Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
26 Mar 2020, 18:34

Petrarch evokes Daphne-Laura and Aeolus in a single poem, Sonetto 41
...Then those fierce planets Saturn and Mars
blaze out again, and armed Orion
shatters the poor sailor's tiller and shrouds:

and stormy Aeolus makes Neptune,
and Juno, and us, feel the departure
of that lovely face the angels wait for.'s clear that Petrarch is not invoking him as a symbol of warm springtime breezes, and happy coupling, as Dante does.

But both certainly make the choice of Aeolus in the roster more explicable.

I don't think it requires a pre or post-marriage date, though, or marriage at all.
I'll convince you of the marriage/ethnogenic theory eventually. ;-)

Petrarch is clearly thinking of Daphne/Laura's death (the triumph of death and then of course eternity), hence the wintry side of Aeolus and the invocation of the "baleful" planets of Saturn and Mars, who bring death and destruction. But you may ask why Juno - the goddess of marriage - was included in this litany of otherwise negative influences. The answer is the archetype of the ethnogenic program: Virgil and his Aeneid, an episode within that work to which Petrarch was alluding.

Aeolus, as in Dante's Comedia, appears only once in the Aeneid: to blow Aeneas and his ships off Sicily to Carthage, by stirring up the ocean (to the annoyance of Neptune). Aeolus is doing Juno's bidding, as she hates the Trojans (she sided with the Greeks in the Trojan War). And what is waiting for Aeneas in Carthage but a Beatrice Cano (nee di Tenda) - the older widow, Dido. This is where Juno has mislead him, forcing Jupiter to eventually send Mercury down to Aeneas an redirect him to Italy where he shall plant his seed (and not pursue the bad match Juno had blown him off course for; Venus, disguised, also speaks to her son Aeneas in Carthage). I think you can see the Marziano deck parallel here for the marriage theory in light of the Visconti line descended from Aeneas: the card Aeolus can block one's fortune, but beyond him is Daphne, the appropriate chaste target of a Laura, with Cupido following; again, Pleasure follows Virtue. But the narrow point here is this combination of Aeolus and Juno, signifying for Petrarch, and as it would for any humanist, a symbolic signpost pointing to this marriage crossroads of Aeneas (and it hardly needs to be mentioned that had Aeneas chosen Dido then the Visconti would not exist, in the mythological, ethnogenic sense). Just as Aeneas will not wed Dido, Petrarch will not wed Laura (death takes her from him), hence the Aeolus/Juno appearances in that sonnet (except Laura's shipwreck was rather permanent). But it is Aeolus that bookmarks this specific point of Aeneas' journey, for again, he appears nowhere else in the epic. So closely in fact is Aeolus tied to this scene that Dante places the shade of Dido in the second circle of of the Inferno, where she is condemned (on account of her consuming lust, but also a suicide) to be blasted for eternity in a fierce whirlwind - a demonic "Aeolus" (presumably Dante's guide approved).

Every Italian humanist not only knew the Aeneid, as Virgil ranked up there with Cicero as a Roman literary model, but used its protagonist as a means of teaching and allegorical exegesis. Early in his career Decembrio himself attempted to supplement the Aeneid (Biblioteca Ambrosiana D112 Inf., fos. 173v-5r), as did Maffeo Vergio who wrote a "Book 13" to complete the Aeneid (see pp 42-43 and 41-42 respectively, in Craig Kallendorf, The Other Virgil, 2007). Not long after Marziano's death, Filelfo allegorized the Aeneid ina long letter (18 December 1427) to Ciriaco d'Ancona, describing Aeneas as an exemplary figura of virtue, particularly prudence:
In civic life then, prudence alone is the master over all the other moral virtues. Prudence alone moderates and rules these. But prudence is a but a broken and weak thing - a quality without strength - unless it is obedient to wisdom alone, as though a prince or queen....Therefore, when Vergil proposed that Aeneas - "man," as it were - should be sung by him, he meant the wise and prudent one.... (Diane Robins, Filelfo in Milan, 1991: 53-54; but also see an extended discussion of Filelfo and the Aeneid in Kallendorf, 50f).
[and I'll spare you a lengthy aside of the implications of this for the CY "World" as Prudence...but naturally Filelfo was welcome in a court obsessed with Aeneas and his progeny].
In a culture already obsessed with the Aeneid, how could Marziano's use of the minor deity Aeolus not be a reference to this pivotal moment of destiny for a court claiming descent Aeneas? Ovid, Homer or whomever simply would not have meant as much in Milan.

As for the ethnogenic archetype of the Aeneid and marriage, in the opening of Book I of the Aeneid Juno just does not redirect Aeneas to Dido, but entices Aeolus with a spouse as well:
Juno is a marriage goddess, and she promises Aeolus the beautiful nymph Deiopea as his reward for inciting the winds against the Trojans (in Homer he is married already, with children). Aeolus complies, of course; we could not have expected such a minor god to challenge his better.
(Lee Fratantuono, Madness Unchained: A Reading of Virgil's Aeneid, 2007: 5)
The same work notes that Virgil epic was conceived and written when the ethnogenic project in mind, it being claimed by Augustus following the civil wars:
A Trojan Caesar will be born from a beautiful origin, / who fix the Ocean as his empire’s border, / and the stars as his fame, / a Julius, his name descended from great Iulus. Without anxiety, you will receive this man at some point in heaven / laden down with the spoils of the East. / Then the harsh centuries will become gentle once wars have been put aside; / hoary Faith and Vesta, and Quirinus with his bother Remus / will give laws; the grim Gates of War will be closed with / tight iron bars; wicked Madness will be inside. (1.286-296)
The passage is of supreme importance for understanding much of what unfolds as the central problem of the Aeneid, namely the problem of the Augustan succession [Augustus was adopted by Caesar, after all]. The prediction is for a Caesar to be born, one who will spread his empire to the River Ocean (the ends of the earth), who will win Eastern spoils and one day be received by Venus, like his ancestor Aeneas, as a god in heaven, one who will be called upon by his Romans with votive offerings. He will be born from a “beautiful” origin because Venus us his distant ancestor. Wars will cease and impious Madness (the very opposite of Aeneas, we may think) will be chained up, sitting on top of its savage arms and seething with bloody mouth. (ibid, 12)
Finally in regard to the Aeneid, note that the historical work you've identified as central to Marziano also promoted Aeneas, but does not involve Aeolus as the entire episode is dispensed with:
Vergil’s contemporary Livy (59 B.C.-A.D. 17) probably finished the first pentad of his monumental Roman history Ab Urbe Condita around the same time Virgil was deeply engaged in work on the Aeneid (c. 27-25 B.C.). His first book opens with Aeneas and Antenor. Aeneas is a profugus, a ‘exile’, at the start of both works; in Livy Aeneas will move directly from Troy to Macedonia to Sicily to Italy, without any Carthaginian complications.(ibid,13)
Aeolus is a fairly narrow point, but without the context of the famous Aeneid - specifically the interaction of Juno with Aeolus, conspiring against Venus's son, blown off course to the wrong bride prospect (temporarily) - its hard to explain why this minor god was included (and I find the symmetry of Dido/Beatrice, Filippo's first wife, striking). The only clear option, specifically tied to Marziano's literary involvement with Filippo, is Aeolus' connection to the Zephyr breeze of Springtime, embodied in a sort of timeless Golden Age of Eden atop Purgatory, where Dante is entranced by Matelda before moving on to his Beatrice and the "triumph of eternity" (to borrow from Petrarch). And again, we find Filippo's portrait in the Visconti Hours beneath a depiction of Eden (albeit Eve's fall, which in turn means human generation).

The Aeneid and Comedia appearances of Aeolus are not necessarily mutually exclusive - an obstacle to ethnogenic destiny overcome and on the flip side, as a positive symbol pointing towards paradise. The ethnogenic connection to the gods means the Visconti are marked out for rule as a continuation of a divine genealogy, but at same time predestines them for "apotheosis" (hence the Judgement card and the implication of Paradise in trionfi decks). A bon droit....


Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Phaeded wrote:
27 Mar 2020, 03:51
I'll convince you of the marriage/ethnogenic theory eventually. ;-)
I don't know about that. But I do know that you have explained the choice of Aeolus, by your Dido/Beatrice insight. In fact it makes it more apparent that he was still married to her when the text was written. If we take your insight, but don't insist on literal marriage, then it makes more sense. For the sake of argument, Marziano could have been subtly urging Filippo Maria to just get on with it, find a good woman and make a son (I don't know if Marziano would have approved of a daughter successor, but that was not his choice). In other words, Filippo Maria is already married to Beatrice/Dido; Marziano is telling him to ignore her (the rough turn that political expedience - the winds of Aeolus - have forced him into), and find the woman who will provide his lineage with its true heir.

I looked up what Fossati had to say about Agnese. For her year of birth, some improbably give as 1411, but the most recent, Federica Cengarle in Dizionario biografico degli italiani 2006 says only “primi anni del XV secolo.” (early years of the 15th century) ... iografico) I think Cengarle is a reliable source on this.

Fossati's long note on Agnese spans pages 219-222 (note 1), also gives no year of birth, or even speculates. But he gives a surprise – in the legitimization of Giacomo, 19 January 1429, after the long copy of Emperor Sigismondo's legitimization, it continues with Filippo Maria's own stipulations. He makes it that Giacomo would be removed from the succession if the duchessa, Maria, had a son or a daughter, or if Agnese, his “amasia” - lover (feminine), had a son by him.
Il 19 gennaio 1429, legittimando Giacomo Visconti e abilitandolo alla successione, dichiara che i diritti cosí concessi scadranno in determinati casi: uno, se Agnese avrà da lui, Filippo Maria, un maschio aut de masculo gravida foret, il quale legittima e abilita alla successione, riservandosi però la facoltà destituendi et inhabilitandi, Registri ducali cit., N. 8. f. 320 r.
(whole document folios 318r-321v).

On 19 January 1429, legitimizing Giacomo Visconti and enabling him to inherit, he declared that the rights thus granted would expire in certain cases: one, if Agnese will have from him, Filippo Maria, a male or becomes pregnant with a male, who legitimates and enables the succession, but he reserves the faculty of disinheriting and deligitimization, ... 22&f=false

I couldn't believe that Maria would be ignored, so I had to see whether her potential offspring were included. Indeed they were.

See the original copy here, Registri ducali, number 8, page 341 of the viewer - ... 0_archivio ... i8f320.jpg

Bold text starts on line 5 of the original:
"et predictum dominum Jacobum destituent predicta legiptimatio et habilitatio sit nulla nulliusque valloris et penitus evanescat et pro non facta habeant ac proinde ac si namque facta fuisset. Eodemque modo si illustrissima domina ducissa consors prefati domini ducis filium aut filiam haberet vel gravida esset sit in huiusmodi casibus et utroque seu quolibet eorum dicta legiptimatio et habilitatio sit et inteligatur nulla nulliusque valloris et peritus evanescat ut supra. Et prout supra. Similique modo si Agnes de Mayno nata Ambrosini amasia prefati domini ducis ex ipso domino duce masculum haberet aut de masculo gravida foret istis casibus et utroque vel altero eorum dicta legiptimatio et habilitatio facta de dicto domino Jacobo nichil valeat "
"And in the same way if the very distinguished duchess consort of the aforesaid lord duke should have a son or else a daughter or should become pregnant, in whichever or whoever of these cases the said legitimatio and habilitatio are and are understood to be null and void of value and completely vanished, as above and exactly as above. In a similar way if Agnes de Mayno daughter of Ambrosino, lover of the aforesaid lord duke from the lord duke himself has a male child or else should be become pregnant with a male child in either of these cases the said legitimatio and habilitatio made for the said lord Giacomo would be of no value."

It goes on to say more about Agnes which I'll get to later.

It was all very public and marriage had nothing to do with it, when you could legitimize bastards more or less at will. It is fascinating that Bianca Maria was almost four years old already. It was okay for him to hold out for a legitimate daughter, if need be, to take over, and also to overturn legal precedent about female succession (Naples allowed it too), but not an illegitmate one - that would be a step too far. Bastard son, fine; bastard daughter, nope. Legal daughter, I'll think about it.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
27 Mar 2020, 21:35
"And in the same way if the very distinguished duchess consort of the aforesaid lord duke should have a son or else a daughter or should become pregnant, in whichever or whoever of these cases the said legitimatio and habilitatio are and are understood to be null and void of value and completely vanished, as above and exactly as above. In a similar way if Agnes de Mayno daughter of Ambrosino, lover of the aforesaid lord duke from the lord duke himself has a male child or else should be become pregnant with a male child in either of these cases the said legitimatio and habilitatio made for the said lord Giacomo would be of no value."

It goes on to say more about Agnes which I'll get to later.

It was all very public and marriage had nothing to do with it, when you could legitimize bastards more or less at will. It is fascinating that Bianca Maria was almost four years old already. It was okay for him to hold out for a legitimate daughter, if need be, to take over, and also to overturn legal precedent about female succession (Naples allowed it too), but not an illegitmate one - that would be a step too far. Bastard son, fine; bastard daughter, nope. Legal daughter, I'll think about it.

Although that document dates after Marziano, many thanks for that critical tidbit about Giacomo and Agnese's male issue (which never came to be), a succession issue which I had speculated would follow French practice (which it does here). I've not shared this here before and maybe you are already familiar with her work, but Nadia Covini is a treasure trove of information about Agnese (e.g., she played a critical role in throwing Pavia over to Sforza in 1447), Bianca and the del Maino/Mayno family in general (e.g., one of Bianca's del Maino uncles played an important role in raising Galeazzo Maria):

Perhaps "marriage" has been over-emphasized but seeking a woman other than Beatrice Tenda with whom Filippo can continue the Visconti line - framed in terms not just of dynastic but ethnogenic Aeneas-Anglus concerns (heightens in epic terms the sense of the imperative) - is still very much on the table. If c. 1412 and shortly thereafter is the date that ultimately gets pointed towards, then marriage to a desirable, child-bearing woman is very much on the table, despite the expediency of Beatrice, conceived of as a Dido (or even a Sofonisba, as I will argue in a separate reply). Alternatively, if in 1418 when Filippo was just initiating the wooing of Agnese his courtiers could have been encouraged by that but still wanted him to seek a marriage, then the "Dido angle" is still relevant as she was just executed and courtiers want a way to damn her memory poetically. Marriage to someone (Filippo is back in the saddle as it were) is also still at play. The third option, which I've advocated for but I'm more open to all options at this point, is the deck was made not just in terms of Beatrice being done away with (the Aeolus angle) but in celebration of the Duke's newfound love this last case its apparent that only the progeny is the main concern, not marriage.

It was certainly not beneath a humanist to implore a prince to illegitimate love or marriage. Consider the long-winded and sometimes nauseating (as they often drip with saccharine cupidity) case of Filelfo's Odes. In Odes II.9 and V.4, Carlo Gonazaga, rival and then ally to Sforza, is pressed to return to a Milanese mistress; at the end of Ode IV.10 d'Avalos and King Alfonso are both spurred onto love, especially the later in regard to some lover named Lucrezia. Filelfo reaches his acme in regard to King Alfonso in V.2 where virtue, fame and love become hopelessly intermingled, with the comparable of Charles the king of France, whose lover was ironically yet another Agnese, pointed to as one "knows the fiery brands of love"and "Charles shines throughout the world among the names of kings, just as Delian Apollo [pursuer of Daphne] glows resplendent in the starry firmament, If Love touches this man, why should you not be touched by Love. Why should what is permitted to the gods not be permitted to you" (lines 38-44 in Robin). Perhaps more germane to the Filippo-Agnese situation, Filelfo even addresses Alfonso's lover to accept her lot, even though the ode is ostensibly addressed to d'Avalos:
Do you perhaps want to be [Alfonso's] wife and not be called his girlfriend?...A wife often angers a man; a girlfriend is always careful to please [a litany of shortcomings that a wife possesses ensues].....

Spread your sails to favorable winds....Aeneas brought Ascanius to the shores of Italy, the heir to his kingdom when he named when he died. Ascanius took possession of the realm, and little Iulus, his son, did not succeed to his father's empire. Silvius, born to his Latin mother, succeeded his brother Ascanius. This is what Latium wanted. The Julian lineage, which claims great Iulus as its founder, is sprung from this ancestor. Silvius succeeded Ascanius on the throne and they established Iulus, the son of Ascanius, as pontifex maximus. would you hesitate to join yourself to such a great king, when you know that you can be the mother of a king?(ibid, 177-179)
I don't think you need me to point out how this relates to the "ethnogenic project", specifically from a humanist writing from the Visconti court, nor the relevance for illegitimate offspring for the succession issue. The more general point is just like that official document nakedly naming a potential male bastard of Agnese as heir, one of the princely courts' humanists major topics was erotic liaisons and/or marriage. In Ode I.10 Filelfo subjects himself to the same: "Dialogue of Venus, Neptune, Vulcan and Filelfo: On the prospect if a third marriage"; and of course Filelfo was not alone here; e.g., Francesco Barbaro's De re uxoria (“On Marriage”) for Lorenzo de Medici, Cosimo's brother, on the event of his marriage in 1415, precisely in the period we are studying (and Marziano had strong Venetian and Florentine connections, the anti-pope he worked for being Venetian).

Aeolus, in his negative aspect in the Aenied, merely explains why a prince (Aeneas/Filippo) was blown off course - from his epic destiny - to the widowed Dido (Beatrice).

But what about the enigmatic Vesta in Marziano? If you'll recall our lengthy discussions of that material, Vesta was connected with Agnese in Milan (there is even a via Agnese near the Castle):
....but the oldest Latin account of Agnes' martyrdom linked to Vesta is the Passio Sanctae Agnetis (BHL 156-7 and 2527-7a). This late antique Latin passion (date is disputed, 4th-5th century) was once attributed to Ambrose of Milan and numerous manuscripts make that attribution, which at least underscores that portion of my thesis of why Agnes would be especially noteworthy in the Visconti court, and indeed, no doubt why Filippo's lover, Agnese del Maino, was named for that saint. Excellent dissertation on Agnes sources here:

[and from a follow-up response]
I think the most intriguing source is the Ps.-Ambrose "Passio Sanctae Agnetis" which originally interjects Vesta into the story (and I'm guessing this was not understood as "pseudo" even in the 15th century), and would resonate with anyone in Milan; i.e., Marziano...leading him to further explore Vesta. And again, the real Ambrose epistle on Agnes found in his work De Virginibus certainly lends itself to Marziano''s oddly named suit of "virginities" (virginitatis)

Agnese del Maino was certainly no literal virgin as a married woman, but given the charges of adultery leveled against Beatrice, there was all the more reason for a poetic elevation of the character of Agnese to at least the virtuous level of her vestal-like patron saint.

I do have a final twist for you I'm working on yet a different subject we've discussed elsewhere, but I'll post on that later this weekend.


Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

While you are here - where is the information on Agnese being married?

Is Pseudo-Ambrose's text anywhere convenient (i.e. transcribed, save me the trouble of manuscript reading). I'm still looking for Marziano's source, although provisionally I have to believe he invented the account of Vesta. Agnese's story is a martyrdom, and from Christine Phillips' chart of pericopes on page 20, it does not appear that she could have had a time where she set up a convent. The only "teacher of women" source is Greek, and anyway is not in Ps-Ambrose.

Check your personal email.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Phaeded wrote:
28 Mar 2020, 16:29
(and Marziano had strong Venetian and Florentine connections, the anti-pope he worked for being Venetian).
I don't think we can say anything about how strong his Venetian connections were. A lot of people worked for Angelo Coraro (Correr, Corario), Gregory XII. Many left his obedience, or service, after May 1408 in Lucca, when he named several cardinals, and thereby broke an oath not to do so, which had been one of the conditions of his election (the most important being that he would call a council and abdicate upon the election of a new pope, thereby ending the schism). Also, he is counted in the official list of popes as a real pope, not an antipope, until 1415. After the debacle of 1408, he relocated to the Adriatic coast, primarily Rimini. (I know my introduction calls him an "(anti)-pope," which is an error, even if for some he was (I don't know if Milan recognized him, France did not)).

Marziano is noted in Tortona on 2 February 1409, among some Ghibelline families who formed a defensive league. I would therefore guess that he was among those who left the pope in Lucca, and went northward, home, after May 1408.

Nothing makes me suspect his connection with Angelo Coraro or Venice was very strong. But really, we don't know much, so I could be wrong.

The closest to Venice I can place Marziano is his studies in Padua, but we know absolutely nothing about them, neither the date and duration, nor the nature of the studies.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Another thing that occurred to me as I considered the bird symbolism, is that Marziano's criticism of riches is a theme, and this is also consistent with a very early dating of the text, when Filippo Maria was - suddenly - flush with the riches of Beatrice Cane. Four hundred thousand ducats according to Corio.

Marziano's use of the phoenix as a symbol critical of riches is unprecedented, of course, as we have often discussed. There is no classical precedent, let alone a Christian one, the latter of which is entirely Christ-centered (Lactantius' inclusion of phraseology redolent of wealth in his account notwithstanding).

But also his interpretation of Juno's bird, the peacock, has an emphasis not present in Boccaccio (IX, i), when Marziano interprets the eyes on the tail as the worries of the rich man "many eyes are required for gaining and watching after riches and earthly things." This is, as far as I can tell, Marziano's own unique gloss.

Of course, I have to be careful of "confirmation bias," but I must note that such an emphasis is consistent the historical situation I envisage; with an old man giving a suddenly super-rich 19 year-old a warning about the dangers of wealth. In my defense, I'm not looking for evidence of a particular date, it just comes out as I think about the themes of the book and the language Marziano uses.

I mean that when thinking about the text, I realize something - for instance the theme critical of riches, and only afterwards think - "hey, that's not inconsistent with an early dating, especially in Filippo Maria's particular case" (he was not brought up as the dauphin, trained in princely ways, as an administrator, etc., rather left to his own devices for his teenage years).

If I come across something that is inconsistent with the early dating, I'll definitely note it. I have no preconceptions, or interpretation to promote. Whenever it is, is fine with me.

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
29 Mar 2020, 16:40
Another thing that occurred to me as I considered the bird symbolism, is that Marziano's criticism of riches is a theme, and this is also consistent with a very early dating of the text, when Filippo Maria was - suddenly - flush with the riches of Beatrice Cane.
I wouldn't disagree with any of that, and find an echo of the sentiment in the CY King of Coins (you'll recall I identified that king with Filippo and the bearded King of Cups with his father, Gian Galeazzo; Muzio Sforza as the King of Swords with helmeted page - the King of Batons is missing but would have presumably referenced Muzio's son, being given the Duchy's military baton on this occasion). The "echo" here speaks more to the overall theme of Virtue/Virginities trumping, as it were, Riches/Pleasures (Filelfo, for one, never tires of writing to friends, even Alberti, on this theme - playing up his own supposed poverty and how riches corrupt virtue). I read the exaggerated gesture of the king, turning head and hand away, from the offered coin as riches (however necessary to his kingdom) as somehow beneath his virtuous self (and again, a possibly dig at his new coin-dependent condottiero son-in-law, to whom he was of course having to dole out said riches in the form of a dowry). Also note in the card that the king's dress features the holy ghost dove symbol (virtue), but the coins do not:


Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

First of all, I think the significance of Filippo being noted as a youth or young, has to be understood in terms of the "seven ages of man" related to the seven planets. This astrological commonplace of the time, sometimes even depicted as large scale frescos such as the roundels above the planets in the Trinci palace in Foligno or the apse of the Eremitanni church in Padua (and numerous manuscripts) - employed the following schema, as noted from a description of the Padua fresco cycle:

Moon- infantia
Mercury - pueritia
Venus - adolescentia
Sol - iuventus – youth (not sure if the years were uniformly set, but I've seen contemporary astrological sources give 23-42 years of age for Sol)
Mars – senectus (middle age)
Jupiter - senilitas (old age)
Saturn - decrepitas (old age unto death)
(source: Art and the Augustinian Order in Early Renaissance Italy , eds, Anne Dunlop, Louise Bourdua, 2007: 128)

Although Marziano's work generally does not touch on the astrological nature of the relevant gods, he does lead with "morning star" for Venus, the progenitor of the Aeneid-based Visconti line. At all events, as noted, such a schema was a commonplace, and thus it would be a societal norm to refer to Filippo as a "youth", even at the age of 26 in 1418 (and if Daphne in Marziano is significant for Filippo, then his "Apollonine" age would be especially appropriate).

Additional information possibly tilting matters towards a 1418 date for Marziano's project...

The general nature of of the political problem facing Filippo, that existed after the death of Giangaleazzo in 1402:
Plentitude of power, meaning authority above the law, was a prerogative the Visconti needed if they were to secure their regime and fulfill the task for which they had been appointed by the communes, namely that of bringing an end to factionalism. Recalling exiles and implementing amnesties meant ignoring court judgements and the rights of injured parties; friends had to be rewarded and enemies crushed, which led to the overturning of established property rights, the granting of immunities and exemptions involved contravening laws of every kind.

…The difficulty was that in appropriating plentitude of power, the Visconti were embracing the law and language of the pope and the emperor, for since the end of the twelfth century plentitude of power had come to embody imperial and papal supremacy and majesty….The claim was complicated by the fact that the Milanese regime underwent a series of transformations: Azzone and his immediate successors were signori (domini generales), appointed by the individual communes; from the mid-fourteenth century the imperial vicariate gave the government a new complexion; but the status was undermined when, in the coup’d’etat of 1385, Giangaleazzo seized all of Bernabo’s lands without any imperial authorization. With the establishment of the duchy in 1395 a new era began, but the ducal title brought its own problems: the Visconti’s authority was now dependent on imperial policy, and yet the emperor’s goodwill was mostly denied to the rulers of Milan. This circumstance led the Sforza temporarily to return to the principle pf communal authority as the basis of their rule. (Jane Black, Absolutism in Renaissance Milan: Plenitude of Power under the Visconti and Sforza, 1329–1535. 2010: 2-3)
Sforza of course does not concern us here (for his related imperial problems see Gary Ianziti, Humanistic Historiography under the Sforzas: Politics and Propaganda in Fifteenth-Century Milan, 1988).

Instead we are concerned with Filippo, 1412-1418 (the range of dates presently under discussion):
[Following the collapse of the regime under Giovanni Maria....]
Filippo Maria’s requests were initially denied, Sigismund continuing to refer to Milan as a civitas, and to Filippo Maria himself simply as illustris, or as Count of Pavia. In the discussions a distinction was made between the lands and the title: in 1413 Sigismund promised to confirm that Filippo Maria ‘could and should hold [these lands] and govern them as he has hitherto’, but he would not recognize him as duke without the consent of the electors.

The presence of both sides at the opening of the Council of Constance in 1415 provided an opportunity for Filippo Maria to gave an oath of fealty in exchange for the reception of territories without a renewal of the title. By 1418 Filippo Maria had so far strengthened his own position that Sigismund gave a promise subject to the approval of the electors, that he would at some future point confirm the title. Confirmation was finally granted in 1426. There are two versions of the crucial document. The first, dated 1 July, was a fake. With its emphasis on Filippo Maria’s hereditary rights and its confirmation of Wencelas’s original investitures, the instrument represented what Filippo Maria would have liked to have had from Sigismund. The genuine act, dated 6 July 1426, was a paltry affair by comparison: not a confirmation of Filippo Maria’s title as such, it merely endorsed the agreement of 1418 by which Sigismund had promised Filippo Maria the privileges and territories which had been granted to his father, provided the electors consented…..

In response to circumstances, [Giovanni Maria and Filippo Maria] dropped Giangaleazzo’s practice, following the 1396 diploma, of referring to plentitude of power as having been conceded a Caesarea dignitate. Now there was a new phrase, ‘from the plentitude of his ducal power (de eius ducalis plenitudine potestatis)’, signifying a homegrown authority. The phrase appears in Giovanni Maria’s sale in 1411 of all rights over Abbiategrasso. Similarly, Filippo Maria’s most important acts in this period employed the new formula: it crops up in the grant of the governorship of Monza to his wife Beatrice and in the investiture of the fiefs of Melegnano, Bescape’, and Belgioioso to members of the family in 1414, besides in the act establishing Cremona as a Visconti feud under Gabrino Fondulo in 1415 and in the confirmation of the Independence of Abbitaegrasso of 1418. The nearest Filippo Maria came to referring to an imperial connection was the phrase ‘from his ducal absolute power and also from the authority granted to him by his imperial majesty’ used in Gabrino Fondulo's investiture, drawn up after the initial rapprochement with Sigismund in 1413. (ibid, 76-77)
A lot to unpack here, and I'll do so by mainly ticking off the bolded points above:
1. The emperor made a distinction between the lands and the ducal title, only officially recognizing Filippo as Count of Pavia in this regard, ignoring the lands regained via Facino Cano's army, by way of marriage with his widow (the widow herself invested with Monza...which is odd given she was Duchess, yet it did guarantee a source of personal income...but hardly reassuring of prospects of a long marriage together, but more of a "partnership"). Most importantly here, the imperial insult placed a premium on Filippo's desire to join title with the lands, which brings us to point #2....
2. Following the Council of Constance when Filippo had consolidated power in the Duchy in 1418, the Emperor promises the ducal title at a future date. But Filippo, following his brother's precedent, had already been using an alternate means of proclaiming the basis of his power: "homegrown authority " of the plenitude of power ceded from the individual communes within the Duchy, to the degree that when the official 1426 recognition came out - and was found lacking - Filippo's court had already concocted one issued in place of the official imperial one that legitimated their actions, based on "hereditary rights"; that is the popular acclaim of the communes to Filippo's ducal ancestors, and from whom he was obtaining once again.
3. A minor point, but Cabrino Fondulo receiving Cremona during this anxious time of imperial relations does point to the three-ringed device, inherited by Sforza, as originally created with the emperor (and pope) in mind, this being the only time Filippo actually invoked the emperor ("authority granted to him by his imperial majesty", albeit it was a lie on Filippo's part).

Point #2 concerns us the most here: Filippo's emphasis on hereditary rights in lieu of full imperial investiture for himself. Seen in that light, a renewed interest in the ethnogenic claims of descent from Aeneas, encompassing all of his ancestors, suddenly take on a political aspect, stemming from a position that was odds with the Empire - a problem for a duchy that was an imperial fief. The Visconti Hour leaf showing his portrait in light of an abridged genealogy betray's this anxiety of his imperial standing and the alternate means of legitimization.

If Marziano's use of Aeolus points towards a pivotal moment in the Aeneid, then the genealogy project is arguably in Marziano's mind. If in the context of 1418 and the promised imperial title, to be granted in an unknown future, a turn towards the expedient of some form of legitimation in the present (hereditary) . Furthermore, the date of 1418 would explain the significance of Aeolus pushing Aeneas off course to the love interest that would not unfold in the line of Visconti - Dido - arguably a symbol for the actual wife Beatrice executed by Filippo in this very year.

But what was Marziano doing in this time period? Per the documents and timeline you put together:
1417 12 October Milan: Transfer of fief by donation of certain possessions of some of the Del Maino family made by the most illustrious lord the lord duke of Milan, etc., in favour of Sperone Pietrasanta: Filippo Maria, having granted as a fief to Sperone Pietrasanta, of the late Antonio, a Milanese citizen, now a privy councillor, some properties and assets formerly owned by Lancino, Taddeo and Givoanni Del Maino of the late Gasparolo, and by Marco and Luchino Del Maino of the late Francescolo, Pietrasanta now petitions the Duke to revoke the enfeoffment regarding the Del Maino's assets, to grant it to him as a donation and to make exempt an inn or tavern at Affori, parish of Bruzzano, formerly owned by Marco and Luchino Del Maino, on the way to Como. The Duke revokes, as requested, the enfeoffment limited to these assets, and restores the said asset outside the nature of the said fief, donating them to Pietrasanta; he also exempts the tavern from the duties of bread, wine and meat. Witnesses: the distinguished Giovanni Corvini of Arezzo of the late Gregorio, Marziano da Sant'Alosio and Zanino Riccio di Stefano, secretaries. Notary of the act: Giovanni Francesco Gallina of the late Pietro.

1417 12 October Milan: Investiture of Sperone Pietrasanta with the fief of the castle of Morengo, made by the most illustrious lord, the lord duke of Milan etc

1418 29 July Abbiategrasso: Praesentibus Egregiis prudentibus quoque viris domino Martiano de Sancto Aroxio Conradino de Vicomercato Secretariis to: Truce agreed between the Marquis d'Este and the Duke of Milan

1418 2 September Milan: : Giovanni Manfredo di Rozonalio of Piacenza takes the oath of allegiance before the members of the Privy Council Antonio Bossi, Tadiolo di Vimercate, Giovanni Corvini and Marziano da Sant'Alosio, for the castle of Centenario in the diocese of Piacenza which he was invested together with Giovangiacomo his brother.

1419 23 January Milan: Duke Filippo Maria Visconti successfully appeals to Pope Martin V to replace the abbot of Santa Maria di Rivalta [Tortona area abbey] with Martianus de Sancto Alosio, whose qualifications he describes as Cleric of the Apostolic Chamber

1419 21 February Monza: The Duke of Milan writes to the esteemed podestà of Milan to have it published the following day, 22 February, that he has signed the peace with the magnificent lord Pandolfo Malatesta by intervention of the Pope. - The proclamation was made on the 22nd by Giovanni de Rolandis, signed, Martianus.

The truces with Niccolo d'Este and Pandolfo Malatesta speak to the tying up of loose ends in regard to re-consolidation of the duchy; again: "by 1418 Filippo Maria had so far strengthened his own position." That Marziano played a role here in these treaties speaks not just to his importance in the court but his awareness of Milan's relative strengths....and needs. What is also obvious is the relationship of these acts to the concerns of the "plentitude of power" regarding the internal politics of the duchy - in some of these cases Marziano is witnessing the confirmation of fiefs with oaths of fealty to the person being infeuded, or in turn, of the elite being assigned the fief to promise loyalty to Filippo. To the point: Marziano, was a member of the privy council specifically dealing with the management and disposition of the fiefs within the duchy, and thus he must have been well-versed on the problematic nature of the relationship of Milan to the Empire, the former a fief of the latter. My theory here, aware of the alternate claims to legitimation based on "hereditary rights", could have been mirrored in Marziano's game, especially if created in c.1418. As such Marziano's game wasn't just a prodding of a young man to pursue a proper child-bearing lover, but such an endeavor was poetically lionized as fulfilling Filippo's destiny, like Aeneas, both obligated by the euhemeristic gods themselves.

Finally, I should explain why I posted the first Marziano entry above in full, October 1417 - it notes the the transfer ("donation") of some property from the del Maino - Agnese's family - to a Sperone Pietrasanta, a fellow privy council member. Was this a forced conveyance of property or perhaps part of a dowry? There is also the possibility Filippo himself was present in Abbiategrasso, one of his favorite castles was there (albeit a small one), with his court in tow - and perhaps members of both families there to sign the documents. Whatever the exact context, the del Maino and Pietrasanta, both old Milanese families, were allied with one another:
Bianca Maria's private relations also extended to numerous noble families - both urban and noble - with whom she had developed solid friendships by frequenting her palaces and castles, participating with Agnese and her children in parties, receptions, hunting parties ; inviting gentlemen and ladies to court, organizing meetings and ceremonies. Members of various families of the eminent Milanese, Pavia and Cremonese classes were co-opted in the ranks of the court and in the education of the Sforza youth, remunerated by offices and honors, awarded variously by the patronage of the Duchess. In Milan the Bossi, the Crivelli, the Meravigli, 46 the Taverna, 47 the Della Croce, the Toscani, the Caimi48, the Pietrasanta and the Landriani, 49 in Pavia the Astolfi, 50 the Giorgi, 51 the Beccaria, 52
(machine translation of Maria Nadia Covini, "Tra patronage e ruolo politico: Bianca Maria Visconti (1450-1468)", in Donne di potere nel Rinascimento, a cura di L. Arcangeli e S. Peyronel, Viella (“I libri di Viella”, 85), Roma 2008, pp. 247-280, 261)
Link to full article: ... p._247-280

Regarding Pietrasanta himself, he was a member of the insiders who made the transition from Facino/Beatrice Cano's staff to Filippo proper (the piece below is about an associate, but provides contextualization of the men Filippo surrounded himself initially):
Another Facino partisan destined for a brilliant career at the ducal court was Zanino Ricci, who, according to what Billia writes, was chancellor and scribe of the captain and then of the widow Beatrice, then moving to the services of Filippo Maria Visconti in 1412. Examining the acts of the early years of this duke, it is seen that the governance of the duchy, for some years, was firmly in the hands of Ricci, who attended important state affairs and gave much listened consultations Visconti, together with Oldrado Lampugnani, Sperone da Pietrasanta and a few other trusted men. Ricci remained on the command bridge until his death in 1428, exercising such strong and pervasive authority that almost inevitably aroused many hostilities and enmities. Historians speak badly of him, equally Andrea Billia and Pier Candido Decembrio: they accuse him of having shaped the will of the young duke and attribute heavy responsibilities, including that of having sown tiff between Filippo Maria and Carmagnola (accusation resumed by Flavio Biondo) and having procured, with his adventurous policy, the war against the Venetian and Florentine republics; and by extreme denigration they also accuse him of having practiced astrology54. Beyond these judgments, which may have been ruthless and exaggerated, the events narrated leave no doubt about the great authority he had achieved at the Visconti court. His achievements include the brilliant ecclesiastical career of his brother Antonio, who, without too many merits, was appointed abbot of Sant'Ambrogio, and the beginning of the fifteenth-century fortune of the Ricci family between Pavia, Milan and Castel d'Agogna, not a feud but allodial possession. (machine translation of M.N. Covini, "La compagnia di Facino: formazione, crescita, successi in Facino Cane: predone, condottiero e politico", a cura di B. Del Bo, A.A. Settia, Franco Angeli, Milano 2014 (Storia; 432), pp. 105-121, 116-117)
Link to full article here: ... p._105-121

So the del Maino were connected to Facino Cano's elites who formed Filippo's administrative structure after Cano died, and were retained even after he jettisoned Beatrice. The interesting possibility here is that Marziano was directly involved with a transaction between the two families at a time right before Beatrice was executed - perhaps it is in that Maino-Pietrasanta transactional context, handled by the court, in which Filippo met Agnese (he certainly liked young boys, per Decembrio, so would not be surprising if the pedophile also preferred a young girl for his next female love interest, as Agnese may have been as young as 8 or so in 1418, and 16 when she gave birth to Bianca in 1425).

To my mind, everything seems to be pointing to 1418, especially if Filippo's own youth is no longer a serious factor for when Marziano penned his work.


PS This is not what I wanted to present today - which involves Petrarch and Capella - that I mentioned in my email note to you, but stumbled upon the above in old notes of mine. Maybe Petrarch tomorrow....

Re: What are the documents for Marziano's dates?

Phaeded wrote:
30 Mar 2020, 00:40
First of all, I think the significance of Filippo being noted as a youth or young,
But even if this schema were relevant, he isn't noted as a youth or young in the Prohemium. It's the ludus that is puerile … et parum maturitatis habere. I myself was struck by this language, having before me these images of Filippo Maria: at the beginning of his career, 19 years old, completely untested, suddenly thrown into the biggest role imaginable, versus him more than six years, later, absolute master of his realm, and of undisputed competence and maturity - and seriousness, given Beatrice's and Michael's fates (and their servants). It was jarring for me to think of Marziano reminding him of some chatter about card games being childish. It just didn't fit with who he was in 1418, or even well into 1412, but it certainly did fit with the first image.

So it occurred to me that maybe Marziano was addressing the young and untested Filippo Maria, which was only in 1412, and this was a startling enough insight that I posted on it, since our assumptions had always been based on the later than 1418 date, assuming Michelino was there to paint it right away, etc. But the text itself, and a feeling for Filippo Maria, gave me an insight, internal to the text, not an estimation that was predictated on a priori assumptions.

The text is my anchor, informed by my knowledge of Marziano and Filippo Maria, and only afterward by considerations external to the text which may or may not be relevant.

Things start to stand out in bold relief when you steep yourself in Filippo Maria's biography, and keep the chronology foremost in mind. The strangeness of Marziano's use of the phoenix to criticize concern for wealth, for instance, along with his gloss on the eyes on the peacock's feathers representing the many eyes the rich man needs just to watch over his wealth. This is not inconsistent with a youth suddenly become one of the richest men in the world, whereas for an established and able ruler, it is less apparent, and just sounds like a cliché. When you remember that the book was private and personal, rather than aimed for publication, you hear Marziano himself addressing Filippo Maria, and you can't help but think that he was addressing him as a personal teacher, rather than merely cobbling together a series of moral commonplaces that come from eveywhere and apply to anybody. So the Prohemium, as Marziano's apologia pro ludo suo, short as it is, contains the most words from himself that we have, and has to be absorbed, and analyzed from every angle, squeezed for any and every drop of insight. Same for the rest, of course, but the Prohemium has to come first.

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