Politics, Power, and Persuasion: Meet Cosimo I de' Medici

His father ordered him thrown out of a window as a baby to see if he was brave. It was the first of many tests that Cosimo I would pass with flying colours. Cosimo I de’ Medici was born in Palazzo Salviati on June 12th 1519, an only child like his father Lodovico de’ Medici, a strong and fierce condottiero (mercenary) known as Giovanni of the Black Bands. Giovanni worked for Pope Leo X and they were so close that it was for Leo that Cosimo was given his name. When Cosimo was born, Leo X stood as Godfather and sent the orders that the child be named Cosimo, “to revive the memory of the wisest, the bravest, and most prudent man yet born to the house of Medici.”

Cosimo I de’ Medici 1519 – 1574

Cosimo I de’ Medici 1519 – 1574

While Giovanni was away for Cosimo’s actual birth, the story goes that when he returned, he stood beneath a window of the Salviati Palazzo where Maria was holding her son in her arms. “Buttami Cosimino!” he cried to her. “Throw him to me!” Who knows what she must have thought, but he insisted and so she dropped her baby out of the window where he fell into to waiting arms of his father below. Giovanni was proud, declaring to all who would listen that his son had neither cried nor struggled, proof of his great courage. “You’ll be a prince,” he allegedly said, which became true enough. He is famously known as the second Duke of Florence and the first Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Read More at The Medici Dynasty Website