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Biographical notes on War Captains and Mercenary Leaders operating in Italy between 1330 and 1550

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Pietro dei Rossi: A Leader of Valor and Virtue

Italian CondottieriPietro dei Rossi: A Leader of Valor and Virtue

According to the Florentine chronicler Giovanni Villani, he is the wisest and boldest condottiero of his time. Of tall stature, he is not only an excellent captain: to his military skills, he indeed adds the fact of not being cruel, but honest, generous, a man who is content with few things for himself. Loved by the German mercenaries, he is also esteemed for his good morals and his religiosity. His fame, attested by many contemporary sources, enjoys popular dissemination evidenced by the numerous sonnets and **cantari** in his honor that celebrate his deeds.

Indice delle Signorie dei Condottieri: ABCDEFGIJLMNOPQRSTUVZ

The Life and the Battles of Pietro dei Rossi

Pietro dei Rossi (Piermaria dei Rossi, Pietro de’ Rossi) of Parma. Lord of Parma, Lucca, Pontremoli, Brescello, Berceto, Fidenza. Brother of Andrea dei Rossi, Rolando dei Rossi, and Marsilio dei Rossi; nephew of Marsilio da Carrara, brother-in-law of Ugolino Lupo. Patrician of Venice.

Born: 1301
Death: 1337, August

Year, monthState, Comp. venturaOpponentConductActivity AreaActions taken and other salient facts
………Emilia, VenetoHis family, expelled from Parma by Giberto da Correggio, who had become the lord of the city, took refuge in Padua, hosted by Giacomo da Carrara.
1326
JulyChurchGhibellinesEmiliaHe joins forces with his brother Andrea dei Rossi and Gherardo Rangoni. Together, leading many cavalry and infantry, they advance to the Porta di Cittanova in Modena; repelled, they stop nearby; after fifteen days, they retreat, leaving the village in flames. He then returns to Parma.
1328Veneto, EmiliaIn Padua, he serves as the podestà for the second half of the year. In October, he marries Ginetta Fischi in Parma.
1329
Jan.ParmaChurchEmiliaTogether with his brother Marsilio dei Rossi, he rides to Sesso and captures the ecclesiastical captain Gerardo Legiadro; he occupies Rubiera and there captures Gherardo Boiardi as a prisoner.
MayEmiliaHe plunders the territories of the da Correggio because they, along with Giovanni Quirico di San Vitale, have attacked the Parma area with the pontificals.
Aug.EmiliaHe incites an uprising in Parma when his brother Rolando dei Rossi is treacherously imprisoned during peace negotiations in Bologna by Cardinal Bertrando del Poggetto.
Sept.LombardyIn Milan and Pavia, he seeks aid from the Ghibelline allies.
Oct.EmiliaHe returns to Parma with the marshal of the Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian and 400 German cavalry. With these troops, he crosses the Enza and raids the territories of the da Correggio. He advances on Castelnuovo, Brescello, Gualtieri, San Sillo, and San Sisto, setting fire to the counties; he conquers Casalpo; captures Senacio da Senaza, who is then brought to Parma.
Nov.Lombardy, EmiliaHe conquers Viadana, Dosolo, and Pomponesco; captures Ugolino Cavalcabò, an ally of the da Correggio. Ludwig the Bavarian arrives at Casalmaggiore; Rossi goes to the city, takes the road to Colorno, and escorts the emperor to Parma. Still with the German cavalry and many Parma cavalry and infantry, he recrosses the Enza and with a fierce assault takes the fortress of Berutto: grains, flax, and other goods are all transported to Parma to be sold. During the same days, a merchant from Parma and one from Venice are captured near Sissa by some exiles turned bandits. He orders their release; receiving a negative response, he crosses the Po and surprises the brigands in their lairs. He roots them out, imprisons five of them, three of whom are nobles, and all are hanged in the square of the ballatoio in Parma despite the imperial intercession on their behalf.
Dec.EmiliaHe remains guarding Parma while his brother Marsilio dei Rossi accompanies Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian to Trento.
1330
MayEmiliaMarsilio dei Rossi receives Manfredo Pio Beltramone del Balzo and Galeazzo d’Angiò, brother of the King of Naples, who have been captured at Formigine; immediately, a swap is proposed to secure the release of his brother Rolando. He leaves Parma through the Porta di San Barnaba and secretly heads to a bastion near Borgo San Donnino (Fidenza), controlled by the adversaries; he enters by treaty and unexpectedly attacks Paolo Aldighieri: numerous Guelphs are killed or drown in the moat of Fidenza. The following day, the city rises up and Pietro dei Rossi enters with his soldiers: Aldighieri is captured along with a son.
JuneEmiliaHe imprisons Paolo Aldighieri in a cage in Parma: he seizes 6,000 florins previously sent by the papal legate to strengthen the defensive works of Fidenza. Castiglione dei Marchesi also surrenders to him; he is joined by Marsilio. He unsuccessfully attacks Campegine; with the German cavalry, he aids the people of Modena against the Bolognese.
JulyEmiliaHe again confronts the da Correggio. He encamps at Manzolino and Olmo; he devastates their counties and returns to Parma.
1331
Jan.LombardyHe changes sides, reconciles with the papal forces, and supports the cause of Ludwig the Bavarian‘s imperial rival, John of Bohemia. He heads to Brescia to meet the latter. His brother Rolando is released by the papal authorities.
Feb.LombardyIn Cremona, he aims to pay homage to John of Bohemia, who is supported as emperor by the papal authorities.
Mar.EmiliaHe welcomes John of Bohemia in Parma. He entrusts him with the lordship of the city; John is granted Pontremoli, Brescello, and Berceto.
Apr.EmiliaHe publicly reconciles with Simone, Guido, and Azzo da Correggio in the square of the cathedral in Parma.
JulyLombardyTogether with Ponzino Ponzoni and Ugolino Lupo, he suppresses a revolt instigated by the Cavalcabò in Cremona: the prisoners are released by Charles of Bohemia.
1334
Feb.ParmaVerona, MilanEmiliaSupporting the papal authorities and the cause of John of Bohemia, he defeats 400 Scaligeri cavalry at Massenzatico, capturing Ettore di Panigo along with many other constables.
JuneEmiliaHe is attacked in Parma by his opponents; the German mercenaries of Luchino Visconti refuse to advance. He assaults the da Correggio; the Scaligeri also retreat following disorder in their camp, culminating in the defection of twenty-eight German banners from their ranks.
Aug.Tuscany, EmiliaMastino della Scala besieges Colorno with 3,000 cavalry. Rossi leaves his natural brother Palamino in Lucca and moves with 400 cavalry to defend Parma.
Sept.EmiliaHe attempts to aid Colorno, whose defenders are compelled to surrender the following month.
1335
JuneEmiliaUnder pressure from Spinetta Malaspina, his uncle Marsilio da Carrara, and the Florentines, he surrenders to Mastino della Scala: he relinquishes control of Parma to the Scaligeri in exchange for possession of Pontremoli, Fidenza, other castles, and 50,000 florins. He moves to Lucca.
JulyLuccaExilesTuscanyGerozzo dei Bardi, acting on behalf of the Florentines, secures from Niccolò dei Pogginghi the castle of Pietrasanta; 200 exiles from Lucca occupy the hill of Pedona. Pietro dei Rossi leaves Lucca and quickly conquers the hill: the defenders are taken to Lucca and eighteen of them, including two members of the Pogginghi family, are hanged.
Sept. – Oct.TuscanyHe officially obtains from John of Bohemia, along with his brother Marsilio, the vicariate of Lucca for 35,000 florins. The lord of Verona treacherously imprisons the brothers Marsilio and Andrea, and in October, for their release, Pietro is forced to hand over the city to the Scaligeri. He is obliged to live in Verona.
Dec.VeronaPisaTuscany, Emilia, LombardyHe makes an agreement with Benedetto Maccaione and his followers (including some Lanfranchi and Cola Bonconte) to fight Fazio della Gherardesca and to sack Pisa. A tumult arises in the evening: Fazio della Gherardesca and his supporters clash with Benedetto Maccaione at the Ponte della Spina near the Porta delle Piagge. Pietro dei Rossi is delayed in arriving to support the insurgents, forcing Maccaione to abandon the city. Rossi then heads to Pontremoli with his brother Rolando, passes through Parma, and moves towards Lombardy.
1336
Jan.VenetoIn Verona, he is publicly accused by Azzo da Correggio of plotting against the life of the city’s lord, Mastino della Scala.
Mar. – MayRossiVeronaVeneto, TuscanyHe flees to Venice and is immediately declared a rebel. From there, he heads to Pontremoli; the place is besieged by the Scaligeri. He leaves the castle at night with just one companion (telling his men that he intends to go to Germany to fight for John of Bohemia against Ludwig the Bavarian) and crosses the enemy camps with utmost secrecy. He reaches Florence.
July – Aug.FlorenceVeronaGeneral captainTuscanyThe Florentines grant him a loan of 1000 florins, with another 1000 to follow in August. He is appointed as the general captain in the war against the Scaligeri. He enters the Val di Nievole, plundering Pescia and Buggiano, seizing control of other small castles in the same valley, as well as those in the Val di Serchio.
Sept. – Oct.VeniceVeronaGeneral captainTuscany, Romagna, VenetoThe Florentines grant him a loan of 1000 florins, with another 1000 to follow in August. He is appointed as the general captain in the war against the Scaligeri. He enters the Val di Nievole, plundering Pescia and Buggiano, seizing control of other small castles in the same valley, as well as those in the Val di Serchio.
He rides against Lucca with 800 horsemen and a large number of foot soldiers, both to devastate its vineyards and to force the Scaligeri to abandon the siege of Pontremoli. Passing through Capannole and crossing the bridge of San Quirico, for three days he ravages the countryside right up to the gates of the capital. From Lucca, 600 horsemen led by Ciupo Scolari emerge, joined by militias from two districts of Pisa and 500 archers. The opponents’ objective is to cut off his supply lines. Pietro dei Rossi decides to retreat; during his march, he destroys the bridge of Desiderio (Ponte Scorciabocconi), which facilitates entry into the Val di Nievole. He fortifies himself on Cerruglio (Montecarlo), entrenched in the ditch that divides the pass from the mountain to the marsh, previously built by Raimondo di Cardona. He is attacked by eight cavalry units; after repelling the opponents, 150 horsemen from his companies go against his orders to pursue the enemies. They are all either killed or captured along with four constables. Dei Rossi then descends from the hill with great audacity and defeats Ciupo Scolari, capturing him along with another 13 constables. The overall losses for the Lucchese amount to 100 horsemen; the prisoners are taken to Florence with eight standards. The banners of the defeated are dragged through the city streets as a sign of contempt. Dei Rossi moves to Fucecchio and then to Florence; he is lent another 2000 florins in two installments and is notified of a new command. Crossing the Apennines, he reaches Ravenna where he is welcomed by Ostasio da Polenta; he embarks for Venice. Doge Francesco Dandolo presents him with the insignia of the general captain of the League at San Marco; he is also admitted to the Venetian nobility. The Florentine militias, on the other hand, come under the command of his brother Rolando. Mid-month, he receives the baton of command from Doge Francesco Dandolo. He is granted a monthly allowance of 600 ducats and a reward of 10000 florins is offered for anyone who delivers Mastino or Alberto della Scala alive or dead. He leaves Motta di Livenza with the troops and 400 sappers who clear the way for him. Three standards precede his army and are carried by three German knights: Corrado di Sten with the standard of San Marco, Rinaldo di Veri with that of the municipality of Florence, and the Soterchino with the personal standard of Dei Rossi, a silver lion on a blue field. Under his command, there are, presumably because estimates vary from author to author, 3200 horsemen and 3100 foot soldiers (according to Mallett, 4500 horsemen and 10000 foot soldiers, many of whom are volunteers and conscripts from Venice). Dei Rossi divides the militias into three battalions, the first (1000 horsemen and 1000 foot soldiers) under the command of his brother Marsilio; the second (1800 horsemen and an equal number of foot soldiers) under his command and that of the Venetian procurators Andrea Morosini and Marino Falier; the rearguard (400 horsemen and 300 foot soldiers) is entrusted to Golfardo di Stenberg (Volvinio). From San Polo di Piave, he reaches San Salvatore castle dei Collalto; he crosses the Piave at the Barbarano bridge, passes through Collalto and Narbon. After plundering the entire surrounding area to force the opponents out of their defensive positions, he takes the road to Porcellengo, crosses the Sile at Quinto and Canizzano; encountering no opposition, he spreads devastation and terror everywhere; his attack on Treviso is repelled by Giberto da Fogliano. After a week, he finds himself under Mestre, whose villages are set on fire by the Scaligeri themselves. The opponents, although superior in forces, remain in their defensive positions hoping that, with the bad weather, the army will disperse as usual. He receives new troops as reinforcements; he moves to the Paduan area, passing through Mirano and Vigonza, fords the Brenta, and forces the Scaligeri, who have come out of Padua, to return. He stops at Paluello from where he conducts his raids.
Nov.VenetoHe halts in the territory of Piove di Sacco for a week to allow the troops to rest; he unsuccessfully provokes the Scaligeri to battle, as they cut off the bridges and supply lines to his camp. He sacks Piove di Sacco and crosses the waterways on makeshift bridges of wattle and wood; he seizes the tower of Curano and quarters himself in Bovolenta. Supplies for his camp are brought from Chioggia. He now has at his disposal 3500 horsemen, almost all Germans, and 5000 foot soldiers; he moves upstream to Saline, near Chioggia, a center defended by two strongholds manned by men-at-arms. He attacks the fortresses with the procurator Marco Loredan, whose construction has been the apparent reason for the ongoing conflict, and conquers them with the death of Lo Spiritello, who is defending them. Mastino and Alberto della Scala only carry out demonstrative actions, continuing to refuse the pitched battle offered to them.
Dec.VenetoHe orders the countryside and villages of the Paduan region to be plundered with the intention of sowing discontent and unrest towards the conflict.
1337
Jan.VenetoHe sends 300 horsemen from Bovolenta towards Pernumia, where they defeat 500 German horsemen from the garrison of Este. Thirteen standards from the same garrison are not received at Monselice by the captain of the fortress due to their unruly behavior; they mutiny and defect to Dei Rossi‘s ranks. Seizing the opportunity in his favor, the condottiero leaves Bovolenta with 2000 foot soldiers and supplies for four days, launching a sudden attack on the Ognissanti gate in Padua.
Feb.VenetoDuring the night, three audacious deserters capture the sentries of the San Giovanni gate of Padua and lower the drawbridge. Pietro dei Rossi immediately leaves his camp with 300 chosen horsemen and many foot soldiers, followed by another 1200 horsemen; spotted near the city walls by a baker, the alarm is raised. Another attempt, carried out against the city at San Bernardo with the help of three other deserters, fails. From Bovolenta, 550 horsemen plunder as usual in the Paduan region; on their return, they are intercepted by 800 Scaligeri horsemen stationed in Padua and are defeated, losing 100 men and half of the loot, between dead and prisoners. In retaliation, Dei Rossi departs from the camp with 1500 horsemen and once again reaches the gates of Padua, occupying a village and setting fire to four hundred houses. In his absence, Mastino della Scala‘s men attack the camp at Bovolenta and set part of it on fire. Upon his return, he restores his logistical structures to their original efficiency within a few days.
Mar.VenetoHe fords the Brenta towards Curtarolo upon the desertion of Guglielmo da Camposampiero, who delivers his castle of Treville to the Venetians; he seizes Cittadella with the Paduan exile Paolo Dente, and advances towards Castelfranco Veneto. In his absence, Mastino della Scala conspires with some Venetian constables (Arnaldo di Sten) to kill him: the plot is uncovered, and 1000 German horsemen abandon Bovolenta after setting much of the locality on fire.
Apr. – MayVenetoHe leaves 1000 men at Bovolenta and rides with 3000 horsemen to the gates of Treviso, causing serious damage and capturing numerous prisoners; at the same time, the Venetians sail on the Sile and bombard the castle of Musestre with mangonels and other war machines. Dei Rossi seizes the village of Santi Quaranta without difficulty; he sets fire to the villages of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Tommaso. He repels a sally from the inhabitants and captures those who try to flee; the operations continue with futile assaults on the walls even in May. He returns to Bovolenta.
JuneVenetoHe remains at Bovolenta with 1600 horsemen while his brother Marsilio, along with another 2966 horsemen and 1232 foot soldiers, joins forces with allies to strike at Verona.
JulyVenetoMastino della Scala obstructs the reunification of the two armies following the failure of the action against Verona led by Marsilio: Pietro dei Rossi‘s camp is attacked by the Scaligeri and the Paduans under the command of Marsilio and Ubertino da Carrara. From Venice, a considerable number of crossbowmen and supplies for a month are dispatched to his aid: the opponents, numbering 3000 horsemen and 8000 foot soldiers, block the passage of the ships attempting to rescue him by water. Dei Rossi resorts to a stratagem to distance the adversaries: he has the garbage from his camp, mixed with crushed hemlock abundant in the surrounding countryside, thrown into the river where the soldiers and animals of the Scaligeri camp drink, thus gaining time; even his brother Marsilio overcomes every obstacle and joins him with the help of the Estensi. He immediately moves towards Noventa Padovana and challenges the opponents to battle, knowing that they have not been paid for some time; he moves from Torre to Brusegana, fords the Bacchiglione, orders an assault on the Porta di Santa Croce while he positions himself with 500 German horsemen in front of the Porta di Pontecorvo.
Aug.VenetoThe Porta di Pontecorvo is opened for him by the Carraresi; he enters Padua and, via the road of Santo Stefano, arrives in the square where Marsilio da Carrara and the leading citizens await him, along with the jubilant populace. Alberto della Scala and the podestà Guidoriccio da Fogliano are taken prisoner: his entrance into the city is marked by no sack and no revenge (with the exception of a Scaligeri spy). At the urging of the new lord of Padua, his uncle Marsilio da Carrara, and Guecellone Tempesta, he directs his ambitions towards Monselice, defended by Pietro dal Verme. He reaches the location and is suddenly attacked by the Scaligeri while having lunch wearing only a simple breastplate: he rushes to the front lines to rally his troops and climbs onto the bank of a ditch. The adversaries retreat; in the melee, he is wounded by a short lance that strikes him at the joint of his breastplate, piercing his side. Dei Rossi throws himself into the ditch to reach the other side; the water infects his wound and worsens his condition. He dies in agony after two days in Padua; his killer will later be captured with the surrender of the castle of Monselice and will be executed in Padua in a memorable act of revenge. Seven days later, his brother Marsilio also dies, brought to Venice to be treated for a fever. Pietro dei Rossi is buried in the chapel of San Felice in the basilica of Sant’Antonio (adorned with frescoes by Giotto and his students) alongside his brothers Marsilio and Rolando. The funeral procession starts from the residence of the deceased Giacomo da Carrara, the condottiero’s early mentor; it is carried on the shoulders of Paduan nobles and buried in the church dressed in his armor. Similar solemn ceremonies take place in Venice at the church of San Marco and in Florence. He marries Ginetta Fieschi.

Sources

-“Fu milite d’alta statura, robusto ed audace: ottimo capitano, non crudele, generoso sì da avere appena una tunica ed un cavallo: amatissimo dai mercenari tedeschi: stimato di puri costumi e religioso.” CIPOLLA

-“Egli era il più sufficiente e il più savio capitano di guerra e ardito di sua persona che niuno altro ch’al suo tempo fosse non che in Lombardia, ma in tutta Italia.” VILLANI

-“Uomo singolare nel mestiero dell’arme.” ARETINO

-“Era Pietro di gran forza, che fu soprannome chiamato el gigante. Era perito nell’arte militare et aperto nemico delli Scaligeri.” PILONI

-“Il più giovane di sei fratelli, godeva la fama del più compito cavaliere d’Italia.” ROMANIN

-“Il quale fu huomo fortissimo, e molto pratico nel maneggiar l’arme.” ALBERTI

-“Il più valente Capitano d’Italia.” BUONINSEGNI

-“Valoroso Capitano..Era Pietro di statura di corpo grande, gagliardissimo, e robustissimo, avea la faccia piena di maestà, gli occhi vivacissimi ed un animo magnifico, di gran prudenza, ed intelligenza delle cose militari..Per lo gran sdegno che portava allo Scaligero, cadeva alcuna volta inconsideratamente nella temerità.” BONIFACCIO

-“Grande per la sua magnanimità e valore, e specchio di virtù vera, il qual rimase qualificato dalle contemporanee istoriche penne per uomo di costumi illibatissimi, cosa in quel corrottissimo secolo assai rara, singolarmente ne’ Prencipi e ne’ soldati.” AFFO’

-“Fuit miles magnae staturae, fortis, et audax: absque crudelitate: militiae optimus gubernator, a Theutonicis tantum dilectus, ut eum suum Dominum appellarent: tantae curialitatis (cordialità) et largitatis, ut vix sibi equum et tunicam retineret. Breviter concludendo, fuit magnae castitatis, qui religionem habuit erga Deum.” CORTUSII

-“Era..uno de’ più prudenti Capitani, e de’ più accorti cavalieri, che in quei dì si ritrovasse.” DALLA CORTE

-“Di gran valore nell’armi.” CASTELLINI

-“Grandissimo guerriero in quei tempi.” GIUSTINIAN

-“Ell’era uno plu valivogli chavaleri de Lombardia e di plu pru’ et ingraciado da tuta gente: e chusì se dixeva per zaschuno.” CORPUS CHRONIC. BONOMIENSIUM

-“Cui dudum in Italia par non fuit in sensu et pocius probitate.” AZARIO

-“Passava in Italia per il migliore guerriero.. Fu pianto Pietro Rosso quanto può mai piangersi un generale universalmente amato e stimato, né mai si vide tanta desolazione in un’armata. La sua capacità, che non aveva mai commesso alcun fallo; la sua gioventù, che prometteva le più belle speranze per l’avvenire; il suo carattere che guadagnava il cuore de’ soldati, cosicché ne traeva più con la dolcezza che col rigore tutti i servigi; le nobili qualità sue esenti da ogni vizio, lo fecero piangere con lagrime per lungo tempo inconsolabili.” LAUGIER

-“Era savissimo di guerra, prò e cortese oltra a ogni altro che a quel tempo si trovasse, e ‘l più aventuroso cavalieri in fatti d’arme che a quel tempo fosse.” STORIE PISTORESI

-“In quel tempo.. era tra ‘ Signori dell’Italia riputato uomo prudentissimo in fatti d’arme..Questo Pietro fu uomo di singolarissima prudenza, prontissimo soldato e ottimo capitano, alieno d’ogni crudeltà: perciocché in ogni impresa che andava, soleva ammonire i soldati, che si guardassero più che potessero di sparger sangue e di vergognar donne. Onde tanto fu per la sua grande umanità da tutti amato, e ancora da’ Tedeschi medesimo, che non pochi erano nei suoi eserciti che lui non chiamassero padre.” SABELLICO

-“Nella militia e ne maneggi delle cose del mondo non hebbe nessuno, o pochi pari a suoi tempi. Fu di venerabil presenza e di regale aspetto..Il qual fu huomo fortissimo e molto pratico nel maneggiar l’arme.” SANSOVINO

-“Godeva fama di valentissimo guerriero.” LITTA

-“Il quale era tenuto uno de i più savi cavallieri di quella età.” TARCAGNOTA

-“Valente in guerra.” DE CAROLIS

-“Hic fuit homo probus et peritus in re militari..De hoc homine plura cantata sunt et merito.” GAZATA

-“Un esperto soldato parmigiano.” MALLETT

-“Vir probitatis.” GRANCHI

-“Avea nome di soldato umano e compassionevole, ed era celebrato come il più bello, onesto e gentil cavaliere che allora vantasse l’Italia.” BONGI

-“Huomo nella militia d’un alto grido.” VERDIZZOTTI

-“Valente Capitano.” MUZZI

-“Riputato savissimo nelle cose della guerra, e era homo.. per le sue grandissime forze, tenuto come gigante..; ma con tanta maestà della grandezza del corpo ben gagliardo, della faccia veramente, per li capelli biondi, per gli occhi vivaci, venerabile, che dignissimo si mostrava d’ogni carica honorata, massime havendo a queste belle qualità del corpo, accompagnato, valore et magnificenza dell’animo, dal quale non erano anco i fratelli dissimili.” CARRARI

-“Generale assai famoso in quel tempo.” SALVALAGGIO

-Contro gli scaligeri nel lucchese “Vi cavalcò co’ suoi messer Pier Rosso,/ Ed assediolli, ch’eran malformati;/ E que’ veggendosi tal gente addosso,/ Non aspettaron d’essere assaliti,/ A messer Piero s’arrender di botto;/ E poi ch’a Lucca a pregion furono iti,/ Messer Pier fe impiccar di lor diciotto.” PUCCI

-“La notizia della sua morte provocò diffusa commozione.. A Venezia furono organizzati “obsequia et honores”, l’elmo del condottiero fu esposto in S. Marco e nel padiglione nell’Arsenale.. La sua fama, fissata nella memoria dei cronisti di area veneta (Cortusi, Gatari), lombarda (Morigia, Azario, Levalossi) e nella cronaca del Villani, conobbe una diffusione popolare testimoniata dalla proliferazione di sonetti e cantari che ne celebravano le gesta. A Firenze, nei giorni successivi alla presa di Padova, Antonio Pucci compose un serventese in cui si narravano le imprese del “valoroso capitan de’ Rossi”; subito dopo la sua morte si diffuse un sonetto anonimo dedicato al condottiero, “guelfo verace” e “nobil signore””. PAGNONI

-“Ritenuto nel secolo XIV uno dei più valorosi capitani.” ARGEGNI

-La morte inopinata di Pietro Rossi lascia una grande impressione nei contemporanei. I Cronisti parlano dell’uomo con grande ammirazione e narrano la sua fine con grande pietà. Fanno eccezione i Gatari Andrea e Galeazzo, forse perché troppo partigiani per i Carraresi. Eppure questi fanno un magnifico elogio di Madonna Luca, figlia di Pietro Rossi. I Cortusi fanno del Capitano un esempio di vita onesta, santa.” LOMBARDI

-“Questi era capitano molto magnanimo e peritissimo, il quale due cose comandava ai soldati, che si dovessero guardare dall’ammazzare niuno, se non forzati, e di violar le donne quando prendono qualche luogo.” SANUDO, riportato da LOMBARDI

-Epitaffio posto nella cappella di San Felice, dove sono sepolti anche i fratelli Marsilio e Rolando “Quatuor hoc marmor procerum tegit ossa sepulchri/ Hectore quis potior, quis Nestore doctior istic./…/ Rolandus virtute animi generosus in omni/ Dote intens dextrae tremor hostibus axis amicis/ Ardens Parmigenis lampas, pietatis asylum./ Supra homines cinctus titulis Marsilius armis/ Strenuus, irriguus librati consilii fons;/ Spes patriae domique, inbar, Parmae decus altum./ Quid Petre musa canet, de te nisi quod polus unquam/ Non fluxit probitate parem, nam dux vafer alter:/ Scipio magnanimus fueras, super ardua Martis/ Edectus duxisse acies per bella furentes,/ Testis adest Venetus super his, et lilia rubra,/ Quos procul a patria busto hoc fortuna coegit/ Carrigerum affines commixto foedere tedae./ Corpore formosos, animi virtute coruscos/ Imprime Romuleis horum sua gesta triumphis/ Posteritas: linguis resonis recolenda per aevum/ Ut licet a daxtris deus hoc supplexque precare./ Obiit Praefatus Dominus Petrus Parum/ Ante Alios Tres Praedictos/ De M.CCC. XXXVII. aug. VII

Featured image: Pietro Rossi prigioniero degli Scaligeri, Francesco Hayez

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Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani è l'autore del sito Condottieri di ventura.