Charles the Bold in Italy 1467-1477

BookCharles the Bold in Italy 1467-1477

Charles the Bold in Italy 1467-1477

Politics and Personnel


February 1st, 2005

Access Token




This is a definitive study of Charles the Bold’s diplomatic and military relations with the Italian states, taking full account of economic policy. The book makes extensive use not only of the great mass of diplomatic correspondence in the archives of Florence, Mantua, Milan, Modena and Venice, but also of Charles’ financial records in the archives of Brussels and Lille. The author’s mastery of these primary sources is complemented by judicious use of a wide range of secondary material. Aspects of Charles the Bold’s relations with Italy have been considered in earlier literature, but no study has before dealt with them comprehensively at any length. This book fills that gap and places Charles’ reign in its wider European context.

Author Information

Richard Walsh formerly taught history at the University of Leeds, but gave up academic life some years ago to work for the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
List of Abbreviations8
List of Illustrations10
Editorial Preface17
1. Aims and achievements of Charles the Bold's relations with Italy35
Italy in Charles’s diplomatic strategy: the quest for security against Louis XI36
Italy in Charles’s diplomatic strategy: the rise and fall of Burgundian influence39
The material value of the Italian alliances: provisions53
The material value of the Italian alliances: fulfilment56
Charles the Bold’s territorial ambitions in Italy66
2. Charles the Bold and the Papacy93
Relations with the papacy as an Italian temporal power94
Papal dispensations and Charles the Bold’s marital policy99
Papal mediation in disputes103
Church and state121
The papal alum monopoly in the Burgundian Low Countries126
The search for friends at the papal court132
3. Relations with Florence and the activities of Tommaso Portinari1154
Tommaso Portinari’s career before the accession of Charles the Bold155
Portinari’s position at the court156
Portinari’s business connection with the court161
Portinari’s loans to Charles the Bold163
The economic consequences for the Medici bank167
Diplomatic relations with the republic of Florence170
4. The Italian Milieu at Court188
The position and functions of the Italians at court189
Some personal characteristics194
The dispersal of the Italians from the court212
5. Diplomats and Diplomacy227
The Italian ambassadors: Naples229
The Italian ambassadors: Venice234
The Italian ambassadors:Milan238
The Italian ambassadors: Rome243
Some general characteristics, personal and professional244
The ambassador and the ruler254
Functions at court263
Daily life284
Similarities and contrasts between Burgundian and Italian diplomatic techniques289
6. Italian princes at the Burgundian court314
Francesco d’Este (ca. 1429–post 20 July 1486)315
Rodolfo Gonzaga (1451/2–1495)325
Federico d’Aragona (1451/2–1504)336
7. Italian troops in Charles the Bold's army375
Charles the Bold’s motives for recruiting Italian troops375
Chronology of recruitment377
Some personal characteristics387
Military value394
Loyalty: the case of the count of Campobasso401
Italian military influence on Charles the Bold413
Postscript: Bibliographical Supplement486