List of Condottieri
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List of Condottieri

Condottieri (singular condottiero) were mercenary leaders employed by Italian city-states and seignories from the late Middle Ages until the mid-17th century. Niccolò Machiavelli listed the "most noted" of the condottieri remembered in his day:

The most noticed among the latter were Carmagnola, Francesco Sforza, Niccolò Piccinino the pupil of Braccio, Agnolo della Pergola, Lorenzo di Micheletto Attendolo, il Tartaglia, Giacopaccio, Cecolini da Perugia, Niccolò da Tolentino, Guido Torello, Antonia dal Ponte ad Era, and many others. (History of Florence, I,vii])

Thirteenth century

  • Ruggiero da Flor (c. 1268-1305)
  • Malatesta da Verucchio (1212-1312), founder of the Malatesta dynasty, master of Rimini in 1295. Father of Giovanni Malatesta (d. 1304) who killed his wife Francesca da Rimini, who had taken his handsome brother Piero for a lover, earning them all places in Dante's Inferno.
  • Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328), Lord of Lucca, when exiled from Lucca in 1300, fought in Flanders but was welcomed back to Lucca, once it was in the hands of Uguccione della Faggiuola, Lord of Pisa, a fellow soldier of fortune. In 1315 he and his followers took part in the Battle of Montecatini against the Florentine Guelfs, and the following year he was acclaimed Lord of Lucca. Soon he was in possession of Pistoia, which put him in confrontation once more with Florence, whose forces he overcame at Altopascio in 1325. However, at Rome in 1328 for the coronation of the Emperor Ludwig IV, of Bavaria who made him Imperial Vicar General for Lucca and Pistoia, he died under obscure circumstances--perhaps of malaria-- just as he was considering a further attack upon Florence.

Fourteenth century

  • Walter VI of Brienne (c. 1304-1356), Duke of Athens, a French adventurer, was in command in Florence in 1325 as the representative of the Duke of Calabria, eldest son of the King of Naples, to whom the commune of Florence had turned for protection after their severe defeat at Altopascio, at the hands of Castruccio Castracani.
  • Pier Saccone Tarlati di Pietramala (1261-Bibbiena, 1356)of Arezzo
  • Cangrande della Scala (1291-1329)
  • Galeotto I Malatesta (c. 1305-1385)
  • Ridolfo II da Varano di Camerino (1355-1384)
  • Luchino dal Verme (c. 1320-1372)
  • John Hawkwood, Giovanni Acuto (c. 1320-1394), arrived in Italy c. 1360, hardened in the Hundred Years' War in France, at the head of the White Company served Pisa against Florence, then the Visconti in Milan, then, Gregory XI, and ended his career serving Florence. He was appointed Capitano del popolo, being paid 130,000 golden ducats, married an illegitimate daughter of Bernabò Visconti, duke of Milan. Retired to a villa near Florence, 1378. The city did him a magnificent funeral, still remembered by a fresco monument in The Cathedral, Florence.
  • Facino Cane (c. 1360-1412) began in the service of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, in his struggles against Mantua. After Visconti's death in 1402 he adventured throughout northern Italy, gained a Byzantine princess for a bride - who brought his lands to Filippo Maria Visconti after the adventurer's demise.
  • Braccio da Montone (1368-1384) rival to Muzio 'Sforza', bitter rivals who died within weeks of one another in 1424, leaving their sons to carry on their feud. Braccio was master of Perugia in 1416 and briefly controlled the city of Rome. He was killed laying siege to Aquila on behalf of Ladislas, king of Naples.
  • Alberico da Barbiano (1344-1409)
  • Angelo Broglio da Lavello (1350 or 1370-1421), known as Tartaglia, long-standing rival of Muzio Sforza. He served the Republic of Florence, then Ladislaus of Naples and the Pope Martin V.
  • Jacopo dal Verme (1350-1409)
  • Muzio Attendolo (1369-1424), called Sforza ("Strong"). Condottiere from the Romagna serving the Angevin kings of Naples; the most successful dynast of the condottieri after receiving from Joan II of Naples the title of grand connétable (Grand Constable in English?).
  • Pippo Spano (1369-1426), served the Empire.
  • Giovanni Vitelleschi (d. 1440), the condottiere of Pope Eugene IV, who made him archbishop of Florence and a cardinal, while he commanded the papal armies against René of Anjou in Naples.
  • Erasmo da Narni (1370-1443), better known as "Gattamelata", the butcher's boy from Narni immortalized in Donatello's mounted sculpture (1447) the first equestrian bronze since Antiquity. He began with Montone, served Pope and Florence equally, served Venice in 1434 in the battles with the Visconti of Milan, then became dictator of Padua in 1437.
  • Niccolò Piccinino (1380-1444), known as "Tiny Nick", was in arms at the age of 13. In 1424, at the death of his commander, he took charge of the company of mercenaries and sold his services to Florence, then to Milan in 1426. His rapacious ambition made his employer, the duke of Milan, uneasy, who decided instead to hire Francesco Sforza, the personal enemy of Piccinino. The growing rivalry between the two eventually led to a showdown in 1443. Defeated, Piccinino died next year.
  • Francesco Bussone da Carmagnola (1390-1432), better known as "Count of Carmagnola", fought for Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan, before taking orders from the republics of Florence and of Venice. Suspected of treasonous actions, he was executed in 1432.

Fifteenth century

Sixteenth century

Seventeenth century

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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