Duchy of Modena and Reggio

Duchy of Modena and Reggio
Duchy of
Ducato di Modena e Reggio
Ducatus Mutinae et Regii
State of the Holy Roman Empire (until 1806)





Dextera Domini exaltavit me
"The right hand of the Lord is exalted"
Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser
"God Save Emperor Francis"
Northern Italy in 1494:
Este territories (Modena, Reggio and Ferrara) in yellow
Capital Modena
Language(s) Latin, Italian
Religion Catholicism
Government Principality
 - 1450-1471 Borso d'Este
 - 1471-1505 Ercole I d'Este
 - 1505-1534 Alfonso I d'Este
 - 1534-1559 Ercole II d'Este
 - 1559-1597 Alfonso II d'Este
Historical era Early modern era
 - Created 1452
 - Conquered by France 1796
 - Re-established 1814
 - Popular revolution 1859
Today part of  Italy

The Duchy of Modena and Reggio (Italian: Ducato di Modena e Reggio, Latin: Ducatus Mutinae et Regii was a small Italian state that existed from 1452 to 1859, with a break between 1796 and 1814.[1] It was ruled by the noble House of Este, from 1814 Austria-Este.


House of Este

In 1452 Emperor Frederick III enfeoffed the duchy to Borso d'Este, whose family had ruled the city of Modena and Reggio Emilia for centuries. Borso in 1450 had also succeeded his brother as margrave in the adjacent Papal Duchy of Ferrara, where he received the ducal title in 1471. The Este lands on the southern border of the Holy Roman Empire with the Papal States formed a stabilizing buffer state in the interest of both.

The first Este dukes ruled invulnerably and achieved an economic and cultural peak: Borso's successor Duke Ercole I had the city of Modena rebuilt according to plans designed by Biagio Rossetti, his successors were patrons of artists like Titian and Ludovico Ariosto. In the War of the League of Cambrai from 1508, troops from Modena fought in Papal service against the Republic of Venice. Upon the death of Duke Alfonso II in 1597, the ducal line became extinct. The Este lands were bequested to Alfonso's cousin Cesare d'Este, however, the succession was not acknowledged by Pope Clement VIII and Ferrara was finally seized by the Papacy. Cesare could retain Modena and Reggio as Imperial fiefs.

In the 1628 War of the Mantuan Succession, the dukes of Modena sided with Habsburg Spain and in turn received the town of Correggio from the hands of Emperor Ferdinand II. During the War of the Spanish Succession, Duke Rinaldo was ousted by French troops under Louis Joseph de Bourbon, he could not return until 1707. His successor Francesco III backed France in the 1740 War of the Austrian Succession, and was expelled by Habsburg forces, but his duchy was restored by the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. In 1711 the small duchy of Mirandola was absorbed by the Este.

In 1796, Modena was again occupied by a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte, who deposed Duke Ercole III and created the Cispadane Republic out of his territory. By the 1801 Treaty of Lunéville the last Este Duke was compensated with the Breisgau region of the former Further Austrian territories in southwestern Germany, and died in 1803. Following his death, Mthe ducal title was inherited by his son-in-law, the Habsburg-Lorraine archduke Ferdinand of Austria, an uncle of Emperor Francis II.

House of Austria-Este

With the dissolution of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1814, Ferdinand's son, Francis IV, again assumed the rule as Duke of Modena. Soon after, he inherited the territories of Massa and Carrara from his mother. In the course of the Italian unification, the Austria-Este dukes were briefly ousted in 1831 and 1848, but soon returned.

During the Second Italian War of Independence, following the 1859 Battle of Magenta the last Duke Francis V was again forced to flee, this time permanently. In December, Modena joined with Tuscany and Parma to form the United Provinces of Central Italy, which were annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia in March 1860.

Provinces of the Duchy before the dissolution

See also


  1. ^ Trudy Ring; Robert M. Salkin; Sharon La Boda (1 January 1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe. Taylor & Francis. pp. 446–. ISBN 9781884964022. http://books.google.com/books?id=74JI2UlcU8AC&pg=PA446. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Duchy of Massa and Carrara — Ducato di Massa e Carrara ← 1473–1829 …   Wikipedia

  • REGGIO EMILIA — REGGIO EMILIA, city in central Italy. The first Jewish settlement of Jewish loan bankers in Reggio Emilia, a fief of the House of Este, dates from the year 1413. For a long time they benefited from the favorable attitude of the ducal house to the …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Duchy of Guastalla — Ducato di Guastalla ← …   Wikipedia

  • Modena (disambiguation) — Modena can mean several things, including: Geography Duchy of Modena and Reggio El Modena, California Modena, Italy Modena, Missouri Modena, Pennsylvania Modena, Utah Modena, Wisconsin, a town Modena (community), Wisconsin, an unincorporated… …   Wikipedia

  • Modena — For other uses, see Modena (disambiguation). Modena   Comune   Comune di Modena …   Wikipedia

  • Duchy of Reggio — The Duchy of Reggio was one of the states that belonged to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, ruled by the house of Este, in the north of Italy, in a territory now belonging to the Province of Reggio Emilia. The capital was Reggio. The perimeter of… …   Wikipedia

  • Duchy of Ferrara — Fief of the Papacy → …   Wikipedia

  • Duchy of Mirandola — Ducato della Mirandola ← …   Wikipedia

  • Modena — • Located in central Italy, between the rivers Secchia and Panaro Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Modena     Modena     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Duchy of Parma — Ducato di Parma State of the Holy Roman Empire ← …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.