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Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence (2005)
by Tim Parks
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393328457, Paperback)
“A swift and brilliant synthesis of finance, politics, and history.”—Ben Sisario, New York Times Book ReviewBefore they achieved renown as patrons of the arts and de facto rulers of Florence, the Medici family earned their fortune in banking. But even at the height of the Renaissance, charging interest of any kind meant running afoul of the Catholic Church’s ban on usury. Tim Parks reveals how the legendary Medicis—Cosimo and Lorenzo “the Magnificent” in particular—used the diplomatic, military, and even metaphysical tools at hand, along with a healthy dose of intrigue and wit, to further their fortunes as well as their family’s standing.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:34 -0400)
Their name is a byword for immense wealth and power, but before their renown as art patrons and noblemen, the Medicis built their fortune on banking. Banking in the fifteenth century, even at the height of the Renaissance, meant running afoul of the Catholic Church's prohibition against usury. It required more than merely financial skills to make a profit, and the legendary Medicis--most famously Cosimo and Lorenzo ("the Magnificent")--were masterly at the political, diplomatic, military, and even metaphysical tools that were needed to maintain their family's position. Parks uncovers the intrigues, dodges, and moral qualities that gave the Medicis their edge. Evoking the richness of the Florentine Renaissance and the Medicis' glittering circle, replete with artists, popes, and kings, Medici Money is a look into the origins of modern banking and its troubled relationship with art and religion. --From publisher description.
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