Republic of Siena
The Republic of Siena was a historic state consisting of the city of Siena and its surrounding territory in Tuscany, central Italy. It existed for over four hundred years, from 1125 to 1555. In the Italian War of 1551–59 the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence in alliance with the Spanish crown. After 18 months of resistance, the Republic of Siena surrendered to the Spanish Empire on 21 April 1555, marking the end of the republic; the oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their line to the Lombards' surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. At this point, the city was inundated with a swarm of Frankish overseers who married into the existing Sienese nobility and left a legacy that can be seen in the abbeys they founded throughout Sienese territory. Feudal power waned however, by the death of Countess Matilda in 1115 the border territory of the Mark of Tuscia, under the control of her family, the Canossa, broke up into several autonomous regions. Siena prospered as a city-state, becoming a major centre of money lending and an important player in the wool trade.
It was governed at first directly by its bishop, but episcopal power declined during the 12th century. The bishop was forced to concede a greater say in the running of the city to the nobility in exchange for their help during a territorial dispute with Arezzo, this started a process which culminated in 1167 when the commune of Siena declared its independence from episcopal control. By 1179, it had a written constitution. In 1286 the Nova government was established to rule Siena; the Nova was backed by the Noveschi, a political party formed by the noble families that sat on the council. The Noveschi Party grew to include not only include members of the Nova council, but many prominent noble families of the city. Under the guide of the Nova and the Noveschi, Siena grew in both economic and militaristic dominance. In the 13th century, Siena was predominantly Ghibelline, in opposition to Florence's Guelph position. On 4 September 1260 the Sienese Ghibellines, supported by the forces of King Manfred of Sicily, defeated the Florentine Guelphs in the Battle of Montaperti.
Before the battle, the Sienese army of around 20,000 faced a much larger Florentine army of around 33,000. Prior to the battle, the entire city was dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the man given command of Siena for the duration of the war, Bonaguida Lucari, walked barefoot and bareheaded, a halter around his neck, to the Siena Cathedral. Leading a procession composed of all the city's residents, he was met by all the clergy. Lucari and the bishop embraced to show the unity of church and state Lucari formally gave the city and contrade to the Virgin. Legend has it that a thick white cloud descended on the battlefield, giving the Sienese cover and aiding their attack; the reality was that the Florentine army launched several fruitless attacks against the Sienese army during the day when the Sienese army countered with their own offensive, traitors within the Florentine army killed the standard bearer and in the resulting chaos, the Florentine army broke up and fled the battlefield. Half the Florentine army were killed as a result.
So crushing was the defeat that today if the two cities meet in any sporting event, the Sienese supporters are to exhort their Florentine counterparts to "Remember Montaperti!". Siena was devastated by the Black Death of 1348, suffered from ill-fated financial enterprises. In 1355, with the arrival of Charles IV of Luxembourg in the city, the population rose and suppressed the government of the Nova council and expelled any family associated with the Noveschi Party, they established a Dodici, assisted by a council with a popular majority. This form of government was short-lived, soon replaced by the Quindici reformers in 1385, the Dieci and the Twelve Priors who, in the end, gave the city's lordship to Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the Duke of Milan, in order to defend it from Florentine expansionism. Five years the House of Visconti was expelled in 1404, a new government of Ten Priors was established, this time in alliance with Florence against King Ladislaus of Naples. With the election of the Sienese Enea Silvio Piccolomini of the prominent Piccolomini noble family as Pope Pius II in 1458, the nobles, expelled due to association with the Noveschi party were allowed to return to the city.
In 1472 the Siena magistrates founded a "mount of piety", the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which would survive into the 21st century as "the world's oldest bank". The Noveschi returned to the city under Pandolfo Petrucci in 1487. Pandolfo gathered many political offices and grew his influence until 1500, when with the execution of his father-in-law Niccolò Borghese for conspiracy to murder him, as well as with the support of Florence and of Alfonso of Calabria, Pandolfo was able to seize complete control of the city. Though a tyrant, Pandolfo brought Siena back to prosperity, favoring arts and sciences, as well as improving its economy. Pandolfo was succeeded by his son Borghese Petrucci. After only 4 years of rule, Borghese was ousted by his cousin, cardinal Raffaello Petrucci, helped by Pope Leo X. In the wake of more responsibilities from the Church, Raffaello was forced to cede the city to his nephew, Franceso Petrucci, who only ruled for a year before being ousted by Pandolfo's youngest son, Fabio.
Fabio was exiled in 1525 by the Sienese people, marking the end
The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi. Called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was given several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history; the building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti. In 1299, the commune and people of Florence decided to build a palace that would be worthy of the city's importance, that would be more secure and defensible in times of turbulence for the magistrates of the commune. Arnolfo di Cambio, the architect of the Duomo and the Santa Croce church, began construction upon the ruins of Palazzo dei Fanti and Palazzo dell'Esecutore di Giustizia, once owned by the Uberti family.
Giovanni Villani wrote in his Nuova Cronica that the Uberti were "rebels of Florence and Ghibellines", stating that the palazzo was built to ensure that the Uberti family homes would never be rebuilt on the same location. The cubical building is made of solid rusticated stonework, with two rows of two-lighted Gothic windows, each with a trefoil arch. In the 15th century, Michelozzo Michelozzi added decorative bas-reliefs of the cross and the Florentine lily in the spandrels between the trefoils; the building is crowned with projecting crenellated battlement, supported by small arches and corbels. Under the arches are a repeated series of nine painted coats of arms of the Florentine republic; some of these arches can be used as embrasures for dropping heated rocks on invaders. The solid, massive building is enhanced by the simple tower with its clock. Giovanni Villani wrote that Arnolfo di Cambio incorporated the ancient tower of the Foraboschi family into the new tower's facade as its substructure.
This tower contains two small cells, that, at different times, imprisoned Cosimo de' Medici and Girolamo Savonarola. The tower is named after its designer Torre d'Arnolfo; the tower's large, one-handed clock was constructed in 1353 by the Florentine Nicolò Bernardo, but was replaced in 1667 with a replica made by Georg Lederle from the German town of Augsburg and installed by Vincenzo Viviani. Duke Cosimo I de' Medici moved his official seat from the Medici palazzo in via Larga to the Palazzo della Signoria in May 1540, signalling the security of Medici power in Florence; when Cosimo removed to Palazzo Pitti, he renamed his former palace to the Palazzo Vecchio, the "Old Palace", although the adjacent town square, the Piazza della Signoria, still bears the original name. Cosimo commissioned Giorgio Vasari to build an above-ground walkway, the Vasari corridor, from the Palazzo Vecchio, through the Uffizi, over the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti. Cosimo I moved the seat of government to the Uffizi.
The palace gained new importance as the seat of united Italy's provisional government from 1865–71, at a moment when Florence had become the temporary capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Although most of the Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum, it remains as the symbol and center of local government; the tower has three bells. Above the front entrance door, there is a notable ornamental marble frontispiece, dating from 1528. In the middle, flanked by two gilded lions, is the Monogram of Christ, surrounded by a glory, above the text: "Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium" (translation: "King of Kings and Lord of Lords"; this text dates from 1851 and does not replace an earlier text by Savonarola as mentioned in guidebooks. Between 1529 and 1851 they were concealed behind a large shield with the grand-ducal coat of arms. Michelangelo's David stood at the entrance from its completion in 1504 to 1873, when it was moved to the Accademia Gallery. A replica erected in 1910 now stands in its place, flanked by Baccio Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus.
The first courtyard was designed in 1453 by Michelozzo. In the lunettes, high around the courtyard, are crests of the church and city guilds. In the center, the porphyry fountain is by Battista del Tadda; the Putto with Dolphin on top of the basin is a copy of the original by Andrea del Verrocchio, now on display on the second floor of the palace. This small statue was placed in the garden of the Villa Medici at Careggi; the water, flowing through the nose of the dolphin, is brought here by pipes from the Boboli Gardens. In the niche, in front of the fountain, stands Samson and Philistine by Pierino da Vinci; the frescoes on the walls are vedute of the cities of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy, painted in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari for the wedding celebration of Francesco I de' Medici, the eldest son of Cosimo I de' Medici, to Archduchess Johanna of Austria, sister of the Emperor Maximilian II. Amongst the cities depicted are Graz, Linz, Hall in Tirol, Freiburg im Breisgau and Konstanz; some were damaged over the course of time.
The harmoniously proportioned columns, at one time smooth, untouched, were at the same time richly decorated with gilt stuccoes. The barrel vaults are furnished with grotesque decorations; the second courtyard called "The Customs", contains th
Duchy of Mantua
The Duchy of Mantua was a duchy in Lombardy, Northern Italy, subject to the Holy Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Mantua was invaded by Byzantines and Franks. In the 11th century it became a possession of Boniface of marquis of Toscana; the last ruler of the family was the countess Matilde of Canossa, according to legend, ordered the construction of the precious Rotonda di San Lorenzo. After the death of Matilde of Canossa, Mantua became a free commune and strenuously defended itself from the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. During the Investiture Controversy, Pinamonte Bonacolsi took advantage of the chaotic situation to seize power—as Captain General of the People—in 1273, his family ruled Mantua for the next century, making it artistically beautiful. On 16 August 1328, the last Bonacolsi, was overthrown in a revolt backed by the House of Gonzaga, a family of officials, namely the 60-year-old Luis and his sons Guy and Feltrino. Ludovico, podestà of the city in 1318, was elected capitano del popolo.
The Gonzaga built new walls with five gates and renovated the architecture of the city in the 14th century, but the political situation in the city did not settle until Ludovico II eliminated his relatives, seizing power for himself in 1370. Through a payment of 120,000 golden florins in 1433, Gianfrancesco was appointed marquis of Mantua by Emperor Sigismund, whose niece Barbara of Brandenburg he married. In 1459 Pope Pius II held a diet in Mantua to proclaim a crusade against the Turks; the first duke of Mantua was Federico II, who acquired the title from Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1530. The following year, the family acquired the Marquisate of Montferrat through marriage. Federico commissioned Giulio Romano to build the famous Palazzo Te, in the periphery of the city, profoundly improved the urbanistic assets of the city. In 1624, Ferdinando Gonzaga moved the ducal seat to a new residence, the Villa della Favorita, designed by the architect Nicolò Sebregondi. In 1627, the direct line of the Gonzaga family came to an end with the vicious and weak Vincenzo II, the town declined under the new rulers, the Gonzaga Nevers, a cadet French branch of the family.
The War of the Mantuan Succession broke out, in 1630 an Imperial army of 36,000 Landsknecht mercenaries besieged Mantua, bringing the plague with them. Mantua never recovered from this disaster. Duke Ferdinand Charles, an inept ruler whose only aim was to hold parties and theatrical representations, allied with France in the War of the Spanish Succession. After the latter's defeat, he was declared deposed by Emperor Joseph I and took refuge in Venice, carrying with him a thousand pictures. At his death, in 1708 his family lost Mantua forever in favour of the Habsburgs of Austria. Montferrat's territories were ceded to the Duke of Savoy, the emperor compensated the Duke of Lorraine, heir in female line of the Gonzaga, for the loss of Montferrat by ceding him the Duchy of Teschen; the Gonzagas of the Duchy of Guastalla were passed over despite having the strongest claim, themselves dying out in 1746, marking the end of the Gonzaga family. Mantua was united with the Duchy of Milan by an edict of Emperor Joseph II on 26 September 1786, but restored in its separated administration by Emperor Leopold II on 24 January 1791.
Mantua was besieged by Napoleon's French army in 1796, before falling in 1797. With the Treaty of Campo Formio, Mantua was annexed to the Cisalpine Republic becoming the Department of Mincio. Duke of Mantua "The House of Gonzaga, heirs to the sovereign marquessate of Mantua" I Gonzaga di Mantova
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Lamoral, Count of Egmont
Lamoral, Count of Egmont, Prince of Gavere was a general and statesman in the Spanish Netherlands just before the start of the Eighty Years' War, whose execution helped spark the national uprising that led to the independence of the Netherlands. The Count of Egmont was at the head of one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the Low Countries. Paternally, a branch of the Egmonts ruled the sovereign duchy of Guelders until 1538. Lamoral was born in La Hamaide near Ellezelles, his father was John IV of knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece. His mother belonged to a cadet branch of the House of Luxembourg, through her he inherited the title prince de Gavere. During his youth, he received a military education in Spain. In 1542, he inherited the estates of his elder brother Charles in Holland, his family's stature increased further in 1544 when, at Spires, in the presence of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and of the Archduke Ferdinand I, he married the Countess Palatine Sabine of Simmern, whose brother became the Elector Palatine Frederick III.
In the service of the Spanish army, he defeated the French in the battles of Saint-Quentin and Gravelines. Egmont was appointed stadtholder of Flanders and Artois in 1559, aged only 37; as a leading Netherlandic nobleman, Egmont was a member of King Philip II of Spain's official Council of State for Flanders and Artois. Together with William, Prince of Orange and the Count of Horn, he protested against the introduction of the inquisition in Flanders by the cardinal Antoine Perrenot Granvelle, bishop of Arras. Egmont threatened to resign, but after Granvelle left, there was a reconciliation with the king. In 1565, running short of funds as he had continued the representation of the Low Countries from his own pocket, Egmont went to Madrid to beseech Philip II, the king of Spain, for a change of policy in the Netherlands, but met with little more than courtesy. Soon thereafter, the'Beeldenstorm' started, the massive iconoclasm of Catholic churches in the Netherlands, resistance against the Spanish rule in the Netherlands increased.
As a devout Catholic, Egmont deplored the iconoclasm, remained faithful to the Spanish king. After Philip II sent the Duke of Alba to the Netherlands, William of Orange decided to flee Brussels. Having always declined to do anything that smacked of lèse majesté, Egmont refused to heed Orange's warning. Upon arrival, Alba immediately had the counts of Egmont and Horn arrested on charges of heresy, imprisoned them in a castle in Ghent, prompting Egmont's wife and eleven children to seek refuge in a convent. Pleas for amnesty came to the Spanish king from throughout Europe, including from many reigning sovereigns, the Order of the Golden Fleece, the king's kinsman the Emperor Maximilian II, all to no avail. On 4 June Egmont and Horn were condemned to death, lodged that night in the maison du roi. On June 5, 1568, both men were beheaded in the Grand Place in Brussels, Egmont's uncomplaining dignity on the occasion being noted, their deaths led to public protests throughout the Netherlands, contributed to the resistance against the Spaniards.
The Count of Egmont lies buried in a crypt in Zottegem, a Belgian city in which Egmont is remembered by his two statues and his castle. His castle in Egmond aan den Hoef was destroyed in 1573 and a statue in his memory is erected on the site of the ruins. A statue erected on the Petit Sablon / Kleine Zavel Square in Brussels commemorates the Counts of Egmont and Horn, in historical overview mentioned together as "Egmond en Hoorne" and hailed as the first leaders of the Dutch revolt, as the predecessors of William of Orange, who grew to importance and obtained the leadership after their execution, and, assassinated in 1584 in Delft, having succeeded in liberating parts of The Netherlands in the early years of the Eighty Years' War. Egmont's offices and vast estates were forfeited upon his execution, escheating to the Prince-Bishop of Liège. By inheritance he had been count of Egmont, prince de Gavre and van Steenhuysen, baron de Fiennes, Gaesbeke and La Hamaide, seigneur de Purmerent, Aertswoude, Sottenghien, Dondes and Baer.
Some of these lands were returned to his heirs by the Bishop, principally in 1600. By appointment, he was Captain General of the Lowlands under Charles V, knight of the Golden Fleece from 1546, Imperial Chamberlain. Despite the taint of treason and the family's impoverishment, his niece Louise of Lorraine-Mercœur, was chosen to become the Queen consort of Henry III of France in 1575; the Count of Egmont is the main character in a play by Egmont. In 1810 Ludwig van Beethoven composed an incidental music for a revival of the play. Media related to Lamoral, Count of Egmont at Wikimedia Commons "Egmont, Count". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920
Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3rd Duke of Alba, GE, KOGF, GR, known as the Grand Duke of Alba in Spain and the Iron Duke in the Netherlands, was a Spanish noble and diplomat. He was titled the 3rd Duke of Alba de Tormes, 4th Marquess of Coria, 3rd Count of Salvatierra de Tormes, 2nd Count of Piedrahita, 8th Lord of Valdecorneja, Grandee of Spain, a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, his motto in Latin was Deo patrum Nostrorum, which in English means "To the God of our fathers". He was an adviser of King Charles I of Spain, his successor, Philip II of Spain, Mayordomo mayor of both, member of their Councils of State and War, governor of the Duchy of Milan, viceroy of the Kingdom of Naples, governor of the Netherlands and viceroy and constable of the Kingdom of Portugal, he represented Philip II in negotiating Philip's betrothal to Elisabeth of Valois and Anna of Austria, who were the third and fourth, last, wives of the king. By some historians he is considered the most effective general of his generation as well as one of the greatest in military history.
Although a tough leader, he was respected by his troops. He touched their sentiments e.g. by addressing them in his speeches as "gentlemen soldiers", but was popular among them for daring statements such as: Kings use men like oranges, first they squeeze the juice and throw away the peel. Alba distinguished himself in the conquest of Tunis during the Ottoman-Habsburg wars when Carlos I defeated Hayreddin Barbarossa and returned the Spanish Monarchy to predominance over the western Mediterranean Sea, he distinguished himself in the battle of Mühlberg, where the army of Emperor Charles defeated the German Protestant princes. On December 26, 1566 he received the Golden Rose, the blessed sword and hat granted by Pope Pius V, through the papal brief Solent Romani Pontifices, in recognition of his singular efforts in favor of Catholicism and for being considered one of his championsHe is best known for his actions against the revolt of the Netherlands, where he instituted the Council of Troubles, defeated the troops of William of Orange and Louis of Nassau during the first stages of the Eighty Years' War.
He is known for the brutalities during the capture of Mechelen, Zutphen and Haarlem. In spite of these military successes, the Dutch revolt was not broken and Alba was recalled to Spain, his last military successes were in the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580, winning the Battle of Alcantara and conquering that kingdom for Philip II. Spain unified all the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula and expanded its overseas territories. Fernando was born in Piedrahíta, Province of Ávila, on 29 October 1507, he was the son of García Álvarez de Toledo y Zúñiga, heir of Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo and Enríquez de Quiñones, II Duke of Alba de Tormes, of Beatriz Pimentel, daughter of Rodrigo Alonso Pimentel, IV Count - I Duke of Benavente and his wife, María Pacheco. Fernando was orphaned at age three when his father, García, died during a campaign on the island of Djerba in Africa in 1510. At the age of six, Fernando accompanied his grandfather, the second duke of Alba on a military mission to capture Navarre.
His youth and education were typical for Castilian nobility of the age. He was educated at the ducal court of the House of Alba, located in the Castle Palace of Alba de Tormes, by two Italian preceptors, Bernardo Gentile - a Sicilian Benedictine - and Severo Marini and by the Spanish Renaissance poet and writer Juan Boscan, he was educated in humanism. He mastered Latin and knew French and German. In 1524, when he was seventeen, he joined the troops of Constable of Castile, Íñigo Fernández de Velasco, II Duke of Frías, during the capture of Fuenterrabía occupied by France and Navarre. For his role in the siege, Fernando was appointed governor of Fuenterrabía; when his grandfather Fadrique died in 1531, the ducal title passed to Fernando as the firstborn son of Garcia. Throughout his adulthood, he served the Spanish monarchs Charles I and his successor Philip II. In 1541 Fernando Álvarez de Toledo was named Mayordomo Mayor del Rey de España by Charles I of Spain. Alba kept this Office in court until the death of the monarch in 1556.
In 1546, Charles I invested Fernando, the Third Duke of Alba Grand Master as knight of the Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece. From 1548 King Charles intensified the preparations of Prince Philip as his successor in the Spanish Monarchy, he named Duke of Alba mayordomo mayor of his son to prepare Philip for his new role. Fernando took Philip on a tour around Europe that lasted until 1551. Fernando accompanied Philip to England to attend his marriage to Mary Tudor; the Duke was one of fifteen grandees of Spain who attended the ceremony in the abbey of Winchester on 25 July 1554. After the death of Charles, the new King Philip II maintained Fernando Third Duke of Alba as mayordomo mayor until the death of the Duke in 1582. In 1563, King Philip II created the title Duke of Huéscar to be bestowed on the heir of the Dukes of Alba. Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo, son of Fernando became 1st Duke of Huéscar. In 1566, Alba's son and heir, broke his promise of marriage to Magdalena de Guzman, lady of Queen Anne of Austria, which led to his arrest and imprisonment in the Castle of La Mota in Valladolid.
The following year he was released so he could go to Flanders with his father to serve in the military. In 1578 Philip II ordered the case against Fadrique reopened, it was discovered that in order to avoid marriage, Fadrique had secret
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands; the son of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, Philip was called "Felipe el Prudente" in Spain. During his reign, Spain reached the height of its power; this is sometimes called the Spanish Golden Age. The expression "the empire on which the sun never sets" was coined during Philip's time to reflect the extent of his dominion. During Philip's reign there were separate state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1569, 1575, 1596; this was the cause of the declaration of independence that created the Dutch Republic in 1581. On 31 December 1584 Philip signed the Treaty of Joinville, with Henry I, Duke of Guise signing on behalf of the Catholic League. A devout Catholic, Philip saw himself as the defender of Catholic Europe against the Ottoman Empire and the Protestant Reformation.
He sent a large armada to invade Protestant England in 1588, with the strategic aim of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England and the establishment of Protestantism in England. He hoped to stop both English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering. Philip was described by the Venetian ambassador Paolo Fagolo in 1563 as "slight of stature and round-faced, with pale blue eyes, somewhat prominent lip, pink skin, but his overall appearance is attractive"; the Ambassador went on to say "He dresses tastefully, everything that he does is courteous and gracious." Besides Mary I, Philip was married three other times and widowed four times. The son of Charles I and V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor and his wife, Isabella of Portugal, Philip was born in the Spanish capital of Valladolid on 21 May 1527 at Palacio de Pimentel, owned by Don Bernardino Pimentel; the culture and courtly life of Spain were an important influence in his early life.
He was tutored by the future Archbishop of Toledo. Philip displayed reasonable aptitude in letters alike, he would study with more illustrious tutors, including the humanist Juan Cristóbal Calvete de Estrella. Though Philip had good command over Latin and Portuguese, he never managed to equal his father, Charles V, as a polyglot. While Philip was a German archduke of the House of Habsburg, he was seen as a foreigner in the Holy Roman Empire; the feeling was mutual. Philip felt himself to be culturally Spanish; this would impede his succession to the imperial throne. In April 1528, when Philip was eleven months old, he received the oath of allegiance as heir to the crown from the Cortes of Castile. From that time until the death of his mother Isabella in 1539, he was raised in the royal court of Castile under the care of his mother and one of her Portuguese ladies, Dona Leonor de Mascarenhas, to whom he was devotedly attached. Philip was close to his two sisters, María and Juana, to his two pages, the Portuguese nobleman Rui Gomes da Silva and Luis de Requesens, the son of his governor Juan de Zúñiga.
These men would serve Philip throughout their lives, as would Antonio Pérez, his secretary from 1541. Philip's martial training was undertaken by his governor, Juan de Zúñiga, a Castilian nobleman who served as the commendador mayor of Castile; the practical lessons in warfare were overseen by the Duke of Alba during the Italian Wars. Philip was present at the Siege of Perpignan in 1542 but did not see action as the Spanish army under Alba decisively defeated the besieging French forces under the Dauphin of France. On his way back to Castile, Philip received the oath of allegiance of the Aragonese Cortes at Monzón, his political training had begun a year under his father, who had found his son studious and prudent beyond his years, having decided to train and initiate him in the government of Spain. The king-emperor's interactions with his son during his stay in Spain convinced him of Philip's precocity in statesmanship, so he determined to leave in his hands the regency of Spain in 1543. Philip, made the Duke of Milan in 1540, began governing the most extensive empire in the world at the young age of sixteen.
Charles left Philip with experienced advisors—notably the secretary Francisco de los Cobos and the general Duke of Alba. Philip was left with extensive written instructions that emphasised "piety, patience and distrust." These principles of Charles were assimilated by his son, who would grow up to become grave, self-possessed and cautious. Philip spoke and had an icy self-mastery. After living in the Netherlands in the early years of his reign, Philip II decided to return to Spain. Although sometimes described as an absolute monarch, Philip faced many constitutional constraints on his authority, influenced by the growing strength of the bureaucracy; the Spanish Empire was not a single monarchy with one legal system but a federation of separate r