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Family in Rome - History

Family in Rome - History

Family in rome

The head of the Roman houshold was the paterfafamilias-the leading male. The paterfamilias excersices complete control over the family. Father arranged the marriage of their daughters. In the time or Republic woman had almost legal rights. Later women were able to own property. Divorce became prevelant during the end of the Republic. Girls could marry as early as 12 years old, but the typical girl married at 14.


Ancient Roman Family

The Roman family was called familia, from which the Latin word 'family' is derived. The familia could include the triad with which we are familiar, two parents and children (biological or adopted), as well as enslaved people and grandparents. The head of the family (referred to as the pater familias) was in charge of even adult males in the familia.

See Jane F. Gardner's "Family and Familia in Roman Law and Life" reviewed by Richard Saller in The American Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 1. (Feb. 2000), pp. 260-261.


Colonna Family

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Colonna Family, noble Roman family of great antiquity and importance, descended from the 10th-century counts of Tusculum. The first to take the name Colonna (“de Columna”) was Piero, the son of Gregorio, Count of Tusculum, who on Gregorio’s death (c. 1064) received the castle of Colonna in the Alban Hills, together with Palestrina and other places, as his share of the inheritance. Like other Roman families, the Colonna gained power and wealth through papal favour and by the 13th century were already providing cardinals and senators of Rome. Thereafter, the Colonna were consistently prominent in the politics of the church and the city of Rome.

Throughout the Middle Ages, they figured among the most unruly and potent of the Roman baronial dynasties their feuds with the Caetani and Orsini dominated the local history of a region where feudal power long remained unsubdued. Of more than local importance, however, was their bitter quarrel with the Caetani pope, Boniface VIII, who tried to extirpate the family and drove them into alliance with his enemy, the French king Philip IV the Fair Sciarra Colonna (d. 1329) led the armed attack on Boniface at Anagni on Sept. 7, 1303. On the pope’s death the Colonna recovered their lands and influence, and for many years subsequently Rome was harassed by their struggle for power with the Orsini, which divided the nobility into two contending factions. These conditions gave rise to Cola di Rienzo’s popular dictatorship, which was a check to all the Roman magnates and notably the Colonna, over whom the tribune won a bloody victory at Porta San Lorenzo in Rome on Nov. 20, 1347. The check, however, was temporary Colonna power was undiminished and soon after was signally increased by the election at Constance of Cardinal Oddone Colonna as Pope Martin V. During his pontificate (1417–31), Martin obtained the grant of fiefs for his family in southern Italy and enriched them with vast estates in papal territory, including Frascati, Paliano, Genazzano, and many other places.

Their power was challenged by Martin’s successor, Eugenius IV, and for well over a century the fortunes of the Colonna continued to be disturbed by conflict with the popes but from the later years of the 16th century they lived in unbroken peace with the papacy, and many members of the family rose to eminence as prelates, soldiers, and statesmen in the service of the church as well as other powers, particularly Spain.

The surviving branches of the family comprise the Colonna di Paliano, the Colonna di Stigliano, and the Barberini-Colonna di Palestrina.


Borghese Family

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Borghese Family, a noble Italian family, originally from Siena, who first gained fame in the 13th century as magistrates, ambassadors, and other public officials. They moved to Rome in the 16th century and there, following the election (1605) of Camillo as Pope Paul V, rose in wealth and fame.

Among the early members, Galgano was papal ambassador to Naples (1456), Pietro was nominated senator by Leo X (pope 1513–21) in 1516, and Giambattista was a famed apologist for Clement VII (pope 1523–34).

The move to Rome was started by Marcantonio (1504–74), the father of Camillo Borghese, the future Pope Paul V. (See Paul V under Paul [Papacy].) Paul V bestowed privileges upon family members, first naming as cardinal his nephew Scipione Caffarelli (1576–1633), whom he adopted into the Borghese family.

Augmenting his wealth and influence, Scipione played a leading role in church politics. His chief interest, however, was the cultivation of the arts, to which he devoted the greater part of his life and wealth. Most importantly, he recognized and encouraged the talent of the young Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), who later became the outstanding sculptor and architect of the Italian Baroque.

With the sizable income that he enjoyed from the several ecclesiastic offices that he held, Scipione financed the restoration and construction of many churches and palaces in the city of Rome. His major project was to have the Villa Borghese built in Rome, where he assembled an important collection of paintings and sculptures.

Pope Paul V also helped his nephew Marcantonio II (1601–58), who fathered the present branch of the Borghese family, whose wealth and estates he vastly augmented. Paul V obtained for Marcantonio the important principality of Sulmona and made him prince of Vivaro. Marcantonio married Camilla Orsini (1619), thereby acquiring the estates of the powerful Orsini family. He also arranged the marriage of his son Paolo (d. 1646) to Olimpia, the Aldobrandini heiress.

Other family members who remained prominent in church affairs in Siena included Cardinals Pier Maria (c. 1600–1642), Francesco (1697–1759), and Scipione (1734–82). Somewhat later, Marcantonio III became viceroy of Naples. The Borghese tradition of patronage of the arts was carried on by his nephew Marcantonio IV (1730–1800), who had the Villa Borghese renewed. He also enlarged the Borghese estates by his marriage to the wealthy and prominent Maria Salviati.

In the 19th century, Camillo Fillipo Ludovico (1775–1832) played an important role in Franco-Italian relations. Having married Napoleon’s sister Marie Pauline (1803), he reached the rank of general in the army and was named governor of Piedmont (1807). After Napoleon’s abdication, he concluded a surrender with the victorious Austrians and later maintained order during the transfer of power. Camillo won infamy for having sold to Napoleon the magnificent Borghese family art collection, part of which he recovered in 1815.

Camillo’s brother Francesco (1776–1839) later became a general. Francesco’s grandsons split the family into two branches. One, led by Paolo (1845–1920), retained the name Borghese the other, led by Giulio (1847–1914), took the cognomen Torlonia.


Farnese Family

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Farnese Family, an Italian family that ruled the duchy of Parma and Piacenza from 1545 to 1731. Originating in upper Lazio, the family soon became noted through its statesmen and its soldiers, especially in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The first of its most celebrated members was Alessandro (1468–1549), the future Pope Paul III (see Paul III under Paul [Papacy]). His vast culture, as well as the love affair of his sister Giulia with Pope Alexander VI, assured his rapid rise at the Roman court. A cardinal from the age of 25, he was elected pope on Oct. 13, 1534, after a compromise reached by the French and the imperial parties. In the prevailing spirit of nepotism, Paul III, at the consistory of Aug. 19, 1545, detached Parma and Piacenza from the papal dominions and erected them into duchies.

Pier Luigi (1503–47), the first duke, was Paul’s son by a woman whose name is unknown. He instituted a supreme council of justice and a ducal chamber, ordered a census of the population, reduced the Valtarese to submission, and curbed the power of the feudal lords. Pier Luigi’s second son and successor, Ottavio (1542–86), made Parma his capital instead of Piacenza and continued his father’s work of internal consolidation and the struggle against the feudal lords. He harshly repressed a conspiracy in 1582 and subdued the Valtarese again. Pier Luigi’s eldest son, Alessandro (1520–89), had been created cardinal at 14. A patron of scholars and artists, it was he who completed the magnificent Farnese palaces in Rome and at Caprarola.

The third duke, Alessandro (1545–92), Ottavio’s son, was the most distinguished male member of the Farnese family (see Farnese, Alessandro, duca di Parma e Piacenza). Educated at the court of Madrid, where he had been sent as a hostage according to a clause in the treaty of Ghent, Alessandro followed a career of arms and, after his father’s death, continued in command of the Spanish forces in Flanders because Philip II would not agree to his return to Parma, of which he was duke in name only.

Alessandro was succeeded in 1592 by his son Ranuccio I (1569–1622), who had been regent since 1586. In 1612 Ranuccio ferociously repressed a conspiracy of the nobles, which was provoked by a further diminution of the privileges of the local feudatories but was abetted by the Gonzaga dukes of Mantua and perhaps also by the house of Savoy.

Ranuccio’s son and successor, Odoardo I (1612–46), was ambitious and impulsive, and he engaged in inconclusive campaigns and diplomacy during the Thirty Years’ War. His eldest son, Ranuccio II (1630–94), who succeeded him in 1646, inherited a heavy financial and diplomatic burden. In 1649 Pope Innocent X accused the Farnese of the murder of an ecclesiastic and seized the fief Ranuccio declared war but was utterly defeated at Bologna on August 13 of that year. Although the duchy survived, it remained on the whole precarious, one of the reasons being the continual passage of troops during the War of the Grand Alliance.

Francesco (1678–1727), son of Ranuccio II and his successor in 1694, attempted to save the fortunes of the state and of the dynasty, now in utter decadence, by his economic and diplomatic initiative, but his only important success was the marriage of his niece Elisabetta (see Isabella) to Philip V of Spain in 1714, which enabled him to pursue a plan for an anti-Austrian league in Italy.

The last Farnese of the male line was Antonio (1679–1731), duke from 1727. Parma and Piacenza passed to Don Carlos (the future Charles III of Spain), Philip V’s eldest son by Isabella.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


Contents

Establishment Edit

Family history Edit

Decades of civil war during the 1st century BC had contributed greatly to the demise of the old aristocracy of Rome, which was gradually replaced in prominence by a new Italian nobility during the early part of the 1st century AD. [1] One such family were the Flavians, or gens Flavia, which rose from relative obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth and status under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Vespasian's grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesar's civil war. His military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. [2] Nevertheless, Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the extremely wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upward mobility of Petro's son Titus Flavius Sabinus I. [3] Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia (modern Switzerland). By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied himself to the more prestigious patrician gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II and Vespasian to the senatorial rank. [3]

Around 38 AD, Vespasian married Domitilla the Elder, the daughter of an equestrian from Ferentium. They had two sons, Titus Flavius Vespasianus (born in 39) and Titus Flavius Domitianus (born in 51), and a daughter, Domitilla (born in 45). [4] Domitilla the Elder died before Vespasian became emperor. Thereafter his mistress Caenis was his wife in all but name until she died in 74. [5] The political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor, aedile and praetor, and culminated with a consulship in 51, the year Domitian was born. As a military commander, he gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. [6] Nevertheless, ancient sources allege poverty for the Flavian family at the time of Domitian's upbringing, [7] even claiming Vespasian had fallen into disrepute under the emperors Caligula (37–41) and Nero (54–68). [8] Modern history has refuted these claims, suggesting these stories were later circulated under Flavian rule as part of a propaganda campaign to diminish success under the less reputable Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and maximize achievements under Emperor Claudius (41–54) and his son Britannicus. [9] By all appearances, imperial favour for the Flavians was high throughout the 40s and 60s. While Titus received a court education in the company of Britannicus, Vespasian pursued a successful political and military career. Following a prolonged period of retirement during the 50s, he returned to public office under Nero, serving as proconsul of the Africa province in 63, and accompanying the emperor during an official tour of Greece in 66. [10]

From c. 57 to 59, Titus was a military tribune in Germania, and later served in Britannia. His first wife, Arrecina Tertulla, died two years after their marriage, in 65. [11] Titus then took a new wife of a more distinguished family, Marcia Furnilla. However, Marcia's family was closely linked to the opposition to Emperor Nero. Her uncle Barea Soranus and his daughter Servilia were among those who were killed after the failed Pisonian conspiracy of 65. [12] Some modern historians theorize that Titus divorced his wife because of her family's connection to the conspiracy. [13] [14] He never remarried. Titus appears to have had multiple daughters, at least one of them by Marcia Furnilla. [15] The only one known to have survived to adulthood was Julia Flavia, perhaps Titus's child by Arrecina, whose mother was also named Julia. [15] During this period Titus also practiced law and attained the rank of quaestor. [16]

In 66, the Jews of the Judaea Province revolted against the Roman Empire. Cestius Gallus, the legate of Syria, was forced to retreat from Jerusalem and defeated at the battle of Beth-Horon. [17] The pro-Roman king Agrippa II and his sister Berenice fled the city to Galilee where they later gave themselves up to the Romans. Nero appointed Vespasian to put down the rebellion, and dispatched him to the region at once with the fifth and tenth legions. [18] [19] He was later joined by Titus at Ptolemais, bringing with him the fifteenth legion. [20] With a strength of 60,000 professional soldiers, the Romans quickly swept across Galilee, and by 68 marched on Jerusalem. [20]

Rise to power Edit

On 9 June 68, amidst the growing opposition of the Senate and the army, Nero committed suicide, and with him the Julio-Claudian dynasty came to an end. Chaos ensued, leading to a year of brutal civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors, during which the four most influential generals in the Roman Empire—Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian—successively vied for the imperial power. News of Nero's death reached Vespasian as he was preparing to besiege the city of Jerusalem. Almost simultaneously the Senate had declared Galba, then governor of Hispania Tarraconensis (modern Spain), as Emperor of Rome. Rather than continue his campaign, Vespasian decided to await further orders and send Titus to greet the new Emperor. [21] Before reaching Italy, however, Titus learnt that Galba had been murdered and replaced by Otho, the governor of Lusitania (modern Portugal). At the same time, Vitellius and his armies in Germania had risen in revolt, and prepared to march on Rome, intent on overthrowing Otho. Not wanting to risk being taken hostage by one side or the other, Titus abandoned the journey to Rome and rejoined his father in Judaea. [22]

Otho and Vitellius realised the potential threat posed by the Flavian faction. With four legions at his disposal, Vespasian commanded a strength of nearly 80,000 soldiers. His position in Judaea further granted him the advantage of being nearest to the vital province of Egypt, which controlled the grain supply to Rome. His brother Titus Flavius Sabinus II, as city prefect, commanded the entire city garrison of Rome. [14] Tensions among the Flavian troops ran high, but as long as Galba and Otho remained in power, Vespasian refused to take action. [23] When Otho was defeated by Vitellius at the First Battle of Bedriacum, however, the armies in Judaea and Egypt took matters into their own hands and declared Vespasian emperor on 1 July 69. [24] Vespasian accepted, and entered an alliance with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, the governor of Syria, against Vitellius. [24] A strong force drawn from the Judaean and Syrian legions marched on Rome under the command of Mucianus, while Vespasian himself traveled to Alexandria, leaving Titus in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion. [25]

In Rome, meanwhile, Domitian was placed under house arrest by Vitellius, as a safeguard against future Flavian aggression. [26] Support for the old emperor was waning, however, as more legions throughout the empire pledged their allegiance to Vespasian. On 24 October 69 the forces of Vitellius and Vespasian clashed at the Second Battle of Bedriacum, which ended in a crushing defeat for the armies of Vitellius. [27] In despair, he attempted to negotiate a surrender. Terms of peace, including a voluntary abdication, were agreed upon with Titus Flavius Sabinus II, [28] but the soldiers of the Praetorian Guard—the imperial bodyguard—considered such a resignation disgraceful, and prevented Vitellius from carrying out the treaty. [29] On the morning of 18 December, the emperor appeared to deposit the imperial insignia at the Temple of Concord, but at the last minute retraced his steps to the imperial palace. In the confusion, the leading men of the state gathered at Sabinus' house, proclaiming Vespasian Emperor, but the multitude dispersed when Vitellian cohorts clashed with the armed escort of Sabinus, who was forced to retreat to the Capitoline Hill. [30] During the night, he was joined by his relatives, including Domitian. The armies of Mucianus were nearing Rome, but the besieged Flavian party did not hold out for longer than a day. On 19 December, Vitellianists burst onto the Capitol, and in the resulting skirmish, Sabinus was captured and executed. Domitian himself managed to escape by disguising himself as a worshipper of Isis, and spent the night in safety with one of his father's supporters. [30] By the afternoon of 20 December, Vitellius was dead, his armies having been defeated by the Flavian legions. With nothing more to be feared from the enemy, Domitian came forward to meet the invading forces he was universally saluted by the title of Caesar, and the mass of troops conducted him to his father's house. [30] The following day, 21 December, the Senate proclaimed Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire. [31]

Although the war had officially ended, a state of anarchy and lawlessness pervaded in the first days following the demise of Vitellius. Order was properly restored by Mucianus in early 70, who headed an interim government with Domitian as the representative of the Flavian family in the Senate. [30] Upon receiving the tidings of his rival's defeat and death at Alexandria, the new Emperor at once forwarded supplies of urgently needed grain to Rome, along with an edict or a declaration of policy, in which he gave assurance of an entire reversal of the laws of Nero, especially those relating to treason. In early 70, Vespasian was still in Egypt, however, continuing to consolidate support from the Egyptians before departing. [32] By the end of 70, he finally returned to Rome, and was properly installed as Emperor.

The Flavian Dynasty Edit

Vespasian (69–79) Edit

Little factual information survives about Vespasian's government during the ten years he was Emperor. Vespasian spent his first year as a ruler in Egypt, during which the administration of the empire was given to Mucianus, aided by Vespasian's son Domitian. Modern historians believe that Vespasian remained there in order to consolidate support from the Egyptians. [33] In mid-70, Vespasian first came to Rome and immediately embarked on a widespread propaganda campaign to consolidate his power and promote the new dynasty. His reign is best known for financial reforms following the demise of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, such as the institution of the tax on urinals, and the numerous military campaigns fought during the 70s. The most significant of these was the First Jewish-Roman War, which ended in the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by Titus. In addition, Vespasian faced several uprisings in Egypt, Gaul and Germania, and reportedly survived several conspiracies against him. [34] Vespasian helped rebuild Rome after the civil war, adding a temple to peace and beginning construction of the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum. [35] Vespasian died of natural causes on June 23, 79, and was immediately succeeded by his eldest son Titus. [36] The ancient historians that lived through the period such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Pliny the Elder speak well of Vespasian while condemning the emperors that came before him. [37]

Titus (79–81) Edit

Despite initial concerns over his character, Titus ruled to great acclaim following the death of Vespasian on June 23, 79, and was considered a good emperor by Suetonius and other contemporary historians. [38] In this role he is best known for his public building program in Rome, and completing the construction of the Colosseum in 80, [39] but also for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by two disasters, the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79, and the fire of Rome of 80. [40] Titus continued his father's efforts to promote the Flavian dynasty. He revived practice of the imperial cult, deified his father, and laid foundations for what would later become the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, which was finished by Domitian. [41] [42] After barely two years in office, Titus unexpectedly died of a fever on September 13, 81, and was deified by the Roman Senate. [43]

Domitian (81–96) Edit

Domitian was declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard the day after Titus' death, commencing a reign which lasted more than fifteen years—longer than any man who had governed Rome since Tiberius. Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, [44] expanded the border defenses of the Empire, [45] and initiated a massive building programme to restore the damaged city of Rome. [46] In Britain, Gnaeus Julius Agricola expanded the Roman Empire as far as modern day Scotland, [47] but in Dacia, Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory in the war against the Dacians. [48] On September 18, 96, Domitian was assassinated by court officials, and with him the Flavian dynasty came to an end. The same day, he was succeeded by his friend and advisor Nerva, who founded the long-lasting Nervan-Antonian dynasty. Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, with which he had a notoriously difficult relationship throughout his reign. Senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Suetonius published histories after his death, propagating the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern history has rejected these views, instead characterising Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat, whose cultural, economic and political programme provided the foundation for the Principate of the peaceful 2nd century. His successors Nerva and Trajan were less restrictive, but in reality their policies differed little from Domitian's. [49]

Government Edit

Since the fall of the Republic, the authority of the Roman Senate had largely eroded under the quasi-monarchical system of government established by Augustus, known as the Principate. The Principate allowed the existence of a de facto dictatorial regime, while maintaining the formal framework of the Roman Republic. [50] Most Emperors upheld the public facade of democracy, and in return the Senate implicitly acknowledged the Emperor's status as a de facto monarch. [51] The civil war of 69 had made it abundantly clear that real power in the Empire lay with control over the army. By the time Vespasian was proclaimed emperor in Rome, any hope of restoring the Republic had long dissipated.

The Flavian approach to government was one of both implicit and explicit exclusion. When Vespasian returned to Rome in mid-70, he immediately embarked on a series of efforts to consolidate his power and prevent future revolts. He offered gifts to the military and dismissed or punished those soldiers loyal to Vitellius. [52] He also restructured the Senatorial and Equestrian orders, removing his enemies and adding his allies. Executive control was largely distributed among members of his family. Non-Flavians were virtually excluded from important public offices, even those who had been among Vespasian's earliest supporters during the civil war. Mucianus slowly disappears from the historical records during this time, and it is believed he died sometime between 75 and 77. [53] That it was Vespasian's intention to found a long-lasting dynasty to govern the Roman Empire was most evident in the powers he conferred upon his eldest son Titus. Titus shared tribunician power with his father, received seven consulships, the censorship, and perhaps most remarkably, was given command of the Praetorian Guard. [54] Because Titus effectively acted as co-emperor with his father, no abrupt change in Flavian policy occurred during his brief reign from 79 until 81. [55]

Domitian's approach to government was less subtle than his father and brother. Once Emperor, he quickly dispensed with the Republican facade [56] and transformed his government more or less formally into the divine monarchy he believed it to be. By moving the centre of power to the imperial court, Domitian openly rendered the Senate's powers obsolete. He became personally involved in all branches of the administration: edicts were issued governing the smallest details of everyday life and law, while taxation and public morals were rigidly enforced. [57] Nevertheless, Domitian did make concessions toward senatorial opinion. Whereas his father and brother had virtually excluded non-Flavians from public office, Domitian rarely favoured his own family members in the distribution of strategic posts, admitting a surprisingly large number of provincials and potential opponents to the consulship, [58] and assigning men of the equestrian order to run the imperial bureaucracy. [59]

Financial reforms Edit

One of Vespasian's first acts as Emperor was to enforce a tax reform to restore the Empire's depleted treasury. After Vespasian arrived in Rome in mid-70, Mucianus continued to press Vespasian to collect as many taxes as possible, [60] renewing old ones and instituting new ones. Mucianus and Vespasian increased the tribute of the provinces, and kept a watchful eye upon the treasury officials. The Latin proverb "Pecunia non olet" ("Money does not smell") may have been created when he had introduced a urine tax on public toilets.

Upon his accession, Domitian revalued the Roman coinage to the standard of Augustus, increasing the silver content of the denarius by 12%. An imminent crisis in 85, however, forced a devaluation to the Neronian standard of 65, [61] but this was still higher than the level which Vespasian and Titus had maintained during their reign, and Domitian's rigorous taxation policy ensured that this standard was sustained for the following eleven years. [61] Coin types from this era display a highly consistent degree of quality, including meticulous attention to Domitian's titulature, and exceptionally refined artwork on the reverse portraits. [61]

Jones estimates Domitian's annual income at more than 1,200 million sestertii, of which over one-third would presumably have been spent on maintaining the Roman army. [62] The other major area of expenditure encompassed the vast reconstruction programme carried out on the city of Rome itself.

Military activity Edit

The most significant military campaign undertaken during the Flavian period was the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 by Titus. The destruction of the city was the culmination of the Roman campaign in Judaea following the Jewish uprising of 66. The Second Temple was completely demolished, after which Titus's soldiers proclaimed him imperator in honor of the victory. [63] Jerusalem was sacked and much of the population killed or dispersed. Josephus claims that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish. [64] 97,000 were captured and enslaved, including Simon Bar Giora and John of Giscala. [64] Many fled to areas around the Mediterranean. Titus reportedly refused to accept a wreath of victory, as there is "no merit in vanquishing people forsaken by their own God". [65] Upon his return to Rome in 71, Titus was awarded a triumph. [66] Accompanied by Vespasian and Domitian, he rode into the city, enthusiastically saluted by the Roman populace and preceded by a lavish parade containing treasures and captives from the war. Josephus describes a procession with large amounts of gold and silver carried along the route, followed by elaborate re-enactments of the war, Jewish prisoners, and finally the treasures taken from the Temple of Jerusalem, including the Menorah and the Torah. [67] Leaders of the resistance were executed in the Forum, after which the procession closed with religious sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. [68] The triumphal Arch of Titus, which stands at one entrance to the Forum, memorializes the victory of Titus.

The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia, or modern day Scotland, between 77 and 84. In 82 Agricola crossed an unidentified body of water and defeated peoples unknown to the Romans until then. [69] He fortified the coast facing Ireland, and Tacitus recalls that his father-in-law often claimed the island could be conquered with a single legion and a few auxiliaries. [70] He had given refuge to an exiled Irish king whom he hoped he might use as the excuse for conquest. This conquest never happened, but some historians believe that the crossing referred to was in fact a small-scale exploratory or punitive expedition to Ireland. [71] The following year Agricola raised a fleet and pushed beyond the Forth into Caledonia. To aid the advance, an expansive legionary fortress was constructed at Inchtuthil. [70] In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. [72] Although the Romans inflicted heavy losses on the Caledonians, two-thirds of their army managed to escape and hide in the Scottish marshes and Highlands, ultimately preventing Agricola from bringing the entire British island under his control. [70]

The military campaigns undertaken during Domitian's reign were usually defensive in nature, as the Emperor rejected the idea of expansionist warfare. [73] His most significant military contribution was the development of the Limes Germanicus, which encompassed a vast network of roads, forts and watchtowers constructed along the Rhine river to defend the Empire. [74] Nevertheless, several important wars were fought in Gaul, against the Chatti, and across the Danube frontier against the Suebi, the Sarmatians, and the Dacians. Led by King Decebalus, the Dacians invaded the province of Moesia around 84 or 85, wreaking considerable havoc and killing the Moesian governor, Oppius Sabinus. [75] Domitian immediately launched a counteroffensive, which resulted in the destruction of a legion during an ill-fated expedition into Dacia. Their commander, Cornelius Fuscus, was killed, and the battle standard of the Praetorian Guard lost. [76] In 87, the Romans invaded Dacia once more, this time under command of Tettius Julianus, and finally managed to defeat Decebalus late in 88, at the same site where Fuscus had previously been killed. [77] An attack on Dacia's capital was abandoned, however, when a crisis arose on the German frontier, forcing Domitian to sign a peace treaty with Decebalus which was severely criticized by contemporary authors. [78] For the remainder of Domitian's reign Dacia remained a relatively peaceful client kingdom, but Decebalus used the Roman money to fortify his defenses, and continued to defy Rome. It was not until the reign of Trajan, in 106, that a decisive victory against Decebalus was procured. Again, the Roman army sustained heavy losses, but Trajan succeeded in capturing Sarmizegetusa and, importantly, annexed the gold and silver mines of Dacia. [79]

Natural disasters Edit

Although his administration was marked by a relative absence of major military or political conflicts, Titus faced a number of major disasters during his brief reign. On August 24, 79, barely two months after his accession, Mount Vesuvius erupted, [80] resulting in the almost complete destruction of life and property in the cities and resort communities around the Bay of Naples. The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under metres of stone and lava, [81] killing thousands of citizens. [82] Titus appointed two ex-consuls to organise and coordinate the relief effort, while personally donating large amounts of money from the imperial treasury to aid the victims of the volcano. [83] Additionally, he visited Pompeii once after the eruption and again the following year. [84] The city was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire, frozen at the moment it was buried on August 24, 79. The Forum, the baths, many houses, and some out-of-town villas like the Villa of the Mysteries remain surprisingly well preserved. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On-going excavations reveal new insights into Roman history and culture.

During Titus' second visit to the disaster area, a fire struck Rome which lasted for three days. [83] [84] Although the extent of the damage was not as disastrous as during the Great Fire of 64, crucially sparing the many districts of insulae, Cassius Dio records a long list of important public buildings that were destroyed, including Agrippa's Pantheon, the Temple of Jupiter, the Diribitorium, parts of Pompey's Theatre and the Saepta Julia among others. [84] Once again, Titus personally compensated for the damaged regions. [84] According to Suetonius, a plague similarly struck during the fire. [83] The nature of the disease, however, as well as the death toll, are unknown.

Conspiracies Edit

Suetonius claims that Vespasian was continuously met with conspiracies against him. [34] Only one conspiracy is known specifically. In 78 or 79, Eprius Marcellus and Aulus Caecina Alienus attempted to incite the Praetorian Guard to mutiny against Vespasian, but the conspiracy was thwarted by Titus. [85] According to the historian John Crook, however, the alleged conspiracy was in fact a calculated plot by the Flavian faction to remove members of the opposition tied to Mucianus, with the mutinous address found on Caecina's body a forgery by Titus. [86] When faced with real conspiracies however, Vespasian and Titus treated their enemies with lenience. "I will not kill a dog that barks at me," were words expressing the temper of Vespasian, while Titus once demonstrated his generosity as Emperor by inviting men who were suspected of aspiring to the throne to dinner, rewarding them with gifts and allowing them to be seated next to him at the games. [87]

Domitian appears to have met with several conspiracies during his reign, one of which led to his eventual assassination in 96. The first significant revolt arose on 1 January 89, when the governor of Germania Superior, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, and his two legions at Mainz, Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XXI Rapax, rebelled against the Roman Empire with the aid of the Chatti. [88] The precise cause for the rebellion is uncertain, although it appears to have been planned well in advance. The Senatorial officers may have disapproved of Domitian's military strategies, such as his decision to fortify the German frontier rather than attack, his recent retreat from Britain, and finally the disgraceful policy of appeasement towards Decebalus. [89] At any rate, the uprising was strictly confined to Saturninus' province, and quickly detected once the rumour spread across the neighbouring provinces. The governor of Germania Inferior, Lappius Maximus, moved to the region at once, assisted by the procurator of Rhaetia, Titus Flavius Norbanus. From Spain, Trajan was summoned, whilst Domitian himself came from Rome with the Praetorian Guard. By a stroke of luck, a thaw prevented the Chatti from crossing the Rhine and coming to Saturninus' aid. [90] Within twenty-four days the rebellion was crushed, and its leaders at Mainz savagely punished. The mutinous legions were sent to the front in Illyricum, while those who had assisted in their defeat were duly rewarded. [91]

Both Tacitus and Suetonius speak of escalating persecutions toward the end of Domitian's reign, identifying a point of sharp increase around 93, or sometime after the failed revolt of Saturninus in 89. [92] [93] At least twenty senatorial opponents were executed, [94] including Domitia Longina's former husband Lucius Aelius Lamia and three of Domitian's own family members, Titus Flavius Sabinus IV, Titus Flavius Clemens and Marcus Arrecinus Clemens. [95] Some of these men were executed as early as 83 or 85, however, lending little credit to Tacitus' notion of a "reign of terror" late in Domitian's reign. According to Suetonius, some were convicted for corruption or treason, others on trivial charges, which Domitian justified through his suspicion.

Propaganda Edit

Since the reign of Tiberius, the rulers of the Julio-Claudian dynasty had legitimized their power through adopted-line descent from Augustus and Julius Caesar. Vespasian could no longer claim such a relation, however. Therefore, a massive propaganda campaign was initiated to justify Flavian rule as having been predetermined through divine providence. [96] At the same time, Flavian propaganda emphasised Vespasian's role as a bringer of peace following the crisis of 69. Nearly one-third of all coins minted in Rome under Vespasian celebrated military victory or peace, [97] while the word vindex was removed from coins as to not remind the public of rebellious Vindex. Construction projects bore inscriptions praising Vespasian and condemning previous emperors, [98] and a Temple of Peace was constructed in the forum. [35]

The Flavians also controlled public opinion through literature. Vespasian approved histories written under his reign, assuring biases against him were removed, [99] while also giving financial rewards to contemporary writers. [100] The ancient historians that lived through the period such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Pliny the Elder speak suspiciously well of Vespasian while condemning the emperors that came before him. [37] Tacitus admits that his status was elevated by Vespasian, Josephus identifies Vespasian as a patron and savior, and Pliny dedicated his Natural Histories to Vespasian's son, Titus. [101] Those that spoke against Vespasian were punished. A number of Stoic philosophers were accused of corrupting students with inappropriate teachings and were expelled from Rome. [102] Helvidius Priscus, a pro-Republic philosopher, was executed for his teachings. [103]

Titus and Domitian also revived the practice of the imperial cult, which had fallen somewhat out of use under Vespasian. Significantly, Domitian's first act as Emperor was the deification of his brother Titus. Upon their deaths, his infant son, and niece Julia Flavia, were likewise enrolled among the gods. To foster the worship of the imperial family, Domitian erected a dynastic mausoleum on the site of Vespasian's former house on the Quirinal, [104] and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, a shrine dedicated to the worship of his deified father and brother. [105] To memorialize the military triumphs of the Flavian family, he ordered the construction of the Templum Divorum and the Templum Fortuna Redux, and completed the Arch of Titus. In order to further justify the divine nature of Flavian rule, Domitian also emphasized connections with the chief deity Jupiter, [106] most significantly through the impressive restoration of the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill.

Construction Edit

The Flavian dynasty is perhaps best known for its vast construction programme in the city of Rome, intended to restore the capital from the damage it had suffered during the Great Fire of 64, and the civil war of 69. Vespasian added the Temple of Peace and the Temple to the Deified Claudius. [107] In 75 a colossal statue of Apollo, begun under Nero as a statue of himself, was finished on Vespasian's orders, and he also dedicated a stage of the theater of Marcellus. Construction of the Flavian Amphitheatre, presently better known as the Colosseum (probably after the nearby statue), was begun in 70 under Vespasian and finally completed in 80 under Titus. [108] In addition to providing spectacular entertainments to the Roman populace, the building was conceived as a gigantic triumphal monument to commemorate the military achievements of the Flavians during the Jewish wars. [109] Adjacent to the amphitheatre, within the precinct of Nero's Golden House, Titus also ordered the construction of a new public bath-house, which was to bear his name. [110] Construction of this building was hastily finished to coincide with the completion of the Flavian Amphitheatre. [111]

The bulk of the Flavian construction projects were carried out during the reign of Domitian, who spent lavishly to restore and embellish the city of Rome. Much more than a renovation project, however, Domitian's building programme was intended to be the crowning achievement of an Empire-wide cultural renaissance. Around fifty structures were erected, restored or completed, a number second only to the amount erected under Augustus. [112] Among the most important new structures were an Odeum, a Stadium, and an expansive palace on the Palatine Hill, known as the Flavian Palace, which was designed by Domitian's master architect Rabirius. [113] The most important building Domitian restored was the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill, which was said to have been covered with a gilded roof. Among those he completed were the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, the Arch of Titus, and the Colosseum, to which he added a fourth level and finished the interior seating area. [105]

Entertainment Edit

Both Titus and Domitian were fond of gladiatorial games, and realised its importance to appease the citizens of Rome. In the newly constructed Colosseum, the Flavians provided for spectacular entertainments. The Inaugural games of the Flavian Amphitheatre lasted for a hundred days and were said to be extremely elaborate, including gladiatorial combat, fights between wild animals (elephants and cranes), mock naval battles for which the theatre was flooded, horse races and chariot races. [110] During the games, wooden balls were dropped into the audience, inscribed with various prizes (clothing, gold, or even slaves), which could then be traded for the designated item. [110]

An estimated 135 million sestertii was spent on donatives, or congiaria, throughout Domitian's reign. [114] He also revived the practice of public banquets, which had been reduced to a simple distribution of food under Nero, while he invested large sums on entertainment and games. In 86, he founded the Capitoline Games, a quadrennial contest comprising athletic displays, chariot races, and competitions for oratory, music and acting. [115] Domitian himself supported the travels of competitors from the whole empire and attributed the prizes. Innovations were also introduced into the regular gladiatorial games, such as naval contests, night-time battles, and female and dwarf gladiator fights. [116] Finally, he added two new factions, Gold and Purple, to chariot races, besides the regular White, Red, Green and Blue teams.

The Flavians, although a relatively short-lived dynasty, helped restore stability to an empire on its knees. Although all three have been criticised, especially based on their more centralised style of rule, they issued reforms that created a stable enough empire to last well into the 3rd century. However, their background as a military dynasty led to further marginalisation of the senate, and a conclusive move away from princeps, or first citizen, and toward imperator, or emperor.

Little factual information survives about Vespasian's government during the ten years he was emperor, his reign is best known for financial reforms following the demise of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Vespasian was noted for his mildness and for loyalty to the people. For example, much money was spent on public works and the restoration and beautification of Rome: a new forum, the Temple of Peace, the public baths and the Colosseum.

Titus's record among ancient historians stands as one of the most exemplary of any emperor. All the surviving accounts from this period, many of them written by his own contemporaries such as Suetonius Tranquilius, Cassius Dio, and Pliny the Elder, present a highly favourable view towards Titus. His character has especially prospered in comparison with that of his brother Domitian. In contrast to the ideal portrayal of Titus in Roman histories, in Jewish memory "Titus the Wicked" is remembered as an evil oppressor and destroyer of the Temple. For example, one legend in the Babylonian Talmud describes Titus as having had sex with a whore on a Torah scroll inside the Temple during its destruction. [117]

Although contemporary historians vilified Domitian after his death, his administration provided the foundation for the peaceful empire of the 2nd century CE, and the culmination of the 'Pax Romana'. His successors Nerva and Trajan were less restrictive, but, in reality, their policies differed little from Domitian's. Much more than a gloomy coda to the 1st century, the Roman Empire prospered between 81 and 96, in a reign which Theodor Mommsen described as the sombre but intelligent despotism of Domitian. [118]


Roman Families

For Romans, family was the most important thing. The whole family would all live together in one house or apartment. The family included all unmarried sons and daughters, as well as married sons and their wives. Married daughters went to live with their husband's family.

The family was ruled by the paterfamilias. (Also spelled pater familias) This was always the oldest male in the family. Father, grandfather, uncle, oldest brother, whoever was the oldest male was the absolute ruler of the family. The paterfamilias owned all the family's property and had the power of life and death over every family member. The paterfamilias was also responsible for teaching all the younger males both academics and trades, but also how to act in society.

The paterfamilias was responsible for all the actions of the family. If someone in the family got in trouble, the paterfamilias had to pay the consequences. The paterfamilias could exile members of the family, beat them, sell them into slavery, even kill them with no threat of reprisal.

The paterfamilias was expected to treat his family with fairness and compassion and if he did not, that person would be shunned by the rest of Rome.

Under the kingdom, and then under the republic, women had no rights. A woman's role was to teach her daughters how to behave, and to bear and raise children. Under the empire women received some rights. They could own property, inherit, even get a paid job.

Children were loved. They were educated to the best of a family's ability to do so. They were allowed to play and visit friends. But they were also trained to obey elders. You never talked back to an elder Roman. You never talked back to your family. Doing those things could actually get you thrown out of the house, exiled by the paterfamilias, and never allowed back.

Romans did adopt children. If children were captured in a conquest, they were brought back to Rome. Some were made into slaves, but many others were adopted into Roman families and raised to be good Roman citizens. A wealthy family could also adopt a plebian child. This happened when the patrician family had no children or heirs.

In fact, you could be adopted into a Roman family even if you were an adult. Julius Caesar adopted Octavian, after he had proven himself in battle. He was to be Julius Caesar's heir. (Octavian changed his name to Augustus, and ultimately became the first Roman emperor, after Caesar was assassinated, and after a civil war placed him in power over the objections of several statesmen, including Cicero.)

Older people were treated with honor. The family respected the wisdom and experience that older people had. Within a family, the elders were allowed to work or play as they wanted. This is because Romans believed that the spirits of the elders would bother them if they were treated badly in life.

Most household slaves were well treated. Since they were property and cost money, they were given good care so that they could provide good work. However, they were property and could be sold. On the reverse side if they gave good service, they could be freed and even adopted into the family.


Rome Genealogy (in Oneida County, NY)

NOTE: Additional records that apply to Rome are also found through the Oneida County and New York pages.

Rome Birth Records

New York, Birth Records, 1880-present New York State Department of Health

Rome Cemetery Records

Floyd Cemetery Billion Graves

Hamil Cemetery Billion Graves

Wright Settlement Cemetery Billion Graves

Rome Census Records

United States Federal Census, 1790-1940 Family Search

Rome Church Records

Rome City Directories

Rome Death Records

New York, Death Records, 1880-present New York State Department of Health

Rome Histories and Genealogies

The story of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad Genealogy Gophers

Rome Immigration Records

Rome Land Records

Rome Map Records

Map of Rome, N.Y., 1886 Library of Congress

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Rome, Oneida County, New York, April 1884 Library of Congress

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Rome, Oneida County, New York, July 1888 Library of Congress

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Rome, Oneida County, New York, March 1894 Library of Congress

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Rome, Oneida County, New York, October 1899 Library of Congress

Rome Marriage Records

Rome Military Records

Rome Newspapers and Obituaries

Rome NY Daily Sentinel 1842-1930 Fulton History

Rome NY Roman Citizen 1840-1903 Fulton History

Rome NY Telegraph 1834-1837 Fulton History

Rome daily sentinel. Rome, N.Y. 1899-07-01 to 1899-12-30 NYS Historic Newspapers

Offline Newspapers for Rome

According to the US Newspaper Directory, the following newspapers were printed, so there may be paper or microfilm copies available. For more information on how to locate offline newspapers, see our article on Locating Offline Newspapers.

Columbian Patriotic Gazette. (Rome, N.Y.) 1799-1803

Daily Sentinel. (Rome, N.Y.) 1976-Current

Oneida Observer. (Rome [N.Y.]) 1818-1830

Roman Citizen. (Rome, N.Y.) 1840-1888

Rome Daily Sentinel. (Rome, N.Y.) 1852-1854

Rome Daily Sentinel. (Rome, N.Y.) 1881-1976

Rome Observer. (Rome, N.Y.) 1993-Current

Rome Probate Records

Rome School Records

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Contents

The Medici family came from the agricultural Mugello region [7] north of Florence, and they are first mentioned in a document of 1230. [8] The origin of the name is uncertain. Medici is the plural of medico, meaning "medical doctor". [9] The dynasty began with the founding of the Medici Bank in Florence in 1397.

Rise to power Edit

For most of the 13th century, the leading banking centre in Italy was Siena. But in 1298, one of the leading banking families of Europe, the Bonsignoris, went bankrupt, and the city of Siena lost its status as the banking centre of Italy to Florence. [10] Until the late 14th century, the leading family of Florence was the House of Albizzi. In 1293, the Ordinances of Justice were enacted effectively, they became the constitution of the Republic of Florence throughout the Italian Renaissance. [11] The city's numerous luxurious palazzi were becoming surrounded by townhouses built by the prospering merchant class. [12]

The main challengers to the Albizzi family were the Medici, first under Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, later under his son Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici and great-grandson, Lorenzo de' Medici. The Medici controlled the Medici Bank—then Europe's largest bank—and an array of other enterprises in Florence and elsewhere. In 1433, the Albizzi managed to have Cosimo exiled. [13] The next year, however, a pro-Medici Signoria (civic government) led by Tommaso Soderini, Oddo Altoviti and Lucca Pitti was elected and Cosimo returned. The Medici became the city's leading family, a position they would hold for the next three centuries. Florence remained a republic until 1537, traditionally marking the end of the High Renaissance in Florence, but the instruments of republican government were firmly under the control of the Medici and their allies, save during intervals after 1494 and 1527. Cosimo and Lorenzo rarely held official posts but were the unquestioned leaders.

The Medici family was connected to most other elite families of the time through marriages of convenience, partnerships, or employment, so the family had a central position in the social network: several families had systematic access to the rest of the elite families only through the Medici, perhaps similar to banking relationships. Some examples of these families include the Bardi, Altoviti, Ridolfi, Cavalcanti and the Tornabuoni. This has been suggested as a reason for the rise of the Medici family. [14]

Members of the family rose to some prominence in the early 14th century in the wool trade, especially with France and Spain. Despite the presence of some Medici in the city's government institutions, they were still far less notable than other outstanding families such as the Albizzi or the Strozzi. One Salvestro de' Medici was speaker of the woolmakers' guild during the Ciompi revolt of 1378–82, and one Antonio de' Medici was exiled from Florence in 1396. [15] Involvement in another plot in 1400 caused all branches of the family to be banned from Florentine politics for twenty years, with the exception of two.

15th century Edit

Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici (c. 1360–1429), son of Averardo de' Medici (1320–1363), increased the wealth of the family through his creation of the Medici Bank, and became one of the richest men in the city of Florence. Although he never held any political office, he gained strong popular support for the family through his support for the introduction of a proportional system of taxation. Giovanni's son Cosimo the Elder, Pater Patriae (father of the country), took over in 1434 as gran maestro (the unofficial head of the Florentine Republic). [16]

Three successive generations of the Medici — Cosimo, Piero, and Lorenzo — ruled over Florence through the greater part of the 15th century. They clearly dominated Florentine representative government without abolishing it altogether. [17] These three members of the Medici family had great skills in the management of so "restive and independent a city" as Florence. When Lorenzo died in 1492, however, his son Piero proved quite incapable of responding successfully to challenges caused by the French invasion of Italy in 1492, and within two years, he and his supporters were forced into exile and replaced with a republican government. [17]

Piero de' Medici (1416–1469), Cosimo's son, was only in power for five years (1464–1469). He was called "Piero the Gouty" because of the gout that pained his foot and led to his death. Unlike his father, Piero had little interest in the arts. Due to his illness, he mostly stayed at home bedridden, and therefore did little to further the Medici control of Florence while in power. As such, Medici rule stagnated until the next generation, when Piero's son Lorenzo took over. [18]

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449–1492), called "the Magnificent", was more capable of leading and ruling a city, but he neglected the family banking business, which led to its ultimate ruin. To ensure the continuance of his family's success, Lorenzo planned his children's future careers for them. He groomed the headstrong Piero II to follow as his successor in civil leadership Giovanni [19] (future Pope Leo X) was placed in the church at an early age and his daughter Maddalena was provided with a sumptuous dowry to make a politically advantageous marriage to a son of Pope Innocent VIII that cemented the alliance between the Medici and the Roman branches of the Cybo and Altoviti families. [20]

The Pazzi conspiracy of 1478 was an attempt to depose the Medici family by killing Lorenzo with his younger brother Giuliano during Easter services the assassination attempt ended with the death of Giuliano and an injured Lorenzo. The conspiracy involved the Pazzi and Salviati families, both rival banking families seeking to end the influence of the Medici, as well as the priest presiding over the church services, the Archbishop of Pisa, and even Pope Sixtus IV to a degree. The conspirators approached Sixtus IV in the hopes of gaining his approval, as he and the Medici had a long rivalry themselves, but the pope gave no official sanction to the plan. Despite his refusal of official approval, the pope nonetheless allowed the plot to proceed without interfering, and, after the failed assassination of Lorenzo, also gave dispensation for crimes done in the service of the church. After this, Lorenzo adopted his brother's illegitimate son Giulio de' Medici (1478–1535), the future Pope Clement VII. Lorenzo's son Piero II took over as the head of Florence after Lorenzo's death. Piero was later responsible for the expulsion of the Medici from 1494 to 1512. [ citation needed ]

The Medici additionally benefited from the discovery of vast deposits of alum in Tolfa in 1461. Alum is essential as a mordant in the dyeing of certain cloths and was used extensively in Florence, where the main industry was textile manufacturing. Before the Medici, the Turks were the only exporters of alum, so Europe was forced to buy from them until the discovery in Tolfa. Pius II granted the Medici family a monopoly on the mining there, making them the primary producers of alum in Europe. [21]

Lorenzo de' Medici, 1479. [22]

16th century Edit

The exile of the Medici lasted until 1512, after which the "senior" branch of the family — those descended from Cosimo the Elder — were able to rule until the assassination of Alessandro de' Medici, first Duke of Florence, in 1537. This century-long rule was interrupted only on two occasions (between 1494–1512 and 1527–1530), when anti-Medici factions took control of Florence. Following the assassination of Duke Alessandro, power passed to the "junior" Medici branch — those descended from Lorenzo the Elder, the youngest son of Giovanni di Bicci, starting with his great-great-grandson Cosimo I "the Great." Cosimo (the "Elder" not to be confused with Cosimo I) and his father started the Medici foundations in banking and manufacturing – including a form of franchises. The family's influence grew with its patronage of wealth, art, and culture. Ultimately, it reached its zenith in the papacy and continued to flourish for centuries afterward as Dukes of Florence and Tuscany. At least half, probably more, of Florence's people were employed by the Medici and their foundational branches in business.

Medici Popes Edit

The Medici became leaders of Christendom through their two famous 16th century popes, Leo X and Clement VII. Both also served as de facto political rulers of Rome, Florence, and large swaths of Italy known as the Papal States. They were generous patrons of the arts who commissioned masterpieces such as Raphael's Transfiguration and Michelangelo's The Last Judgment however, their reigns coincided with troubles for the Vatican, including Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation and the infamous sack of Rome in 1527.

Leo X's fun-loving pontificate bankrupted Vatican coffers and accrued massive debts. From Leo's election as pope in 1513 to his death in 1521, Florence was overseen, in turn, by Giuliano de' Medici, Duke of Nemours, Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, and Giulio de' Medici, the latter of whom became Pope Clement VII.

Clement VII's tumultuous pontificate was dominated by a rapid succession of political crises – many long in the making – that resulted in the sack of Rome by the armies of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1527 and rise of the Salviati, Altoviti and Strozzi as the leading bankers of the Roman Curie. From the time of Clement's election as pope in 1523 until the sack of Rome, Florence was governed by the young Ippolito de' Medici (future cardinal and vice-chancellor of the Holy Roman Church), Alessandro de' Medici (future duke of Florence), and their guardians. In 1530, after allying himself with Charles V, Pope Clement VII succeeded in securing the engagement of Charles V's daughter Margeret of Austria to his illegitimate nephew (reputedly his son) Alessandro de' Medici. Clement also convinced Charles V to name Alessandro as Duke of Florence. Thus began the reign of Medici monarchs in Florence, which lasted two centuries.

After securing Alessandro de' Medici's dukedom, Pope Clement VII married off his first cousin, twice removed, Catherine de' Medici, to the son of Emperor Charles V's arch-enemy, King Francis I of France – the future King Henry II. This led to the transfer of Medici blood, through Catherine's daughters, to the royal family of Spain through Elisabeth of Valois, and the House of Lorraine through Claude of Valois.

In 1534, following a lengthy illness, Pope Clement VII died – and with him the stability of the Medici's "senior" branch. In 1535, Ippolito Cardinal de' Medici died under mysterious circumstances. In 1536, Alessandro de' Medici married Charles V's daughter, Margaret of Austria however, the following year he was assassinated by a resentful cousin, Lorenzino de' Medici. The deaths of Alessandro and Ippolito enabled the Medici's "junior" branch to lead Florence.

Medici Dukes Edit

Another outstanding figure of the 16th-century Medici family was Cosimo I, who rose from relatively modest beginnings in the Mugello to attain supremacy over the whole of Tuscany. Against the opposition of Catherine de' Medici, Paul III and their allies, he prevailed in various battles to conquer Florence's hated rival Siena and found the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Cosimo purchased a portion of the island of Elba from the Republic of Genoa and based the Tuscan navy there. He died in 1574, succeeded by his eldest surviving son Francesco, whose inability to produce male heirs led to the succession of his younger brother, Ferdinando, upon his death in 1587. Francesco married Johanna of Austria, and with his consort produced Eleonora de' Medici, Duchess of Mantua, and Marie de' Medici, Queen of France and Navarre. Through Marie, all succeeding French monarchs (bar the Napoleons) were descended from Francesco.

Ferdinando eagerly assumed the government of Tuscany. He commanded the draining of the Tuscan marshlands, built a road network in southern Tuscany and cultivated trade in Livorno. [23] To augment the Tuscan silk industry, he oversaw the planting of mulberry trees along the major roads (silk worms feed on mulberry leaves). [24] In foreign affairs, he shifted Tuscany away from Habsburg [25] hegemony by marrying the first non-Habsburg marriage candidate since Alessandro, Christina of Lorraine, a granddaughter of Catherine de' Medici. The Spanish reaction was to construct a citadel on their portion of the island of Elba. [23] To strengthen the new Franco-Tuscan alliance, he married his niece, Marie, to Henry IV of France. Henry explicitly stated that he would defend Tuscany from Spanish aggression, but later reneged, after which Ferdinando was forced to marry his heir, Cosimo, to Maria Maddalena of Austria to assuage Spain (where Maria Maddalena's sister Margaret was the incumbent Queen consort). Ferdinando also sponsored a Tuscan expedition to the New World with the intention of establishing a Tuscan colony, an enterprise that brought no result for permanent colonial acquisitions.

Despite all of these incentives for economic growth and prosperity, the population of Florence at the dawn of the 17th century was a mere 75,000, far smaller than the other capitals of Italy: Rome, Milan, Venice, Palermo and Naples. [26] Francesco and Ferdinando, due to lax distinction between Medici and Tuscan state property, are thought to have been wealthier than their ancestor, Cosimo de' Medici, the founder of the dynasty. [27] The Grand Duke alone had the prerogative to exploit the state's mineral and salt resources, and the fortunes of the Medici were directly tied to the Tuscan economy. [27]

17th century Edit

Ferdinando, although no longer a cardinal, exercised much influence at successive conclaves. In 1605, Ferdinando succeeded in getting his candidate, Alessandro de' Medici, elected Pope Leo XI. He died the same month, but his successor, Pope Paul V, was also pro-Medici. [28] Ferdinando's pro-papal foreign policy, however, had drawbacks. Tuscany was overrun with religious orders, not all of whom were obliged to pay taxes. Ferdinando died in 1609, leaving an affluent realm his inaction in international affairs, however, would have long-reaching consequences down the line.

In France, Marie de' Medici was acting as regent for her son, Louis XIII. Louis repudiated her pro-Habsburg policy in 1617. She lived the rest of her life deprived of any political influence.

Ferdinando's successor, Cosimo II, reigned for less than 12 years. He married Maria Maddalena of Austria, with whom he had his eight children, including Margherita de' Medici, Ferdinando II de' Medici, and an Anna de' Medici. He is most remembered as the patron of astronomer Galileo Galilei, whose 1610 treatise, Sidereus Nuncius, was dedicated to him. [29] Cosimo died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1621. [30]

Cosimo's elder son, Ferdinando, was not yet of legal maturity to succeed him, thus Maria Maddalena and his grandmother, Christina of Lorraine, acted as regents. Their collective regency is known as the Turtici. Maria Maddelana's temperament was analogous to Christina's, and together they aligned Tuscany with the papacy, re-doubled the Tuscan clergy, and allowed the heresy trial of Galileo Galilei to occur. [31] Upon the death of the last Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria II), instead of claiming the duchy for Ferdinando, who was married to the Duke of Urbino's granddaughter and heiress, Vittoria della Rovere, they permitted it to be annexed by Pope Urban VIII. In 1626, they banned any Tuscan subject from being educated outside the Grand Duchy, a law later overturned, but resurrected by Maria Maddalena's grandson, Cosimo III. [32] Harold Acton, an Anglo-Italian historian, ascribed the decline of Tuscany to the Turtici regency. [32]

Grand Duke Ferdinado was obsessed with new technology, and had a variety of hygrometers, barometers, thermometers, and telescopes installed in the Palazzo Pitti. [33] In 1657, Leopoldo de' Medici, the Grand Duke's youngest brother, established the Accademia del Cimento, organized to attract scientists to Florence from all over Tuscany for mutual study. [34]

Tuscany participated in the Wars of Castro (the last time Medicean Tuscany proper was involved in a conflict) and inflicted a defeat on the forces of Pope Urban VIII in 1643. [35] The war effort was costly and the treasury so empty because of it that when the Castro mercenaries were paid for, the state could no longer afford to pay interest on government bonds, with the result that the interest rate was lowered by 0.75%. [36] At that time, the economy was so decrepit that barter trade became prevalent in rural market places. [35]

Ferdinando died on 23 May 1670 afflicted by apoplexy and dropsy. He was interred in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Medici's necropolis. [37] At the time of his death, the population of the grand duchy was 730,594 the streets were lined with grass and the buildings on the verge of collapse in Pisa. [38]

Ferdinando's marriage to Vittoria della Rovere produced two children: Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Francesco Maria de' Medici, Duke of Rovere and Montefeltro. Upon Vittoria's death in 1694, her allodial possessions, the Duchies of Rovere and Montefeltro, passed to her younger son.

18th century: the fall of the dynasty Edit

Cosimo III married Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a granddaughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici. An exceedingly discontented pairing, this union produced three children, notably Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, Electress Palatine, and the last Medicean Grand Duke of Tuscany, Gian Gastone de' Medici.

Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine, Anna Maria Luisa's spouse, successfully requisitioned the dignity Royal Highness for the Grand Duke and his family in 1691, despite the fact that they had no claim to any kingdom. [39] Cosimo frequently paid the Holy Roman Emperor, his nominal feudal overlord, exorbitant dues, [40] and he sent munitions to the emperor during the Battle of Vienna.

The Medici lacked male heirs, and by 1705, the grand ducal treasury was virtually bankrupt. In comparison to the 17th century, the population of Florence declined by 50%, and the population of the grand duchy as a whole declined by an estimated 40%. [41] Cosimo desperately tried to reach a settlement with the European powers, but Tuscany's legal status was very complicated: the area of the grand duchy formerly comprising the Republic of Siena was technically a Spanish fief, while the territory of the old Republic of Florence was thought to be under imperial suzerainty. Upon the death of his first son, Cosimo contemplated restoring the Florentine republic, either upon Anna Maria Luisa's death, or on his own, if he predeceased her. The restoration of the republic would entail resigning Siena to the Holy Roman Empire, but, regardless, it was vehemently endorsed by his government. Europe largely ignored Cosimo's plan. Only Great Britain and the Dutch Republic gave any credence to it, and the plan ultimately died with Cosimo III in 1723. [42]

On 4 April 1718, Great Britain, France and the Dutch Republic (also later, Austria) selected Don Carlos of Spain, the elder child of Elisabeth Farnese and Philip V of Spain, as the Tuscan heir. By 1722, the electress was not even acknowledged as heiress, and Cosimo was reduced to spectator at the conferences for Tuscany's future. [43] On 25 October 1723, six days before his death, Grand Duke Cosimo disseminated a final proclamation commanding that Tuscany stay independent: Anna Maria Luisa would succeed uninhibited to Tuscany after Gian Gastone, and the grand duke reserved the right to choose his successor. However, these portions of his proclamation were completely ignored, and he died a few days later.

Gian Gastone despised the electress for engineering his catastrophic marriage to Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg while she abhorred her brother's liberal policies, he repealed all of his father's anti-Semitic statutes. Gian Gastone revelled in upsetting her. [44] On 25 October, 1731, a Spanish detachment occupied Florence on behalf of Don Carlos, who disembarked in Tuscany in December of the same year. The Ruspanti, Gian Gastone's decrepit entourage, loathed the electress, and she them. Duchess Violante of Bavaria, Gian Gastone's sister-in-law, tried to withdraw the grand duke from the sphere of influence of the Ruspanti by organising banquets. His conduct at the banquets was less than regal he often vomited repeatedly into his napkin, belched, and regaled those present with socially inappropriate jokes. [45] Following a sprained ankle in 1731, he remained confined to his bed for the rest of his life. The bed, often smelling of faeces, was occasionally cleaned by Violante.

In 1736, following the War of the Polish Succession, Don Carlos was disbarred from Tuscany, and Francis III of Lorraine was made heir in his stead. [46] In January 1737, the Spanish troops withdrew from Tuscany, and were replaced by Austrians.

Gian Gastone died on 9 July 1737, surrounded by prelates and his sister. Anna Maria Luisa was offered a nominal regency by the Prince de Craon until the new grand duke could peregrinate to Tuscany, but declined. [47] Upon her brother's death, she received all the House of Medici's allodial possessions.

Anna Maria Luisa signed the Patto di Famiglia ("family pact") on 31 October 1737. In collaboration with the Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke Francis of Lorraine, she willed all the personal property of the Medici to the Tuscan state, provided that nothing was ever removed from Florence. [48]

The "Lorrainers", as the occupying forces were called, were popularly loathed, but the regent, the Prince de Craon, allowed the electress to live unperturbed in the Palazzo Pitti. She occupied herself with financing and overseeing the construction of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, started in 1604 by Ferdinando I, at a cost to the state of 1,000 crowns per week. [49]

The electress donated much of her fortune to charity: £4,000 a month. [50] On 19 February 1743, she died, and the grand ducal line of the House of Medici died with her. The Florentines grieved her, [51] and she was interred in the crypt that she helped to complete, San Lorenzo.

The extinction of the main Medici dynasty and the accession in 1737 of Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine and husband of Maria Theresa of Austria, led to Tuscany's temporary inclusion in the territories of the Austrian crown. The line of the Princes of Ottajano, an extant branch of the House of Medici who were eligible to inherit the grand duchy of Tuscany when the last male of the senior branch died in 1737, could have carried on as Medici sovereigns but for the intervention of Europe's major powers, which allocated the sovereignty of Florence elsewhere.

As a consequence, the grand duchy expired and the territory became a secundogeniture of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. The first grand duke of the new dynasty, Francis I, was a great-great-great-grandson of Francesco I de' Medici, thus he continued the Medicean Dynasty on the throne of Tuscany through the female line. The Habsburgs were deposed in favor of the House of Bourbon-Parma in 1801 (themselves deposed in 1807), but were later restored at the Congress of Vienna. Tuscany became a province of the United Kingdom of Italy in 1861. However, several extant branches of the House of Medici survive, including the Princes of Ottajano, the Medici Tornaquinci, [52] and the Verona Medici Counts of Caprara and Gavardo. [53] (see Medici family tree)

The greatest accomplishments of the Medici were in the sponsorship of art and architecture, mainly early and High Renaissance art and architecture. The Medici were responsible for a high proportion of the major Florentine works of art created during their period of rule. Their support was critical, since artists generally only began work on their projects after they had received commissions. Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, the first patron of the arts in the family, aided Masaccio and commissioned Filippo Brunelleschi for the reconstruction of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, in 1419. Cosimo the Elder's notable artistic associates were Donatello and Fra Angelico. In later years, the most significant protégé of the Medici family was Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564), who produced work for a number of family members, beginning with Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was said to be extremely fond of the young Michelangelo and invited him to study the family collection of antique sculpture. [54] Lorenzo also served as patron to Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) for seven years. Indeed, Lorenzo was an artist in his own right and an author of poetry and song his support of the arts and letters is seen as a high point in Medici patronage.

After Lorenzo's death, the puritanical Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola rose to prominence, warning Florentines against excessive luxury. Under Savonarola's fanatical leadership, many great works were "voluntarily" destroyed in the Bonfire of the Vanities (February 7, 1497). The following year, on 23 May 1498, Savonarola and two young supporters were burned at the stake in the Piazza della Signoria, the same location as his bonfire. In addition to commissions for art and architecture, the Medici were prolific collectors and today their acquisitions form the core of the Uffizi museum in Florence. In architecture, the Medici were responsible for some notable features of Florence, including the Uffizi Gallery, the Boboli Gardens, the Belvedere, the Medici Chapel and the Palazzo Medici. [55]

Later, in Rome, the Medici popes continued in the family tradition of patronizing artists in Rome. Pope Leo X would chiefly commission works from Raphael, whereas Pope Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo to paint the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel just before the pontiff's death in 1534. [56] Eleanor of Toledo, a princess of Spain and wife of Cosimo I the Great, purchased the Pitti Palace from Buonaccorso Pitti in 1550. Cosimo in turn patronized Vasari, who erected the Uffizi Gallery in 1560 and founded the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno – ("Academy of the Arts of Drawing") in 1563. [57] Marie de' Medici, widow of Henry IV of France and mother of Louis XIII, is the subject of a commissioned cycle of paintings known as the Marie de' Medici cycle, painted for the Luxembourg Palace by court painter Peter Paul Rubens in 1622–23.

Although none of the Medici themselves were scientists, the family is well known to have been the patrons of the famous Galileo Galilei, who tutored multiple generations of Medici children and was an important figurehead for his patron's quest for power. Galileo's patronage was eventually abandoned by Ferdinando II, when the Inquisition accused Galileo of heresy. However, the Medici family did afford the scientist a safe haven for many years. Galileo named the four largest moons of Jupiter after four Medici children he tutored, although the names Galileo used are not the names currently used.


Ancient Rome

The Romans lived in a wide variety of homes depending on whether they were wealthy or poor. The poor lived in cramped apartments in the cities or in small shacks in the country. The rich lived in private homes in the city or large villas in the country.

Most people in the cities of Ancient Rome lived in apartments called insulae. The wealthy lived in single family homes called domus of various sizes depending on how rich they were.

The vast majority of the people living in Roman cities lived in cramped apartment buildings called insulae. Insulae were generally three to five stories high and housed from 30 to 50 people. The individual apartments usually consisted of two small rooms.

The bottom floor of the insulae often housed shops and stores that opened out to the streets. The larger apartments were also near the bottom with the smallest at the top. Many insulae were not constructed very well. They could be dangerous places if they caught fire and sometimes even collapsed.

The wealthy elite lived in large single family homes called domus. These homes were much nicer than the insulae. Most Roman houses had similar features and rooms. There was an entryway that led to the main area of the house called the atrium. Other rooms such as bedrooms, dining room, and kitchen might be off to the sides of the atrium. Beyond the atrium was the office. In the back of the home was often an open garden.

  • Vestibulum - A grand entrance hall to the house. On either side of the entrance hall might be rooms that housed small shops opening out to the street.
  • Atrium - An open room where guests were greeted. The atrium typically had an open roof and a small pool that was used to collect water.
  • Tablinum - The office or living room for the man of the house.
  • Triclinium - The dining room. This was often the most impressive and decorated room of the house in order to impress guests that were dining over.
  • Cubiculum - The bedroom.
  • Culina - The kitchen.

While the poor and the slaves lived in small shacks or cottages in the countryside, the wealthy lived in large expansive homes called villas.

The Roman villa of a wealthy Roman family was often much larger and more comfortable than their city home. They had multiple rooms including servants' quarters, courtyards, baths, pools, storage rooms, exercise rooms, and gardens. They also had modern comforts such as indoor plumbing and heated floors.


Watch the video: Ancient Rome History - Roman Family - 07 (January 2022).