- Galeazzo II Visconti
Galeazzo II Visconti (c. 1320 –
August 4, 1378) was a member of the Viscontidynasty and a ruler of Milan, Italy.
He was the son of
Stefano Viscontiand Valentina Doria.
In 1343 he made a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem. Two years later he was ousted from by his uncle Luchino, returning under archbishop Giovanni Visconti, who made him governor of Bologna.
In 1350 he married Bianca of Savoy, daughter of
Aimone, Count of Savoy. Six years later he fought alongside his brother Bernabò against the Este and the Gonzaga, with Pandolfo II Malatestaas commander of his troops. Winner at Casorate, he was able to expand his territories. At the death of his brother Matteo II, Galeazzo obtained the western part of Lombardy, while Bernabò received the eastern one.
He was handsome and distinguished, the patron of
Petrarch, the founder of the University of Paviaand a gifted diplomat. He married his daughter Violante to Lionel of Antwerp, son of Edward III of England, giving a dowry of 200,000 gold florins; and his son Gian Galeazzo to Isabelle, daughter of King John of France.
Galeazzo faced several rebellions during his reign. In 1362 his health worsened and he moved his court ot
Pavia, which he had reconquered two years earlier, and where he died in 1378.
He was infamous for instituting the "quaresima", a particularly sadistic form of torture, aping ecclesiastical terminology, which preceded the execution on the wheel of state offenders and lasted forty days, alternating one day of the most atrocius torment and one of rest. Almost invariably the condemned died before being brought to the wheel [Morbio, Carlo: "Storie dei municipj italiani illustrate con documenti inediti" (Italian language), O.Manini, 1838, pp. 48-49 http://books.google.it/books?id=oM0FAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=%22galeazzo%22%2B%22quaresima%22&source=web&ots=mDSmNbct9-&sig=gWdzYphXYnqDgroJb2H4KupGqTM&hl=it&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result] .
* [http://www.storiadimilano.it/Personaggi/Visconti/visconti.htm#GaleazzoII Biography] it icon
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