Giovanni II Bentivoglio (12 February 1443 –15 February 1508) was an Italian nobleman who ruled as tyrant of Bologna from 1463 until 1506. He had no formal position, but held power as the city's "first citizen." The Bentivoglio family ruled over Bologna from 1443, and repeatedly attempted to consolidate their hold of the Signoria of the city.
A tyrant, in the modern English-language usage of the word, is an absolute ruler unrestrained by law, or one who has usurped legitimate sovereignty. Often portrayed as cruel, tyrants may defend their position by oppressive means. The original Greek term, however, merely meant an authoritarian sovereign without reference to character, bearing no pejorative connotation during the Archaic and early Classical periods. However, Plato, the Greek philosopher, clearly saw tyrannos as a negative word, and on account of the decisive influence of philosophy on politics, its negative connotations only increased, continuing into the Hellenistic period.
Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, at the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million people.
A signoria was the governing authority in many of the Italian city states during the medieval and renaissance periods.
Born in Bologna, Giovanni II was the son of Annibale I Bentivoglio, then chief magistrate of the commune, and Donnina Visconti. He was a child when his father was murdered by his rival Battista Canneschi in June 1445.
Annibale I Bentivoglio was a famous member of the Bolognese Bentivoglio family and the absolute ruler of the Italian city of Bologna from 1443 until his death.
Annibale I was succeeded in Bologna by Sante I, of uncertain paternity and origin, but alleged to be a son of Ercole Bentivoglio, a cousin of Annibale I. Originally an apprentice of the wool guild of Florence, Sante ruled as signore of Bologna from 1443. When Sante died in 1463, Giovanni II Bentivoglio successfully made himself lord of the commune, although it was nominally a fief of the church under a papal legate.On 2 May 1464 he married Sante's widow Ginevra Sforza. In 1464 he obtained by Pope Paul II the privilege to be considered perpetual head of the city's Senate.
A guild is an association of artisans or merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as a confraternities of tradesmen. They were organized in a manner something between a professional association, a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society. They often depended on grants of letters patent from a monarch or other authority to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls constructed and used as guild meeting-places. Guild members found guilty of cheating on the public would be fined or banned from the guild.
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.
Ginevra Sforza was the wife and counselor of Giovanni II Bentivoglio, lord of Bologna.
Machiavelli writes that Annibale, "having been murdered by the Canneschi, who had conspired against him, not one of his family survived but Messer Giovanni, who was in childhood: immediately after his assassination the people rose and murdered all the Canneschi. This sprung from the popular goodwill which the house of Bentivoglio enjoyed in those days in Bologna; which was so great that, although none remained there after the death of Annibale who were able to rule the state, the Bolognese, having information that there was one of the Bentivoglio family in Florence, who up to that time had been considered the son of a blacksmith [Sante], sent to Florence for him and gave him the government of their city, and it was ruled by him until Messer Giovanni came in due course to the government." ( The Prince , Chapter XIX)
The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus. However, the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. This was done with the permission of the Medici pope Clement VII, but "long before then, in fact since the first appearance of The Prince in manuscript, controversy had swirled about his writings".
In order to secure the support of the other powerful families of Italy, Giovanni fought personally as condottiero. In 1467 he was at the service of Florence, Milan and Naples against Bartolomeo Colleoni, and in 1471 again for Milan, but his first military deeds occurred only in 1477 when he besieged Faenza for the Sforza. In 1482, during the War of Ferrara, he helped Ercole d'Este against Pope Sixtus IV and Venice. He later fought in small struggles for the Kingdom of Naples, but his personal interventions were always limited by the Bolognese institutions.
Bartolomeo Colleoni was an Italian condottiero, who became captain-general of the Republic of Venice. Colleoni "gained reputation as the foremost tactician and disciplinarian of the 15th century". He is also credited with having refurbished the Roman baths at Trescore Balneario.
Faenza is an Italian city and comune, in the province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, situated 50 kilometres southeast of Bologna.
The War of Ferrara was fought in 1482–1484 between Ercole I d'Este, duke of Ferrara, and the Papal forces mustered by Ercole's personal nemesis, Pope Sixtus IV and his Venetian allies. Hostilities ended with the Treaty of Bagnolo, signed on 7 August 1484.
In 1488, his daughter Francesca poisoned her own husband, Galeotto Manfredi, ruler of Faenza. The latter's citizens considered the feat as an occult move to conquer the city, and rebelled. When Giovanni reached the city to suppress the revolt, he was captured. He was freed only through the intercession of Lorenzo de' Medici. In the same year he was made Capitano Generale (Chief of Staff) of the Milanese army, but this was an almost honorific position as Giovanni left the command duties to his sons. In 1488 Giovanni had also to crush a plot against him, led by the Malvezzi family, whose members were almost all hanged or exiled. In 1501, the same fate struck the Marescottis.
Galeotto Manfredi was an Italian condottiero and lord of Faenza.
Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman, de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic and the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture in Italy. Also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a magnate, diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets. As a patron, he is best known for his sponsorship of artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo. He held the balance of power within the Italic League, an alliance of states that stabilized political conditions on the Italian peninsula for decades, and his life coincided with the mature phase of the Italian Renaissance and the Golden Age of Florence. The Peace of Lodi of 1454 that he helped maintain among the various Italian states collapsed with his death. He is buried in the Medici Chapel in Florence.
Bentivoglio had managed to resist the expansionist designs of Cesare Borgia, but on 7 October 1506 Pope Julius II issued a bull deposing and excommunicating Bentivoglio and placing the city under interdict. When the papal troops, along with a contingent sent by Louis XII of France, marched against Bologna, Bentivoglio and his family fled. Julius II entered the city triumphantly on 10 November.
Giovanni moved first to Busseto, host of the Pallavicino family. An attempt led by his sons Annibale II and Ermes to reconquer Bologna in 1507 failed. The Bolognese subsequently rioted against his possessions in the city, destroying the palace.
Excommunicated, Giovanni ended his days as prisoner of Louis XII in Milan. He died in 1508 in the Castello Sforzesco of that city.
Giovanni Bentivoglio is said to have consulted in 1504 the famous astrologer Luca Gaurico about his and his sons' destiny. Displeased with Gaurico's negative prophecy, Bentivoglio subjected him to the torture of mancuerda , and exiled him from Bologna.
Giovanni II Bentivoglio ruled with a stern sway for nearly half a century,maintaining a splendid court and beautifying Bologna, in particular developing its waterways. The misery of the city's poor, however, stood in stark contrast to the splendor of the city and its festivities.
Among the projects he commissioned were the frescoes depicting the life of Saint Cecilia in the Oratorio di Santa Cecilia through the archway of San Giacomo. These frescoes were painted by artists living in the city at the time: Francesco Francia, Lorenzo Costa the Elder and Amico Aspertini. Lorenzo Costa's Bentivoglio Altarpiece, housed in the Bentivoglio Chapel in the church of San Giacomo Maggiore, was commissioned by Giovanni Bentivoglio as a votive offering of thanks for the family's escape from an attempted massacre by the Malvezzi family. Bentivoglio also ordered the Palazzo Bentivoglio (City Hall) to be built by the architect G. Nadi, starting in 1498. The Bolognese architect Aristotile Fioravanti, who later settled in Russia, created the plans for the reconstruction of the Palazzo del Podestà, but the reconstruction was not carried out by Bentivoglio until 1484–94.
On 2 May 1464 Giovanni married Ginevra Sforza (1440–1507), the illegitimate daughter of Alessandro Sforza, Lord of Pesaro and the widow of his cousin and predecessor, Sante Bentivoglio.There was probably a relationship between them before their marriage. She was, among other things, his counselor. Ginevra gave her husband sixteen children, of whom five died in infancy. The others were:
Giovanni also had another daughter (whether illegitimate or not, it is unknown), Camilla Bentivoglio, whose mother is said to be a 'Lucrezia D'Este'.Whether this 'Lucrezia' was the same as his daughter-in-law, daughter of Ercole I d'Este, is a matter of speculation. Camilla went on to marry Pirro Gonzaga, a scion of the House of Gonzaga (a male line grandson of Ludovico III Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua). It is unknown how many children she had, but 3 of them are known:
Through Isabel and Carlos, Camilla and her father Giovanni are ancestors of Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and his first cousin, King Philippe of Belgium.
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici , was the de facto ruler of Florence from 1464 to 1469, during the Italian Renaissance.
Bentivoglio was an Italian family that became the de facto rulers of Bologna and responsible for giving the city its political autonomy during the Renaissance., althrought their rule never survived a century.
Giovanni Sforza d'Aragona was an Italian condottiero, lord of Pesaro and Gradara from 1483 until his death. He is best known as the first husband of Lucrezia Borgia. Their marriage was annulled on claims of his impotence in March 1497.
Ermes Bentivoglio (1475–1513) was an Italian condottiero, the son of Giovanni II Bentivoglio, lord of Bologna, and Ginevra Sforza, daughter of Alessandro Sforza, lord of Pesaro.
Alessandro Sforza was an Italian condottiero and lord of Pesaro, the first of the Pesaro line of the Sforza family.
Niccolò III d'Este was Marquess of Ferrara from 1393 until his death. He was also a condottiero.
Ercole I d'Este, KG was Duke of Ferrara from 1471 until 1505. He was a member of the House of Este. He was nicknamed North Wind and The Diamond.
Annibale II Bentivoglio was an Italian condottiero, who was shortly lord of Bologna in 1511–1512. He was the last member of his family to hold power in the city. He was the son of Giovanni II Bentivoglio.
Ercole de' Roberti, also known as Ercole Ferrarese or Ercole da Ferrara, was an Italian artist of the Early Renaissance and the School of Ferrara. He was profiled in Vasari's Le Vite delle più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori. The son of the doorkeeper at the Este castle, Ercole later held the position of court artist for the Este family in Ferrara. According to Vasari:
Ercole had an extraordinary love of wine, and his frequent drunkenness did much to shorten his life, which he had enjoyed without any accident up to the age of forty, when he was smitten one day by apoplexy, which made an end of him in a short time.
Giovanni Sabadino degli Arienti was an Italian humanist, author, poet and prose writer.
Sante I Bentivoglio was an Italian nobleman who ruled as tyrant or de facto prince of Bologna from 1445 to 1462.
The Bentivoglio Altarpiece is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Lorenzo Costa the Elder, dating to August 1488. It is displayed in the Bentivoglio Chapel of the church of San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna, Italy.
Margaret of Bavaria (1442–1479), was a Marchioness consort of Mantua, married in 1463 to Federico I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua. She was the daughter of Albert III, Duke of Bavaria and Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen-Einbeck. The marriage between Margaret and Frederico helped trading relations between the two states. Margaret was hunch-backed and was not able to speak or read Italian when she arrived, but the relationship with Frederico was described as happy. The court was dominated by her mother-in-law, but Margaret avoided all conflicts. During his war against Aragon, Frederico appointed Margaret as regent in his absence during the spring and summer of 1479. She died during her reign.
The Battle of Riccardina or Battle of Molinella, fought on July 25, 1467, in Molinella, was one of the most important battles of the 15th century in Italy.
The original Palazzo Bentivoglio was a palace in Bologna, destroyed by the mob in 1507. A second palace by the same name was built nearby, and is still standing.
Bentivoglio is an Italian surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Galeotto I Pico della Mirandola was an Italian condottieri and nobleman, Lord of Mirandola and Count of Concordia.