Silvestro Aldobrandini


Florence, 24 November 1499


Rome, 6 June 1558

Silvestro Aldobrandini

A citizen of Florence, he graduated in Law in Pisa in 1521 where he taught Institution courses. After the Medicis were overthrown, he was immediately appointed to the high rank of Cancelliere delle Riformagioni, officer in charge of archives in the new Republic. He was also one of the staunchest critics of the previous regime, which led him to be part of a group that stormed the palace of the hated Cardinal Passerini (tutor of Ippolito, Alessandro de’ Medici since 1525, and real representative of Medici power in town), then to drafting the “cartello” (letter) where the Republican Francesco Martelli challenged to a duel the Florentine Medici supporter Giovanni Bandini, accused of betraying his homeland. When the siege began to take a turn for the worse for the Republic, Aldobrandini was the one who had to escort Caterina de’ Medici from the Murate monastery to the one in Via San Gallo, as much to get her away from the city walls as from increasingly frequent contacts with Medici supporters. After the capitulation, Aldobrandini was imprisoned then sent into exile for three years in Venice: his life was spared only thanks to the intercession of Bartolomeo Valori. In 1533 his time in exile was confirmed for another three years; after the death of Clement VII, he decided to “rompere il confino” (that is to say leave the place where he had been exiled) and join the rest of the Republican and rebel forces - which had regrouped in Rome, protected by the anti-Medici Pope Paul III and by Ippolito de’ Medici. Aldobrandini took part in the fight between the rebels and the new Medici Princedom, making available - for the rest of his life - his legal and diplomatic skills - in the service of the anti-Habsburg party in Italy. He died in Rome, after having served the family of Pope Paul IV Carafa, and one of his sons, Ippolito, becoming Pope (Clement VIII).

Bibliography and sources:

Elena Fasano Guarini, Aldobrandini, Silvestro, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, 2, 1960, s.v.

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