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 10th century, when it was established as the Arduinic March (Latin: marca Arduinica). It consisted of lands in Piedmont, stretching across the Po Valley from the Western Alps in the north, to the Ligurian Sea.

The title is a misnomer. At the time, because of the importance of the city and valley of Susa, it was known as the March or Marquisate of Susa. As the marquises also held the county of Turin, the alternate name became more common as that town prospered. The marquises also held the counties of Auriate, Albenga and, probably, Ventimiglia.[n 1] The kings of Sardinia and Italy, however, continued to style themselves as "marquises of Susa".


The march was formed by a reorganisation of the territory of the kingdom of Italy into three marches, named after their three ruling dynasties:[2]

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 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.[5] 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.[6]

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).[7] Although Conrad attempted to gain control of the march, his power was never effectual and the title was largely nominal.[8] 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[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]




External links[edit]