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Encyclopedia > Lodovico Sforza

Ludovico Sforza (Ludovico il Moro, "The Moor") (July 27, 1452May 27, 1508), a member of the Sforza dynasty of Milan, Italy, was the second son of Francesco Sforza, and was famed as patron of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists.

On the assassination of Ludovico's elder brother Galeazzo in 1476, the crown passed to his seven-year-old nephew Gian Galeazzo Sforza. Ludovico seized control of the government of Milan during his minority despite attempts to keep him out of power.

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.

After first defeating the French at the Battle of Fornovo in 1495 (making weapons from 70 tons of Bronze, originally set aside for a Leonardo da Vinci statue), Lodovico was later driven from Milan by the new French king, Louis XII in 1499, and although reinstated for a short time by the Swiss he was eventually delivered over by them to the French (April 1500) and died a prisoner in the castle of Loches.

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.

External links

  • Portrait and family tree (http://www.asn-ibk.ac.at/bildung/faecher/geschichte/maike/monalisa/g_eng/350.htm)

  Results from FactBites:
Sforza - LoveToKnow 1911 (1286 words)
Lodovico was driven from Milan by Louis XII.
The two Sons of Lodovico, Massimiliano and Francesco Maria, took refuge in Germany; the former was restored to the duchy of Milan by the Swiss in 1512, but after the overwhelming defeat of his allies at Marignano (1515) he abandoned his rights to Francis I.
With the assistance of Lodovico it Moro she was able to defeat her enemies and to regain possession of all her dominions; she wreaked vengeance on those who had opposed her and re-established her power.
End of Europe's Middle Ages - The Visconti and Sforza in Milan (345 words)
Having settled the situation, Sforza declared himself to be the successor to the Visconti dynasty through his wife and ruled as Duke of Milan until his death in 1466.
The infant Giangaleazzo Sforza (1467-1494) was left to rule with first his mother and then his uncle, Lodovico Sforza (1494-1499), as regents.
Lodovico expropriated the ducal power as regent and finally took the title for himself when Giangaleazzo died in 1494.
  More results at FactBites »



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