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The tyrants. Matteo Visconti’s children. The Scaligeri. House of Savoja.

All the ancient Lombard links are now reduced to the rule of a prince. The first example was given by Ferrara, when in 1208, upon the succession of the Ghibellines and Salinguerra Torello, he conferred full discretion on the marquises of Este (t. vi, p. 310): but these went into decline, and Azzo VIII, effeminate and cruel, rebelled against Modena and Reggio, was reduced to nothing more than Ferrara and his own patrimony. Dying, instead of his brother he called the son of one of his weeds heir; of which an internal war arose, and the neighbors took advantage of it to tinker with that house. The Venetians, auxiliaries of the bastard, occupied Ferrara: Clement V, supporting Azzo’s brother, sent his nephew Cardinal Pellagrua with an army, which preached the crusade as against the Turks, and thundered the most immoderate bull against de ‘Veneziani, excluding them. since the fourth generation from every ecclesiastical and secular dignity, their goods have been confiscated in any part of the world, free to reduce them to slaves with no gap between the innocent and the guilty; and there were those who took advantage of it. The Venetians who came to war with the Pontifics and especially supported by Bolognesi and Florentines, touched a terrible route on the Po (1309), up to six thousand men losing among iron and drowned: Pellagrua hanged as many Ferraresi as they favored him, and appointed vicar of the city King Robert, regardless of the Este family: the Venetians had to buy the acquittal with one hundred thousand florins. The Provenzals of Roberto made a bad government of Ferrara, which reborn a gentleman [405]precisely, he rose to noise, expelled the foreigners, and sent back the Este family (1317), who for this purpose had connected with the Ghibellines. Here arms and excommunications and processes of heresy, despite which the Este ruled.

The Ezelini in Treviso, Feltre and Belluno were replaced by Gherardo da Camino, nicknamed the simple Lombard for goodness and charity , and praised as a noble by Dante. Richard his successor was slaughtered in 1312 in his own rooms by a villain.

After the Traversara chiefs of the Guelphs were over, Ravenna had come to Guido Novello, lord of the castle of Polenta near Brettinoro: driven out by the Bagnocavallo, he returned there and was made lord in 1275; he hosted Dante, and passed on the regiment to his sons Bernardino and Ostasio. The first fathered Guido and Rinaldo archbishop of Ravenna: the other ruled Cervia, of which not happy, he slaughtered the archbishop and also took possession of Ravenna (1322).

Rimini with a good part of the Anconitana brand was tyrannized by the Malatesta da Verucchio. Pandolfo was succeeded by his nephew Ferrantino; but Ramberto, his cousin, invited him with other relatives to dinner, and took them prisoners, in vain Polentesa mother of Ferrantino running the city with the sword drawn to raise it to noise: except that another son of Pandolfo recovered Rimini in a few days (1326) , freed the captured and chased Ramberto. The latter provided every way of obtaining forgiveness; on a solemn hunt he threw himself at Ferrantino’s feet, begging him for mercy, and Ferrantino slaughtered him.

De ‘Montefeltro, who had Sinigaglia and Forlì, Guido rose to greater fame; and being sent (1382) a French army by Pope Martin IV to besiege Forlì, he advised the citizens to receive them within, distribute them in their homes and win them over; at night it surprised them, and slaughtered them. Federico, who owned Urbino and other Ghibelline cities, illustrated himself as a captain of fortune: [406]but having burdened them to support the war against the Guelphs, Urbino revolted against him, tore him to pieces with a son, and gave himself to the pontiff.

Mantua was made free upon the death of Countess Matilde, with the usual rectors or consuls, and with the podestà, to whom the general assembly of the Quattrocentonovanta substituted two city vicars, who were Pinamonte de ‘Bonacolsi and Federico Count of Marcarìa. Pinamonte affected the dominion, and took away from sending word among the people that the Marquis of Ferrara wanted to add to Mantua too; hence the people, always credulous in those who disapprove and accuse, cursing the Marquis and exalting Bonacolsi, gave him full will to disband who he believed, that is, anyone who could hinder him, and especially the counts of Casaloldi. Then he became clear Ghibelline, he allied himself with that Marquis of whom he had feigned fear, he had Ottonello assassinated by Zenecalli whom the assembly had placed next to him, and shouting himself a perpetual captain (1276) with the usual crew of the universal vote. The Casaloldi, the Arlotti, the Agnelli, the Grossolani and other exiles conspired to recover the city, and entered armed; but a traitor had given notice to Pinamonte, who dispersed them.

He was succeeded by his son Bardellone (1291), ugly of every vice; His brother Taino sought the support of the Estensi to throw him off: in the meantime, however, their nephew Bottesella, having troops from Alberto della Scala, drove both to die in exile (1299), and became lord with the Butirone brothers and Rinaldo Passerino. The latter, who remained alone in command, scattered public money to favor the imperial side, so much so that he had twelve thousand men standing, and from Henry VII he bought the title of imperial vicar. He also obtained Modena, promising to leave in peace the lords of Mirandola who first dominated it, then made them take and starve: thus [407]having agreed to Mirandola, he sent her to sackcloth and fire. Three excommunications and twenty years of war made the country against him; he blew into his brother-in-law Luigi Gonzaga, appalled by that lordship, and also to avenge his son Filippino, whose wife he had sworn to shame the son of Rinaldo for revenge of a kidnapped lover. And since those tyrannies were always willing to harm each other, Gonzaga received help from the Scaligero, intelligence in the city, and on the morning of 16 August 1328 he invaded and ran, killed Rinaldo, tore his son Giovanni Abbot of Sant’Andrea from the altar , and left him to perish of hunger in the tower where the lord of Mirandola had died: the genitals of the other son Francesco were torn off and placed in his mouth. The looting was horrendous, and the part that fell to Cane alone amounts to one hundred thousand florins. At the proposal of Claudio Agnello, a rich and trusted man, the people elected Gonzaga as captain general. The emperor, who had previously approved Rinaldo, then approved him as vicar; the Commune with twenty thousand florins obtained that the pope absolve him of the assassination, and with an annual feast he solemnized the beginning of these new lords, who then were marquises, then dukes, then nothing.

Only Bologna and Padua, the cities of the students, remained governed by the republics. These in Bologna brought life and riches, but at the same time restlessness, to laws or to courts, denying to submit their privileges. In 1315 the rectors of the University, calling themselves offended by the praetor, retired to the Argenta; and the schoolchildren also gave a view to leaving, if authoritative persons had not intervened, confirming the ancient franchises of the University, exempting it from the bargello, police chief in charge of keeping the city quiet and honest: to the University and to the rectors there was no door to the palace; they rectors with a companion and four young ladies [408]they could carry any offensive or defensive weapon of their choice; canceled any decree or ban against people who had given occasion to disgust; expelled those who had injured the rectors; no scholar could be requested before the praetor or his judges.

Shortly after, Giacomo di Valenza student kidnaps the niece of the famous lawyer Giovanni d’Andrea; and the mayor by force takes him and sentences him to death. The fellow disciples shudder, romp, and not being able to save, they migrate to Siena, swearing not to return if they do not receive satisfaction. Bologna remained squalid, until Romeo de ‘Pepoli induced them to send the students the desired apologies, and renounce all jurisdiction over them.

This Romeo, a shopkeeper, with an enormous income of one hundred and twenty thousand florins, used himself to excel, and often to corrupt or evade the laws. He then grew in reputation; whereby the Gozzadini, the Beccadellis and other gentlemen believed or said he aspired to tyranny, and formed the party of the Maltraversi, against the Scacchesi, so named by the coat of arms of the Pepoli, accused Romeo (1321), attacked him in their own house, whence a punishment he had time to flee by throwing sacks of money at the crowd. The family was exiled, the buildings demolished, the goods confiscated, the partisans relegated: the fears and plots lasted for a long time, but Romeo, an exile in Avignon, could no longer recover his homeland.

Cremona too, sobbed by Henry VII, as we have seen, was attacked by Can della Scala and by Passerino Bonacolsi, lord of Mantua and Modena; and although Ponzino Ponzoni warmed up to support the popular government, it was shouted to him as lord Jacopo Cavalcabò (1315). But after six months the Ghibellines led by Ponzoni attacked it, and forced Giberto di Correggio, another captain of fortune who led the arms, to give it up. [409]Guelphs against many cities, while the Ghibellines were led by Federico di Montefeltro. It was not long before the Visconti of Milan submitted Cremona (1322).

It would be difficult and boring to follow the events of each republic; but what has been said up to now is enough to show how no peace came with tyranny. Not being that founded on a law or an agreed statute, not consolidated by opinion nor by time, not transmitted by regular succession, it opened the way to the ambitions of any claimant who could adduce the same titles, that is, to have dared to; the same sanction, that is, being successful. A new lord overtook the old one; and this, hospitalized in friendly cities, to the pope, to the emperor, plotted in hiding, connected with others of his faction, bought gangs, fomented civil disagreements, which could not be decided for reasons, but only by force, the only measure of law: but the prevalence of a single family prevented the balancing of partialities. These, while retaining the ancient names, they had changed their purpose; or rather the real purpose was only one’s own momentary triumph and the depression of the adversaries. In general, however, the nobles were Ghibellines, which already meant Germans, because either they had fought in the pay of the emperors, or had titles, salaries, possessions, reasons for water, tolls, ports, cavalry, captains, and glory. to bear the imperial eagle in the coat of arms, and exemption from the common courts.

Inside, every victor found himself inadequate to the desires that his factions had conceived, to the promises that he himself had lavished, to the debridement that each one had promised. The people, who for the lesser evil had confided full powers to the tyrant, seeing him abuse it, filed complaints. The tyrants, although popularly elected, undermined free customs by demeaning the bodies that represented the [410]country, instead of making it a defense and support. And besides, with no good statute they were provided to moderate their power, they possessed too many means of buying, deceiving, terrifying the multitude; they kept themselves armed among peaceful people; under the pretext of conspiracies they killed, stripped and exiled those who resisted [286] . The best citizens, finding themselves inept at [411]to curb the arrogance, they abstained from assemblies so as not to legitimize it, and withdrew in violent peace. Even some churches, which at first begged God to save us from tyrants, then offered supplication for them, conniving with sins that the ancient popes struck without regard [287] .

Any appearance of popular election then disappeared, [412]when the tyrants obtained the title of vicarj, which they bought from the emperors, happy to sell for money an authority which they could not exercise. At that time the tyrant threw aside all respect for privileges and customs, nor did he allow the communities to appoint some inferior magistrates, take care of the roads and their own revenues, which are now reduced to about a lot.

Just as no other remedy had been found for leave than servitude, so only conspiracy remained shelter for tyranny, and those gentlemen lasted a very short time; rise from a violent revolution, from a violent shot down; every year he brought a new one, always made by force, that is, to despotism, substituting despotism [288] ; People shouted , and they ended up giving freedom in the hands of an absolute lord.

Guelphs and Ghibellines, born from the clash of the Empire with the papacy, as well as recovering from it, became gangrenous, no longer drawing two distinct parties, strength and ideas, independence and unity, democracy and aristocracy, but an inheritance of ancient odes, whose reasons had been lacking: so much so that the popes, when they forgot that they were the father of all, sometimes stayed with the Ghibellines, and against them the emperors; and changing sides, they invoked each other to be dependent or dissubjected from the Empire for special and daily convenience and ambitions. The tyrannies inclined to the Ghibelline sign, but unfortunate the emperor who counted on their support! Was he from Germany? they lavished hospitality upon him, the pomp of which mortified his obliged parsimony; handed him the keys to the cities, paid him certain gifts, but they gave him no power whatsoever, nor did they allow him to linger too long in their country; scarcely departed, they ceased all dependence, and formed leagues against it.

Such changes were sometimes produced by the rivalry of one partiality over the other, since that which triumphed in a city made decisions lean towards it; often they still came from a broader intent, such as the clash between the surviving republics and the invading principalities; intent that forced one to side with this or with that, no longer according to the norm of names or the sympathy of peoples, but according to what opportunity led them to believe that better would lead to freedom the popes or kings, France or the Empire, the Guelphs or the Ghibellines.

Hence the system of equilibrium, against which so much has been declaimed, and which nevertheless brought Italy two centuries [414]of independence and civil progress, such as she never had: threatened with immediate servitude by this or that squire, she always managed to repress it. It is true that she then found herself sick to repel the foreign servants; but, without discussing whether unity would have saved it, who will say that it was possible to foresee it in the conditions of Europe at the time? France, then much smaller, was sweating to protect its nationality against the English: Spain was redeeming its homeland from Arab slavery to pieces: the Greek Empire was getting rid of its senile tabe; the Turks could push some correria on our coasts, but the main effort was directed against Byzantium. The emperors had forces so disproportionate to the pretensions that they could not venture on this side of the Alps without the help of our Ghibellines; so he came,

Nominal head of these as papal legate, Cardinal Del Poggetto, created count of Romagna and marquis of Ancona, continued his tyranny, which extinguished republican spirits; and pretending to set up a palace in Bologna for the pope, who repeatedly wanted to return to Italy and settle in that city, he built a fortress, and placed his Gascons, and others in the offices and even in the archbishopric, raved about that republic. He also tried, with the methods then in use, to imprison the primary citizens: but the tumultuous people forced him to release them.

He also wanted to take Ferrara away from the Marquis d’Este, but a marked victory upset the papalines and made prison the main lords of Romagna who militated with them. The Marquis released them, but after having earned them, so soon all Romagna began to raise its head. The Bolognese, pushed by Brandaligi Gozzadini [415]and Collazio Beccadelli, kill several soldiers (1333), besiege the legate himself, who, except for the interposition of the Florentines, had to return to Avignon, after having wasted so many millions and so much blood in Italy, buying nothing, very wasting, and making the holy keys abhorred and freedom less jealous. In fact, the Bolognese did not take long to reduce themselves to the lordship of Taddeo Pepoli son of Romeo (1337), who promised an annual tribute to the Church as long as he absolved the city from the interdict where it had incurred in driving out the legate, and established himself with the usual persecutions and coll usual support of the mercenary bands.

Pope John XXII had continued to persecute Lodovico Bavaro. Who saw Poles and Lithuanians breaking war with him, Germany restless at finding itself deprived of divine offices, relieved as an antecedent Charles of Bohemia, son of John of Luxemburg: so that, fearing God and men, he offered to undo what he had done against the Church and the allies of it, begging for absolution, and for the sake of account go crusader. But the king of France sent to Avignon, threatening to confiscate the assets of the cardinals and guaj from the new Pope Benedict XII, who replied to the bishops who begged him for peace with tears in his eyes, being prevented by King Philip. Such were the popes in other people’s lands.

Lodovico, who was the first condition to abdicate, was disposed to it; but the electors and the States did not suffer from it, they quashed the papal condemnation, lifted the interdict, and proclaimed that the imperial authority emanates immediately from God, nor does the elected one carry out papal confirmation jobs; when the empire is vacant, the elector palatine is vicar; it is enough to be crowned king of the Romans to be worth as much as the emperor crowned in Rome; and if the pope refuses, any bishop can carry out the coronation ceremony. Blessed, [416]to whom the decision was notified, he had to obey the king of France, and an overwhelming excommunication [289] of imprecations hurled at Lodovico, who, moreover, inspired by apostate friars, returned from submission to arrogance: but in the end he did nothing but defend the independence of the kingdom entrusted to him. While hunting the bear near Monaco, Lodovico fell of apoplexy (1347), and Charles of Bohemia remained the undisputed emperor.

Pope Benedict, far from stubborn to the abasement of the Ghibellines in Italy, which had cost his predecessor so many treasures, in the first consistory declared neither the Roman nor any other Church duty to uphold their rights with arms [290], and he sent Bertrand of Deux archbishop of Embrun to make peace, as he succeeded in many places. But peace is good when founded on strong foundations, and here we saw how it served instead to consolidate many small tyrannies. As the aging King Robert was no longer enough to maintain the primacy of the Guelphs, he rivaled the opposite side. Principal were the Visconti; and the Milanese, grateful to have saved them from the foreigner, elected Azzone perpetual master (1328) with unanimous votes, soon imitated by Bergamo, Pavia, Piacenza, Cremona, Brescia, Pizzighettone, Borgo San Donnino, from which he routed the foreign garrisons; he was given Crema, Lecco, Treviglio, Vigevano, Caravaggio, Cantù; Como [417]it was offered to him by Franchino Rusca, who reserved the countryside of Bellinzona for himself; he took Lodi from a Tremacoldo mugnajo, who had usurped it from the Vestarini. His uncle Giovanni, bishop of Novara, pretending to be ill, received visits in the palace from prominent citizens, and from Caccino Tornielli, lord of the city; and coltolo and imprisoned there, he introduced his nephew to Novara.

Once the external enemies ceased, the Viscontis harassed each other. Marco, Azzone’s uncle, brave but turbulent, we said how he was gotten out of the way by murdering him. Lodrisio his cousin, who had touched the Seprio countryside, and who had already twice conspired against his relatives, with the money given to him by Mastin della Scala who wanted to clear Vicenza from the Germans who remained at the departure of Bavaro, under a Raymond of Giver, called Captain Malerba, sold them, huddled them in a company called San Giorgio (1339) and menolli on the Lombard countryside to kidnap and extort; and growing strong in his countryside, he threatened Milan. The citizens, seeing the looting and other troubles of an invasion overwhelm them, took up arms in flocks, and led by Azzone and his uncle Luchino, they faced those rebels in Parabiago (21 Feb.). There, in the snow, the bloodiest battle was fought before Charles VIII; and Luchino had already been taken and the disheveled army, when a reserve of Savojardi threw itself on the Germans who were disbanding themselves to plunder, broke them completely, and ensured victory.

That mob had incurred so much terror that the battle of Parabiago remained in the popular traditions more alive than those of Legnano and Alexandria: and consecrating it with the marvelous, it was said that Sant’Ambrogio had been seen in the air on horseback, whipping foreigners : whence from then on he was painted [418]in that act, so dissonant from his meek firmness [291] .

Those robbers scattered through the countryside spoiling, until they were destroyed with horrible torture. “And I (says a contemporary) have seen them come to Rome from two hundred and fifty, on foot, some with spurs attached to the braid, some with a plate, and some carrying a crest, some riding a nag according to his condition”. Malerba took up service in the Canavese area with three hundred bearded men, fighting for the lords of Valperga against those of San Martino.

For this victory he greatly thanked Azzone: who, rich in all the virtues that can stand with ambition, understood that the first duty, like the first precaution after the revolutions, is to forgive; the second, to gild the chains. All peace, the city surrounded good walls with a hundred and more towers and marble doors: the streets were cleaned and bricked; he erected a palace and asked Giotto and other minor ones to paint it, and displayed a princely sumptuousness; first of his family he put his name and snake on the coins.

Died (1339) of only thirty-seven years [292] , the major council begged his uncles Giovanni and Luchino to succeed him. The first continued to act as a priest; Luchino, like his predecessor, had trouble with the Estensi, the Scaligeri, the Gonzagas, the Pepoli, who dominated the nearby cities of [419]Modena, Verona, Mantua, Bologna. From the Gonzaga he bought Parma: he bought Asti, destroying the Solari Guelph family, mistress of twenty-four castles; he also had Bobbio, Tortona, Alessandria; King Robert took Alba, Cherasco and other lands in Piedmont; it obtained the high dominion over the Lunigiana; and with strength and cunning the lordship grew, and established it to the detriment of the municipal jurisdictions and the privileges of the cities. He was very severe against the disturbers of peace; the robbers, usually posthumous to wars, exterminated with atrocious torture; Azzone’s friends abhorred, he kept his nephews relegated, he loved none other than his own bastards, and so little did he trust men, that he always had two mastiffs by his side, ready to pounce on anyone he mentioned. He plunged real or supposed conspiracies into the blood, and used them to weaken the nobility, of which, by confiscating the very large possessions, he swelled the public treasury and his own. The massacre of the Pusterla house, of Lombard derivation, one of the oldest and most powerful in Milan, is singularly remembered, and of which he sent Franciscolo to the torture with two or three children and with his wife Margherita Visconti, hated by him because she repulsed by his obscene tributes.[293] .

His rudeness was rewarded. His wife Isabella de ‘Fieschi, pretending to go by vote to Venice to the famous feasts of the Ascension, was accompanied down the Po by a sumptuous procession of ladies and knights, of deputies from all the cities subject to Luchino, and by an endless crowd of waiters and groomers, as if to prove and pompous the greatness of the Visconti house, passing from city to city, received with emulation of tripudj. In reality she was going there to dispose of her loves for her; in which imitated by her companions, she scoffed at that unscrupulous age. Luchino, informed of his own shame after all the others, as usual, let it be understood he would wash it in his blood; but he wanted Isabella to take the stretch ahead, and one day, returning from hunting, she refreshed him with a drink of which he died (1349). Reprehensible as a man, he was a very industrious prince; he favored the poor by dispensing them from military service, and in the terrible famine of 1340 he kept forty thousand; he did not punish the Guelphs although he was a Ghibelline; he forbade the landing of the houses of the rebels; he instituted a podestà solely to cleanse the streets from thieves; he gave everyone an easy audience; from the black plague he saved the state with very strict measures. He made sumptuously, poured, and won praise from the easy-going Petrarch, who spent a long time in that court and in the suburban countryside of Inner. from the black plague he saved the state with very strict measures. He made sumptuously, poured, and won praise from the easy-going Petrarch, who spent a long time in that court and in the suburban countryside of Inner. from the black plague he saved the state with very strict measures. He made sumptuously, poured, and won praise from the easy-going Petrarch, who spent a long time in that court and in the suburban countryside of Inner.

Giovanni his brother, who had become archbishop of Milan, then joined the sword to the pastoral. Pleasant, liberal to scholars and artists, he assigned six professors to comment on the Divine Comedy ; both right and right, he came to dominate eighteen cities, including Genoa.

In this most restless republic King Robert had succeeded in repatriating Guelphs and Ghibellines, and ensuring that the offices were distributed in equal proportions; but the Ghibellines soon retaliated and expelled the Fieschi and the captain placed there by the king of Naples. Then the old government was restored with two captains of the people and a mayor of the Ghibelline side, in addition to the ancient abbot: but the Guelphs, having made a knot in Monaco, soon returned. The nobles, almost only captains and pilots, harassed the crew, using bullying on ships as on land. In the fleet sent to the service of Philip VI of France (1338) against England under Antonio Doria, the sailors, mistreated because they complained about the fraudulent money, when they reached the ground they asked for revenge, and with the people of Voltri, Polcevera, Bisagno they came to Savona , declaiming against the oligarchy; the artisans fight with them, and appoint two consuls; the commoners of Genoa also rose to recover the free election of the abbot. It deliberates, and not coming to an end, a goldbeater shouts: – Do you know what? we elect Simon Boccanegra abbot “(1339). Everyone remembers his house services, and – Yes, yes, let’s go to Boccanegra ».

This, perhaps not by chance, was there in the crowd; whereby the neighbors lift him on their arms between the alive and reviving. Having obtained silence, he recalls: – I am noble and my parents have sustained higher dignities; wherefore, becoming abbot, I would come to degrade myself ». And the people: – Well, be our lord. But he: – I can not, because you have captains. – So be doge », and in triumph they took him to San Siro exclaiming: – Long live the people, long live the merchants, long live the doge», and amidst that vivacity they unleash themselves against the houses of the Dorias and Salvagi [294] .

From this tumultuous resolution, which we wanted to adduce for example of the others, the nobility was seriously wounded, since the people had appointed, no longer subordinate magistrates, but the supreme. Was it, however, capable of suffering a government? Most of the nobles retired to their castles, but they were not always safe there. Having the Marquis Del Carretto spoiled Albenga’s plans, the Doge sent people against him, and especially nine vessels returning from the Spanish war, leaving none of them disassembled. The marquis sent his apologies, but the doge replied that he wanted to see him in Genoa. And he, assured of his life, came there; but the people began to shout at him Mora, mora , and the doge had him thrown into prison, whence he renounced Varigotti, Finale, Cervo and his other lands and fiefs.

Although Boccanegra, active and experienced, in five years of administration reinvigorated justice, and subjected the surrounding territory to the magistrates, he could not establish peace, so he deposed the command (1345), which was given to Giovanni da Murta. The internal shocks were mixed with external wars, and the sea of ​​Azof and the Propontis were bathed in Genoese blood; then in front of Alghero di Sardegna their fleet was cleared by the Venetians united with the Catalans, leaving three thousand five hundred prisons. At the same time Giovanni Visconti starved the city, forbidding to bring grain there; of which discouraged the Genoese, they took the miserable expedient of sacrificing freedom (1353) and Visconti exhibited themselves to it.

The ambassadors said to Petrarch: – Not fear of enemies, not distrust of our forces compels us, but disgust of the intestinal disconcord, because the main nobles want to take advantage of the opportunity to reduce the country to servitude; so that the people, persecuted by the victors and by citizens worse than the enemies, send us to implore the protection of a just prince and [423]powerful”. Introduced into the council, they told Visconti: – We come by order of the Genoese people to offer you the city of Genoa and its inhabitants, the sea, the land, their possessions, their hopes, divine and human things, in short, what is from Corvo to Monaco, with the agreed pacts ». Visconti replied, he accepted not to extend his boundaries, but out of compassion for an oppressed people; he was obliged to protect them, to render justice, to help the republic against whoever he was, and he prayed for this to God and all the saints, of whom he recited a litany [295]. And immediately he sent provisions, opened communications between his country and this, reconciled the factions, gave enough to reforam the fleet, with which, having intruded in vain the mediation of Petrarch, entered the Adriatic under the command of Paganino Doria (1353 ), the Genoese defeated and captured the Venetian admiral Niccolò Pisani with five thousand eight hundred and seventy men, and forced the Venetians to ask for peace, pay two hundred thousand gold florins, and renounce trading on the Black Sea for three years, except Caffa.

Therefore the Visconti possessed all of Lombardy, Liguria, parts of Piedmont and Romagna, and threatened Tuscany. Such power was balanced by the lords of the Scala of Verona, the first who, without possessing ancient inherited fiefdoms, aspired to extensive lordship. They succeeded in a part of the dominj of Ezelino, they were captains of the Ghibellines against Robert King and John XXII, and favored by the emperors (1312). Cane, who from his partisans obtained the name of Grande, knew how to support him in his short life; he embellished Verona; writers and artists welcomed; he wise in advice, and, a rare thing among those lords, faithful to promises; brave and fortunate in arms, so that, beyond Verona, his seat, he returned to his hand [424]Feltre, Belluno, Treviso. But he did not keep his greatness established until he also bought Padua.

This city, rebuilt from the tyranny of Ezelino in favor of freedom, had subdued Vicenza and Bassano, and was flourishing with studies for its University; but transmitting into democracy, he excluded all nobles from the government: yet he entrusted large powers to the de ‘Carrara family, which had survived the others in the Marca. As a Guelph, she had incurred the wrath of Henry VII, who incited Vicenza to withdraw her, and who gave her to govern to Can della Scala, her right hand. Cane introduced mercenary soldiers, militarily abused and opened war on the Padovani. The territory was damaged; ranks of peasants saw the historian Ferreto led to Vicenza with his hands tied to his back, and treated at the worst until they redeemed themselves; nor did the mercenaries of Padua show greater humanity. They frequently returned to battles, each with its own allies;[296] ; she was so in bloom until she was spoiled by a terrible epidemic.

The Ghibellines were persecuted inside; and the Carrara, flattering the envy of the vulgar and shouting – Long live the people, death to the traitors “, attacked those who stood in the way of their ambitions (1314), and especially Pietro Alticlinio, rich and believed to be a lawyer, in whose house, then he pretended to find evidence of the most atrocious crimes [297] . He and his relatives and friends were sent to torture; the historian Albertino Mussato, guilty of having proposed a tax and of being in the process of forming the land register, barely survived.

Meanwhile the war with the Scaligero continued, although more of outrages and thievery than of killings; and in the assault of Vicenza, Giacomo Carrara, who fell prisoner of [425]Dog, it was agreed with him to give himself to shoulder in the mutual ambitions. In fact, taking advantage of the weariness produced by the long hostilities, Rolando di Piazzola jurisconsult [298] persuaded the Paduans to choose a prince with a good speech, and Giacomo Carrara was proclaimed. Marsiglio, his nephew, soon spoiled Dog, and to his detriment he invited the Duke of Carintia and Otto of Austria. With the Germans and the Hungarians, whom the chroniclers have ascended to fifteen thousand horses, came those sacking Friuli as God tell them; and the Paduan and all Lombardy sent soldiers to arrest that scourge: but Dog did better with the money, making them turn around without harming anything but his friends. Then he took revenge on the Padovani by spoiling if any [426]that it had remained undamaged there; and the enmities continued so much, that he induced Marsiglio to give him Padua (1328), and so he found himself satisfied with his long desire.

Mastino II, who succeeded him with equal courage and greater ambition, had Parma on pacts, occupied Brescia, driving out the vicar of Giovanni di Luxenburg, and abandoning the Ghibellines to the revenge of the Guelphs. Tenea corte splendidissima; the historian Cortusio found him surrounded by twenty-three princes, dispossessed by the usual catastrophes; during lunch, musicians, buffoons, jugglers; the rooms were covered with paintings representing fortune events; he had set up apartments with symbols and signs suitable for the various conditions of those seeking shelter, triumph for warriors, hope for exiles, muses for poets, Mercury for artists, paradise for preachers [299] .

Lucca had been sold by King Giovanni to the Reds, and Florence commissioned Mastino (1335) to negotiate it for the purchase: he closed the file, then for the expenses and inconvenient claims thirty-six thousand sequins. He hoped to frighten them with the enormous question, but the Florentines accepted without debating a penny: except that he then added that he did not need such miseries, and kept the happy city for himself. Thus over nine he had balia, who paid him seven hundred thousand florins in the year, as much as France did to her king. And he pondered nothing less than becoming lord of all Italy; meanwhile, Lucca would be the ladder to subdue Tuscany, through the alliance with the lords of the Apennines.

Florence tied the insult received by Mastino on his finger, [428]and the war broke him; where, if he was subject to military valor and alliances, he had money and the will to spend it for national honor. He should have supported the Guelph league; but King Robert had aged; Bologna did not seem to have recovered its freedom except to bloody storm between Scacchesi and Maltraversi; Siena and Perugia were threatened by Pier Saccone de ‘Tarlati, lord of Pietramala, who, having dispossessed the Uguccione della Faggiuola family, the Ubertini, the counts of Montefeltro and Montedoglio, dominated all the mountains of Tuscany and Romagna, beyond Arezzo. he owned Castello and Borgo Sansepolcro, and having allied himself with Mastino, he could have been very prejudicial to the Florentines. They therefore sought a distant friend.

The Venetians, who until then had not mingled with the events of the Italian continent except as foreigners, and who took no shadow from the proximity of the bishops of Padua, Vicenza, Aquileja, were suspicious of the increase of the Scaligeri. In fact, Mastino thought to free his villages from the privation that the Venetians assumed to administer salt; wherefore he erected fortresses on the Po to demand taxes from those who sailed it, and to protect the salt pans established there. This broke, and Venice entered into a concert with Florence, which, paying half of the expenses, was obliged to leave her all purchases. Their league was captained by Pietro de ‘Rossi, a family formerly a lady of Lucca and Parma, the latter also having been forced to surrender to Mastino after the ancestral castles around Pontremoli were also removed. Peter, who had the reputation of the most perfect knight in Italy, supported by many German bands, led the associates prosperously against the Scaligero. Meanwhile the Florentines induced the Saccone to sell them the lordship of Arezzo, where they set up their own magistracy. In [429]Lombardy then solicited those who were enemies of the Scaligero; and Azzone Visconti, the Gonzagas, the Carraras, the others dispossessed by him connected to desolationem et ruinam, dominorum Alberti et Mastini fratrum de la Scala , dividing their possessions in fantasy and rebelling the cities. Padua was taken (1338), arresting Alberto: but Pietro de ‘Rossi having died in battle cut off the course of the victories. Mastino, reduced to the limits, managed the peace, giving up many purchases; Padua returned to the Carraresi Guelphs, Brescia to the Visconti; the Venetians occupied Treviso, Castelfranco and Céneda, their first possessions of the mainland, and obtained free navigation of the Po.

Mastiff, embittered by disappointments, infellonì; suspecting Bishop Bartolomeo della Scala, he killed him on the street, from which he was excommunicated by the pope; then, honorably made amends, he received the title of pontifical vicar.

Parma too was taken from him (1341) by his uncles Correggio to whom he had trusted; so that, having interrupted his communication with Lucca, he exhibited this in Florence, which with this could have made up for the six hundred thousand florins which the war in Lombardy had cost her. But while it constipated the price, the Pisans, who felt threatened by it, prevented it and occupied it with the help of the Visconti and other Ghibellines and most of the exiles, happy to escape from the uncomfortable proximity. The Florentines, being advised late, wanted to recover it by making great efforts; but finally the gangs they hired were defeated at Ghiaja.

The Scaligeri no longer did nothing but decline (1387) and dishonor themselves, until at the time of Gian Galeazzo they lost the remaining jurisdictions, and ceased to be dominant. Verona still certifies its greatness with its monuments, and their tombs are clear evidence of the resurrected arts [430]and not yet weakened with servile imitation [300] .

On the contrary, the Este family (1317), once again shouted as lords of Ferrara, as we said, added Modena to it by the sale of the Pio house, and from Charles IV obtained the confirmation of the imperial fiefs of Rovigo, Adria, Aviano, Lendinara, Argenta, Sant ‘Alberto, Comacchio important for the salt pans. Sailing among the popes, Venice and Milan, Obizzo III agreed with the pope, paying an annual fee for Ferrara (1344). He bought Parma from Azzone Correggio for seventy thousand florins; but while he was going to take possession of it, Filippino Gonzaga of Mantua, assisted by Luchino Visconti, set up the post, many of his escort killed, seven hundred and twenty-two conducted prisons. Most he freed at a price; but Giberto da Fogliano and his son Lodovico kept in an iron cage, where he died from his wounds, his father had to stay with his corpse.

Besides these tyrants created by the people, others came from ancient feudalism, and chief among these was the House of Savoy. From a heap of fables invented or collected by frà Jacopo d’Acqui (1003?), It seems to be deduced that [431]the progenitor of that was a Umberto Biancamano, perhaps a descendant of Vitichindo emulating Charlemagne, or a Saxon Beroldo nephew of Otto III, who was viceroy of Arles and count of Moriana and of Ciablese. Guichenon argued this origin by order of Christina of France widow of Vittorio Amedeo I, when she, aspiring to make that house ascend to the throne of Germany, found it appropriate to show it originating from a Germanic.

The other concept of Henry IV of uniting all of upper Italy under the Savoyard princes caused them to be drawn from an Italian family, that is, from the counts of Ivrea: an assertion brought by the judicious Lodovico Della Chiesa, and supported in the last century by Napione, when the perishing of all the Italic dynasties concentrated the gaze on this one survivor; then in our century with new hopes of making that principality the pedestal of the future Italy. They therefore assumed that Beroldo or Geroldo, the fabled father of Umberto, is Otto Guglielmo Duke of Burgundy [301], son of King Adalbert and nephew of Berengario II, kings who were of Italy; great-granddaughter of Gisla, daughter of Emperor Berengario I; abnepote d’Anscario marquis d’Ivrea, son of Guido di Spoleto, brother of Guido king of Italy. Cibrario, who supported this assumption with travel and documents, concludes that “we expect documents that provide direct proof of this”: and in fact, as in all these genealogies, there is only the link that connects the branch descendant with ascendant. Moreover, that the ruling family in Piedmont investigated uncertain ancestors to remember and remember [432]which is of Italian origin, is the most forgivable of vanities.

Whether it is one of the first, adorned with the title of Counts of Moriana, the later ones added new dominions also on this side of the Alps and nominally Aosta. The position among these made the marquisate of Susa important, which for the wedding of the countess Adelaide, famous in the struggles of the concubinaries and the emperor Henry IV, was united with the Moriana countryside (1045) in her son Amedeo II; for which graft the house of Savoy set a foot in Italy. When Henry IV came to seek absolution from Gregory VII, Amedeo, in order to grant him free passage, demanded five bishops in Italy and a fertile province of Burgundy, which perhaps was Bugey. Many pretenders to the inheritance of Adelaide arose, from which several rural counties and principalities were formed, and in particular those of Monferrato and Saluzzo; and various villages settled in the municipality,[302] , who, according to Saint Anselm of Aosta, “used the principality to maintain peace and justice”, and was perhaps the first to be called Count of Moriana and Marquis of Italy.

Amedeo III, son of this (1103), gave a municipality charter to Susa, and in honor of St. Bernard founded the abbey of Altacomba on the shores of the Borghetto lake, famous for the tombs of the Savoy princes, squandered at the end of the century. last, restored in our day; like his father, he was on the crusade, and died in Cyprus. Umberto III, known as the Saint [433]for the tenor of his life (1148), seeing Barbarossa wanting to attenuate his jurisdictions with the ample concessions made to the bishop of Turin, he opposed that emperor, then mediated peace between him and the Lombards. Thomas I expanded the franchises in Susa, gave them to Aosta (1188), bought Testona, Pinerolo, Carignano, and was the vicar of Frederick II in Italy, making use of these dignities to repress prelates and barons. To Amedeo IV it Frederick conferred the title of duke of Ciablese and count of Aosta, and a daughter he married to his Manfredi who was king of Sicily (1233): thus linked to the Swabians, those dukes suffered from the coming of Charles of Anjou, so that they narrowed again between the Alps. Pietro, former minister of Henry III of England, returned to his devotion the villages on this side of the Alps (1263) up to Turin;

Firm to the monarchy, that house compressed the seeds of communal freedom, which the example of the neighboring Lombard women developed in the subalpine cities; and neither Guelph nor Ghibelline, it draws profit from the competitions of others to consolidate its government, possessions, and strengths. Neither poets nor historians handed down its splendor, but uncertain and contradicting traditions, and capricious nicknames.

It would take a long time to divide and recompose itself. In the Piedmont branch Thomas II was also called Count of Flanders and Hainault because he married Giovanna, heir of those countries and daughter of Baldwin IX, emperor of Constantinople. In the seven years that he reigned there, he greatly extended the Communes ( keure ) in the manner of Italy: after losing his wife, he returned to his homeland, and enlarged his possessions (1244), and not only had Piedmont from his brother Amedeo IV , that is the town between the Alps, the Sangone and the Po, of which Pinerolo was the main land, but Frederick II emperor made friends by granting him Turin with the bridge [434]and with the small castle, Cavoretto, Castelvecchio, Moncalieri, it was replaced in Testona destroyed by Astigiani and Chieresi; so with this line on the right of the Po it dominated the commercial streets of Asti and Genoa with Oltremonte (1248): he added the Canavese, Ivrea and other lands, and was appointed imperial vicar from Lambro up.

When Frederick fell, he courted Pope Innocent IV, who obtained new concessions, fiefdoms, and the right of money, to set tolls, to open markets from the Emperor William of Holland. He had a lot to clash with Asti, and knew how to interest Louis IX of France in the quarrel, who had all Astigiani found there arrested. In revenge they occupied Moncalieri, in Montebruno they defeated Tommaso (1257), against whom the Turinese revolted, they took him and handed him over to the Astigiani. From France, England, Flanders, prayers came to the pope in his favor; but he was not wanted to be released until he had renounced all rights over Turin and other places, giving the Astigiani their children static.

Two noble German spouses were on a pilgrimage to Rome, when, arrived in Monferrato, the woman gives birth to a child, and there she leaves him to feed. They die on their way, and the boy Aleramo acquires a name of value; and I go to help the emperor Otto the Great against Brescia, he falls in love with himself, daughter of the emperor, Adelaide, and with her he escapes among the charcoal burners of the Ligurian mountains; until Ottone forgives him, and assigns him the lands between the Orba, the Po and the sea, making them the seven marquisates of Monferrato, Garessio, Ponzone, Ceva, Savona, Finale, Bosco. At a new siege of Brescia, Aleramo kills his son Ottone without knowing him; the other brothers Bonifazio and Teodorico derive the families of Bosco, Ponzone, Occimiano, Carretto, Saluzzo, Lanza, Clavesana, Ceva, Incisa, and from Guglielmo the marquises of [435]Monferrato. These were often sung by poets, of whom such origin is a fantasy, it is quite probable because no daughter of Otto the Great had a husband of that name. However, whatever this Aleramo was and whatever time it was, his descendants dominated the slope of the Ligurian Apennines from the right bank of the Po to Savona; and the families that dominated the Monferrato, Saluzzo towards the sources of the Po, and the western cities of Turin, Chieri, Asti, Vercelli, Novara came, disputing them to the Visconti and to municipal freedom.

We saw the marquises of Monferrato mingle with the events of upper Italy and in the crusades, so much so that the most illustrious of those surroundings came, their alliance sought, enmity feared. But restricted between the ambitions of the dukes of Savoy and the lords of Milan, they were unable to expand; meanwhile a powerful nobility, which boasted of origin equal to the rulers, opposed them internally, not letting the country take on either a monarchical or a people order.

Bonifatius IV, having taken away his principality of Thessalonica from the Muslims (1222), sought nine thousand marks from Frederick II to recover it, giving him his own states as a pledge; with which he not only halved his own power, but jeopardized the independence of Piedmont, if the Sveva house had not perished. He also gave the reasons over many cities to lords and municipalities.

William VI, known as the Grand Marquis, son to Margaret of Savoy (1254), married to Isabella of Glocester, then to Beatrice of Castile, married his daughter Jolanda to the Greek emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus, giving her the fruitless kingdom of Thessalonica as a dowry, and receiving large sums and the promise of five hundred knights, kept in his service in Lombardy. With these he tipped the scales in favor of the Guelphs or the Ghibellines, as he approached them. For treason entered into [436]Turin killed many, imprisoned many, including Bishop Melchior, who had always opposed the Marquis’s plans for his homeland, and who, not wanting to have his castles released to the victor, was killed. While he was going to Spain to visit his father-in-law, Thomas III of Savoy arrested him by treason, and forced him to renounce the rights over Turin. Back with some men and money, he promised to conquer all of Italy, but saw the cities rebel against him, and was taken by the Alexandrians (1292), who kept him in an iron cage as long as he lived; dead, they wanted to make sure of it by dripping boiling lard and molten lead onto his body.

Then the cities of his dependence consolidated their franchises; a lot of town was occupied by Matteo Visconti, who took revenge on his enemy, and who was declared captain of Monferrato by the peoples; so that his son John II, who succeeded him at fifteen, found himself restricted in his primitive domain. This was the last of that line; and died improled (1305), he had to inherit his sister Jolanda. Except that Manfredi di Saluzzo, of the same blood, aspired to that domain, and occupied it armatamano; and because he also took many of the lands that had belonged to Charles of Anjou, he quieted the royals of Naples by accepting Monferrato as a fiefdom, although they had no title whatsoever. The Greek emperor sent Theodore, his second son, who married a Genoese daughter of Obizzino Spinola for support, recovered the inheritance with arms,

The House of Savoy, which stretched beyond the Alps towards Helvetia and France, turned its ambitions to Italy, soon found itself in competition with the Marquises of Monferrato; and the possession of Ivrea was a seed of war, in which they came to acquire sovereignty over the counts of [437]Piedmont and the marquises of Saluzzo. In 1285, when Tommaso III died, who had recovered Piedmont from the Marquises of Monferrato, was succeeded by his nephew Filippo; but Amedeo V of Savoy of his uncle governed the country as he did, while Philip was left with the title of prince of Acaja, with which his successors endeavored to dominate some part of Piedmont.

It Amedeo (1287), who witnessed thirty-five sieges, and constantly battled with the Dauphin, the Count of Geneva, the sire of Faucigny and others, was created prince of the empire by his brother-in-law Henry VII, who also assigned him the county of Asti, glorious republic expired by its greatness: but this was held by Robert of Naples until the Marquis of Monferrato took it from him by surprise, and called himself its lord. Amedeo established the indivisibility of the Savoy monarchy and the exclusion of females, and began to take the title of prince: he also received Ivrea and Canavese from Enrico, and Fossano from the Marquis of Saluzzo. At that time this monarchy included eight bailiwick; Savoja, with whom the Moriana, the Tarantasia and eighteen castellanie; the Novalesa with nine castellanie; the Viennese with as many; the Bressa with ten; the Bugey with seven; the Ciablese with sixteen; val d’Aosta with five; val di Susa with three.

Amedeo VI, called the Green Count (1343) from the color with which he and the horse appeared divided in a tournament in Chambéry, took Chieri, Cherasco, Mondovì, Savigliano, Cuneo from the Countess of Provenza; well administering the finances for the skill of the minister Guglielmo De la Beaume, he was able to obtain the Faucigny, buy the barony of Vaud, and the lordships of Bugey and Valromey. Seeing France as a surrogate for the ancient Dolphins, a more robust power, he did not hope to enlarge further on that side, and turned more especially to Italy.

Passing the Emperor Charles IV from Savoja, Amedeo [438]welcomed him with great honors, met him with six richly decorated Banderese knights, invited him sumptuously, himself and his horses on horseback, serving him almost all gilded food, while two fountains, day and night, spouted white and claret wine, which everyone could take at will [303]. As a reward he was constituted imperial vicar, and made peace with Giovanni Paleologo di Monferrato, dividing possession of it. Ito in Constantinople (1366) to help his cousin, conquered Gallipoli, Mesembria, Lemona over the Turks, besieged Varna, and forced the Bulgarians to make peace with him emperor. The pope enabled the bishops to absolve anyone who contributed to it from usury and bad purchases, granted the count ecclesiastical tithes, while each fief gave arms and gold. The count made use of it to continue the exactions also afterwards; he entered into league with the Pope to the detriment of the Visconti as captain general; and not even to the peace he wanted to give back some castles occupied to them, always greedy for glory and money; but to get the first he ruined the finances, and besides pledging the gems and silver to the Lombards and Jews, he sold the offices. It aspired to form a single state, reuniting Piedmont taken from the princes of Acaja in Savoy, and cutting off the feudal jurisdictions: but in so far as it bought towards Italy it introduced forms of administration in the French style, it restricted the free statutes in a princely sense; he multiplied the impositions, failed in faith when it benefited him, served foreigners in the conquest of Naples (1383), where he died miserably (Chap.cxiv ). We have already spoken about the order of the Annunciation which it instituted [304] .

Amedeo VII, nicknamed the Red Count, more skilled in arms than in councils, held on to friendship with France like his father. At the time of Charlemagne, Provence was already divided into counties, two of which formed what is now called Nice. The commoners of this, while their count Raimbaldo was overseas a crusader, took revenge in freedom; and he, a veteran, contented himself with being consul there. However, the subjection was not extinguished, and Nice in the twelfth century obeyed the counts of Arles, the remaining country to those of Toulouse, Forcalchieri, d’Orange, del Balzo, until the counts of Barcelona became marquises of Provence. The Nizzards often tried, finally they managed to escape in 1215 by swearing the companyof Genoa, and the Marquises of Provence swore to respect their statutes. With Beatrice, daughter of Raimondo Berengario, that domain passed to Charles of Anjou, who made it the foundation for his future greatness in Italy. Meanwhile the factions did not spare Nice, and the city was divided between the nobles who lived in the villa above, and citizens of the villa below. The evils to which the lineage of King Robert of Naples was subjected, were felt by the Nizzardi, until reigning the boy Ladislao, through the work of the Grimaldi they asked Amedeo VII to be aggregated to his dominion. Amedeo brought together the counties of Ventimiglia and Villafranca (1388) and the valley of Barcellonetta, attaching either credits towards the two houses of Anjou, or dedication of the barons, or the title of imperial vicar.

Amedeo let a charlatan be given a drink that flourished his weakness again, and cost him his life (1391). Bona di Berry his widow and suspected author of his death, made regent, stormed in power disputes with her mother-in-law and with the great, in wars with the counts of Geneva, with the bishops of Sion, with Bern, with Friborg, with relatives; and she brought peace. Amedeo VIII, their son, said [440]the Pacific because he preferred politics to arms, with this he greatly benefited, careful to take away the fiefdoms, draw the Monferrato and Saluzzo to himself, gnaw the Milanese. In fact, it received homage from the Avogadri di Quinto, Quaregna, Valdengo, Casanova, Collobiano, Pezzana, the Alciati, the Arborj, the Dionisj, the Pettinati, many monasteries and municipalities, including Val d’Ossola, and finally also from Vercelli. This city, which we saw (vol. vi, p. 201) one of the first to acquire the municipal franchises, and the most glorious in supporting them, tore her bowels in the factions of the Avogadri with the Tizzoni, of the noble society of Sant’Eusebio with the commoner of Santo Stefano, and finally fell into the Lordship of the Visconti from Milan. Amedeo VIII, whose ancestor had already acquired Santhià, San Germano and Biella, and who received homage from the many Avogadri of that country, subjected some municipalities to persuasion, either by force or by, taking advantage of the discords that broke out in the Milanese area at the death of Gianmaria Visconti; then from this successor he obtained Vercelli, with the agreement to separate himself from the league with Venice and Florence.

He also bought the Genevese (1414), disputed among many after the lineage of the noble counts ended; and Piedmont when the princes of Acaja died out. For this reason, Philip of Savoy had to be satisfied (1294); but although of Piedmont he swore vassalage to the Savoy, he kept it as independent, and so he was his son Jacopo; hence the lords of Savoy always aimed to cut them off, while the country was badly led by having to obey two masters, and satisfy their needs or greed. Lodovico, who comforted Piedmont with good orders and Turin studied, was the last prince of Acaja (1418); Amedeo VIII occupied his town, and from that time on, Prince of Piedmont was the title of Savoy’s eldest son.

The lords of Acaja and those of Savoy had always had the eye to subdue the marquises of Saluzzo and [441]of Monferrato. The former, after long persecutions, paid homage to the Count of Savoy, receiving the town as a fiefdom (1413). In the Canavese between the two Dore the counts of Biandrate, of which we have already spoken, dominated, and the marquises of the Canavese, perhaps descendants of Arduino, king of Italy, divided into two branches of Valperga and San Martino, divided into many others with the title of counts, such as the Valperga di Masino, Cuorgnè, Salassa, Rivara, Mazzè, and the San Martino d’Agliè, Brosso, Strambino, Sparone and Castellamonte. The two families became enemies, and with the Ghibelline flag the Valperga, with the Guelph the others went deadly wars, in which the neighbors took part. Even the common people of the Canavese, tired of these quarrels, rose up with the name of Tuchini, and spending the usual excesses of the plebs aroused, they killed, they violated, stole, burned castles, placed feudatars in torment, until they were tamed with arms by the Duke of Savoy, who recommended the lords to treat the peasants better, and better established the duties of the vassals. Similar popular uprisings had broken out in Tarantasia, in Vercelli, in Moriana.

Giovanni Marquis of Monferrato wanted to make his pro of these disturbances, and relying on mercenary bands, he bought Alba, Asti, Vercellese, Novarese, and even Pavia and Valenza, keys to Lombardy; but his agreements with the lords of Savoy returned to the detriment of him and his successors. Among these we would like to name the Marquis Secondotto, who abandoned himself to the excesses common to the princelings of the time, emulating the sad Gian Galeazzo Visconti. Who invited by him to help him in taming the rebellious city of Asti, made this recognize him as lord. Shortly afterwards Secondotto, who at times liked to be an executioner, wanted to strangle a boy from his entourage with his own hand; but one of his companions pierced the marquis to death. Then comes Otto of Brunswick from Naples, [442]that he had been his tutor, and that he assumes the tutelage of his successor John; and to prevent the return of similar tyrannies, the general parliament is gathered in Moncalvo, where, in silence the particular affairs on which it was deliberated, a resolution was taken that the young marquis should swear allegiance only up to the age of twenty-five, when one could already foresee his successful; moreover, that if the Marquis should ever kill or injure any subject, or do violence to him in his property or person or women, he would immediately cease any obligation of fidelity; it being quite right that, if the subjects render fidelity, they should have in compensation the protection, custody, defense of persons, of things, of their rights.

Therefore those countries had representation and privileges. The lords of Savoy, who knew the importance of these, now allied themselves with the Visconti to harm them, now they wanted them in protection to defend them from them Visconti; meanwhile, their dominions were encircled and reduced to vassals.

Then united the whole of Piedmont, Amedeo VIII dominated from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean, and from Sigismondo emperor (1416) acquired the title of Duke of Savoy through the gift of silver vases weighing two hundred marks; four thousand gold shields, and six mastiff dogs, and on the solemnity they waved ten banners, five hundred flagpoles, fifteen hundred flags with the Savoy coat of arms in silver; but Sigismund himself saved Geneva from his greed by declaring her a member of the Empire. After exercising an important character in Italic events, the General Statute published, the sovereign authority established over feudal anarchy and municipal fragmentation, and instituting the order of San Maurizio (1434), he settled in Ripaglia, a delightful village on Lake Geneva near Thonon, in a devoted and voluptuous retreat. When the venturieri became lords, [443]become pontiff, and we will see him take the unfortunate part of the antipope; deposed which, he died (1451) dean of the cardinals [305] .

He would have wanted the monarchic unity represented with a single capital, choosing Geneva, located between Savoy, Bressa, the town of Vaud, the lower Valais, but he could not get the bishop of that to surrender the sovereign rights he had there. Created pope, he conferred that bishopric on one of his house, which continued to be practiced until the time of the Reformation.

Not even here the domination of a prince extinguished the privileges of the Communes, which continued to have a life of their own, in some worthy of history, in others imitation [306] . Municipalities had the right to vote on taxes, and in extraordinary cases it was necessary to ask for them as a special grace. But the lords of Acaja or Savoja, as they felt strong, obliged them to do this voluntary forced loans; and Amedeo, brother of the last Lodovico, wrote to the vicar of Turin in March 1396: – Col [444]God’s pleasure, we’ll be in Turin tomorrow morning; and we command you to have those of the city deliberate in their council, and deputy two or more persons with the faculty of granting us subsidy and lodging for our soldiers and war, as the others of our cities have done and will do at the rate of three big ones. fire. Know that those of this city have granted it to us ” [307] .

Chieri, powerful for trade no less than for arms, had under forty castles. The Balbo, founders or principals of that republic, encouraged themselves to defend themselves against the Marquises of Monferrato and Barbarossa, cooperated in the victories of the Lombards over this, and planted a government in conformity with the other republics. The Balbo family could not be podestà there, as a foreigner, but in return they chose the head of the council from their own family. This superiority was envied by the six primary houses or hotels of the city, which connected themselves (1220) to the detriment of it, also joining minor nobles, whereby the society of San Giorgio was formed, which for a long time regulated the affairs of that republic ( vol. vi, p. 204). The Balbo family confined themselves to a hotel, agreeing to build a palace and a tower for common shelter, and with each of them having the right to have their beds brought there in times of turbulence. Other hotels opposed you the Gribaldenghi, the Albuzzani, the Merli, the De Castello, the Mercadilli and others, uniting against the plebs, and at the same time against those who wanted to overcome; hence internal wars arose, and only after fifty years of conflict was peace concluded (1271), in which one hundred and eight Balbo appear, divided into thirty branches.

Half a century later hostilities resumed, and since then the trend was one of tyranny, they thought to put an end to the trouble by submitting to the House of Savoy (1347). With [445]this stipulated that Chieri would keep its customs, the right to coin money and give the investiture of the fiefdoms; the representative of the prince in the exercise of his authority would be joined by four war wise men, elected in hotel houses, and the first would always be a Balbo, chosen with votes of his family alone; no legal act would have force if not imprinted with five seals, of the prince, of the people, of the Balbo, of the six united hotel houses, of the city.

The authority of the Balbo household still seemed overwhelming, and the right to affix the seal was claimed. The prince of Acaja came in person to bring peace, and confirmed to the Balbi this privilege that from immemorial time they possessed, with which however they acknowledged having received it from the Municipality of Chieri. This award marked the forfeiture of that house, which was no longer considered as independent, but as authorized by the Municipality. When, sixty years later, Valentina daughter, and Aimonetta nephew of Galeazzo Visconti, married one Luigi d’Orléans brother of the king of France, the other Luigi di Bertone head of the second branch of the Balbo, the jealousies of these enemies increased, and more for the alliance of those with Venice; the dukes of Savoja had suspicion of it; the right of seal was contested again,

Out of the twelfth century, Tommaso di Savoja with a public deed consigned the city of Aosta and the suburbs to freedom , promising neither he nor his successors to remove any unauthorized bounties ; and there is evidence of ancient law in the franchises that that valley kept even under the dominion of the House of Savoy. In the states, or as we would say today, in the parliament, one of the families of Vallesa and Challant presided over the nobility, taking the seat what first came first: the second had [446]right to sit on his lap. Sessions were held there to resolve disputes of greater moment and promulgate the ordinances for the execution of the law, assisted by the sovereign, the Savoyard chancellor, the peers, the unequal, the consuetudinarj. The nobles of primary houses said the same: you learn the Banderese vassals or simple gentlemen and doctors of law; the others were castellans, causidists, lawyers. The duke had to summon them every seven years, and he entered the valley for little Sanbernardo, and having touched the border, sent two barons ordering the vassals to deliver all the rocks, which remained occupied by his people for the whole month that the assizes lasted. . Entering the city through the San Genesio gate, on the altar of the cathedral he swore to protect the church, the clergy, the orphans, the privileges and customs of the duchy. The audience was held in the bishopric, in a room where there were eleven wooden seats, all without ornaments, including that of the duke; in the hands of this vassals and feudatars renewed the homage, the statutes were confirmed, then justice was done.

When the war was broken, the valley used to stipulate neutrality, especially with France, through the mediation of the Valaisans and the Swiss, who benefited from keeping the invasion away from themselves; so until 1691 no foreigner violated that valley, which was therefore called the maid [308] .

On April 13, 1360, some nobles presented themselves to Amedeo VI of Savoy, in the name of the others, all of Piedmont, asking him to renew the concessions they had already held from previous princes. He assented, and swore to observe such privileges for them: they could give asylum in their lands to bandits from the count’s territory, except if [447]were crooks or thieves; to support one another against one’s enemies, and to connect with the custom of the noble Savoyards, provided it was not to the detriment of the count or his house; very extensive exercise of every manner of civil and criminal jurisdiction, such as they had in their lands, prohibiting the count’s officers from entering it, except in cases of denied justice; castles and fortresses under their dominion could not be stripped except in the case of confiscation, in which, not otherwise than in any other criminal inquisition, it was necessary to proceed in terms of reason; whether civil or criminal litigation arose between nobles, or between nobles and other subjects of the count, was judged by courts established in the land of the count on this side of the Alps; if it were necessary to confiscate the investee for misdeed, the count would release the fiefdom to his spouses, by means of a fair compensation, by any title being able to retain it except with the consent of his spouses, without which he could not buy fiefdoms; the count should have a summary knowledge of the vassals unjustly stripped of their fiefdoms; the unfortunate transit duty, origin of a recent war, was removed and abolished in perpetuity; the count would not receive among the bourgeois of his lands the men of the noble fiefdoms until a year and a day had elapsed since they left, and the vassal had not recalled them; the nobles will be obliged to make an innkeeper with the lord only in the occurrence of war, according to the old customs, receiving money and compensation for damages. the count should have a summary knowledge of the vassals unjustly stripped of their fiefdoms; the unfortunate transit duty, origin of a recent war, was removed and abolished in perpetuity; the count would not receive among the bourgeois of his lands the men of the noble fiefdoms until a year and a day had elapsed since they left, and the vassal had not recalled them; the nobles will be obliged to make an innkeeper with the lord only in the occurrence of war, according to the old customs, receiving money and compensation for damages. the count should have a summary knowledge of the vassals unjustly stripped of their fiefdoms; the unfortunate transit duty, origin of a recent war, was removed and abolished in perpetuity; the count would not receive among the bourgeois of his lands the men of the noble fiefdoms until a year and a day had elapsed since they left, and the vassal had not recalled them; the nobles will be obliged to make an innkeeper with the lord only in the occurrence of war, according to the old customs, receiving money and compensation for damages.

From these limitations to the rulers, from this feeling of a necessary and natural freedom of the people, the wise editor deduced novel proofs of that assertion, which every day confirms, that is, that in the political orders of Europe freedom can be called ancient. , while despotism is not that modernized governments are absolute or constitutional.

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