Current studies of early modern absolutism – rule by one person with absolute authority – emphasize continual negotiations between ruler and ruled. The same rulers who often staged spectacular displays of their might spent much of their time arranging deals and forestalling opposition, negotiating constantly with nobles and others for acceptance of their rule. The effective ruler was not the one who brusquely subdued opponents, but the one who both avoided antagonizing those opponents who could not be easily subdued and who gradually lured most others into his court with political appointments. The rule of Cosimo I de' Medici, a sixteenth-century duke of Tuscany, exemplifies this strategy. Beginning from a weak position, Cosimo became one of Europe's most powerful rulers, founding a dynasty that lasted well beyond his lifetime.