Virginio Orsini, Duke of Bracciano

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Virginio Orsini, the second Duke of Bracciano by unknown Florentine painter

Virginio Orsini (September 1572 – 9 September 1615) was the second Duke of Bracciano, member of the Orsini family and knight of the order of the Golden Fleece.

He was the son of Paolo Giordano I Orsini and Isabella de' Medici, and inherited his father's titles and fiefs after his death in 1585. In 1589 he married Flavia Peretti, a niece of Pope Sixtus V, by whom he had 11 children.[1] His son Paolo Giordano became a prince of the Holy Roman Empire through his marriage with Isabella Appiani, princess of Piombino.

Virginio Orsini was a supporter of the Earl of Essex but he did not visit England until the English court for the Christmas revels in December 1600 where he was entertained by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and the play opens with the character of Duke Orsino saying the famous line "If music be the food of love, play on."[2] He died in Rome in 1615.


  1. ^ Eleanor Herman: Murder in the Garden of God: A True Story of Renaissance Ambition, Betrayal, and Revenge. Createspace. ISBN 9781492183013. p. 407
  2. ^ The First Night of Twelfth Night by Leslie Hotson, p. 15. 1954. See also the Historical Mss. Comm. Third Report, App.51b.
Preceded by
Paolo Giordano I Orsini
Duke of Bracciano
Succeeded by
Paolo Giordano II Orsini