Ferdinando II de' Medici, granduca di Toscana (Granduke)

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Ferdinando de' Medici

Birthdate: (59)
Birthplace: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Death: May 23, 1670 (59)
Place of Burial: Duke of Tuscany from 1621
Immediate Family:

Son of Cosimo II de' Medici, granduca di Toscana (Granduke) and Maria Magdalena von Habsburg
Husband of Vittoria della Rovere
Father of Cosimo III de' Medici, granduca di Toscana (Granduke) and Francesco Maria de' Medici
Brother of Anna de Medici; Margherita de' Medici; Giancarlo de Medici and Cardinal Leopoldo

Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy,Vol. C...
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About Ferdinando II de' Medici, granduca di Toscana (Granduke)



Ferdinando II de' Medici (14 July 1610 – 23 May 1670) was grand duke of Tuscany from 1621 to 1670. He was the eldest child of Cosimo II de' Medici and Maria Maddalena of Austria. His 49 year rule was punctuaded by the termination of the remaining operations of the Medici Bank, and the beginning of Tuscany's long economic decline.[1]

He married Vittoria della Rovere, with whom he had two children: Cosimo III de' Medici, his eventual successor, and Francesco Maria de' Medici, a Prince of the Church.

Ferdinando was the eldest son of Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Maria Maddalena of Austria. Cosimo II died when he was 10; because he had not yet reached legal maturity, his mother and paternal grandmother, Christina of Lorraine, acted as joint regents. [2] Dowager Grand Duchess Christina brought Tuscany into the Pope’s sphere of influence. In his seventeenth year, Ferdinando embarked on a tour of Europe. One year later, his regency ended and his personal rule began.[3] Dowager Grand Duchess Christina was the power behind the throne until her demise in 1636.

Styles of

Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

Reference style His Highness

Spoken style Your Highness

Alternative style Sir

The first calamity of Ferdinando’s reign was in 1630, when a plague swept through Florence and took 10% of the population with it. [4] Unlike the Tuscan nobility, Ferdinando and his brothers stayed in the city to try to ameliorate the general suffering.[5] His mother and grandmother arranged a marriage with Vittoria della Rovere, a granddaughter of the then incumbent Duke of Urbino, in 1634. Together they had two children: Cosimo, in 1642, and Francesco Maria de' Medici, in 1660. The latter was the fruit of a brief reconciliation, as after the birth of Cosimo, the two became estranged; Vittoria caught Ferdinando in bed with a page, Count Bruto della Molera.[6]

A 1627 plaque on Istituto San Salvatore in Florence with an inscription in the name of Ferdinando II and his mother Maria Magdalena

Grand Duke Ferdinando was obsessed with new technology, and had several hygrometers, barometers, thermometers, and telescopes installed in the Pitti.[7] In 1657, Leopoldo de' Medici, the Grand Duke’s youngest brother, established the Accademia del Cimento. It was set up to attract scientists from all over Tuscany to Florence for mutual study.[8]

Tuscany participated in the Wars of Castro (the last time Medicean Tuscany was involved in a conflict) and inflicted a defeat on the forces of Urban VIII in 1643.[9] The treasury was so empty that when the Castro mercenaries were paid for the state could no longer afford to pay interest on government bonds. The interest rate was lowered by 0.75%.[10] The economy was so decrepit that barter trade became prevalent in rural market places.[9]

Ferdinando died on 23 May 1670 of apoplexy and dropsy. He was interred in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Medici's necropolis.[11] At the time of his death, the population of the grand duchy was 730,594 souls; the streets were lined with grass and the buildings on the verge of collapse in Pisa.[12]


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Ferdinando II de' Medici, granduca di Toscana (Granduke)'s Timeline

July 14, 1610
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
August 14, 1642
Age 32
Firence, Granducato di Toscana
November 12, 1660
Age 50
Florence, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
May 23, 1670
Age 59
Duke of Tuscany from 1621