1st Edition

The French Descent into Renaissance Italy, 1494–95 Antecedents and Effects

Edited By David Abulafia Copyright 1995

    The French invasion of Italy under Charles VIII in 1494-95 has long been seen as inaugurating a new and wretched era in Italian history. The present volume, the work of an international team of contributors, seeks to question that assumption by focusing anew on the intricate politics of Renaissance Italy and the long history of Angevin attempts to impose their rule in southern Italy. It was later invasions, it is argued, that did most to reshape the politics of the Italian peninsula. These studies also look at social and economic effects of the French invasion, as well as its cultural aspects, not least the impact of Renaissance culture in France itself. Combining survey papers and research articles, this volume presents a new introduction to the history of late 15th-century Italy. The appendix, listing the Ilardi collection of microfilms, will also provide an invaluable guide to the diplomatic history of the era.

    Contents: Introduction; from Ferrante I to Charles VIII, David Abulafia; The distant origins of the Italian wars: political relations between France and Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries, Georges Peyronnet; The Angevin bid for Naples, 1380-1480, Alan Ryder; The inception of the reign of King Ferrante I of Naples: the events of summer 1458 in the light of documentation from Milan, David Abulafia; Towards the Tragedia d’Italia: Ferrante and Galeazzo Maria Sforza: friendly enemies and hostile allies, Vincent Ilardi; Between Milan and Naples: Ippolita Maria Sforza, duchess of Calabria, Evelyn S.Welch; The politics of protection in late 15th- century Italy: Florence and the failed Sienese exiles’ plot of May 1485, Humfrey Butters; Personalities and pressures: Italian involvement in the French invasion of 1494, Michael Mallett; Court and household in Ferrara, 1494, Trevor Dean; The Romagna campaign of 1494: a significant military encounter, Cecil H. Clough; Francesco II Gonzaga, marquis of Mantua, ’Liberator of Italy’, David Chambers; Political and cultural implications of secret diplomacy: Commynes and Ferrara in the light of unpublished documents, Joël Blanchard; The Roman barons and the French descent into Italy, Christine Shaw; Castles and cannon in the Naples campaign of 1494-95, Simon Pepper; Venice, the French invasion and the Apulian ports, Carol Kidwell; ’Il semble que ce soit là un vrai Paradis terrestre’: Charles VIII’s conquest of Naples and the French Renaissance, A. V. Antonovics; Insititutional and social continuities in the kingdom of Naples between 1443 and 1528, Eleni Sakellariou; Machiavelli, italianità and the French invasion of 1494, David Laven; ’Traitres Lombardi’: the expedition of Charles VIII in the Lombard sources up to the mid-16th century, Paolo Margaroli; Milan in the face of the Italian wars (1494-1535): between the crisis of the state and the affirmation of urban autonomy, Giorgio Chittolini; Appendix: Index of


    David Abulafia

    'The book..provides rich material for a new synthesis, and indeed will nourish scholarship across a far broader front than the expedition itself. Its value as a research tool is enhanced by the substantial appendix containing a catalogue of Ilardi’s microfilm collection of Renaissance diplomatic documents at Yale, which constitutes in its own right a superb guide to the major Italian archives.' Parergon, Vol. 16, No. 1