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1490

Leonardo da Vinci breaks off his studies on flight and does not resume them till 1505.

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Astronomical Events

1490

Pietro Torrigiano breaks the nose of Michelangelo in argument while drawing in the Carmine, smashing it so hard that it never heals. The incident is described in a passage from Cellini's autobiography.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Pietro Torrigiano (1472-1528), aged 18: sculptor

Source: Primary

Benvenuto Cellini

1490

Leonardo da Vinci meets and adopts Giocomo Salai, a 10-year-old boy.

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Astronomical Events

1490

Michelangelo studies from the frescoes of Masaccio at the Carmine with other students of the Medicean Academy.

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Astronomical Events

1490

January 13

on Monday

12 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.

1490

April 23

on Wednesday

3 months, 10 days later

Leonardo da Vinci begins work on a new codex and resumes work on The Horse.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1490

May 18

on Sunday

25 days later

On the Palagio degli Strozzi they now placed the first cornice, below the bozzi rough projecting stones), at the Canto de' Tornaquinci, always beginning at this corner before the others.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1490

June 2

on Monday

15 days later

They set up the crane for raising the stones, always at the Canto.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

Agents

No agents

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 49

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1490

June 11

on Wednesday

9 days later

They placed the first bozzo (rough block of stone) on the said palagio.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1490

June 15

on Sunday

4 days later

Leonardo da Vinci goes to Pavia with Francesco di Giorgio Martini to advise on the construction of the cathedral.

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Astronomical Events

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

1490

June 27

on Friday

12 days later

I, Luca Landucci, opened my new shop, here opposite the said palagio of the Strozzi, and I chose the sign of the Stelle (Stars). The old shop at the other corner, which I left, belongs to the Rucellai, whist this one belongs to the Popoleschi.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1490

September 21

on Sunday

2 months, 26 days later

In Santa Maria del Fiore a stone half as big as a mule's pack fell from one of the rough windows high up on the cupola, towards the sacristy where the priests robe themselves; it fell just at the side of the choir. It happened at the hour when the priests robe themselves to say vespers, but although the church was already full of people, it hurt no one, which was a marvellous thing. God was pleased to be so gracious.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

Agents

No agents

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 49

1490

October 19

on Sunday

28 days later

The bronze dragon was placed on the Palazzo Strozzi.(1)

(1) To understand and correct where necessary these notices, it will perhaps be a help to refer to the above-mentioned Tribaldo de' Rossi: "20th October, 1490, I record that at the palace which Filippo Strozzi is having built, the builders put up the campanella at the corner which is opposite the Loggia de' Tornaquinci, that is to say - the campanella del Serpente ...."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1490

December 22

on Monday

2 months, 4 days later

The chapel, that is, the Capella Maggiore, of Santa Maria Novella was opened. Domenico del Grillandaio had painted it, at the order of Giovanni Tornabuoni. And the choir of carved wood was also made round the chapel. The painting alone cost 1000 gold florins.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1491

10 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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Astronomical Events

1491

Lionardo di Buonarrota, Michelangelo's older brother, becomes a devoted follower of Girolamo Savonarola and enters the Domenican Order, effectively leaving Michelangelo as eldest son of the family.

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Astronomical Events

1491

Botticelli serves on a committee to decide upon a façade for the Cathedral of Florence.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 46: painter; man; goldsmith

1491

January 10

on Saturday

9 days later

The Arno froze entirely, so that the "palla"(1) was played upon it, and bonfires were made; the cold was great.

(1) Here equivalent probably to a kind of tennis.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Arno was at 6:05 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1491

January 17

on Saturday

7 days later

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

The Arno rose very high, and ruined the mill of the Ponte a Rubiconte, next to Santa Maria delle Grazie, and a porter was drowned there. The mill was a spinning-mill. The river overflowed its banks in several places.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Mugello was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Fiesole was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.
Sunrise in Arno was at 6:07 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1491

February 20

on Friday

1 month, 4 days later

The Comet of 1491 comes 873,784 miles (1,406,219 km) away from Earth, the closest ever recorded.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

Agents

Source: Primary

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

1491

May 1

on Friday

2 months, 10 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.

1491

May 15

on Friday

14 days later

That Filippo who was building the abovementioned palace died; and he did not see it carried up even as far as the lanterns. He only saw it carried up to the campanelle.(1) One sees how vain are the hopes of transitory things! It appears as if we were master of them, but in reality it is the other way about; they are master of us.

This palace will last almost eternally: has not this palace mastered him then? And how many others! We are not masters, but only dispensers, in so far as it pleases the goodness of God. All lies in God's hands, and happens as is meet for His universe. Therefore I pray that God may pardon Filippo Strozzi his sins.

(1) Campanelle are the large iron rings on the walls of palaces to which horses and other beasts of burden were attached, and which often had sockets above, intended for flags, those at the corners being specially ornamented. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1491

September 7

on Monday

3 months, 25 days later

They finished making the arch of the gate of this palace, on this side, tra' Ferravecchi.(1)

(1) The Via tra' Ferravecchi was the old name of the street name called Via Strozzi. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

Agents

No agents

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 52

Tags

1491

November

1 month, 25 days later

Perkin Warbeck begins a campaign to take the English throne with a landing in Ireland.

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Astronomical Events

Source: Primary

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

1491

November 7

on Saturday

6 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

1491

December 21

on Monday

15 days later

Truce of Coldstream secures a 5-year peace between Scotland and England.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in England was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Scotland was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

Agents

No agents

Source: Primary

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

1491

December 28

on Monday

7 days later

Died

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Agents

No agents

1492

4 days later

Cardinal della Rovere, jealous and angry over Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia's election to pope, accuses Borgia of being elected over him by means of simony and a secret agreement with Ascanio Sforza.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Pope Julius II (1443-1513), aged 49: pope; cardinal
Pope Alexander VI (1431-1503), aged 61: pope

1492

Leonardo da Vinci completes the clay model of The Horse.

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Astronomical Events

1492

At about this time in Milan, Leonardo was beginning to collect observations on painting and on a variety of scientific and literary subjects, with a view to gathering them in the form of treatises.

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Astronomical Events

1492

January

Leonardo da Vinci directs the tournament of Galeazzo Sanseverino.

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Astronomical Events

1492

January

Ludovico Sforza and Beatrice d'Este marry.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 40: duke

1492

January 5

on Tuesday

4 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Jerusalem 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 Granada was at 6:02 AM and sunset was at 6:10 PM.

1492

March 10

on Thursday

2 months, 5 days later

Lorenzo's son, the cardinal, received the hat from the Pope.(1) It was given him at the Badia on the way to Fiesole (i.e. at San Domenico), and many citizens went out to meet him when he came into Florence to visit the Signoria; and the next day he went to hear mass in Santa Maria del Fiore. And on this day the Signoria presented him with 30 loads of gifts carried by porters, being silver plate, and basins, and ewers, and dishes, and all the silver utensils that can possibly be used by a great lord. According to what was said, they were estimated at more than 20 thousand florins, although that seems impossible to me; but it was public report, and therefore I set it down. It was certainly a rich and magnificent gift. Praise be to God!

(1) When he had been made cardinal in 1488 he had not received the insignia, being only thirteen years old.

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Astronomical Events

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

1492

March 12

on Saturday

2 days later

The said cardinal went to Rome, to visit the Pope.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:13 PM.

1492

April 1

on Friday

20 days later

The front of the Palagio degli Strozzi was begun.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1492

April 5

on Tuesday

4 days later

At about 3 at night (11 p.m.) the lantern of the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore was struck by a thunderbolt and it was split almost in half; that is, one of the marble niches and many other pieces of marble on the side towards the door leading to the Servi,(1) were taken off in a miraculous way; none of us had ever in our lives seen lightning have such an effect before. If it had happened at the time when the sermon was being preached (for a sermon is preached every morning now, with 15 thousand people listening), it must of necessity have killed hundreds of persons. But the Lord did not permit it. This marble niche fell and struck the roof of the church between the two doors which lead to the Servi, and broke the roof and the vaulting in five places, finally fixing itself in the brick floor of the church. And many bricks and much other material from the vaulting fell also, reaching as far as the benches placed for the sermon, where many people would have been sitting. Some material fell in the choir as well, but not very much. Many pieces of marble fell outside the building, beyond the door leading to the Servi; one piece falling on the stepping-stones in the street, and after having split the stone, burying itself underground; another piece was hurled across the street, and struck the roof of the house opposite the said door, where it split the roof and many beams and vaultings, and finally buried itself in the ground under the cellar. Although the house was full of people, no one was injured. A man called Luca Ranieri lived there. You may imagine that they nearly died of amazement and terror at the fearful noise; for besides that which fell into the cellar, many pieces fell on the roofs all around. The gallery on the cupola was also injured.(2)

And observe that this great niche fell inside the church, and made a large hole in the pavement; but did not spoil anything, not even the worth of a grosso. It was considered a great marvel, and significative of some extraordinary event, especially as it had happened suddenly, when the weather was calm, and the sky without a cloud.

(1) See note to 26th April, 1478.

(2) In the Maruccellian Code we read on that margin this note: "The following fact happened in the year . . . that the same church was struck by lightning, with a similar effect, and a block of marble was detached and remained resting on certain beams, which would have killed many if it had fallen; and Messer Vincenzio, the sculptor, was there."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1492

April 8

on Friday

3 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici died on his estate at Careggi; and it was said that when he heard the news of the effects of the thunderbolt, being so ill, he asked where it had fallen, and on which side; and when he was told, he said: "Alas! I shall die, because it fell towards my house." This may not have been so, but it was commonly reported.

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Careggi was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1492

August

3 months, 25 days later

Christopher Columbus sets sail with three ships, the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria. Columbus sails on the Santa Maria.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), aged 41: man

1492

October

2 months, 1 day later

Christopher Columbus and his crew make landfall in America.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), aged 41: man

1493

January 20

on Friday

3 months, 21 days later

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

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

1493

January 29

on Sunday

9 days later

We heard that the King of Naples was dead. Some said that he had died of despondency, because he was continually hearing that the King of France was on his way.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

Agents

King Charles VIII (1470-1498), aged 23: king

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 56

1493

March 10

on Friday

1 month, 10 days later

A man threw himself from the windows of the Casa del Capitano, to escape from prison, and was killed.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1493

May 20

on Saturday

2 months, 11 days later

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

No attachments

Astronomical Events

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

Agents

Pope Leo X (1475-1521), aged 18: pope

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 54

1493

July 26

on Wednesday

2 months, 7 days later

A Thursday; Pope Innocent VIII. died; and on Sunday, the 29th, the bells were tolled for his death.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1493

August 6

on Sunday

11 days later

There was a furious storm, the air seeming for some time to be full of bursting fireworks, so incessant was the thunder and lightning. When the storm was over, about eight different places were counted which bore visible traces of having been struck. One was the Campanile of Santa Croce; another the Porta a Pinti, etc. But it did not cause much damage, and no one was killed.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

1493

August 11

on Friday

5 days later

At 23 in the evening (7 p.m.) we heard that the new Pope had been chosen. He was a cardinal, and the vice-chancellor; a Spaniard by birth. He called himself Pope Alessandro VI.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1493

August 12

on Saturday

1 day later

We received confirmation of this news about the Nona (11.30 a.m.), and the bells were rung for his election.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1493

August 17

on Thursday

5 days later

It happened that a certain unbeliever, to spite the Christians, but mostly out of folly, went about Florence disfiguring the images of Our Lady, and amongst others, that which is on the pilaster of Orto San Michele, outside. He scratched the eyes of the Child, and of San Nofri (Onophrius), and threw mud in the face of Our Lady.(1) On this account, the boys began to throw stones at him, and they were joined by grown men, who in their fury stoned him to death with great stones, and then dragged his body about with much vituperation.

(1) This statue of the Virgin is by Mina da Fiesole, who made it for the Doctors and Apothecaries' Guild, whose arms were the Virgin and Child in an archway. After this act of desecration it was removed to the interior of the church for a time, and then placed outside again, when it obtained the reputation of working so many miracles that great crowds used to gather in front of it, till it was taken back into the interior of the church in the time of Cosimo I. Now, in the year 1926, it has one more been placed outside, in a niche on the south side. Formerly it used to stand in the niche now occupied by the copy of Donatello's San Giorgio, and therefor next to the group of Four Saints, one of whom is Saint Onophrius. (Trans.)

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

1493

September

15 days later

Christopher Columbus returns to the Americas looking for treasure but again he come home empty-handed. His brothers stay in America with a handful of colonists.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), aged 42: man

1493

September 20

on Wednesday

19 days later

We heard that the Pope had made some new cardinals.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1493

October 17

on Tuesday

27 days later

Born

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

Agents

No agents

1493

November

15 days later

The festival for the marriage of Bianca Maria Sforza, sister of Galeazzo, to Maximilian of Austria takes place in Milan.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Bianca Maria Sforza (1472-1510), aged 21: woman

1493

November 17

on Friday

16 days later

We sent ambassadors to Rome to visit the Pope. They were Piero son of Lorenzo de' Medici, the Bishop of Arezzo, Pier Filippo Pandolfini, Francesco Valori, and Tommaso Minerbetti. They went in fine array, especially Piero de' Medici.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

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

1493

December 20

on Wednesday

1 month, 3 days later

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

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1494

12 days later

Michelangelo working in Bologna.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

1494

The 66 tons of bronze which has been set aside to cast Leonardo's equestrian statue is sent instead to Ferrara to make cannons for the war against France.

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Astronomical Events

1494

Gian Galeazo Sforza dies under suspicious conditions, in Milan, and the throne falls to his uncle, Ludovico Sforza.

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Astronomical Events

Agents

Gian Galeazo Sforza (1469-1494), aged 25: duke
Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 42: duke

1494

The clay cast for Leonardo's equestrian statue, known as Il Colosso, is displayed at the wedding of Bianca Maria Sforza to great acclaim.

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Astronomical Events

1494

King Charles VIII of France invades the Italian peninsula, throwing the city states into the turmoil of war.

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Astronomical Events

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King Charles VIII (1470-1498), aged 24: king

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci

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1494

Study

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

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Astronomical Events

Agents

1494

January 20

on Saturday

19 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

1494

April 26

on Thursday

3 months, 6 days 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

May 4

on Friday

8 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

May 5

on Saturday

1 day later

They went to the Signoria, and having set forth the matters entrusted to them, receive a reply. On the 7th they left, and went to Rome.(1)

(1) During their sojourn in Florence they were served with the silver plate of the Signoria; and to do them honour, the musicians of the Signoria were sent to play before them.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

May 19

on Saturday

14 days later

Our Lady of Santa Maria Impruneta was brought into the city, in hopes that the rain might cease: and our prayers were granted.(1)

(1) It was decreed on the 13th of the same month that this image should be brought, and on the 14th some of the Collegi were chosen and charged with making suitable arrangements.

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Astronomical Events

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

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 57

1494

June 10

on Sunday

22 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Arno was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:01 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:01 PM.

1494

July 10

on Tuesday

1 month later

The French ambassadors returned from Rome; one of them remaining in Florence.

In these days the fleet of the King of Naples came to the Port of Pisa, and besieged Spezia and Porto Venere.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

July 22

on Sunday

12 days later

We sent ambassadors to Venice; they were: Pagoloantonio Soderini(1) and Giovan Battista Ridolfi.

(1) He was recalled on the 9th November.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Venice was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1494

August 1

on Wednesday

10 days later

Giovanni Santi dies.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1494

August 5

on Sunday

4 days later

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

In these days the fleet of the King of France arrived at Genoa, and there was much talk of an encounter.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

September

27 days later

Leonardo da Vinci drops plans for the Sforza monument until it can be cast and begins reclamation work in the Sforza lands near Vigevano, freeing one vast tract of water and converting another to a grazing area.

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Astronomical Events

1494

September 11

on Tuesday

10 days later

The fleet of the King of Naples was defeated at Rapallo by that King of France and the Genoese; not in an encounter, but the Neapolitan fleet rashly landed 3 thousand soldiers, thinking to take Rapallo; and in the end they were cut off by the Genoese and the king, and could not return to their ships. They fled towards the mountains, and were all killed or taken prisoner; the fleet of the King of Naples being disarmed and destroyed.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

September 21

on Friday

10 days later

We heard that the King of France had entered Genoa, and that the Genoese were preparing to receive him with great honour, having decorated the whole city, and even taken down the gates and laid them on the ground, to show more splendour and to ensure the king's safety. But it was not true that the king was going there, although they expected him and had made all the preparations. It was said that he felt distrustful of the citizens.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Genoa was at 5:49 AM and sunset was at 5:56 PM.

1494

October 4

on Thursday

13 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.

1494

October 22

on Monday

18 days later

Ludovico Sforza assumes the ducal title and receives the ducal crown from the Milanese nobles.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Ludovico Sforza (1452-1508), aged 42: duke

1494

October 23

on Tuesday

1 day later

We heard that the Duke of Calabria was dead, having died a natural death at Naples, possibly from despondency. It was extraordinary that father and son should have died within such a short interval, just when their country was in so much danger. Truly the fullness of time had come, and the hand of God struck. These things make us lay aside our pride, and take refuge in faith, when we consider that it will be the same for us all. Messer Francesco (Ah, you Frenchmen!), what is the use of subjugating other countries? May God pardon us our sins!

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1494

October 26

on Friday

3 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Serezzano 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.
Sunrise in Pietrasanta was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1494

October 29

on Monday

3 days later

The French took Fiovizzano by assault and sacked it.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Fiovizzano was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1494

November

3 days later

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

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Astronomical Events

1494

November 4

on Sunday

3 days later

A proclamation was published by the Signoria, obliging everyone to give lodging to the French; and assuring them that nothing would be touched or taken away.(1) Most people were not pleased, because the Signoria showed more fear than was needful; they might have waited till any trouble began, although it was unpleasant for us. But God never removed His hand from off our head, because He heard the tears, and sighs, and prayers of His servants, who walk in truth, and who pray to Him all the day long that He should be merciful to the good and upright of heart, and to those who love the honour and glory of God above all things, praising Him in adversity as in prosperity, and desire nothing but to fulfil His will.

(1) I find that on the 11th November the Signori e Collegi decreed: Quod nullus audeat resistere aperire et reserrare domum suam quin gentes Regis Francorum possint capere lodiamenta et habere receptum. Significando cuilibet persone quod nulli erit facta aliqua iniuria.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1494

November 5

on Monday

1 day 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 8

on Thursday

3 days later

Piero de' Medici returned to Florence, coming from the King of France, who was at Pisa; and when he reached his house, he threw out confetti (sweetmeats), and gave a lot of wine to the people, to make himself popular; declaring that he had settled everything satisfactorily with the king, and appearing to be in the best of humours.

This same day, the Signori published a proclamation that as long as the king should stay in Florence there would be no tax on firewood or on any kind of food; and only the half of the usual tax on wine; also that anyone might sell and provide meals.(1)

(1) This proclamation is really of the 6th November, and the exemptions and diminutions of the tax conceded by it are a little different from those quoted here: the duration of these was from the 9th to the 20th, and on the latter date they were prorogued for the whole month. This was done "in order that there should be an abundance of victuals in the city both for its inhabitants and the foreigners, and to help the poor people."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous 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

1 day later

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 9

on Friday

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.

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1494

November 10

on Saturday

1 day later

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

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

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

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

No attachments

Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1494

November 11

on Sunday

1 day later

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

(1) The Gate of San Frediano, towards Empoli. (Trans.)

(2) I here add, that the office of the Otto di Pratica (the Eight Councillors), the Consiglio del Settanta (Council of the Seventy), and that of the Hundred, all institutions of the Medici and their adherents, were done away with and annulled.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Empoli was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

1494

November 12

on Monday

1 day later

Lorenzo son of Piero Francesco de' Medici returned, and dined at this own house of the Gora, and the same evening he went to meet the king, who was stopping at Legniaia, in the house of Piero Capponi. And on this same day the Bargello was made prisoner in the church of the Servi.(1) Also more French entered the city than any other day, and they filled every house, even the poorest, including all Camaldoli.

(1) His name was Piero Antonio dall' Aquila. The day before, a reward had been promised to anyone who would give information as to where he was hidden; and on the 14th the Priors decreed quod dono tradatur to the Signor Giovanni da Maddaloni, oratore (representative) of the King of France, who would receive him in the king's name.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Camaldoli was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.
Sunrise in Legniaia was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

1494

November 13

on Tuesday

1 day later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Arno was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.
Sunrise in Bologna was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

1494

November 14

on Wednesday

1 day later

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

1494

November 15

on Thursday

1 day later

Numbers of French were still coming in; and preparations were made to receive the king with great honour.(1)

(1) Already on the 11th the Signoria had ordered that all the citizens, on the king's arrival, should go towards the Porta San Frediano, in as fine array as they could muster, to do him honour.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1494

November 16

on Friday

1 day 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 17

on Saturday

1 day later

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

(1) On the same day the Signoria itself decreed that as long as the king remained in Florence each householder should keep a light burning every night in a window looking on to the street, from eight o'clock in the evening till one o'clock in the morning. And there was also a debate whether the keys of the Porte a San Frediano, San Gallo, and San Piero Gattolini (now Porta Romana) should be given to him.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

November 18

on Sunday

1 day later

The said king when to hear mass in Sa' Lorenzo, and I was at the same mass, and saw him quite close.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1494

November 19

on Monday

1 day 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 20

on Tuesday

1 day later

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

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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 5:50 PM.

1494

November 21

on Wednesday

1 day later

About 21 in the evening (5 p.m.) the Signori called a council of the most worthy men in the city, and explained to them how the king had said one thing and now wished another, and how he demanded the reinstatement of Piero de' Medici, and asked them what answer they advised to be given him. And they all replied to the effect that Piero's return could not be consented to upon any condition whatever, even if the king wished it; and that the king should be told that everything else but this would be granted him. They declared, moreover, that if it were necessary to take up arms, they should go against the king and everyone who differed from them saying, "If they king has 20 thousand men, we can call up 50 thousand of our own in the city"; showing no fear of the king, and also showing that a great hatred had arisen between the citizens and this Piero de' Medici; why this way, the Lord alone knows. At this time, as it pleased God, there was a little disturbance in the Piazza de' Signori, all the people being suspicious, and excited at the least noise, and always on the look-out for some danger. They really lived in dread and a sort of dismay, mostly caused by having their houses full of the French. And it was continually being repeated that the king had promised his soldiers Florence should be sacked. Therefore, as soon as there was this little disturbance in the Piazza, everyone hastened home, and all the shops were closed, one sending his silk goods and another his woollen goods away to his house or to some place of security. This suspicion was tacit, not a word being said; but many of the French, no less dismayed than we were, suspecting they knew not what, took up arms, and seized the Porta a San Friano and the bridges, so as to be able to escape. Possibly it had been so arranged among themselves beforehand, in case it should be needful. The result was that the Signoria and the council who had held the aforesaid consultation, when they heard that all the shops were being closed, felt still more acutely the danger of Piero's return; and the Signori urged the most worthy men of the council to go to the king and point out to him the danger of the city, begging him not to semand this thing, as it could only entail evil, etc. Hence the king, seeing the opposition of the citizens, and also realising his own danger, replied: "I am not here to cause disturbances, but to bring peace; and if I thought of this thing, it was only in the idea of pleasing the people and everyone. I wish for nothing but the general good, and no more need be said about Piero's return." Then the citizens make this offer to the king: "Whatever you may be pleased to ask from us freely, we shall be ready to bring to your aid." Thereupon the king asked that the city of Florence should lend him 120 thousand florins, 50 thousand to be paid at once, and 70 thousand before the end of July; and besides this, that for the duration of the war they should lend him 12 thousand a year. After the end of the war, our city should be left entirely free; and whether he died, or whether he conquered or not, it should still be left free. He only demanded the forts of Pisa and a few others that he had taken, Sarzana, etc., so that he should be able to return in safety to his country. He did not receive a reply immediately. Everyone said that a little time was needed, on account of the money.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

November 21

on Wednesday

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

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

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

November 23

on Friday

2 days later

The king rode out with a great troop of horsemen, and came to the Croce di San Giovanni; and when he was near the steps of Santa Maria del Fiore, he turned back and went towards the Servi; but having gone a few paces, he turned round again, and again went to the Croce di San Giovanni,(1) going at the back of San Giovanni, through that narrow Chiassolino,(2) and coming under the Volta di San Giovanni, d' Cialdonai(2); and those who saw him laughed,(3) and said slighting things of him, causing his reputation to suffer. Then he went through the Mercato Vecchio, and on as far as San Felice in Piazza, to see the festa of San Felice, which they were having on his account; but when he reached the door he would not enter; and they repeated everything several times, but he did not enter once.(4) Many people said that he was afraid, and did not wish to be shut in, and this proved to us that he was more afraid than we were; and woe to him if a disturbance had begun, although there would also have been great danger for us. But the Lord has always helped us, on account of the prayers of His servants and of the number of holy monks and nuns in the city, who are in truth on their way to God. At this time two Venetian ambassadors to the king arrived, and there were also the Genoese ambassadors, who came, it was said, to demand Serezzana and other things from him.

(1) The column with a small cross at the top of it, which was put up to commemorate the miracle of San Zenobi, in the year 341, as stated in the inscription. It was broken down by the flood of 1333 and set up again, which accounts for the inscription not being so old. (Trans.)

(2) This Chiassolino (alley) and the Volta da' Cialdonai were demolished when the Piazza was enlarged. (Trans.)

(3) The autographic MS. has a gap from page 17 till the 1st December, 1494; therefore I have supplied the missing pages from the MS. copy at the Marucelliana Library (Jodico del Badia).

(4) I copy this fragment from the Storie of Jacopo Nardi, who disagrees from what Landucci says here: "His Majesty the King, having rested a few days, was entertained by the representation of some solemn and beautiful feste, like that very singular one of the Virgine Annunziata, which is represented with ingenious and marvellous skill in the Church of San Felice in Piazza, and which pleased and delighted him so much, that having seen it once publicly, he wished to see it again incognito and privately." Our author also mentions this edificio (representation) of the Annunciation on 16th November, 1494. In Vasari's Life of Brunelleschi this is finely described.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Serezzano was at 5:43 AM and sunset was at 5:50 PM.

1494

November 24

on Saturday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

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

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

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

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

November 25

on Sunday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

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

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

Source: Primary

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

1494

November 26

on Monday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The king went together with the Signoria to hear mass at Santa Maria del Fiore and here he swore to observe the articles which had been drawn up, and which were as follows: that we should lend him 120 thousand florins, giving him 50 thousand florins now, and the rest before the end of July 1495; and that he should leave and give back to us the forts of Pisa and all the others; and leave our territory free and unmolested; and that Piero de' Medici should be confined to boundaries 100 miles away from Florence; and that the price of 2000 florins placed upon his head should be taken off, and also off his brothers'. All this he swore to observe, on the altar of Santa Maria del Fiore, before Christ Jesus, on the word of a king.(1)

(1) These articles had been signed the preceding day in the palace of the Medici, where the king was quartered. The Marquis Gino Capponi published them in the Archivio Storico Italiano, I Serie, vol. I., pp. 348-75. There are twenty-seven articles, and the last twelve regard entirely the persons and interests of the Medici.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:44 AM and sunset was at 5:51 PM.

1494

November 27

on Tuesday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The king went out to see certain tents which had been set up on the Prato d'Ognissanti, and which had been presented to him by the Duke of Ferrara; there being one for the king himself that was really magnificent, with a sitting-room, a bedroom, and a chapel, and many other things besides. He was to have left this morning, but did not do so; the joy-bells were rung and bonfires were made. This morning more of the troops from Romagna reached Dicomano, and were quartered there, about 20 horses being put into my place even. I left my young son Benedetto there, and they nearly slew him several times, although he paid them proper respect, as I had impressed upon him. It was at a great cost to us. They were quartered everywhere, in the Val di Sieve, as far as the Ponte a Sieve and the Sieci, and then they went on along the upper valley of the Arno.(1)

(1) The king having proclaimed that all those who were with him should pay, on leaving, for everything that they had had, the Signoria, with a proclamation on this date, ordered the Florentines to be lenient in their demands, and requested anybody who thought himself overcharged to have recourse to them, threatening to cut off the hand of anyone who should offend the French. The following day they imposed the punishment of six blows of the lash upon anyone who should molest or strike the French.

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Astronomical Events

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

1494

November 28

on Wednesday

1 day later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

The king left Florence after having dined, and went for the night to the Certosa, and all his men went before or after him, so that few remained here. It was said that Fra Girolamo of Ferrara, our famous preacher, had gone to the king and declared that he was not doing the will of God in stopping, and that he ought to leave. It was even said that he went a second time, when he saw that the king did not leave, and declared again that he was not following God's will, and that whatever evil should befall others would return on his head. It was thought that this was the cause of his leaving more speedily, because at that time the said Fra Girolamo was held to be a prophet and a man of holy life, both in Florence and throughout Italy. At the same time there came to Florence the captain of the French troops in Romagna, whose name was Begni,(1) and he told the king rather dictatorially that he ought to leave on every account, as the weather was favourable, and he declared that it would be ill to delay the advance. And in fact the king did leave, for he put more faith in this seigneur than in all the rest, and deservedly, as he was an extremely intelligent and worthy man, according to what was said; and this was in reality the strongest reason which induced him to leave.(2)

(1) Robert Stuart, Comte de Beaumont le Roger, Seigneur of Aubigny-sur-Nerre.

(2) On this day the Signori designed Guglielmo d'Antonio Pazzi, Braccio di Domenico Martelli, Niccolo Antinori, and Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici to go the following morning and accompany the king as far as Siena. Afterwards they substituted Francesco de' Rossi for the Medici.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.
Sunrise in Emilia-Romagna was at 5:45 AM and sunset was at 5:52 PM.

1494

November 28

on Wednesday

After a short, tense occupation of the city, and an intervention by Girolamo Savonarola (as well as the promise of a huge subsidy), the French army resumes its journey southward. Savonarola declares that by answering his call to penitence, the Florentines had begun to build a new Ark of Noah which had saved them from the waters of the divine flood.

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