The Medici ~ Godfathers of the Renaissance
From a small Italian community in 15th Century Florence, the Medici family would rise to become one of the most powerful dynasties in Europe. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power. Their story is a bloodthirsty one, of ambition and triumph, murder and revenge. But it is also a tale of inspiring achievement and cultural revolution, of man's pursuit of beauty and perfection, liberty and intellectual inquiry.
Episode One ~ Birth of a Dynasty
After centuries of ignorance, one city at the heart of Europe is poised on the threshold of an intellectual and artistic revolution. And one family surpasses all others in defining and shaping it - the Medici. Cosimo de'Medici and his sons oversee the first flowering of the Renaissance, from Brunelleschi's Duomo to Donatello's sensuous David. But with Cosimo's death comes uncertainty and the future of the family rests on the shoulders of his young grandson, Lorenzo.
Episode Two ~ The Magnificent Medici
Lorenzo de'Medici oversees the full flowering of the Renaissance, the greatest cultural and artistic movement the world has ever seen. Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and others create some of the greatest works of artistic genius the world has ever witnessed. But a zealous young monk - Savonarola, whips up a violent fundamentalist backlash. As the family are chased out of town, Botticelli hurls his own masterpieces into the flames. How will the Medici, and the Renaissance, recover?
Episode Three ~ The Medici Popes
Having been forced to relocate to Rome, the Medici turn their sights on the Catholic Church. Giovanni is crowned the first Medici Pope, only to encounter the greatest crisis to ever face Catholicism - the Protestant Reformation. Standing against the monolithic power of the Church is a single monk - Martin Luther. Luther unleashes wide disorder by redefining man's relationship with God and attempting to overthrow the oppressive tyranny of the Catholic Church. Can the Medici control the very revolution they themselves have inspired?
Episode Four ~ Power Vs Truth
Now the staunchest supporters of the Catholic Counter Reformation, the Medici struggle to restore order to a world spinning out of control. Scientific enlightenment collides with strict Catholic doctrine and the Medici face a stark choice - to continue to patronise scientists like Galileo or to retreat to established Catholic authority. Forced to choose, the Medici betray the intellectual ideals that they have fostered for generations. Nevertheless, the Medici left an extraordinary legacy in their wake.