Rus Articles Journal

Francesco Sforza. How to live a stormy life?

the Reason for writing of article was information. On Rambler specified in the heading “This Day in the History“: 610 years ago Francesco SFORZA was born (1401 - 8. 3. 1466), the Italian kondotyer who in 1450 seized power in the Milan republic, having proclaimed itself the duke.

It is curious that the nickname “Sfortsa“ can be translated as “with a force“, and in other source even more “speaking“ value is given: “forcing“. Such “security officer“, if to use modern terminology.

Bright bastard

our Italian hero was one of seven illegitimate children of a kondotyer (in other words, the commander of group of mercenaries) by the name of Muzio Attendolo and known as Sforza. Since eighteen years he, together with the father, was engaged in military work on fields blossoming, but on - medieval the shattered Italian earth, battling for independence of its separate parts. After death of the father continued family business. Having concluded the contract with the duke of Milan Filippo Maria Visconti, headed battle with group of the opponent rather large for those times: 1500 riders and 300 infantrymen.

First the goddess Victoria smiled young Sforza, but in fight against the integrated forces of Florentines and Venetians he suffered decisive defeat. Destiny of the young loser - the reference. Two years talented Sforza was not popular and the personal relations with the whimsical duke Visconti at him were not taken.

It was succeeded to take a revenge in a campaign against Florentines. Right now, having really estimated the military leader, Visconti took the step which allowed to fix cooperation and to secure with fidelity of the contract employee: the duke offered a kondotyer a hand of the five-year-old - and there is no mistake! - daughter Bianka Maria. The consent to marriage was received, and engagement took place.

Military history of that time is not only battles, but, perhaps, more artful designs of the relations of historical figures, different in influence. Them in Sforza`s life for that period was two: duke already familiar to us Visconti and father Evgeny IV. In return, our hero did not stand aside too. It, battling at first against papal forces, and then, after capture of Ancona, having come over to the side of the opponent, accepted the mayor`s position. To return captured by the next enemy - the king Alfonso V - possession, he reconciled with the acquaintance already to us the Milan duke and married in Cremona Bianka Maria Visconti who grew up by then.

of Mediolanum means the city standing in the middle of the plain

Now its military progress is caused not only talent of the military tactics, but also the political strategist. And that is important, it defends independence of the earth. At first breaks Nicolo Picchinino`s kondotyer, then his son, and having united with Venetians, - the old friends - Visconti`s rivals, the father Evgeny IV and Sigizmundo Malatest who joined them. To the last, seemingly, at it were scores a personal order: on some sources, that killed the wife Polissena, Sforza`s daughter.

And here, in exchange for cancellation of the union with Venice (and as were at war together!) Francesco Sforza is entitled capitano generale from Visconti, or the commander-in-chief of the Milan duchy and finally moves to Milan.

On it abrupt turns of destiny of Sforza do not come to an end. Who would think that one of key figures - Filippo Maria Visconti - will be cut down, will fall into oblivion, without having made even successors of a male and wills? Who would think that growth of republican ideas will give such rough shoots how declaration of Aurea Repubblica Ambrosiana, “The gold ambroziansky republic“? Who bydumat what country towns of such “advancement“ of Milan will not accept also will want independence?

These events quite could lead to disintegration of the state, but Council of a devyatist did not become puzzled. He made only a right course: addressed Francesco Sforza. The last as the professional who got used to performance of a debt took not obeyed Piacenza and Pavia, broke the Venetian troops and fleet (again!) the same year to sign the contract against Milan. In total with the same Venice.

How broke, no, multiwise Sforza inclined on the party Milanese? Easily! Its army surrounded the city, destroyed a harvest in vicinities. Hunger began, the national protest developed into revolt. And “operation“ in Milan of wagon trains with the food came to the end with emergence. Who savior? Sforza! Its pulyarnost grows in the city, and the people`s assembly approves transfer of ducal powers to our hero.


So the duke Sfortsa accepted reins of government in Milan. Territorially the duchy grew part of Lombardy, the cities of Genoa and Bari. To personal “plus“ to Sforza there is a condescension to enemies and rivals. One for a while got to prison, but were released. Others - are lowered in the status, but soon forgiven.

The long-awaited peace was made between Milan and Venice in Lodi. After 30 years of almost continuous battles of Francesco Sforza the new Milan ducal dynasty was finally recognized.

For peaceful revival of the won earth to Sforza less time, than for work military, but it which - will be released half that will be in time. In an asset at Sforza modernization (appears, happened also in the Middle Ages) Milan and duchy, effective system of taxation (but whether not to study in more detail?), transformation of the yard of the duke into the center of culture of Renaissance and a gain of popularity among Milanese thanks to foundation of big hospital and carrying out the channel to the river Adda.

Not too long life (and Sforza lived 65 years) - to a limit saturated and rough. What here you will tell? Middle Ages!