Talk:Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence

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Servant girl[edit]

The article says the servant was "Mullato" however I cannot find any source that says that, all the sources I've read so far identify her as a Black servant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:08, 19 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


You claim that Alessandro de' Medici's rule was "harsh, debased and incompetent." More disturbingly, you make the claim that he was lured to his death by Lorenzino who used Alessandro's own "debased" nature to entrap and assassinate him. (Although you don't elaborate: the "debased" nature implied here concerns sex, of course.) But you do not substantiate your claims. What did he do, specifically, that makes him "harsh, debased and incompetent"?

You are merely repeating some unfavorable evaluations. But even encyclopedias need some granular facts, though, of course, the sweeping generalization is vital. Unless, that is, Alessandro's characterization is pre-determined by matters that have nothing to do with historical facts or "objectivity," inasmuch as that is possible.

Alessandro was half black. Perhaps that has something to do with his incompetence and debasement? If so, you just need to come out and say it.

It's ok to say so. You see, lot's of people believe that stupidity and sexual "debasement" correlate very well with blackness. You'd be in plenty of company.

But I may be mistaken about your motives. If I am, my apologies.

Best, M. Haile.

What on earth are you talking about? There is zero connection between the characterization of him, and his potential racial background. (I say "potential" because, the PBS story notwithstanding, there is still no certainty that he was part African.)
The characterization of his rule comes from his contemporaries, who described e.g. his fortress (in a complaint to the Pope) as "built with the blood of her unhappy people, as a prison and a slaughterhouse for the unhappy citizens". Yes, maybe that was the result of contemporary politics - but Wikipedia is supposed to reflect existing scholarship, and we're explicitly not supposed to be a place for original research. The characterization of him in this article is from a fairly recent reasonably scholarly work - which is what we aim to provide. Ditto for the description of the plot that killed him.
Read any book about the Medici, and you'll find people who are described as just as bad (if not worse) than Alessandro. Try Gian Carlo (brother of Ferdinando), or Gian Gsatone (last Medici Grand Duke) and his Ruspanti. Assuming Alessandro's evil and stupid because he was black is just as racist as assuming the others were evil and stupid because they were white.
And as for your snide insinuation that the author could be a racist, well, it's really offensive and insulting. Get a life. Noel 01:39, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Re: recent edits:

I wouldn't trust that PBS article as a reliable source on Alessandro's origins. The author clearly has a major political/racial axe to grind, but is also such a poor scholar that they make a major howler in the first paragraph, one that anyone who knows anything about the Medici should catch on sight. Not a good recommendation. Mind, I'm not saying Alessandro's mother wasn't the person they cite, but you'd have to look around in current scholarship and check it out. Without a caveat on the link to warn our unwary readers, I oppose linking to that page.

As to whether or not his rule was bad, I haven't done enough detailed research to say one way or the other if the accepted wisdom is unfair or not. (Ditto the comment at the end of the previous paragraph on this topic too.) Noel 01:39, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps someone will come along and provide additional links, some references to the archival documentation, and gently correct errors of fact. Wetman 03:08, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)
If Alessandro was half-black and called "the Moor", could he have been the inspiration for Shakespeare's Othello? 02:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)MoebiusReply[reply]

Cardinal Silvio Passerini[edit]

According to my (not as extensive as I would like, alas) sources for Florentine history, he was the Pope's representative in Florence before the Medici were thrown out in 1527. (Both Schevill and Hibbert agree on this.) Passerini died in 1529, according to some web references on him. [1] [2] In addition, when Alessandro returned in 1531, he would have been 19/20 if our date-of-birth is correct (and again, Hibbert confirms his age), so I don't think he would have needed a regent (although my sources don't say so explicitly, I concede).

So I have removed the references to Passerini after the Medici restoration, including from the para about the reputation of Alessandro, since it refers to his reputation as a ruler, during which time Passerini was not there. Noel (talk) 19:35, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps User:Jnc would contribute the links to the Wikipedia stub on Cardinal Silvio Passerini. --Wetman 20:57, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Didn't even know we had one! Alas, they both seem to be in Italiam (which I don't understand, my last name not-withstanding :-), and so the date's about all I can get out of them! :-) Noel (talk) 03:50, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Where is the evidence that his mother was a sub-Saharan African? Simonetta sounds like an Italian name to me.jeanne (talk) 15:13, 13 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Her name isn't really the point. Some of the evidence is given in this link, though I think the art historian quoted here:"In the only reference to the Duke's color in the entire 173-page catalogue of the Philadelphia exhibit, Karl Strehlke, the curator and organizer writes, "Some scholars have claimed that Alessandro's mother was a North African slave. This cannot be confirmed, however, and the text of a letter that she wrote to her son in 1529 suggests that she was an Italian peasant from Lazio." " from here gives a considered view. It is misleading to treat the matter as generally accepted. Johnbod (talk) 02:31, 15 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seeing as North Africans are generally accepted as being Caucasian,I really don't see how the author,in the link you provided,can claim he was the first contemporary "black head of state".Unless he can locate a source which proves his mother was of sub-Saharan ancestry.His father's identity has still not been confirmed, so I cannot see how that Afrocentric author can insist upon the academic world accepting him as a black man. 15:45, 15 April 2008 (UTC)jeanne (talk):::I don't knw about Caucasian, but arab, Berber and other groups certainly. Johnbod (talk) 17:12, 15 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Arabs and Berbers are classified as Caucasian.In fact,Arabs are a Semitic people.jeanne (talk) 05:29, 16 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not sure what you said makes sense, Arabs are classified by WHO? And last time I checked Ethiopians were also Semitic people. Arab is not a race, neither is Semitic (unless you misuse the term). Arab is a cultural-political grouping. I am pretty sure the Arabs in Sudan (who are African) are very different from the Arabs in Iraq.--Inayity (talk) 16:51, 20 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Terms like "semitic, hamitic, mediterranean, brown, arab, eurafrican" are ways of glossing over the Africanness and Blackness of people. Use your common sense. Look at the picture of Alessandro's father and look at Alessandro himself. Clearly, his other parent was negroid or black. Alessandro has the features of a mulatto, much like the current U.S. president. A. De Medici would have been ordered to sit in the back of the bus with Rosa Parks, another person who was half black and half white. Sandmadd (talk) 17:51, 28 April 2010 (UTC)sandmaddReply[reply]
We do not judge race by "looking at people" Being African =/= tightly curled hair and a big broad flat nose. That is an imposed definition which we have numerous examples in Africa (Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Mali) which are the opposite of that 18th century model. And Not sure you can apply American standards of Mulatto to the rest of the globe, does not work that way. Very possible to have these features and have ZERO African ancestry like the Olmec people. It is equally possible to have Italian features and be 100% African.--Inayity (talk) 16:51, 20 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When you allege that Ethiopians are "Semitic" people, which ones exactly are you talking about? Ethiopia has over eighty ethnic groups. Similarly Kenya, which you cite, has over fourty-two ethnic groups. They're all Africans, regardless of the phenotype. Further, Wikipedia is not the place to post original research. If you have evidence that Alessandro Medici was not part African, then by all means change the entry but quote reliable sources.DanJazzy (talk) 05:41, 28 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Why are the references in this article parenthetical instead of footnotes? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siena00 (talkcontribs) 22:36, 18 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Third illegitimate child[edit]

The Medici family tree ( shows a third illegitimate child, Porzia de” Medici ( This article should include her. Minicarmen (talk) 19:04, 15 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]