Barons and Castellans: The Military Nobility of Renaissance by Dr Christine Shaw (It

By Dr Christine Shaw (It

The army the Aristocracy - "signori di castelli," lords of castles - shaped a tremendous element of the society of Renaissance Italy, even though they've got usually been passed over by way of historians, or taken care of as an anomaly. In Barons and Castellans: the army the Aristocracy of Renaissance Italy, Christine Shaw offers the 1st comparative learn of "lords of castles," nice and small, all through Italy, interpreting their army and political value, and the way their roles replaced throughout the Italian Wars. Her major concentration is on their army assets and the way they deployed them in private and non-private wars, in pursuit in their personal pursuits and within the carrier of others, and on how their army weight affected their political status and effect.

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53 Minor barons, too, had been building or updating fortresses, as residences for themselves and their families or as defences. 54 Detailed descriptions were given of some of the more substantial fortifications. , 32. , 32. , 83. , 78–9. , 143. , 142. , 144. , 43. Lands and Fortresses 23 properties confiscated from Carlo Miroballo, had a ‘lovely and strong castle with four towers and a great keep; it has three gates with drawbridges, and stands at the high part of the city’; it was important, the official noted, placed as it was on the highway between Naples and Castellammare.

45 Sanfele, which had 130 households to Atella’s 500, had ‘a castle on a height joined to the township, very strong and impregnable, if well supplied’; Forenza, with 400 households, had no castle ‘because it is strong and high up’;46 Rippa 42 43 44 45 46 Giorgio Chittolini, ‘Il particolarismo signorile e feudale in Emilia fra Quattro e Cinque­ cento’, 287, n. 47. Michele Viterbo, ‘Aragona, Orsini del Balzo, e Acquaviva d’Aragona nella Contea di Conversano’, 335. Nino Cortese, ‘Feudi e feudatari napoletani della prima metà del Cinquecento’ (1929), 30; photographs of the fortress as it is today in Flavio Conti, Castelli e rocche (Novara, 1999), 290–1.

Fine as it was, it was not just for show; Bracciano became the principal fortress of that line of the Orsini family. ­Pitigliano, the main stronghold of that other branch of the Orsini family, owed its reputation for being impregnable to its position on a volcanic plug. 65 62 63 64 65 Marino Sanuto, I diarii (Venice, 1879–1903), X, 353–4; Muir, Mad Blood Stirring, 27–9. ASSiena, Balia 545, 14: Virginio Orsini, 23 Nov. 1490, Bracciano. Conti, Castelli e rocche, 200. Cecilia Alessi, ‘La saga degli Orsini a Pitigliano’, 231–62.

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