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Petrucci, Pandolfo

PETRUCCI, PANDOLFO (d. 1512), tyrant of Siena, spent the greater part of his youth in exile, on account of the civil strife by which his native town of Siena was torn; but on the triumph of the party of the Noveschi (those who supported the Council of Nine) in 1487 he was able to return home. On the death of his brother Giacopo, one of the most powerful men in the city, Pandolfo succeeded to all the latter's offices and emoluments (1497), thus becoming in fact if not in name master of Siena. By his marriage with Aurelia, daughter of Nicola Borghese, another very influential citizen, he still further strengthened his authority. But he soon began to abuse his power by selling public offices to the highest bidders, or conferring them on his followers. A plot was made to murder him, but he discovered the conspiracy in time, and his own father-in-law, who had been leader of the movement, was put to death. In 1498 he prevented the outbreak of war with Florence over the possession of Montepulciano, which had been a bone of contention between the two cities for over a hundred years. His attitude towards Cesare Borgia was exceedingly astute; at first he assisted him, and obtained from him with the favour of the French king the cession of Piombino; but having subsequently aroused the suspicions of Borgia, the latter attempted to suppress Petrucci by inviting him to the fatal meeting of SenigaUia. The Sienese tyrant, however, did not fall into the trap, and although Borgia in 1502 obliged him to quit Siena, he returned two months later, more powerful than before. Petrucci supported Pisa in the war against Florence, but eventually, through the intervention of the pope and of the king of Spain, he made peace with the latter city, to which he gave back Montepulciano in 1512. As a reward for this action Pope Julius II. created his nephew cardinal. During his last days Petrucci abdicated his authority in favour of his son Borghese. He died at San Quirico di Osenna on the 21st of May 1512.

See Pecci, Memorie storico-critiche di Siena (Siena, 1755) ; U. G. Mondolfo, P. Petrucci signore di Siena (Siena, 1899).

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

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