Cosimo III de' Medici (14 August 1642 – 31 October 1723) was the penultimate (sixth) Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany. He reigned from 1670 to 1723, and was the elder son of Grand Duke Ferdinando II. Cosimo's 53-year-long reign, the longest in Tuscan history, was marked by a series of ultra-reactionary laws which regulated prostitution and banned May celebrations. His reign also witnessed Tuscany's deterioration to previously unknown economic lows. He was succeeded by his elder surviving son, Gian Gastone, when he died, in 1723.
He married Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a cousin of Louis XIV. The marriage was solemnized by proxy in the King's Chapel at the Louvre, on Sunday, 17 April 1661. It was a marriage fraught with tribulation. Marguerite Louise eventually abandoned Tuscany for the Convent of Montmartre. Together, they had three children: Ferdinando in 1663, Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine, in 1667, and Gian Gastone, the last Medicean ruler of Tuscany, in 1671.
In later life, he attempted to have Anna Maria Luisa recognised as the universal heiress of Tuscany, but Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, would not allow it because Tuscany was an imperial fief, and he felt he alone could alter the Tuscan laws of succession. All Cosimo's efforts to salvage the plan foundered, and in 1737, upon his younger son's death, Tuscany passed to the House of Lorraine.
Cosimo in granducal robes, with Tuscan regalia
|Grand Duke of Tuscany|
|Reign||23 May 1670 – 31 October 1723|
|Successor||Gian Gastone I|
|Born||14 August 1642|
Pitti Palace, Florence, Tuscany
|Died||31 October 1723 (aged 81)|
Pitti Palace, Florence, Tuscany
Basilica of San Lorenzo, Tuscany
|Consort||Marguerite Louise d'Orléans|
|Ferdinando, Grand Prince of Tuscany|
Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine
Gian Gastone, Grand Duke of Tuscany
|House||House of Medici|
|Father||Ferdinando II de' Medici|
|Mother||Vittoria Della Rovere|
Cosimo de' Medici was born on 14 August 1642, the eldest surviving son of Vittoria della Rovere of Urbino, and Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Their previous two children had died shortly after birth. Grand Duke Ferdinando wished to give his son the finest scientific education available, but the pious Grand Duchess Vittoria opposed. The latter got her way. Volunnio Bandinelli, a Sienese theologian, was appointed Cosimo's tutor. His character was analogous to the Grand Duchess's.
As a youth, Cosimo revelled in sports. His uncle Gian Carlo once wrote to another family member with "news that should surprise you....The young prince [Cosimo] has killed a goose in mid-air." Cosimo, at the age of 11, killed five pigs with five shots. The Luchese Ambassador praised the young Cosimo to the skies. His successor, however, noticed a somewhat different person, whom he described as "melancholy."
By 1659, Cosimo had ceased smiling in public. He frequently visited places of religious worship and surrounded himself with friars and priests, concerning Grand Duke Ferdinando. Cosimo's only sibling, Francesco Maria de' Medici, the fruit of his parents' brief reconciliation, was born the next year.
Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a granddaughter of Henry IV of France, was married to Cosimo by proxy on 17 April 1661 at the Palais du Louvre. She arrived in Tuscany on 12 June, disembarking at Livorno, and made her formal entry to Florence on 20 June to much pageantry. As a wedding gift, Grand Duke Ferdinando presented her with a pearl the "size of a small pigeon's egg."
The marriage was unhappy from the start. A few nights following the formal entry, Marguerite Louise demanded the Tuscan crown jewels for her own personal use; Cosimo refused. The jewels that she did manage to extract from Cosimo were almost smuggled out of Tuscany by her attendants but for the efforts of Ferdinando's agents. Marguerite Louise's extravagances perturbed Ferdinando because the Tuscan exchequer was nearly bankrupt; it was so empty that when the Wars of Castro mercenaries were paid for, the state could no longer afford to pay interest on government bonds. Accordingly, the interest rate was lowered by 0.75%. The economy, too, was so decrepit that barter trade became prevalent in rural market places. In August 1663 Marguerite Louise delivered a boy: Ferdinando. Two more children followed: Anna Maria Luisa in 1667 and Gian Gastone in 1671.
Ferdinando beseeched Louis XIV to do something about his daughter-in-law's behaviour; he sent the Comte de Saint-Mesme. Marguerite Louise wanted to return to France, and Saint-Mesme sympathised with this, as did much of the French court, so he left without finding a solution to the heir's domestic disharmony, incensing both Ferdinando and Louis XIV. She humiliated Cosimo at every chance she got: she insisted on employing French cooks, as she feared the Medici would poison her. In September 1664 Marguerite Louise abandoned her apartments in the Pitti, the grand ducal palace. Cosimo moved her into Villa Lapeggi. Here, she was watched by forty soldiers, and six courtiers, appointed by Cosimo, had to follow her everywhere. The next year she reconciled with the grand ducal family, and gave birth to Anna Maria Luisa, future Electress Palatine, in August 1667. The delicate rapprochement that existed between Marguerite Louise and the rest of the family collapsed after Anna Maria Luisa's birth, when Marguerite Louise caught smallpox and decided to blame Cosimo for all her problems.
Grand Duke Ferdinando encouraged Cosimo to go on a European tour to distract him from Marguerite Louise's renewed hostility. On 28 October 1667 he arrived in Tyrol, where he was entertained by his aunt, Anna de' Medici, Archduchess of Further Austria. He took a barge down the Rhine to Amsterdam, where he was well received by the art community, meeting painter Rembrandt van Rijn. From Amsterdam, he travelled to Hamburg, where awaiting him was the Queen of Sweden. He reached Florence in May 1668.
The excursion did Cosimo good. His health was better than ever, as was his self-esteem. His wife's unrelenting enmity towards him, however, undid the aforesaid progressions. Grand Duke Ferdinando, once again, feared for his health, so he sent him on a second tour in September 1668.
When he went to Spain, the King, Carlos II, received him in a private interview. By January, he had arrived in Portugal, and from there endeavoured to England, where he met Charles II and Samuel Pepys, who described him as "a very jolly and good comely man." Cosimo was amiably welcomed by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, for his father's perceived protection of Galileo from the Inquisition. On the return run, Cosimo visited Louis XIV and his mother-in-law, Marguerite of Lorraine, in Paris. He arrived back in Florence on 1 November 1669. His travels were described in a detailed journal by his travelling companion Lorenzo, Conte Magalotti (1637-1712).
Ferdinando II died on 23 May 1670 of apoplexy and dropsy and was interred in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Medicean necropolis. At the time of his death, the population of the grand duchy was 720,594 souls; the streets were lined with grass and the buildings on the verge of collapse in Pisa, while Siena was virtually abandoned.
Grand Duchess Marguerite Louise and Dowager Grand Duchess Vittoria vied with each other for power. The Dowager, after a protracted battle, triumphed: The Grand Duke assigned his mother the day-to-day administration of the state. Cosimo III commenced his reign with the utmost fervour, attempting to salvage the sinking exchequer and allowing his subjects to petition him for arbitration in disputes. The novelty soon wore off, however. Vittoria, Cosimo having lost his taste for administration, was further empowered by admission to the Grand Duke's Consulta (Privy Council). Marguerite Louise, deprived of any political influence, went about arranging Prince Ferdinando's education and arguing with Vittoria over precedence, which only further encamped Cosimo on his mother's side. In the midst of this, on the first anniversary of Ferdinando II's death, Gian Gastone was born to the grand ducal couple.
Marguerite Louise feigned illness at the start of 1672: Louis XIV send Alliot le Vieux, Anne of Austria's personal physician, to tend to her. Dr. Alliot, unlike Saint-Mesmeê, did not comply with Marguerite Louise's plot to be sent to France, ostensibly for the thermal waters to ameliorate her "illness." In December she went on a pilgrimage to Villa di Pratolino—she never returned. Marguerite Louise, instead of going back to Florence, chose to live in semi-retirement at Poggio a Caiano. The Grand Duke eventually consented, but feared she may abscond, so she was not allowed to go to leave without his permission and when she went riding she was to be escorted by four soldiers. All the doors and windows of the villa had to be secured, too. The saga between them continued until 26 December 1674, after all attempts at conciliation failed, a beleaguered Cosimo agreed to allow his wife to depart for the Convent of Montmartre, France. The contract signed that day renounced her rights as a Princess of the Blood and with them the dignity Royal Highness. Cosimo granted her a pension of 80,000 livres in compensation. She departed the next June, after stripping bare Poggio a Caiano of any valuables.
Without Marguerite Louise to occupy his attentions, Cosimo turned to persecuting the Jewish population of Tuscany. Sexual Intercourse between Jews and Christians was proscribed, and by a law promulgated on 1 July 1677, Christians could not work in establishments owned by Jews. If they did regardless, a fine of 50 crowns was incurred; if the person in question had insufficient funds, he was liable to be tortured on the rack; and if he was deemed unfit for torture, a four-month prison sentence was substituted. The anti-Semitic roster was supplemented by further declarations on 16 June 1679 and 12 December 1680 banning Jews from visiting Christian prostitutes and co-habitation, respectively.
Meanwhile, in Lorraine, Charles V was without an heir and Marguerite-Louise, as the daughter of a Lorrainer princess, delegated the right to succeed to the duchy to her elder son, Ferdinando. Grand Duke Cosimo tried to get his son international recognition as heir-apparent, to no avail. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, supported Cosimo's claim, not wanting to see Lorraine revert to France. The Treaties of Nijmegen, which concluded the Franco-Dutch War, did not rubber stamp Cosimo's ambitions, as he had wished. The Lorrainer question was concluded with the birth of a son to Charles V in 1679, ending Cosimo's dream of a Medici cadet branch, dreams which were to be revived in 1697 by Gian Gastone's marriage to an heiress.
Cosimo kept himself apprised of his wife's conduct in France through the Tuscan emissary, Gondi. Marguerite Louise frequently demanded more money from the Grand Duke, while he was scandalised by her behaviour: she took up with a groom named Gentilly. In January 1680 the Abbess of Montemarte asked Cosimo to pay for the construction of a reservoir, following a scandal at the convent: The Grand Duchess had placed her pet dog's basket in close proximity to the fire, and the basket burst into flames, but instead of trying to extinguish it, she urged her fellow nuns to flee for their lives. On previous occasions, she had explicitly stated that she would burn down the convent if the Abbess disagreed with her, too, making the Abbess view the accident as an intentional. Cosimo, unable to do much else for fear of upsetting Louis XIV, reproached her in a series of letters. Another scandal erupted that summer, the Grand Duchess bathed nude, as was the custom, in a local river. Cosimo exploded with anger upon hearing of this. Louis XIV, tiring of Florence's petitions, retorted: "Since Cosimo had consented to the retirement of his wife into France, he had virtually relinquished all right to interfere in her conduct." Following Louis XIV's rebuff, Cosimo fell grievously ill, only to be roused by Francesco Redi, his physician, who helped him reform his ways so illness would never strike him again. It was after this event that Cosimo finally stopped bothering with the Grand Duchess's life. In 1682 Cosimo III appointed his brother, Francesco Maria de' Medici, Governor of Siena.
The Holy Roman Emperor requested Cosimo's participation in the Great Turkish War. At first, he resisted, but then sent a consignment of munitions to Trieste, and offered to join the Holy League. They defeated the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in September 1683. To Cosimo's dismay, "many scandals and disorders continued to occur in the matter of carnal intercourse between Jews and Christian women, and especially putting their children out to be suckled by Christian nurses." The Grand Duke, wishing to supplement the "foe of heretics" persona he acquired after Vienna, outlawed the practice of Jews using Christian wet-nurses and declared that if a Christian father wished to have his half-Jewish child suckled by a Christian nurse he must first apply to the government for a permit in writing. In addition, public executions increased to six per day. Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury and a famed memorialist, visited this Florence in November 1685, of which he wrote that "[Florence] is much sunk from what it was, for they do not reckon that there are fifty thousand souls in it; the other states, that were once great republic, such as Siena and Pisa, while they retained their liberty, are now shrunk almost into nothing..."
Cosimo went about arranging a marriage for his elder son, Ferdinando, in 1686. He ushered him into the marriage as the other Tuscan princes, Francesco Maria de' Medici and Gian Gastone de' Medici, were sickly and unlikely to produce children. The main suitors were: Violante of Bavaria, a Bavarian princess, Isabel Luisa of Portugal (the heiress-apparent of Portugal), and the Elector Palatine's daughters.
Negotiations with the Portuguese were intense, but stalled over certain clauses: Ferdinando and Isabel Luisa would live in Lisbon, Ferdinando would renounce his right to the Tuscan throne unless the Infanta's father, King Peter II, remarried and had male issue, and if Isabel Luisa became Queen of Portugal, and Cosimo III, Gian Gastone and Francesco Maria died without any male heirs, Tuscany would be annexed by Portugal. Ferdinando rejected it outright with the fullest support of Louis XIV, his great-uncle. Cosimo's eyes now fell upon Violente of Bavaria. Choosing her would strengthen ties between France—where Violente's sister was the dauphine—and Bavaria. There was only one obstacle in the way, Ferdinando II, Cosimo's father, impartially advised Violente's father, Ferdinand Maria, to invest a huge sum into a bank. Soon after the Elector deposited the sum, the bank collapsed. Ferdinand Maria still had sore feelings; Cosimo consented to the reduction of her dowry accordingly to reimburse the Elector. Ferdinando was unimpressed with his wife. Violente, however, electrified the Grand Duke. He wrote, "I have never known, nor do I think the world can produce, a disposition so perfect..."
Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy procured the style Royal Highness from Spain and the Holy Roman Empire in June 1689, infuriating Grand Duke Cosimo, who complained to Vienna that a duke was inferior status to a grand duke, and proclaimed it "unjustly exalted...since the House of Savoy had not increased to the point of vying with kings, nor had the House of Medici diminished in splendour and possessions, so there was no reason for promoting one and degrading the other." Cosimo also played upon all the times Tuscany provided financial and military assistance to the Empire. The Emperor, anxious to avoid friction, suggested that Anna Maria Luisa should marry the Elector Palatine to compensate for the affront. The Elector Palatine, two years later, several months before his marriage to Anna Maria Luisa, went about acquiring the aforesaid style for Cosimo and his family, despite the fact that they had no claim to any kingdom. Henceforth, Cosimo was His Royal Highness The Most Serene Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Louis XIV was angered by Anna Maria Luisa's marriage to his sworn foe. Cosimo, after much coaxing, persuaded him otherwise. On 9 October 1691, France, England, Spain, and the United Provinces guaranteed the neutrality of the Tuscan port of Livorno. The Empire, meanwhile, was attempting to extract feudal dues from Cosimo, and ordering him to ally with Austria. The Grand Duke replied that if he did so France would send a naval fleet from Toulon to occupy his state; the Emperor reluctantly accepted this excuse. Tuscany was not alone in its feudal ties to the Empire: The rest of Italy was also bound to pay the Emperor, but at a much higher magnitude than Cosimo, who merely paid on his few undisputed Imperial fiefs.
Cosimo, not having much else to do, instituted more moral laws. Young men were not allowed to "enter into houses to make love to girls, and let them dally at doors and windows, is a great incentive to rapes, abortions, and infanticides..." If a man did not comply, he was liable to receive enormous fines. This coincided with a new wave of taxes that stagnated Tuscany's already declining economy. Harold Acton recounts that a bale of wool "sent from Leghorn and Cortona had to pass through ten intermediate customs." The Grand Duke oversaw the establishment of the Office of Public Decency, whose goal was to regulate prostitution, also. Prostitutes were oft thrown into the Stinche, a jail for women of that profession, for years, with scant food, if they could not afford the fines levied on them by the Office of Public Decency. Evening permits and exemptions were available for those willing to pay six crowns per month.
Cosimo resurrected a law from the regency of his father which banned Students from attending college outside Tuscany, thus strengthening the Jesuits' hold on education. A contemporary wrote that not a single man in Florence could read or write Greek, a stark contrast to those of the old republic. In a letter dated 10 October 1691, Cosimo's personal secretary wrote, "By the Serene Master's express command I must inform Your Excellencies that His Highness will allow no professor in his university at Pisa to read or teach, in public or in private, by writing or voice, the philosophy of Democritus, or of atoms, or any save that of Aristotle."
Ferdinando and Violante, despite being married for over five years, had not produced any offspring as of 1694. The Grand Duke responded by declaring special days of devotion, and erecting a "fertility column" in the Cavour district of Florence, an act which attracted popular ridicule. Ferdinando would not attend to Violante, instead lavishing his attentions on his favourite, a castrated Venetian, Cecchino de Castris. The same year, Dowager Grand Duchess Vittoria, who had once exercised great deal of influence over Cosimo, died. Her allodial possessions, the Duchies of Montefeltro and Rovere, inherited from her grandfather, the last Duke of Urbino, were bestowed upon her younger son, Francesco Maria de' Medici.
Cosimo became perturbed by the question of the Tuscan Succession following the death of his mother. Ferdinando was lacking any children, as was Anna Maria Luisa. The latter, who was high in her father's estimation, put forward a German princess to marry Gian Gastone. The lady in question, Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg, nominal heiress of the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, was extremely wealthy. Cosimo once again dreamed of a Medici cadet branch in a foreign land. They were married on 2 July 1697. Gian Gastone and herself did not get along; he eventually abandoned her in 1708.
The 17th century did not end well for the Grand Duke: he still had no grandchildren, France and Spain would not acknowledge his royal status and the Duke of Lorraine declared himself King of Jerusalem without any opposition. In May 1700 Cosimo embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome. Pope Innocent XII, after much persuasion, created Cosimo a Canon of Saint John in the Lateran, in order to allow him to view the Volto Santo, a cloth thought to have been used by Christ before his crucifixion. Delighted by his warm reception from the Roman people, Cosimo left Rome with a fragment of Saint Francis Xavier's bowels.
Carlos II of Spain died in November 1700. His death, without any ostensible heir, brought about the War of the Spanish Succession, which involved all of the European powers. Tuscany, however, remained neutral. Cosimo recognised Philip, duc d'Anjou, as Carlos's successor, whose administration refused to sanction the Trattamento Reale reserved for the royal family. The Grand Duke, soon after the royal altercation, accepted the investure of the nominal Spanish fief of Siena from Philip, thereby confirming his status as a Spanish vassal.
Gian Gastone was consuming money at a rapid pace in Bohemia, wracking up titanic debts. The Grand Duke, alarmed, sent the Marquis Rinnuci to scrutinise the Prince's debts. Rinnuci was abhorred to discover that Jan Josef, Count of Breuner and Archbishop of Prague, was among his creditors. In an attempt to salvage Gian Gastone from shipwreck, Rinnuci tried to coerce Anna Maria Franziska to return to Florence, where Gian Gastone longed to be. She blankly refused. Her confessor, hoping to keep her in Bohemia, regaled her with tales of the "poisoned" Eleanor of Toledo and Isabella Orsini, other Medici consorts.
Cosimo's piety had not faded in the slightest since his youth. He visited the Florentine Convent of Saint Mark on a daily basis. A contemporary recounted that "The Grand Duke knows all the monks of Saint Mark at least by sight..." This, however, did not occupy all his efforts: He was still trying to coax Anna Maria Franziska to Florence, where he believed her caprices would cease. Additionally, in 1719, he claimed that God asked him to pledge the Grand Duchy to "the governance and absolute dominion of the most glorious Saint Joseph."
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, died in May 1705. His successor, Joseph I, took to government with a burst of ebullience. Following the Battle of Turin, a decisive Imperial victory, the Emperor sent an envoy to Florence to collect feudal dues, amounting to 300,000 doubloons, an exorbitant sum; and to force Cosimo to recognise the Archduke Charles as King of Spain. Fearing a Franco-Dutch invasion, Cosimo III refused to recognise Charles's title, but he did pay a fraction of the dues.
The Grand Prince Ferdinando was grievously ill with syphilis; he had become prematurely senile, not recognising anybody who came to see him. Cosimo despaired. He successfully requisitioned the assistance of Pope Clement XI with Anna Maria Franziska. He sent the Archbishop of Prague to reproach her. She cited the example of Marguerite-Louise, adding that the Pope did not bother himself to machinate a reconciliation. Cosimo wrote desperate missives to the Electress Palatine: "I can tell you now, in case you are not informed, that we have no money in Florence..." He added that "two or three quarters of my pension are fallen into arrears."
Gian Gastone arrived in Tuscany, without his wife, in 1708. The Emperor, thinking it unlikely that any male heirs were to be born to the Medici, prepared to occupy Tuscany, under the pretext of Medici descent. He intimated that upon the Grand Prince's death the Tuscans would rebel against Cosimo's autocratic government. Cosimo, in an act of desperation, had Francesco Maria, the Medici family cardinal, renounce his religious vows and marry Eleanor of Gonzaga, the youngest child of the incumbent Duke of Guastalla. Two years later, Francesco Maria died, taking with him any hope of an heir.
Without any ostensible heir, Cosimo contemplated restoring the Republic of Florence. However, this presented many obstacles. Florence was nominally an Imperial fief, and Siena a Spanish one. The plan was about to be approved by the powers convened at Geertruidenberg when Cosimo abruptly added that if himself and his two sons predeceased the Electress Palatine she should succeed and the republic be re-instituted following her death. The proposal sank, and was ultimately put on hold following the Emperor Joseph's death.
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, agreed to an audience with the Electress Palatine in December 1711. He concluded that the Electress's succession brought no quandary, but added that he must succeed her. Cosimo and herself were abhorred by his reply. Realising how unforthcoming he had been, Charles wrote to Florence agreeing to the project, mentioning but one clause: the Tuscan state must not be bequeathed to the enemies of the House of Austria. At the culmination of the War of the Spanish Succession, at the Treaties of Utrecht and Rattstatt, Cosimo did not vie for international assurances for the Electress's succession. An inaction he would later grow to lament.
The Grand Prince finally succumbed to syphilis on 30 October 1713. Cosimo deposited a succession bill in the Senate, Tuscany's nominal legislature, on 26 November. The bill promulgated that if Gian Gastone predeceased the Electress Palatine, she should ascend to all the states of the Grand Duchy. It was greeted with a standing ovation by the senators. Charles VI was furious. He retorted that the Grand Duchy was an Imperial fief, and that he alone had the prerogative to choose who would succeed. Elisabeth Farnese, heiress to the Duchy of Parma and the second wife of Philip V of Spain, as a great-granddaughter of Margherita de' Medici, exercised a claim to Tuscany.
In May 1716, the Emperor assured the Electress and the Grand Duke that there was no insurmountable obstacle preventing her accession, but that Austria and Tuscany must soon reach an agreement regarding which royal house which was to succeed the Medici. As an incentive to accelerate Cosimo's reply, the Emperor hinted that Tuscany would reap territorial advancements. In June 1717 Cosimo declared his wish that the House of Este should succeed. Charles VI's promises never materialised. In 1718 he repudiated Cosimo's decision, declaring a union between Tuscany and Modena (the Este lands) unacceptable. On 4 April 1718 England, France and the Dutch Republic (and later Austria) selected Don Carlos of Spain, the eldest child of Elisabeth Farnese and Philip V of Spain, as the Tuscan heir. By 1722 the Electress was not even acknowledged as heiress, and Cosimo was reduced to spectator at the conferences for Tuscany's future.
Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine died in June 1717. Anna Maria Luisa returned home in October 1717, bringing with her vast treasures. Cosimo created his elder son's widow, Violante of Bavaria, Governess of Siena as to clearly define her precedence. That did not stop the two ladies from quarrelling, as was his intention. Cosimo discontinued hunting following an accident in January 1717. He accidentally shot, and killed, a man. He was so distraught, that he wished to be tried by the Knights of the Order of Saint Stephen. The state of the Grand Duchy reflected the decay of its ruler; in a 1718 military review, the army numbered less than 3000 men, some of whom were infirm, and aged 70. The navy composed of three galleys, and the crew 198. In September 1721, the Grand Duchess died; instead of willing her possessions to her children, as prescribed by the 1674 agreement; they went to the Princess of Epinoy.
On 22 September 1723 the Grand Duke experienced a two-hour-long fit of trembling. His condition steadily deteriorated. Cosimo was attended by the Papal nuncio and the Archbishop of Pisa on his death bed. The latter pronounced "that this Prince required little assistance in order to die well, for he had studied and cared for nothing else throughout the long course of his life, but to prepare himself for death." On 25 October 1723, six days before his death, Grand Duke Cosimo disseminated a final proclamation commanding that Tuscany shall stay independent; Anna Maria Luisa shall succeed uninhibited to Tuscany after Gian Gastone; the Grand Duke reserves the right to choose his successor, but these stanzas were completely ignored. Six days later, on All Hallow's Eve, he died. He was interred in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Medici necropolis.
Cosimo III left a Tuscany one of the poorest nations in Europe; the treasury empty and the people weary of religious bigotry, the state itself was reduced to a gaming chip in European affairs. Among his enduring edicts is the establishment of the Chianti wine region. Gian Gastone repealed Cosimo's Jewish persecution laws, and eased tariffs and customs. Cosimo's inability to uphold Tuscany's independence led to the succession of the House of Lorraine upon Gian Gastone's death in 1737.
Cosimo did not enjoy a harmonious relationship with his elder son, Ferdinando. They disagreed about Cosimo's bigoted ideology and his monthly allowance. Cosimo married him to a Bavarian princess, Violante Beatrice. This union was exceedingly discontent, and produced no offspring. Anna Maria Luisa was the Grand Duke's favourite child. She married Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine, and like her brother, had no issue. Gian Gastone, Cosimo's eventual successor, despised his father and his court. Anna Maria Luisa arranged for him to marry Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg, a union that produced no children.
Cosimo III de' Medici, Most Serene Grand Duke of Tuscany
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Cosimo III's official style was "Cosimo the Third, By the Grace of God, Grand Duke of Tuscany."
23 May 1670 – 31 October 1721: Grand Master of the Holy Military Order of St. Stephen Pope and Martyr
|Ancestors of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany|
Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of TuscanyBorn: 14 August 1642 Died: 31 October 1723
Ferdinando II de' Medici
| Grand Duke of Tuscany
Gian Gastone de' Medici
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1673.Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici (11 August 1667 – 18 February 1743) was the last lineal descent of the main branch of the House of Medici. A patron of the arts, she bequeathed the Medici's large art collection, including the contents of the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Medicean villas, which she inherited upon her brother Gian Gastone's death in 1737, and her Palatine treasures to the Tuscan state, on the condition that no part of it could be removed from "the Capital of the grand ducal State....[and from] the succession of His Serene Grand Duke."Anna Maria Luisa was the only daughter of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a niece of Louis XIII of France. On her marriage to Elector Johann Wilhelm II, she became Electress of the Palatinate, and, by patronising musicians, she earned for the contemporary Palatine court the reputation of an important music centre. As Johann Wilhelm had syphilis the union produced no offspring, which, combined with her siblings' barrenness, meant that the Medici were on the verge of extinction.
In 1713 Cosimo III altered the Tuscan laws of succession to allow the accession of his daughter, and spent his final years canvassing the European powers to agree to recognise this statute. However, in 1735, as part of a territorial arrangement, the European powers appointed Francis Stephen of Lorraine as heir, and he duly ascended the Tuscan throne in her stead. After the death of Johann Wilhelm, Anna Maria Luisa returned to Florence, where she enjoyed the rank of first lady until the accession of her brother Gian Gastone, who banished her to the Villa La Quiete. When Gian Gastone died in 1737, Francis Stephen's envoy offered Anna Maria Luisa the position of nominal regent of Tuscany, but she declined. Her death, in 1743, brought the grand ducal House of Medici to an end. Her remains were interred in the Medicean necropolis, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, which she helped complete.Anselmo Banduri
Anselmo Banduri (18 August 1671 or 1675 – 4 January 1743) was a Benedictine scholar, archaeologist and numismatologist from the Republic of Ragusa.
Banduri was born in Ragusa, Dalmatia as Matteo (Matija) Banduri, he joined the Benedictines at an early age and took the monk name Anselmo. He studied at Naples, and was eventually sent to Florence, then a flourishing center of higher studies. Here he made the acquaintance of the famous Benedictine scholar Bernard de Montfaucon, at the time traveling in Italy in search of manuscripts for his edition of the works of St. John Chrysostom. Banduri rendered him valuable services and in return was recommended to Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany for the chair of ecclesiastical history in the University of Pavia. It was also suggested that the young Benedictine be sent to Paris for a period of preparation, and especially to acquire a sound critical sense.
After a short sojourn at Rome, Banduri arrived at Paris in 1702 and entered the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés as a pensioner of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. He soon became an apt disciple of the French Maurists and began an edition of the anti-iconoclastic writings of Nicephorus of Constantinople, of the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and of other Greek ecclesiastical authors. Banduri never published these works, though as late as 1722 he announced, as near at hand, their appearance in four folio volumes. In the meantime, he was attracted by the rich treasures of Byzantine manuscript and other material in the Bibliothèque Royale and the Bibliothèque Colbert.
In 1711 he published at Paris his De Administrando Imperio(Imperium Orientale, sive Antiquitates Constantinopolitanae), a documentary illustrated work on the Byzantine Empire, based on medieval Greek manuscripts, some of which were then first made known. He also defended himself successfully against Casimir Oudin, an ex-Premonstratensian, whose attacks were made on a second-hand knowledge of Banduri's work. In 1718 he published, also at Paris, two folio volumes on the imperial coinage from Trajan to the last of the Palaeologi (98-1453), Numismata Imperatorum Romanorum a Trajano Decio usque ad Palaeologos Augustos (supplement by Tanini, Rome, 1791). Of this work Father Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, S.J., prince of numismatologists, says (Doctrina Nummorum I, cviii) that it contains few important contributions. At the same time he praises the remarkable bibliography of the subject that Banduri prefixed to this work under the title of Bibliotheca nummaria sive auctorum qui de re nummaria scripserunt, reprinted by Johann Albert Fabricius (Hamburg, 1719).
In 1715 Banduri was made an honorary foreign member of the Académie des Inscriptions, and in 1724 was appointed librarian to the Duke of Orléans; he had in vain solicited a similar office at Florence on the death of the famous Antonio Magliabechi.
He died in Paris.Antonio Ferrante Gonzaga, Duke of Guastalla
Antonio Ferrante Gonzaga (9 December 1687 – 16 April 1729) was Duke of Guastalla.
He was the son of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Guastalla and Maria Vittoria Gonzaga. His sister was Eleonora Luisa Gonzaga, sister in law to Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
He succeeded his father in 1714.
He was engaged to Maria Karolina Sobieska, granddaughter of John III Sobieski but Maria Karolina (known as Charlotte) refused.
He married first with Margherita Cesarini, and remarried on 23 February 1727 in Darmstadt with Landgravine Theodora of Hesse-Darmstadt (6 February 1706 – 23 January 1784), daughter of Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt, granddaughter of Louis VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt.
These marriages remained childless.
Antonio Ferrante was burned alive in an accident in Guastalla.
After his death, the Duchy went to his younger brother Giuseppe Gonzaga.Billingbear House
Billingbear House was situated in the parish of Waltham St. Lawrence in Berkshire, England, about six miles from Windsor.
Originally owned by the Bishop of Winchester, the land was given to Sir Henry Neville (father of politician and diplomat, Sir Henry Neville) in 1549 by King Edward VI. He finally took possession in 1567 and began construction of a Tudor mansion.With the identification in 2005 of the younger Sir Henry Neville as a candidate for the authorship of the Shakespearean plays and sonnets, it is conceivable that some of those works might have been composed at Billingbear. It has been noted that the play The Merry Wives of Windsor displays a knowledge of local towns, a Windsor inn, and a local tale called Herne the Hunter.When the house was visited by Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Lorenzo Magalotti in 1669, their host was Colonel John Neville. A member of the duke's retinue painted a view of the house during the two-day stay, which is one of various images to be found in an illustrated manuscript in the Laurentian Library, Florence. An English translation of this manuscript was published in London in 1821; Indian ink copies of the original 17th-century paintings, by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, were reproduced as scaled-down engravings for inclusion in this publication.The house stood until 1924, when it was destroyed by fire, and the shell then torn down. The surviving architectural features were used to restore the dilapidated Bulmershe Court, also in Berkshire, in 1925. One room of Billingbear House was transported to the United States in the early 20th century and survives today at Pace College in Manhattan, near the New York City Hall. It is reputedly haunted.Britain's Bourse
Britain's Bourse, also known as the New Exchange, was a shopping arcade located on the Strand, London opened by James I in 1609. It was demolished in 1737.Inigo Jones submitted a design, but these were not used. It was built by Sir Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury. Building commenced on 10 June 1608. The site had previously been occupied by the stables of Durham House, now 52 to 64 Strand. It was briefly known as the Salisbury Exchange, but was renamed when James I opened the building on 11 April 1609. He was accompanied by his queen, Anne of Denmark, his son, later Charles I of England and daughter Elizabeth, later Queen of Bohemia.It primarily catered for women providing not only fashionable clothes and millinery, but also ornaments and items of furniture. However it also included several bookshops. Along with the Royal Exchange it provided one of the major shopping centres in London, particularly after the Fire of London.Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany visited the premises during his visit to England in 1669 and described the building:
"The building has a facade of stone, built after the Gothic style, which has lost its colour from age and become blackish. It contains two long and double galleries, one above the other, in which are distributed in several rows great numbers of very rich shops of drapers and mercers filled with goods of every kind, and with manufactures of the most beautiful description. These are for the most part under the care of well-dressed women, who are busily employed in work, although many are served by young men called apprentices."Carmignano DOCG
Carmignano is an Italian wine region located in the Tuscany region and centered on the city of Carmignano, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Florence. Noted for the quality of its wines since the Middle Ages, Carmignano was identified by Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany as one of the superior wine producing areas of Tuscany and granted special legal protections in 1716. In the 18th century, the producers of the Carmignano region developed a tradition of blending Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, long before the practice became popularized by the "Super Tuscan" of the late 20th century. In 1975, the region was awarded Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status and subsequently promoted to Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status in 1990 (retroactive to the 1988 vintage. Today Carmignano has approximately 270 acres (110 ha) planted, producing nearly 71,500 gallons ( 2,700 hectoliters) of DOCG designated wine a year.Castello Plan
The Castello Plan — officially entitled Afbeeldinge van de Stadt Amsterdam in Nieuw Neederlandt (Dutch, "Picture of the City of Amsterdam in New Netherland") — is an early city map of Lower Manhattan from an original of 1660. It was created by Jacques Cortelyou (ca. 1625–1693), a surveyor in what was then called New Amsterdam — later renamed by Province of New York settlement as New York City. The map presently in the New York Public Library is a copy created around 1665 to 1670 by an unknown draughtsman from a lost Cortelyou original.
Around 1667, cartographer Joan Blaeu (1596–1673) bound the existing plan, together with other hand-crafted New Amsterdam depictions, to an atlas, which he sold to Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This transaction most likely happened in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as it has yet to be proven that Blaeu ever set foot in New Netherland.
The plan remained in Italy, where in 1900 it was discovered at the Villa di Castello near Florence. It was printed in 1916 and received the name "Castello Plan" at that time.
It is covered extensively in Volume 2 of Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes' six-volume survey, The Iconography of Manhattan Island (1915-1928).Chianti (region)
Chianti [kjan:ti] (in Italian also referred as Monti del Chianti or Colline del Chianti) is a rural region of Tuscany in Italy in the provinces of Florence, Siena and Arezzo, composed mainly of hills and mountains. It is known worldwide for the wine produced in and named for the region, Chianti.Cosimo
Cosimo is the Italian form of the Greek name Κοσμᾶς Kosmas (latinised as Cosmas).
It may refer to:
Articles related to the Medici family:
Ancestors of Cosimo I de Medici in three generations
Descendants of Cosimo I de Medici in three generations
Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder, c. 1474–1475 painting by Sandro Botticelli
Portrait of Cosimo I de' Medici, 1545 painting by Agnolo di Cosimo
Statue of Cosimo I, 1596 statue in Pisa, ItalyFictional people with the given name Cosimo:
Cosimo Piovasco di Rondò, hero of Italo Calvino's 1957 novel The Baron in the TreesMembers of the Medici family:
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici (1667–1743), daughter of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo de' Medici (1389–1464), ruler of Florence, Italy
Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici (disambiguation), any of several people of the same name
Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1519–1574)
Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1590–1621)
Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1642–1723)
Ferdinando (III) de' Medici (1663–1713), hereditary prince of Tuscany
Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1671–1737)
Giovanni de' Medici (1421–1463), Italian banker
Giovanni de' Medici (cardinal) (1544–1562)
Lorenzo de' Medici (1449–1492), Florentine statesman
Lucrezia de' Medici (1544–1562), daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Maria de' Medici (1540–1557), daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici (1416–1469), ruler of FlorencePeople with the surname Cosimo:
Bronzino (proper name Agnolo di Cosimo), (1503–1572), Florentine painter
Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522), Italian painterPopes:
Pope Innocent VII (c. 1336–1406), born Cosimo de' MiglioratiReal people with the given name Cosimo:
Cosimo Antonelli (1925–2014), Italian water polo player
Cosimo Bartoli (1503–1572), Italian diplomat and humanist
Cosimo Boscaglia (c.1550–1621), Italian professor of philosophy
Cosimo Caliandro (born 1982), Italian middle distance runner
Cosimo Cavallaro (born 1961), Italian-Canadian artist
Cosimo Commisso (soccer), Canadian soccer player
Cosimo Daddi (before 1575–1630), Italian painter
Cosimo Fancelli (c. 1620–1688), Italian sculptor
Cosimo Fanzago (1591–1678), Italian architect and sculptor
Cosimo Lotti (1571–1643), Italian engineer
Cosimo Matassa (born 1926), Italian-American studio owner
Cosimo Morelli (1732–1812), Italian architect
Cosimo Perrotta, Italian professor of economic history
Cosimo Pinto (born 1943), Italian boxer
Cosimo Rosselli (1439–after 1506), Italian painter
Cosimo Tura (c. 1430–1495), Italian painter
Cosimo Ulivelli (1625–1704), Italian painterWorks by Piero di Cosimo:
Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci (Piero di Cosimo), c. 1480 painting by Piero di Cosimo
The Myth of Prometheus (Piero di Cosimo), 1515 series of five panels by Piero di CosimoFerdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany
Ferdinando de' Medici (9 August 1663 – 31 October 1713) was the eldest son of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Marguerite Louise d'Orléans. Ferdinando was heir to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, with the title Grand Prince, from his father's accession in 1670 until his death in 1713. He is remembered today primarily as a patron of music. An excellent musician himself (sometimes called "the Orpheus of princes"), he attracted top musicians to Florence and thus made it an important musical center. Through his patronage of Bartolomeo Cristofori, Ferdinando made possible the invention of the piano.Jan van Mieris
Jan van Mieris (17 June 1660 – 17 March 1690) was a Dutch painter.
He was born in Leiden, the eldest son of Frans van Mieris the Elder. His brother Willem van Mieris was also a painter. Jan learned the art of painting from his father and from Gerard de Lairesse. In his youth, various sicknesses impeded him in the progress of his studies. Around 1686–87, he travelled to Germany and Florence, where the fame of his father's merit procured him a most honourable reception from Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He then proceeded to Rome, where his abilities were already well known, and his works exceedingly coveted. In that city his condition worsened, but he continued to work for as long as he could. He died in Rome.John Rolle (died 1706)
Sir John Rolle (1626 – April 1706), KB, of Stevenstone, Devon, was an English landowner, Sheriff of Devon in 1682 and MP for Barnstaple (1660) and for Devon (1661–1679). The Travel Journal of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1642-1723) states of him: "This gentleman is one of the richest in the country, having an estate of six thousand pounds sterling per annum, besides a considerable property in ready money".La Dori
La Dori, overo Lo schiavo reggio (Doris, or The Royal Slave) is a tragi-comic opera in a prologue and three acts composed by Antonio Cesti to a libretto by Giovanni Filippo Apolloni. It was first performed in the court theatre at Innsbruck in 1657. The story is set in Babylon on the shores of the Euphrates and is a convoluted tale of mistaken identities—a female protagonist who disguised as a man eventually regains her lost lover, and a man disguised as a woman who causes another man to fall in love with him. In several respects it resembles the plot of Cesti and Apolloni's earlier opera L'Argia and foreshadows Apostolo Zeno's libretto for Gli inganni felici (1695) and Metastasio's libretto for L'Olimpiade (1733). The first Italian staging of La Dori was in Florence in 1661 for the wedding of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. It subsequently became one of the most popular operas in 17th-century Italy. The opera was revived three times in the 20th century, beginning in 1983.List of governors of Siena
A list of the Governors of Siena, a jurisdiction of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (1569−1859) after the dissolution of the Republic of Siena.
The republic was centered on the present day city of Siena, located in the Tuscany region of Italy.Paolo Falconieri
Paolo Falconieri (1638–1704) was an Italian architect, painter and mathematician, from a noble family of Florence, whose intellectual interests were wide-ranging, one of the virtuosi of the first scientific century.
He was a member of the court of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and a prominent member of the Florentine Accademia del Cimento, selected in 1668 to accompany the secretary Lorenzo Magalotti in presenting to the Royal Society in London and to Charles II, copies of the newly printed reports of experimental science in Florence, Saggi di naturali esperienze. He produced a plan for enlarging Palazzo Pitti in 1681.Pier Antonio Micheli
Pier Antonio Micheli (December 11, 1679 – January 1, 1737) was a noted Italian botanist, professor of botany in Pisa, curator of the Orto Botanico di Firenze, author of Nova plantarum genera iuxta Tournefortii methodum disposita. He discovered the spores of mushrooms, was a leading authority on cryptogams, and coined several important genera of microfungi including Aspergillus and Botrytis.
Micheli was born in Florence in 1679. According to a short description from the libraries of Harvard University, he taught himself Latin and began the study of plants at a young age under Bruno Tozzi. In 1706 he was appointed botanist to Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, director of the Florence gardens, and a professor at the University of Pisa.
His Nova plantarum genera (1729) was a major step in the knowledge of fungi. In this work, he gave descriptions of 1900 plants, of which about 1400 were described for the first time. Among these were 900 fungi and lichens, accompanied by 73 plates. He included information on "the planting, origin and growth of fungi, mucors, and allied plants", and was the first to point out that fungi have reproductive bodies or spores. His work was met with skepticism by other botanists of the time.He observed that when spores were placed on slices of melon the same type of fungi were produced that the spores came from, and from this observation he noted that fungi did not arise from spontaneous generation. He also formulated a systematic classification system with keys for genera and species.
He was a collector of plant and mineral specimens, and on one of his collecting trips, in 1736, he contracted pleurisy, of which he soon after died in Florence.San Silvestro, Venice
San Silvestro is a church building in the sestiere of San Polo of Venice, northern Italy.
The church is located in the business district of Rialto. Originally, in the 12th century, it was under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Grado. After rebuilding, it was reconsecrated in 1422, and in 1485 it merged with the Oratory of Santa Maria dei Patriarchi e di Ognissanti. After a partial collapse in 1820, the church was entirely rebuilt from 1837, being reconsecrated in 1850, to designs by Giovanni Meduna. The facade is modern, and was completed in 1909 by Giuseppe Sicher. The Baroque ceiling has paintings by Ludovico Dorigny. The altars were designed in the 19th century by Santi and decorated by the sculptor Giovanni Antonio Dorigo.
The interior has four Renaissance panels, and a Baptism of Christ by Tintoretto.
The Adoration of the Magi by Paolo Veronese is a large oil painting on canvas painted for the church in 1573 which has been in the National Gallery, London since the church sold it in 1855, presumably to finance the rebuilding. The painting was commissioned by the confraternity of Saint Joseph, the Scuola di San Giuseppe, and placed beside their altar on the left hand wall of the nave. They were not one of the very wealthy Scuole Grandi of Venice, nor trade-based like others with altars in the church, but essentially devotional, and they included female members.The church had a number of significant paintings, and the Veronese was next to the altar of St Joseph on the left side wall, which in the next century was given an altarpiece by Johann Carl Loth of the unusual subject of Joseph presenting the newborn Jesus to God the Father, which remains in the church. The Veronese had some fame, being singled out for mention in early guide books such as Giovanni Stringa's 1604 revision of Francesco Sansovino's Venetia. In 1670 agents of the new Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who had failed to persuade the convent of Saint Catherine to sell Veronese's Mystical Marriage of St Catherine of 1575 (now Gallerie dell'Accademia), turned to San Silvestro and attempted to bribe every member of the confraternity to sell the work, but failed after two years.Teodor Lubieniecki
Teodor Lubieniecki (ca. 1654, Czarkowy – 1718, Nowy Korczyn) was a Polish baroque painter and engraver.