Summary of Medici Money

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Medici Money book summary


9 Overall

7 Innovation

10 Style


If your knowledge of the Medici family begins and ends with their patronage of Renaissance artists, sharp-penned writer Tim Parks has some revelations to share. True, the Medicis used the wealth they amassed from their bank to turn Florence, Italy, into the Mecca of fifteenth-century culture. Yet, the Medici clan also perfected the arts of vanquishing foes and allying with the rich and powerful to gain a stranglehold on political power - all in bold-faced defiance of Catholic Church doctrine. The Vatican held that paying or collecting so much as a penny of interest was a mortal sin. Parks’ book shows you what the Medici made of that, and his arch, witty style is a joy to read. Perhaps the only caution is that this history is more a study of the spiritual and social history of Florence than a guide to the Medicis’ business successes and failures. recommends this history to anyone interested in the intersection of money, politics and religion.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Catholic Church defined usury - and European society - in the fifteenth century;
  • How the Medici family set the stage for modern secular society; and
  • Why the Medici bank rose and fell.

About the Author

Tim Parks is the author of 11 novels, including Europa, Destiny and Rapids. Parks also has written three memoirs of his life in northern Italy and is a prolific translator of Italian writers.



Usury: Any Interest Is a Sin
The Medici name is synonymous with high finance, extravagant wealth and generous patronage of the groundbreaking art that defined the Renaissance. Indeed, the meteoric rise, iron-fisted reign and fast fall of the Medici banking family came at a particularly...

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