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    Chapter 7

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    Chapter 8
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    Schism in the church--Ambitious views of Giovanni Galeazzo
    Visconti--The pope and the Romans come to an agreement--Boniface
    IX. introduces the practice of Annates--Disturbance in Lombardy--
    The Venetians acquire dominion on terra firma--Differences between
    the pope and the people of Rome--Council of Pisa--Council of
    Constance--Filippo Visconti recovers his dominion--Giovanna II. of
    Naples--Political condition of Italy.

    A schism having thus arisen in the church, Queen Joan favored the
    schismatic pope, upon which Urban caused Charles of Durazzo, descended
    from the kings of Naples, to undertake the conquest of her dominions.
    Having succeeded in his object, she fled to France, and he assumed the
    sovereignty. The king of France, being exasperated, sent Louis of
    Anjou into Italy to recover the kingdom for the queen, to expel Urban
    from Rome, and establish the anti-pope. But in the midst of this
    enterprise Louis died, and his people being routed returned to France.
    In this conjuncture the pope went to Naples, where he put nine
    cardinals into prison for having taken the part of France and the
    anti-pope. He then became offended with the king, for having refused
    to make his nephew prince of Capua; and pretending not to care about
    it, requested he would grant him Nocera for his habitation, but,
    having fortified it, he prepared to deprive the king of his dominions.
    upon this the king pitched his camp before the place, and the pope
    fled to Naples, where he put to death the cardinals whom he had
    imprisoned. From thence he proceeded to Rome, and, to acquire
    influence, created twenty-nine cardinals. At this time Charles, king
    of Naples, went to Hungary, where, having been made king, he was
    shortly afterward killed in battle, leaving a wife and two children at
    Naples. About the same time Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti murdered
    Bernabo his uncle and took the entire sovereignty upon himself; and,
    not content with being duke of Milan and sovereign of the whole of
    Lombardy, designed to make himself master of Tuscany; but while he was
    intent upon occupying the province with the ultimate view of making
    himself king of Italy, he died. Boniface IX. succeeded Urban VI. The
    anti-pope, Clement VI., also died, and Benedict XIII. was appointed
    his successor.

    Many English, Germans, and Bretons served at this period in the armies
    of Italy, commanded partly by those leaders who had from time to time
    authority in the country, and partly by such as the pontiffs sent,
    when they were at Avignon. With these warriors the princes of Italy
    long carried on their wars, till the coming of Lodovico da Cento of
    Romagna, who formed a body of Italian soldiery, called the Company of
    St. George, whose valor and discipline soon caused the foreign troops
    to fall into disrepute, and gave reputation to the native forces of
    the country, of which the princes afterward availed themselves in
    their wars with each other. The pope, Boniface IX., being at enmity
    with the Romans, went to Scesi, where he remained till the jubilee of
    1400, when the Romans, to induce him to return to the city, consented
    to receive another foreign senator of his appointing, and also allowed
    him to fortify the castle of Saint Angelo: having returned upon these
    conditions, in order to enrich the church, he ordained that everyone,
    upon vacating a benefice, should pay a year's value of it to the
    Apostolic Chamber.

    After the death of Giovanni Galeazzo, duke of Milan, although he left
    two children, Giovanmaria and Filippo, the state was divided into many
    parts, and in the troubles which ensued Giovanmaria was slain. Filippo
    remained some time in the castle of Pavia, from which, through the
    fidelity and virtue of the castellan, he escaped. Among others who
    occupied cities possessed by his father, was Guglielmo della Scala,
    who, being banished, fell into the hands of Francesco de Carrera, lord
    of Padua, by whose means he recovered the state of Verona, in which he
    only remained a short time, for he was poisoned, by order of
    Francesco, and the city taken from him. These things occasioned the
    people of Vicenza, who had lived in security under the protection of
    the Visconti, to dread the greatness of the lord of Padua, and they
    placed themselves under the Venetians, who, engaging in arms with him,
    first took Verona and then Padua.

    At this time Pope Boniface died, and was succeeded by Innocent VII.
    The people of Rome supplicated him to restore to them their fortresses
    and their liberty; but as he would not consent to their petition, they
    called to their assistance Ladislaus, king of Naples. Becoming
    reconciled to the people, the pope returned to Rome, and made his
    nephew Lodovico count of La Marca. Innocent soon after died, and
    Gregory XII. was created, upon the understanding to renounce the
    papacy whenever the anti-pope would also renounce it. By the advice of
    the cardinals, in order to attempt the reunion of the church,
    Benedict, the anti-pope, came to Porto Venere, and Gregory to Lucca,
    where they made many endeavors, but effected nothing. Upon this, the
    cardinals of both the popes abandoned them, Benedict going to Spain,
    and Gregory to Rimini. On the other hand, the cardinals, with the
    favor of Balthazar Cossa, cardinal and legate of Bologna, appointed a
    council at Pisa, where they created Alexander V., who immediately
    excommunicated King Ladislaus, and invested Louis of Anjou with the
    kingdom; this prince, with the Florentines, Genoese, and Venetians,
    attacked Ladislaus and drove him from Rome. In the head of the war
    Alexander died, and Balthazar Cossa succeeded him, with the title of
    John XXIII. Leaving Bologna, where he was elected, he went to Rome,
    and found there Louis of Anjou, who had brought the army from
    Provence, and coming to an engagement with Ladislaus, routed him. But
    by the mismanagement of the leaders, they were unable to prosecute the
    victory, so that the king in a short time gathered strength and retook
    Rome. Louis fled to Provence, the pope to Bologna; where, considering
    how he might diminish the power of Ladislaus, he caused Sigismund,
    king of Hungary, to be elected emperor, and advised him to come to
    Italy. Having a personal interview at Mantua, they agreed to call a
    general council, in which the church should be united; and having
    effected this, the pope thought he should be fully enabled to oppose
    the forces of his enemies.

    At this time there were three popes, Gregory, Benedict, and Giovanni,
    which kept the church weak and in disrepute. The city of Constance, in
    Germany, was appointed for the holding of the council, contrary to the
    expectation of Pope John. And although the death of Ladislaus had
    removed the cause which induced the pope to call the council, still,
    having promised to attend, he could not refuse to go there. In a few
    months after his arrival at Constance he discovered his error, but it
    was too late; endeavoring to escape, he was taken, put into prison,
    and compelled to renounce the papacy. Gregory, one of the anti-popes,
    sent his renunciation; Benedict, the other, refusing to do the same,
    was condemned as a heretic; but, being abandoned by his cardinals, he
    complied, and the council elected Oddo, of the Colonnesi family, pope,
    by the title of Martin V. Thus the church was united under one head,
    after having been divided by many pontiffs.

    Filippo Visconti was, as we have said, in the fortress of Pavia. But
    Fazino Cane, who in the affairs of Lombardy had become lord of
    Vercelli, Alessandria, Novara, and Tortona, and had amassed great
    riches, finding his end approach, and having no children, left his
    wife Beatrice heiress of his estates, and arranged with his friends
    that a marriage should be effected between her and Filippo. By this
    union Filippo became powerful, and reacquired Milan and the whole of
    Lombardy. By way of being grateful for these numerous favors, as
    princes commonly are, he accused Beatrice of adultery and caused her
    to be put to death. Finding himself now possessed of greater power, he
    began to think of warring with Tuscany and of prosecuting the designs
    of Giovanni Galeazzo, his father.

    Ladislaus, king of Naples, at his death, left to his sister Giovanna
    the kingdom and a large army, under the command of the principal
    leaders of Italy, among the first of whom was Sforza of Cotignuola,
    reputed by the soldiery of that period to be a very valiant man. The
    queen, to shun the disgrace of having kept about her person a certain
    Pandolfello, whom she had brought up, took for her husband Giacopo
    della Marca, a Frenchman of the royal line, on the condition that he
    should be content to be called Prince of Tarento, and leave to her the
    title and government of the kingdom. But the soldiery, upon his
    arrival in Naples, proclaimed him king; so that between the husband
    and the wife wars ensued; and although they contended with varying
    success, the queen at length obtained the superiority, and became an
    enemy of the pope. Upon this, in order to reduce her to necessity, and
    that she might be compelled to throw herself into his lap, Sforza
    suddenly withdrew from her service without giving her any pervious
    notice of his intention to do so. She thus found herself at once
    unarmed, and not having any other source, sought the assistance of
    Alfonzo, king of Aragon and Sicily, adopted him as her son, and
    engaged Braccio of Montone as her captain, who was of equal reputation
    in arms with Sforza, and inimical to the pope, on account of his
    having taken possession of Perugia and some other places belonging to
    the church. After this, peace was made between the queen and the
    pontiff; but King Alfonzo, expecting she would treat him as she had
    her husband, endeavored secretly to make himself master of the
    strongholds; but, possessing acute observation, she was beforehand
    with him, and fortified herself in the castle of Naples. Suspicions
    increasing between them, they had recourse to arms, and the queen,
    with the assistance of Sforza, who again resumed her service, drove
    Alfonzo out of Naples, deprived him of his succession, and adopted
    Louis of Anjou in his stead. Hence arose new contests between Braccio,
    who took the part of Alfonzo, and Sforza, who defended the cause of
    the queen. In the course of the war, Sforza was drowned in endeavoring
    to pass the river Pescara; the queen was thus again unarmed, and would
    have been driven out of the kingdom, but for the assistance of Filippo
    Visconti, the duke of Milan, who compelled Alfonzo to return to
    Aragon. Braccio, undaunted at the departure of Alfonzo, continued the
    enterprise against the queen, and besieged L'Aquilla; but the pope,
    thinking the greatness of Braccio injurious to the church, received
    into his pay Francesco, the son of Sforza, who went in pursuit of
    Braccio to L'Aquilla, where he routed and slew him. Of Braccio
    remained Oddo, his son, from whom the pope took Perugia, and left him
    the state of Montone alone; but he was shortly afterward slain in
    Romagna, in the service of the Florentines; so that of those who had
    fought under Braccio, Niccolo Piccinino remained of greatest

    Having continued our general narration nearly to the period which we
    at first proposed to reach, what remains is of little importance,
    except the war which the Florentines and Venetians carried on against
    Filippo duke of Milan, of which an account will be given when we speak
    particularly of Florence. I shall, therefore, continue it no further,
    briefly explaining the condition of Italy in respect of her princes
    and her arms, at the period to which we have now come. Joan II. held
    Naples, La Marca, the Patrimony and Romagna; some of these places
    obeyed the church, while others were held by vicars or tyrants, as
    Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio, by those of the House of Este; Faenza by
    the Manfredi; Imola by the Alidossi; Furli by the Ordelaffi; Rimini
    and Psaro by the Malatesti; and Camerino by those of Varano. Part of
    Lombardy was subject to the Duke Filippo, part to the Venetians; for
    all those who had held single states were set aside, except the House
    of Gonzaga, which ruled in Mantua. The greater part of Tuscany was
    subject to the Florentines. Lucca and Sienna alone were governed by
    their own laws; Lucca was under the Guinigi; Sienna was free. The
    Genoese, being sometimes free, at others, subject to the kings of
    France or the Visconti, lived unrespected, and may be enumerated among
    the minor powers.

    None of the principal states were armed with their own proper forces.
    Duke Filippo kept himself shut up in his apartments, and would not
    allow himself to be seen; his wars were managed by commissaries. The
    Venetians, when they directed their attention to terra firma, threw
    off those arms which had made them terrible upon the seas, and falling
    into the customs of Italy, submitted their forces to the direction of
    others. The practice of arms being unsuitable to priests or women, the
    pope and Queen Joan of Naples were compelled by necessity to submit to
    the same system which others practiced from defect of judgment. The
    Florentines also adopted the same custom, for having, by their
    frequent divisions, destroyed the nobility, and their republic being
    wholly in the hands of men brought up to trade, they followed the
    usages and example of others.

    Thus the arms of Italy were either in the hands of the lesser princes,
    or of men who possessed no state; for the minor princes did not adopt
    the practice of arms from any desire of glory, but for the acquisition
    of either property or safety. The others (those who possessed no
    state) being bred to arms from their infancy, were acquainted with no
    other art, and pursued war for emolument, or to confer honor upon
    themselves. The most noticed among the latter were Carmignola,
    Francesco Sforza, Niccolo Piccinino the pupil of Braccio, Agnolo della
    Pergola, Lorenzo di Micheletto Attenduli, il Tartaglia, Giacopaccio,
    Cecolini da Perugia, Niccolo da Tolentino, Guido Torello, Antonia dal
    Ponte ad Era, and many others. With these, were those lords of whom I
    have before spoken, to which may be added the barons of Rome, the
    Colonnesi and the Orsini, with other lords and gentlemen of the
    kingdoms of Naples and Lombardy, who, being constantly in arms, had
    such an understanding among themselves, and so contrived to
    accommodate things to their own convenience, that of those who were at
    war, most commonly both sides were losers; and they had made the
    practice of arms so totally ridiculous, that the most ordinary leader,
    possessed of true valor, would have covered these men with disgrace,
    whom, with so little prudence, Italy honored.

    With these idle princes and such contemptible arms, my history must,
    therefore, be filled; to which, before I descend, it will be
    necessary, as was at first proposed, to speak of the origin of
    Florence, that it may be clearly understood what was the state of the
    city in those times, and by what means, through the labours of a
    thousand years, she became so imbecile.
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