Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci (lee-oh-NAHR-doh dah VEEN-chee), the famous artist and inventor of the fifteenth century. He serves the duke of Milan, then Cesare Borgia. He also serves the city of Florence by using his talents as an artist and as inventor. In Florence, he enjoys the friendship of Raphael and earns the enmity and jealousy of Michelangelo. He returns to Milan and the service of Louis XII of France, that city’s conqueror. He ends his life in the service of Francis I of France, living in France and dying there. Although he is rumored to be a disciple of the Antichrist, he dies a Christian.
Duke Moro, the ruler of Milan, the benefactor of Leonardo and Leonardo’s patron. Leonardo leaves Milan when it is threatened by French forces.
Cesare Borgia (cheh-ZAH-reh BOHR-jee-ah), the son of Pope Alexander VI, a hated man but a patron to Leonardo.
Niccolò Machiavelli (neek-koh-LOH MAH-kee-ah-VEHL-lee), a friend of Leonardo who helps him get a commission from the city of Florence to plan a system of water-ways.
Michelangelo (mee-keh-LAHN-jeh-loh), the famous artist. He is a jealous rival of Leonardo.
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X, an artistically minded pontiff who is Leonardo’s friend and patron.
Louis XII, the king of France, who is also one of Leonardo’s patrons.
Monna Cassandra, a beautiful Milanese girl who is loved by Beltraffio, Leonardo’s pupil. She is burned as a witch.
Giovanni Beltraffio (jee-oh-VAHN-nee behl-trahf-FEE-oh), a pupil of Leonardo. He commits suicide after the death of Monna Cassandra.
Francesco Melzi, a favorite pupil of Michelangelo and the artist’s friend in his old age.
Andrea Salaino (sah-lah-EE-noh), a student of Leonardo.
Zoroastro da Peretola
Zoroastro da Peretola (zoh-roh-AHS-troh dah peh-reh-toh-lah), a student of Leonardo who is killed while trying to use the artist’s unfinished flying machine.
Monna Lisa Gioconda
Monna Lisa Gioconda (joh-KOHN-dah), the model for Leonardo’s famous portrait. She and the artist fall in love, and her death is a great shock to Leonardo.