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Chicago, Il - The name of one of the most illustrious Italian families, which besides including eminent prelates, statesmen and warriors, ruled the duchy of Parma for two centuries. The early history of the family is involved in obscurity, but they are first heard of as lords of Farneto or Farnese, a castle near the lake of Bolsena, and they played an important part as consuls and signori of Orvieto. They seem to have always been Guelphs, and in the civil broils of Orvieto they sided with the Monaldeschi faction against the Ghibelline Filippeschi. One Pietro Farnese commanded the papal armies under Paschal II. (1099_1118); another Pietro led the Florentines to victory against the Pisans in 1363. Ranuccio Farnese served Eugene IV. so well that the pope endowed him with large fiefs, and is reported to have said, " The Church is ours because Farnese has given it back to us." The family derived further advantages at the time of Pope

Alexander VI., who was the lover of the beautiful Giulia Farnese, known as Giulia Bella, and created her brother Alessandro a cardinal (1493). The latter was elected pope as Paul III. in 1534, and it is from that moment that the great importance of the family dates. An unblushing nepotist, he alienated immense fiefs belonging to the Holy See in favour of his natural children. Of these the most famous was Pierluigi Farnese (1503_1547), who served in the papal army in various campaigns, but also took part in the sack of Rome in 1527. On his father's elevation to the papacy he was made captain-general of the Church, and received the duchy of Castro in the Maremma, besides Frascati Nepi, Montalto and other fiefs. A shameless rake and a man of uncontrollable temper, his massacre of the people of Perugia after rebellion in 1540 and the unspeakable outrage he committed on the bishop of Fano are typical of his character. In 1545 his father conferred on him the duchy of Parma Piacenza, which likewise belonged to the Holy See, and his rule proved cruel and tyrannical.

1 comment:

vaticanisto said...

Without our history, We are nothing!! Forza Farnese!