In the fifteenth century, the Italian city-state of Florence reached the pinnacle of its renown under the Medici, a family celebrated for the statesmen it produced and its patronage of the arts and letters. Its most illustrious members were Cosmo and his grandson Lorenzo, surnamed the Magnificent. With his brother Giuliano, Lorenzo, on the death of their father Piero, succeeded to the vast wealth and political power of the family. The subsequent assassination of Giuliano left Lorenzo alone to rule as the uncrowned king of Florence. Here from Scottish journalist, historian, and educator Oliphant Smeaton - is the classic account of Florences zenith, condensed and edited with modern readers in mind.