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Alessandro de' Medici: An Introduction

Today is the 480th year anniversary of the assassination of Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence. This event is relevant to the blog as Alessandro is considered by many to be the first black head of state in Europe. This is said because evidence points toward his mother (Simonetta da Collevecchio) being a servant of African descent. There is some debate over whether his father was Lorenzo II de' Medici or Giulio de' Medici (later Pope Clement VII). Alessandro was ruler of Florence from from 1531 until 1537.

I first came across Alessandro de' Medici by way of a portrait. When I saw the picture, I knew I had to do more research on the man. Fortunately, there was an amazing book to help me along. The book The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de' Medici is by Catherine Fletcher historian and author. My interest in the man was further heightened by the Medici: Masters of Florence television series.



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