Gian Galeazzo Sforza

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Gian Galeazzo Sforza, c.1483, by Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis

Gian Galeazzo Sforza (20 June 1469 – 21 October 1494), also known as Giovan Galeazzo Sforza, was the sixth Duke of Milan.

Born in Abbiategrasso, he was only seven years old when in 1476 his father, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, was assassinated and he became the Duke of Milan. His uncle, Ludovico Sforza, acted as regent to the young duke but quickly wrested all power from him and became the de facto ruler of Milan. Ludovico later became the duke after Gian Galeazzo's death, which was widely viewed as suspicious. In 1488, Gian Galeazzo married his cousin princess Isabella of Naples and together they had four children: Ippolita Maria Sforza (1493-1501), Francesco (1491–1512), Bona (1494–1557, married Sigismund I of Poland) and Bianca Maria (1495–1496).

Concerning Gian Galeazzo's death in 1494 at Pavia, the Italian historian Francesco Guicciardini had to say in his La Historia di Italia (The History of Italy):

The rumor was widespread that Giovan Galeazzo's death had been provoked by immoderate coitus; nevertheless, it was widely believed throughout Italy that he had died not through natural illness nor as a result of incontinence, but had been poisoned … one of the royal physicians … asserted that he had seen manifest signs of it. Nor was there anyone who doubted that if it had been poison, it had been administered through his uncle Ludovico Sforza's machinations …

Italian nobility
Preceded by
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Duke of Milan
Succeeded by
Ludovico Sforza