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37) Due to strong opposition from the ottimati, the original plan to appoint don Michelotto bargello del contado had to be abandoned, though, and on 1 April he was elected capitano di guardia del contado e distretto di Firenze instead by the Eighty.
In The Art of War, as well as in the Discourses, Machiavelli expresses a sharp awareness of the negative view on the Roman model prevailing among the Florentine ottimati at the beginning of the Cinquecento.
Building on some recent rethinking of civic humanism by a number of historians, Moulakis sees this transformation of Florentine politics and political vocabulary as stretching from the late fourteenth century and from Bruni himself, through the Medicean dominance, to the ottimati of the early sixteenth century.
Florentines knew that this was coded language pointing to the families of the ottimati, like Guicciardini's own.
A member of one of Florence's great ottimati families, Donato was raised by his maternal grandfather and Medici rival, Palla Strozzi.
This political development contains a deep irony because, to use Najemy's apt expression, by attempting to fashion themselves as patres conscripti, the Florentine ottimati elite created a pater patriae.
If there was any term the oligarchs liked for themselves it was ottimati (Latin: optimates or optimi cives).
On the other hand, foul-weather patriots like Bruni, it seems, took up the banner of Aretine liberty only after their ottimati, or Guelfish, friends lost Florence.
While Palla did receive a lengthy sentence of exile that was renewed by the Signorla ten years after its promulgation, he did not suffer from the imposition of a sentence of infamy pronounced against the other exiles who conspired with the Milanese forces at Anghiari in 1440, and there is evidence that he was treated differently than other members of the ottimati at their arrest in October of 1434.
His exile of the ottimati has struck fear not only in the entire city of Florence, but in all the nobility of Europe.