The Malatesta of Rimini and the Papal State.
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A detailed history, from the mid-thirteenth to the early sixteenth century, of an Italian state, Rimini, and its ruling family, the Malatesta. The Malatesta are best known, through the works of Jacob Burckhardt, John Addington Symonds and others, for their colourful contribution to the court life and culture of renaissance Italy. There are other sides to their history of at least comparable importance. By their representative status, as princes of middle rank, and by their unusually long tenure of power, the Malatesta are among the families most typical in all its stages of Italy's Age of Despots: in their acquisition and exercise of authority, their political career and personality, in the circumstances of their fall.
At the same time, by their position as papal subjects, in Romagna and the March of Ancona, their progress is inseparable from the parallel history of government in the Papal State, first effectively founded in the same century as Maltesta rule and consolidated, two hundred years later, by the destruction of the Malatesta and other tyrants of central Italy. It is the purpose of this book to investigate in detail the origin, development and character of Maltesta government and the causes of its overthrow, against the background of changing relations between popes and despots, dynastic and papal signoria.
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The Sforza acquired a fiefdom in Latium too. Ubaldini and Ordelaffi were other families who ruled over some of the towns covered in this section for short periods. The Pope asked Cesare, Giovanni's younger brother, to resign from being a cardinal and take the role of man of war of the family.
Pope Alexander deposed all his vicars in Montefeltro and in the nearby coastal towns and replaced them with Cesare. It was the beginning of a long period of sieges and battles.
Cesare managed to conquer by force or deception the whole region, but revolts undermined his power. Eventually Rimini, Cesena and Fano became a direct possession of the Papal State, while the other towns and fortresses covered in this section became part of the Duchy of Urbino which included Gubbio. The last of the da Montefeltro died in with no issue after having adopted Francesco Maria I della Rovere, his sister's child and nephew of the Pope, as his heir.
The della Rovere added the eagle of the da Montefeltro to the rovere sessile oak of their coat of arms to indicate the continuity of the dynasty. The couple did not have issue, because they had lived separately for twenty years after the Duke had discovered her infidelity. He ruled as Vicar of the Pope and without an heir the Duchy was bound to return to the direct government of the Papal State.
He then decided to marry Livia, his very young cousin.
Montefeltro and Malatesta's Lands
Several churches were built in the towns of the Duchy as ex-voto for the long awaited birth of Federico Ubaldo in , six years after the wedding. The name Ubaldo was a tribute to the patron saint of Gubbio to whom the della Rovere were particularly devoted.
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All the efforts to provide a heir to the Duchy had been in vain, because the role of Vicar of the Pope could not be assigned to a woman. Archaeological Museum of Florence: left "Idolino Little Idol di Pesaro", part of the dowry of Vittoria della Rovere: centre XVIth century pedestal with an inscription dictated by Cardinal Pietro Bembo on the assumption that the statue represented Bacchus; right detail of the bronze statue which was found at Pesaro in ; it is a Roman copy of a Vth century BC Greek statue and it was used as a lamp holder Duke Francesco Maria II took care of the future of his granddaughter and he bequeathed her all his personal fortune including the family collection of paintings.
By granting this dowry he was able to convince the Medici to agree to the marriage of Vittoria with the heir to the Grand Duchy.
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