday

Extract from a dispatch of Machiavelli to the Signoria of Florence while in the service of Cesare Borgia:

This morning Messer Rimino was found lying in the piazza cut into two pieces; he still lies there, so that everyone has had an opportunity to see him ... The reason for his death is not yet clear, except that such was the pleasure of the Prince, who shows is that he can make and unmake men according to their deserts.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1502

December 31

on Wednesday

5 days later

Cesare Borgia (son of Pope Alexander VI) occupies Urbino, where he imprisons two potentially treacherous allies, Vitellozzo and Oliveretto; he executes them the next morning.

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Astronomical Events

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

Agents

Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1502

1503

1 day later

As a child, Benvenuto Cellini plays with a scorpion he finds near a water-pipe and is narrowly rescued from being stung by his father, who cuts off its head and tail with a pair of scissors.

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1516

13 years, 3 days later

Banished from Florence

Benvenuto Cellini is banished from Florence for six months for his part in a street fight and lives in Siena.

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1519

3 years, 1 day later

Benvenuto Cellini moves to Rome at the age of 19.

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1523

4 years, 1 day later

The Genoese enter into negotiations for a colossal statue of Andrea Doria, which they desired to obtain from the hand of Michelangelo. Its execution must have been seriously contemplated, for the Senate of Genoa banked 300 ducats for the purpose.

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Source: Primary

Symonds, John Addington: "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti", Modern Library (New York), p.237

1523

January 14

on Sunday

13 days later

Fined for sodomy

Benvenuto Cellini is sentenced to pay 12 staia of flour for relations with a boy named Domenico di ser Giuliano da Ripa.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1527

May

4 years, 3 months, 18 days later

Cellini wounds the Prince of Orange

Benvenuto Cellini shoots and injures Philibert of Châlon, prince of Orange during the Sack of Rome.

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1527

May 6

on Friday

5 days later

Cellini shoots the Duke of Bourbon

Benvenuto Cellini kills Charles III, Duke of Bourbon during the Sack of Rome.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1527

Late

26 days later

Benvenuto Cellini returns to Florence.

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1528

7 months, 4 days later

Michelangelo praises Benvenuto Cellini

A Sienese gentleman had commissioned Cellini to make him a golden medal, to be worn in the hat. "The subject was to be Hercules wrenching the lion's mouth. While I was working at this piece, Michel Agnolo Buonarroti came oftentimes to see it. I had spent infinite pains upon the design, so that the attitude of the figure and the fierce passion of the beast were executed in quite a different style from that of any other craftsman who had hitherto attempted such groups. This, together with the fact that the special branch of art was totally unknown to Michel Agnolo, made the divine master give such praises to my work that I felt incredibly inspired for further effort. "Just then I met with Federigo Ginori, a young man of very lofty spirit. He had lived some years in Naples and being endowed with great charms of person and presence, had been the lover of a Neopolitan princess. He wanted to have a medal made with Atlas bearing the world upon his shoulders, and applied to Michel Agnolo for a design. Michel Agnolo made this answer: 'Go and find out a young goldsmith named Benvenuto; he will serve you admirably, and certainly he does not stand in need of sketches by me. However, to prevent your thinking that I want to save myself the trouble of so slight a matter, I will gladly sketch you something; but meanwhile speak to Benvenuto and let him also make a model; he can then execute the better of the two designs.' Federigo Ginori came to me and told me that he wanted, adding thereto how Michel Agnolo had praised me, and how he had suggested I should make a waxen model while he undertook to supply a sketch. The words of that great man so heartened me, that I set myself to work at once with eagerness upon the model; and when I had finished it, a painter who was intimate with Michel Agnolo, called Giuliano Bugiardini, brought me the drawing of Atlas. On the same occasion I showed Giuliano my little model in wax, which was very different from Michel Agnolo's drawing; and Federigo, in concert with Bugiardini, agreed that I should work upon my model. So I took it in hand, and when Michel Agnolo saw it, he praised me to the skies."

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Source: Primary

Symonds, John Addington: "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti", Modern Library (New York), p.259-261

1528

September 12

on Wednesday

8 months, 15 days later

Andrea Doria defeats his former allies, the French, and establishes the independence of Genoa.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Genoa was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1528

1529

3 months, 21 days later

Cellini avenges the death of his brother

Cecchino Cellini kills a Corporal of the Roman Watch and in turn is wounded by an arquebusier (rifleman), later dying of his wound. His brother, Benvenuto Cellini, kills his killer, then flees to Naples to escape the consequences of an affray with a notary, Ser Benedetto, whom he had wounded.

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1530

April 2

on Wednesday

1 year, 3 months, 1 day later

Cellini meets Clement VII

Jacopo della Barca conducts Benvenuto Cellini to an audience with Clement VII. The Pope is indisposed in bed with an illness, attended by Jacopo Salviati and the Archbishop of Capua. Benvenuto asks for absolution for a theft he had committed during the Sack of Rome, when he stole some grains of gold worth a hundred and fifty ducats, in recompense for moneys that were not paid him for work he had carried out on behalf of the Pope. The Pope gives his absolution.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1531

9 months, 4 days later

Cellini directs the fusiliers at the Castel Sant'Angelo to fire their cannons at the Duke of Orange during the Sack of Rome, and wounds him.

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1534

3 years, 1 day later

Cellini kills Pompeo

Benvenuto Cellini kills Pompeo of Milan, a rival goldsmith.

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1537

3 years, 1 day later

Cellini is imprisoned at Castel Sant Angelo

Upon returning from a visit to the French court, Benvenuto Cellini is imprisoned on a charge (apparently false) of having embezzled the gems of the pope's tiara during the war. He is confined to the Castel Sant'Angelo, escapes, is recaptured, and treated with great severity; he is in daily expectation of death on the scaffold. The intercession of Pier Luigi's wife, and especially that of the Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara, eventually secures Cellini's release, in gratitude for which he gives d'Este a splendid cup.

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1548

11 years, 2 days later

In Florence, Benvenuto Cellini is accused by a woman named Margherita, for having certain familiarities with her son, Vincenzo.

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1556

February 26

on Sunday

8 years, 1 month, 28 days later

Cellini's apprentice Fernando di Giovanni di Montepulciano accuses his mentor of having sodomised him many times. This time the penalty was a hefty fifty golden scudi fine, and four years of prison, remitted to four years of house arrest thanks to the intercession of the Medicis.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1558

1 year, 10 months, 10 days later

Benvenuto Cellini begins to write his Autobiography.

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1562

4 years, 1 day later

Benvenuto Cellini marries a servant, Piera Parigi.

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1563

1 year later

Benvenuto Cellini travels to Pisa for the last time.

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1571

May 13

on Thursday

8 years, 4 months, 14 days later

Benvenuto Cellini dies in Florence and is buried with great pomp in the church of the Santissima Annunziata.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

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