“Medici.”  The name conjures images of the breath-taking works of art they commissioned; plots, counter-plots, and subterfuges that propelled them to be key figures in the scheming, convoluted world of Renaissance Italy, and their wider involvement in the history of a continent.  This class traces the roots of the Medici family from provincial bankers to a clan that produced three popes and the Queen of France.  Examine their guile, their wealth, their sense of art and excess, their dumb-founding combination of political acumen and sheer folly, and their relentless ambition over the course of four centuries.