Giovanni il Popolano

Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano

Giovanni il Popolano
Spouse(s) Caterina Sforza


Noble family Medici
Father Pierfrancesco the Elder
Mother Laudomia Acciaioli
Born (1467-10-21)21 October 1467
Florence, Republic of Florence
Died 14 September 1498(1498-09-14) (aged 30)
Santa Maria in Bagno, Papal States

Giovanni de' Medici, later known as il Popolano (21 October 1467 – 14 September 1498) was an Italian nobleman of the Medici House of Florence. He was the son of Pierfrancesco di Lorenzo de' Medici, and therefore a member of a secondary branch of the family.


Giovanni was born in Florence. After his father's death (1476), he and his elder brother Lorenzo (il Popolano) came under the tutelage of their cousins Giuliano and Lorenzo (il Magnifico), and were educated by humanists such as Marsilio Ficino and Angelo Poliziano. They conceived a passion for classical studies and books, and later created a large library of manuscripts and codexes.

Later their relationship with Lorenzo il Magnifico deteriorated, mostly for economic reasons (Lorenzo had kept for himself the Popolanos' inheritance, instead of simply administering it). After Lorenzo il Magnifico's death, they were among the opponents of Lorenzo's successor, Piero (il Fatuo), who exiled them in April 1494.

The following November, Lorenzo and Giovanni returned to Florence in the wake of Charles VIII of France's invasion of Italy, as Piero had been ousted by a Republican revolution in the city. Their support for Girolamo Savonarola gained them the Popolano ("Populist") nickname.

In 1497 Giovanni married Caterina Sforza, Lady of Forlì and Imola. They had a son, baptized Ludovico. However, after Giovanni's death soon afterwards, Caterina re-christened the baby Giovanni and became known as Giovanni delle Bande Nere.

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