Funeral Oratory at the Medici Court: the Representation of the First Grand Dukes
Title: Funeral Oratory at the Medici Court: the Representation of the First Grand Dukes
Author: MENCHINI, Carmen
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2008/20
Over 420 works on the Grand Dukes of the Medici family were written in the two centuries during which they ruled Florence and later all of Tuscany (1532-1737). Funeral orations and biographies can be considered the main instruments in the process of constructing the image of princehood. This article focuses on the texts used most frequently, i.e. funeral orations. From the death of Cosimo I, in fact, the funeral oration became a fundamental instrument for the legitimation of the dynasty and for the diffusion of the themes that were considered important in order to reinforce monarchical government in a city such as Florence that had been a republic for a long time. The presentation of the figure of the ruler in these texts, which are full of rhetoric, changes from the the founder of the dynasty, Cosimo I, to his first successors. This article aims at highlighting these changes both in the formal structure and in the contents of these texts in the period between Cosimo I (1574) and Cosimo II (1621). It points out that the stress on specific themes varies due to the exigences of the dynasty in the different historical moments and demonstrates the way the image of princehood mirrored the political and cultural climate of the Medici court.
Subject: Funeral oratory; Medici; court; rhetoric; Cosimo I; Francesco I; Ferdinando I; Cosimo II; representation; oration; Tuscany; propaganda
Type of Access: openAccess