March of Turin

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The march of Turin (Italian: marca di Torino), established as the marca Arduinica (later sometimes referred to as the "march of Susa"), was a political entity with existed in medieval Italy from the mid tenth century. It consisted of lands in Piedmont, stretching across the Po Valley from the Western Alps in the north, to the Ligurian Sea. It included the counties of Turin, Auriate, Albenga and, probably, Ventimiglia. The centre of the march was the city of Turin.[1]


The march was formed by a reorganisation of the territory of the regnum Italicum (Kingdom of Italy) into three marches, which were named after their three ruling dynasties:[2]

Rule by the Arduinici[edit]

Arduin Glaber was invested as count of Turin in 941 by Hugh of Italy. Arduin had captured Turin and the Susa Valley from the Saracens.[3] In 964, Arduin was appointed margrave of Turin by Emperor Otto I.[4] The mark of Turin continued to be ruled by members of the Arduinici thereafter. Arduin Glaber's son Manfred I succeeded him, and his son, Ulric Manfred II, succeeded him. Ulric Manfred II had no male heir, however, so he left the march to his daughter Adelaide.[5] Although Adelaide was the de facto ruler, the margravial title could not be held by a woman. Adelaide’s husbands, then sons, and finally grandson-in-law were successively invested as margrave of Turin. These men were not members of the Arduinici dynasty.

Breakup of the march[edit]

After Adelaide’s death in 1091, the march of Turin broke up. Comital authority in the city of Turin was invested in the bishop of Turin (1092) and the city itself became a commune (1091). In 1092 Emperor Henry IV appointed his son Conrad as margrave of Turin (Conrad was Adelaide’s grandson via her daughter Bertha of Savoy).[6] Although Conrad attempted to gain control of the march, his power was never effectual and the title was largely nominal.[7] Instead, the northern part of the march of Turin was absorbed into Savoy, which was ruled by another of Adelaide’s grandsons, Humbert II (many centuries later, Turin became the capital of this dynasty). To the south, lands with had comprised the march of Turin were annexed by Adelaide's nephew, Boniface del Vasto.[8]

List of Margraves of Turin[edit]


House of Babenburg[edit]


House of Savoy[edit]

House of Montbéliard[edit]

The title was later used by Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, a member of the house of Savoy which ruled Italy from 1861 and 1946.


  1. ^ For a description of the confines of the march of Turin, see Sergi, I confini del potere, ch.
  2. ^ Settia, 'Nuove marche'
  3. ^ Bertolini, 'Arduino'
  4. ^ Previté-Orton, Early History, pp. 137ff.
  5. ^ Sergi, I confini del potere, p. 81.
  6. ^ Gawlik, 'Konrad'
  7. ^ Robinson, Henry IV, p. 287
  8. ^ Robinson, Henry IV, p. 287


  • C.W. Previté-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy (1000-1233) (Cambridge, 1912), accessible online at:
  • M. G. Bertolini, 'Arduino', Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, VI (Rome, 1964), pp. 49–52.
  • G. Sergi, I confini del potere. Marche e signorie fra due regni medievali (1995).
  • A.A. Settia, ‘“Nuove marche” nell’Italia occidentale. Necessità difensive e distrettuazione pubblica fra IX e X secolo: una rilettura,’ in La contessa Adelaide e la società del secolo XI, a special edition of Segusium 32 (1992),pp. 43-60
  • I.S. Robsinon, Henry IV of Germany, 1056-1106 (Cambridge, 2003).
  • A. Gawlik, Konrad, König in Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) 12 (Berlin, 1980) (in German)

External links[edit]