- 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 condottierofrom Romagnaserving the Angevinkings of Naples. He was the most successful dynast of the condottieri.
Francesco I Sforzaruled Milan for the first half of the Renaissanceera, acquiring the title of Duke of Milanfrom the extinct Viscontifamily 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 Fiorain southern Tuscanyuntil 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 marriageof Lucrezia Borgiato Giovanni (the illegitimate son of Costanzo I of Pesaro [http://www.gradara.com/italiano/signoria_sforza.htm ] ). Ludovico Sforza(also known as "Ludovico il Moro", famous also for taking Leonardo da Vinciat his service) was defeated in 1500by 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 Franceand imprisoned him.
forza rulers of
Duchy of Milan
forza rulers of Pesaro and Gradara
forza family tree
Giacomo (Muzio) Attendolo, nicknamed Sforza
+-Francesco I (
1401- 1466), married Bianca Maria Visconti, daughter of Filippo Maria, 1450-66
+-Galeazzo Maria (
1443– 1476), 1466-76
Caterina Sforza( 1463- 1509) (Model for Mona Lisa?)
| +-Bianca Maria (
1472– 1510), 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
1444- 1505), Cardinal
+-Ippolita Maria (
1446- 1484), married king of Alfonso II d'Aragon of Naples
+-Ludovico il Moro (the Moor) (
1451– 1508) 1494- 1500
+-Ercole Massimiliano (1493-1530),
+-Francesco II (III) Maria (),
+-Giovanni Paolo I (1497-1535), marquess of Caravaggio
+-Alessandro, first lord of
+ Galeazzo, last Sforza ruler of Pesaro
1466- 1510), first husband of Lucrezia Borgia
+-Costanzo II (Giovanni Maria)
+-Bosio (count of Cotignola, lord of
Bianca Maria Sforza, Empress
Bona Sforza, Queen of Poland, Duchess of Bariand Princess of Rossano
Sisto Riario Sforza, Cardinal
House of Sforza in popular culture
Thomas Harris' character Hannibal Lecteris 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.'
List of rulers of Milan
History of Milan
* [http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=mila21&id=I089 Rootsweb genealogy profile for Giovanni Sforza]
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