In this volume Marsilio Ficino enters upon a fascinating correspondence with some of the most powerful leaders in Europe. Following the Pazzi Conspiracy of 1478, Florence under Lorenzo de Medici was at war with both Pope Sixtus IV and Ferdinand, King of Naples.
Writing to the three protagonists, Ficino guides the warring leaders back to peace by reminding them of their real nature. What he says is specific to each individual. Pope Sixtus he reminds of the true work of the Pope: to fish in the `deep sea of humanity', as did the Apostles. To the King he explains that `in peace alone a splendid victory awaits you', and he presents the two sides of Lorenzo's nature to him with dramatic clarity.
It may have been after this letter was written that Lorenzo preserved the freedom of Florence by boldly crossing the enemy's siege lines and presenting himself at Ferdinand's court to negotiate peace. He could have perished miserably in a dungeon, a fate not so unusual for visitors to this court, but in fact the negotiations resulting from his visit brought peace to Italy.