Family originally from Bergamo and established in Florence at the beginning of the s. xn. In 1282 he had founded a banking and trading company with branches throughout Europe, a moneylender to the Holy See, the house of Anjou, the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, and the King of England himself, Edward III. A branch of the family settled in Naples in the s. xiv and Niccoló (1310-65) was great seneschal of that kingdom; Ra-nieri I (d. In 1394), called Neri and nephew of the previous one, extended his dominion to Thebes, Argos, Mycenae, Sparta and Athens, ending the Catalan-Aragonese domination in Greece, which had lasted almost a century; Antonio I (d. 1435) was Duke of Athens and, with Turkish support, secured a long peace in Attica and Boeotia; Ranieri II (d. 1451) and Antonio II (d. 1441) succeeded the former; Francesco II (m. in 1460) he was the last Duke of Athens and murdered his mother, Clara Giorgo, under whose tutelage he had reigned. Sultan Mehmet II, who had helped him seize power, later had him assassinated.
The Florentine branch had several dignitaries of the Church, among them Angelo (1340-1408), cardinal in the period of the Western Schism, archbishop of Florence and papal legate in Naples and Sicily; Niccoló (1630-1719), legacy of the Church in Ferrara; Filippo (1700-66), nuncio to Switzerland and Portugal. The family, which died out in 1834, also had two illustrious men of letters, Donato (1429-78), writer, orator, philosopher and mathematician, coinciding with the time of Lorenzo de Mediéis and with his works (translations of Plutarch, commentaries of Aristotle) contributed to disseminate classical culture and Aristotelian philosophy; Zanobi (1461-1519), Dominican humanist, b. In Florence, he translated several Greek works and was prefect of the Vatican Library.