Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 235 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GONZAGA, an Italian princely family named after the town where it probably had its origin. Its known history begins with the 13th century, when Luigi I. (1267—136o), after fierce struggles supplanted his brother-in-law Rinaldo (nicknamed Passerino) Bonacolsi as lord of Mantua in August 1328, with the title of captain-general, and afterwards of vicar-general of the empire, adding the designation of count of Mirandola and Concordia, which fief the Gonzagas held from 1328 to 1354. In July 1335 his son Guido, with the help of Filippino and Feltrino Gonzaga, wrested Reggio from the Scaligeri and held it until 1371. Luigi was succeeded by Guido (d. 1369); the latter's son Luigi II. came next in succession (d. 1382), and then Giovan Francesco I. (d. 1407), who, although at one time allied with the treacherous Gian Galeazzo Visconti, incurred the latter's enmity and all but lost his estates and his life in consequence; eventually he joined the Florentines and Bolognese, enemies of Visconti. He promoted commerce and wisely developed the prosperity of his dominions. His son Giovan Francesco II. (d. 1444) succeeded him under the regency of his uncle Carlo Malatesta and the protection of the Venetians. He became a famous general, and was rewarded for his services to the emperor Sigismund with the title of
End of Article: GONZAGA

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