The battle of Fornovo (6 July ) was an unsuccessful attempt by an Italian army to stop Charles VIII of France during his retreat from Naples. Battle of Fornovo Charles VIII, attempting to seize control of southern Italy for use as a platform for war against the Ottoman Turks, lead the most. Nicolle, David. Fornovo France’s Bloody Fighting Retreat. Oxford: Osprey, Santosuosso, Antonio. “Anatomy of Defeat: The Battle of Fornovo in

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With his bold spirit entirely unbroken he incited each one by name, and the French, who regard their king with a certain wondrous reverence, straightway replied in these words: French and Venetian soldiers could not be distinguished from one another. In short, all the plunder on the following day was wickedly divided among the Greek allies, booty which was worth two hundred thousand fornovk.

Some ascribe this lapse to the suddenness and confusion of the battle, others to the scarcity of mercenary soldiers, who had not yet come to the camp. Meanwhile the King drew up three enormous battle groups. Fornovi the Latins and the French together were searching here and there, each one for those whom he knew, fotnovo were observing the customary truce for burial.

Views Read Edit View history. Here the enemy could not arrive without great trouble, and even if they wanted to attack precipitately and obstinately they would be overcome and routed by their own weariness. In that battle countless baggage piles of the French, abounding in all riches, were lost; in them was found a great weight of silver and gold.

The flrnovo itself extends beyond Fornovo from a narrow passageway into the open plains with two hills on either side, to the right and to the left; the former direction is toward Oppiano, the latter toward Medesano, and the river Taro flows almost through the very middle of the plain.

Retrieved 20 March Thereupon the ranks, their leaders, and the arrangement were determined. What had been a battle slowly evolving towards the Venetian advantage now turned into a bloody exchange. Charles entered Naples early in and began to establish his authority. A certain Carlo by the name of Ingrato kept shouting out that they were all being led to slaughter and that the commander was at fault.

The French enemy who has not spared divine and human affairs labors under scarcity and hunger, as is usual in a blockade; he is weary from many marches and steep passes; surrounded on all sides by the enemy and without hope of aid, he has been so wholly forsaken by divine fate that after failing to find an occasion for flight under the preferred guise of truce he is plunged into utter desperation at events and will seek safety by the sword and make a way for himself by force.


In this affair no form of cruelty seemed to be lacking. However, League cavalry was able to loot the French baggage train, claiminggold ducats as well as forcing most French soldiers to go without tents, dry clothes and food for the night Nicolle, The Holy League, an alliance comprising notably the Republic of Venicewas able to temporarily expel the French from the Italian Peninsula. They had plenty more to draw upon.

Charles decided to make peace with Ludovico 14495 at Milan, and in mid-October returned back across the Alps to France. Meanwhile much blood was shed, nor was it allowed those who in fear or cowardice had begun fighting on the other side of the Taro to stop at this time. The French had lost about a 14955 men, while the Venetians had lost twice that many. Francesco Gonzaga divided his forces into nine lines.

Archived from the original on 30 July To this, so that it might not be far distant from the line of the commander, they assigned a place from which it might bring aid at once if those in front wavered.

The French, less encumbered and more lightly armed, hastened down the hill in a dense mass to help. At the end of August Charles VIII led a powerful French army with a large contingent of Swiss mercenaries and the first train of artillery seen in history into Italy.

Pope Alexander VI realised that he didn’t have the military strength to resist the French, and allowed them to pass through his lands. The infantry, which was arranged between the respective lines of cavalry and in which there were a great many from the Venetian populace, joined in the uncertain struggle.

But the Venetians have changed everything for us. He 14955 welcomed with rejoicing by the citizens, as the French had made themselves hated through their behaviour.

Battle of Fornovo, 1495

The French rested for the rest of the day, then marched north during the night, reaching the relative safety of Asti on 15 July joining up with other French troops. The Italian states opposing this venture evolved into the League of Venice and at Fornovo brought the French juggernaut to a standstill. Ironically, on the same day as the battle was fought, Ferdinand II appeared before Naples with a Spanish fleet; he re-entered and occupied Naples the following day. Both sides took to camp.


A number of the Italians were fleeing the battle, but Pitigliano and the Venetian proveditors were instrumental in turning back many by convincing them that the battle was being fornovp or that, even if it were not, it would be better to die in battle than be executed for the loss.

The Venetian proveditors awaited the outcome of the affair near the last ranks, so that if there was any need they might perform the duty of the general. Artillery ranged before the first line and protected the second line fornoovo the side of the Taro.

Alessandro Beneditti, The Battle of Fornovo () » De Re Militari

Italy was to be the scene of a dispute between the main continental powers, with the result that the Italians were left with only a secondary role in their own destiny. Of the nobles twelve perished, among them Varde Ariste, leader of the archers, Doyson and a seigneur from Chambly, both of high birth, one from Torcy and another from Candes who was very wealthy, and barons from Beon, Limerle, and Checy. Upon these followed Greek soldiers who had looked down upon the whole proceeding from the top of the hill and swooped down like eagles; butchering the enemy and also some of their own side they plundered the baggage train, and after them came a great many Latin foot soldiers who, contrary to military law, had left their ranks because of greed and were bent on destruction.

Many fell, fprnovo in the muddy ditch, others did not cross the river, and some slid from the slippery rampart into the mire. Armies comprising forces from the many independent towns of Italy were raised by establishing a contract, or condottabetween the town leaders and the leaders of mercenary bands, who came to be called Condottieri.

This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. But on the contrary fornov Venetian proveditors, suspecting the loyalty of the people of Parma, fotnovo Oppiano and dashed the hopes of the Frenchman that the people of Parma might dare to desert. International History Review This page was last edited on 26 Decemberat