The Pazzi Consipracy by Angelo Poliziano is the only historical work in the vast production of the famous humanist. He was an eye-witness of the tragic episode that took place in Florence in 1478 in which Giuliano de' Medici was killed and his brother Lorenzo il Magnifico wounded. This was one episode in a conflict between rival banking houses during what Fernand Braudel has defined as "the first crisis of capitalism". Behind the veil of a highly cultured form of appropriation of the classical tradition (Sallust's De Catilinae coniuratione), we can discern a ruthless realism which, in its spare style, anticipates the mood of early cinema. The Pactianae coniurationis commentarium clearly reveals the traces of a time that was neither happy nor brilliant, as in the illusory images of the Renaissance that have come down to us, but rather bubbled with bloodshed and also featured phenomena such as gambling which are typical of times of crisis. Following Alessandro Perosa's by now impossible to get hold of edition, Poliziano's work is presented here in a historic perspective updated with the most recent historical reconstructions, with a series of appendices and a thorough chronology that help to focus the meanings and bring to the fore the features of the period in their potential entirety.
University of Florence, Italy