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House of Gonzaga

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The House of Gonzaga Italian: ɡonˈdzaːɡa was a princely family that ruled Mantua, in Northern Italy, from 1328 to 1708; they also ruled Monferrato in Piedmont and Nevers in France, and also many other lesser fiefs throughout Europe Their family includes a saint, twelve cardinals and fourteen bishops Two Gonzaga descendants became Empresses of the Holy Roman Empire Eleonora Gonzaga and Eleonora Gonzaga-Nevers, and one became Queen of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Marie Louise Gonzaga

Contents

  • 1 History
  • 2 Family tree
  • 3 St Aloysius Gonzaga
  • 4 Roman Catholic Cardinals
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Bibliography
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Historyedit

The coat of arms of the Duchy of Mantua

The first members of the family of historical importance are known to have collaborated with the Guelph faction alongside the monks of the Polirone Abbey2 Starting from the 12th century they became a dominant family in Mantua, growing in wealth when their allies, the Bonacolsi, defeated the traditional familiar enemy, the Casalodi In 1328, however, Ludovico I Gonzaga overthrew the Bonacolsi lordship over the city with the help of the Scaliger, and entered the Ghibelline party as capitano del popolo "people's captain" of Mantua and imperial vicar of emperor Louis IV3

Ludovico was succeeded by Guido 1360–1369 and Ludovico II 1369–1382, while Feltrino, lord of Reggio until 1371, formed the cadet branch of the Gonzaga of Novellara, whose state existed until 1728 Francesco I 1382–1407 abandoned the traditional alliance with the Visconti of Milan, in order to align their rising power with the Republic of Venice

Ducal palace, Mantua Ludovico III Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua and Barbara of Brandenburg with their children, fresco by Andrea Mantegna at San Giorgio Castle, Mantua, around 1470

In 1433, Gianfrancesco I assumed the title of Marquis of Mantua with the recognition of Emperor Sigismund, while obtaining recognition from the local nobility through the marriage of his daughter Margherita to Leonello d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara in 1435 In 1530 Federico II 1500–1540 received the title of Duke of Mantua In 1531, the family acquired the Marquisate of Montferrat through marriage Through maternal ancestors, the Gonzagas inherited also the Imperial Byzantine ancestry of the Paleologus, an earlier ruling family of Montferrat

A cadet branch of the Mantua Gonzagas became Dukes of Nevers and Rethel in France when Luigi Louis Gonzaga, a younger son of Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Margherita Paleologa, married the heiress The Gonzaga-Nevers later came to rule Mantua again when Louis's son Charles Carlo inherited Mantua and Montferrat, triggering the War of the Mantuan Succession

Another cadet branch were first sovereign Counts, later Dukes of Guastalla They descended from Ferrante, a younger son of Duke Francesco II of Mantua 1484–1519 Ferrante's grandson, Ferrante II, also played a role in the War of the Mantuan Succession A further cadet branch was that of Sabbioneta, founded by Gianfrancesco, son of Ludovico III

Marie Louise Gonzaga, daughter of Prince Charles Gonzaga-Nevers, was a Polish queen consort from 1645 to her death in 1667

Two daughters of the house, both named Eleanor Gonzaga, became Holy Roman Empresses, by marrying Emperors Ferdinand II of Germany and Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, respectively From the latter Empress Eleanor, the current heirs of the Gonzaga descend

St Aloysius Gonzaga was a member of a junior branch of this family

The House of Gonzaga is the inspiration for the play-within-the-play in Shakespeare's Hamlet In Act 3 scene 2, they act out a play called The Murder of Gonzago or The Mousetrap

Gonzaga rule continued in Mantua until 1708 and in Guastalla until 1746 Both ruling lines became extinct, and the headship of the House of Gonzaga passed to the Vescovato line, descended from Giovanni, a son of Federico I Gonzaga That branch, shorn of sovereign domains, is extant4 Its head is Don Maurizio Ferrante Gonzaga, Principe del Sacro Romano Impero, Marchese Gonzaga, Conte di Villanova, Conte di Cassolnovo, Marchese del Vodice, Signore di Vescovato, Patrizio Veneto b 1941

Family treeedit

The branches of the Gonzaga family, showing Marquises and subsequently Dukes of Mantua in bold, Dukes of Nevers and Rethel in italics and the Guastalla line to the right


                Gianfrancesco
Marquis of Mantua
1407–1444
         
                                 
                Ludovico III
Marquis of Mantua
1444–1478
         
                                 
                Federico I
Marquis of Mantua
1478–1484
         
                                 
                Francesco II
Marquis of Mantua
1484–1519
         
                                               
                             
Margaret Paleologa
Marquises of Montferrat
  Federico II
Marq 1519–30, Duke 1530–40
          Ercole
Bishop 1521
Cardinal 1527
  Ferrante I
Count of Guastalla
1539–1557
 
   
                                           
                             
Francesco III
1540–1550
  Guglielmo I
Guglielmo X in Montferrat
1550–1587
          Louis of Nevers 1581–1595   Cesare I
Count of Guastalla
1557–1575
 
                                           
        Vincenzo I
1587–1612
          Charles III of Nevers
aka
Carlo I of Mantua
1627–1637
  Ferrante II
1st Duke of Guastalla
1575–1630
                                                               
                                       
Francesco IV
1612
  Ferdinando I
1612–26
  Vincenzo II
1626–27
  Charles of Nevers
1609–1631
m Maria of Mantua
  Cesare II
Duke of Guastalla
1630–1632
          Andrea
Count of San Paolo d1686
                                                             
Maria of Mantua
1609–1660, m
Charles of Nevers
                  Carlo II
1637–1665
  Ferrante III
Duke of Guastalla
1632–1678
                     
                                                           
         
                        Ferdinando Carlo
1665–1708
  Anna Isabella
1678–1692
  Maria Vittoria
1659–1707
  Vincenzo
Duke of Guastalla
1692–1702
 
     
                                                         
                     
                                Eleonora Luisa
1686–1741
m Francesco de' Medici
  Antonio Ferrante
Duke of Guastalla
1702–1729
  Giuseppe
Duke of Guastalla
1729–1746
 

St Aloysius Gonzagaedit

  • Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ 1568–1591, canonized by the Catholic Church in 1726

Roman Catholic Cardinalsedit

  • Francesco Gonzaga 1444–1483
  • Sigismondo Gonzaga 1469–1525
  • Pirro Gonzaga 1490–1529
  • Ercole Gonzaga 1505–63
  • Francesco Gonzaga 1538–66
  • Federico Gonzaga 1540–65
  • Giovanni Vincenzo Gonzaga 1540–91
  • Scipione Gonzaga 1542–93
  • Francesco Gonzaga 1546–1620
  • Ferdinando Gonzaga 1587–1626, became Duke of Mantua, as Ferdinando I, in 1612
  • Vincenzo Gonzaga 1594–1627, became Duke of Mantua, as Vincenzo II, in 1626

See alsoedit

  • Duchy of Mantua, a list of House of Gonzaga rulers;
  • Duchy of Guastalla
  • Duchy of Sabbioneta
  • County of Novellara and Bagnolo

Bibliographyedit

  • Brinton, Selwyn 1927 The Gonzaga Lords of Mantua London: Methuen 

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Francesca Cappelletti; Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich 1997 Der Antike Mythos und Europa Gebrüder Mann Verlag p 250 
  2. ^ Page at sapereit
  3. ^ Brunelli, Roberto 2010 I Gonzaga Quattro secoli per una dinastia Mantua ISBN 978-88-89832-98-1 
  4. ^ "GONZAGA: LINEA PRINCIPESCA DI VESCOVATO" Libro d'Oro della Nobiltá Mediterranea in Italian Società Genealogica Italiana 2004-03-15 Retrieved 2012-05-18 

External linksedit

  • Marek, Miroslav "Genealogy tree" GenealogyEU 
  • Giancarlo, Malacarne "Family Tree of the Gonzaga" 
  • Albero genealogico dei Gonzaga

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