Cosimo de' Medici

Cosimo de' Medici

Cosimo de' Medici

Cosimo de' Medici

Excerpt

WE, who live in the nineteenth century, are accustomed to the life of a vast state with a population of many millions, to foreign relations which concern the destinies of the whole world, and to domestic affairs, in which the few politicians who appear on the stage of action are merely representative of the interests of large classes and parties. For us, therefore, it is difficult to recognise Cosimo de' Medici as a statesman who required little less tenacity of purpose than a Bismarck, little less diplomatic skill than a Richelieu. For it may seem to us no great achievement for a man to make himself master of a little city-state, with a few thousand inhabitants, and a territory about as large as Yorkshire, and to carry on a career of successful diplomacy amongst other states of the same size, and extending but seldom beyond Italy. Yet, since to the student of political science and of statecraft the Florence of the fifteenth century and the Medicean power in Florence present political phenomena distinct from, though always related . . .

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