Ars Bellica


The reshaping of the political-institutional structures, characteristic of the central Middle Ages, it was so deep that lead to a rehash of the even more spatial minute nets, which in the present state of the studies, is virtually impossible to delineate. This happened through a stately aspect of development, parallel processing in the dynastic sense of the dignity of count or marquis, by virtue of the appropriation of public rights by the lords land. The power void caused locally by the failure of royal authority was occupied by the lords of the castle, landowners, ecclesiastical entities not subject, thanks to royal concession, to the ordinary jurisdiction of civil servants. Imitating the public power, they took possession of their own powers, including to impose on peasants their own "protection" and the powers of command ("banno"), which over time had come accumulating. An essential feature of the lords day "banno" was their territoriality: the lord of banno, or local (= loci dominus "lord of the place") that was also the territorial lord of a village, the exercise of judicial authority that took place within geographically defined areas, which went beyond the assets of "curtis" possibly in his possession and also extended on rural landowners who were not economically dependent. Heart and instrument of this type of lordship was often a castle: the "focal point", as has been mentioned, around which he had come by imposing, defining and shaping, until the "boundaries" of the influence ruled by another man the coercive power of the "dominus loci".
The paths followed in the political-territorial reorganization of central and northern Europe are of great interest, compared to the general European context, the importance of the Italian peninsula from the communal movement, which developed in the last years of the eleventh century: importance that is best understood if we consider two special characteristics of Italian urban communes. First, in contrast to those beyond the Alps, Italian ordinary citizens were expression mostly of the middle class only, a political composite class, which drew simultaneously from both merchant families and military aristocracy. Second, while in the rest of Europe the territorial expansion of cities was just over the city walls, the urban communes in Italy - veritable city-state - is due to the construction of large territorial domination. To characterize them was short, from this point of view, the conquest of their nearby countryside, which meant mostly overlap with the other local community centers and the children. The great military dynasties survived in marginal areas.
All this explains why, as we mentioned, north-central Italy between the thirteenth and fourteenth century appears as a complicated net of domination with different origin, created either by the communes and urban lordships that there were overlapping (such as Visconti Milan, the Camino in Treviso, the Este in Ferrara, Modena and Reggio), both from the major dynasties and the Committees marquis (Counts of Savoy, marquis of Saluzzo and Monferrato) that were connected to the traditions of public character of the Carolingian era. The expansion of the main political-territorial construction, Savoy and Milan, Florence and Venice in particular, resulted in the mid-fifteenth century - that is, at the time of the Peace of Lodi (1454) - in a more balanced structure on a regional scale.


Battles in Brief

Battle of Sant'Egidio

July 12, 1416

The Battle of Sant'Egidio, in addition to designating the new lord of Perugia was the definitive consecration of one of the most famous Italians commanders of the fifteenth century: Braccio da Montone.

Battles in Brief

Battle of L'Aquila

June 2, 1424

The extreme confidence and his reputation of invincibility will lead Braccio da Montone not only to a crushing defeat near L'Aquila, by the hands of his former pupil, Jacopo Caldora, but also to the loss of his own life. The frieze of the best Italian captain detained until then by Braccio ended with this battle: it was the time of Jacopo Caldora.

Battles in Brief

Battle of Caravaggio

September 15, 1448

The siege of Caravaggio is a real break point in the pluriannual conflict between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan. With this victory, the freedom of Milan was saved due to the fact that the Venetian army will need some years to recover from the crushing defeat of its forces under the command of Michael Attendolo.

Battles in Brief

Battle of Campomorto

August 21, 1482

The papal army, led by Roberto Malatesta, defeats one of the swampy marshes of Campomorto, near Aprilia, the forces of the Kingdom of Naples, commanded by the Duke of Calabria. The papal infantry of XV cen., among the best in Europe, resulted decisive in one of the bloodiest Italian battles of the era.

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