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Palazzo Vecchio

palace by Arnolfo di Cambio

made out of

Florence, Tuscany, Italy, Europe

1465

December 1

on Friday

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.

1467

1 year, 1 month, 1 day later

Christ and St. Thomas

The Tribunale della Mercanzia, the judicial organ of the Guilds in Florence, commissions from Andrea del Verrocchio a bronze group portraying Christ and St. Thomas for the centre tabernacle.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 32: painter; sculptor

1471

May 27

on Saturday

4 years, 4 months, 27 days later

A Monday, the gilt copper ball was put up on the lantern of the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore(1).

(1) Some writers place this fact in 1472, and others in 1474, some mistake the year and not the month; but Landucci states the truth, which is confirmed by the following two extracts taken from the Archives of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. On the 28th May, 1471, 2 lire 8 soldi given to Marchione, servant of the Opera (Administrative Office), to buy bread and wine for the workmen when they put up the ball. And on the 1st June 3 lire paid to the trumpeters of the Palagio; taken by Matteo di Madonna Andreagia, to be given them for their trouble when they played on the lantern when the cross was put up (Quaderna di Cassa, ad an).

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1471

October 22

on Sunday

4 months, 28 days later

It was voted in the Palagio that sealed florins should no longer be used in trade,(1) but florins as large as grossi, at 5 lire 11 soldi, the florin of grossi, at 20 quattrini the grosso; and they were fixed at 20 per cent. higher. It was also voted that the property of the (Guelf) party should be sold.

(1) This decree is published by Vettori in his treatise on the gold florin. The fiorini larghi were called so because they were enlarged in circumference. It was decreed that they should be increased in weight by one old denaro, that is, by the 240th part; and they were also to be larger and flatter (fiorini larghi di grossi is only another name for fiorini larghi). They were worth more than the old fiorini di sugello; but their value on the market was continually fluctuating, and gradually increasing; in 1469, they were worth 5 lire 6 soldi; in 1485, 5 lire 4 soldi; in 1493, 6 lire 11 soldi; in 1500, 7 lire, and in 1531, 7 lire, 10 soldi. The scudo d' oro (a crown) was not coined till 1530. (Trans. from Orsini.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1476

April 26

on Wednesday

4 years, 6 months, 8 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.

1478

January

1 year, 8 months, 10 days later

Leonardo da Vinci receives a commission to paint an altarpiece for the Chapel of the Signoria in the Palazzo Vecchio.

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Astronomical Events

1478

March 25

on Monday

2 months, 23 days later

The Holy Father gave a plenary indulgence in Santa Maria del Fiore for one day, from vespers on the 24th March till the next vespers, on the 25th March, which people availed themselves of with great devotion. The Cause of this was the preaching of Brother Antonio da Vergiegli in Santa Maria del Fiore during Lent, which bore good fruit.

On this same 25th March, a law was determined upon at the Palagio, which forbade anyone who had killed a man to return to Florence(1).

(1) The provision is of the 16th March, 1478, Old Style, and perhaps the 25th is the day on which it was published. It was made to limit the concession of safe-conducts, and the causes which led to it may be read in the exordium which I have pleasure in publishing as a document which describes the way of thinking at that time. "The high and magnificent Signori having in mind how grave is the sin of homicide, by which man, a creature made and created in the image of God, is destroyed; and seeking the reasons why it is so very frequent under our jurisdiction; find among other things that it is encouraged by the facility of pardon and roper severity not being used in punishing such a detestable and abominable excess, he who commits the homicide being allowed to be continually in the presence of those who have suffered from the offence and of those who desire to live virtuously; none of whom can regard such manslayers without great indignation and perturbation of mind. And although the laws of the Florentine people bitterly avenge and punish such crimes, and give security against them; notwithstanding, whatever may be the reason, either too great humanity (which in reality one ought to call cruelty), or else undisciplined charity, such entirely right and just decrees are not properly observed. And the high Signori and discreet chief citizens wish to remedy these things which are so contrary to honest living and against divine laws, by making the fear of pubishment deter men from committing them, when they are deprived of all hope of pardon, and by adjuring the magistrates not only not to overlook such things, but to enforce the law with severity, hoping firmly that this provision may hav ea good effect" (State Archives of Florence, Consigli maggiori Provv. Reg. ad annum).

The term "Signori e Collegi" used in the decrees meant as follows: the Signori were the eight Priori and the Gonfaloniere della Giustizia, and the Collegi were the sixteen Gonfalonieri della Compagnie and the twelve men (three from each quarter) formerly called the twelve Buonuomini, who were summoned by the Signori to take council on almost every occasion. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:02 AM and sunset was at 6:09 PM.

1478

May 1

on Wednesday

1 month, 7 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 3

on Friday

2 days later

At about 18 in the afternoon (2 p.m.), a priest(1) was captured in the Badia of Florence, who was a chancellor (secretary) of Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi, and another at the same time, from Volterra(2); they had remained hidden there from the day of the murder till now. And that evening Brigliaino and one of the cardinal's chancellors were hung at the windows of the Palagio, and when the ropes were cut, they fell down on the platform. The soldiers quarreled over robbing the dead bodies of doublets and hose.

(1) Stefano di Ser Niccolo of Bagnone, a priest in San Procolo at Florence.

(2) Antonio di Gherardo Maffei of Volterra, scribe of the Camera Apostolica, or notary of the Ruota (a society of Doctors of Law).

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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.

1478

June 7

on Friday

1 month, 5 days later

He (Cardinal di San Giorgio) was accompanied by the "Eight"(1) and many citizens from the Palagio to the Nunziata; and he was in dread of being killed by the populace. That same day the Pope excommunicated us.

(1) These were the Otto di Guardia e Balia, at this time at the height of their power. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:01 PM.

1478

September 14

on Saturday

3 months, 9 days later

Brolio was taken by assault. And on the same day a man died of plague, in the Casa del Capitano(1), in prison, to which he had been condemned for life; and another man who was sick of the plague was taken out of prison and carried to the hospital of La Scala,(2) where all those sick of the plague were carried. At this time the plague had increased so much, that 40 or more were sick at the hospital, and 7 or 8 died every day, and some days even 11; besides others in the district who did not go to the hospital.

(1) THe house of the Capitano del Popolo, which was behind the Palazzo Vecchio.

(2) The hospital of the Scala was in the street of that name, at the corner of the Via Polverosa (now Via degli Oricellari), and where the convent of San Martino was afterwards built.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Brolio was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.

1480

September 2

on Thursday

1 year, 11 months, 24 days later

Two silk-mercers' shops in Porta Santa Maria, near Vacchereccia(1) were burnt down; and the other night the whole Canto di Vacchereccia as far as the Chiassolino del Buco was burnt down.(2) And the fire rushed across to the opposite side of the street and burnt down all the other corner of the Vacchereccia, destroying about 20 shops of the silk-mercers and money-changers. There was great loss, many having all their property consumed.

And at this time there was much talk about the loss of Otranto, and Leccio was feared for.

(1) The street still so called, between Via Por San Maria and the Piazza, named after the tower of the Vacca, belonging to the old Casa del Foraboschi, and forming the lower-portion of the present tower of the Palazzo Vecchio. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Leccio was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Otranto was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1483

2 years, 4 months, 1 day later

Christ and St. Thomas is placed in position on the east facade of Orsanmichele.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

1483

June 21

on Thursday

5 months, 21 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.

1484

October 23

on Thursday

1 year, 4 months, 5 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.

1485

April 10

on Friday

5 months, 19 days later

Two long and thick oak beams, of great weight, were hoisted up to the top of the tower of the Palagio de' Signori, to support the big bell and adjust it better.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Agents

No agents

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 41

1488

June 24

on Sunday

3 years, 2 months, 16 days later

The Day of San Giovanni. Whilst mass was being said, a Bolognese was arrested who was cutting of the tassels of the men's belts and stealing them; and within an hour, not having any regard for the sanctity of such a saint, they hung the thief at the windows of the Palagio del Capitano. And his body remained there till the evening, when the attendants went and took it down. At this hour a strong wind arose, and there was such a tempest of rain and hail as the like was never seen. The awnings(1) which are placed in the Piazza di San Giovanni were torn into thousands of pieces, and became worthless rags, so that it was necessary to have entirely new ones. This was thought to be a wonderful and marvellous thing, which had happened on account of the homicide. It was terrible in the eyes of wise and prudent men, because it seemed to have been done by the people out of rage, as he was a Bolognese, and these marzocchi had been burnt at Bologna a few days before. They were in rather too great a fury; they might have waited till another day. And it was impossible for the palio to be run that evening.

(1) These awnings were fastened to iron rings in the wall of the baptistery, and stretched down all round. They were blue, with gold lilies upon them. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1488

September 12

on Wednesday

2 months, 20 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1491

May 1

on Friday

2 years, 7 months, 21 days later

The coinage was changed: that is, silver coins began to be used; and it was decided that the grossone should be worth 16 quattrini and a half, like the old silver ones. All the taxes were to be paid in silver, which meant a little increase to the people, as a quarter more had to be paid, when there was need, on the contrary, to relieve them. This increase was made by divine permission, on account of our sins; because the poor are generally worse than the rich and great. Praise be to God!

This same day they began a causeway between the Loggia de' Signori and the Palagio, so high that one could walk on a level from the door of the Palagio into the Loggia; with steps leading towards San Piero Scheraggio(1) and towards the Piazza, so that neither horses nor any other animals could pass there any longer. It was also rather inconvenient for people, having to go up and down again. Some persons liked this causeway, and others not; I myself did not care for it much.

(1) This church was one of the oldest in Florence; it was in the form of a basilica, its interior somewhat resembling San Miniato al Monte. Many political meetings were held in it. The Florentines hung the "Caroccio" of Fiesole on the marble facade (afterwards copied in marble, but destroyed with the rest of the church)l and tradition says that the ancient marble pulpit or ambone was also from Fiesole. This pulpit, when the church was suppressed, was given to the little church of San Leonardo in Arcetri, which was connected with San Piero Scheraggio, and it can still be seen there. The north wing of San Piero was demolished first, to widen the street between it and the Palazzo Vecchio (this street is named after the Capella delle Ninne), and the south wing was also closed, the central aisle being still used for service till the year 1560 when the church, chapter-house and loggia were all demolished to make place for the Uffizi. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Fiesole was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.
Sunrise in Arcetri was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1494

April 26

on Thursday

2 years, 12 months, 1 day later

Lorenzo and Giovanni, sons of Piero Francesco de' Medici, were detained in the Palagio; and it was said that some wished them to be put to death, but the reason was not given. On the 29th they were liberated; and on the 14th May they went away, being restricted within certain boundaries.(1)

(1) Florentine historians give as the motive of such provisions a dissension between these Medici and Piero, but disagree as to its causes. Contemporary writers, however, point to their too close adherence to the King of France. I hoped to throw some light upon this matter from the documents, but a deliberation of the Signori and Collegi of the 29th April, 1494, by which they are condemned for life to remain a mile outside the city, only has these words: justis causis, ut dixerunt moti, et ad Statum multum pertinentibus, etc. And nother on the 9th November, which permits them to return begins thus: Attenta humanitate et bonis moribus Laurentii et Ioannis Pier Francisci de Mediciis et qualiter, contra justicia et omne debitum, et ad instantiam tirannorum, fuerunt relegati, etc. They actually left the city on the 14th May, as Landucci says, that is, fifteen days after the deliberation, as it had been decreed; and on the day following, the proof of their presence beyond the boundary fixed was produced, they having gone to inhabit the villa of Castello (Libro di deliberazioni ad annum of the Signori e Collegi, in the State Archives of Florence.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1494

November 5

on Monday

6 months, 13 days later

Certain messengers of the King of France arrived and went about Florence marking the houses which they preferred. They came indoors and entered all the rooms, marking one for such and such a lord, and another for such and such a baron.

And observe that there were not hundreds but thousands of the French, so that the whole city was occupied in every corner; for those houses that were not marked were occupied in a moment when the men-at-arms and the infantry arrived, going into every street, and saying: Apri qua! (Open there!) and not caring whether the owners were rich or poor. They gave it to be understood that they meant to pay: but there were not many who paid. And when they did pay a certain amount, they paid for the horns and ate the ox (Italian proverb): "They didn't pay anything like what they cost." Few of us had sent away our womenkind, except the young girls, who were sent to convents and to relatives where no soldiers were quartered; but the French were really very well-behaved, for there was not a single one who said an unsuitable word to a woman. In their hearts they felt a secret dread, and kept asking how many men Florence could dispose of; and they were told that at the sound of a bell the city would have 100 thousand men from within and without at her command. The truth was this: that they had come with the idea of sacking Florence, as their king had promised them but they could not see the game begun, much less won. And all this was the doing of the Almighty.

On this same day, five ambassadors were chosen to go to the King of France, who was at Pisa. They were as follows: First, Fra Girolamo, a preacher of the Order of San Domenico, dwelling at San Marco, a native of Ferrara; whom we believe to be a prophet, and he does not deny it in his sermons, but always says da parte del Signore (I have it from the Lord . . .), and he preaches on important subjects. The second, Tanai de' Nerli; the third, Pandolfo Rucellai; the fourth, Giovanni Cavalcanti; and the fifth, Piero Soderini; all Florentine citizens. And they left the next day.

On the same day a number of French arrived, who were the vanguard of the king, and lodged in the houses assigned to them, which were marked with chalk. This evening at about 2 o'clock (10 p.m.) a few strokes of the bell were heard from the Palagio; and immediately the Piazza was full of men, it being thought that a portamento was going to be summoned, for everyone was excited and distrustful, continually expecting great events.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

November 9

on Friday

4 days later

About 20 in the afternoon (4 p.m.), when it was ringing for vespers,(1) Piero son of Lorenzo de' Medici wished to go to the Signoria in the Palagio, taking his armed men with him. The Signori not allowing this, he did not choose to go alone, and turned back.(1) Now men began to collect in the Piazza, and in the Palagio were heard cries of Popolo e Liberta! (The People and Liberty!), whilst the bell was rung for a parlamento, and men appeared at the windows with the same cry. Immediately the Gonfaloniere del Bue(2) came into the Piazza, and behind him Francesco Valori and other citizens on horseback, all crying Popolo e Liberta! These were the first to arrive; but before an hour had passed, the Piazza was filled with all the Gonfaloni and all the citizens, troops of armed men crying loudly, Popolo e Liberta! Although the people did not very well understand what all this tumult was about, nevertheless not many citizens went to Piero de' Medici's house. The Tornabuoni and some other citizens went there armed, with many men under their command, and coming into the street before his door, cried, Palle! Piero then mounted his horse, to come into the Piazza with his men, starting several times, and then stopping again. I think that he perceived how few citizens were with him, and also he must have been told that the Piazza was full of armed men. Meanwhile the cardinal, his brother, left his house, accompanied by many soldiers and by those citizens who were there, and came down the Corso as far as Orto San Michele, crying Popolo e Liberta like the rest; declaring that he separated himself from Piero. The only consequence was that the Piazza turned against him, menacing him with the points of their weapons shouting at him as a traitor, and not choosing to accept him. He turned back, not without danger. And now a proclamation was issued, at the Canto della Macina(3) and in the Via de' Martegli(4) next to the Chiassolino (little alley) ordering every foreigner to lay down his arms, and forbidding anyone on pain of death to aid or abet Piero de' Medici. In consequence of this, many abandoned Piero and laid down their arms. They dropped off on all sides, so that few remained with him. Therefore Piero left this house and went towards the Porta a San Gallo, which he had caused to be kept open for him by his brother Giuliano with many soldiers and by friends outside. Signor Pagolo Orsini was waiting outside with horses and armed men in readiness to enter, but it did not seem the right moment, and when Piero arrived they decided it would be best to go away, taking Giuliano with them. The poor young cardinal remained in his house, and I saw him at a window kneeling with joined hands, praying Heaven to have mercy. I was much touched when I saw him, considering him to be a good lad and of upright character. It was said that when he had seen Piero ride away, he disguised himself as a monk and took his departure also. Another proclamation was published in the Piazza, announcing that whoever slew Piero de' Medici should have 2 thousand ducats and whoever slew the cardinal should have a thousand. And after this many soldiers left the Piazza with Jacopo de' Nerli, and going to the house of Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo,(5) pillaged it. And then the crowd rose, with the cry of Antonio di Bernardo,(5) and pillaged his house also, and pillaged the Bargello. The number of soldiers and of the people going about robbing increased every moment; and this all happened before 24 in the evening (8 p.m.), less than four hours from when the disturbance began. Then the Signoria published a proclamation forbidding any more houses to be pillaged, on pain of death; and the Gonfaloni went about the city all night to guard it, crying Popolo e Liberta, carrying lighted torches, so that no more harm was done, except that a certain serving-man of the Bargello who cried Palle, was killed in the Piazza. And now Girolamo son of Marabotto Tornabuoni, and Pierantonio Carnesecchi, and others of that party, turned and cried Popolo e Liberta like the rest. When they were about to enter the Piazza, however, weapons were pointed against them, and they were only saved by their cuirasses, and had to escape as best they might. In fact, Girolamo Tornabuoni had his cuirass torn off in Orto San Michele, but when he begged for mercy, his life was spared. And Giovan Francesco Tornabuoni was severely wounded in the throat, and returned home. When the disturbance began, some of the French who were quartered in Florence armed themselves and joined Piero's party, crying Francia. I believe it was pointed out to them that the matter was between citizens only, and that if they were to do anything against the Palagio, they would put themselves in the wrong; therefore they acted accordingly, returning to their lodgings and then going about the city unarmed.(6)

(1) In the book already quoted of the Deliberazioni dei Signori e Collegi, the second entry of this date is the order that Piero must appear within an hour of the notification.

(2) The "Banner of the Bull" was that of the Borgias.

(3) The Canto della Macina is where Via Ginori meets Via Guelfa. (Trans.)

(4) The Via de' Martegli is the Via Martelli, between the Piazza del Duomo and Via Cavour. (Trans.)

(5) See note to 10th November.

(6) The confusion of this day must have been great, and something of it appears even in our Luca when he was writing about the various events which happened hour after hour, as he notes some which do not seem to belong to the same date. For instance, with regard to the prices placed upon the heads of the Medici, I find some contradiction in the documents, because the Signoria, on the 20th, in two distinct councils, first banished Piero and declared him a rebel, and afterwards offered 2000 florins reward to anyone who delivered him alive into their hands, 1000 to anyone who captured Ser Piero son of Francesco da Bibbiena, his chancellor, and 500 for the capture of Bernardo brother of Ser Piero, another chancellor. He also forgets the order given to liberate the prisoners of the Stinche, and the appointment of Francesco Pep and Braccio Martelli as ambassadors to the King of France.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1494

November 9

on Friday

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

About 20 in the afternoon (4 p.m.), when it was ringing for vespers,(1) Piero son of Lorenzo de' Medici wished to go to the Signoria in the Palagio, taking his armed men with him. The Signori not allowing this, he did not choose to go alone, and turned back.(1) Now men began to collect in the Piazza, and in the Palagio were heard cries of Popolo e Liberta! (The People and Liberty!), whilst the bell was rung for a parlamento, and men appeared at the windows with the same cry. Immediately the Gonfaloniere del Bue(2) came into the Piazza, and behind him Francesco Valori and other citizens on horseback, all crying Popolo e Liberta! These were the first to arrive; but before an hour had passed, the Piazza was filled with all the Gonfaloni and all the citizens, troops of armed men crying loudly, Popolo e Liberta! Although the people did not very well understand what all this tumult was about, nevertheless not many citizens went to Piero de' Medici's house. The Tornabuoni and some other citizens went there armed, with many men under their command, and coming into the street before his door, cried, Palle! Piero then mounted his horse, to come into the Piazza with his men, starting several times, and then stopping again. I think that he perceived how few citizens were with him, and also he must have been told that the Piazza was full of armed men. Meanwhile the cardinal, his brother, left his house, accompanied by many soldiers and by those citizens who were there, and came down the Corso as far as Orto San Michele, crying Popolo e Liberta like the rest; declaring that he separated himself from Piero. The only consequence was that the Piazza turned against him, menacing him with the points of their weapons shouting at him as a traitor, and not choosing to accept him. He turned back, not without danger. And now a proclamation was issued, at the Canto della Macina(3) and in the Via de' Martegli(4) next to the Chiassolino (little alley) ordering every foreigner to lay down his arms, and forbidding anyone on pain of death to aid or abet Piero de' Medici. In consequence of this, many abandoned Piero and laid down their arms. They dropped off on all sides, so that few remained with him. Therefore Piero left this house and went towards the Porta a San Gallo, which he had caused to be kept open for him by his brother Giuliano with many soldiers and by friends outside. Signor Pagolo Orsini was waiting outside with horses and armed men in readiness to enter, but it did not seem the right moment, and when Piero arrived they decided it would be best to go away, taking Giuliano with them. The poor young cardinal remained in his house, and I saw him at a window kneeling with joined hands, praying Heaven to have mercy. I was much touched when I saw him, considering him to be a good lad and of upright character. It was said that when he had seen Piero ride away, he disguised himself as a monk and took his departure also. Another proclamation was published in the Piazza, announcing that whoever slew Piero de' Medici should have 2 thousand ducats and whoever slew the cardinal should have a thousand. And after this many soldiers left the Piazza with Jacopo de' Nerli, and going to the house of Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo,(5) pillaged it. And then the crowd rose, with the cry of Antonio di Bernardo,(5) and pillaged his house also, and pillaged the Bargello. The number of soldiers and of the people going about robbing increased every moment; and this all happened before 24 in the evening (8 p.m.), less than four hours from when the disturbance began. Then the Signoria published a proclamation forbidding any more houses to be pillaged, on pain of death; and the Gonfaloni went about the city all night to guard it, crying Popolo e Liberta, carrying lighted torches, so that no more harm was done, except that a certain serving-man of the Bargello who cried Palle, was killed in the Piazza. And now Girolamo son of Marabotto Tornabuoni, and Pierantonio Carnesecchi, and others of that party, turned and cried Popolo e Liberta like the rest. When they were about to enter the Piazza, however, weapons were pointed against them, and they were only saved by their cuirasses, and had to escape as best they might. In fact, Girolamo Tornabuoni had his cuirass torn off in Orto San Michele, but when he begged for mercy, his life was spared. And Giovan Francesco Tornabuoni was severely wounded in the throat, and returned home. When the disturbance began, some of the French who were quartered in Florence armed themselves and joined Piero's party, crying Francia. I believe it was pointed out to them that the matter was between citizens only, and that if they were to do anything against the Palagio, they would put themselves in the wrong; therefore they acted accordingly, returning to their lodgings and then going about the city unarmed.(6)

(1) In the book already quoted of the Deliberazioni dei Signori e Collegi, the second entry of this date is the order that Piero must appear within an hour of the notification.

(2) The "Banner of the Bull" was that of the Borgias.

(3) The Canto della Macina is where Via Ginori meets Via Guelfa. (Trans.)

(4) The Via de' Martegli is the Via Martelli, between the Piazza del Duomo and Via Cavour. (Trans.)

(5) See note to 10th November.

(6) The confusion of this day must have been great, and something of it appears even in our Luca when he was writing about the various events which happened hour after hour, as he notes some which do not seem to belong to the same date. For instance, with regard to the prices placed upon the heads of the Medici, I find some contradiction in the documents, because the Signoria, on the 20th, in two distinct councils, first banished Piero and declared him a rebel, and afterwards offered 2000 florins reward to anyone who delivered him alive into their hands, 1000 to anyone who captured Ser Piero son of Francesco da Bibbiena, his chancellor, and 500 for the capture of Bernardo brother of Ser Piero, another chancellor. He also forgets the order given to liberate the prisoners of the Stinche, and the appointment of Francesco Pep and Braccio Martelli as ambassadors to the King of France.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 60-3

1494

November 16

on Friday

7 days later

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

(1) See note to 5th July, 1478.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:49 PM.

1494

November 19

on Monday

3 days later

He again heard mass in Sa' Lorenzo; and then went for a ride through Florence, going to see the lions.(1) And it was his wish that some of the prisoners in the Palagio del Capitano should be liberated, those namely who were detained for political reasons; amongst them a Ser Lorenzo, and an Andrea, and others; and this desire of his to benefit the prisoners on the occasion of his passing through the town was granted.

(1) According to ancient custom, the Republic kept some lions in cages. These cages were behind the Palazzo del Capitano, now incorporated in the Palazzo Vecchio, whence the piece of street between Piazza di S. Firenze and the Logge del Grano is still called Via de' Leoni. This custom was discontinued towards the end of the seventeenth century.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:42 AM and sunset was at 5:49 PM.

1494

November 24

on Saturday

5 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

There was much whispering amongst the people, who said suspiciously: "This king doesn't know what he wishes; he has not yet signed the agreement." And many declared that some of his counsellors were endeavouring to hinder it, as there was a certain Signore di Bre,(1) lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, who said that he had promised some people to get Piero reinstated, and to persuade the king to ask for this, but perhaps it was not true. This was, as I say, the opinion of many of the citizens, and therefore they were in great dread; still more so when it was said that the king was going this morning to dine in the Palagio with the Signori and that he had caused all the armed men to be removed from the Palagio, and he was going there with many armed men, so that everyone suspected him of evil designs. There was no one who did not take pains this morning to fill his house with bread and with weapons and with stones, and to strengthen his house as much as possible, everyone being of the mind and intention to die fighting, and to slay anyone if needful, in the manner of the Sicilian Vespers. And fear was so widespread(2) that when at the dinner hour people began to say Serra, serra! (Shut everything!), it came about that the whole of Florence locked itself in, one fleeing here and another there, without any fresh cause or disturbance, the consequence being that many of the French rushed to the Porta a San Friano and took possession of the Ponte alia Carraia. And in Borgo Ognissanti and in Via Palazzuolo, and in Borgo San Friano, so many stones were thrown from the windows that they were not able to get to the gates; and when they asked the reason of it, no one knew. Therefore the king did not go to dine in the Palagio; and, by divine permission, the French became so uneasy that it caused them to change their evil intentions towards us who only had good ones. Anyone can see that God does not abandon Florence, but we are not sufficiently grateful. At this time we heard that the French troops which had been in Romagna were passing by in the neighbourhood of Dicomano.

(1) Some Florentines historians call him di Bles, and it was Philippe de Bresse, afterwards Duke of Savoy.

(2) The greatest confusion seems to have been caused by the Swiss, who were quartered near the Porta al Prato inside and out, and who tried to force their way through Borgo Ognissanti, in order to approach the king's quarters.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

December 14

on Friday

20 days later

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

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

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

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

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

December 22

on Saturday

8 days later

22nd December (Monday). It was said that the king was still at Viterbo; everyone went on talking of the French, of Rome, and Pisa, and how Rome would not give a safe-conduct. The Duke of Calabria had arrived there, to resist the French.

This day many things were voted in the Palagio: Anyone who slew a man could not return to Florence; and a law as follows against the unmentionable vice: the first time the offender to be punished with gogna,(1) the second time, to be fastened to a pillar, and the third time, to be burnt; and many other laws, all recommended by the Frate.

(1) Alia gogna was when a prisoner was exposed on the outer wall of the prison of the Bargello, with his hands bound behind him to one of the iron rings, bare-headed, with his hat at his feet to receive soldi, and a placard on his breast upon which his crime was written. He had to remain there an hour, during which time the old bell of the prison was rung. (Trans.)

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The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Viterbo was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa 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.

1495

April 9

on Tuesday

3 months, 18 days later

p85 8th April. Fra Girolamo preached in the Palagio, confirming everything that he had said before.

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The moon was a full moon that night.

Agents

Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), aged 43: priest

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p.85

1503

7 years, 8 months, 28 days later

Michelangelo is commissioned to paint a mural, The Battle of Cascina, in the council hall of the Palazzo Vecchio.

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1503

Leonardo da Vinci returns to Florence where he is commissioned to paint a mural, The Battle of Anghiari, in the council hall in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio.

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1503

October 24

on Saturday

9 months, 26 days later

Leonardo da Vinci is assigned the Sala del Papa in S. Maria Novella to begin work on the cartoon for the Battle of Anghiari.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

Source: Primary

Pedretti, Carlo. "Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style," p. 82

1504

2 months, 9 days later

The Signoria of Florence commissions both Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to paint the walls of the Grand Council Chamber in the Palazzo Vecchio.

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Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1504

1504

May 4

on Wednesday

4 months, 4 days later

The mural for the Council Hall of Florence was commissioned from Leonardo with a contract of 4 May 1504, signed by Machiavelli as secretary of the Republic; but Leonardo had already begun working on the cartoon in the Sala del Papa in S. Maria Novella, which had been assigned to him on 24 October of the preceding year.

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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.

1504

Winter

Leonardo's work on the cartoon of the Battle of Anghiari was suddenly interrupted in the last months of 1504, and he went to Piombino on a somewhat official mission as a military architect. (During his absence Michelangelo was to receive the commission for the Battle of Cascina.) His mission was preceded by a diplomatic action conducted by Machiavelli himself. It can be inferred, therefore, that it was Machiavelli who suggested Leonardo's name for the programme of fortification projects suggested by Jacopo IV Appiano, Lord of Piombino, an ally of the Florentines at the time of the Pisian war, 1503-4, when Leonardo had already been consulted on the project of diverting the Arno River for strategic reasons, and when Antonio da Sangallo the Elder was the chief military architect of the Florentine Republic. Leonardo's activity at Piombino, revealed by newly discovered evidence, included the study of the city walls, the citadel and the main gate.

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1505

July 6

on Thursday

1 year, 3 months, 6 days later

Leonardo da Vinci begins painting the Battle of Anghiari in the Palazzo Vecchio with the help of a few assistants.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1506

5 months, 29 days later

Leonardo da Vinci took three months' leave of absence from his work on the Battle of Anghiari mural in Florence to go to Milan in the service of the French governor Charles d'Amboise, who commissioned the project of a house and garden from him.

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1513

7 years, 2 days later

The fragment of Leonardo's mural, the Battle of Anghiari, was protected with a wooden frame soon after the return of the Medici to Florence, when the rest of the room was dismantled and eliminated, as we everything referring to the preceding republican government.

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1514

1 year later

Leonardo da Vinci applied to join the confraternity of S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Rome, probably in a moment of depression at a court which had little or no consideration for him, in the hope that a religious institution could provide him with quiet shelter and affectionate assistance, and to which he could leave all his possessions, just as he was leaving drawings and other belongings to another religious institution in Florence, the hospital of S. Maria Novella, in which he was accommodated at the time he was working on the Battle of Anghiari.

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Source: Primary

Pedretti, Carlo. "Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style", p. 164.

1565

December

51 years, 11 months, 17 days later

The full-size modello for Giambologna's Florence Triumphant Over Pisa is erected opposite Michelangelo's group in the Palazzo Vecchio.

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1589

April

23 years, 4 months, 7 days later

Giambologna's statue group of Florence Triumphant Over Pisa is finally installed in the Hall of the Five Hundred in place of its whitewashed clay model on the occasion of Ferdinando's wedding to Christina of Lorraine.

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