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CHAPTER EIGHTH.: CREMONA. - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, vol. 5 (Defence of the Constitutions Vols. II and III) 
The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856). 10 volumes. Vol. 5.
Part of: The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.
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“Cremona1 had persevered under the government of consuls until 1180, when she changed the form of her government, reducing all the authority of the consuls to one person alone, who, from the supreme power which was given him, was denominated a podestà. The election of consuls had occasioned such contests among the principal families (as none could be elected to that dignity who were not citizens) that it was now ordained by law, that none should be elected to the office of podestà who was not a foreigner, and a citizen of some other city, as should be agreeable to the council, provided he was not related by blood to any of the electors, had no real estate in the city or country, and was arrived at least to thirty-six years of age; and, above all things, they sought for men of prudence and most eminent reputation, to whom, as soon as they were elected, they sent letters by a public order, praying them to accept the dignity offered them; and on the day when they made their entry into the city, with a public concourse and acclamations, they were solemnly met and received by the whole people. They carried in ceremony the ensigns of their authority, the furred cap, the long sword, and the rod or sceptre.* And because for the most part they were men of military talents, rather than skilful in the laws, they conducted with them judges expert in the legal science, by whose means they tried all causes civil and criminal, and assembled the council when it was necessary. After this change of magistracy from consuls to a podestà, which, however, was of short duration and little stability, as they created sometimes a podestà, sometimes consuls, and at other times both together, there occurred in the state and republic of Cremona many and very great disturbances.
“Cremona in 1183, sent her ambassadors to Placentia, where all the ambassadors of the other cities of Lombardy, the March, and of Romagna, were assembled together with the ambassadors of the emperor, and King Henry his son, in May. At this assembly it was concluded, that all the cities should send their ambassadors to the diet of Constance, a principal city of Germany, to establish the peace negotiated between the emperor and the cities. On the twenty-fifth of June, 1183, was established, ratified, and confirmed, that peace, so solemn and so celebrated, which, from the name of the city where it was made, was called the peace of Constance; a correct copy of which treaty is to be found at the end of the fourteenth book of Sigonius, of the kingdom of Italy.*
“Such was the instability of the government, that the city returned, in 1190, to the administration of consuls. They in the next year elected a podestà again, who led them out to war, but was unfortunate, and this made them weary of a podestà; and the next year they created consuls, and consuls were annually elected until 1195, when they returned to a podestà.”
All this is perfectly natural; the people were distressed by the contest of the principal families when they had consuls, and therefore wished to have a foreigner as a podestà to keep them in order. The principal families, however, struggled for consuls, that they might have the rule; and one party prevailed this year, and the other the next.
“The consuls, in 1198, to supply the city with water, dug a well, and built a conduit of water, which was afterwards called the Murmur, from the complaints of the people against the expense of it, which were so great, that they rose in tumults, and insisted on choosing a podestà. Cremosino Oldoino was accordingly appointed, and governed jointly with the consuls to the end of the year.”
Any one may pursue at his leisure the particulars of the changes from consuls to podestà, and from podestà to consuls, till the year 1209, when, upon the appointment of consuls, there arose discords and civil seditions, which brought the republic to the brink of ruin.
“The city became divided as it were into two, by a rivulet that passes through it;1 on one side it was called the New City, and on the other the Old, though all the popular men of the old city joined with the new; in short, the division was between the gentlemen and the populars1 at bottom. The new city arose in tumults, and were joined by all but the gentlemen in the old, made new magistrates and governors, and congregated together to constitute a new general council at Sant’ Agata.
“1210. The old city and the new, each, made its podestà, and many quarrels and civil wars followed; and the hatred between persons and parties increasing, as if they had not been born in the same city, but had been most cruel enemies, they soaked the bosom of their common mother with blood, and had no mercy on her houses or riches, which they consumed by fire. But with much pains and intercessions of the bishop a peace was made, by which the podestà of the new city submitted to the podestà of the old, and swore obedience to him, with this reservation, however, that he was to remain podestà of the people.
“The civil war was renewed in 1211, between the citizens of the old and the new city. The two factions proceeded to a sharp conflict, and after having killed an infinite number of citizens, those of the old city set fire to the houses in the neighborhood of the scene of action, and consumed every thing in them. The year before Otho had been excommunicated by Innocent, the pope, and deprived of the empire, and Frederic Roger was elected in his place; for this reason the Cremonese went this year in favor of the Marquis of Este, and drove out of Ferrara Uguccione de’ Guarnesi, who was podestà there in the name of Otho.”
In 1212, civil discords were somewhat appeased, and consuls were appointed. The wars between Cremona, and Milan, and Placentia, may be read by those who are curious, but are not to our purpose. They lasted till 1217, in the beginning of which year civil discords and seditions increased, because the people could not agree in creating the magistrates; and it was not till after a long delay, and the interposition of the pope, with apostolical exhortations by letter, that they were persuaded to lay aside their hatreds and discords, so far as to appoint a podestà.
“In 1221, the most terrible discords and civil wars, between the gentlemen1 and the common people in Placentia, were accommodated for a time under the mediation of Sozzo Coglioni, podestà of Cremona. The substance of the peace, to which each party swore, was to lay aside their discords and contentions, and forgive the injuries, damages, and mischiefs, mutually committed and received.”
But of what avail are oaths and treaties, which the nature of man and the form of the government will not permit to be observed?
“1222. This year two noble citizens of Cremona were made, one after the other, podestàs of Placentia.
“In the beginning of the year 1229, the discords among the citizens prevailed so far, that they created consuls, and those only for six months; and this year there was a confederacy of Verona, Modena, and Parma, against Cremona.
“There arose, in 1232, in the city of Cremona, seditions and civil wars.
“1233. The Cremonese united with the popular party in Placentia, in favor of whom Uberto Pallavicino, from Cremona, went with a hundred light-horse to oppose the noble exiles.
“1234. The Milanese and Brescians, joining the noble exiles from Placentia, went with a powerful army against Cremona, and deformed the whole country with blood and fire.
“In the year 1242, there began to take root in Cremona those abominable and pernicious factions of Guelphs and Ghibellines, and to infect it to such a degree, as occasioned an infinite expense of the blood of the citizens, an inestimable destruction of wealth, an unspeakable perdition of families, and a most melancholy and miserable ruin of the country.”
The city was, in 1246, divided between the two factions; but the Ghibellines had the majority, and obtained the appointment of a podestà. This year the Emperor Frederic was excommunicated by the pope and council at Lyons, in France, and Henry Duke of Thuringia was elected.
The two factions daily increased in violence. The old city, that is the gentlemen, were favorers of the Ghibellines, and adherents of Frederic, the schismatical emperor; and the new city, that is the common people, were partisans of the Guelphs, who adhered to the holy see. The bloody wars occasioned by this division, between Frederic and Innocent, and their respective followers, can be read at leisure, and may cause a laugh at the terrible disgrace of Cremona in the loss of their triumphal chariot,1 an infamy which none but the gentlemen could obliterate. The Marquis Uberto Pallavicino, a most powerful man, and of great reputation, but a zealous Ghibelline and old-city-man, was appointed podestà; he fought a memorable battle, made two thousand prisoners, retook the carroccio, and returned in triumph to Cremona.”
Campo begins his third book in the manner of Machiavel, with deep, grave, and formal reflections, as if a diversity of sentiments, contradictory principles, inconsistent interests, and opposite passions among the citizens, could be reconciled and united by declamations against discord and panegyrics upon unanimity, without a balance, in a government possessed of sufficient force.
According to him, “disunion of the citizens is, indeed, the worst evil in a city; for what mortal pestilence can bring upon them greater damage than discord? This not only precipitates noble and illustrious families to ruin, but exterminates powerful and famous cities; nor is there any principality or kingdom so stable or well founded that it may not be torn up by factions.”
If this is true, it is still an argument against constituting a city in such a manner that it must necessarily be destroyed by factions.
“All things are maintained and increased by concord, and go to ruin by disunion; union brings victory, and discord defeat; enemies are easily resisted when you agree among yourselves; when members are disunited from the body, the person loses both strength and beauty. When Cyrus divided the Euphrates into three hundred rivulets, a child might ford the largest of them, though his favorite had been drowned in attempting the united water. Italy, the lady and the queen of the world, after infinite conflagrations, sacks, slaughters, pillages, subversions, and ruins, has finally been degraded, by the discord of her sons, into a servant and a handmaid.”
All this may be true; but how long will republicans be the dupes of their own simplicity! how long will they depend upon sermons, prayers, orations, declamations, in honor of brotherly love, and against discords, when they know that, without human means, it is but tempting and insulting Providence, to depend upon them for the happiness of life, or the liberty of society!
“The city of Cremona, to come to the present point, by its discord and divisions, suffered intolerable evils, and ultimately lost her liberty, falling under the power and domination of Uberto Pallavicino; who, taking the opportunity from the controversies, which went on every day increasing among citizens, disunited and divided into divers factions of new city and old, gentlemen and common people, Guelphs and Ghibellines, of Capelletti, of Barbarasi, and of Maltraversi, in the year 1251, from podestà, made himself absolute lord, patron, and master, of the commonwealth, by the assistance of the Ghibellines, who in the old city were very numerous and powerful.
“Sozzo Vistarino, a principal nobleman of the city of Lodi, maintained, as a guard of his person, a company of soldiers from Cremona; but the whole family of Vistarino being soon afterwards banished and expelled by the people of Lodi, Pope Innocent endeavored to negotiate their restoration. But the people would accept of no conditions of peace until Milan and Cremona made war upon them, and unitedly compelled them to receive the Vistarini into their city. At the end of the same year the Marquis Pallavicino, at the requisition of the people of Placentia to oppose their noble exiles, went, with many of Cremona, to the siege of Rivergaro, to which those nobles had retired.
“The Cremonians about Rivergaro, in 1252, compelled the noble exiles of Placentia to surrender, and that castle was destroyed, with some other great places. Pallavicino, not content with having made himself master of Cremona, or rather of the old city, aspired to the dominion of Placentia, and to this end gave trouble enough to the podestà of that city. While Pallavicino was master of the old city, his rivals Bosio Doara, first, and Azzolino of the same family, were successively made lords of the new city.
“Uberto Pallavicino, in 1253, was created by the Placentians podestà of that city; but as the affairs of Cremona were in a critical and fluctuating posture, he left a vice-podestà at Placentia.
“The Marquis Pallavicino, having arranged affairs as he liked in Cremona, returned to Placentia in 1254, and, by favor of the Ghibellines, was created perpetual governor and lord of that city.
“1256. Uberto Pallavicino, with the Ghibellines of Cremona and Placentia, went to the assistance of Ezzelino of Romagna, the most cruel of tyrants, and confederating with him against the Mantuans, consigned the whole territory to fire and sword, and laid siege to the city for three weeks, and would have taken it, if the Marquis of Este, and the Bolognese, had not come to its relief.
“1258. A kind of triumvirate was formed between Ezzelino, Pallavicino, and Doara, who aspired at the domination of Lombardy. 1259. The triumvirate disagreed, and a new league was formed between Pallavicino, Doara, and Cremona, on the one part, with Azzo, Marquis of Este, and Ancona, Louis, Count of Verona, and the cities of Ferrara, and Padua, on the other part, against Ezzelino.”
The particulars of the war, and the success of Pallavicino against Ezzelino, the conquest of Bresca, and the subsequent persecutions of the Guelph party in that kingdom, may be omitted; but in the year 1260, the rage of factions and seditions were so distressing to all the cities, that there arose a new species of pilgrimage and penitence, whose object was to restore peace among the parties, and obtain the return of the exiles to their proper cities. The number of these pious and charitable people grew to be prodigious in Tuscany, Romagna, and Lombardy, and very austere were their penitences, and very affecting their cries of “Mercy! mercy!”
“Pallavicino was alarmed, and prohibited, under severe penalties, these kind of pilgrimages in Cremona and Bresca, because he feared they would prove the ruin of those seditions and divisions by which he maintained the domination of those cities. He grew proud and insolent, plundered the bishopric, and drove the bishop into exile.
“1261. Pallavicino having recovered the city of Placentia by means of the Ghibellines, went, with a noble company of Cremonians, and established a government, making podestà Visconti Pallavicino, a son of one of his brothers.
“1263. Gandione Doara, a noble Cremonese, was, in the name of Pallavicino, podestà of Placentia; but the Guelph exiles making an insurrection, he was driven out with his garrison. Pallavicino began at this time to be uncommonly jealous of Bosio Doara.
“1264. Pallavicino fell into a controversy with Philip della Torre, and detained in Cremona all the merchants of Milan, with their effects, pretending that Philip was his debtor, for having given him assistance, with his Cremonese soldiers, to recover the castle of Arona, occupied by Otho Visconti, archbishop of Milan.
“Pallavicino, in 1266, grew odious, and the factions of the Barbarasi, as well as the Ghibellines, had plundered the church, so that the city was laid under an interdict; and the pope’s nuncios had influence enough with the people to produce a revolution, a deposition of Pallavicino, and a restoration of all the exiles, by the general council.
“1267. After the deposition of Pallavicino, Bosio Doara occupied the government of Cremona, but did not retain it long; for, upon the return of Amatino de gli Amati, the proper head of the contrary faction, from exile, Doara, with his followers, was driven out of the city; but he only went to Placentia, and there held the dominion, and appointed to the government a podestà, Gerardino Doara, a relation.
“1269. Uberto Pallavicino having lost the lordship of the principal cities of Lombardy, died miserably in Sisaligo, his castle, in which he was besieged by the Parmesans and Placentians.
“1270. Bosio Doara, with the Ghibelline exiles from Cremona, went in support of Napoleon della Torre, against his enemies at Lodi. This year they began in Cremona to create captains of the people.
“1273. Pontio Amato, a citizen of Cremona, being podestà of Milan, was killed in a battle between the Torriani, and Otho Visconti, Archbishop of Milan.
“1278. The Torriani having taken Crema, set fire to it. The Cremonese of the Guelph faction gave assistance to those of Torre, against Otho and the other Visconti, with whom was Bosio Doara of the Ghibelline faction, who prepared employment enough to the Torriani.
“1281. The Cremonese and Parmesans, desirous of effacing the memory of the injuries done to each other in times past, restored their respective triumphal chariots, which had, in former days, been taken. Great joy was discovered upon this occasion, and the two cities entered into a strict confederation with the Modenese and Reggians, and the Marquis of Este. The principal article of this league was, that they should assist the inhabitants of Lodi, who were molested by the Milanese, who favored the party of the Visconti, of which the Marquis of Monferrato was captain. Bosio Doara, and Gabrino di Monza, who were also of the faction of the Visconti, entered into Crema with four hundred soldiers on horseback, and as many on foot, the Guelphs having fled.
“1282. The Torriani, being exiled from Lodi, took refuge in Cremona, and at the same time Bosio Doara, sallying out from Crema, took by stratagem Soncino and Romanengo, castles in the jurisdiction of Cremona. The Cremonese of the Guelph faction, then dominant, fearing that their affairs would grow worse, assembled their army, and called a diet of the cities their confederates. The ambassadors therefore of Placentia, Reggio, Parma, Modena, Brescia, Bologna, and Ferrara, assembled at Cremona; and the Marquis of Este, wrote that he would come in person. Florence, and the other cities of Tuscany, offered to lend their aid; the same offer was made by John Appiano, procurator of Romagna. They sent also a noble embassy to the pope, to inform him of the situation of affairs in Lombardy, and in how much danger the cities affectionate to his highness were. Otho Visconti perceiving these movements, entered into a closer league with the Marquis of Monferrato, and they, collecting as many armed men as they could, marched out with the triumphal chariot of Milan, and united with Bosio Doara. The Cremonese conducted their army, now very powerful by the additions of the confederates, partly to Castellione, and partly to Paderno, castles of Cremona; and while the two armies stood fronting each other, they began to treat of peace, which was finally concluded, by means of the ambassadors of Placentia and Brescia. The conditions of this peace were, that all the cities should expel each other’s exiles. Otho Visconti easily complied with the conditions of this convention, because he had already conceived no small jealousy of the Marquis of Monferrato, and a most violent hatred against Bosio Doara, who, being excluded from this confederation and peace, and having too much confidence in himself, refused to surrender Soncino and Romanengo. The Cremonese therefore called another diet, who sent an army and expelled him, not only from those two castles, but from Crema. William and Ugolino Rossi, noble and most powerful citizens of Parma, having contracted marriage, the first with Donella Carrara, of the signori of Padua, and the other with Elena Cavalcabò of the family of the Marquis of Viadana, these cities had made peace, and were full of rejoicings on the union.
“1285. William, Marquis of Monferrato, having made war upon Otho Visconti, Archbishop of Milan, the Cremonese sent some companies of soldiers to his assistance. At this time the triumphal chariot began to be disused, as very inconvenient in battle; they retained only the general standard in white, with a red cross, to which Otho, who was the first not to use it, added the image of St. Ambrose.
“A peace was concluded, in 1286, between the Visconti, the archbishop, and the exiles of Milan. The numerous family of Sommi had a confirmation of certain rights, anciently granted to the family by the Bishop of Cremona.
“A new confederation was formed, in 1288, between Otho Visconti, Archbishop of Milan, and the cities of Cremona, Pavia, Placentia, Brescia, Genoa, and Asto, against the Marquis of Monferrato; but the marquis, having made himself sovereign lord of Pavia, a new diet was assembled at Cremona, and another confederation formed.
“Matthew Visconti, who had been declared imperial vicar of the city of Milan, by Adolphus, King of the Romans, called a diet in that city, to deliberate on a war against the Torriani. The ambassadors of Cremona were there, and promised to send their forces to the aid of Visconti; but the Torriani made no movement, and Visconti did not long hesitate to break with Cremona and Lodi; for, impatient to enrich his followers, he began to discover an intention to impose taxes on those cities. The Torriani, too, began to complain, and were supported by the patriarch of Aquileia; the Torriani came to Cremona, and began to prepare war against Matthew Visconti.
“1295. The Torriani removed from Cremona to Lodi, where they met many of their friends, and soon received the news that Matthew Visconti had taken Castellione from the Cremonese; the Torriani, with some soldiers from Cremona and Lodi, and a gross multitude of Milanese exiles, their adherents, went to meet Visconti, but were attacked and routed by him.
“1299. The ambassadors of Cremona, of the Marquis of Monferrato, of the Marquis d’Este, of Novara, of Casale, of Bergamo, and of Vercelli, all congregated at Pavia, and made a league against Matthew Visconti. The Cremonese, not long afterwards, with the Marquis d’Este, were routed by Visconti. This year, however, a peace was concluded between Milan and Cremona, in which no mention is made of Visconti.
“A league was made, in 1302, between Cremona, Placentia, and Pavia, and they chose for their captain-general Alberto Scotto, then Lord of Placentia; these having hired a good body of soldiers, and united with the Torriani, went under the walls of Milan. Matthew Visconti, seeing that he was hated by his fellow-citizens, went out of Milan, and renounced all his authority to Scotto; and while they were treating of peace, the Torriani entered Milan, and drove off Matthew and all his partisans. After having expelled the Visconti from Milan, a new congress met at Placentia, of ambassadors from Cremona, Milan, Pavia, Lodi, Como, Novara, Vercelli, Tortona, Crema, Casale, and Bergamo, and concluded to hire, at the common expense, and for the common defence, a thousand horse and a thousand foot.
“A tumult in Parma, in 1303, was occasioned by an attempt of Giberto di Correggio to restore the Parmesan exiles. Giacopo Cavalcabò, Lord of Viadana, Amato, Persico, and Sommo, all noble citizens of Cremona, and old friends of Correggio, transported themselves to Parma, were elected arbitrators, and soon decided the controversy in favor of their friend Correggio. This year controversies and enmity arose between the Cremonese, and Alberto Scotto, Lord of Placentia.
“There was a diet of confederate cities, in 1304, against Alberto Scotto. A powerful army was collected, and the Marquis of Monferrato and the Marquis of Saluzzo were created captains; and having passed the Po, and taken many castles in the neighborhood, laid siege to Placentia; but the Cremonians and Lodians, considering the danger they might be exposed to, if that noble and powerful city should fall into the hands of the Marquis of Monferrato, began to withdraw their troops. They were followed by those of Pavia, and the others, and the army was dispersed, and Placentia delivered from the siege. A new league was made against Scotto, the head of which was Visconti Pallavicino; and the next year the Torriani made themselves masters of Placentia.
“1307. Giacopo Cavalcabò, a most noble citizen of Cremona, and Lord of Viadana, a man of ingenuity and an elevated spirit, was created podestà of Milan. The Fulgosi, Scotti, and Palastrelli, noble families of Placentia, with the assistance of William Cavalcabò and the Cremonians, expelled Lando and Visconti Pallavicino from Placentia.
“1308. Guido della Torre, Lord of Milan, made Persico, a noble Cremonian, podestà of that city. This year a controversy arising between the Parmesans and Giberto di Correggio, the Rossi, the Lupi, and other noble exiles, who had taken refuge in Cremona, were summoned by their countrymen to return; and they instantly obeyed, and carried with them the assistance of Tignaca Pallavicino, who at that time was podestà of Cremona, and the Cremonian soldiers, and having driven Correggio from Parma, Giacobo Cavalcabò was created podestà of that city. A confederation was also made between Guido della Torre, and the city of Cremona, to which Lodi, Bergamo, Placentia, and Crema acceded.
“1309. Giuliano Sommo, a noble Cremonian, was made podestà, and captain of the commons and people of Placentia, for months, according to the custom of those times.
“Henry VII. the Emperor came, at the end of 1310, into Italy to be crowned, and he called together all the Ghibellines of Lombardy, among whom Matthew Visconti held the first place. At that time the authority and influence of William Cavalcabò, brother of Giacopo, was so great in Cremona, that all public affairs were administered according to his will; but as these brothers were the heads of the Guelph faction they were little friendly to the emperor.
“Cremona, in 1311, tasted more than ever the bitter fruits of faction, civil discord, and unbalanced government, with which, however, it had been vexed and distressed for many years; it was now, besides infinite proscriptions of property and slaughter of citizens, upon the brink of total ruin from Henry. Fachetto, Marquis of Canossa, had been sent with the title of imperial vicar, but had been refused and expelled by the Guelphs, who then had the domination in Cremona. The emperor’s indignation was excited, and he gave orders to Matthew Visconti to pass the Adda, and assault Cremona with an army of Ghibellines, who, collecting together from every quarter, were increased to a great number. The emperor himself, with the empress his consort, departing from Milan, removed to Lodi. Gulielmo Cavalcabò, to whom the absolute dominion of Cremona had been given by the Guelphs, perceiving such formidable preparations for war, knowing his own city to be nearly divided into equal parties, and having little confidence in his own faction, quitted the city, and went to Viadana, followed by the Picenardi, Sommi, and Persichi, with many others, nobles and populars, his adherents. And the city would have been wholly evacuated and abandoned, if the citizens had not been dissuaded by Sopramonte Amato, who went into the middle of the multitude, exhorted them to stay, and throw themselves on the mercy of the emperor, whom he painted as pious and element, and offered himself as one of the principal intercessors. The people being comforted by his speech, it was ordered that two hundred of the principal men should go to meet Henry, who, hearing of the flight of Cavalcabò and his adherents, removed towards Cremona, and was already arrived at Paderno, eight miles distant from that city; there he was found by the Cremonians, who had been sent with Sopramonte Amato; and, in miserable habits, with their heads uncovered, with naked feet, and cords about their necks, when they came before the emperor, they fell upon their knees, and cried out, ‘Mercy!’ (misericordia!) and, with tears and lamentations, endeavored to recommend themselves and their country to the clemency of the conqueror. Such a spectacle of misery might have moved to compassion the heart of cruelty itself; it had not, however, the force to move in the smallest degree to mercy the most inhuman soul of Henry, who, with a cruelty more than barbarous, rolling his eyes another way, that he might not see them, commanded, with a voice of ferocity, that they should be all sent to prison; which was instantly executed by his ministers, and they were soon after put to death.
“Henry entered Cremona, assembled the council, and ordered that the walls of the city should be thrown down. This order was executed. And Henry desired to have the houses demolished; but at the prayer of some of his lords and barons, he was diverted from this malicious purpose; but they could not hinder many from being burned by Cremonian citizens, who had been exiles for being of the Ghibelline faction, and who sought every cruel method of revenge for the injuries they had received. The city was therefore filled with misery; the Germans and Italians all robbed alike; and nothing was heard but violence, murder, rapine, and extortion. The most rich were sure to be declared guilty, and their estates to be confiscated. At last, the emperor came to the public palace, and caused a most severe sentence to be published, in which he condemned the Cremonians to pay a hundred thousand golden florins, confiscated the public revenue, and ordered that the walls and bulwarks of the city should be ruined, and the ditches filled up. These hard conditions were accepted, and the fulfilment of them sworn to by Frederick Artezaga, syndic of the commons of Cremona, in whom was placed the government of the faction of Ghibellines, favored and exalted by the emperor, who left one of his vicars and departed. The Guelphs, thus ill treated, now concerted another confederation, and called in to their aid Robert, King of Apulia. Into this league all the cities of Romagna and Tuscany entered. The principal were Florence, Lucca, and Siena; and of those of Lombardy, Bologna, Reggio, and Parma, whose sovereign lord was Giberto di Correggio. The Torriani and the Cavalcabòs, with the rest of the Milanese and Cremonian exiles, joined the confederacy; and all these united, after having made themselves masters of the bridge of Dossolo over the Pò, took also Casalmaggiore, driving out the Ghibellines.
William Cavalcabò, having learned that John Castiglione, Podestà of Cremona, in the name of the emperor, was gone with the militia to Pozzobaronzo, a place subject to the Cremonians, in which were some Guelphs, taking advantage of this opportunity, flew with wonderful rapidity to Cremona, and entering the city by the gate della Mosa, arrived without opposition to the piazza, where he was encountered by Galeazzo Visconti and Manfredino Pallavicino; but these not being able to sustain the impetuosity of the soldiers of Cavalcabò, not without a great slaughter of Ghibellines, among whom Giacomo Redenasco was slain, they betook themselves to flight, and Galeazzo saved himself in Crema. Soon afterwards, as an insurrection was expected in Cremona, Giberto di Reggio went thither from Parma, where he was received with tokens of the greatest joy; and having quieted with great prudence the controversies, he established Cavalcabò in the lordship of the city, making Quirico Sanvitale, his son-in-law, podestà. The inhabitants of Soncino having also expelled the imperial governor, surrendered to Cavalcabò, who, fearing that the enemy would encamp at that post, suddenly went thither with Venturino Benzone, head of the Guelphs of Crema, and with Venturino Fondulo, one of the principal men of Soncino. The Barbuoi and other families of Soncino, of the opposite faction, having conveyed intelligence of this to the emperor, he gave Soncino to the Count Guarnero, his general in Lombardy, who went and laid siege to the place. There were in Soncino, besides the Terrazzani, the Guelphs of Cremona, Crema, and Bergamo; and with the Count Guarnero, besides the German troops, were the Ghibellines of Cremona, Bergamo, and Crema. The inhabitants of Soncino defended themselves on the first assault with great activity, encouraged by the valor of Cavalcabò, Benzone, and Fondulo; but, seized with a panic, upon some advantage gained by Galeazzo Visconti, the soldiers, who came to their assistance from Cremona, shamefully abandoned their defence, and retreated into the houses. Cavalcabò, seeing such cowardice or treachery, consulted with Benzone to get out of that place as soon as possible. Collecting their soldiers in a compact body, they rushed into the midst of the enemy, combating with wonderful intrepidity; but Cavalcabò being killed, and Benzone and Venturino Fondulo, with his two sons, made prisoners, the Ghibellines remained victorious. Benzone, falling into the hands of the Ghibellines of Crema, was miserably assassinated; and Fondulo, with his two sons, by the orders of Guarnero, was hanged before the gate of Soncino. The news of this defeat filled Cremona with terror and confusion. But Giberto Correggio, with a company of Parmesans coming in, their fears subsided, and the enemy having intelligence of this succor, had not the courage to approach the walls. The Cremonians, to recompense the benefit received from Correggio, gave him the government of the city for five years. The Guelphs took Castellione, in which was Manfredino Pallavicino, who was made prisoner. And Castelnovo, the mouth of the Adda to the Guelphs, was taken by the Ghibellines.
“Passarino della Torre had the government of Cremona in 1313, with the title of Vicar of Robert, King of Apulia.
“Giacopo Cavalcabò, Marquis of Viadana, was, in 1315, by the common consent of the people, elected to the government of Cremona. Ponzino de’ Ponzoni, his brother-in-law, whether from private envy or republican jealousy, was enraged beyond all measure at this, and he stirred up insurrections against Cavalcabò, many other noble families, the Ponzoni, the Guazoni, the Amati, and the Picenardi, who went out of Cremona, and made a league with the Visconti, and occasioned much mischief and ruin to their country, against which they took up arms.
“Ponzino Ponzone and all his adherents, having made a league with Cane della Scala, Lord of Verona, and with Passarino Buona-cossi, Lord of Mantua, came to Cremona, and laid siege to it; but by the valor of those within they were repulsed; yet they did much damage in the territory. A peace, or the appearance of a peace, between those in the city and the exiles, was then made; and, by common consent, Egidiolo Piperaro was deputed to the government of the city, with the title of Abbate of the People; and then the Ponzoni, with their partisans, returned to the city.
“The whole city, in 1317, arose in arms, excited by Giacopo and Luigi Cavalcabò, and Gregorio Sommo, and others, their partisans of the Guelph faction, with whom were the Brusati, Lords of Brescia, with all their followers. These entering the great piazza of Cremona, slew Egidiolo Piperaro, who had mounted the rostrum to still the tumult. Leonard and Baccanino Picenardi, though one of them was a brother-in-law of Louis Cavalcabò, were both assassinated; the Pedecani, Malombra, Alemanni, and others innumerable, both of the noble and popular families of the Ghibelline faction were murdered; and the whole faction was, in fact, driven out of the city, Ponzone taking his flight with some others of the principal citizens who fled with him. He was received into Soncino by Philip Barbuò, and soon obtained Castellione, and all the Guelphs were driven out of both these places. Ponzone, who had first holden with the Guelph party, now conjured up another faction, by the name of the Maltraversi, of whom he was the head,” (for every faction had its podestà, little council, and great council, its king, lords, and commons,) “and in a short time made himself master of almost all the Cremonese territories in the country. Finally, the Ghibellines and Maltraversi made a coalition, and constituting Ponzino their head, entered into close alliance with Cane della Scala, Lord of Verona, and Passarino Buonacossi, Lord of Mantua, and with Matthew Visconti, Vicar-General of Milan. These came, therefore, to the assistance of the Ghibellines and Maltraversi, against the Guelphs, in Cremona, Cane, and Passarino, with their people, and Matthew sent them Luchino, his son, with the Milanese cavalry and infantry, with whom were some companies of Pavians, Placentians, Parmesans, Bergamans, and others, from Coma, Novara, Vercelli, Crema, and Monferrato. All these people, uniting together, encamped against Cremona. The siege continued twenty-eight days, without any event of consequence, excepting their depredations upon the territory in the country, and destruction of all the estates of the Guelphs.
“1318. Ponzone, having made a breach in the wall, entered the city with his Ghibellines and Maltraversi, and reached the piazza without being discovered. The Guelphs, when they saw him, were astonished and fled, and with them Giacopo Cavalcabò and Gregorio Sommo. Ponzone was proclaimed Lord of Cremona by the Ghibellines and Maltraversi. At the same time, the partisans of Cavalcabò took Robecco, and went to Olmeneta, eight miles from Cremona, and ruined a certain tower of the Zucchelli, in which was Niccolò Borgo, with some others of the faction of Ponzone, who, upon hearing of the destruction of his friends, went with a body of soldiers to those places, and made much havoc among the people of Cavalcabò.
“Giberto Correggio, captain-general of the Guelph league, with Cavalcabò, and all those of their faction, broke down the walls of the city in 1319, entered, and by force of arms drove out the Ghibellines, and Ponzino Ponzone, with his league of Guelph Maltraversi.
“This Ponzone appears to have joined any side, as his circumstances gave him opportunity; for in 1321, he made a coalition with Galeazzo Visconti, son of Matthew, and Lord of Placentia, entered, with the Ghibelline faction, by force of arms, into Cremona, and drove away the Cavalcabòs, with all the real Guelphs, their partisans. There was afterwards published a proclamation, in the name of Galeazzo, that it should be lawful for all, of whatever faction, to inhabit the city of Cremona, excepting the Cavalcabòs, and certain other citizens, suspected of having concerted a plot against Galeazzo and his partisans.
“1324. Alberto Scotto, of Placentia, head of the Guelphs, took the castle of Malamorte, which was on the bank of the Po, directly opposite to the city of Cremona, and more than three hundred Ghibellines who were within were slain. Raimondo Cardona was sent by the pope, John XXII., with a powerful army, to the assistance of the Guelphs, who, assembling all of his faction in Lombardy, went against Galeazzo Visconti, and shutting him up in Milan, laid siege to it.
“1327. Louis IV., of Bavaria, set up an anti-pope against John.
“1329. Louis confirmed to the Cremonians all the privileges granted to them by his predecessors.
“1330. Guido de Camilla, imperial vicar, had the government of the city, and a truce was established between the community of Cremona and Gregory de’ Sommi, by which it appears, that Cremona was not at that time subjected to the Visconti. The city was governed by Ghibellines, who were the majority, or predominant party; and Gregory Sommo was one of the principal heads of the Guelph party.
“1335. Azzo Visconti, son of Galeazzo, having made a peace with the Cremonians, gave them the dominion of Crema, which, after the death of Pope John, had subjected itself to the Visconti. This year, according to some historians, the lordship of Cremona was given by its inhabitants to the same Azzo Visconti.
“1339. Azzo Visconti, Lord of Cremona, died without sons, and to him succeeded in the dominion of Milan and of Cremona, Luchino Visconti, and John his brother, who, from Bishop of Novara, was a little afterwards made Archbishop of Milan, so that he became in that city lord both in spiritual and temporal affairs. Cremona enjoyed a state of tranquillity under the joint lordship of Luchino and John the archbishop.
“Luchino Visconti died in 1348, and for his rare and excellent qualities very much regretted by the people his subjects. He left no son, and therefore the Archbishop obtained the sole lordship of Milan and Cremona, and of many other cities acquired by the virtue of Luchino. John and Luchino had obtained from Benedict XII., pope, the title of Vicars of the Holy Apostolical See.
“1350. Bernabò and Galeazzo, brothers of the Visconti, nephews of John, the Archbishop and Lord of Milan and Cremona, both married; the first to Regina della Scala, daughter of the Lord of Verona and Vicenza; and Galeazzo married a sister of the Duke of Savoy, named Bianca.
“John Visconti, Archbishop and Lord of Milan, after having greatly amplified his dominions, died in 1354, leaving as his heirs Matthew, Bernabò, and Galeazzo, sons of Stephen his brother. The extent of absolute dominion already acquired by this family over the ruins of so many commonwealths, ruined by their unbalanced factions, appears by the division made upon this occasion. To Matthew were assigned Placentia, Lodi, Bologna, Massa, Lugo, Bobio, Pontremolo, and Borgo San Donino; to Galeazzo, the cities of Como, Novara, Vercelli, Asti, Alba, Alessandria, Tortona, Castelnuovo di Scrivia, Bassignana, Vigevano, St. Angelo, Montebuono, and Mairano; to Bernabò were given Cremona, Bergamo, Brescia, Crema, Valcamonica, Lonato, with all the river dal Lago di Garda, and other places. The lordship of Milan and Genoa remained to them all united.
“1355. The Emperor, Charles IV., came into Italy to receive the imperial crown, and was crowned with the crown of iron at Milan, by Robert Visconti, archbishop of that city, and he there created knights, John Galeazzo, a boy of two years old, who was afterwards the first Duke of Milan; and Marco, who was not two months old, both sons of Galeazzo Visconti. The Emperor gave also the title of Imperial Vicars in Italy to the three brothers, Galeazzo, Matthew, and Bernabò. The dominion of Cremona remained alone in Bernabò.
“1365. Bernabò married Verde, his daughter, to Lupoldo, brother of the Archduke of Austria; and the wedding was celebrated at Milan, before a congress of ambassadors from Cremona and all the other cities subject to him; and he gave his daughter a dower of a hundred thousand florins.
“1368. Violante, daughter of Galeazzo, was married to a son of the King of England, with another dower of a hundred thousand florins, and an annual pension of twenty-four thousand more, assigned upon some city of Piedmont.
“1372. Isabella, the first wife of John Galeazzo, Conte di Virtù, the first-born son of Galeazzo Visconti, before mentioned, died, and left an only daughter, called Valentina. At this time Bernabò gave great signs of an inhuman and cruel nature.
“1377. La Verde, daughter of Galeazzo, was married to a son of the Marquis of Monferrato, who was assassinated by his subjects. She was then married by her father, with a dispensation from the pope, to a son of Bernabò.
“1378. Galeazzo died, and left two sons, John Galeazzo, Conte di Virtú, and Azzo. John Galeazzo, who was the eldest, succeeded his father in the dominion of the state.
“1380. Catherine Visconti, daughter of Bernabò, was, by her father, married to John Galeazzo, Conte di Virtù, her cousin, with a dispensation from the pope.
“1381. Azzo died, brother of John Galeazzo, to whom alone remained the government of their paternal state.
“1385. Cremona gave itself voluntarily to John Galeazzo Visconti, Conte di Virtù, under whose dominion came all the other cities and places subject to Bernabò, his uncle and father-in-law; Bernabò having been made a prisoner, with Ludovico and Rodolfo, his sons, by the same John Galeazzo, who, having learned from his wife, the daughter of Bernabò, that her father had several times attempted to put him to death, in order to rule alone, resolved to relieve himself from anxiety and suspicion. To this end he went to Pavia, and affected a retired life, and pretended to go a pilgrimage to St. Mary del Monte. Bernabò, with his two sons, went to meet him, and all three were taken by the soldiers of John Galeazzo, and confined in the castle of Trezzo, where they all died of poison, as it is supposed, sent them by his nephew and son-in-law. John Galeazzo was immediately accepted by the Milanese as their lord; and the Cremonians spontaneously gave themselves up to Giacopo Virino, the captain and counsellor of the same John Galeazzo, and soon after sent sixteen ambassadors to Milan with a capitulation, which was accepted and confirmed by him, article by article, with some limitations. The first article was, that the city of Cremona gave itself voluntarily and by a common concord of all the people.
“1388. Bianca, mother of John Galeazzo, died, and Valentina his daughter, by Isabella, his first wife, was married to Louis Duke of Orleans, brother of Charles VI., King of France; and this year was born John Maria, son of John Galeazzo, by Catherine his consort.
“Philip Maria, second son of John Galeazzo, was born in Milan, in 1392.
“John Galeazzo, Conte di Virtù, obtained the title of Duke of Milan, of Wenceslaus the emperor. He received all the ensigns of the ducal dignity, and that with admirable pomp, before a congress of the ambassadors from all the cities subject to him, among whom were those from Cremona, those from Venice, Florence, the Marquis di Ferrato, the Lords of Forli and Urbino, and the sons of the Lords of Padua, with a multitude of others. He gave to the Emperor an hundred thousand ducats for the ducal dignity. In 1399, the Duke obtained the domination of the city of Pisa; in 1400, that of Perugia; and in 1402, Bologna.
“1403. Factions arose again in this province, out of which were engendered seditions, civil discords, and rebellions, by which John Maria, second Duke of Milan, lost the ample dominion that had been left him by his father. Seditions arose in Milan, in which they expelled the ducal lieutenant; which, being understood by the other cities, they all arose, driving off the ducal officers. John Castiglione, a Milanese, was then in Cremona, with the title of Ducal Vicar, but he was now expelled by the fury of the people; and, at the same time, John Ponzone, and Ugolino Cavalcabò, Marquis of Viadana, most noble and powerful citizens, and heads of the factions of Guelphs and Maltraversi, drove the Ghibellines from the city, and made themselves masters of it. There followed, at this time, innumerable homicides and burnings of houses, both in the city and country, there not being a village in which there were not the two parties.”
But passing over the horrid detail of particulars, we may pass to the year 1404, when “Ugolino Cavalcabò, having seized the dominion of Cremona, conceived suspicions of some of the principal citizens, and caused their heads to be struck off, as guilty of plotting against him, and endeavoring to restore the city to the duke. Tyranny and cruelty are always the effect of such a state of affairs in all parties; and the Duke John Maria grew every day more cruel. He imprisoned his own mother, Catherine Visconti, in the castle of Monza, and caused her to be there strangled. Ugolino, coming to battle near Brescia with Estore Visconti, was taken prisoner with Marsilio and Cæsar Cavalcabò and many other citizens of their faction. Ugolino was conducted to Soncino, and then to Milan, where he remained many months in prison; and Cabrino Fondulo, his captain, saved himself in that conflict by flight to Cremona. The captivity of Ugolino being known, Charles Cavalcabò, of the same family, seized the government of Cremona.
“Francesco Gasoni, a knight, and heretofore podestà of Cremona for Ugolino Cavalcabò, and afterwards made captain-general in that city, by Charles his successor, was beheaded for being suspected of holding a correspondence and concerting a conspiracy with Estore Visconti. A league was published this year between Charles Cavalcabò, Pandolfo Malatesta, Vignati, Lord of Lodi, and Bartolomeo and Paolo Benzoni, Lords of Crema; and Charles took Piadena, whose citadel was surrendered to him by William Picenardo.
“1406. The Visconti castle was this year fortified by Charles Cavalcabò, and Ugolino escaping from prison, went to Mancastorma to find Cabrino Fondulo, who came with him to Cremona, to enter into the castle, in which was Charles, who had an understanding with Fondulo. Ugolino was therefore received into the castle, but his foot was scarcely within the gate before he was made prisoner; for these people were not much more inclined to surrender their power to their own families than to strangers. A little afterwards Fondulo, having fraudulently invited to supper with him, in the castle of Mancastorma, Charles and Andreaso Cavalcabò, made them both prisoners, and cruelly murdered them. He came soon after to Cremona with many armed men, entered the castle and the other fortresses, and made himself master of the city, and of all the lands and castles possessed by Cavalcabò, except Viadana, which would not submit to him. Cabrino, little grateful to that family by whom he had been elevated to an honorable rank, defaced all the arms of the Cavalcabòs which appeared in public places, and miserably murdered Ugolino, by whom he had been made captain.
“Fondulo, in 1407, caused to be beheaded two sons of Picenardo, in the piazza of Cremona, and cast cruelly from the ruins of a tower two of the family of Barbuò. This year Pandolfo, the son of Fondulo, was born. A truce, made between the Duke of Milan and Cabrino Fondulo, Lord of Cremona, was renewed for four months.
“1408. John Maria, Duke of Milan, married, in the city of Brescia, Antonia, daughter of Malatesta, Lord of Rimini. Cabrino Fondulo caused to be burned John de’ Sesto, for having made false money; and buried alive John Lantero, for having slandered Cabrino; he hanged Lorenzo Guazzoni, and beheaded Rubertino of the same family, for having been found on the land of Gazzo, which had rebelled against him.
“1409. Another son was born to Cabrino Fondulo, Lord of Cremona. He had taken Gazzo, which had rebelled against him, and destroyed it; and was this year made a knight in the city of Milan, by Bucicaldo, Governor of Genoa for the King of France.
“1411. John da Terso, Lord of Soncino, was taken and assassinated by the people of Cabrino near Brescia; and Cabrino obtained from the inhabitants of Soncino the land and fort.
“1412. John Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, while he was at mass, was murdered by Trivulzio, Guerrino, and Baruchino, and other conspirators of several conspicuous families, and Estore Visconti, son of Barnabas, maternal grandfather of John Maria, was proclaimed by the conspirators Lord of Milan; but these were driven out by Philip Maria, Lord of Pavia, brother of the deceased duke, who entered Milan with the forces of Facino Cane, and Estore being fled to Monza, was pursued by Philip, besieged, fought, and slain. Whereupon Philip Maria was proclaimed Duke of Milan, and married Beatrice, formerly wife of Facino Cane, and availed himself of her dower, and of the soldiers of her late husband, to recover the state from the hands of the tyrants who, from the death of his father, had possessed it. At the end of this year a truce was made between the Duke Philip Maria and Cabrino Fondulo.
“1416. A confederation was made between Fondulo, Malatesta, the Marquis of Ferrara, and Philip Arcelli, Lord of Placentia, on one part, and Philip Maria, Duke of Milan, and his adherents, on the other. The friends of the duke were Vignati, Lord of Lodi, Rusca, Lord of Como, Benzone, Lord of Crema, and Orlando, Marquis Pallavicino. This convention lasted not long, though it was made for two years.
“1417. The Duke Philip Maria, having broken the truce and confederation, sent his forces, under Carmagnuola, his captain-general, to commit depredations on the Cremonians. Going afterwards to Placentia with part of his people, he was met by Cabrino, Lord of Cremona, with a few infantry of Malatesta, and defeated.
“1418. Philip Maria, Duke of Milan, caused to be beheaded Beatrice his wife, for no other reason but because she was grown old and he was weary of her, although he propagated against her suspicions of adultery.
“1419. The Count Carmagnuola returned to the Cremonian territory with the ducal army, took Castellione and all the other castles, destroyed the vines and corn, and laid siege to the city. Cabrino Fondulo, seeing that he could not resist the forces of the duke, endeavored to sell the city of Cremona to Pandolfo Malatesta. But the duke sent Carmagnuola upon the territory of Brescia, and soon had all its fortresses in his possession. Cabrino, seeing that the assistance of Malatesta would fail him, began, by the means of Carmagnuola, to treat of an agreement with Philip Maria, who, knowing the difficulty of taking the city from so powerful and sagacious a man as Fondulo, finally agreed with him.
“1420. Cabrino agreed with the duke to surrender Cremona and all its country, reserving only Castellione, of which he was invested in fee, with the title of marquis, by the duke, for which he paid forty thousand ducats.
“1421. The duke recovered Genoa, Albenga, Savona, and Brescia.
“1424. Fondulo, desirous of regaining the domination, made an agreement with the Florentines against the duke.
“1425. The duke condemned to death Cabrino Fondulo, and beheaded him.”
The rest of this history may be consulted at leisure. It was at this time, and had been long, an absolute monarchy. While it was a republic it was a continual struggle between the families of Pallavicini and Doara, Cavalcabò and Visconti, Ponzoni and Cavalcabò, Visconti and Fondulo. The family of Visconti acquired in Lombardy a sovereignty like that of the Medici in Tuscany, and by the same means. And both because there was no balance in the governments, and because the executive power and judiciary power were elected in the legislative assembly; that is, precisely, because all authority was attempted to be placed in the same centre. Is it worth while, merely for the whistling of the name of a republic, to undergo all the miseries and horrors, cruelties, tyrannies, and crimes which are the natural and inevitable fruits of such a constitution?
[1 ]Dell’ historia di Cremona d’Antonio Campo, Cavaliero, pittore, et architetto Cremonense. In Milano, 1645. Libro secondo, p. 26.
[* ]Il capello, e il stocco, e la verga, ò scettro.
[* ]Muratori, Annal. anno 1183.
[1 ]Imperoche si come la città in due parti dal fiumicello Cremonella vien divisa, così sì divisero anche i cittadini.
[1 ]“i popolari.”
[1 ]“I popolari e i nobili.”