Renaissance warrior’s tomb is opened — and so is a mystery
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A noble-but-brutal Renaissance warrior who fell to a battle wound may not have died exactly as historians had believed, according to a new investigation of the man’s bones.

Italian researchers opened the tomb of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, or Giovanni of the Black Bands, this week to investigate the real cause of his death. Giovanni was born in 1598 into the wealthy and influential Medici family, a lineage that produced four Popes and two regent queens of France, among many other nobles.

He worked as a mercenary military captain for Pope Leo X (one of the Medici family’s Popes), and fought many a successful skirmish in his name. When Pope Leo X died in 1521, Giovanni altered his uniform to include black mourning bands, earning him his nickname.


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