Lodrisio Visconti

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Lodrisio Visconti (c. 1280 – 1364) was an Italian condottiero.

Biography[edit]

He was the son of Pietro, of the powerful House of Visconti of Milan, and Antiochia Crivelli.

After a military training under his father, he helped his cousin Matteo Visconti and the latter's son Galeazzo in the reconquest of Milan against the Torriani. Later, together with the other cousin, Marco, he was instrumental in the imprisonment of Galeazzo and his son Azzone at Monza. When the two were freed, Lodrisio fled to his possessments of Seprio.

Azzone besieged him and destroyed his castle, but Lodrisio was able to escape to Vicenza, being hired by Mastino II della Scala, lord of Verona. In the January of 1339 he mustered a large army, mostly from Germany, with 2,500 cavalry, 800 infantry and 200 crossbowmen: baptized Compagnia di San Giorgio ("Company of St. George"), it was the first organized compagnia of mercenaries led by an Italian condottiero.

After invading the territory of Milan, Lodrisio's army was however defeated in the early February at the Battle of Parabiago. He was captured and, together with his son Ambrogio, imprisoned within an iron cage in the castle of San Colombano. Here he remained for ten years, when he was freed by the new Milanese lord, archbishop Giovanni Visconti. The latter's son Galeazzo II appointed him as commander of the troops in the reconquest of Piedmont, in which he distinguished in the 1356 great victory against the anti-Visconti league, who had hired the mercenary Grand Company of Konrad von Landau.

He lived at the court of Galeazzo until his death in 1364.

References[edit]

  • Mallet, M. (1983). Signori e mercenari. La guerra nell'Italia del Rinascimento. Bologna: Il Mulino. ISBN 88-15-00294-4. 
  • Rendina, Claudio (1985). I capitani di ventura. Rome: Newton Compton. ISBN 88-8289-056-2.