|Giovanni Antonio Del Balzo Orsini|
|Grand Constable of the Kingdom of Naples|
Portrait (taken from website Bildarchivaustria)
|Born||1386 or 1393|
|Died||15 November 1463|
|Father||Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini, Prince of Taranto|
|Mother||Mary of Enghien, an heiress of the Brienne main branch|
Giovanni Antonio (Giannantonio) Del Balzo Orsini (1386 or 1393 – 15 November 1463) was a southern Italian nobleman and military leader; he was Prince of Taranto, Duke of Bari, Count of Lecce, Acerra, Soleto and Conversano, as well as Count of Matera (1433-63) and of Ugento (1453-63).
He was the son of Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini, Prince of Taranto, and Mary of Enghien, an heiress of the Brienne main branch. When his father died, he was one year old, and his mother married with King Ladislaus of Naples, who acquired all the family's possessions (1407).
In 1417 Giovanni Antonio married Pope Martin V's niece Anna Colonna, daughter of the Prince of Amalfi. After James II' renounce, he received the Principality of Taranto from queen Joanna II of Naples on 4 May 1421. This act made him the most powerful baronial lord of the Kingdom of Naples, with lands including 7 archbishoprics, 30 bishoprics, 300 castles an extending from Salerno to Taranto.
Giovanni Antonio was also an influent member of the Neapolitan court, and remained engulfed in the struggle between Joanna and Alfonso V of Aragon, whom he supported in the civil war against John II of Anjou. When Alfonso became king of Naples, Giovanni Antonio further increased his power with the titles of Grand Constable and of Duke of Bari.
However, when Alfonso died, he retreated to Taranto to head a group of barons against the former's son, Ferdinand I, in favour of John II. After several feats of war, Giovanni Antonio and his side were defeated, but in the end, he managed to become reconciled with the Aragonese king. He died in Altamura Castle in 1463, strangled by a certain Paolo Tricarico, perhaps a royal killer. King Ferdinand confiscated most of his lands. His niece Isabella, the legitimate heiress of Giovanni Antonio's lands, died soon afterwards in 1465. Her heir was her eldest son, the future Alfonso II of Naples.
James II, Count of La Marche
| Prince of Taranto
Isabella of Clermont
Mary of Enghien
| Count of Lecce
|Annexed to Kingdom of Naples|