The Age of the Condottieri: A Short History of Mediaeval Italy from 1409-1530, by Oscar Browning. Part V.

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12-02-2024 • 1 hr 30 mins

Italy from 1409 to 1530 is synonymous with the Renaissance, but this was also the age of the condottieri, Italian captains of mercenary companies and multinational armies who fought in the service of city states, monarchs, and the Pope. Some like Ludovico Sforza in Milan seized power and founded dynasties in their own right.

The merchant princes of the Medici family reached their apogee in Lorenzo the Magnificent in Florence, but faltered in the Papacy; Leo X proved no match for Martin Luther, and Clement VII was powerless to avert the sack of Rome in 1527. Venice lost her overseas empire to the Turks, while proud King Francis I, defeated by the Emperor Charles and a prisoner in Madrid, was eventually forced to relinquish all hope of Italian conquest.

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