|Died||16 May 1507 (aged about 67)|
|Known for||Illegitimate daughter of Alessandro Sforza, lord of Pesaro|
Birth and first marriage
Ginevra Sforza was born in Ancona in 1440, the illegitimate daughter of Alessandro Sforza, Lord of Pesaro. She married Sante Bentivoglio, a cousin of Giovanni II Bentivoglio, on 19 May 1454 at the church of San Giacomo Maggiore. Her first husband gave her two children: Constance (1458–1491), who married Antonmaria Pico della Mirandola, and Ercole Bentivoglio (1459–1507), a condottiero, who married Barbara Torelli.
In 1463 Ginevra became a widow, and a year later married Giovanni II, becoming among other things, his counselor. Probably a relationship already existed between the two. Geneva gave her husband sixteen children, of whom five died in infancy. The others were:
- Annibale II Bentivoglio (1469-1540) who married Lucrezia, daughter of Ercole I d'Este, and who was lord of Bologna from 1511 to 1512;
- Ermes Bentivoglio (1475-1513)
- Alessandro Bentivoglio (1474-1532), who married Ippolita Sforza;
- Camilla, a nun at Corpus Christi
- Isotta, a nun at Corpus Christi
- Francesca, married to Galeotto Manfredi
- Antongaleazzo Bentivoglio, prelate
- Laura, wife of Giovanni Gonzaga
- Violante, wife of Pandolfo IV Malatesta
In 1466 Pope Paul II acknowledged the lordship of Giovanni II and gave him the papal vicariate of Bologna. After facing a conspiracy by the Malvezzi family in 1488, in 1501 the Bentivoglio discovered another conspiracy organized by the rival family of Marescotti. On the advice of Ginevra, many family members were killed in revenge.
Exile and death
In 1505 the conspirators who had escaped the carnage petitioned Pope Julius II, who ordered Giovanni II to leave the city with his family. Ginevra, exiled in Parma, where she had taken refuge with the Marquis Pallavicini, was excommunicated because she had not gone far enough from Bologna. Julius II refused to reverse the excommunication, despite numerous pleas, or to return the castle of Ponte Poledrano (now Castello di Bentivoglio), of which he had taken possession. The Bentivoglio properties in Bologna were looted and the Palazzo Bentivoglio was razed.
Notes and references
- "Ginevra e Gentile". Accademia Culturale "Castelli in Aria". Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- "La storia dei Bentivoglio". Istituto Comprensivo di Ozzano dell'Emilia - Bologna. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Samoggia, Sandro (2013). "Giovanni II, il Principe di Bologna". Mia Bologna. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Vogt-Luerssen, Maike (2012). "Ginevra Sforza". kleio.org. Retrieved 2013-01-14.