House of Sforza

House of Sforza

Sforza was a ruling family of Renaissance Italy, based in Milan.

The dynasty was founded by Muzio Attendolo, called Sforza (from "sforzare", to exert or force, 1369-1424) a condottiero from Romagna serving the Angevin kings of Naples. He was the most successful dynast of the condottieri.

His son Francesco I Sforza ruled Milan for the first half of the Renaissance era, acquiring the title of Duke of Milan from the extinct Visconti family in 1447. While there were many good rulers in the family, there were also a number of despots, many of which were mentally unstable.fact|date=July 2008

The family also held the seigniory of Pesaro, starting from Muzio Attendolo's second son, Alessandro (1409-1473). The Sforza held Pesaro until 1519, with the death of Galeazzo. Muzio's third son, Bosio (1411-1476), founded the branch of Santa Fiora, who held the title of count of Cotignola; the Sforza ruled the small county of Santa Fiora in southern Tuscany until 1624. Members of this family also held important ecclesiastical and political position in the Papal States, and moved to Rome in 1674.

The Sforza would later join with the Borgia Family, through the arranged marriage of Lucrezia Borgia to Giovanni (the illegitimate son of Costanzo I of Pesaro [ ] ).

Ludovico Sforza (also known as "Ludovico il Moro", famous also for taking Leonardo da Vinci at his service) was defeated in 1500 by the French army of Louis XII of France - see also Italian Wars.

After the French were driven out by Imperial Swiss troops Maximilian Sforza, son of Ludovico, became Duke of Milan, until the French returned under Francis I of France and imprisoned him.

forza rulers of Duchy of Milan

*Francesco I 1450-1466
*Galeazzo Maria 1466-1476
*Gian Galeazzo 1476-1494
*Ludovico 1494-1499
*Ludovico (restored) 1500
*Massimiliano 1512-1515
*Caterina 1515-1535
*Francesco II 1521-1535

forza rulers of Pesaro and Gradara

*Costanzo I
*Costanzo II

forza family tree

Giacomo (Muzio) Attendolo, nicknamed Sforza
+-Francesco I (1401-1466), married Bianca Maria Visconti, daughter of Filippo Maria, 1450-66

+-Galeazzo Maria (14431476), 1466-76
| +-Caterina Sforza (1463-1509) (Model for Mona Lisa?)
| +-Bianca Maria (14721510), second wife of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I
| +-Gian Galeazzo(1469-1494), married Isabella of Naples, 1476-94
| +-Francesco (II), nominally duke under the regency of Ludovico Maria
| +-Bona (1494-1557), second wife of king Sigismund I of Poland

+-Ascanio (1444-1505), Cardinal

+-Ippolita Maria (1446-1484), married king of Alfonso II d'Aragon of Naples

+-Ludovico il Moro (the Moor) (14511508) 1494-1500

+-Ercole Massimiliano (1493-1530), 151215

+-Francesco II (III) Maria (), 152135

+-Giovanni Paolo I (1497-1535), marquess of Caravaggio
+-Alessandro, first lord of Pesaro

+-Costanzo I

+ Galeazzo, last Sforza ruler of Pesaro

+-Giovanni (1466-1510), first husband of Lucrezia Borgia

+-Costanzo II (Giovanni Maria)
+-Bosio (count of Cotignola, lord of Castell'Arquato)

Other members

*Bianca Maria Sforza, Empress
*Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, Duchess of Bari and Princess of Rossano
*Sisto Riario Sforza, Cardinal

House of Sforza in popular culture

* Thomas Harris' character Hannibal Lecter is a descendant of the House of Sforza.
* Dennis "The Carpenter" Maxwell (aka Maxwell Carpenter), a character from White Wolf Game Studio's original World of Darkness setting, was a man who had risen from his own grave to take revenge on a Mafia family named 'Sforza.'

ee also

*List of rulers of Milan
*Italian Wars
*History of Milan

External links

* [ Rootsweb genealogy profile for Giovanni Sforza]

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