Art, religion, and diplomacy in the life of Costantino de’ Servi (1554 – 1622)



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supra, Section III of Chapter II.

ccxix See for example G. Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1955), who pointed to the 1454 Peace of Lodi as a watershed moment, and to the Italian Wars between Valois and Habsburgs as the moment when such practices were generalised outside the peninsula, throughout Europe.

ccxx C.H. Carter has used the metaphor of a backdrop of paper against which the main actors of the age played their part in his The Secret Diplomacy of the Habsburgs, 1598–1625 (New York & London: Columbia University Press, 1964).

ccxxi Many postal services all around the world still use their heraldic symbol, the horn. I owe my knowledge of the Thurn und Taxis family history to a visit to their family residence in Regensburg, Schloss St Emmeram, in July 2014.

ccxxii ‘Porti di Lettere’ & ‘Poste e Corrieri di S.A.’. These are the official mentions by which postage expenses are identified in ASF, Depositeria Generale, Parte Antica, which contains documents pertaining to the financial administration of the Medici and Lorena Grand Duchy of Tuscany, from 1543 through to 1808.

ccxxiii The expenses’ claims sent by the Mannelli family, in Venice, to the Florentine Depositeria, from March 1612 to January 1614, can be found in ASF, Depositeria Generale, Parte Antica, Filza 645 (‘Filza del Giornale della Depositeria Generale – Anni 1598 a 1614’), fols. 425, 556, 652, 860, 948, 966, 1135. These claims lump the sums together in weird ways: for 1612, they only list exchanges of letters to and from Prague and Augsburg; for the first six months of 1613, only ‘Nansi’ (Nancy) is listed, and the expenses are considerably lower; finally, from July 1613 to January 1614, there are records of letters to and from Nancy, ‘Ratisbona’ (Regensburg), Bruxelles, ‘Collonia’ (Cologne), ‘Linta’ (Linz?) and the Caesarean court. The average of these expenses is therefore only of limited use. Focussing on the year 1612 alone, however, one obtains the very similar figure of 2 ducati and 4 lire per month. I have followed F. Diaz, ‘Il Granducato di Toscana: i Medici’, in Galasso, G., Storia d’Italia (Torino: UTET, 1976), vol. XIII, tomo I, on the respective values of the Florentine ducato (7 lire), the lira (20 soldi) and the soldo. See also Chapter I of this dissertation for a rough estimate of Costantino’s salary as a Florentine administrator in the 1590s, which can be a useful benchmark against which to compare these sums.

ccxxiv See M. Del Piazzo, Archivio mediceo del Principato. Inventario sommario (Rome: Pubblicazioni degli Archivi di Stato, 1966). See supra, Introduction for other details on the structure of the fondo Mediceo del Principato.

ccxxv An obvious example of this, other than the ones quoted here, are Costantino’s Saxon letters, quoted and discussed in Section III of Chapter II.

ccxxvi ‘abruciarne fino, á noue persone fra donne e vomini’. Verbatim from ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 924, fol. 457 (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in Prague, to Belisario Vinta in Florence – 9 Aug 1604).

ccxxvii ‘questa matina é seguito il medesimo in Campagnia nuna villa vicino à praga si come in uno altro luogo di terza nuoua abruciato dua Case mi far uenir uoglia di ritirarmi’. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 924, fol. 457 (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in Prague, to Belisario Vinta in Florence – 9 Aug 1604).

ccxxviii Likely to be Cardinal Alessandro d’Este (1568-1624).

ccxxix ‘Arriuo qua iersera di Notte’. Verbatim from ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 924, fol. 457 (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in Prague, to Belisario Vinta in Florence – 9 Aug 1604).

ccxxx ‘Alogiato nella Casa del Arciuescouo’. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 924, fol. 457 (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in Prague, to Belisario Vinta in Florence – 9 Aug 1604).

ccxxxi ‘non si trouaua la chiaue della Camera propria della sua persona’. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 924, fol. 457 (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in Prague, to Belisario Vinta in Florence – 9 Aug 1604).

ccxxxii ‘lo uolse uisitare con li stiuali in pie’. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 924, fol. 457 (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in Prague, to Belisario Vinta in Florence – 9 Aug 1604).

ccxxxiii ‘mi son licenziato acomodato per far detta spedizione’. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 924, fol. 457 (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in Prague, to Belisario Vinta in Florence – 9 Aug 1604).

ccxxxiv I am referring here to Carter, Secret Diplomacy, esp. part II.

ccxxxv ‘Io in tutte le ationi mia uo giornalmente studiando con la mente e’ con li effetti hon[orando?] il Serenissimo, Nostro Patrone seruendolo piu absente che presente come forse potra sentir per altra Via’. Verbatim from ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 1363, fol. nn. (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in The Hague, to Andrea Cioli in Florence – 20 Nov 1615).

ccxxxvi ‘Portiera e tauol[o di] Principi’. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 1363, fol. nn. (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in The Hague, to Andrea Cioli in Florence – 20 Nov 1615).

ccxxxvii ‘Io trattando cosi semplicemente con destreza e’ dimesticheza di Principi fo quegli vfitij oportuni che conuiene’. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 1363, fol. nn. (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in The Hague, to Andrea Cioli in Florence – 20 Nov 1615).

ccxxxviii More precisely, Costantino writes that when he had recalled how the Grand Duke had granted him permission to stay, wishing Prince Maurits’ satisfaction, the latter a ‘queste parole sicauo il suo Cappello ringratiando S.A’ [after these words he took off his hat thanking His Highness]. Verbatim from ibidem: ASF, Mediceo del Principato, Filza 1363, fol. nn. (letter from Costantino de’ Servi, in The Hague, to Andrea Cioli in Florence – 20 Nov 1615).

ccxxxix Bardazzi makes great use of Uguccioni’s and Guidi’s dispatches, and Pagnini of Lotti’s, in their work.

ccxl This is based on M. Del Piazzo’s reconstruction of the Medicean diplomatic corp, in his Gli ambasciatori toscani del principato (1537-1737) (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1953).

ccxli ‘To be destroyed’.

ccxlii I have been able to see many such reports myself in the Carteggio Universale of the fondo Mediceo del Principato. In addition, Patrizia Urbani at the Florence Archivio di Stato has supplemented my knowledge of Grand Ducal diplomatic correspondence during one of our many conversations.

ccxliii Verbatim from D. Roche, ‘Introduction’, in J.-L. Ménétra, Journal of My Life (ed. by D. Roche, Paris: Montalba, 1982; transl. by A. Goldhammer, New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), p. 11. The complete quote makes the point that stories of ‘little men’ would ‘restore the human dimension to the study of social conditions and bring flesh and blood to lifeless sociological categories’. See E. Cochrane’s approach, in his Florence in the forgotten centuries, 1527-1800 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973), as a case in point of history retold through personal micro-histories.

ccxliv At ASF, Miscellanea Medicea, Filza 667, Inserto 9, fols. 109–10 is an estimation of expenses to be incurred by the grand-ducal Treasury in the construction of a theatre in a non-specified garden signed ‘Francesco de’ Servi’. The document is not dated, meaning said Francesco could either be Costantino’s father or his son. By tentatively identifying the theatre which is to be built with the Boboli amphitheatre inaugurated in 1637, however, I would identify Francesco as Costantino’s son.

ccxlv On Giovan Domenico’s and Wolfgang Wilhelm’s lives, see Baldinucci, pp. 224–25; and ASF, Raccolta Sebregondi, Filza 4911.


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