Italy Lordships and Principalities – Viscount Primacy Part 3
At this point, the Italian reaction against Gian Galeazzo begins. Florence, although not too targeted by the Visconti but suspicious of him, allies itself with Bologna, trying to attract Venice, still an ally of the Visconti. A coalition is outlined, directed from Florence, in which all the small states that are enemies of the Visconti and fearful of him enter. Venice is neutral, but it helps them. It is the time that the republic, as a result of the military and financial aid given to the Estense, manages to acquire real pre-eminence in Ferrara, which is part of the league, and obtains as a pledge the Polesine di Rovigo, that is, the mastery of the lower Po and lower Po Adige. The antagonism between Florence and the Visconti therefore now becomes a central fact of Italian politics. Florence also solicited the Count of Armagnac in Italy, who moved against Alexandria. But on 25 July 1391, these bands were confronted by the viscounts under the city walls and repeatedly beaten. Triumphal cry of the lord of Milan, announcing the victory of his people, “of my Italian people”, against the French of the Count of Armagnac, who came down to Italy, as always, full of contemptuous pride for the “cowardly Lombards”. Now Visconti and Florence are making the same wheel, to ingratiate themselves with him, around the king of France, who greatly appreciates these flattering references. He wants Genoa, he has to claim Naples for the Angevins, to recover some Piedmontese land for them or for himself. Other targets and other preys point to him in competition with Florence and Gian Galeazzo. That, the rich Visconti lands, to be shared between him and the Count of Savoy or to be set free; these, the lands of the Church, almost abandoned and already, at another time, offered by the antipope Clement. Allied with the king of France, in solidarity with the Duke of Orleans in circumventing Tuscany in order to have it at his discretion, Gian Galeazzo, whose fate of arms was not going well, would have vanquished the opposing coalition with these aids. Negotiations ran around all this. Spinelli spoke of it at the court of France and in Avignon. The king of France was well disposed. He no longer heard the English from the West at this time; and could turn to Italy. No right to him would come to the Visconti’s lands; but the Visconti would have placed the arms of France on his shield. They set out to prepare an expedition from the Orleans, by land, to the Papal States; and one towards Naples. The antipope was recalcitrant. But in August ’94, everything was almost ready, to give birth to a new kingdom in Italy, with Romagna, Marca, Bologna, Ravenna, Perugia, governed by a French dynasty and vassal of the Holy See, inherited and coordinated with the kingdom of Naples. The death of the pope, September 16, diverted the course of things.
According to USAERS.COM, the king of France then let himself be overcome by the flattery of the Florentines and their skilful diplomacy; and to him Gian Galeazzo had to sell Genoa. But from the king of the Romans, Wenceslaus, in need, like everyone, of money, something came to him that, at that moment, was worth more than Genoa: that is, the elevation of Milan and twenty-five other cities of Lombardy and Veneto to the duchy and the investiture made to him, by inheritance. It was not the kingdom of Italy, independent or even in the vassalage of the empire; but it was the recognition of lordship, full legitimacy, the election to a very high rank in the ancient kingdom, greater freedom even from the people, which had been the first legal foundation of lordship. Florence, which kept its eyes open everywhere, tried to foil the blow, even putting up the German princes. But she failed. It is a moment in which Milan is worth more than Florence. That one, has more strings in its zither. Now, even the “national” one, for the pride that the Viscontis gave themselves to having kept back or driven back every foreign militia or lord who, “violating nature”, that is the circle of the Alps given to defend Italy, sought to to have dominion over you; to have, when the peninsula languished without arms, restored the ancient discipline, shown not to have the Italians need for arms and armed foreigners. So, shortly after, a Lombard panegyrist by Gian Caleazzo. to have, when the peninsula languished without arms, restored the ancient discipline, shown not to have the Italians need for arms and armed foreigners. So, shortly after, a Lombard panegyrist by Gian Caleazzo.
And yet, the major states of the peninsula are now against the Visconti. And they also find allies outside: Isabella of Bavaria, queen of France, the German princes who reproach their king for trading the rights of the empire. The exiled sons of Bernabò and the Florentines waged a great campaign of defamation against the duke. In 1398, half of Italy and the king of France were in league against him: and this time Venice was also discovered. The irreducible hostility of Florence led Gian Galeazzo to also seek allies and subjects in Tuscany and Umbria. Thus he gained Pisa, Siena, Perugia, Assisi. The new king of the Romans, Roberto, moved against him, urged by the Italian associates and by the princes of the empire. But in Brescia, Ottobuono Terzi and Facino Cane, leader of the Visconti, faced him and broke him. And the Visconti was also able to occupy Bologna. At this moment, death took Gian Galeazzo.