On Patreon I am releasing a four part set of episodes on the Italian Wars (1494-1559) and the Battle of Pavia (1525).
The first episode is available to all here
The full set of episodes is available to patrons of the History of Europe, Key Battles podcast
King Charles VIII of France, following his conquest of Naples, heads back through Italy to France but is attacked on his way back by a combined Venetian-Milanese army. The two sides meet near the village of Fornovo, near Parma. Although ultimately a failure, Charles’ expeditions had major repercussions for it triggered the decades long Italian Wars (1494-1559), when the Italian peninsula became a battleground between foreign powers. Pictured – ‘The Madonna of the Victory’, by Andrea Mantegna (1496), commissioned by Francesco Gonzaga, ruler of Mantua
Lorenzo il Magnifico, ruler of Florence 1469-1492. In the so-called Pazzi Conspiracy Pope Sixtus IV organises an assassination attempt on Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano. Lorenzo survives and goes on to help negotiate a peace treaty between the five great powers of Italy. For his influence and diplomatic skills he becomes known as ‘the needle of the Italian compass’. Lorenzo also sponsored great artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo da Vinci. However, towards the end of his reign, the people of Florence grow increasingly resentful about economic disruptions and turn to the radical preacher Savonarola
Renaissance Florence and Medici
Rise of the Medici dynasty in Florence. Renaissance Italy sees a remarkable flourishing of art and literature, with such writers as Dante, Bocaccio and Petrarch, the architects Brunelleschi and Michelozzo, and the artists Giotto and Pisano. Florence creates a republican system of government, although imperfect, democratic for its time. Cosimo de Medici, a skilled diplomat, rises to power in Florence and helps organise the Peace of Lodi, which brings a period of relative peace and stability to the Italian peninsula