Many recent historians have argued that while the Medici were no doubt influential in the Florentine renaissance their role is often exaggerated by historians who have studied the period. William Roscoe, a historian writing near the turn of the nineteenth century, paints a picture of the Medici as virtually responsible for the entire Renaissance. This type of glorification of the family's power and influence has won for the Medici the great adulation of some, and later, the profound contempt of others, who view their legacy as one of tyrannical central government by a special interest group. However, current historians most often view the ruling family as enlightened patrons who encouraged an existing trend, playing a smaller role in the Renaissance than is often assumed. The Medici played an ambiguous role in the history of Florence. Despite the appearance
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tyrannical central government, body. Florence, period. William Roscoe