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The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance

English  |  History & Documentary
Apparently, the Medici were first among the finer Italian families to perfect the subtle art of offering deals people could not refuse. “The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance” happily works the double entendre in its title through all its nuances and ramifications. In its less sinister interpretations, “The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance” gives ample testimony to the family’s lavish patronage and promotion of the arts and sciences, dragging Europe kicking and screaming out of “the dark ages.” The Medici revolutionized banking, commerce, diplomacy, and empire building. It was in that empire-building thing that the term “godfathers” took-on its more sinister connotations. In just four hours of spectacular footage shot on 16mm film, the PBS filmmakers quicken Paul Strathern’s best-selling book, creating a suspense thriller out of reliable historical data. In its promotional materials, PBS mastered understatement, suggesting “Travel back in time to see the real human stories behind the European Renaissance and the family that bankrolled it.” Had it been HBO, the same thought would have read something like, “Witness the sinister intrigues, the stone-cold violence, and the intensely sexual illicit relationships that drove the first Italian crime family to prominence.” Even that description would fall a little short of the super salaciousness built into the story of how “the Medici family would rise to rule Europe… Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power.”
Season:Episode Title Queue
S01:E04  Power vs. Truth    
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S01:E03  The Medici Pope    
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S01:E02  The Magnificent Medici    
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S01:E01  The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance    
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