Which Medieval and Early Modern Italian state/city-state is your favourite to read and learn about?

Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#11
Well, to be fair, among the Crowns of the Iberian Peninsula, the crown of Aragon is the one that I know less.

I think that there were several Consulates of the Sea, that were like trade courts; often one in each of the main costal cities of the Crown.

But the expansion of the Crown is quite interesting, not only in military in Italy, but also in Greece, and its attempt in the Atlantic, in the Canary Islands, and competing in the Mediterranean trade with Genoa and Venice, with routes to the East and North of Africa.
Aragon was heavily involved in Italy and Sicily, carried on later to new lengths by El Gran Capitan on a more 'Spanish' basis. The involvement of the Almogavares in Greece was much more a private version - I have a book on this (sorry Tulius!), the first hand account which I delved into fairly recently, though being written in the old days it's very tedious reading and I didn't finish.

Basically, troubles with France and Castille being over, the Almogavares were not people you wanted hanging around Aragon so it was contrived to lend/hire them to the - rather duplicitous - Byzantines. Classic case of a force of rough, tough professional soldiers being far too much to handle for 'normal' forces.

So it was sort of on behalf of Aragon - but not really!
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,878
Portugal
#12
Aragon was heavily involved in Italy and Sicily, carried on later to new lengths by El Gran Capitan on a more 'Spanish' basis. The involvement of the Almogavares in Greece was much more a private version - I have a book on this (sorry Tulius!), the first hand account which I delved into fairly recently, though being written in the old days it's very tedious reading and I didn't finish.

Basically, troubles with France and Castille being over, the Almogavares were not people you wanted hanging around Aragon so it was contrived to lend/hire them to the - rather duplicitous - Byzantines. Classic case of a force of rough, tough professional soldiers being far too much to handle for 'normal' forces.

So it was sort of on behalf of Aragon - but not really!
Damn!!! You also have a book on this!!! :)

Of course that I agree completely with you that the Greek question was much more a private enterprise. But at some point (my memory fails me here) there was an intent of legitimization to put the new lands in Greece under a nominal vassalage of Aragon.

Ah! Thanks to Wikipedia: “tras la muerte de Federico III de Sicilia el simple en 1377, el ducado pasó a María de Sicilia y posteriormente a Leonor de Sicilia, esposa de Pedro IV de Aragón, el ceremonioso, al que los habitantes y nobles de la ciudad reconocen como soberano en 1379, año en el que los aragoneses del ducado piden que el ducado se incorpore de forma perpetua a la Corona de Aragón.”

From: Ducado de Atenas - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

/

“After the death of Frederick III of Sicily the simple one in 1377, the duchy passed to Maria of Sicilia and later to Leonor of Sicilia, wife of Pedro IV of Aragon, the ceremonious one, to which the inhabitants and nobles of the city recognize like sovereign in 1379, year in which the Aragonese of the duchy ask that the duchy is incorporated of perpetual form to the Crown of Aragon.” (Google translation)

On a completely different issue, and since you talk about “El Gran Capitan”, maybe you can help me with an idea…

Why did Fernando II sent Gonzalo de Córdoba to Naples?

I mean, so the others can follow my reasoning, Fernando II was king of Sicily and Aragon, Naples was in this family, Naples had belonged to the crown of Aragon. So Naples was much more an Aragonese issue than a Castilian one.

On the other hand the Aragonese arms almost did nothing in Granada, or previously in the Castilian Civil war and in the war against Portugal. Aragon had its own internal problems and the issues with Navarra and France.

So was Fernando II in conditions to send an Aragonese captain with an Aragonese army? (the armies of the two crowns weren’t merged).

Why did he choose a Castilian, and most of the men were from Castile (apart from the obvious reason that those men were veterans and weren’t needed anymore in Castile)? Or was also a political move?
 
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#13

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,878
Portugal
#14
Indirectly, about my previous question, about the choosing of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba to lead the expedition to Naples, he have here some comments about the visit of Fernando II to Naples, in 1506/7, when he was not longer king in Castile (with the dead of Isabel I), and also after the dead of Filipe I:

“No escapaba al rey que Gonzalo Fernández, actuando como Lugarteniente General del Reino, había profundizado sus lazos con la nobleza castellana, al tiempo que comenzaba a construir vínculos con la nobleza napolitana y el Sacro Imperio. Varios años antes, en febrero de 1489, el noble andaluz se había casado con María Manrique, hija de Pedro Manrique, Duque de Nájera41 cuestión que permite echar luz sobre el accionar del Gran Capitán frente a la llegada de Don Fernando a Nápoles. Al fallecer Felipe I, el grupo de leales felipistas castellanos encabezados por Pedro Manrique42 buscó un acercamiento al emperador Maximiliano I, considerando a Carlos de Gante (futuro Carlos I) como el verdadero heredero de los estados de su padre. La situación había forzado tal salida desde el extendido consenso forjado alrededor del mito de la insania de la Reina Juana I.

Zurita recoge en sus libros al menos un contacto probado entre Fernández de Córdoba y Maximiliano43, en donde el Rey de Romanos ofreció apoyo al lugarteniente de Nápoles a cambio de que éste apoyara la causa de Felipe el Hermoso. Por otro lado, es importante resaltar que en 1505 cuando el Rey Fernando pretendió habilitar como heredero a su hijo bastardo Alfonso de Aragón, quien era arzobispo de Zaragoza, Gonzalo Fernández estorbó en las gestiones posibilitando que Maximiliano y a su hijo Felipe el Hermoso tuviesen ocasión para influir en la curia papal y anular el pedido44.”

“El matrimonio de Fernando el Católico con Germana de Foix parecía interponerse a los anhelos del partido felipista, dado que un posible heredero directo de esa unión significaba una vuelta a la separación de las coronas ibéricas y que el sur de la Península Italiana se alejara del área de influencia Habsburgo. Los pactos signados entre Fernando el Católico y Luis XII en Blois proveían, incluso, que en caso de la muerte prematura del rey aragonés fuese su esposa la que heredase el reino de Nápoles, a fin de acercarlo a la órbita angevina por ser Doña Germana prima del monarca francés por vía de los Foix-Albret.”

“En este punto es interesante volver a la descripción que Zurita realizó en su crónica de la remoción de Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba. En el libro VIII de su obra Libros postreros, el historiador español explica:

Como las sospechas y temores que hubo antes que el Rey pasase al reino de Nápoles, que el Gran Capitán tuvo deliberado de apoderarse dél, y tenerlo en buena defensa, para la Corona Real de Castilla, como conquista della , y por el príncipe Don Carlos (…) y estos temores fueron tan públicos entre las gentes, y se confirmaron tanto, como las quejas que el Rey tuvo, del modo con que se gobernó en disponer de la hazienda tan libremente, como lo hizo, en el ordenar las cosas del Estado, y de la guerra, para sacarle del Reyno con dulzura, y buena gracia, y dexar a otro en su lugar, a quien el Rey no fuese tan obligado (…)48.”

Google translation:

"It did not escape the king that Gonzalo Fernández, acting as Lieutenant General of the Kingdom, had deepened his ties with the Castilian nobility, at the time that he began to build links with the Neapolitan nobility and the Holy Empire. Several years earlier, in February 1489, the Andalusian nobleman had married María Manrique, daughter of Pedro Manrique, Duque de Nájera, 41 a question that sheds light on the action of the Great Captain in the face of Don Fernando's arrival in Naples. When Felipe I died, the group of loyal Castilian felipistas headed by Pedro Manrique42 sought an approach to Emperor Maximilian I, considering Carlos de Gante (future Carlos I) as the true heir of his father's estates. The situation had forced such an exit from the widespread consensus forged around the myth of the insanity of Queen Joan I.

Zurita collects in his books at least one proven contact between Fernández de Córdoba and Maximiliano 43, where the King of Romans offered support to the lieutenant of Naples in exchange for his support for the cause of Felipe el Hermoso. On the other hand, it is important to note that in 1505 when King Ferdinand tried to qualify as his heir to his bastard son, Alfonso de Aragón, who was archbishop of Zaragoza, Gonzalo Fernández hindered the negotiations by enabling Maximiliano and his son Felipe el Hermoso to have the opportunity to influence the papal curia and cancel the order44. "

"The marriage of Ferdinand the Catholic with Germana de Foix seemed to interfere with the wishes of the Fidelista party, given that a possible direct heir of that union meant a return to the separation of the Iberian crowns and that the south of the Italian Peninsula was far from the Habsburg area of influence. The pacts signed between Ferdinand the Catholic and Louis XII in Blois even provided that in case of the untimely death of the Aragonese king his wife was the one who inherited the kingdom of Naples, in order to bring him closer to the Angevin orbit for being Doña Germana prima of the French monarch via the Foix-Albret. "

"At this point it is interesting to return to the description that Zurita made in his chronicle of the removal of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba. In book VIII of his work Libros postreros, the Spanish historian explains:

As the suspicions and fears that existed before the King passed to the kingdom of Naples, that the Great Captain had deliberated to seize it, and have it in good defense, for the Royal Crown of Castile, as conquest of it, and for Prince Don Carlos (...) and these fears were so public among the people, and confirmed as much, as the complaints that the King had, in the way he governed himself in disposing of the shop as freely, as he did, in ordering the things of the State, and of war, to get him out of the Kingdom with sweetness, and good grace, and to leave someone else in his place, to whom the King was not so obliged (...) 48. "

Source: El viaje de Fernando el Católico a Nápoles. La reorganización de las redes clientelares con el fin de estabilizar el Reino,1506-1507 (King Ferdinand's journey to Naples. The reorganization of patronage networks to stabilize the kingdom, 1506-1507), by Franco Tambella - http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1669-90412015000200004

So here we can see the relevance of Gonzalo Fernández being Castilian, married with a Lara, and not Aragonese, not a subject of Fernando, in a moment that the two crowns weren’t under the same head and could be split due the marriage of Fernando with Germana de Foix. A relevance and concern that even the primary source (Zurita) expresses.

One of the consequences of this voyage led by Fernando II was the demotion of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba under certain promises an his return to Castile.

I begin to understand why your wife is not so fond about all those books. You have walls full of them.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,508
#17
Ragusa or Sassari for pure interest, Florence and Venice for amount of time in existence that they were participating in grand historical events.
 

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