March of Turin

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The March or Marquisate of Turin (Italian: marca di Torino) was a territory of medieval Italy from the mid-10th century, when it was established as the Arduinic March (Latin: marca Arduinica). It comprised several counties in Piedmont, including the counties of Turin, Auriate, Albenga and, probably, Ventimiglia.[n 1] The confines of the march thus stretched across the Po Valley from the Western Alps in the north, to the Ligurian Sea.

The title (the march of Turin) is sometimes thought to be a misnomer. Because of the later importance of the city and valley of Susa, to the House of Savoy, who styled themselves as "marquises of Susa", the march is sometimes referred to as the March or Marquisate of Susa. Yet in the tenth and early eleventh centuries, the city and valley of Susa were not the most important part of the county, let alone the march, of Turin. Successive members of the Arduinici dynasty were documented far more frequently in their capital, the city of Turin, than anywhere else, and until the late 1020s, Susa was controlled by a cadet branch of the dynasty, rather than by the marquises themselves.[2]


The march was formed by a reorganisation of the territory of the kingdom of Italy into three marches, named after their three ruling dynasties:[3]

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.[4] In 964, Arduin was appointed margrave of Turin by Emperor Otto I.[5] The march 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 had no son, so he left the march to his daughter Adelaide.[6] Although Adelaide ruled in her own right, de jure control passed to her husband Otto, count of Aosta. Their descendants would later comprise the House of Savoy. Gundulph, the father of St Anselm, may have represented a collateral branch of Manfred's dynasty.[7]

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, the emperor Henry IV appointed his son Conrad as margrave of Turin. (Conrad was Adelaide’s grandson via her daughter Bertha of Savoy).[8] Although Conrad attempted to gain control of the march, his power was never effectual and the title was largely nominal.[9] 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 which had composed the march of Turin were annexed by Adelaide's nephew, Boniface del Vasto.[9]

List of Margraves of Turin[edit]


House of Babenburg[edit]


House of Savoy[edit]

House of Montbéliard[edit]

The title[which?] 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.[1]




  • Bertolini, M.G. (1964), "Arduino", Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, Vol. VI, Rome, pp. 49–52 . (Italian)
  • Gawlik, A. (1980), "Konrad, König", Neue Deutsche Biographie, Vol. 12, Berlin . (German)
  • Previté-Orton, C.W. (1912), "The Early History of the House of Savoy (1000-1233)",, Cambridge .
  • Robinson, I.S. (2003), Henry IV of Germany, 1056-1106, Cambridge .
  • Rule, Martin (1883), The Life and Times of St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of the Britons, Vol. I, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co. 
  • Sergi, G. (1995), I confini del potere. Marche e signorie fra due regni medievali . (Italian)
  • Sergi, G. (1992), "'I poli del potere pubblico e dell'orientamento signorile degli Arduinici: Torino e Susa' in "La contessa Adelaide e la società del secolo XI", Segusium, No. 32, pp. 61–76 . (Italian)
  • Settia, A.A. (1992), "'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", Segusium, No. 32, pp. 43–60 . (Italian)

External links[edit]