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Ruler

979

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.

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Astronomical Events

Source: Primary

Villani, Giovanni. Trans. by Rose E. Selfe. "Villani's Chronicle". Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd., London, 1906: pp 70-1.

987

8 years, 2 days later

Hugh Capet, as we before made mention, the lineage of Charles the Great having failed, was made king of France in the year of Christ 987. This Hugh was duke of Orleans (and by some it is held that his ancestors were all dukes and of high lineage), son of Hugh the Great, and his mother was sister to Otho I. of Germany; but by the more part it is said that his father was a great and rich burgher of Paris, a butcher, or trader in beasts by birth; but by reason of his great riches and possessions, when the duchy of Orleans was vacant, and only a daughter was left, he had her to wife, whence was born the said Hugh Capet, which was very wise and of great possessions, and the kingdom of France was wholly governed by him; and when the lineage of Charles the Great failed, as was aforesaid, he was made king, and reigned twenty years.

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Astronomical Events

Source: Primary

Villani, Giovanni. Trans. by Rose E. Selfe. "Villani's Chronicle". Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd., London, 1906: pp 71.

1438

December 6

on Thursday

452 years, 2 months, 23 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

Source: Primary

http://www.jstor.org/stable/41701491?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

1441

October 25

on Monday

2 years, 10 months, 24 days later

Francesco I Sforza marries Bianca Maria Visconti in Cremona.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1452

March 19

on Friday

10 years, 4 months, 28 days later

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor becomes the last to be crowned in Rome.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 6:04 AM and sunset was at 6:11 PM.

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1452

1452

May 31

on Monday

2 months, 13 days later

Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, officially declares war on Ghent.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Ghent was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1452

1452

October

4 months, 3 days later

English troops under John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, land in Guyenne, France, and retake most of the province without a fight.

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Astronomical Events

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1452

1454

February 22

on Wednesday

1 year, 4 months, 24 days later

A letter from Guillaume Dufay to Piero and Giovanni de' Medici -- believed to have been written on February 22, 1454 -- mentions Dufay's motet, called 'Lamentatio sanctae matris ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae' (Lamentations for the fall of Constantinople). It is thought that the piece was to have been composed in the context of the "Feast of the Pheasant", a banquet and extravagant political show organised in Lille by Philip the Good of Burgundy on 17 February 1454. Its purpose was to propagate the idea of a crusade for the recapture of the city. It is, however, unclear whether the piece was ever performed on that occasion.

Attachments

'Lamentatio sanctae matris ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae' by Guillaume Dufay The motet is believed to have been composed in the context of the "Feast of the Pheasant", a banquet and extravagant political show organised in Lille by Philip the Good of Burgundy on 17 February 1454. Its purpose was to propagate the idea of a crusade for the recapture of the city. It is, however, unclear whether the piece was ever performed on that occasion. (Wikipedia)

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Source: Primary

Guillaume Dufay; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamentatio_sanctae_matris_ecclesiae_Constantinopolitanae

1465

April 10

on Monday

11 years, 1 month, 20 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.

1465

December 1

on Friday

7 months, 25 days later

There was an election in the Palagio, and Niccolo Soderini became Gonfaloniere. He reduced the tax on wine to 14 soldi, for which the people called down blessings on his head.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1466

March 8

on Thursday

3 months, 7 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.

1466

September 1

on Saturday

5 months, 27 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1471

4 years, 4 months, 3 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici calculates that since 1434, his family has spent some 663,000 florins (approx. 460 million USD today) on charity, buildings and taxes. He writes,

I do not regret this for though many would consider it better to have a part of that sum in their purse, I consider it to have been a great honour to our state, and I think the money was well-expended and I am well-pleased.

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Astronomical Events

1471

May 26

on Friday

4 months, 25 days later

I bought some of the first sugar that came here from Madeira; which island had been subdued a few years before by the King of Portugal, and sugar had begun to be grown there; and I had some of the first.

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Astronomical Events

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

1471

September 23

on Saturday

4 months later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:49 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

1472

May 6

on Monday

7 months, 16 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

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

1476

3 years, 8 months later

Galeazzo Maria Sforza is assassinated, leaving his throne to his seven-year old son, Gian Galeazo Sforza.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Gian Galeazo Sforza (1469-1494), aged 7: duke

1476

April 26

on Wednesday

3 months, 26 days later

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.)

Attachments
Bianca de' Medici is traditionally presumed to be the woman in the centre
Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici by Botticelli
Portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici by Andrea del Verrocchio
The skull of Giuliano de' Medici, fractured from the blade that killed him
The Stinche, or old prisons of Florence, as shown in an engraving

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1476

November 26

on Sunday

7 months, 4 days later

Vlad the Impaler declares himself reigning Prince of Wallachia for the third and last time. He was killed on the march to Bucharest, probably before the end of December. His head was sent to his old enemy Sultan Mehmed of the Ottomans.

Attachments
A copy of a contemporary portrait of Vlad Tepes, the Impaler

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Bucharest was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1476

1476

December 26

on Tuesday

1 month later

We heard that the Duke of Milan(1) had been stabbed and killed by one of his citizens called Giovanni Andrea,(2) who was moved to commit the crime by certain unjust acts of the duke. He was put to death by the populace, out of zeal for the common good. There were several conspirators; and the first who reached the duke was this Giovanni Andrea, who feigned to offer him a letter with one hand whilst he stabbed him with the other. It happened as with Scevola the Roman, when they took life for life. Such men are rarely found. And I believe that they carry out their crimes by divine permission. This was on the day of Santo Stefano, in church, during the mass. And when they tried to flee, they could not, because the crowd of people, and mostly the women who hindered them by spreading out their gowns(3) in such a way that the barons of the duke, and chiefly a certain Ghezzo who stood next to him, caught and slew the said Giovanni Andrea. And three others were taken and hung. Some people said that these three who were caught were quartered by four horses.

(1) Galeazzo Sforza. (Trans.)

(2) Lampugnano.

(3) The women used to sit on the floor during these long ceremonies. (Trans.)

Attachments
Woodcut depicting the assassination of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan
Portrait of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan
Giovanni Andrea, the assassin of the Duke of Milan, as depicted in Assassin's Creed

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1478

February 18

on Monday

1 year, 1 month, 24 days later

George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is privately executed in the Tower of London.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1478

1478

April 26

on Friday

2 months, 7 days later

On Easter Sunday, in an incident called the Pazzi conspiracy, a group including members of the Pazzi family, backed by the Archbishop of Pisa and his patron Pope Sixtus IV, attacks Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother and co-ruler Giuliano in the Cathedral of Florence. Giuliano is killed, but Lorenzo escapes with only a stab wound.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 64: pope
Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 29: patron; poet; ruler

1478

May 1

on Wednesday

5 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1478

May 10

on Friday

9 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

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

1478

June 13

on Thursday

1 month, 4 days later

It was voted in Council to put on many new taxes, Sesti and Decime(1); and 50 thousand florins on the priests.

(1) The "Seventy," in the lifetime of Lorenzo, fearing the rigorous equality sought for by the Catasto, changed it to a form of subtle progressive taxation, which they called the Decima scalata. This apparently favoured the lower classes; there were certain cases in which the lower classes paid only a twentieth of their income, and the upper classes paid a Sesto (the sixth part). The Medici, however, were extremely clever in favouring their friends by sgravi (remissions), and oppressing their enemies by aggravi (increases) or demands for old debts. The citizens had to make a full declaration of their family, possessions and means, as for the Castato. A man who had twelve children was exempt, only having the pay the registration fee, so as to be eligible for office. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1478

July 10

on Wednesday

27 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

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

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 64: pope
Gian Galeazo Sforza (1469-1494), aged 9: duke

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 21

1478

July 13

on Saturday

3 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1478

July 31

on Wednesday

18 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Volterra was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1478

August 15

on Thursday

15 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.

1478

December 3

on Tuesday

3 months, 20 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

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

1479

29 days later

Ludovico Sforza is empowered as the Duke of Bari.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 27: duke

1479

January 10

on Friday

9 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:05 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1479

January 17

on Friday

7 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Genoa was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Volterra was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1479

February 8

on Saturday

22 days later

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.

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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.

1479

April 18

on Friday

2 months, 9 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Perugia was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Colle di Buggiano was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1479

November 15

on Saturday

7 months, 1 day later

The Duke of Calabria took Colle di Valdelsa. He had besieged it for about seven months before he was able to take it; the mortars had been fired against it 1024 times, so that the greater part of the walls was destroyed. And now the enemy went into quarters.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1479

December 6

on Saturday

21 days later

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

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.
Sunrise in Naples was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

1479

December 23

on Tuesday

17 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Constantinople was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.
Sunrise in Siena was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.

1480

9 days later

Cardinal della Rovere is sent as legate to the Netherlands and France to settle the quarrel concerning the Burgundian inheritance between Louis XI and Maximilian of Austria, to obtain the help of France against the Turks, and to effect the liberation of Cardinal Balue whom Louis had held in strict custody since 1469 on account of treasonable acts.

Attachments
Giuliano della Rovere, as cardinal (left), with uncle and patron Francesco della Rovere, Pope Sixtus IV (right)
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1519)
"Louis XI visiting the Cardinal La Balue", by Jean-Leon Gerome

Astronomical Events

Agents

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459-1519), aged 21: king
Pope Julius II (1443-1513), aged 37: pope; cardinal
Cardinal Jean Balue (1421-1491), aged 59: cardinal
King Louis XI (1423-1483), aged 57: king

1480

Letter to the Duke of Milan

Having, most illustrious lord, seen and considered the experiments of all those who pose as masters in the art of inventing instruments of war, and finding that their inventions differ in no way from those in common use, I am emboldened, without prejudice to anyone, to solicit an appointment of acquainting your Excellency with certain of my secrets.

  1. I can construct bridges which are very light and strong and very portable, with which to pursue and defeat the enemy; and others more solid, which resist fire or assault, yet are easily removed and placed in position; and I can also burn and destroy those of the enemy.

  2. In case of a siege I can cut off water from the trenches and make pontoons and scaling ladders and other similar contrivances.

  3. If by reason of the elevation or the strength of its position a place cannot be bombarded, I can demolish every fortress if its foundations have not been set on stone.

  4. I can also make a kind of cannon which is light and easy of transport, with which to hurl small stones like hail, and of which the smoke causes great terror to the enemy, so that they suffer heavy loss and confusion.

  5. I can noiselessly construct to any prescribed point subterranean passages either straight or winding, passing if necessary underneath trenches or a river.

  6. I can make armoured wagons carrying artillery, which shall break through the most serried ranks of the enemy, and so open a safe passage for his infantry.

  7. If occasion should arise, I can construct cannon and mortars and light ordnance in shape both ornamental and useful and different from those in common use.

  8. When it is impossible to use cannon I can supply in their stead catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other instruments of admirable efficiency not in general use—I short, as the occasion requires I can supply infinite means of attack and defense.

  9. And if the fight should take place upon the sea I can construct many engines most suitable either for attack or defense and ships which can resist the fire of the heaviest cannon, and powders or weapons.

  10. In time of peace, I believe that I can give you as complete satisfaction as anyone else in the construction of buildings both public and private, and in conducting water from one place to another.

I can further execute sculpture in marble, bronze or clay, also in painting I can do as much as anyone else, whoever he may be.

Moreover, I would undertake the commission of the bronze horse, which shall endue with immortal glory and eternal honour the auspicious memory of your father and of the illustrious house of Sforza.—

And if any of the aforesaid things should seem to anyone impossible or impracticable, I offer myself as ready to make trial of them in your park or in whatever place shall please your Excellency, to whom I commend myself with all possible humility.

Leonardo Da Vinci

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 28: duke

1480

March 13

on Saturday

2 months, 12 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.
Sunrise in Livorno was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.

1480

March 15

on Monday

2 days later

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

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:05 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1480

April 28

on Wednesday

1 month, 14 days later

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.

Attachments
Portrait of Federico da Montefeltro, by Piero della Francesca

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Siena was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1480

May 7

on Friday

9 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.)

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1480

June 3

on Thursday

27 days later

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.

Attachments
Portrait of Ludovico Sforza

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Tuscany was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Milan was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1480

June 20

on Sunday

17 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.
Sunrise in Rhodes was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1480

September 27

on Monday

3 months, 9 days later

A certain hermit came to the house of Lorenzo de' Medici at the Poggio a Caiano; and the servants declared that he intended to murder Lorenzo, so they took him and sent him to the Bargello, and he was put to the rack.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 31: patron; poet; ruler

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 31

1480

October 27

on Wednesday

1 month later

Lorenzo de' Medici sends a delegation of painters to Rome

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 31: patron; poet; ruler
Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 66: pope
Perugino (1446-1523), aged 34: painter

1480

December 5

on Sunday

1 month, 9 days later

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

(1) Francesco Gonzaga.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.
Sunrise in Mantua was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

1481

27 days later

After a bitter struggle for the duchy of Milan with the child-regent Gian Galeazzo Sforza's mother, Bona of Savoy, followed, the boy's uncle, Ludovico Sforza, emerges as victor and seizes control of the government of Milan.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 29: duke
Gian Galeazo Sforza (1469-1494), aged 12: duke

1481

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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Astronomical Events

Source: Primary

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

1481

June 2

on Thursday

5 months, 2 days later

One of the Frescobaldi, and one of the Baldovinetti, and one of the Balducci, were arrested; and on the 6th June they were hung from the windows of the Bargello, or rather, of the Casa del Capitano, having confessed that they had intended to murder Lorenzo de' Medici.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1481

September 10

on Saturday

3 months, 10 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici married one of his daughters to Jacopo Salviati.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 32: patron; poet; ruler

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 33

1482

3 months, 23 days later

Leonardo da Vinci moves to Milan to work in the service of the city's duke, Ludovico Sforza. He gains the title of "painter and engineer" of the duke.

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Astronomical Events

1482

March 4

on Saturday

2 months, 2 days later

The authorities considered that this new tax of the Scala was not a suitable one for the city; therefore they had recourse to the Sesto again, and doubled it, with advantage, as it seemed to those who understood the business. But certainly some people were already in sorry plight were completely ruined by the Sesto.

At this time the Venetians declared war upon the Duke of Ferrara, and we much feared lest we should be drawn into it.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1482

March 14

on Tuesday

10 days later

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.)

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.
Sunrise in Piombino was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1482

March 25

on Saturday

11 days later

Madonna Lucrezia, wife of Piero, son of Cosimo de' Medici, and mother of Lorenzo, died on the day of the Annunciation. And at this time the Pope sent us an Indulgence at Santa Maria del Fiore.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1482

April 28

on Friday

1 month, 4 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.

No attachments

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.

No attachments

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.

1482

July 25

on Tuesday

23 days later

We heard that the papal troops had defeated the Duke of Calabria, and had taken 300 men-at-arms and 19 leaders; and it was a fact.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1482

September 10

on Sunday

1 month, 17 days later

The Count of Urbino died at Bologna.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Bologna was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1482

September 14

on Thursday

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.

No attachments

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.

1482

Winter

Cardinal della Rovere returns to Rome with Cardinal Balue, who he has liberated from the custody of Louis XI.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

Agents

Pope Julius II (1443-1513), aged 39: pope; cardinal
Cardinal Jean Balue (1421-1491), aged 61: cardinal
King Louis XI (1423-1483), aged 59: king

1483

January 5

on Friday

9 months, 9 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 6:02 AM and sunset was at 6:10 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:02 AM and sunset was at 6:10 PM.
Sunrise in Otranto was at 6:02 AM and sunset was at 6:10 PM.

1483

February 6

on Tuesday

1 month, 2 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

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

1483

February 12

on Monday

6 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:18 PM.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 6:11 AM and sunset was at 6:18 PM.

1483

March 8

on Thursday

24 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici returned from Ferrara, where he had been honourably received as a man of merit.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1483

April 7

on Saturday

1 month later

The Sienese beheaded three of their citizens, one being Antonio Belandi, and another one of the knights made by the Duke of Calabria. Thus, in the opposition of parties, are treated those ambitious men who are not contented with the state of life to which God has called them.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1483

June 21

on Thursday

2 months, 15 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.

No attachments

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.

1483

August 5

on Sunday

1 month, 15 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.

No attachments

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.

1483

October 23

on Tuesday

2 months, 19 days later

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.)

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 69: pope
Cardinal Jean Balue (1421-1491), aged 62: cardinal
King Louis XI (1423-1483), aged 60: king

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 39

1483

November 10

on Saturday

18 days later

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

1484

October 23

on Thursday

11 months, 18 days later

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.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Lusignano was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Cortona was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Sicily was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pietrasanta was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Castiglione was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pistoia was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Volterra was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1484

November 7

on Friday

15 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

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

1485

December 1

on Tuesday

1 year, 24 days later

At Rome they burnt the houses of the Orsini at Monte Giordano, and there was great excitement. The Duke of Calabria went to the help of the Orsini, because they were at war with the Pope; and the consequence was war in Rome.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:46 AM and sunset was at 5:53 PM.

1485

December 11

on Friday

10 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:50 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.

1486

July 10

on Saturday

7 months, 1 day later

The Duke of Calabria was pressing the papal forces hard, and we were contributing to the cost of all this.

On this same day happened the death of Antonio, son of Guido, a singer who made improvisations, an extremely clever man. I mention him because he surpassed everyone else in this art.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1487

May 10

on Tuesday

10 months, 4 days later

We heard that the Duke of Calabria had had an encounter with Signor Roberto, and had a great battle, many men being slain. The duke had the advantage.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1487

November 25

on Friday

6 months, 19 days later

The Turkish ambassador presented Lorenzo de' Medici with certain perfumes in beautiful Moorish vessels, and flasks full of balsam, and a magnificent large tent, striped in the Moorish fashion.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1488

April 16

on Monday

4 months, 23 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Piancaldoli was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Forli was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Mugello was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Imola was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1488

May 1

on Tuesday

15 days later

We heard that the Duke of Milan had entered Forli, and had had several men put to death.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Forli was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1488

June 12

on Tuesday

1 month, 12 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

July 30

on Monday

1 month, 18 days later

Madonna Clarice, wife of Lorenzo de' Medici, died.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1488

Late

Leonardo da Vinci begins working on the apparatus for the festival celebrating the marriage of Gian Galeazo Sforza to Isabella of Aragon.

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Astronomical Events

1489

7 months, 4 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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1489

Lorenzo de' Medici grants Michelangelo's father a post at the Customs in Florence in reward for allowing him to take Michelangelo into his household.

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Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 40: patron; poet; ruler

1489

Michelangelo leaves the studio of Ghirlandaio and enters the household of Lorenzo de' Medici to study sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni, a pupil of Donatello.

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1489

January 15

on Tuesday

14 days later

The daughter(1) of the Duke of Calabria passed through Florence, on her way to wed the Duke of Milan,(2) with a large escort of horsemen, and many Signori and matrons and damsels in her train; a very great and noble company. A magnificent escort was sent to meet her, at incalculable cost.

(1) Isabella d'Aragona. (2) Giangalleazzo Sforza.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1489

March 10

on Sunday

1 month, 24 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.

1489

June 15

on Saturday

3 months, 7 days later

A letter from Andrea Mantegna to Francesco Gonzaga:

I commend myself cordially. The fame and glory of the most illustrious House of Gonzaga are filling all Italy, and especially this city of Rome, with the rumour of the honours shown to and by Your Excellency, wherein I delight and take pride how all here are perpetually crying aloud: Gonzaga, Gonzaga. The Turk, the Turk! Marco, Marco! It is my hope, indeed my assurance, that Your Excellency will not prove unworthy of the many most learned Lords of that most illustrious House. And may God grant me to live until I see that which my heart longs for. I am now well pleased, and meseems this is worthy beginning to what I trust will have good continuance and an excellent conclusion. With such feeble powers as I have, I seek here, being your Excellency's servant, to do you honour with all my poor skill. And for love of Your Excellency I am well regarded by His Holiness the Pope and by all the Palace. True it is that I am given only the return of what I lay out, having never received even the slenderest reward; but I would fain ask nothing, being minded only to serve Your Lordship. Therefore I beg that you will not forget your Andrea Mantegna, that he may not lose his wages that he has received these many years from your most illustrious House, for matters cannot go well if I have nothing either here nor there. Therefore, my most illustrious Lord, I urgently commend this matter to you. Of my conduct here and my zeal, Your Excellency is, I believe, informed. It is a great undertaking for one man alone who desires the highest honour in Rome, where be so many learned and worthy men. But as with them that ride a race, the first wins the prize, so I must have it in the end, if it please God. Meanwhile I commend myself to Your Excellency.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1489

July 21

on Sunday

1 month, 6 days later

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.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Fiesole was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1489

July 22

on Monday

1 day later

Impatient with Leonardo's delays in completing the clay model for the The Horse, Ludovico Sforza writes to Pietro Alemanni, the Florentine Ambassador to Milan, asking him to find "a master capable of doing the work."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1489

Late

Leonardo da Vinci works on an allegorical representation called 'Paradise', commissioned by Lodovico Sforza.

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1490

January 13

on Monday

7 months, 16 days later

'Paradise' is performed in the court of Ludovico Sforza in Milan.

Attachments
Performance of 'Paradiso' at the court of Ludovico Sforza
An angel in the celestial sphere of the 'Paradise'
The court applauds rapturously the performance of "Paradiso" staged by Leonardo da Vinci
Scene from the "Paradise"
Apollo and his chariot emerge from the heavens in 'Paradiso'
The three Graces dance before the celestial sphere in "Paradiso"
The Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, admiring the spectacle of 'Paradiso'

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.

1491

11 months, 23 days later

Leonardo da Vinci assists in the preparations for the tournament held in honour of Ludovico Sforza's marriage to Beatrice d'Este. For this he devised an invasion by a company of dancing and singing Scythians or Tartars, costumed as savages and led by a rider mounted on a big horse and wearing a cloak covered with golden scales and painted with peacock's eyes. ('Leonardo da Vinci', p. 61)

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1491

November 7

on Saturday

10 months, 10 days later

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and King Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary sign the Peace of Pressburg, giving formal end to the Austrian–Hungarian War.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

Source: Primary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1491

1491

December 6

on Sunday

29 days later

King Charles VIII of France marries Anne of Brittany, forcing her to break her marriage with Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, thus incorporating Brittany into the kingdom of France.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Brittany was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.
Sunrise in France was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

Agents

King Charles VIII (1470-1498), aged 21: king
Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), aged 14: queen
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459-1519), aged 32: king

Source: Primary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1491

1492

January

26 days later

Ludovico Sforza and Beatrice d'Este marry.

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Astronomical Events