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House of Medici

The House of Medici was a banking family, political dynasty and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside, gradually rising until they were able to fund the Medici Bank. The bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, seeing the Medici gain political power in Florence — though officially they remained citizens rather than monarchs. The Medici produced four Popes of the Catholic Church—Pope Leo X (1513–1521), Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), Pope Pius IV (1559–1565), and Pope Leo XI (1605);[1] two regent queens of France—Catherine de' Medici (1547–1559) and Marie de' Medici (1600–1610); and, in 1531, the family became hereditary Dukes of Florence." - [ READ MORE ]