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Lodovico The Moor

LODOVICO THE MOOR [Lodovico il Moro] (1451-1508), who is famed as patron of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists, had summoned Charles VIII. of France to his aid (1494) and received the ducal crown from the Milanese nobles on the 22nd of October in the same year, but finding his own position endangered by the French policy, he joined the league against Charles VIII., giving his niece Bianca in marriage to Maximilian I. and receiving in return imperial investiture of the duchy. Lodovico was driven from Milan by Louis XII. in 1499, and although reinstated for a short time by the Swiss he was eventually delivered over by them to the French (April 1500) and died a prisoner in the castle of Loches. FRANCESCO, the son of Gian Galeazzo, was also taken to France by Louis XII., became abbot of Marmou tiers, and died in 1511.

The two sons of Lodovico, MASSIMILIANO and FRANCESCO MARIA, took refuge in Germany; the former was restored to the duchy of Milan by the Swiss in 1512, but after the overwhelming defeat of his allies at Marignano (1515) he abandoned his rights to Francis I. for a pension of 30,000 ducats, and died at Paris in 1530; the latter was put in possession of Milan after the defeat of the French at La Bicocca in 1522, subsequently entered the Italian League against the emperor Charles V., was unpopular on account of oppressive taxation, and his death (24th of October 1535) marked the extinction of the direct male line of the Sforza. The duchy went to Charles V.

The dukes of Sforza-Cesarini and the counts of Santa Fiora are descended from collateral branches of the Sforza family.

See J. Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, trans, by S. G. C. Middlemore (London, 1898); J. A. Symonds, Age of the Despots (New York, 1888); W. P. Urquhart, Life and Times of Francesco Sforza (2 yols., Edinburgh, 1852); Mrs Julia Ady, Beatrice d'Este, duchess of Milan, 1475-1497 (London, 1905) ; F. Calvi, Bianca Maria Sforza- Visconti e ffi ambasciatori di Lodovico il Moro (Milan, 1888) ; A. Segre, " Lodovico Sforza, duca di Milano," in R. Accad. d. Sci. Atti, vol. 36 (Turin, 1901). There is a critical bibliography by Otto von Schleinitz in Zeitsc,hrifl fur Biicherfreunde, vol. v. (Bielefeld, 1901). (C. H. HA.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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