Cosimo de' Medici (Bronzino)
Photo: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
But Cosimo does not only inherit his father’s wealth and influence but above all the suspicions of the other patrician families. They are in a deep financial crises after an unprofitable war between Florence and Lucca and fear a coup by the Medici. The other families stage a trial to banish Cosimo from Florence. But the clever strategist already transferred all his money to Venice. The following years form Cosimo’s most valuable virtue: he waits patiently, with no ostensible resentment, and strengthens international contacts. 10 years later, in 1434, Florence is at the verge of financial ruin and Cosimo triumphantly returns to his home town.
He waited many years for this moment and does not waste a second to get started. He banishes those who once did the same thing to him and replaces all important offices with his allies. He remains in the background while controlling all of the cities councils. By all accounts, Florence is a republic – but in truth it is ruled by a patron: Cosimo.