A Carroccio was a four-wheeled war altar, mounting a large vexillum standard, drawn by oxen, used by the medieval republics of Italy. It was a rectangular platform on which the standard of an altar were erected. In battle the Carroccio was surrounded by the bravest warriors in the army as the carroccio guard, it served both as a rallying-point and as the palladium of the city's honour, it was first employed by the Milanese in 1038, played a great part in the wars of the Lombard League against the emperor Frederick Barbarossa. One account states that it first appeared in Milan in 1039, when archbishop Heribert urged the Milanese to construct one, it was afterwards adopted by other cities, first appears on a Florentine battlefield in 1228. The Florentine Carroccio was followed by a smaller cart bearing the Martinella, a bell to ring out military signals; when war was regarded as the Martinella was attached to the door of the Church of Santa Maria in the Mercato Nuovo in Florence and rung to warn both citizens and enemies.
In times of peace the Carroccio was in the keeping of a great family which had distinguished itself by signal services to the republic. The Florentine carroccio was captured by the Ghibelline forces of Castruccio Castracani in the 1325 Battle of Altopascio, after which it was displayed by the victors in a triumph held in the streets of Lucca; the carro della guerra of Milan was described in detail in 1288 by Bonvesin de la Riva in his book on the "Marvels of Milan". Wrapped in scarlet cloth and drawn by three yoke of oxen that were caparisoned in white with the red cross of Saint George, the city's patron, it carried a crucifix so massive it took four men to step it in place, like a ship's mast. Accounts of the Carroccio will be found in most histories of the Italian republics. A full-length book treatment of the subject, with discussion of the symbolic significance of the war-cart for contemporaries and ages, is given by E. Voltmer. Similar cart-mounted standards were to be found elsewhere in Europe, at the Battle of the Standard, employed by the English, at the Battle of Sirmium, employed by the Hungarians.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Carroccio". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5. Cambridge University Press. P. 408d. Alberto da Giussano Battle of Legnano Company of Death Lombard League
Battle of Legnano
The Battle of Legnano was fought on May 29, 1176, between the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, the Lombard League. The Imperial army suffered a major defeat; the Lombard League was formed in 1167 out of the Veronese League. It was a Union of Lombard cities promising each other unity, against Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa; the cities of Lombardy swore their oath of mutual protection at Pontida, a small village in the region. After the disastrous defeat of Pope Alexander III at the Battle of Monte Porzio in May 1167 by the imperial forces, the Lombard League remained as the last legitimate fighting force opposing the emperor and was therefore backed by the pope. In September 1174, Frederick embarked on his fifth Italian campaign, to quash the constant revolts in Lombardy and settle his quarrels with Pope Alexander III. Frederick arrived in Piedmont in late September, his cousin Henry the Lion and his forces were once again not a part of the imperial campaign.
Frederick wanted to take revenge on Susa for its behaviour of 1168, on September 30 his forces captured and burned down the town. His next goal was the town of Asti. In October, Frederick received the promised imperial reinforcements from Bohemia. Upon Frederick's rapid and fierce initial success, Margrave William of Montferrat and the Count of Biandrate abandoned the Lombard League; the siege of Alessandria was an important event in Frederick's fifth campaign as this was a campaign of revenge, with the aim of the total destruction of the Lombard League and the removal of the Pope Alexander III. Frederick's next goal was therefore the Lombard city of Alessandria. Alessandria was founded by Milanese refugees, who fled after Frederick's forces burned and destroyed the city of Milan in 1162 and named after Pope Alexander III; the siege of the "Straw City", called so because all the roofs were covered with straw, began at the end of October. To Frederick's surprise and anger, his forces were not able to take the city so he had to spend the winter in front of its gates.
On Holy Saturday, Frederick's forces managed to enter the city by digging tunnels under its walls, but the attack was repulsed by the Milanese with heavy losses. Alessandria withstood, and, the first victory of the Lombard League. Frederick retreated to Pavia. On April 16, 1175, Frederick and the Lombard League attempted to negotiate peace at the Castle of Montebello, but after long talks, negotiations broke with no result. Frederick traveled to Chiavenna to meet Henry the Lion. Henry the Lion however refused to help his cousin as he thought that Frederick's defeat would allow him to obtain greater power. After Frederick's setback at Alessandria, the failed agreement of Montebello, the refusal of his cousin Henry the Lion to help him, Frederick received some good news and reinforcements from Germany; the German reinforcements crossed the Lukmanier Pass into the Lake Como region in April 1176. Frederick I Barbarossa, Philip I of Heinsberg, Archbishop Wichmann of Magdeburg rode secretly from Pavia along the Ticino River to meet the reinforcements and to lead them to a joint operation with his main forces.
Frederick received 1,000 foot soldiers from 16 different German rulers. At Como, Lombard imperial allies increased the reinforcements to a total of about 3,000 knights and foot soldiers. However, the Imperial army was a cavalry force of German knights. Verbruggen estimates Frederick's Imperial force at Como as 1,000 cavalry; the arrival of the troops of the archbishops of Cologne and Magdeburg gave him another 2,000 knights. A Lombard contingent from Como increased his army still further; the Milanese were prepared for battle. A Carroccio, or a sacred war wagon drawn by oxen, was built and was decorated with the city standard and an altar upon which the cross of Archbishop Aribert of Milan was erected. In 1038, Archbishop Aribert had led the victorious defence of Milan against the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II. According to Sire Raoul, a chronicler from Milan, 900 knights came from Milan and around 550 knights from three other towns, the rest of the League's forces were foot soldiers; the legendary "Company of Death" was a foot soldier unit that, according to chronicles, was led by the in fact fictional Alberto da Giussano, which formed the core of the Lombard infantry.
The Lombard League was led by Guido da Landriano. While Frederick and his reinforcements were on their way back to Pavia to join the main imperial force, the Lombard League placed about 3,500 men near the west bank of the Olona; the infantry, with the Milanese war cart, the carroccio, stood in a hastily fortified position at Borsano. The Lombards knew that Frederick was about to skirt through their area, but did not realize how close he was. At dawn on May 29, the Lombard League sent a reconnaissance unit of 700 horsemen to the Seprio area. At the same time, the emperor had crossed the Olona and was marching south from Cairate, five miles northeast of Busto Arsizio. Here, the battle commenced; the Lombard reconnaissance force and the 300 strong Imperial vanguard clashed. The clash was brief and bloody and with Frederick on the horizon, the Lombard reconnaissance broke off and fled beyond Borsano. At this Frederick and his imperial German army launched a full blooded attack on the Lombard League forces near Borsano – Legnano.
The Lombard cavalry was routed but managed to escape the skirmish, leaving the infantry and carroccio on it
Giussano is a comune in the Province of Monza and Brianza in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 25 kilometres north of Milan. Giussano borders the following municipalities: Inverigo, Arosio, Mariano Comense, Carate Brianza, Verano Brianza, Seregno. Giussano received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree on 22 October 1987. Official website
Guelphs and Ghibellines
The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor in the Italian city-states of central and northern Italy. During the 12th and 13th centuries, rivalry between these two parties formed a important aspect of the internal politics of medieval Italy; the struggle for power between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire had arisen with the Investiture Controversy, which began in 1075 and ended with the Concordat of Worms in 1122. The division between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italy, fuelled by the imperial Great Interregnum, persisted until the 15th century. Guelph is an Italian form of the name of the House of the family of the dukes of Bavaria; the Welfs were said to have used the name as a rallying cry during the Siege of Weinsberg in 1140, in which the rival Hohenstaufens of Swabia used "Wibellingen", the name of a castle today known as Waiblingen, as their cry. The names were introduced to Italy during the reign of Frederick Barbarossa; when Frederick conducted military campaigns in Italy to expand imperial power there, his supporters became known as Ghibellines.
The Lombard League and its allies were defending the liberties of the urban communes against the Emperor's encroachments and became known as Guelphs. The Ghibellines were thus the imperial party. Broadly speaking, Guelphs tended to come from wealthy mercantile families, whereas Ghibellines were predominantly those whose wealth was based on agricultural estates. Guelph cities tended to be in areas where the Emperor was more of a threat to local interests than the Pope, Ghibelline cities tended to be in areas where the enlargement of the Papal States was the more immediate threat; the Lombard League defeated Frederick at the Battle of Legnano in 1176. Frederick recognized the full autonomy of the cities of the Lombard league under his nominal suzerainty; the division developed its own dynamic in the politics of medieval Italy, it persisted long after the direct confrontation between Emperor and Pope had ceased. Smaller cities tended to be Ghibelline if the larger city nearby was Guelph, as Guelph Republic of Florence and Ghibelline Republic of Siena faced off at the Battle of Montaperti, 1260.
Pisa maintained a staunch Ghibelline stance against her fiercest rivals, the Guelph Republic of Genoa and Florence. Adherence to one of the parties could therefore be motivated by regional political reasons. Within cities, party allegiances differed from guild to guild, rione to rione, a city could change party after internal upheaval. Moreover, sometimes traditionally Ghibelline cities allied with the Papacy, while Guelph cities were punished with interdict. Contemporaries did not use the terms Guelph and Ghibellines much until about 1250, only in Tuscany, with the names "church party" and "imperial party" preferred in some areas. At the beginning of the 13th century, Philip of Swabia, a Hohenstaufen, his son-in-law Otto of Brunswick, a Welf, were rivals for the imperial throne. Philip was supported by the Ghibellines as a relative of Frederick I, while Otto was supported by the Guelphs. Philip's heir, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, was an enemy of both Otto and the Papacy, during Frederick's reign the Guelphs became more associated with the Papacy while the Ghibellines became supporters of the Empire, of Frederick in particular.
Frederick II introduced this division to the Crusader states in the Levant during the Sixth Crusade. After the Sixth Crusade, Frederick II quelled a rebellion led by his son Henry in Germany and soon invaded Lombardy with a large Army. Pope Gregory IX failed. Frederick defeated the Lombard League in the Battle of Cortenuova and refused any Peace treaty with any of the Guelph States, he laid siege to Brescia but was forced to lift it. He was excommunicated by the Pope, in response expelled the friars from Lombardy and placed his son Enzo as Imperial vicar in Italy, he annexed Romagna and the Duchy of Spoleto as well as part of the Papal States. In the meantime Frederick marched through Tuscany hoping to capture Rome, however he was forced to retreat, sacking the city of Benevento. Soon however the Ghibelline city of Ferrara fell and Frederick once more marched into Italy capturing Ravenna and Faenza; the Pope called a council but an Imperial-Pisan fleet defeated a Papal fleet carrying Cardinals and prelates from Genoa in the Battle of Giglio and Frederick continued marching towards Rome.
However Pope Gregory soon died and Frederick, seeing the war being directed against the Church and not the Pope, withdrew his forces, releasing two cardinals from Capua, although Frederick did again march against Rome over and over throughout 1242 and 1243. A new Pope Innocent IV was elected. At first Frederick was content with the election; however the new Pope turned against Frederick. When the City of Viterbo rebelled, the pope backed the Guelphs. Frederick marched to Italy and besieged Viterbo; the Pope signed a Peace treaty with the Emperor. However, after the Emperor left the Cardinal Raniero Capocci, as the leader of Viterbo, had the garrison massacred; the Pope made another treaty but he broke it and continued to back the Guelphs, supporting Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia as King of the Romans and soon plo
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Lega Nord, whose complete name is Lega Nord per l'Indipendenza della Padania, is a right-wing federalist political party in Italy. In the run-up of the 2018 general election, the party was rebranded as Lega without changing its official name in the party's statute; the party was nonetheless referred to only as "Lega" before the rebranding. The LN is often referred to as Carroccio by the Italian media; the LN was established in 1991 as a federation of regional parties of northern and north-central Italy, notably including Liga Veneta, Lega Lombarda, Piemont Autonomista, Uniun Ligure, Lega Emiliano-Romagnola and Alleanza Toscana. The party's founder was Umberto Bossi, federal secretary from 1991 to 2012. After an internal crisis and struggle, the LN was led by Roberto Maroni. In 2013, Matteo Salvini became secretary. Giancarlo Giorgetti and Lorenzo Fontana are deputy secretaries. Leading members include Attilio Fontana, Luca Zaia, Massimiliano Fedriga, Maurizio Fugatti and Roberto Calderoli. Former leading members include Roberto Cota, Roberto Castelli, Francesco Speroni, Gian Paolo Gobbo, Stefano Stefani, Flavio Tosi, Giancarlo Pagliarini, Gipo Farassino, Marco Formentini, Domenico Comino, Vito Gnutti, Fabrizio Comencini, Irene Pivetti, Franco Rocchetta and Gianfranco Miglio.
The LN advocates the transformation of Italy into a federal state, fiscal federalism and greater regional autonomy for Northern regions. At times, the party has advocated the secession of the North, referred to by party members as "Padania" and Padanian nationalism. However, under Salvini the party has to some extent embraced Italian nationalism and emphasised Euroscepticism, opposition to immigration and other "populist" policies while forming an alliance with right-wing populist parties such as France's National Front, the Netherlands' Party for Freedom and the Freedom Party of Austria at the European level. Salvini established a sister party in southern Italy named Us with Salvini and for the 2018 general election restyled the party's symbol and name, dropping the word "Nord" and introducing "Salvini Premier". All these changes have been harshly criticised by Bossi and the Padanist old guard, which now operates from a minority position within the party. However, under Salvini, the League has reached its highest popularity, both in the North and the rest of Italy.
Furthermore, in northern regions the party still has a strong autonomist outlook in Veneto where Venetian nationalism is stronger than ever. The League maintains its power base in the North, where it gets by far most of its support. In the 2018 general election, the League was the third-largest party behind the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party. In the most recent regional elections, the LN was the largest party in Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Abruzzo, the second-largest in Aosta Valley, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Basilicata, the third-largest in Liguria, Marche and South Tyrol, the fourth-largest in Piedmont and the fifth-largest in Molise. At the 1983 general election, Liga Veneta elected Achille Tramarin. At the 1987 general election, another regional party, Lega Lombarda gained national prominence when its leader Umberto Bossi was elected to the Senate; the two parties, along with other regionalist outfits, ran as Alleanza Nord in the 1989 European Parliament election, gaining 1.8% of the vote.
Lega Nord, first launched as an upgrade of Alleanza Nord in December 1989, was transformed into a party in February 1991 through the merger of various regional parties, notably including Lega Lombarda and Liga Veneta. These continue to exist as "national sections" of the federal party, which presents itself in regional and local contests as Lega Lombarda–Lega Nord, Liga Veneta–Lega Nord, Lega Nord–Piemont and so on; the League exploited resentment against Rome's centralism and the Italian government, common in northern Italy as many Northerners felt that the government wasted resources collected from Northerners' taxes. Cultural influences from bordering countries in the North and resentment against illegal immigrants were exploited; the party's electoral successes began at a time when public disillusionment with the established political parties was at its height. The Tangentopoli corruption scandals, which invested most of the established parties, were unveiled from 1992 on. However, contrary to what many pundits observed at the beginning of the 1990s, Lega Nord became a stable political force and it is now one of the oldest parties among those represented in the Italian Parliament.
Lega Nord's first electoral breakthrough was at the 1990 regional elections, but it was with the 1992 ge
The Lombard League was a medieval alliance formed in 1167, supported by the Pope, to counter the attempts by the Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperors to assert influence over the Kingdom of Italy as a part of the Holy Roman Empire. At its apex, it included most of the cities of Northern Italy. With the death of the third and last Hohenstaufen emperor, Frederick II, in 1250, it became obsolete and was disbanded; the association succeeded the Veronese League, established in 1164 by Verona, Padua and the Republic of Venice, after Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa had claimed direct Imperial control over Italy at the 1158 Diet of Roncaglia and began to replace the Podestà magistrates by his own commissioners. It was backed by Pope Alexander III, who wished to see Frederick's power in Italy decline. Formed at Pontida on 1 December 1167, the Lombard League included—beside Verona, Padua and Venice—cities like Crema, Mantua, Bergamo, Milan, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Vercelli, Parma and some lords, such as the Marquis Malaspina and Ezzelino da Romano.
Though not a declared separatist movement, the League challenged the emperor's claim to power. Frederick I strived against the cities Milan, occupied and devastated in 1162, he was no longer able to play off the cities against each other. At the Battle of Legnano on 29 May 1176, the emperor's army was defeated; the Treaty of Venice, which took place in 1177, established a six-year truce from August, 1178 to 1183, when in the Peace of Constance a compromise was found where after the Italian cities agreed to remain loyal to the Holy Roman Empire but retained local jurisdiction and droit de régale over their territories. Among the League's members, now favoured by the emperor, began to take a special position, which sparked conflicts with the citizens of Cremona; the Lombard League was renewed several times and upon the death of Frederick's son Emperor Henry VI in 1197 once again gained prestige, while Henry's minor son Frederick II, elected King of the Romans, had to fight for the Imperial throne against his Welf rival Otto IV.
In 1226 Frederick, sole king since 1218 and emperor since 1220, aimed to convene the Princes in Italy in order to prepare the Sixth Crusade. The efforts of Emperor Frederick II to gain greater power in Italy were aborted by the cities, which earned the League an Imperial ban; the emperor's measures included the taking of Vicenza and his victory in the 1237 Battle of Cortenuova which established the reputation of the Emperor as a skillful strategist. He misjudged his strength, rejecting all Milanese peace overtures and insisting on unconditional surrender, it was a moment of grave historic importance, when Frederick's hatred coloured his judgment and blocked all possibilities of a peaceful settlement. Milan and five other cities withstood his attacks, in October 1238 he had to unsuccessfully raise the siege of Brescia; the Lombard League once again receiving papal support by Pope Gregory IX, who excommunicated Frederick II in 1239, countered the emperor's efforts. During the 1248 Siege of Parma, the Imperial camp was assaulted and taken, in the ensuing battle the Imperial side was routed.
Frederick II lost the Imperial treasure and with it any hope of maintaining the impetus of his struggle against the rebellious communes and against the pope. The League was dissolved in 1250. Under his successors the Empire exerted much less influence on Italian politics. In addition of being a military alliance, the Lombard League was one of the first examples of confederal system in the world of communes. Indeed, the League had a distinct council of its members, called Universitas, consisting of representatives appointed by individual municipalities, which voted by majority in various fields, powers that grew more and more with the years, so that the university obtained regulatory and judicial power, a system comparable to that of a present-day republic. In the first period of the League the communes had little to do with confederal affairs, the members of the Universitas were independent. In addition, the League abolished the duties,with the creation of a customs union. Pontida's Oath Stadtrecht Städtebund Guelphs and Ghibellines Old Swiss Confederacy Lusatian League Décapole Hanseatic League Ariberto da Intimiano Gianluca Raccagni, The Lombard League, Oxford University Press 2010.
"Lombard League." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 6 Apr 2008 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9048806>. G. Fasoli,"La Lega Lombarda --Antecedenti,formazione, struttura," Problema des 12. Jahrhunderts, Vortraege und Forchungegen, 12, 1965–67, pp. 143–160. "Lombard League". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911