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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

On 5 March 1570 Cosimo was crowned as the first grand duke of Tuscany by Pope Pius V in Rome. The strength of that state could be measured in the wealth of the grand duke which grew steadily until by the early seventeenth century he was considered to be not only the richest man in Tuscany but one of the wealthiest in Europe. For all their undoubted success, there were stains on the names of Cosimo and his sons and successors Francesco I and Ferdinando I. In considering reasons for the grand dukes' success, the key part played by their cultural politics has long been recognised. Until recently, the ways in which cultural institutions, practices, and expressive forms mediated relations of power have also been seen in terms of absolutism. This chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: Cosimo; cultural politics; Ferdinando; Francesco; Rome; Tuscany

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