Italy Lordships and Principalities – Viscount Primacy Part 4

Italy Lordships and Principalities – Viscount Primacy Part 4

It had hardly been lowered into the tomb when the great building of Gian Galeazzo Visconti creaked all over, began to crumble, was overwhelmed by the greed of friends and the grudges of enemies, leaders or ousted lords or groups of city nobility. And not only did the distant parts break off, but the core core dissolved as well. All the Visconti leaders made a lordship there: Gabrino Fandulo in Cremona, Pandolfo Malatesta in Brescia, Giovanni Vignati in Lodi, Filippo Arcelli in Piacenza, Facino Cane in Alessandria, in Novara, in Tortona, almost to Milan, while Anguissola, Landi , Scotti, other feudalists from beyond the Po, badly tamed and always ready for the rescue, plundered those lands. Meanwhile, others solicited other descents of foreigners.

In short, all the old and new forces of Italian politics, once again on the move. When they found a center in which to converge, a leader who dominated them and at the same time provided them with the possibility of action, they managed to compose themselves into some unity, based on those elements of cohesion that were also in the territory; when that center or head failed, everything relaxed, everyone became a center in himself again. Even royal recognition was not a sufficient remedy. Too corroded was every principle of authority. The persuasion that force was worth more than law was too widespread. Then, these gentlemen of recent origin lacked that religious and human consecration of time, which raised the prince in the face of discordant subjects and bands of fortune. Thus the fortune of these lordships was still linked to the person of those who embodied them: unlike what happened where a robust and homogeneous bourgeoisie-aristocracy had formed at the center and support of the state. Here, less glare, but the flame did not go out, by a whiff of blind chance. So in Venice and Florence.

According to TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA.COM, the death of Gian Galeazzo and the collapse of the Visconti lordship coincided with a revival of the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily. And it seemed that the South had to regain something of its former position as a protagonist in Italian politics.

This was with Ladislao di Durazzo who, ally of Bonifazio IX, Roman pope, against the popes of Avignon and against Louis of Anjou, had the kingdom, conquered Naples which was increasingly decisive possession for the whole territory, and took with great energy the rudder. First task: to keep the baronial houses in check. And this restraint Ladislao imposed by every means, even with ruthless cruelty. Then, foreign policy. The kingdom did not want to give up everything. Not all the Norman and Swabian traditions and of the first Angevins are extinct. Thus, Ladislao aspired from the beginning to Hungary, where Angevin kings had reigned until 1380; and he put his hands on Zara, which was there in front of Puglia, almost at the door of that sea. The Florentines also pushed it, hoping from this enterprise to gain advantage for their businesses in the Danube region and damage to Venetian businesses. But then the king abandoned this too imaginative policy, renounced Hungary and Zadar, turned to close objectives. He occupied Rome, and kept it for 10 years. From here he moved on to Tuscany which was Louis of Anjou’s foothold in his march for the reconquest of the kingdom. He had Arezzo, he fought with Florence, with Siena, with Pisa, with their ally Angioino. And the royal authority re-emerged a little from the quagmire, in the south of Italy. Ladislao represented and satisfied a widespread and profound need of the southern people, who were now attached to the monarchy, despite the alternating dynastic events, and a certain feeling of the unity of the kingdom had formed, even in the midst of the lordship of this or that family .

Even the kingdom of Sicily, also in the south, re-emerged a little from the whirlpool of anarchy, with Martin, nephew of the king of Aragon and husband of the young Queen Maria, who hinted at re-entering the wake of the Normans and Swabians, recalled to their constitutions, he favored the state-owned cities, he also acquired a certain aureole of military value, when an army and a Sicilian fleet helped the Aragonese king against the rebel Sardinians, defeated a fleet of Genoa that came to their aid, defeated the rebels (1409) . But in 1409, Martino died without children, Sicily went to the distant king of Aragon: and it was the end of all independence of this island, as it had already of Sardinia, a century earlier. The Sicilians and even the barony lacked the luster of their own crown and a court in which to shine: hence the continuous aspiration to a restoration as a kingdom in itself. The region lived without connections with the rest of the peninsula: except that its possession strengthened the positions of the Aragonese crown in the peninsula, and gave it a new title and a foothold to then try, from there, greater things. A few years later also Ladislao king of Naples died, 1414: and a greater disorder than before fell upon the kingdom, which was close to dismembering.

Italy Lordships and Principalities 4

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