The Hungarian Military in Northern Italy during the Reign of Louis the Great

The Hungarian Military in Northern Italy during the Reign of Louis the Great

Corradi Musi, Carla

Hungarian Studies Review, Vol XVII, No. 2 (Fall, 1990)


The second half of the 14th century was a time of turbulence throughout Italy. Several states were involved in a struggle between the Guelf Party, which fought for papal supremacy and was supported by the Angevins of Naples, and the Ghibellines, who hoped to have their interests better served by the Holy Roman Emperor. This feud had started in the 12th century, and its long-term result was the political and economic enfeeblement of southern Italy, while the industrious bourgeoisie and ruling princes of the north made their own cities both strong and rich. There were no clear-cut alliances in the long conflict, Guelf and Ghibelline families and towns readily changed loyalties if such a switch was to their benefit.

It was in these confusing times that Hungary played a decisive role in Italian events. The first Angevin king (from the French Anjous) of Hungary, Charles Robert, died in 1342, leaving three sons. The eldest inherited the Hungarian throne as Louis I, later “the Great.” His brother Andrew had been married as a child to Joanna of Naples (a distant relative). He was expected to ascend the throne of Naples with Joanna as his consort, but was assassinated in a plot supported by the Angevin princes of Taranto and, it would appear, by his own corrupt wife.

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