The Government of Florence Under the Medici 1434-1494 investigates the ways in which the Medici established and exercised their authority. Although de facto rulers of Florence, they wielded their power within the structure of the Florentine constitution and enjoyed no political rights and privileges denied to other prominent citizens. Nicolai Rubinstein examines the complex system of controls which the Medici gradually created to secure and increase their ascendancy, and throws fresh light on the personalities and groups supporting the Medici regime, as well as on the surviving republican opposition. In this second edition, Professor Rubinstein has taken account of the many important studies on fifteenth-century Florence, in particular on Lorenzo and his age, that have appeared since the publication of the first edition over thirty years ago. He has added an essay on the techniques by which a number of important administrative offices were subjected to electoral controls before and after the establishment of the Medici regime, and also added a brief account of the procedures of the council of Seventy of 1480, as well as a list of its members in 1489.
The reorganization of the Archivio delle Tratte has necessitated the revision of every single reference to what is by far the largest group of sources on which this book is based. Reviews of the first edition:'The importance of the theme need not be laboured. Florence is the most interesting of all proto-democracies, the Medici among the most intriguing of all dynasties (especially before they became dynasts).' Times Literary Supplement; 'a fundamental contribution to Florentine history, which will be used as a source by historians for many years to come.' British Book News; 'an extremely important and useful book.' Philosophical Studies.
Emeritus Professor of History, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, Honorary Fellow of the Warburg Institute, Editor-in-Chief of the Letters of Lorenzo de Medici, and Honorary Citizen of Florence. In 1985 he was awarded the International Galileo Prize, and in 1993 the Premio della Cultura of the Prime Minister of Italy for 1992.