‘Medici the Magnificent’: Top Four Historical Inaccuracies

The Medici Family were the unofficial rulers of Florence for almost two centuries. For three generations, the Medici’s were patrons of art, and owned the biggest bank in Florence. From encouraging Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Donatello, this noble family helped bring about one of the greatest renaissance the world has ever known.

Netflix’s original series, Medici the Magnificent has many layers, from historical realism, to poetic license. Some facts were, of course, embellished for entertainment, and so today we’re going to look into what exactly was changed and what transpired exactly like in the show.

Here we go!

1. Giuliano and Simonetta Vespucci

In the second season, Giuliano de Medici begins an affair with Simonetta Vespucci. Simonetta was Botticelli’s model for many of his paintings, including one of his most famous, The Birth of Venus. Simonetta was sixteen when she married Vespucci, and the wedding took place at Palazzo Medici Riccardi. The Medici family was, of course, compensated when Lorenzo de Medici held the wedding.

In the show the wedding did not take place, and there are no scenes between Lorenzo and Simonetta, mainly focusing on her relationship with his younger brother. There is no proof that Simonetta was romantically involved with either of the brothers. It was most likely platonic. Like, on the show, she died of tuberculosis and very young.  

2. Lucrezia and Lorenzo

In the show, Lorenzo had a passionate affair with Lucrezia, a young woman he knew since childhood. He had dedicated poems to her and had a platonic relationship with her for a long time before it turned into more. He was reputed to be very much in love with her, but they were nothing more than good friends. 

The two stopped seeing each other after Lorenzo married Clarice Orsini by proxy. 

Medici (TV Series 2016–2019) - IMDb

3. Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici’s death

In the show, to create a more exciting plot point, Giovanni was poisoned by grapes. In real life, he died in February, not a time when grapes are in season. It was probably used to create a more interesting plot line for the show and more development for the characters. 

4. Clarice Orsini 

Like in the show, while Lorenzo was away trying to protect the bank, his mother married him to Clarice Orsini, niece to a powerful man. This happened by proxy, which meant that if one of the parties was not available, someone else would take their place and later join them at their home.

Clarice and Lorenzo have a rocky start to their relationship, but eventually learn to love each other. It was not so entirely true in real life. They had ten children together, however they differed entirely in personality. Clarice was pious and withdrawn, she preferred to not be involved, not at all how she was in the show. This often put a strain on her marriage with Lorenzo and with her family as well.

These are some of the most important changes the show made. What do you think about them? Were they the right choice? Let us know in the comments!
Medici the Magnificent is avilable to stream on Netflix.
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