Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal.

Portal:Italian Wars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Italian Wars Portal

Introduction

The Battle of Pavia by unknown Flemish artist (16th century).

The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars or the Renaissance Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, the Republic of Venice, most of the major states of Western Europe (France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and England), as well as the Ottoman Empire. Originally arising from dynastic disputes over the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Naples, the wars rapidly became a general struggle for power and territory among their various participants, and were marked with an increasing number of alliances, counter-alliances, and betrayals.

Relying on brilliant diplomacy as well as on the military commanders and techniques forged in the war against Granada, King Ferdinand was chiefly responsible for making Spain into a major European power. The main opponent was France, both along the frontiers that separated the two states and also in Italy, where Aragón's traditional interests were threatened by French efforts to dominate the peninsula. The struggle began with the successful campaign of 1494 to 1498 in southern Italy and continued intermittently for two decades, until Ferdinand’s death. By then Spain had won control of southern Italy, all Navarre south of the Pyrenees, and farther north, the regions of Cerdagne and Roussillon. Ferdinand's anti-French strategy was continued in a series of wars (1521–1526, 1526–1530, 1536–1538, 1542–1546, 1551–1559) that made Spain a dominant power in northern as well as southern Italy.

Show new selections...

Selected event

Swiss mercenaries and landsknechts engaged in a push of pike
The Battle of Ceresole was an encounter between a French army and the combined forces of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire during the Italian War of 1542–46. The lengthy engagement, which historian Bert Hall characterized as "marvelously confused", took place on April 11, 1544, outside the village of Ceresole d'Alba in the Piedmont region of Italy; the French, under François de Bourbon, Count of Enghien, defeated the Spanish-Imperial army of Alfonso d'Avalos d'Aquino, Marquis del Vasto. Despite having inflicted substantial casualties on the Imperial troops, the French subsequently failed to exploit their victory by taking Milan.

Enghien and d'Avalos had arranged their armies along two parallel ridges; because of the topography of the battlefield, many of the individual actions of the battle were uncoordinated with one another. The battle opened with several hours of skirmishing between opposing bands of arquebusiers and an ineffectual artillery exchange, after which d'Avalos ordered a general advance. In the center, Imperial landsknechts clashed with French and Swiss infantry, suffering enormous casualties. In the southern part of the battlefield, Italian infantry in Imperial service were harried by French cavalry attacks and withdrew after learning that the Imperial troops of the center had been defeated. In the north, meanwhile, the French infantry line crumbled, and Enghien led a series of ineffectual and costly cavalry charges against Spanish and German infantry before the latter were forced to surrender by the arrival of the victorious Swiss and French infantry from the center.

Ceresole was one of the few pitched battles during the latter half of the Italian Wars. Known among military historians chiefly for the "great slaughter" that occurred when columns of intermingled arquebusiers and pikemen met in the center, it also demonstrates the continuing role of traditional heavy cavalry on a battlefield largely dominated by the emerging pike and shot infantry.

Selected quote

But we found that they were as ingenious as ourselves, for behind their first line of pikes they had put pistoleers. Neither side fired till we were touching—and then there was a wholesale slaughter: every shot told: the whole front rank on each side went down.

Selected image

Selected biography

Ludovico Sforza
Ludovico Sforza (Ludovico il Moro, "The Moor") was a member of the Sforza dynasty of Milan, Italy, and the second son of Francesco Sforza. When Gian Galeazzo died in 1494, Ludovico received the ducal crown from the Milanese nobles on October 22. The same year he simultaneously encouraged the French under Charles VIII of France, and the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, to become involved in Italian politics, hoping to control the two and reap the rewards himself—so starting the Italian Wars. Things did not go as planned, and finding his own position endangered by the French, he joined the league against Charles VIII, giving his niece Bianca in marriage to Maximilian I and receiving in return imperial investiture of the duchy. Lodovico was driven from Milan by the new French king, Louis XII in 1499. In 1500, Louis XII lay siege to the city of Novara where Ludovico was based. The armies of both sides included Swiss mercenaries, fighters who had been virtually undefeated in battle for over two centuries. The Swiss did not cherish the idea of fighting each other, and therefore chose to leave Novara. Ludovico was handed over to the French and died a prisoner in the castle of Loches.

Major topics

Events People
Italian War of 1494–98
Battle of Seminara
Battle of Fornovo
Italian War of 1499–1504
Battle of Ruvo
Battle of Cerignola
Battle of Garigliano
Featured article War of the League of Cambrai
Battle of Agnadello
Siege of Padua
Battle of Ravenna
Battle of Novara
Battle of Flodden Field
Battle of Marignano
War of Urbino
Featured article Italian War of 1521–26
Featured article Battle of Bicocca
Battle of the Sesia (1524)
Italian campaign of 1524–25
Battle of Pavia
War of the League of Cognac
Sack of Rome
Siege of Florence
Battle of Gavinana
Italian War of 1536–38
Featured article Italian War of 1542–46
Siege of Nice
Featured article Battle of Ceresole
Siege of St. Dizier
First Siege of Boulogne
Second Siege of Boulogne
Battle of the Solent
A-Class article Battle of Bonchurch
Italian War of 1551–59
Battle of Marciano
Battle of Renty
Battle of St. Quentin
Battle of Gravelines
Religious leaders
Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Thomas Wolsey
Martin Luther
National leaders
Henry VIII of England
Andrea Gritti
Ludovico Sforza
Maximilian Sforza
Francesco II Sforza
Charles VIII of France
Louis XII of France
Francis I of France
Henry II of France
Ferdinand I of Spain
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Philip II of Spain
Military leaders
Niccolò di Pitigliano
Bartolomeo d'Alviano
Prospero Colonna
Giovanni dalle Bande Nere
Francesco Ferruccio
Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard
Gian Giacomo Trivulzio
Gaston de Foix
Charles III, Duke of Bourbon
Guillaume Gouffier, seigneur de Bonnivet
Anne de Montmorency
Odet of Foix, Viscount of Lautrec
Piero Strozzi
Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Fernando d'Avalos
Georg von Frundsberg
Others
Francesco Guicciardini
Michelangelo
Leonardo da Vinci
Armed forces Other topics
Types of units
Gendarmes
Pike and shot
Mercenary groups
Black Bands
Condottieri
Landsknechts
Swiss mercenaries

Franco-Ottoman alliance
Arquebus

Trace italienne

Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database