Summary of Medici Money

Banking, Metaphysics and Art in Fifteenth-century Florence

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Medici Money book summary
History seen through banking: how the Medici ruled Florence for five generations of tyranny, war, usury and art.


9 Overall

6 Importance

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.

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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.

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