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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/345

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MILAN


299


MILAN


came a Roman municipium. In 45 B. c. it obtained Roman citizenship, and under the emperors it had famous schools and was a flourishing city, the Emperor Adrian having made it the seat of the prcrfeclus Liguria: and Constantine, of tlie vicarius Italur. After a. d. 296 it was several times the capital of the emperors of the West (Maximian Herculius, Valentinian I, his son Honorius, and later, of Ricimer and of Odoacer) . The edict of toleration of Constantine and Licinius (313) was agreed on and published at Milan. In 452 the town was besieged by Attila, and in 53S destroyed by Uraia, a nephew of Vitiges, King of the Goths, with a loss, according to Procopius, of 300,000 men. Per- chance for this reason the Lombard kings did not there- after select Milan for their capital, though Bertarius did so during the brief division of the kingdom be- tween the sons of (iundobad (661). After Charle- magne, Milan was the seat of counts, whose authority however, was overshadowed by the prestige of the archbishops, foremost among whom was Ansperto da Biassono (S69-S1), who fortified the town and adorned it with beautiful buildings. In 896-97 it endured a severe siege by the Hungarians, and a century later Otto II transferred the title of count to the arch- bishops. The most distinguished of these was Ari- berto (1018—15), who induced Conrad II to take the crown of Italy. With the assistance of the people he made war on Pavia and Lodi (1027), on which account he incurred the enmity of the greater feudal lords whom he exiled, but who, leagued together, defeated the archbishop at Campo Malo (1035), and return- ing to the city, called Conrad to their assistance; the latter, however, besieged Milan in vain (1037). Though the struggle continued, a noble, Lanzano, and no longer Ariberto, headed the popular party. Finally, nobles and burghers entered into compacts, and this intermingling of the classes brought the commune into existence. At the same time studies, the industries (especially wool), and commerce flourished.

As the power of the burghers grew, that of the arch- bishops waned, and with it the imperial authority which the prelate represented, so that Milan in 1110, refused to pay tribute to Henry V, who had come into Italy. In 1116 the public authority pa.ssed entirely into the hands of consuls elected by the people. Milan made war on cities faithful to the empire: Pavia, Cre- mona, Lodi (destroyed 1111), and Como (destroyed 1127). Frederick Barbarossa wished to remedy these evils, and in 115S obliged Milan to swear allegiance to him and to receive an imperial podesta. This officer was soon clriven from the city, but in 1162 after a long siege, Milan was again reduced to obedience, and in part destroyed. The battle of Legnano (1176) se- cured their rights to the Lombard cities, and to Milan its consular government ; but on many occasions the authority of a foreign podesta was substituted for the native consuls. The long period of peace was favour- able to agriculture (greatly furthered by the Cister- cians), also to the wool and the silk industries, in the former of which, throughout Milanese territory, 60,000 men were employed, while the silk industry supported 40,000 persons. The struggle against the empire was renewed under Frederick II, who ignored the rights won at the peace of Constance. A second Lombard League was formed, which Frederick defeated at Cortenuova, though he did not succeed in his ulterior purpose. Thereafter Milan entered into further wars with Ghi- belline cities, especially with Pavia. The nobility remained favourable to Frederick and to his successors, and this caused internal strife in Milan, and the crea- tion of a new office, that of capitano del popolo. The fir-jt to hold it was Pagano della Torre, elected in 1240 by the Credenza di San Ambrogio, the executive branch of the city government, compo.sed of twelve members representative of the three orders of citizens. The legislative power was exercised by the General Council, the number of whose members was variable.


The capitano del popolo was hated by the nobles, and when Pagano della Torre was succeeded (1247) by his nephew Marlino, vmder the title of anziano della Cre- denza, the nobility sought the assistance of Ezzelino da Romano; but Martino overcame the resistance of the nobles, and also defeated Ezzelino, introduced reforms into the public administration, and distributed the public offices with equity. A new civil war was pre- vented by the "peace of St. Ambrose" (1258), at which the equality of nobles and people was agreed on. As conflicts continued, Martino called to his as- sistance Oberto Pelavicino, a well-known soldier with whose help Martino had finally vanquished Ezzelino da Romano. In 1263 Filippo, brother of Martino, was real lord of Milan, though he carefully avoided any such title, and as other cities — Como, Lodi, Novara, Ver- celli, also La Valtellina, were subject to Milan, he may be called the founder of the duchy. His nephew Napoleone, under the title of anziano del popoln, exer- cised supreme power (1265-77), and in his later years was imperial vicar for Italy, notwithstanding the fact that he was a Guelph. The archbishop Ottone Visconti, who since 1262 had been prevented from taking possession of his see, organized the nobles exiled from Milan, and after several battles, succeeded in captur- ing Napoleone and his relatives, whom he locked up in cages at Como.

The archbishop then caused him.self to be pro- claimed perpetual lord, thus putting an end to the Republic of Milan and founding the power of the Vis- conti, which aimed at the conquest of the entire penin- sula, though its real domain was limited by the Alps, the river Sesia, and the Po, while the east extended as far as Brescia, conquered in 1337. From 1302 to 1311, the della Torre were again in power, Guido of that family having driven Matteo I Visconti from Milan. When the latter returned, he was made imperial vicar by Henry VII, and devoted himself to driving the leaders of the Guelph party from the Lombard cities. On this account John XXII declared war, and sent Cardinal Bertrand du Poyet against Matteo. Galeazzo, Matteo's son, continued the w'ar against the legate and the Guelphs, and adhered to the party of Louis of Bavaria. His son Azzo (1329-59) contributed to the ruin of the Scaligers, obtained Brescia, and was suc- ceeded by his sons Luchino (1339-49), famous for the refinement of his cruelty, and Giovanni II (1349-54), .■\rchbishop of Milan, who obtained possession of Genoa antl Bologna, though unable to hold either of these towns, or the cities of Asti, Parma, and Alexandria. At the death of Giovanni, Milan was divided between three brothers, his nephews: Matteo II, who died in 1355; Galeazzo 11(1354-78), and Bernabo (1354-85) all patrons of literature and of the arts, but odious through their cruelty, misgovernment, and exorbitant taxes. Accordingly, a strong league was formed against them in 1.367, by Pope Urban V, Charles IV, the towns of Florence, Ferrara, Mantua, and others, but it was prevented, by fortuitous circumstances, from destroying the power of the Visconti. Galeazzo was succeeded by his son Giovanni Galeazzo, who was forced into war, with his uncle Bernabo, and having taken him in ambush, cast him into prison, where he died in 1 385. The state of the Visconti was tlnis united again and in 1395. Giovanni Galeazzo received the title of duke. In 1387 he had conquered Verona and Vi- cenza. During his reign the duchy of Milan was at the height of its power, and contained the following cities: Pavia, Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Como, Novara, Vercelli, Alexandria, Valenza, Tortona, Piacenza, Parma, Reggio, Verona, Vicenza, Belluno, Pi.sa, Siena, and Perugia. Giovanni Galeazzowaseminent.bothfor good and evil ; the Carthusian monastery of Pavia is a witness of his religious sentiments and of his taste for the arts._ He died in 1402, leaving two sons, minors, Giovanni Maria and Filippo Maria. Duritig their minority, many conquered possessions were lost; but,