Was Leonardo’s mother a Circassian slave?

Was Leonardo’s mother a Circassian slave?

The famous self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, kept at the Albertina Academy in Turin

A document discovered in the Florentine State Archives reveals that Leonardo da Vinci’s mother was a Circassian slave from the Caucasus: after being kidnapped, possibly by the Tatars, she was enslaved and resold to the Venetians. The details of the new identity of the artist’s mother and the scientist, who had long been dedicating himself to the figure, were discovered by Professor Carlo Vecchi, philologist and historian of the Renaissance, Professor at the University of Naples “Lauriente”. Leonardo. The discovery was announced yesterday morning in Florence, on the occasion of the presentation of Ficci’s first novel, Catherine smile. Leonard’s mother (join).

In Vecce’s novel, Caterina is imagined to have been a princess. “It is a documentary fiction based on a true story, where the names of the characters mentioned are real names found in the manuscripts I reviewed,” Vecchi explained. In the archives of Florence, and with the signature of Leonardo’s father, Piero da Vinci, notary of the Florentine countryside, Professor Vecchi sheds light on the process of editing Caterina “filia Jacobi ios Schiafa seo cerva de partibus circassi”. The bond was drawn up on November 2, 1452, about six months after Leonardo’s birth, at the request of the slave owner, Ginevra d’Antonio Redetti, wife of Donato di Filippo di Salvestro Natti.

However, the hypothesis that Katrina could be a slave has been around for quite some time. A little by chance, a few years ago, these documents appeared and I began to study them to prove that this slave Caterina was not Leonardo’s mother, but in the end all the evidence went in the opposite direction, especially this document of liberation. Leonardo was the eldest son of Piero but not of Caterina, as Vic explained on the basis of documents from the State Archives in Florence, such as the “Memoirs” of the humanist Francesco di Matteo Castellani, and it appears that in 1450 he had already had a child which in fact led to a nurse . According to the reconstruction in the novel, the daring flight from the Caucasus Mountains brought Catherine to Azov, ancient Tana, at the mouth of the Don, from which she was then transported, across the Black Sea, to Constantinople in 1439: here she passed into the hands of Venetian merchants, who They moved her to the lake the following year. Alternatively, it is documented that Caterina would have arrived in Florence in 1442 thanks to the husband of her mistress Ginevra, the Florentine adventurer Donato di Filippo di Salvestro Natti, who had already emigrated to Venice, where he had girls from the Levant, the Black Sea and the Lair.

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Caterina bore her illegitimate son by Piero da Vinci, born on April 15, 1452 in the small village of Anciano in the municipality of Vinci. Caterina raised Leonardo for the first ten years of his life. And Leonardo might have known his older half-brother as well, since at least two years before – as Vicki had always assumed – Caterina had given birth to another illegitimate child by another man. Later, as we know from the documents, the freed slave Caterina married Antonio Botti, better known as Atacabregi, lived near Vinci, gave birth to five more children, four girls and one boy.

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