The categorization of people of mixed African and European descent as black—through the “one-drop rule”—was a phenomenon of early 20th-century America. When I did, I found it not in the city’s galleries, but in an academic book chapter in the University of London library. For a very long time, the city of Florence has been mythologized as the symbolic heart of European culture, the cradle of western civilization. As a consolation prize for his “stolen” Dukedom, Alessandro’s cousin-slash-rival Ippolito got a cushy job in the Catholic Church, and he almost immediately started using his power to wreak vengeance on “The Moor.” Proving that blood was not thicker than water, Ippolito swore to depose Alessandro by any means necessary. On 5 January 1589, Catherine de’ Medici finally died. For years, historians wondered who orchestrated the hit. That’s…not what happened. In the night, King Charles IX signed the order to execute all Huguenots for conspiracy against France. He sent away his guards, got comfy on the couch, and fell asleep…for the last time. In 1536, when he was 26 years old, Alessandro married the wealthy Margaret of Austria…and “gnarly” doesn’t even begin to describe their union. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! The death toll has never been accurately counted, and estimates of those murdered range from 10,000 to 70,000. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery. "I don’t think I’ve been very ambiguous about the fact that I am a monarchist who thinks revolutionaries should be drug out into the street and shot..." - The Mad Monarchist, "For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart takes no rest in the night", 'Above lofty timbers, the walls around are bare, echoing to our laughter, as though the dead were there. But there was no need for such precautions on a short walk to meet the pretty Caterina. “I will recount this death (about which there are various tales and reports) with greater truth,” wrote Varchi, “having heard it from Lorenzo himself . He would soon plot a brutal revenge. Um, no. This woman had committed so many atrocities while she was alive, that the population of France could have been healthier without her. Tellingly nicknamed “Bad Lorenzo,” Alessandro’s clansman was bitter and jealous of The Moor’s success, and was all too happy to pick up where Ippolito left off. Her manipulation had no bounds, once her husband had died, from her royal children (The good and bad), to the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. It had a conno­tation of species-mixing: a mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey. French philosopher Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, was a highly influential political thinker during the Age of Enlightenment. In this letter she stated: “I am grief-stricken to have witnessed such a scene and the love which he showed me at the end … My only consolation is to see you here soon, as your kingdom requires, and in good health, for if I were to lose you, I would have myself buried alive with you.” She was obviously not a good mother, but to speak so freely of her love of one son right after one had died shows the malice and disdain in her. So he gave her an unsettling “present.” To commemorate the moment, Alessandro gifted his side-piece with a portrait…of himself. Alessandro wasn’t just playing around with Taddea, he was absolutely infatuated with the woman. I remember realizing one day, as a bored, depressed 21-year-old, that in the instant before my death I would give anything to have this same horrible moment back again. You see, blood calls for blood. In his formal confession Apology, written a few days after the horrific act, Lorenzino claimed he’d done it because the power-hungry Alessandro had overstepped his boundaries and needed to be brought down to make way for a new Florentine Republic. A few years ago, when I visited the Uffizi Gallery, his portrait was not on display. This time, he was terrifyingly successful. . The literary Internet’s most important stories, every day. After her brother's premature death in 1519, she educated his daughter Catherine, the future Queen of France. Taddea wasn’t just Alessandro’s prized side-piece, she was also the mother of two of Alessandro’s illegitimate children, Guilio and Giulia de Medici, who were born just before or just after he got hitched. The paintings we have of Alessandro show a good-looking man, but this Duke’s narcissism knew no bounds. Many claimed that Alessandro had orchestrated his cousin’s end by way of poison, which, given his absolutist and despotic rule, didn’t seem too far-fetched. Arriving in the Piazza di San Marco, just a few minutes away from his home, Alessandro dismissed all his companions except one. As European slave-trading in West Africa expanded, black Africans were brought to Italy in increasing numbers: they were stereotyped as uncivilized and inferior. He did not assume they would be familiar. You never can tell with these Medicis. The Medicis had never been popular, but by the time Alessandro was born, their power was waning—and the wolves were closing in. It is not always a heroic life. Let’s just…, The Truth Always Comes Out: Dark Family Secrets Exposed, Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress, These People Got Revenge In The Most Ingenious Ways, Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife, Hospital Workers Admit The Spookiest Things They've Ever Witnessed While On The Job, 42 Debauched Facts About Historical Royal Scandals. Was this Florentine nobleman really a Black, African man? Factinate is a fact website that is dedicated to finding and sharing fun facts about science, history, animals, films, people, and much more. Poor Francis died at the age of 16, possibly from an infection or abscess in his ear. Before their marriage, Alessandro took up with a beautiful mistress named Taddea Malaspina, and he wasn’t about to let a little thing called “the sanctity of marriage” push him into monogamy. He was a magnate, diplomat, politician, and patron of scholars, artists, and poets. I’d like to say that Alessandro never forgot his mother’s struggle…but I can’t. To prove to friends that he was real, I was reduced to apologetic leafing through old exhibition catalogues in the gallery bookshop.


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