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Condottiero

1369

May 28

on Sunday

Muzio Sforza is born in Cotignola.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Cotignola was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1398

28 years, 7 months, 15 days later

Muzio Sforza is at the service of Perugia against the Milanese troops of Gian Galeazzo Visconti.

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1401

July 23

on Thursday

3 years, 6 months, 23 days later

Francesco I Sforza is born in San Miniato.

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The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in San Miniato was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1402

5 months, 12 days later

Muzio Sforza fights for Florence against Visconti but at the battle of Casalecchio is defeated by his former master Alberico da Barbiano.

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1406

4 years, 1 day later

Muzio Sforza captures Pisa and is subsequently hired by Niccolò III d'Este of Ferrara, who is being menaced by Ottobono Terzi of Parma.

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1417

11 years, 3 days later

Muzio Sforza is sent by Joan II to help the pope against Braccio da Montone, together with his son Francesco.

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1423

6 years, 1 day later

The city of Aquila rebels and Muzio Sforza is sent to reconquer it. In an attempt to save one of his pages during the forging of the Pescara River, Sforza drowns and his body is swept away by the waters.

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1431

8 years, 2 days later

Francesco I Sforza leads the Milanese army against Venice.

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1433

2 years, 1 day later

Francesco I Sforza leads the Milanese attack on the Papal States, but when he conquers Ancona, in the Marche, he changes sides, obtaining the title of vicar of the city directly from Pope Eugene IV.

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1440

7 years, 1 day later

King Alfonso I occupies Francesco Sforza's fiefs in the Kingdom of Naples and, to recover the situation, Sforza reconciles himself with Filippo Visconti.

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1441

October 25

on Monday

1 year, 9 months, 28 days later

Francesco I Sforza marries Bianca Maria Visconti in Cremona.

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The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1465

April 10

on Monday

23 years, 5 months, 23 days later

There passed through Florence a son of Don Ferante, King of Naples, on his way to Milan to fetch the daughter of the Duke of Milan to be wedded to his brother. This lad was twelve or thirteen years old; he was made much of, and was lodged at Santa Maria Novella. And afterwards he returned through Florence with the bride, accompanied by many signori and dukes, with a large troop of horse; and besides other things, there were so many damsels and matrons in his train that it was magnificent. And at this time a man was found coining false money, and he was beheaded.

Attachments
Portrait of Francesco I Sforza, Duke of Milan
Portrait bust traditionally identified with Ippolita Maria Sforza, daughter of Francesco I, by Francesco Laurana
Portrait bust of Don Ferante, King of Naples
Alfonso II, brother of Duke Ferante, King of Naples

Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 5:57 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:57 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1466

March 8

on Thursday

11 months, 2 days later

Francesco I Sforza dies in Milan, leaving the throne to his first-born son, Galeazzo Maria Sforza.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:14 PM.

1478

August 15

on Thursday

12 years, 5 months, 13 days later

The French ambassador left; and at this time we lost the Castellina. And Messer Niccolo Vitelozzi(1) was going about sacking certain forts of Citta di Castello, and burning men, women, and children, with every sort of cruetly. After that, Messer Lorenzo of Citta di Castello(2) burnt some of our fortresses in the district of Arezzo, and committed atrocities, burning people. They were both cruel men. Such generally come to a bad end. Godly people, as we read in Holy Scripture, never come to a bad end.

(1) Or rather, Vitelli, ally of the Florentines and of Lorenzo de' Medici.

(2) Lorenzo Giustini, who held that city for the Pope.

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The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Città di Castello was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1481

2 years, 4 months, 20 days later

Draft of a letter from Leonardo da Vinci to Ludovico Sforza:

Your Gracious Highness! I have sufficiently seen and tested the productions of all who are considered masters of the art of inventing war-machines. And since the working and function of these instruments is no different from that of the machines in common use, I shall endeavour -- approaching no one else -- to make myself clear to Your Excellency and reveal my secrets. I shall put them at your disposal whenever you desire and hope for good results from the things which I shall now briefly describe ...

First: I have a means of making very light bridges which can be very easily transported ... And I have others which are proof against fire and are thus indestructible in battle, easy to take down and put up again, and I also know of a means to get fire to the bridges of the enemy and destroy them. Secondly: In besieging a place I know how to cut off the water in the dikes, also how to construct many drawbridges and other apparatus necessary for such an undertaking. Thirdly: If during a siege the engines cannot be effectively used on account of the height or strength of the town wall, I have a means to destroy every tower or fortification ... Fourthly: I know of a kind of siege-engine which is very light and easy to move and which can be used hurl fire-bombs. Their smoke will terrify, confuse and severely injure the enemy. Fifthly: I know how to construct subterranean caves and winding passages which can be made without any noise ... Sixthly: I can make sound, indestructible armoured vehicles. If these reach the enemy with their cannons, they can compel the largest forces to retreat and afterwards the infantry can follow them in safety and without any let or hindrance. Seventhly: I can make, if necessary, bombards, mortars and other field-guns ... Eighthly: Where cannons cannot be used I shall construct stone-throwing machines, catapults, slings and other instruments, amazing and hitherto completely unknown ... Ninthly: If this should be necessary, I know of apparatus for use at sea for attack and defence, such as ships which can withstand the force of the strongest opponents and produce dust and smoke. In time of peace I believe I can achieve something in architecture, as well as another, both in building public and private buildings and in channelling water from one place to another. Further, I work as a sculptor in marble, bronze and clay and can paint as well as others with whom I may be compared. I could also add my labours to the bronze horse which is to contribute to the undying fame and eternal memory of your father and the renowned house of Sforza ...

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Source: Primary

Leonardo da Vinci; 'Letters of the Great Artists', p. 34-8

1482

September 14

on Thursday

1 year, 8 months, 16 days later

Roberto il Magnifico(1) died at Rome; he who had been so famous for his victory over the Duke of Calabria near Rome, when he took 300 men-at-arms. These two great captains died with a few days of each other, just when they imagined that they were at the height of their glory. What errors are made by the world! Men incur so many perils in order to slay and kill others, and to obtain a short-lived fame on this earth, not considering what it means to kill a man, and how soon they themselves will have to die and render an account.

(1) Roberto Malatesta, a captain sent by the Venetians to aid the Pope.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.

1489

6 years, 3 months, 21 days later

Leonardo da Vinci receives the Sforza commission from Ludovico Sforza, to cast the largest equestrian statue ever, in honour of Ludovico's father.

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1492

January

3 years later

Leonardo da Vinci directs the tournament of Galeazzo Sanseverino.

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1497

March

5 years, 2 months, 1 day later

Giovanni Paolo I Sforza is born in Milan.

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1502

4 years, 10 months, 6 days later

An anecdote from Luca Pacioli's De viribus quantitatis relates an incident with Leonardo da Vinci in his capacity as military engineer on campaign with Cesare Borgia.

One day Cesare Valentino, Duke of Romagna and present Lord of Piombino, found himself and his army at a river which was 24 paces wide, and could find no bridge, nor any material to make one except for a stack of wood all cut to a length of 16 paces. And from this wood, using neither iron nor rope nor any other construction, his noble engineer made a bridge sufficiently strong for the army to pass over.

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Source: Primary

Charles Nicholl; Nicholl, Charles. "Leonardo da Vinci. Flights of the Mind." E-book, p. 602.

1502

In Cesena, Leonardo da Vinci begins work as senior military architect and general engineer for Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI.

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1502

Leonardo da Vinci creates a map of Cesare Borgia's stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage.

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1502

Leonardo da Vinci gifts to his pupil Salai a precious garment given to him by Cesare Borgia.

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Agents

Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke
Giocomo Salai (1480-1524), aged 22: painter

Source: Primary

Pedretti, Carlo. "Leonardo: A Study in Chronology and Style", p.142.

1502

June 26

on Thursday

5 months, 26 days later

Extract from a dispatch of Machiavelli to the Signoria of Florence concerning Cesare Borgia:

This Duke is so enterprising that nothing is too great to be discounted by him. For the sake of glory and the enlarging of his dominions, he deprives himself of rest, yielding to no fatigue, no danger. He arrives in one place before anyone knows he has left the other, he gains the good will of his soldiers, he attracts to him the best men in Italy, and he has constant good luck. For all these reasons he is victorious and formidable.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke
Machiavelli (1469-1527), aged 33: historian

Source: Primary

Machiavelli; "Leonardo da Vinci. The Flights of the Mind"; E-book, p. 595.

1502

August 18

on Monday

1 month, 23 days later

Passport drawn up in Pavia granting Leonardo da Vinci free access to the dominions of Cesare Borgia as his chief military architect:

Cesare Borgia of France, by the grace of God Duke of Romagna and Valence, Prince of the Adriatic, Lord of Piombino etc., also Gonfalonier and Captain General of the Holy Roman Church: to all our lieutenants, castellans, captains, condottieri, officials, soldiers and subjects to whom this notice is presented. We order and command that the bearer thereof, our most excellent and well-beloved architect and general engineer Leonardo Vinci, who by our commission is to survey the places and fortresses of our states, should be provided with all such assistance as the occasion demands and his judgement deems fit.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Pavia was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

1502

December 26

on Friday

4 months, 10 days later

Cesare Borgia kills Ramiro D'Orco; this incident is referenced in Machiavelli's The Prince.

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The moon was waning crescent that night.

Agents

Machiavelli (1469-1527), aged 33: historian
Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1502

1502

December 26

on Friday

Extract from a dispatch of Machiavelli to the Signoria of Florence while in the service of Cesare Borgia:

This morning Messer Rimino was found lying in the piazza cut into two pieces; he still lies there, so that everyone has had an opportunity to see him ... The reason for his death is not yet clear, except that such was the pleasure of the Prince, who shows is that he can make and unmake men according to their deserts.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1502

December 31

on Wednesday

5 days later

Cesare Borgia (son of Pope Alexander VI) occupies Urbino, where he imprisons two potentially treacherous allies, Vitellozzo and Oliveretto; he executes them the next morning.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Urbino was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

Agents

Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), aged 27: condottiero; cardinal; duke

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1502

1523

20 years, 6 days later

The Genoese enter into negotiations for a colossal statue of Andrea Doria, which they desired to obtain from the hand of Michelangelo. Its execution must have been seriously contemplated, for the Senate of Genoa banked 300 ducats for the purpose.

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Source: Primary

Symonds, John Addington: "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti", Modern Library (New York), p.237

1528

September 12

on Wednesday

5 years, 8 months, 16 days later

Andrea Doria defeats his former allies, the French, and establishes the independence of Genoa.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Genoa was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

Source: Primary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1528

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