Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Guicciardini helped revolutionize history writing by breaking with Humanist conventions. He was one of the first historians to present history as a series of interrelated causes and effects and to treat the history of Italy in the larger context of European affairs.
The Guicciardini family was one of the aristocratic supports of the early (circa 1430) Medici regime in Florence. Francesco Guicciardini’s father had close ties to Lorenzo de’ Medici, evidenced by the many positions offered him by Lorenzo and by the fact that Marsilio Ficino, Lorenzo’s colleague in the Platonic Academy and a member of the Medici household, was godfather to young Francesco. At his father’s urging, Guicciardini pursued a career in law. He studied at the Universities of Pisa, Ferrara, and Padua. Upon his return to Florence, he established himself as a lawyer and professor of law and in 1508 married Maria Salviati, whose family was active in the affairs of republican Florence. His earliest writings belong to this period and include his family memoirs and the Storie fiorentine (1509; The History of Florence, 1970), which covered the years 1378 to 1509. The latter is an important source for historians interested in the Florentine Republic.
In 1511, the year of Pope Julius II’s formation of a Holy League against France—consisting of the Papal...
(The entire section is 1983 words.)
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