alessandro de' medici


January 6th 1537: Alessandro de’Medici killed

On this day in 1537, Alessandro de’Medici, Duke of Florence, was murdered. Born in Florence in 1510, he was recognised as the illegitimate son of Florentine nobleman Lorenzo II de’Medici and an African slave named Simonetta da Collavechio. However, rumours suggested his father was actually Lorenzo’s cousin Giulio de’Medici, who went on to become Pope Clement VII. Alessandro’s mother was freed, thus, under Roman law, ensuring that her son was also classified as free. His dark complexion and African ancestry earned him the nickname ‘il Moro’, which translates as ‘the Moor’. In 1522, Alessandro became duke of Penna, and Giulio appointed a regent for Alessandro as leader of Florence. However, the Medici were forced to flee Florence when republican revolution broke out against their rule. In 1529, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V agreed to restore the Medici, nominating Alessandro as the first Duke of Florence. Alessandro was generally a popular leader for his concern for the poor and patronage of the arts, though his leadership style was also criticised as severe and repressive. He married the emperor’s illegitimate daughter Margeret, and his descendants married into eminent families throughout Europe. In January 1537, when he was twenty-six, Alessandro was murdered by his cousin and rival Lorenzino de’Medici, who was himself forced to flee Florence and was killed eleven years later. Alessandro de’Medici has received increased attention from historians in recent years, celebrating him as the first black head of state in European history.

ANYWAY this Still Star Crossed show is culturally insensitive. Did I say you shouldn’t watch it? No. Did I say it shouldn’t exist? No. Did I say you’re racist if you like it? No, I didn’t, I never did, and if you read that then I suggest you go get your eyes checked. 

I merely suggested that racebending works with American stories, not Italian ones, because Italy never really had an overwhelming black population, and at best we had a lot of Middle Eastern people mingling with us (not to mention invading, colonizing and trying to wipe our culture out but something tells me you don’t wanna hear that lmfao), so that’s why a lot of us look a bit Middle Eastern. 

And like yeah ok we had one (1) guy who was mixed and in the aristocracy and kinda can look black if you look at portraits with a lens but that’s not a relevant statistic, sorry. Just because Alessandro De Medici had a slightly darker complexion it doesn’t mean that suddenly all of Italy was 50% black. 

It’s not our fault that until like 15 years ago pretty much all of us were light-skinned, including the light-skinned national minorities and immigrants. When you see movies and tv shows set in Italy and everyone is light-skinned, that’s not racism or bad representation. 

That’s reality. 

I live in Italy, and I know my reality better than you ever could, so kindly shut the fuck up about it and stop trying to murricasplain my own country to me. 

Alright y'all I need to stop you haters when you are talking about Still Star-crossed.

I see a lot of people complaining about Black Nobility in Italy … Well I hate to break it to you but there was. A prime example is Alessandro de Meidici who was nicknamed ‘Il Moro’, The Moor because of his clear African Ancestry, he was illegitimate born to a De Medici nobleman (Probably the serving De Medici Pope at his time of ascension to the Dukedom) and what is said was his servant of Moorish descent as there were plenty around in Italy. Now he was assassinated without legitimate issue so his line in the hereditary dukedom of Florence ended there (Well his daughter married into good noble families) but he was the last of the Senior De Medicis and the first hereditary duke of Florence (Which is insanely important in the politics of Italy). He is the prime example I am using as Florence is in North like Verona, not too far from it. The south at the time was different since Moorish invasion was even more intense which led the invention of the term Mafia (ok I am off on a tangent) so the presence of black people in Renaissance society would be even more visible in the South/Sicily. There were plenty of Moors around they invaded, they fought wars and they settled there, as well important Port Cities like Venice meant traders of all backgrounds lived there. There has been a black presence in Italy since the Roman Empire.

So, they may not be as prominent as they are in the series but the idea there were none or that they could have not been nobility is ridiculous because that is just not true. So shut up and let’s have some representation!

Source: Italian degree, specialising in Medieval and Renaissance culture

Alessandro de’ Medici

Alessandro de’ Medici, called “Il Moro” (“The Moor”), was born in the Italian city of Urbino in 1510. His mother was an African slave named Simonetta who had been freed. Alessandro’s paternity is uncertain. Most sources name Lorenzo de’ Medici, ruler of Urbino. But Alessandro might also have been the son of Pope Clement VII, the brother of Lorenzo II who became the head of the Medici family after Lorenzo’s death.

Clement VII chose the nineteen-year-old Alessandro to become the first Duke of Florence in 1529. Pope Clement at that time was at odds not only with the Florentines who had driven out the Medici family in 1497, but also with the emperor Charles V. To solidify the allegiance that the papacy owed to the Holy Roman Empire, Alessandro was named Duke of Florence and promised the emperor’s daughter Margaret. With the help of Charles V, Clement could restore the rule of the Medici family in Florence in 1530 and make Alessandro the first reigning Duke. Supported initially by the best families, Alessandro became an absolute prince, overthrowing the city’s’ republican government.

According to most historians the young duke’s reign did not begin very well. His arrogant personality, the bad behavior of his entourage, and his licentiousness – with both women and feasting – soon gave Alessandro an unsavory reputation. In addition, he made some highly unpopular political decisions including limiting the number of remunerative positions in his government. This decision alone forced many patrician families to go into exile and become enemies of his rule. 

Alessandro’s situation grew worse when his protector and benefactor Clement VII died in 1534. In response he took more repressive measures against his enemies, probably due to his growing fear of them and uncertainty of his support. Meanwhile, resistance against Alessandro’s reign grew among the exiles and even his cousin Ippolito plotted against the Duke. When Ippolito died unexpectedly in 1535, speculations arose that Alessandro had poisoned him. In June 1536, however, Charles V visited Florence and married his daughter to Alessandro, consolidating the Duke’s position. Nonetheless one year later, Alessandro was murdered by his own cousin Lorenzino, who fled to Venice and was hailed among the exiles as the “New Brutus.”

T.F. Earle and K.J. Lowe, Black Africans in Renaissance Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); J.A. Rogers, World’s Greatest Men of Color, Volume II (New York: Macmillan, 1972).
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We are so delighted!!! Medici: Masters of Florence won Best TV Show of 2016!

At best, Alessandro De Medici was mixed, not black. He was called “Il Moro” (the dark) because of a darker complexion, but in my house “black” means BLACK. As in, black-black. Mixed people are mixed, and also Italian people are ALL mixed. 

But yeah, sure, keep blocking us when we teach you things about OUR own culture that YOU don’t know. But you won’t be any less racist for it. Because you’re basically saying that we’re inferior and not worth listening to. And for this you are racist, no matter whether you’re black or white. 

And everyone dismissing criticism of this garbage is racist too.