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The Life & Battles of Bartolomeo d’Alviano

Italian CondottieriThe Life & Battles of Bartolomeo d'Alviano

Bartolomeo d'Alviano is the most feared and admired Italian condottiero by the French. He is the first great military genius in the Italian wars of the Renaissance. He demonstrates great boldness and swift execution of elaborated war plans

Indice delle Signorie dei Condottieri: ABCDEFGIJLMNOPQRSTUVZ

Last Updated on 2023/11/20

Bartolomeo d’Alviano, born around 1455, stands as one of the most esteemed condottieri of his time, dedicating his prowess and leadership to the defense of the Venetian Republic. Hailing from the prestigious d’Alviano family, which shared lineage with notable Lombard families like the Trinci and Atti, Bartolomeo’s martial inclination was evident from an early age, inspired by his father and uncle’s military exploits. Despite his slight build, he engaged in numerous military campaigns, initially for the Papal States and the Orsini family. He played a pivotal role against the French at the Battle of Garigliano in 1503 and notably served the Venetian Republic, achieving significant victories, though he also faced defeats and imprisonment. His valor during the Battle of Marignano in 1515 cemented his legacy.


Duke of Bucchianico. Lord of Bucchianico, Manoppello, Serramonacesca, Penna di Piedimonte, Fara Filiorum Petri, Rapino, Orsogna, Giugliano Teatino, Pretoro, Casoli, San Marco Argentano, Pordenone, Attigliano, Alviano, Civitella Messer Raimondo. Nephew of Corrado d’Alviano; brother-in-law to Virginio Orsini and Giampaolo Baglioni; uncle to Bernardino d’Antignola.

Born: 1455 
Death: 1515 (October)

Year, monthState, Comp. venturaOpponentConductActivity areaActions taken and other salient facts
1455His mother, Isabella degli Atti, dies giving birth to him. Bartolomeo d’Alviano is entrusted to the care of his aunt, Emilia Monaldeschi della Cervara, wife of Corrado d’Alviano, and lady of the castle of Monterubiaglio.
1465Following the defeat of his relatives by the Papal forces and their imprisonment in Castel Sant’ Angelo, he becomes a page at the court of Virginio Orsini.
Aug.ChurchRiminiRomagnaHe takes part in the battle of Mulazzano. From the very first skirmishes in which he is present, he shows an inability to remain idle and indifferent to the slow-paced operations taking place in that historical period.
……………Upon the death of his brother, the abbot of San Valentino, Bartolomeo d’Alviano renounces his ecclesiastical career; he cedes the benefits related to that abbey to his older brother, Bernardino, in exchange for the fortress of Alviano.
……………He travels in Italy, France, and Germany.
MayChurchChiaravalleUmbriaHis early years are marked by the struggles between the Guelphs of the Atti family, allied with the Orsini, and the Ghibellines of Chiaravalle, who in turn are allied with the Colonna. Bartolomeo d’Alviano appears for the first time in Todi with soldiers sent from Amelia by order of Pope Sixtus IV. He fights the Chiaravalle in support of his uncle, Gabriele degli Atti.
……………ChurchPerugiaUmbriaHe defends Uguccione da Baschi from Ranieri da Baschi and the Baglioni of Perugia. He gathers about a hundred horses and suddenly catches the adversaries near Orvieto. He hands over the castle of Baschi to Uguccione, husband of his aunt Violante d’Alviano, sister of his father Francesco.
……………ChurchChiaravalleUmbriaWhen the Chiaravalle attack the degli Atti in Todi, he comes to the aid of the latter with Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere (the future Pope Julius II). He forces the adversaries to abandon the siege of Montecastelli and takes many fortresses from them.
1478NaplesFlorenceTuscanyHe serves under the command of Virginio Orsini; he assists Girolamo Riario; he becomes skilled in the use of artillery and in the study of fortifications.
1481NaplesOttoman EmpireApuliaHe fights the Turks in the Otranto War. He takes part in the siege of the city.
……………He marries Bartolomea Orsini, sister of Virginio and of Clarice, who is the wife of Lorenzo de’ Medici.
JuneChurchNaplesUmbriaHe serves alongside Roberto Malatesta, Rodolfo Baglioni, and Everardo Montesperelli.
Dec.ChurchVeniceEmiliaHe defeats Niccolò Secco at Stellata.
1485NaplesApuliaHe designs and begins the enhancement works of the Otranto castle, which has a trapezoidal layout, with strong cylindrical corner towers.
Feb.NaplesChurchLazioTogether with Giovambattista Caracciolo, he is besieged in Lanuvio by Roberto da San Severino and Antonio Maria da San Severino. Forced to surrender, he is imprisoned in Castel Sant’ Angelo in Rome. He is released along with Caracciolo in exchange for the bishop of Tursi, Niccolò Fieschi, who was taken prisoner by the Orsini at the beginning of the conflict.
Feb.GuelfiChiaravalleUmbriaWith the entrance of the Chiaravalle into Todi (which culminates in the killing of his cousins Andrea and Onofrio degli Atti), he leaves Rome and goes to the city. He forcefully enters it, bombards the fortress with artillery, and forces Altobello and Vittorio da Canale to flee. He is appointed by Pope Innocent VIII as governor and castellan of Todi.
……………UmbriaHe remains in Todi for just over a year; he begins new fortification works related to the fortress. He is later replaced in his position.
1488UmbriaHe fortifies the walls of the fortresses of Alviano and Porchiano, strengthens the bastions of Guardea, and fortifies the fortress and walls of Todi. From that year onward, he also leads the reconstruction of the fortress of Alviano, built around the year 1000 by Count Offredo d’Alviano. Of the original structure, only the foundation of some towers remains; the castle is adapted into a noble residence. The works are completed in 1506; the restoration of the parish church of Santa Maria, which he dedicates to Saints Peter and Paul, is also involved. In the council room, there is a recent fresco depicting him. The features of the condottiero are taken from a coin minted by the Venetians in 1500. Also housed in the castle, in the basement, are the museum of peasant civilization and a multimedia museum dedicated to his deeds.
Feb.AlvianoGhibellinesUmbriaFollowing the joint action of the Ghibellines, the Savelli, and the da Canale against Orte, he leaves Todi to head towards Attigliano. He strikes the rivals who retreat to Giove and Castel dell’Aquila, near Amelia.
JulyAlvianoAmeliaUmbriaHe forcefully enters the territory of Amelia, raids livestock, takes away wheat, and imprisons family members from some patrician houses.
1491FlorenceUmbriaIn Perugia, he supports the cause of the Baglioni.
JuneNaplesFranceTogether with Giovanni Battista Conti and Ludovico Orsini, he escorts Pope Alexander VI from Orvieto to Perugia at the head of 300 men-at-arms.
Sept.RomagnaHe arrives in Cesena. Together with Ferdinando d’Avalos and Giovanni Savelli, he defeats the adversaries near Russi.
…………..RomagnaTogether with Giovanni Savelli, he routs 400 light cavalry at night at Sant’ Agata sul Santerno. He challenges Giovan Francesco da San Severino to a battle in vain. He clashes with Niccolò Orsini, who advocates a defense-based strategy. With Alfonso d’Avalos, he rescues Orsini in Cesena when Orsini is captured by the French partisans. The Duke of Calabria, Ferdinando d’Aragona, sends him to Teodorano; in a skirmish, he is injured by an arrow; the castle surrenders to the Aragonese within two days.
Dec.GuelphsChiaravalleUmbriaHe once again drives out the rival Chiaravalle faction from Todi.
Jan.NaplesFranceAbruzzoHe is appointed to defend Tagliacozzo with two infantry companies and one cavalry company: he is overwhelmed by Fabrizio Colonna, Antonello Savelli, Giovanni della Rovere, Giovanni Paolo Cantelmi, and Graziano di Guerra, who have superior numbers.
………….AbruzzoThe King of Naples, Ferdinand of Aragon (Ferdinando d’Aragona), enfeoffs him with Manoppello at the expense of Camillo Pardo Orsini.
MayApuliaHe supports Cesare of Aragon (Cesare d’Aragona). He moves to assist Brindisi with Andrea Matteo Acquaviva, bringing with him 3,000 infantrymen (Biscayan and Italian) and 500 men-at-arms. When attacked by Fabrizio Colonna, his troops scatter in disarray.
JuneGuelphsChiaravalleUmbriaHe returns to Perugia. Together with the Baglioni, he once again confronts Altobello and Vittorio da Canale.
Jan.FranceNaplesAbruzzoThough not fully convinced, he follows Virginio Orsini in his campaign against the Aragonese.
Feb.Abruzzo, ApuliaHe enters L’Aquila; he reaches Fragneto Monforte with Paolo Orsini. Alongside Virginio Orsini, on the Chilone river, he supports the actions of Camillo and Paolo Vitelli, thereby contributing to the defeat of the German infantry. He gathers the livestock looted in Terra di Lavoro.
Apr.CampaniaNear Fragneto Monforte with Paolo Orsini.
May – June100 lancesApulia, CampaniaHe is spotted near Foggia, engaged in livestock raiding. He moves to Terra di Lavoro; his men haven’t received their pay for four months. In June, Pope Alexander VI (Alessandro VI) orders the confiscation of his and the Orsini’s assets.
JulyAbruzzo, BasilicataIn Abruzzo with Graziano di Guerre; he retreats to Atella where he is besieged by opponents. With Gian Giordano Orsini, he supports the retreat of Paolo Orsini and Paolo Vitelli, who are defeated nearby by the Venetian light cavalry.
Aug.BasilicataIn Atella. Virginio Orsini and Montpensier send him along with Précy to negotiate a thirty-day truce with the adversaries. After three days, the Frenchman accepts their surrender on certain conditions.
Sept.CampaniaAlviano’s troops are plundered, contrary to agreements, by the papal forces of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro; he is injured in the clash. Imprisoned in Naples; he manages to escape from prison, perhaps due to the will of King Ferdinand of Aragon (Ferdinando d’Aragona) who holds him in high esteem.
Oct.He is declared a rebel by the Pope, who, through a brief, encourages the inhabitants of Amelia to attack his castles to confiscate them in favor of the Holy See.
Nov.OrsiniChurch, ColonnaLazioHe gathers soldiers and vagabonds; he prepares to defend the Orsini lands (Bracciano, Anguillara Sabazia, and Trevignano Romano) which are under threat from the papal forces.
Dec.LazioThe Duke of Gandia, Giovanni Borgia, unsuccessfully attempts to bribe his men. Alviano, with 100 light cavalry, surprises near Rome 400 of Troilo Savelli’s horsemen who are escorting some artillery pieces and a brigantine, transported on the Tiber and destined for the siege of Anguillara Sabazia. The enemies are put to flight; in the action, he injures Savelli’s mount. In other skirmishes, he almost captures Cesare Borgia at Monte Mario, who had left Rome for a hunting party. He loses Trevignano Romano and is besieged in Bracciano: with 30 men-at-arms, he exits the fortress and reclaims the village that had fallen into enemy hands. The adversaries suffer more than 200 casualties, both dead and wounded. He routs a papal contingent at Cerveteri, seizing some small artillery pieces. Meanwhile, his contempt for the Duke of Gandia grows. One day, the gates of Bracciano castle are flung open, and a donkey emerges. Hanging from its neck is a sign reading “let me pass because I am an ambassador and bring a message for the Duke of Gandia.” A letter penned by Alviano, filled with bloody insults directed at the Duke, dangles from the donkey’s tail. He once again leaves Bracciano, harasses the papal troops of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro and Giampiero Gonzaga, pushing them towards the forces of Vitellozzo Vitelli and Carlo Orsini.
Jan.Vitellozzo Vitelli and Carlo Orsini defeat the ecclesiastical militias at Soriano nel Cimino. Around the same time, Alviano travels to Naples for the funeral of Virginio Orsini.
Feb.In Rome. Together with Giorgio di Santacroce, he is present at the peace negotiations with the Pope.
Mar.SienaBannedFor a limited period, he is employed by the Sienese to monitor the movements of the local exiles.
Apr.MediciFlorenceHe gathers 600 cavalry and 400 infantry in Siena. He sets out at night towards Florence with Piero dei Medici; heavy rainfall hinders the march of his men, which allows Paolo Vitelli, who has left Pisa, to get ahead. He lingers for four hours in front of Porta Romana, only to withdraw without attempting any assault. He then moves to Siena and Perugia.
May – JuneSpoleto, GuelphsChiaravalle,          Colonna,
General CaptainUmbriaIn the castle of Alviano, a peace agreement is signed between Amelia and his cousin Ludovico degli Atti. Upon hearing that Vittorio da Canale, with troops provided by Terni, Foligno, and Amelia, returns to Todi with his usual determination, he slaughters over 30 members of the opposing faction and sets their houses on fire. He bombards Montecchio castle; sends 500 infantry to Cesi and another 200 to San Gemini; and resists the advance of the Savelli and Colonna who come from Terni with 300 cavalry. He conquers the castle following an attack that lasts 5 and a half hours: all captured Chiaravalle are killed. The following day, after an unsuccessful attempt on Ficulle, he enters Todi, overruns San Fortunato, forcefully seizes the Ulpiana street borough and sets it aflame, killing 50 Ghibellines; he lays siege to Altobello da Canale in the outwork and secures the conditional surrender of the defenders. As the action continues, Alviano penetrates into the Terni area, leading 10,000 men; he captures the stronghold of Col di Luna, which is razed to the ground; and devastates the territory of the main town for four days. In the end, he is forced to desist due to the Pope’s decision. Around the same time, in Rome, he is suspected, along with the Orsini, of having orchestrated the assassination of the Duke of Gandia, Giovanni Borgia, as a means to avenge the memory of Virginio Orsini, who was either poisoned or strangled in prison at Castelnuovo in Naples, on the Pope’s orders.
JulyUmbriaHe ensures that the Savelli troops enter San Gemini, breaking the truce. He then takes the road to Terni and Amelia and sets up his camp at Casteltodino.
Aug.UmbriaA new truce is agreed upon with the adversaries.
Feb.UmbriaHe marries for the second time in Spoleto, taking Pantasilea Baglioni, the sister of Giampaolo, as his bride. The celebrations last for five days. For the occasion, the mathematician Giovanni Battista Danti conducts a flight experiment using a device equipped with wings suitable for flight and proportioned to his weight. The machine has already been successfully tested over Lake Trasimeno. In the midst of the celebrations, an unexpected event occurs: the metal support of the left wing breaks, and Danti falls from the roof of the Santa Maria church, fracturing a leg. The citizens of Todi participate in the condottiero’s wedding by gifting a silver crater engraved with the town’s emblem: the jewel’s value is eight florins.
……………GuelphsChiaravalleUmbriaWith the help of the Baglioni, he once again occupies Montecchio. He lays siege to Altobello da Canale, who has barricaded himself in the fortress with his supporters.
Apr.OrsiniColonnaLazioAt the helm of 800 cavalry and 2,000 infantry, he is defeated by the Colonna forces at Montecelio. During the clash, his mount is killed. He attacks Troilo Savelli in Palombara Sabina with Morgante Baglioni, Giulio Vitelli, Saccoccio da Spoleto, Giulio Orsini, Giovanni di Ceri, Gian Giordano Orsini, and Fabio Orsini. He signs an agreement with the Ghibellines in Tivoli and returns to Umbria.
MayUmbriaTogether with the Baglioni and Vitelli, he descends on Pozzo and captures Vittorio da Canale. His rival is imprisoned in the Alviano fortress. He will be held there for three years. Alviano expels the Ghibellines from Castel Rubello.
JulyUmbriaHe targets the castle of Porchiano del Monte near Amelia; he demolishes a side of the surrounding wall and seizes much livestock. Many adversaries fall victim. Giulio Orsini and the Colonna complain about such actions; Bartolomeo d’Alviano continues undeterred in the campaign he undertook with Ferrante Farnese and brothers Bernardino and Aloisio, causing damages to the adversaries worth more than 2,000 ducats. He doesn’t receive the apostolic protonotary Giovanni Olivieri, commissioner of the legate of Perugia.
Aug.AbruzzoHe moves towards the mountains of Tagliacozzo and targets L’Aquila. He roams right up to the city gates with the local exiles: after being defeated, he returns to Umbria.
Sept.MediciFlorenceTuscany, LazioHe supports Piero dei Medici against the Florentines with 130 men-at-arms and numerous crossbowmen. He connects in Rezzano with the Venetians led by Guidobaldo da Montefeltro. He makes a sortie to Rome to bring 700 Swiss and Spanish infantry to the field, which had been hired by Medici but were blocked by the papal forces at Ponte Milvio.
Oct.VeniceFlorence150 lancesTuscany, RomagnaHe switches to the Venetians’ payroll, who grant him an annual salary of 15,000 ducats. He forces Giovan Francesco da San Severino to abandon the siege of the fortress of Marradi. He heads to Forlì, and from there with 100 mounted crossbowmen, 100 light cavalry, and 800 infantry, he reaches San Mauro Pascoli and Sogliano al Rubicone, crosses the Valle del Savio; during a nighttime march, he occupies the Camaldoli abbey just as the monks are chanting matins. A legend arises that sees the founder of the monastery, Saint Romuald (San Romualdo), appearing in defense of the friars and hurling bricks at the attackers, who are thus repelled.
Bartolomeo d’Alviano continues his march; he also seizes Bibbiena with a swift move: 50 cavalry burst in using counterfeit letters from Giulio Vitelli; the vanguard is followed the same evening by another 100 cavalry and 100 infantry shouting “marzocco”, the battle cry of the Florentines. He enters the town, taking control of the gate and the square, aided also by the Medici supporters living in the city. Shortly after, Carlo Orsini and Montefeltro also enter Bibbiena. D’Alviano, along with Astorre Baglioni, assaults Poppi; they fend off an attack by 200 Florentine infantry (40 killed, 70/80 captured); this attempt against the town fails. He then stops to occupy places near Bibbiena such as Montefatucchio; he has several clashes with adversaries. Opposing him are Ranuccio da Marciano and Paolo Vitelli.
Nov.TuscanyHe supports Guidobaldo da Montefeltro in the assault on the castle of Rassina, which they conquer after six hours of combat; during the action, he sustains a wound to the abdomen. He also participates in the capture of the castle of Lierna, where he loses two teeth. Additionally wounded in the tongue, he will be forever hindered in speech. He clashes with Piero del Monte at Santa Maria.
Dec.Tuscany, RomagnaHe opposes Montefeltro’s plan, which aims to limit the scope of operations to Romagna alone due to difficulties in supplying the front-line troops. He moves again towards Poppi; however, his march is halted by Chiriaco dal Borgo and Paolo Vitelli. He orders the destruction of the Fronzola castle because it is indefensible; at Rassina, he rescues Giacomazzo da Venezia, who is suddenly attacked by Ranuccio da Marciano; he fortifies himself on the mountains of Verna; he captures the castles of Ornina and secures the surrender of Qualiano. On Christmas Eve, 500 enemy infantry assault his troops at Marzano during mealtime; d’Alviano escapes to the mountains of Verna. Struggling due to a lack of provisions and reliable reinforcements, he orders the castles of Bulzano and Verghereto to be set ablaze.
Jan.TuscanyHe finds himself at Verna with only 450 infantry (of which 150 are Germans) who are hungry, cold, and tired; he cannot prevent the fall of Mignano. He moves towards Chiusi and Montecoronaro and seeks refuge in Bibbiena with Carlo Orsini; he attempts a futile diversionary action.
Feb.TuscanyHis behavior is criticized in the Collegio dei Pregadi, in Venice, due to his continuous requests for money to cover the soldiers’ wages and for the purchase of provisions. He loots the territory near Bibbiena and the Pratese area in search of supplies for the troops. He defeats Bianchino da Pisa in the vicinity.
Apr.Tuscany, VenetoHe confronts Paolo Vitelli alongside Caracciolo; around the same time, peace is signed between the Florentines and the Venetians. As a result, d’Alviano relocates with 70 cavalry to the countryside of Monselice, where he stays for several days.
MayTuscany, UmbriaHe travels to Venice and meets in the Collegio with Doge Agostino Barbarigo. He receives 1,500 ducats to replenish the ranks of his company. In Umbria.
JuneLazio, UmbriaHe goes to Rome to pay homage to Pope Alexander VI (papa Alessandro VI); he promptly returns to Todi. The inhabitants task him with negotiating an agreement with his father-in-law, Rodolfo Baglioni, for the return of the Pantalla castle, which had been recently occupied by the Perugians. He complies with the request, albeit reluctantly.
JulyVeniceRomagna, VenetoHe is re-engaged by the Venetians for one year of fixed service and another year of deference: the contract is set for 150 men-at-arms and 40 light cavalry. He is stationed in Rimini and Este, where his accommodations are located.
Aug.VeniceMilanGeneral Captain of the light cavalryVeneto, LombardyHe unsuccessfully requests the Venetians to grant a contract to Baldassarre di Scipione. He sends Francesco di Santacroce to Rome to lead a contingent of Spanish infantry to the field against the Sforza forces. He is given command of the light cavalry; he reaches Pontoglio with Niccolò Orsini and Bernardino da Montone. He crosses the Oglio and scouts ahead towards Romano di Lombardia. He passes through Antegnate, Barbata, Pumenengo, and Calcio; he secures Fontanella.
Sept.150 lances and 70 light cavalryServing under his command are 150 men-at-arms and 70 mounted crossbowmen. He occupies Soncino and positions himself outside Cremona, where he negotiates the surrender with the castle keeper, Pietro Antonio Battaglia. Having achieved his goal, he attends the review of his company. His conduct in the recent conflict is highly praised in Pregadi by the general provider Melchiorre Trevisan.
Oct.LombardyHe is granted another year of reserve.
Nov.RomagnaHe is relocated to Ravenna with 2,000 cavalry to protect, alongside Giacomazzo da Venezia, the state’s borders from potential attacks by the Papal forces of Cesare Borgia.
Jan.VeniceMilanRomagnaIn Rimini with 600 cavalry. He is replaced in the city garrison by Giacomazzo da Venezia.
Feb.Lombardy, RomagnaHe returns to Lombardy upon hearing the news of Ludovico Sforza’s return to the Milanese region.
Mar.VeniceOttoman EmpireVenetoHe is stationed in the Verona area with 2,000 cavalry; he threatens the Mantuan territory to dissuade Francesco Gonzaga from aligning with the Sforza forces.
Apr.VenetoHe departs from Isola della Scala and heads to Venice where he is received by the Doge. He is dispatched to Friuli to address potential raids by the Turks. In Treviso.
May – Aug.FriuliHe is reported in Udine; by June, he is in Gradisca d’Isonzo. He successfully defends the castle of Polcenigo, which is besieged by adversaries. In this situation, he advises a defensive tactic and the construction of two fortresses, one in Farra d’Isonzo and one in Lucinico. He requests additional troops from the Serenissima to strengthen the defense of the borders.
Apr. – Sept.ChurchChiaravalle, ViterboUmbria, FriuliHe leaves Friuli to return to Umbria on behalf of the Papal forces commanded under Commissioner Domenico Capranica. He besieges the castle of Lagusello with Vitellozzo Vitelli, Paolo Orsini, Fabio Orsini, his brother Bernardino, as well as Ludovico and Giovanni degli Atti. He then supports Giampaolo Baglioni and Cesare Borgia in a police action against Altobello di Canale who, with a few followers, intercepts pilgrims traveling through the Spoleto region on their way to Rome for the Jubilee. Altobello di Canale is killed during the capture of Acquasparta in an assault following a bombardment that lasted four days. Girolamo da Canale is beheaded, Altobello’s body is torn to pieces; it is skinned and consumed by his factional adversaries. L’Alviano then breaks into Viterbo with Baglioni and drives out the sons of Giovanni Gatti; he also goes to Orvieto. He is ordered out of the city by the Pope and then returns to fight the Turks in Friuli.
Oct.VeniceOttoman EmpireFriuliHe requests to combat the Turks in the Levant and also demands payment of his overdue wages. He travels to Venice, urging the renewal of his contract that expired that month.
Nov.VenetoHe is given 1,000 ducats. He then joins his men in the Treviso region.
Feb.VenetoHe returns to Venice, not only to request the renewal of his contract but also an increase for an additional 100 men-at-arms.
Mar.VenetoHis contract is confirmed under the same previous terms for two fixed years and one year of respect. The Doge persuades him in this regard; with the payment of two wages, he moves to the Treviso region.
MayVenetoIn Conegliano.
Aug.GuelphsTerniUmbriaHe departs Venice to return to Umbria. He renews his request to the priors of Todi for the settlement of his debts. He then lays siege to Terni at the head of 10,000 men.
Oct. – Nov.VeniceTrentino, UmbriaSummoned by the Venetians, he sets his sights on Rovereto; there he strengthens the castle with a triangular bastion that will bear his name. Later that month, he joins the conspiracy organized in Magione by the condottieri rebelling against Cesare Borgia. In November, he is spotted in Casigliano with his cousin Ludovico degli Atti. He writes to the priors of Todi requesting the settlement of his debt to the city of 200 scudi, which he needs to enhance the defensive works of his Alviano castle.
Dec.VenetoHe meets in Venice with the new Doge, Andrea Loredan. He presents a plan to consolidate the defenses of the Val Lagarina, asks for money for the troops, and demands the punishment of some wrongdoers in the territory.
Jan.VenetoWhile passing through the county of Perugia, some Spaniards kidnap near Corbara, between Todi and Orvieto, his wife Pantasilea Baglioni, her sister Camilla, wife of Giovanni degli Atti, and her brother Bernardino. All are suspected of conspiring against the papal authorities along with the Orsini. Strong protests arise from the Serenissima (the Republic of Venice). Cesare Borgia initially denies being aware of the incident.
Feb.Veneto, Romagna, EmiliaThe relatives, first imprisoned in the fortress of Todi and then in Acquapendente, are released due to pressure from the Venetians and the King of France. However, the Serenissima (the Republic of Venice) does not grant permission to Bartolomeo d’Alviano to join forces with the Orsini and Baglioni to confront Borgia. He is partially appeased with a transfer from Conegliano to Ravenna, which allows him to be closer to the borders of the Papal States. The condottiero takes advantage of this to secretly meet in Bologna with Giovanni Bentivoglio (another lord threatened by papal politics); he then returns to Ravenna, waiting to be joined by allies. He meets in Venice with members of the Council of Ten; he asks for 4,000 ducats to provide aid to San Leo with the Montefeltro and then to move to the region around Perugia. He encounters opposition from the Doge. In Ravenna.
Mar. – MayRomagna, VenetoIn Venice, he receives evasive answers regarding the issues he raises; the Doge does not want to grant him leave. In May, he takes on the general supervision of a project related to the formation of a siege and field artillery train for the troops.
Aug.Orsini, BaglioniChurchVeneto, Romagna, Emilia, UmbriaAt Lovadina, in the Treviso area, he reviews his men. Upon hearing of the death of Alexander VI (Alessandro VI), prompted by Fabio Orsini, he leaves the service of the Venetians with fifteen horses, while his wife remains in Conegliano. He helps Pandolfo Malatesta regain control of Rimini and escorts the Bentivoglio to Bologna; disguised, he passes through Tuscany to join forces in Marsciano with Giampaolo Baglioni. At the end of the month, he conducts a cattle raid, capturing numerous prisoners at Castel delle Forme.
Sept.Umbria, LazioHe attacks Perugia at the Porta della Mandola; having successfully entered the city, he reinstates the Counts of Marsciano to their territories; with the degli Atti, he sets his sights on Todi. He storms into the town leading 9,000 men; he lays siege to the fortress whose defenders, along with the castellan, the Spaniard Pietro Giliac, surrender on terms. He clashes with Paolo Astancolle and some Chiaravalle at Pantalla, who try in vain to block his path. Astancolle is hanged; the fortress quickly surrenders to him after being destroyed by artillery and mines. Alviano continues his march, passing through Amelia, Orvieto, Viterbo, and with 800 men, reinstates the Guelphs in the latter city.
Oct.SpainFranceLazioHe descends on Nepi, where Borgia is stationed; he forces him to seek refuge in Rome. Together with Giulio Orsini, he is approached by both the French and the Spaniards to wage war in the Kingdom of Naples. On the advice of the Venetians (he has a meeting with the ambassador of the Serenissima in Rome, Antonio Giustinian), and especially because the French protect Borgia, he chooses to serve under the pay of the Spaniards. Meanwhile, with Baglioni, Fabio Orsini, and Renzo da Ceri, he attacks the Borgo Leonino in Rome, overcomes the defenses prepared by Giovanni da Sassatello and Silvio Savelli, and sets fire to the Porta Torrione (Porta Cavalleggeri). The bailiff of Caen is injured; the cardinal of Rouen, Giorgio d’Amboise, will later confess that on that day he feared for his life. The Duke Valentino (Cesare Borgia) manages to escape to Castel Sant’Angelo. Upon the death of Pope Pius III, Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere compels Alviano to leave the city with Baglioni. The condottiero accepts from the Spaniards, on behalf of the Orsini, a contract for 500 men-at-arms with a salary of 12,000 ducats (of which 8,000 are allocated to him personally), and for his abbot brother, ecclesiastical benefits in the Kingdom of Naples that bring an income of 2,000 ducats. Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (Consalvo di Cordoba) also promises to help him reinstate the Medici in Florence. Alviano unsuccessfully asks the Venetians to be joined by his company stationed in the Veneto region.
Nov.LazioHe stops at Monterotondo to learn about Cesare Borgia’s fate with the new pope.
Dec.Campania, LazioHe joins Cordoba on the Garigliano. With Prospero and Fabrizio Colonna and the support of the Spanish arquebusiers, he charges at 1,500 Frenchmen who have crossed the river. After the victory, he convinces Cordoba to build a pontoon bridge to cross the Garigliano in turn; a first attempt fails due to adverse weather conditions. At the end of the month, he constructs another near a farmhouse close to Sessa Aurunca; the structure is transported at night to the Suio pass. It’s launched at dawn, not two miles from a similar French bridge (as Consalvo di Cordoba had previously attempted), but four miles away. Alviano crosses the river at the forefront with Pedro Navarro and Garcia di Paredes. On the banks of the right riverbank, there are no sentinels; however, 300 Norman crossbowmen are positioned atop a hill. They only spot the crossing of the Spanish troops when it’s well underway. The enemies retreat to Carloforte where 150 French men-at-arms are stationed along with an equal number of mounted crossbowmen. He occupies Castelforte. From there, he moves towards Traietto (Minturno). The French withdraw at night; by dawn, he enters their camp and begins to chase the adversaries. Prospero Colonna’s light cavalry are overwhelmed; in contrast, he reaches the Gaeta-Itri crossroad and scatters numerous French men-at-arms, causing significant casualties among the adversaries (at least 1,000 men, both cavalry and infantry). The next day, he captures Monte Orlando, above Gaeta, and forces the French who have sought refuge there to surrender. The victory achieved by the Spanish army on the Garigliano is largely due to his efforts. “Bartolomeo was the one who took the Kingdom from us” is the acknowledgment of Cardinal d’Amboise, minister to King Louis XII.
Jan.CampaniaHe is approached by the Florentines and the Papal States to serve under their pay.
Feb.Campania, Calabria, Basilicata, ApuliaHe leaves Naples with 6,000 infantry, 700 men-at-arms, and many pieces of artillery; he moves up from Calabria towards Basilicata; conquers Melfi; battles at Tricarico, and captures the castle of Miglionico (also called Manconsiglio, because years earlier, the barons rebelling against the king of Naples, Ferrante d’Aragona, had gathered there).
Mar.ApuliaHe continues his march towards Altamura; drives out the French under Luigi d’Ars from Venosa with bloody skirmishes. A truce is agreed upon, resulting in 50 French men-at-arms being expelled from Taranto. He lays siege to the Marquis of Bitonto in Conversano; when the men-at-arms he had let go strengthen this garrison, he threatens to hang them if captured again. In this way, he forces them to leave the location and seek refuge in Trani, within the Venetian territory.
……………Apulia, Abruzzo, Campania, TuscanyHe seizes Minervino Murge and Spinazzola; enters the Abruzzi region; engages in fierce battles at Orsogna, Bucchianico, Manoppello, and Penna. Having decimated the opponents, he heads west along the border with the Papal States; skirts the Maiella mountains, crosses Fara Filiorum Petri, Alvito, Cassino, Caserta, and finally arrives in Naples. The war concludes with the peace of Blois. He is summoned to Tuscany. The Spaniards grant him as a fief in Calabria the duchy of Alvito (San Marco Argentano), the silk tax in Calabria (with revenues of 8,000 ducats), the Val di Grado, and a palace in Naples, previously belonging to the prince of Bisignano.
JuneLazioHe has a meeting in Rome with the Pope, who arranges the release of his brother, the abbot, who had been imprisoned days earlier in Castel Sant’Angelo. In return, he promises to give back the castle of Lugnano in the Rieti area. He has another meeting with Antonio Giustinian; he offers to return to the service of the Serenissima (Venetian Republic).
Aug.UmbriaHe arrives with some men-at-arms in Città di Castello, which raises suspicions among the Papal authorities. He demands payment of his dues from Cordoba or permission to offer his services to other patrons: he is given 4,000 ducats and is summoned to Naples. He is accused by the Papal governor of Città di Castello of having participated with the Vitelli in a treaty at Montone.
Sept.Lazio, UmbriaHe enters Amelia. He reaches Perugia and Monterotondo. In Perugia, he supports the cause of the Baglioni against the exiles.
Nov.Having received more money from the Spaniards, he gathers 400 men-at-arms. Julius II orders him to leave the territories of the Papal States or to dismiss his troops.
Dec.UmbriaTo Alviano. He is suspected by the Florentines of intending to come to the aid of the Pisans and of wanting to seize Piombino.
Jan.Comp. venturaRietiLazioHe enters Rieti with Renzo di Ceri to combat the local Ghibellines. About twenty of them are killed. His presence leads to the intervention of Fabrizio Colonna. Now, 40 Guelfs are killed, and Alviano is forced to abandon the area.
Apr.Lazio, UmbriaHe sets up camp near Rome and gathers 300 men-at-arms and 400 light cavalry in Viterbo. He meets with the Pope in Ostia, and during his visit, some corsairs land on the beach. Alviano sends his men to chase them down, capturing 5 or 6 who are all subsequently hanged by the pontiff. He then returns to Umbria and disperses his troops between Alviano and other locations.
MayUmbriaEngaged in negotiations to gain entry into Orvieto.
JuneUmbria, LazioHe arrives in Piegaro and contacts the Orsini, the lord of Siena Pandolfo Petrucci, and the Baglioni to seek reinforcements with which to restore the Medici in Florence and provide aid to the Pisans. He stops in Pitigliano, where Cordoba orders him not to move. His decision is to take the risk and attack the Florentines. At the end of the month, he moves to the territory of Siena.
JulyComp. venturaFlorenceTuscanyHe crosses the Maremma and arrives in the territory of Piombino with 300 men-at-arms (of whom 70 belong to his own company) and many exiles from Florence, Arezzo, and the Val di Chiana. He stops in Scarlino, continually pursued by Cordoba’s threats. Soon, he is abandoned, partly by Giampaolo Baglioni and also to some extent by Pandolfo Petrucci.
Aug.Tuscany, UmbriaWith 240 men-at-arms, 120 light cavalry, and 500 makeshift foot soldiers, he initially targets Vignale Riotorto, in the territory of Piombino between the Val di Cornia and the Val di Pecora. However, the Pisans refuse to support his initiative due to pressure from the Spaniards. He approaches Florence with Piero dei Medici at the Porta di San Pier Gattolini, hoping for some turmoil in the city in favor of the Medici. He is met with resistance from Commissioner Antonio Giacomini, Ercole Bentivoglio, and Marcantonio Colonna (200 men-at-arms and 1500 foot soldiers) in Campiglia Marittima. He now has 160 men-at-arms, 20 broken lances, 20 crossbowmen on horseback, 600 light cavalry, and 800 foot soldiers at his disposal. Of these, 100/150 Corsican foot soldiers desert his ranks as soon as he reaches La Macchia.
Forced into battle halfway through the month in the vicinity of San Vincenzo, Florentine artillery takes them from the flank; their rearguard is assaulted, while their vanguard is engaged by squads under Marcantonio Colonna, Jacopo Savelli, and the colonels of foot soldiers commanded by Zitolo da Perugia and Vittorio da Canale. Alviano’s infantry yields to the first assault and flees after sustaining heavy losses. Chiappino Vitelli retreats with his cavalry towards Bibbona to join Alviano near the tower of San Vincenzo. The condottiero attempts to resist and renews the fight driven by the traditional rivalry between the Orsini and Colonna, especially against his personal enemy, Colonna.
The Colonna forces give way but are supported by the infantry of Piero del Monte at Santa Maria and Vittorio da Canale. The condottiero is wounded in the face by some stabs inflicted by Colonna, and Chiappino Vitelli is also injured. Finally, they open fire on a squad of 100 men-at-arms and 6 falconets led by the general commissioner. After two hours, Alviano is forced to yield; he escapes with Giovan Corrado Orsini and Chiappino Vitelli, along with 8-10 other horses (led by a son of Pietro Paolo della Sassetta), to Monterotondo Marittimo in the Grosseto area, which is under the control of the Sienese. In this location, he joins forces with Baglioni, and later they seek refuge in the Perugia region.
Many of the company’s men are taken prisoner in San Vincenzo, Cecina, and Rosignano Marittimo. Some of the defeated are saved by the Maremma peasants who are sympathetic to the della Sassetta. The Florentines seize 1000 horses and equipment, as well as the exchange of letters between Alviano, Baglioni, Petrucci, and Jacopo d’Appiano. Nine standards of men-at-arms and five infantry banners are captured, along with Alviano’s own armor. These flags and banners are hung in the Great Council Chamber in Florence.
Sept.UmbriaTo Perugia and Todi.
……………Having recovered, he travels to the Kingdom of Naples and pays homage to the King of Spain. He returns the Duchy of Alvito to the San Severino family, and in exchange, he is granted the Duchy of Bucchianico in the Abruzzo region, along with the lands of Serramonacesca, Rocca di Montepiano, Penna di Piedimonte, Fara Filiorum Petri, Rapino, Orsogna, Giugliano Teatino, Pretoro, and Casoli. He also manages to reconcile with Fernando di Cordoba.
Dec.He establishes contact with both the Papal authorities and the Venetians with the intention of entering their employ and serving under their banners.
Feb.Venice150 lancesUmbriaThe idea of him leading a Venetian contingent encounters resistance in the Venetian Senate. Eventually, they grant him 150 men-at-arms with an annual stipend of 15,000 ducats for one year of active service and one year of reserve duty.
Mar.Lazio, VenetoLeaves Rome for Venice.
MayVenetoIn Conegliano, for the review of his company.
Aug.FriuliAt a new review of his men that takes place in Sacile. He moves to Udine to closely monitor any movements of imperial militias on the borders.
Nov.VenetoOnce the danger subsides, he returns to Venice and to the camp in Conegliano. He is given a two-month leave to return to the Kingdom of Naples and address some economic issues that arose following the exchange of Alvito with Bucchianico.
Jan. – Mar.CampaniaIn Naples, he is granted the county of Malapelle; he is also promised a settlement in his favor to bridge the income difference between the two duchies.
Apr.VenetoHe returns to Venice and to Conegliano.
MayLombardyHe is transferred to Ghiaradadda; in Ghedi, he reviews his men alongside Niccolò Orsini. He strengthens the defenses of Caravaggio. Imperial militias descend into Italy via the Grisons route and Lake Como. Orsini and Alviano monitor their movements, positioning themselves between Trezzo sull’Adda and Cassano d’Adda. 300 light cavalry and 300 infantry mounted on the backs of the latter’s horses closely pursue the opponents.
……………FranceA plaque embedded within the cistern in the courtyard of the Alviano castle attests to a mysterious campaign he fought in favor of the King of France. It seems that he undertook it without informing the Venetians and that in this instance, he was taken prisoner in the south of France.
Aug. – Sept.VenetoIn Venice for consultations with the general captain Niccolò Orsini and the infantry commander Giovambattista Caracciolo. In September, his year of deference is confirmed.
Dec.FriuliIn Gradisca d’Isonzo. He sends a report to the Council of the Wise regarding the results of his inspection.
Jan.Veneto, FriuliHe conducts an inspection in Butistagno in Cadore and at the Chiusaforte pass, ensuring the fort is appropriately fortified. He orders the digging of a moat in Primolano and the construction of 2 bastions in Celazzo and Laurone. He returns to Friuli after reporting the results of his inspections to the Council of Ten in Venice.
Feb.VeniceEmpireVeneto, FriuliIn Bassano del Grappa; he is relocated to Friuli with Piero del Monte to Santa Maria to counter the imperial forces that threaten the republic’s borders. He reaches Castello di Gardona and Belluno, establishing a common action plan with Girolamo Savorgnano in Cadore. He is advised by the captain not to ascend the Piave, but to divert through the Val di Zoldo. He takes with him 100 men-at-arms, 400 combined stradiots and mounted crossbowmen, 1,500 infantry, and under the snow, he reaches Forno di Zoldo.
Mar.General Governor of 1,050 horsesVenetoWith the help of the inhabitants, he clears the snow from the mule track leading to Cadore; through the Cibiana pass, he crosses the Boite, and occupies Venàs. Before dawn, he stops at Valle near Pieve di Cadore. He decides to face the Germans in open field at Tai di Cadore. Ranieri della Sassetta and Babone Naldi (800 infantry) are lined up in the fields that lead from Nogaredo to Monte Zucco. They push a company of crossbowmen against the imperial artillery and carriages. On the left, Alviano places the men-at-arms in several groups; he positions himself in the center with Piero del Monte in Santa Maria. He signals the attack; he too participates, mounted on a pony. The infantry and men-at-arms follow him. The opponents are attacked on both flanks while the Venetian light cavalry seizes the artillery. Among the enemies, Sisto di Trantson and 1,500 infantry are killed. The next morning, he attacks the castle of Pieve di Cadore: the defenders surrender on terms after the loss of 2 outworks. The prisoners are released and escorted to a safe place under the guard of Giulio Buzzaccarini, a squad leader of Guido Brandolini, and Matteo da Ferrara. On behalf of the Serenissima, Antonio da Norcia enters the fortress with 200 infantry. Having occupied all of Cadore, he descends along the Piave and positions himself in Conegliano. He is appointed general governor of the troops, his conduct is increased by 400 horses, and his annual provision is raised to 30,000 ducats; he is also gifted 1,000 ducats and the artillery captured after the battle. As the conflict continues, he sends part of the troops through the Carnia passes towards Pontebba; with the rest of the men, he quickly moves towards the Isonzo. Mid-month, he passes through Sacile and reaches Udine; he occupies Codroipo and San Lorenzo; he arrives at Cividale del Friuli. With his artillery train, he makes extensive use of a new type of large-caliber mobile cannon, the basilisk, a piece over 6 meters long that fires 100-pound metal balls. These cannons allow him to sweep away the imperial resistance first in Friuli and then in Istria.
Apr.FriuliHe arrives at Savorgnano with 2,500 to 3,000 infantry, 700 men-at-arms, 300 mounted crossbowmen, 300 stradiots, the Friulian selections, and numerous artillery pieces. At Tricesimo, he assaults Cormons, whose castle is captured after a seven-hour attack: the garrison (led by Giorgio Hoffer) is put to the sword. The town is sacked; the loot amounts to 100,000 ducats. He secures the surrender of Pordenone and other castles, including Reifenberg. He has a bridge built over the Isonzo and stops beneath Gorizia, which is defended by Andrea di Liechtenstein with 700 infantry. From the right bank of the river, he begins bombarding the tower that constitutes the bridgehead of the fortified Gorizia camp. The city is fired upon with 500 iron balls from 10 artillery pieces. Several assaults, personally led by Alviano, overcome the imperial resistance; the bridge, partially destroyed by the opponents, is repaired; the city, after four days, falls to the Venetians. The defenders surrender on terms. Bartolomeo d’Alviano maintains discipline among his troops and doesn’t hesitate to execute soldiers who indulge in looting. After another four days, for 4,000 ducats, he also secures the surrender of the castle defended by Andrea di Liechtenstein. The latter is imprisoned in Venice. With the victory, Alviano raises the ancient heraldic emblem of his house, which to this day is present in the Corpus Domini procession in Orvieto. This emblem is divided into two parts: in the first, blue section, there are three silver lilies; in the second, alternating three red and two white columns appear. Returning to the military aspect, by the end of the month, Alviano sets his sights on Trieste. Along the way, he captures the castles of Duino and Prosecco; he requests, unsuccessfully, the surrender of Monfalcone.
MayFriuli, Venezia GiuliaThe siege of Trieste begins on land, while at sea, the city is blockaded by the fleet of Girolamo Contarini, comprising 9 galleys and numerous armed boats. Forty Triestines, having exited the city, raid the Venetian-controlled Draga castle. Another sortie from the city’s defenders hampers the preparations for a battery placed at the “Le fornaci” site. Once the setup is ready, the bombardment of Trieste begins, with cannons firing for three days both from land and sea. Bartolomeo d’Alviano positions himself in Prosecco.
Negotiations for the city’s surrender begin with Provveditore Corner after a portion of the walls, several houses, and a few towers have been razed. The people of Trieste eventually surrender, agreeing to pay the Venetians 15,000 ducats to prevent the city from being looted. The fortress gives in following a deal with some Spanish infantry, who are given 4,000 ducats in exchange for their cooperation.
In gratitude for the victories achieved, Alviano donates a 15th-century field altar, which he always carried with him, to the church of Montona. Alvise Capello arrives in Trieste as the provveditore. He maintains discipline with rigor, resorting to hangings, whippings, and public shaming of women. Alvise Zeno is placed in the city’s castle.
JuneSloveniaHe enters Istria. He obtains Pisino, Fiume, and Postumia (Predjama) after overcoming the guerrilla resistance organized by some feudal lords.
JulyFriuli, VenetoHe leaves Udine and is triumphantly welcomed in Venice with the bucintoro. In the church of San Marco, he receives the banner and the staff of the general governor; he swears his obligations by placing both hands on the missal. His wife, who has arrived in Venice a few days prior, witnesses the solemn ceremony. She stays at the palace of Raffaele Gritti in San Martino. The condottiero’s expenses for his stay in the city are covered. The doge invests him with Pordenone and Porto Naone, with the condition of delivering a candle annually to the basilica of San Marco; he is enrolled in the Maggior Consiglio. He immediately moves to Pordenone: accompanying him are his wife and his brother Bernardino, now the bishop of Nocera dei Pagani. He formally takes possession of the castle from the hands of the lieutenant of Friuli, Andrea Loredan.
Aug. – Sept.FriuliIn Pordenone.
Oct.Venezia Giulia, CroatiaHe inspects the defensive works of Gorizia, Trieste, Fiume, and Belluno. That year, his total pay amounts to 26,400 ducats.
Nov.FriuliIn Pordenone.
Feb.Veneto, FriuliHe leaves Pordenone and goes to Venice to consult with Niccolò Orsini; he receives a daily allowance of 15 ducats, while Orsini is granted 25. He participates in several sessions of the Maggior Consiglio, inspects the fortifications of Friuli, and collaborates with the provider Andrea Gritti to drastically strengthen the defenses of Vicenza (where he orders trees and nearby buildings to be cleared for a radius of half a mile) and other locations in the Verona area.
Mar.Friuli, LombardyFrom Pordenone, he reaches the Ghiaradadda.
Apr.VeniceFlorenceVeneto, LombardyAt Peschiera del Garda, he is ready to start the war; he suggests a strategy of attack diametrically opposite to that proposed by the general captain Niccolò Orsini, who, on the other hand, aims to wait for the adversaries in the fortified field of Orzinuovi. He is not heeded. From Isola della Scala, he moves to Nogara to monitor the borders of the Mantuan territory; he destroys the Ponte Molino bridge over the Tartaro river and sets his sights on Casalmaggiore, which has fallen into the hands of Francesco Gonzaga. He heads to Pontevico with the general provider Giorgio Corner and Niccolò Orsini at the lead of the fourth column, consisting of 440 lances, 6,940 infantrymen under the command of Piero del Monte at Santa Maria, 200 mounted crossbowmen, and 100 light cavalry as scouts. At Fontanella, when the French forces of Chaumont retreat beyond the Adda, he proceeds to Treviglio as instructed by the Senate. He occupies Rivolta d’Adda, repels an enemy cavalry squadron, and in turn crosses the river, pressing the adversaries up to Cassano d’Adda. During these same days, his first male child, Marco, is born in Pordenone, who will later die in 1512.
MayLombardyHe approaches Treviglio where there are 50 lances and 1,000 French infantry; he sets up artillery, and after two days, the city falls into his hands. Treviglio is sacked. The French under Gian Giacomo da Trivulzio take advantage of this diversionary action to recross the Adda; they encounter no resistance. Alviano withdraws with Niccolò Orsini (2,000 men-at-arms, 20,000 infantry and select troops, and many light cavalry, facing 2,000 lances, 6,000 Swiss infantry, and another 12,000 men between Gascons and Italians). While he proceeds dispersedly to the rear with 400 lances and the best infantry of the Venetian army (5,400 men), he clashes at Agnadello with the vanguards of Chaumont and Trivulzio (500 lances and 6,000 Swiss infantry). The fight begins by chance around a farmhouse, perhaps the Mirabello farmhouse, when Venetian and French troops suddenly face each other trying to sack it. He repels the initial assaults and inflicts heavy losses on the enemies; he calls for reinforcements from Orsini, who instead orders him to retreat. He establishes a position with lances, infantry, and six artillery pieces on a small embankment, situated on an empty riverbed. The Venetian infantry advances; the Gascon infantry is repelled. However, the forces of the Serenissima stretch too far across the ground, mainly because the nearby column of Antonio Pio does not move to fill the gaps that have opened; the Brescian select troops suddenly scatter and flee. The French are reinforced by troops commanded by the Constable of Bourbon and King Louis XII himself. The Italian infantry of Piero del Monte, Zitolo da Perugia, and Saccoccio da Spoleto resist for three hours against the onslaught of heavy cavalry; in the end, they all fall. The battle lasts three hours. The defeat turns into a rout; it is especially bloody because the French king, according to some sources, has ordered no prisoners to be taken. The Gascon infantry slit the throats of the wounded. It’s estimated that, among the Venetians, 6,000 infantry and a few men-at-arms are left on the field; all the carriages and artillery are lost. Alviano is injured in one eye while fighting on foot because his mount was killed. He does not flee, choosing to stay beside his men. He surrenders to Vandenesse (Jean de Chabanne). In Venice, he is bluntly blamed for the defeat; King Louis XII has him taken to Milan in the Castello Sforzesco. The day of the victory is declared a holiday by the French government; grand celebrations are held in Milan. Louis XII constructs a small church on the battlefield in memory, dedicated to Santa Maria della Vittoria. It’s the greatest triumph in a century for the French armies, as the king writes from the Caravaggio battlefield to Monsignor de Tolmay.
JulyFranceAs a prisoner, he is forced to follow Louis XII to France.
Jan.FranceIn Venice, there is talk of the French possibly using him to fight the English (commanding 100 lances).
Sept.FranceHe is imprisoned in a cage at Loches; while in captivity, he writes his memoirs, which have since been lost. His commentaries are written on “toilet” paper, using pens made from broom straws and, as ink, crushed charcoal mixed with wine.
Oct.FranceHe remains imprisoned at Loches, along with Pedro Navarro.
Nov.FranceHe is released from the prison in Oulx, Savoy, due to the intervention of Trivulzio and the payment – by the Orsini – of a bail of 40,000 ducats on his behalf.
Jan.FranceAt the French court.
Mar. – Apr.FranceThe Venetians and the French form an alliance against the Spaniards. Alviano is released; along with the provveditore Andrea Gritti, who is also a prisoner of the transalpine people, he meets with King Louis XII. In Cahors with Gian Giacomo and Teodoro da Trivulzio; from there he sets out for Italy.
MayVeniceSpain, MilanGeneral Captain of 325 lances and 200 light cavalryPiedmont, Emilia, Veneto, LombardyHe visits Susa, Turin, Ferrara, Chioggia, and Venice. Mid-month, dressed in a splendid gold brocade garment, followed by his household and servants in red and white checkered livery, he is led to the Doge’s Palace. He presents his version of the Battle of Agnadello to the Senate. He is elected general captain for two fixed years and two additional years of respect. Domenico Contarini and Andrea Loredan are chosen as provveditori to assist him. He is granted command of 325 men-at-arms and 200 mounted crossbowmen. Doge Leonardo Loredan presents him with the banner and silver staff in the Basilica of San Marco on the same day he was taken prisoner four years earlier.
He heads to Padua with Teodoro da Trivulzio (he is given the residence of the Bishop of Corfu located in Prato della Valle in the city). He joins forces with Baglioni at San Bonifacio and proceeds to San Martino Buon Albergo to act against Verona. A plot of his to seize the city with the help of Pandolfo Malatesta is uncovered; he camps at Porta Palio, facing the citadel. Seeing the futility of his efforts, he departs and occupies Valeggio sul Mincio and Peschiera del Garda, the latter obtained through negotiation. He is ordered not to cross either the Adda or the Po rivers. He reaches Gambara and Cremona. Meanwhile, he sends Giacomo Rusconi to take possession of Pordenone.
JuneLombardy, VenetoHe builds a pontoon bridge over the Oglio River at Marcaria; he then invades the Cremonese region. He drives out 500 infantrymen of Galeazzo Pallavicini and Antonio Maria Pallavicini from the main town, who have occupied its suburbs on behalf of the French. He enters the locality and plunders 1,000 Spanish infantrymen and 200 Sforza men-at-arms; he captures Alessandro and Galeazzo Sforza. He hands over the city and the fortress to the French; sends Renzo di Ceri to Brescia while he stops at Cava Tigozzi on the Po. With Teodoro da Trivulzio, he alarms Pizzighettone and orders Baglioni to prevent Raimondo di Cardona from building a bridge over the Po. The French suffer a defeat at Novara. Upon hearing the news, Alviano, along with the provveditori Andrea Gritti, Giorgio Corner, and Cristoforo Moro, decide to return to Veneto. During the retreat, they pass through Pontevico, Gambara, Casalmoro, and Valeggio sul Mincio; they cross the Adige at Tombazosana and Tomba di Sotto with 600 men-at-arms, 1,000 light cavalry, and 5,000 infantry. At San Giovanni Lupatoto, he enters Legnago and has its fortress captured by Baglioni. He approaches Verona again, reaching Santa Lucia near the Porta San Massimo. Using artillery, he brings down forty arms-lengths of the walls and the Portara tower; he battles at the walls. He suffers many losses. Since no uprisings occur in the city in favor of the Serenissima, he once again orders a retreat. He always maintains discipline with an iron fist and executes all the unruly (at least 20 men). He returns to San Giovanni Lupatoto and blocks all the routes through which supplies might be introduced into Verona. He moves to Ronchi; as the Spanish army approaches, he changes his plans and takes refuge in Albaredo d’Adige. He orders the castle of Peschiera del Garda to be mined because it’s indefensible; he then proceeds to San Bonifacio.
JulyVenetoIn Montagnana and Padua. He sends Malatesta Baglioni, Malatesta Malatesta da Sogliano, Taddeo della Volpe, and Serafino da Cagli to defend Treviso with 300 lances, 300 light cavalry, and 2,000 infantrymen; he dispatches Giampaolo Manfrone to Cittadella to safeguard the harvest work in the fields; he persuades Mercurio Bua to desert the imperial ranks and oversees the fortification works in Padua and Treviso. He brings the army into Padua (9,000 infantry, 1,000 lances, and many light cavalry). He strengthens the city walls, extending them to eleven kilometers, and equips the walls with new bulwarks, bastions, tunnels, casemates, and gates; externally, all houses are leveled and all trees within a three-mile arc are cut down. He gives the bastioned system of Padua its final layout, which will not substantially change in the following decades, despite updates and additions, thus imposing on the city the urban shape that will characterize it until almost the mid-1900s. Padua is attacked by 1,000 lances, 800 light cavalry, 5,000 Spanish infantry, and 5,000 Landsknechts, all under the command of Raimondo di Cardona.
Aug.VenetoHe sends out 100 light cavalry and 150 infantry to inspect the line of enemy trenches built at Bassanello: he is always on the front line, overseeing every detail. The firing of the Venetian artillery inflicts heavy losses on the imperial troops, causing the Viceroy of Naples and the Bishop of Gurk to decide to set up camp at Mandria. It is during these days that a duel was supposed to take place between 11 Landsknechts and 11 Italian champions: the challenge does not occur because the Germans do not accept the conditions set by the Venetians. The imperial troops, in the end, withdraw after setting the Mandria camp on fire. Alviano sends the light cavalry and stradiots in pursuit to monitor their movements. In a skirmish with the cavalry of Rizano (Bernardino Rizan), the Venetians lose 8 men, and the imperial troops lose 12; eighteen German and Spanish men-at-arms are also captured. Andrea Gritti praises his zeal in Pregadi.
Sept.VenetoHe meets with the Doge in Venice; the Council of Wise Men makes some modifications to his conduct: the general provveditore Domenico Contarini also receives praise in the Collegio for his actions. He presents a memorandum for the rationalization of the infantry units to reduce waste. In Treviso, he orders the strengthening of the walls with three ravelins and commands that houses and plantations around the city walls be leveled.
Oct.VenetoHe obtains permission from the Senate to engage in open battle due to the looting of the territory of Piove di Sacco and the bombardment of Venice. He orders Baglioni to leave Treviso, while he himself moves from Padova to Limena and Fontaniva. He reaches Cittadella and prevents Raimondo di Cardona and Prospero Colonna (with 1000 lances, 4000 Spanish infantry, 2000 German infantry, and 1000 mercenaries) from crossing the Bacchiglione. The adversaries manage to ford the Brenta at Cervarese Santa Croce. Alviano then retreats to Vicenza with Baglioni and provveditore Gritti, sends Manfrone to Montecchio Maggiore to defend the pass over the Retrone. Another 500 cavalry are sent to Barbarano Vicentino for the same purpose; he has peasants occupy all routes leading to Schio and Vallarsa. He stops at Olmo and fortifies the road to Verona with trenches, ditches, and artillery.
The Spaniards evade his watch at night due to a thick fog caused by heat and head towards Schio. Upon realizing the adversaries’ retreat, he sends Niccolò Vendramin with light cavalry in pursuit; he follows the imperial forces with 1400 men-at-arms, 10,000 second-tier infantry, and 1000 stradiots. Under pressure from provveditore Andrea Loredan, he attacks Prospero Colonna’s rear guard at Creazzo. The Venetian light cavalry is repelled by Rizano’s forces; he then intervenes with the heavy cavalry and resolutely advances on the enemy men-at-arms, who begin to retreat. The infantry of the Serenissima, including many elite troops, cannot withstand the charge of the German and Spanish infantry of Ferdinando d’Avalos; Babone Naldi’s Romagnoli infantry is overwhelmed. At the same time, the reinforcements that Baglioni was supposed to bring do not arrive. The Venetians suffer a defeat (with 400 men-at-arms and 4000 infantry either dead or captured). Initially, the defeat is blamed on Alviano; even some condottieri, like Baglioni, distance themselves from him. He takes full responsibility and returns to defend Padova with 3300 infantry. To compensate for the severe lack of funds, he imposes on the community of Pordenone an extraordinary contribution of 4000 ducats as reimbursement for damages he suffered due to the negligence of the inhabitants (removal of his artillery from the castle by the imperial troops): they deliver 2600 ducats to him.
Nov.VenetoFerdinando d’Avalos reaches as far as Brentelle; Bartolomeo d’Alviano leaves Padova with the light cavalry and forces the Spaniards to retreat to Este, Montagnana, Monselice, Cologna Veneta, Bevilacqua, and Badia Polesine. He continues to oversee the strengthening of the defensive works of Padova and Treviso.
Dec.VenetoHe exerts pressure for Renzo di Ceri to be appointed general governor in place of Giampaolo Baglioni. He travels to Venice with Mercurio Bua and Giampaolo da Sant’Angelo: he is received by the doge and many nobles in Collegio. He returns to Padova. He sends a company of infantry and 200 light cavalry to the Palazzi where 200 Spanish infantry attack them at night: events like this occur daily with varying outcomes.
Feb.VenetoHe mobilizes the light cavalry in the Vicentino area to defend the territory from the raids of the Spaniards.
Mar.Veneto, FriuliTeodoro da Trivulzio takes over the governance of Padova as he moves to Treviso: he gets clearance for an operation in Friuli to counter the incursions of Cristoforo Frangipane. When the residents of Muzzana del Turgnano rebel against the Imperials by killing two of his couriers, Frangipane exacts harsh retaliation against the Venetians by blinding one eye of twenty-five people. Another twenty-five men have the Cross of Saint Andrew burned onto their faces.
By the end of the month, d’Alviano covertly departs Padova at night with 200 men-at-arms, 400 light cavalry and stradiots, 700 infantry, and 6 artillery pieces (3 falconets and 3 sagri). Traveling stealthily, mostly by day and hidden in the woods, he reaches Sacile in two stages. He approaches Pordenone and divides his troops into three squadrons. He positions himself at Santa Maddalena di Porcia, Malatesta Baglioni near Rorai, and a portion of the stradiots, light cavalry, and men-at-arms are placed on the road leading to Polcenigo under the command of provveditore Giovanni Vitturi.
Guarding Pordenone is Rizano, a captain from Fiume, with a garrison of 120 infantry, 100 light cavalry, 200 lances, and numerous Croatian mounted crossbowmen led by Count Guido della Torre. Additionally, there are 300 horses commanded by Rainer. d’Alviano pushes the vanguard with Baglioni and Pietro da Longhena. They reach the village of San Giovanni outside the walls. Rizano sends out scouts and then confronts the Venetians himself. A battle ensues. The Serenissima’s militias artfully retreat under enemy pressure, luring the Imperials into a previously set ambush. The enemy loses 200 men-at-arms and 300 light cavalry; Rizano, with a facial wound, falls from his mount and gets captured. The adversaries flee to Pordenone. The Venetians seize San Giovanni village and begin bombarding the city and castle with their six artillery pieces.
The next day, the bombardment resumes; city gates are destroyed, and drawbridges are lowered after their chains are cut. By noon, the city is conquered. The castle succumbs similarly two days later. Most defenders are slaughtered, with a hundred local residents among the dead. Looting ensues for an entire day. Every house suffers from the soldiers’ rampage, even monasteries and churches (Santa Maria, San Marco, and San Francesco), where some men are slain at the altars. d’Alviano himself enters a church on horseback. The villages of Rorai and Cordenons face similar maltreatment: 1,000 oxen and 10,000 sheep are plundered. In the end, 132 prisoners, including Nicola della Torre, are taken to Venice and incarcerated in the prisons of Torresella and Torrenuova. Shortly after, d’Alviano crosses the Tagliamento river and occupies San Daniele del Friuli. Two days later, he relieves the long-besieged castle of Osoppo from Frangipane’s control.
Apr.FriuliHe leaves San Daniele del Friuli, crosses the Isonzo, and attacks Gorizia. However, the arrival of 2,000 German infantry from Tolmezzo convinces him to withdraw. By the end of the month, he returns to Udine.
MayVenetoHe rapidly progresses through Venice, Treviso, where he meets with the head of the Council of Ten, then to Castelfranco Veneto and Padova. He has the bridge of Torre on the Brenta river cut. He sends his men-at-arms to lodge between the Piave and the Sile rivers, and his mounted crossbowmen to Asolo. He returns again to Venice with Baldassarre di Scipione. However, he’s not satisfied when he requests to be transferred to the siege of Marano Lagunare. He presents a proposal for the reform of military regulations, which gets approved.
JuneVenetoThe Spaniards reach Torri di Quartesolo, near Vicenza, and conquer Cittadella. d’Alviano fortifies himself at Brentelle and in a sortie surprises Raimondo di Cardona (340 dead). The reprimands he receives for this unsanctioned action do not deter him; in fact, he pursues the enemy who has begun to plunder the Padova area. He goes on a reconnaissance mission to Arlesega and narrowly avoids capture by a Spanish patrol. He relocates his camp to Brusegana because the adversaries have left Montegalda to attack Padova at the Santa Croce Gate.
JulyVenetoHe dispatches Malatesta Baglioni, Giulio Manfrone, Giampaolo da Sant’Angelo, and Mercurio Bua to the Vicentino area, where they surprise enemy forces at Camisano Vicentino. When the Spaniards depart from Monselice, he sends Giovanni Naldi and Bua against them to Battaglia Terme. Lastly, he sends Bua and Vendramin to raid in Valsugana.
Aug.VenetoHe orchestrates several operations in the Veronese region that lead to the capture and hanging of the fugitive Siginfreddo Caliari. His son Livio is born: at the end of the month, upon his return to Padova, he organizes a grand celebration for the child’s public presentation. Present at the ceremony are Teodoro da Trivulzio, his bishop brother, and all the condottieri. The baby is baptized with water from the Bacchiglione river, and is given four names that embody the world of the condottiero: Livio, for the continuation of the lineage; Lorenzo, in memory of his brother-in-law Lorenzo dei Medici; Eusebio, in gratitude for the saint of the day; Settimo (Seventh) because he is the seventh child after five daughters and one son (who passed away two years earlier). The procession embarks and arrives at the Roman bridge of San Giovanni delle Navi, beneath which lies the docking area for boats coming from Este and Monselice. d’Alviano disembarks and via Vescovado reaches the cathedral; from there, he proceeds to Piazza Capitaniato where, in the current location of Liviano, his palace stands.
Sept.VenetoThe Spaniards depart Vicenza, Brendola, and Monselice due to a shortage of provisions. Bartolomeo d’Alviano heads to Battaglia Terme and urges Antonio da Castello to occupy Este at night. However, Antonio fails to take the castle; after the surprise attack falls through, he decides to proceed with the entire army. From Brognoligo, he reaches Roveredo di Guà, where he seizes a bastion; he then boldly approaches Montagnana. The Venetians, fearing his offensive strategy, summon him to the Collegio. He reassures them and secures the payment of overdue wages. Raimondo di Cardona takes refuge in Lendinara, prompting d’Alviano to send a portion of his troops to Polesine.
Oct.VenetoHe leaves Padua and heads under the rain towards Vicenza and Marostica. He stops in Thiene and imposes a levy of 6000 ducats on the inhabitants of Schio; when he learns that the Spaniards have crossed the Adige at Castelbaldo, he turns back towards Barbarano Vicentino and dispatches Baldassarre di Scipione to Cavarzere so that the provveditore Andrea Bondimer can construct a pontoon bridge near Anguillara Veneta. He sets his sights on Conselve; with 6000 men, he crosses the Adige at Campobianco. He enters Rovigo; the city gate is opened for him by 50 soldiers disguised as peasants. He captures the garrison of 150 lances and 50 light cavalry. Having seized the fortress, the Venetians reclaim the entire Polesine region. He withdraws upon hearing news of the imminent arrival of troops sent against him by d’Avalos. The condottiero heads towards Badia Polesine to cross the Adige at Torre Marchesana using another pontoon bridge; he now sets his sights on Legnago, Cerea, and Verona.
Nov.VenetoHe lodges the troops in the counties of Legnago and Cerea. He is joined by 200 armed boats with 9 men on board each. The Venetians plunder the territory up to the gates of Verona. Prospero Colonna and Ferdinando d’Avalos leave, respectively, Bergamo and Verona, to head towards Legnago and Monselice, thereby attempting to encircle Alviano. However, the condottiero avoids this maneuver: he embarks his artillery on the Adige while his soldiers cross the swamps; he leaves the Veronese region and, through difficult routes and under continuous rain, arrives without losses at Piove di Sacco and Padova. The Imperials realize his retreat only belatedly.
Alviano dispatches his men-at-arms to winter between Noale and Castelfranco Veneto, the stradiots in the Vicenza region, Troilo Pignatelli’s other light cavalry in the Padova region, and the infantry between Bovolenta and Piove di Sacco. He orders the disbandment of several light cavalry units and a reduction in the number of stradiots, many of whom are transferred to the Levant. In a move demonstrating his strict discipline and zero tolerance for treachery, he has two captains (Piero Corso and Vincenzo Rano), who were found to be in correspondence with the enemy, hanged.
Dec.VenetoHe takes part in the general review in Mestre and then travels to Venice where he is received by the Doge. He also consults with the Collegio and the Council of Ten. Andrea Gritti and Niccolò Vendramin work to reconcile him with Renzo di Ceri, another condottiero with a temperament similar to his own. Finally, he is handed money intended for the arrears of the troops’ wages.
These historical recounts shed light on the intricate dynamics of military and political maneuvers during the period. Alviano’s strategic acumen, ability to navigate the political environment, and his relationship with other military leaders and the Venetian elite are evident. His reception by the Doge and consultation with the prominent councils of Venice also suggest his significance and influence during this time.
Jan.VenetoHe protests sharply about the delay in money intended for wages.
Feb.VenetoHe organizes in Padua, in Prato della Valle, a grand joust to mark the ascension of Francis I as King of France. The prize at stake is 100 ducats. There are sixty competitors, so the tournament lasts three days: the winner is Bino da Perugia, having broken a lance against Malatesta Baglioni. A second joust follows in which Baglioni himself participates; his rival is Sertorio da Collalto, with each flanked by six men-at-arms. Malatesta Baglioni emerges as the victor.
Mar.VenetoHe complains to the Venetians because, according to him, Renzo di Ceri, hero of the defense of Crema, receives better treatment than he does. He conducts inspections in Treviso with Giorgio Emo and finds that the work progresses slowly. On the other hand, he fails to get Mercurio Bua appointed as the commander of all the stradiots. He oversees discipline among the troops and has several wrongdoers hanged.
Apr.VenetoHe consistently oversees the progress of the fortification works in Padua; however, two initiatives he coordinates fail, carried out in Friuli (by Baldassarre di Scipione) and in Polesine. He visits the Collegio accompanied by Giorgio Corner.
MayVenetoHe has further clashes with the Venetian authorities; he meets with Ceri in Venice and discusses with him in the Collegio about the conduct of the war. He goes to Treviso and partially receives the money he requested for the soldiers’ wages. He returns to Padua and plans a new surprise action in Friuli, this time with Antonio da Castello. At the end of the month, he leaves the city to head to Vicenza; he asks Ceri to join him there with his infantry.
JuneVenetoHe commands 730 lances, 2,500 infantry, and 1,200 light cavalry. He pays his men three out of the four wages they requested; he orders everyone, including various captains, to shave their beards. Facing Spanish pressure, he positions himself in Vicenza. He continues to have disputes with Ceri; he has two infantrymen from Ceri’s company hanged because they, being without money, stole some bread. The Imperial forces target Vicenza; the condottiero sends artillery, 400 men-at-arms, and infantry to defend the pass at Olmo. Other barricades are set up at Sossano and Longare (Bua with 500 light cavalry and Troilo Pignatelli with 200 light cavalry). Following the defeats of the two Venetian captains by the Viceroy of Naples, he leaves Vicenza by night. He returns to Padua and sets up camp at Brentelle.
JulyVenetoHe reaches Venice with Chiappino Orsini to discuss the methods of conducting the war.
Aug.VenetoHe again voices complaints about the chronic delay in wages. He receives 10,000 ducats; he then leaves Badia Polesine and proceeds along the course of the Po River, accompanied by a flotilla of vessels intended for supplying his army (830 lances and 7,000 infantry). The French enter the Duchy of Milan, and the Spanish retreat to Isola della Scala; Alviano heads towards Ostiglia via Ficarolo.
Sept.Veneto, LombardyHe arrives at Fiesso Umbertiano and Calto, while his disputes with Ceri persist. Upon hearing that the French are marching towards Milan, he moves to Governolo, Casola, Marcaria, and Santa Maria di Bozzolo. At Cremona, he demands the city’s surrender; he then swiftly proceeds to Pieve, Soresina, and Lodi to join the French; he occupies the latter location and heads to Melegnano. He meets with the Constable of Bourbon, Gian Giacomo and Teodoro da Trivulzio, Alençon, and in the evening, with King Francis I. After a day, he takes part in the Battle of Melegnano, where he ambushes one of the three formations of the Swiss with his light cavalry. This formation is annihilated, while the other two are allowed by the French to retreat north without pursuit. La Serenissima urges Alviano to recover Brescia; he enters Bergamo and from there moves to Soncino and Ghedi.
Oct.LombardyHe dies early in the month in the palace of Ghedi, formerly owned by Niccolò Orsini, due to an intestinal blockage. Some reports suggest that his death was due to a hernia, others point to complications from a fall from his horse. There are also rumors that he might have been poisoned. Three doctors try to operate on him until one evening, after having confessed and taken communion, he passes away without having made a will. Men-at-arms and crossbowmen escort from Ghedi to Venice the litter, drawn by horses draped in mourning, on which his body lies. The journey, conducted in the rain and lasting 25 days, doesn’t request any safe-conduct from enemies when crossing their territory. During transportation, his eviscerated and embalmed body rests on a bed of aromatic herbs. At stops, his remains are kept under a tent, illuminated and watched over by a guard. In his honor, solemn funerals are held in San Marco in the presence of the patriarch and all authorities; his body is buried in the left nave of the Church of Santo Stefano. The funeral monument is crafted by Baldassarre Longhena. La Serenissima grants his wife 300 ducats and decides on a monthly annuity of 60 ducats for her and their son Livio; they are also granted a house in Venice at Giudecca. Each daughter is also promised a dowry of 3,000 ducats upon their marriage.
Upon his death, the Senate requests a report from the architect Sebastiano da Lugano, his close collaborator, to understand his plans for reinforcing the defensive sector of Padua, thereby recognizing his pivotal role. He is credited with the definitive design of the walls of Treviso. In 1508, Bartolomeo d’Alviano founds the Liviana Academy in Pordenone, attended by notable figures including Girolamo Fracastoro, Andrea Navagero, Aldo Manuzio, Pietro Bembo, and others. Portraits of him are found in various galleries, including the Washington National Gallery and the Uffizi in Florence. He’s known to have penned some memories, military theory writings, and even poetry, but none of these have survived.
For his humanistic activities, Alviano is mentioned by Traiano Boccalini in his work “Ragguagli di Parnaso”. The family crest is present in multiple locations, including Alviano, Todi, and Acquasparta. Various places in Padua, including the “torrione Alicorno”, the Porta Liviana, and the Palazzo Liviano (the headquarters of the local university’s humanities department) are named in his honor. Streets in Milan, Rome, Trieste, and Treviso bear his name. He is also the subject of historical novels and a drama by S. Pieruzzi. In 1937, a naval cruiser was named in his honor. More recently, Bartolomeo d’Alviano features in two video games, “Assassin’s Creed” and “Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood”.


-“Perhaps the first sustained effort of an infrantry reform “all’antica”..was that promoted by Bartolomeo d’Alviano in 1513-14 for the armies of the republic of Venice…Alviano proposed regular and standard infantry companies of 256 men, a perfect square formation of sixteen ranks and sixteen files. Organizational detail confirm Alviano’s commitment to ancient forms and language each sixteen man file was to be a separate sub-unit, a “decurion” led by a “decurione” and closed by a “tergiductor” – these Latinate titles and roles were directly borrowed fron surviving ancient drills…Along with his tactical reform Bartolomeo d’Alviano promulgated a military code intended to establish the spirit of the legions among the soldiers of St. Mark Officers and men were to swear allegiance to the Republic and forswear blasphemy, brawling and whore mongering; among other speciific items, particularly fast horses were forbidden as a temptation to fly in the face of danger. Alviano was serious, too; in the summer of 1514 he had the noses slit of those prostitutes still found in camp. Reformers wanted more than new battle schemes; they were after a whole new military ethic.” ARNOLD

-“Era il condottiero italiano più temuto e ammirato dagli oltramontani, per la sua foga unita alla capacità di effettuare rimonte spettacolari…Bartolomeo d’Alviano è stato il grande genio militare della prima fase delle guerre d’Italia e ha espresso questo suo genio attraverso battaglie che in alcuni casi hanno avuto un esito che ha cambiato la storia.. E’ un genio della tattica militare, più ancora che della strategia; è un uomo che amava le innovazioni e che ha provato a innovare, pagando di persona il costo di queste sue intuizioni, in alcuni casi estremamente innovative, che hanno portato a successi folgoranti, ma non sempre, ed hanno portato anche ad alcune batoste… Bartolomeo d’Alviano replica sui campi di battaglia, quelli della grande guerra, della grande storia, gli stessi metodi della piccola guerra, delle piccole battaglie, della piccola storia degli scontri di fazione che ha combattuto nelle città umbre negli anni precedenti, dove non si sono fatti sconti né prigionieri ma si sono sterminati i nemici non appena fosse stato possibile… Tuttavia c’é qualcosa di incompiuto nella biografia di questo personaggio e, probabilmente, la fortuna che ha riscosso Bartolomeo è stata forse inferiore al suo talento, che fu peraltro accompagnato da taluni difetti di carattere. Possiamo dire che l’Alviano è stato vittima di questo carattere, cosa che gli ha impedito di arrivare ancora più in alto rispetto ai traguardi che pure ha mietuto.” PELLEGRINI

-“Il fut en son temps un grand homme de guerre et bon capitaine.” DU BELLAY

-“Capitano, come ciascuno confessava, di grande ardire ed esecutore con somma celerità delle cose deliberate, ma che molte volte, o per sua mala fortuna o, come molti dicevano, per essere di consiglio precipitoso, fu superato dagli inimici: anzi, forse, dove fu principale degli eserciti non ottenne mai vittoria alcuna.” GUICCIARDINI

-“Fu.. l’unico condottiero italiano in grado di poter competere con il Trivulzio e i grandi generali francesi e spagnoli…(Dalla sua vita emerge) l’immagine di un uomo che non solo fu un condottiero votato alla guerra, ma una sorta di mecenate, nel suo piccolo, e forse anche poeta; anche se quest’altra faccia dell’uomo sfugge ad una precisa documentazione, resta ugualmente di lui un aspetto alternativo di carattere artistico, presumibilmente dilettantesco, ma pur sempre rico di fascino, che la leggenda contribuisce ad arricchire.” RENDINA

-Con Vitellozzo Vitelli “Uomini veramente eccellenti in tal mestiero.” G.G. ROSSI

“Sopra tutti gli altri capitani professione di singolar prestezza e d’ardimento.” AMMIRATO

-“Uomo arrisicatissimo e di grande autorità e virtù.” VARCHI

-” E’ homo picolo, tutto vivo, bruta statura e pocha presentia… A’ dito pazie, vol protestar ai proveditori, à colera, è rabioso, è impossibile possa durar, non vol consejo, à bon voler, animo e core, ma non vol consulto… E’ stato homo d’assai, et fedelissimo a la Signoria et solicito, ma un poco sbarajoso (audace)… El capitanio zeneral è molto solicito e tropo animoso, e tutto principia e compie con lo suo cervelo; e s’il mancasse, ogni cossa resteria confusa et imperfecta; è molto temudo.” SANUDO

-“Fu veramente reputato costui per uomo di guerra valoroso e molto audace, e tale che per alcuna battitura di caso non si sbigottiva; sì che fu sempre in buona riputazione.” NARDI

-“Come il Liviano nelle spedizioni del Friuli, in questa del Polesine e in altre simili, dove faceva mestieri tentare arditamente la fortuna, e usar celerità nell’eseguire i disegni, e con una parte dell’esercito battere le forze nemiche, fu molto fortunato ed eccellente uomo; così all’incontro si può dire che nelle battaglie generali e nel governo di tutto il corpo d’un esercito, egli fosse poco avventurato.. nel fatto d’arme di Ghiaradadda, non avendo egli saputo né aspettare né combattere, tenne le forze del nostro esercito tanto separate, che una non poté in tempo del bisogno dar soccorso all’altra. In quello poi di Vicenza, quando bisognava permettere che l’inimico se ne andasse, egli si lasciò condurre in luogo dove non poté spiegarsi, né valersi di tutte le forze.” BARBARO

-“Qualità ottima pratica e fama nell’esercitio militare.” SENATO SECRETA

-“Uomo animoso e pratico.” MACHIAVELLI

-“In parole e fatti valoroso.” MOCENIGO

-“Era costui d’età d’anni cinquantatré, di corpo piccolo, ma de animo grande, et gran bestemmiatore; et nelle cose sue più prontato che cauto sempre si dimostrò; et la sproveduta subitezza et cieca fretta, più che la maturata tardità, li fu sempre amica.” PRATO

-“Et era homo molto piccolo, ma era de grandissimo ingenio e cervello, e de gran condutta, e degno soldato e conduttiero.. Era de ingegnio subtilissimo e acuto nell’arte militare. MATARAZZO

-“Uno dei più costanti e più risoluti nel mantenere la data fede, e nel fare di sé sagrifizio all’onor delle insegne da lui prese a difendere.” POLIDORI

-“Fra i primi capitani de’ suoi tempi.” UGOLINI

-“Ardentissimo in qualunque sua operatione, e pieno di grandissima vivacità, e d’ardire.. Ma l’Alviano ne’ suoi pensieri portato era da soverchio desiderio di conseguire la vittoria, in modo che l’animo dall’appetito della gloria quasi de certa caligine accecato, bene spesso non conosceva i pericoli, e dispreggiava i consigli più prudenti, e più sicuri… Fu per certo l’Alviano per common consenso degli uomini eccellentissimo Capitano, per grandezza d’animo, e per esperienza di cose militari, e riuscì ancora più chiaro, e famoso, perché fiorì in tempo, nel quale hebbe larghissimo campo di dimostrare la sua virtù, e la scienza militare nell’administrare importantissime guerre. Ma la sua laude riuscì per ciò alquanto minore, perché era desideroso di gloria, che con immaturo, e spesso precipitoso consiglio affrettavasi alla vittoria: nondimeno si può nelle laudi di lui annoverare, che nel mandare ad essecutione le cose, usava certa maravigliosa, e a’ costumi di quelli tempi veramente nuova, e inusitata prestezza.” PARUTA

-“Eccellente capitano della militia Venetiana ne’ nostri giorni.” ALBERTI

-“Inquietissimo animo ebbe sempre, e vivissimo.” DA PORTO

-“Uomo prontissimo.” BEMBO

-“Cum veritade hera valenthomo, ma quello molto pericoloso et balordo.” PRIULI

-“Plus hardy que bien advisé.” LE LOYAL SERVITEUR

-“Petit homme, sec et alaigre, lequel estoit homme sage et avoit fact beaucoup de belles choses.” R. DE LA MARCK

-“Audace, intrepido, vigilante, ad uno spirito pronto, ad un’indole viva, ardente congiungea una sagacia di mente, un’ostinazion di volere, una celerità di eseguire mirabile.. Avidissimo di gloria, piacentesi nelle lodi ‘pose molto amore ne’ letterati, e poeti del suo tempo, dilettosi nel dotto lor conversare, divisa con essi la mensa.” CIANI

-“Fu dignissimo capitanio, animoso et d’ogni altra cosa.” TEDALLINI

-“Huomo animoso, e sempre desideroso di tentar la Fortuna.. Fu sempre d’animo ardente, e di militare industria nel governare l’imprese.. In ogni suo consiglio vivo, e feroce, e desideroso molto di far fatti.. Hebbe il Liviano poco bello aspetto di volto, e quasi brutto affatto, per lo corpo picciolo, e gobbo. Ma egli haveva ingegno molto alto, e vehemente; il quale molte volte pareva troppo più ardente e gagliardo per lo suo troppo vigor d’animo, di quel che conveniva a Capitano Generale; di maniera, che molti lo riputavano alquanto miglior guerriero, che Capitano. Nessun però meglio di lui possedette gli ordini della disciplina, né nessun altro fu più valoroso, né più desto a essequire tutte le fattioni della militia; e finalmente egli, che non essendo illustre per alcuna gloria de’ suoi maggiori di privato cavaliere, era arrivato a supremi honori; sarebbe paruto degno d’ogni lode di guerra, se nel corso delle cose, e nelle imprese la Fortuna havesse risposto a consigli, e alle virtù di lui.. Non era allora capitano più vigilante né più pronto, dì e notte intento con gran cura in tutte l’occasioni della guerra.” GIOVIO

-“Dagli infimi gradi della milizia era col suo coraggio sorto ai primi onori.” DARU

-“Capitano al certo di valore, di pronta risoluzione, e di fede incorrotta, ma adatto piuttosto al servigio di gran Re, che desideroso di gloria fosse inclinato ad incontrare cimenti pericolosi, che della repubblica di Venezia portata per costume, e per massima ad attendere le opportunità, non a rischiare con precipitosi consigli decisivi avvenimenti.” DIEDO

-“Gran Capitano, per la cui virtù la Repubblica era già quasi certa di rihaver tutto il dominio.” P. GIUSTINIAN

-” Cesare ben eri, tu però ch’uscisti/ Dal corpo morto di tua madre al mondo:/ E’n mezzo ‘l Ciel fu Marte furibondo,/ Appunto alhor che in luce tu venisti./ Perché dunque il suo nome non t’acquisti,/ Se non lei di valor a lui secondo?/ Tal ti vide e di seno alto e profondo/ Vinegia ai tempi suoi torbidi e tristi.” P. Giovio il giovane, da un sonetto raccolto dal GIOVIO

-“Tal ti provò il Magnanimo Thedesco,/ Et lo Svizer per te fuor di Milano/ Spirito a favor del magno re Francesco./ Ne il tuo intrepido ardir fu però vano./ Perché t’havesse il carcere Francesco/ Chiuso gran tempo, o chiaro Liviano.” A.F. Rinieri, da un sonetto raccolto dal GIOVIO

-“Questo era uomo di carattere audace e intraprendente…La repubblica perdette in lui un bravissimo Capitano; egli amava la gloria, e spesso la cercava con più ardore che vera prudenza; difetto scusabile in un uomo di guerra, ma che ha sempre conseguenze funeste; difetto, che cagionò le disgrazie, che offuscarono la fama di questo celebre generale. Egli aveva per altro una capacità particolare per guadagnare l’amore de’ soldati, e per farsi temere. Era infinitamente severo nel punto della disciplina, si esponeva a’ pericoli, sopportava le fatiche come un semplice soldato, e giustificava questa sua condotta col dire, che un generale, che si risparmia, ha gran torto, poiché ha più parte d’ogni altro nella gloria.” LAUGIER

-“D’Alviano was rather a brave soldier stan a skilful general. he was not frequently defeated, but it had been observed that when ever he held the chief command he had never obtained the victory. Yet it must be confessed that the man who by his activity, courage, and perseverance, coult frustrate the efforts of such a powerful alliance as had been formed against the Venetian states, had no slight pretensions to the applause and gratitude of his country. In the elegant Latin oration of Navagero, which yet remains, are briefly enumerated the principal transactions of his life; and we learn from the same authority, that his few hours of leisure were sedoulously devoted to the cultivation of literature, in which he had made a much greater proficiency than could have been expected from a person devoted to the causeless duties of a military profession.” ROSCOE

-“Hebbe valor..grande, e meriti dignissimi di guerra.. Era il Liviano di piccola statura, il volto hebbe bianco, gli occhi e capelli neri.” ROSCIO

-“Assai spesso mutavasi in venturiere e predatore.” BALAN

-“Senili prudentia,diligentia incredibili, atque ea indole, quae cognitam post bellicam industriam, fortitudinemque tanto ante promitteret.” BEAUCAIRE

-“Geniale e ardito condottiero… L’Alviano fu uno dei nostri maggiori condottieri del Rinascimento; assunse alla più alta fama relativamente tardi, a quarant’otto anni, con la battaglia del Garigliano, e solo dieci anni più tardi si trovò a comandare un esercito. Assertore d’una strategia quanto mai vigorosa, vera strategia annientatrice in alcuni casi, trovò difficoltà ad attuarla per la sua novità in confronto con la politica e la prassi guerresca del tempo..Nel campo tattico, a differenza della maggior parte dei nostri condottieri, non fu un seguace del principio difensivo-controffensivo appoggiato alla fortificazione campale, ma assertore di una tattica ardita, mirante ad avvolgere uno o  entrambi i fianchi dell’avversario.. Dove, però, si poté giungere a una piena comprensione e in una reciproca fattiva collaborazione fra generalissimo e generale in sott’ordine, come al Garigliano, o fra entrambi i capi dei due eserciti alleati, come a Melegnano, il successo fu clamoroso; dove l’accordo mancò, come ad Agnadello, si ebbe la sconfitta. Quando l’Alviano agì da solo, parve rivelare più le manchevolezze che i vantaggi del suo arrischiato procedere; ma, in realtà, la rotta di Campiglia fu un episodio d’imprudenza dovuto ad eccessiva sottovalutazione dell’avversario; in quella di La Motta ebbero parte decisiva deficienze di truppe e insidie del terreno acquitrinoso. Viceversa, la vittoria di Rio Secco in Cadore fu la conseguenza di un’azione arditissima sulle retrovie del nemico, operata in terreno asprissimo e nel cuore dell’inverno.. Fu poi mente aperta ad ogni innovazione: contribuì ad armare e addestrare alla svizzera le fanterie veneziane, utilizzò grandemente la cavalleria leggera degli stradiotti; e fu pure valente ingegnere militare, come mostrano i castelli da lui fatti costruire o rifatti nell’Umbria e i rafforzamenti delle fortificazioni di Vicenza e di Treviso. Non solo, ma si mostrò mente aperta a ogni forma di cultura, e le non poche lettere che di lui rimangono mostrano proprietà di lingua e vigore di stile; a Pordenone tenne una vera accademia nell’autunno-inverno 1508-09 e 1514-15.” PIERI

-“Virum praeferocem et strenuum..Venetae militiae Ductor egregius.” ARLUNO

-“Sapientissimo nella disciplina militare..Capitano d’invitto valore.” ULLOA

-“Nacque da taglio cesareo,e fu brutto e contraffatto assai.. Era piccolo e brutto, d’animo invitto, idolatra della gloria militare, rapido fino al precipizio nelle mosse, abusando della forza del soldato, che però lo amava, perché seco divideva i disagi e pericoli. Vincendo, l’inimico era da esso senza posa perseguitato, vinto, non si perdeva d’animo, ma tornava a combattere. benché severo nella disciplina, era.. amato da’ suoi soldati. termino di lui col dire, che la sua celebrità consiste nell’aver fatto morire molte migliaia de’ suoi simili, per cui si deve credere mandato da Dio al mondo per castigo degli uomini.” LITTA

-“Condottiero sagace, animoso, indomito.” TENNERONI

-“Nè la gloria sua, nelle armi grandissima, fu per tradimenti oscurata: dalla rapidità delle risoluzioni, dall’indole calda e bollente vennergli disastri e sconfitte: incompatibile con Nicola Orsini conte di Pitigliano; necessari ambedue nelle vicissitudini della Republica. La scienza militare quanto altri del suo tempo conosceva: per velocità delle marcie prodigioso, a niuno secondo per coraggio, peritissimo nella militare architettura, di che sta memoria in Trevigi. La carriera delle armi in tutti i gradi percorse, paggio d’un gentiluomo romano, generalissimo de’ Veneziani. Se in lui vedevi soverchia la piccolezza ed esilità del corpo, se ignobile l’aspetto, presto lo giudicavi grande dell’animo, schietto, generoso, informato a virtù.” FABRETTI

-“Folgore di guerra, ornamento della sua famiglia, terror di nemici e sostegno de suoi. Il quale vincea ogni cosa non meno con le armi, che con l’ingegno ed era impatiente d’ogni tardanza.” CANTALICIO

-“Vir fervidi et audacis ingenii.” VERI

-“Huomo segnalato e di rara virtù.” BELLAFINO

-“O car Livian, ben conosciuto adesso/ è il tuo valor e ‘l mar di tue virtute,/ e quel che fusti ora si vede expresso/…. Tu, intrepido, viril, pien d’ardimento,/ ogni terra expugnavi, ogni fortezza,/ e sol el nome tuo dava spavento./ Con tua celleritate e gran presteza/ ogni difficultate penetravi/ et addolcavi ogni sublime alteza./ … O sol di guerra capitano experto,/ che un simil non produsse ancor natura/ di fede e di valor: questo è pur certo! Or che dirò? con quanto studio e cura/ di Antenor la cità festi potente/ con fossi e torri e inexpugnabil mura? Trevisi ancora del tuo ingegno sente,/ factosi munitissimo e securo,/ che le speranze ostil restano spente./ Ma di ciò, signor car, ben ti assecura; ché morto sei con tanta phama e onore/ che non sari per alcun tempo obscuto.”  Da un lamento di Anonimo, per la morte di Bartolomeo d’Alviano, raccolto da MEDIN-FRATI

-“El baloroso guerrier Dalviano/ in facto d’arme un altro Hector troiano../ Bartholomeo Livian coperto a maglia/ fé prove tal che cento Scipioni/ non havian facto con le spate in mano/ quanto lui fece sopra quel pianoro.” Enrico Tedesco (La historia de tutte le guerre facte el facto d’arme fato in Geradadda col nome di tutti li condottieri), riportato da IRACE

-“Hardi et vaillant chef des Vénitiens.” PERRENS

-“Chi dunque meta,, o Livian, prescrive/ Nel ciel di Marte al tuo gran nome alato,/ Se tu raccogli altero/ Delle sventure i vinti,/ Né più che al verno antica rupe al pian,/ A sorte avversa il tuo valor consente.” CHIABRERA

-“Era l’Alvian da semplice valetto/ Per alma audace ai sommi onor venuto.” GAMBARA

-“Ex disciplina Virginii (Virginio Orsini) magnae hominem virtutis, mezimaeque pugnacem atque impigrum.” A.M. GRAZIANI

-Con Giampaolo Baglioni “Huomini, secondo Italiani, di grande conditioni et experientia.” Da una lettera dei Dieci di Balia al GUICCIARDINI

-Con Renzo di Ceri “Erano Renzo e l’Alviano due valorosi signori di casa Orsina, ed intendenti assai di architettura militare.” PROMIS

-“Uno dei maggiori capitani del pieno Rinascimento.” SIMIONI

-“Presto, pronto, ardito, tanto nella maturità di risolvere, quanto nell’espeditezza e nell’ordine dell’eseguire.” VERDIZZOTTI

-“Assai abile capitano, ma quasi sempre sfortunato.” VILLARI

-“Valente capitano.” VARIALI

-“Uomo fervido e per natura impetuoso.” A. ZENO

-“A skilfut but unlucky condottiere.” BAYLEY

-“Orsino valentissimo homo in fatto d’aeme.” A. DA PAULLO

-“Ursinorum alumnus et aptis animi dotibus vir.” Da un documento riportato dal SANSI

-“Nell’età seguente (a Federico da Montefeltro) fu sì famoso  nell’arme.” BALDI

-“La liberalità del quale, e la vivacità insieme, pare che inviti ogni gentiluomo alle sue bandiere.” CASATI

-“ dei più grandi capitani dell’Italia.” CERRI

-“Famoso condottiero..esponente di una famiglia baronale di secondo piano alleata agli Orsini.” SHAW

-Con Niccolò Orsini “Two formidable soldiers.” MALLETT

-Con Francesco Maria della Rovere “The Venetians had begun modernizing their fortifications in the Terraferma in the late fifteenth century, but the programma was extended and accelerated after the shock of the defeat at Agnadello in 1509. Two of their commanders, Bartolomeo d’Alviano and Francesco Maria della Rovere, had great influence over the planning and design of these works.” MALLETT-SHAW

-“Insigne generale ma di carattere focoso e impaziente di qualunque indugio.” BRUSCALUPI

-“Eccellente Capitano.” ROSEO

-“A esté de son temps un très grand et bon capitaine, mais pourtant estimé plus vaillant, hardy et hasardeux que sage, considéré et provident.” BRANTOME

-“D’animo invitto; iracondo, impetuoso, idolatrato da’ suoi soldati.” SOMMI PICENARDI

-“Soldataccio di pessimo carattere.” ZORZI

-“Celebre capitano veneto.” TONINI

-“Fu segnalato per coraggio bollente e di grand’impeto in un tempo nel quale la superiorità delle truppe francesi avea circospetti tutti gli altri generali italiani.” SISMONDI-FABRIS

-“Un mostro piccolin, un gran tirano/ Venuto a darci dolore e pena/ Di gola e ventre mazor di balena/ Squarta, impicca chi gli va a le man.” A. Medin riportato dal BATTISTELLA

-“Pochi comandanti di squadre e di eserciti, giunti sulla quarantina, avevano le cognizioni da ingegnere che possedeva questo illustre capitano; ma bisogna sapere ch’egli, nato da una grande famiglia di feudatari umbri dove, anche in mezzo alle armi, la cultura era tanto onorata, da giovanetto aveva potuto curare insieme al maneggio delle armi lo studio del disegno applicato ai fortilizi; studi, prove, applicazioni che rivelarono in seguito la sua alta competenza…La prontezza nelle decisioni, lo smagliante impegno, lo slancio possente, il coraggio indomito, la perizia nel fortificare un accampamento e nella scelta delle posizioni, l’arte di rimaneggiare i fortilizi adattandoli ai continui progressi delle artiglierie.” CANSACCHI

-“Magnanimo Livian ne l’arme un Marte,/ Un Alessandro, un Cesar di valore;/ duci di questi sei superiore,/ d’animo, di prestezza, studio et arte./…/ El ciel che tante gratie in te comparte,/ e per farte ogni giorno ancor maggior, e dar al nome tuo merto e splendore,/ e po’ in stato sublime alfin locarte./…/Inteso s’ha de qui l’alma vittoria/ et agli Elvetii la gran strage data,/ di che gran parte è ascripto a la tua gloria./ Che del Christianissimo l’armata,/ labante soccorresti: onde memoria/  eterna fia da te per tal giornata; però ch’ai liberata/ Italia di gran pena, et instaurato/ Justo et sancto Veneto Senato.” Anonimo. Sonetto riportato dal SAVI LOPEZ scritto poco dopo la battaglia di Melegnano.

-“Solo un ricordo di Bartolomeo d’Alviano sopravvive tutt’oggi; un ricordo di tipo culinario, un piatto della cucina popolare di Pordenone. E’ definito, in un raffinato ristorante vicino al castello, Stringoli al radicchio rosso trevisano e riassume almeno due aspetti dell’Io di Bartolomeo: la pasta della terra natia coniugata con il condimento di quella adottiva, i colori bianco e rosso, quelli del suo blasone…Il Navagero scrive che la magnificenza di Bartolomeo Liviano d’Alviano è quasi regale; che mette lautissima tavola, sebbene egli sia parchissimo, contentandosi di una grossolana vivanda. Gode il Liviano delle dispendiose cacce all’orso ed al cinghiale, in gioventù, e di quella esercitata con l’impiego del levriero e del falcone, nella maturità; e benché l’esercizio delle armi gli abbia tolto in giovinezza di attendere alle lettere, supplisce al difetto con la vivacità dell’ingegno…Una peculiarità di Bartolomeo d’Alviano è quella di essere un professionista della guerra e dell’arte militare. Egli non è, infatti, un capitano di ventura che a capo della propria compagnia di cavalieri, uomini d’arme, avventurieri, disperati, milita per l’uno e per l’altro Stato o governo o signore. Egli è solo, contratta il proprio stipendio, non considera proprio il saccheggio nemmeno come arrotondamento della paga, segue una linea di condotta che, secondo lui, lo porta comunque sempre a combattere per gli interessi finali dell’Italia.” BASSETTI

-“El signor Bartolomeo ardito e forte/ al vece Re (viceré) se fece incontra presto/ deliberato provar sua sorte/ o esser vincitore o far bel resto/ non estimando più vita che morte.” DELLA ROTONDA

-“Quel giorno parea in terra Marte/ el francho Orsino che el armezare/ ben lui facea rivoltare le parte tal che Sguizari hebben a voltare.” BARBIERE

-“El signor bartholomio non stava a bada/ a molti fa manchar quel giorno il fiato/ stringendo i denti con la forte spada/ giva ferendo come disperato/ per forza d’arme si fa far la strada/ el primo squadron ha sbaratato/ con i so fanti che de grande ardire/ disposti voler vincere o morire/…/ L’alvian  restò prigione/ che fu lodato il dì per huom valente/ che si portasse ben come un leone/ & nel volto ferito era aspramente.” Da “La storia del fatto d’arme di Geradadda) in GUERRE IN OTTAVA RIMA

-Alla battaglia di Tai “Et in Cadoro il signor D’alviano/ con sua forza li dette una pichiata/ Molti di lor fine mandò al piano./…/(Alla battagkia di Agnadello) El sir Bartholomeo non stava a bada/ A molti fa mancar quel giorno il fiato/ Stringendo i denti con la forte spada/ Giva ferendo come disperato per forza d’arme fosse far la strada.” Da “Guerre orrende d’Italia” in GUERRE IN OTTAVA RIMA

-In guerra contro i francesi “Bartholomeo livian poi ne venia,/ gubernator pel campo glorioso,/ che sopra un bel corsier gir se vedia/ con un baston in man da valoroso,/ con la sua schiera di giente sì forte/ ch’aria fatto di lei tremer la morte./…/ (ad Agnadello)…sempre più franco/ si vedea gir fra quelle schiere armate/ col stocco in man spronando il suo destriero/ uccidendo franciesi el bon guerriero.”/../ (morte) Et a Vinetia fu con molto pianto/ de tutti li soldati al fin mandato/ dove avolto in un ricco, e nobil manto/ con intenso cordoglio il gran senato/ & l’honorò, & nel tempio sacro, e santo/ di san Stephan il martire beato/ fu sepelito con immenso honore/ de qual merta chi ben nasce, e meglio more.” DEGLI AGOSTINI

-Dopo la battaglia del Garigliano “Al signor dal Viano/ fu la nostra dissiplina/ e ne dè tal medicina/ che l’amaro anchora i’ sento.” S. Litta. Da un poema riportato dal MEDIN

-“Non hebbe uguali nella cognittione della vera disciplina militare, e nel bene ordinare una battaglia.” LETI

-“Singolare figura di uomo d’armi umanista, godrà sempre di grande stima e ammirazione da parte di tutti, nonostante le molte sconfitte sul campo, dovute paradossalmente proprio al suo coraggio e alla sua abilità tattica, unite a un temperamento che lo portava ad agire senza curarsi troppo degli ordini ricevuti.” PADOVA E LE SUE MURA

-“La tradizionale fama di imbellità spesso affibbiata ai comandanti italiani del Rinascimento viene totalmente contraddetta dalla vita di questo valorosissimo soldato, che fin da giovanissimo si distinse nel mestiere delle armi. Si narra addirittura che la carriera militare gli fu predetta alla nascita dagli astrologi, dopo che la madre lo partorì nel momento in cui il pianeta Marte raggiungeva lo zenith.” DONVITO-CRISTINI

-“Imparò presto l’arte della guerra.” GAZZARA

“Figura geniale.” RUIZ-DOMENEC

-“La Signoria ge choncese quisti capitoli che mai più fo choncesi a niuno suo chapitanio; che el potese fare impichare e despichare in l’esercito e che l’avese libertà sopra tuti li soldati e posa chomandare a tuti i capitani sì a piè chomo a cavallo e che la Segnoria de Venecia non posa impaçarse in ti li soldati et encian i provedadori e che i diti provedadori non posa chomandarge se non per parte de la Sa. e che lui e la sua chompania non fuse oblighado a fare la mostra a niuno chomeso de la Sa. se non a lui e altri chapitoli asai. Non fu mai più chapitanio niuno de la Sa. de Venecia che avese la libertà che à buto el se. Bartolamio d’Aviano. La Sa. donò al dito chapitanio pani d’oro e pani d’arzento e veluti..El se. Bortolamio veramente era bono chapitanio e valentomo, ma non aventurato, imo disgraciato.” BUZZACCARINI

-“Era egli piccolo di statura, di stentata favella e d’ignobile aspetto, insomma da parere quasi generato per dispregio della umana schiatta, se i neri e vivissimi occhi non avessero di lui svelata quell’anima potentissima secondo la quale soleva abbracciare di tutti i consigli il primo o il più pericoloso, senza indugio intraprenderlo, senza riguardo seguirlo, con furia pari all’audacia proseguirlo sino alla fine, e, vincitore, estendere la vittoria all’estremo, vinto, con i più terribili intenti ritornare sul nemico, offenderlo sempre, ad ogni colpo serbare l’animo invitto, anzi crescerlo nella sventura, moltiplicarlo.” RICOTTI

-“E’ più temuto che amato dalle truppe, collerico, spietato, ma dinamico nella strategia.” E. e G.N. PITTALIS

-“Uno dei più grandi condottieri dell’epoca.” SANTANGELO

-“Capitano sollecito e feroce.” CASALIS

-“Hebbe valor si grande, e meriti dignissimi di guerra. Era il Liviano di picciola statura: il volto hebbe bianco: gli occhi, e capelli neri.” CAPRIOLO

-“Bartolomeo was a member of an old Guelf family from the Patrimony, who had begun his military career under Virginio’s father Napoleone, married an Orsini lady, Bartolomea, and was practically adopted into the Orsini family. He became the virtual head of the family, despite the fact he was not an Orsini by birth, and his Orsini wife had been dead for several years.” SHAW

-“Bartolomeo d’Alviano..non aveva l’allure del condottiero di eserciti. In effetti, una raffigurazione giunta fino a noi che plausibilmente riprodusse le sue fattezz, conferma la percezione avuta dai contemporanei. Viceversa, Bartolomeo si segnalava per la sua indole, strettamente correlata al peculiare stile di combattimento. Le testimonianze coeve sono unanimi nel definirlo irruente, irascibile, ardimentoso, “cupido di cose nuove e impaziente della quiete” (Guicciardini). Anche dopo la morte, fu ricordato come “un grand homme de guerre” (Du Bellay) per via della “meravigliosa e a’ costumi di quelli tempi veramente nuova et inusitata prestezza” (Paruta) con cui muoveva le truppe durante le campagne militari. In forza di tali caratteristiche diventò uno dei protagonisti degli anni di trapasso tra XV e XVI secolo, allorché l’Italia fu il teatro delle guerre inaugurate dalle discese del re di Francia Carlo VIII (1494) e proseguite poi con i conflitti tra le monarchie francese e quella spagnola.” IRACE 

-Alla battaglia del Garigliano. “Il condottiero umbro..ripropose quel modo di combattere perfezionato nelle quotidiane guerriglie di fazione nei territori umbri. Dimostrò di essere privo di tatticismi, irruente, impulsivo e violento, una serie di peculiarità che lo accompagnarono anche nelle successive azioni militari al servizio di Venezia, rendendolo protagonista di esaltanti vittorie e altresì di terribili sconfitte.” F. ORSINI

-Dopo la sconfitta di Creazzo. “Ma el segnor Bortolamio, che giera sì braoso a Vicenza, se tràsselo mo in l’acqua, per muzare? E si véva che gli altri se anegava. E corse a Pava a imbuscarsi,an. (E il signor Barolomeo, che faceva tanto il gradasso a Vicenza, non si cacciò nell’acqua per scappare? Eppure vedeva che gli altri annegavano. E corse a Padova a imbucarsi, no?” Dal “Secondo dialogo” del Ruzante, riportato dal PEZZOLO

-“Nella storia di questa disciplina (l’architettura militare), pochissimi condottieri ebbero un ruolo così incisivo come il suo, soprattutto nell’assimilazione della cultura fortificatoria martiniana nell’Italia centrale e meridionale e nella sua diffusione in area veneta..La collaborazione tra militari e ingegneri nella progettazione delle fortezze, l’organizzazione delle difese per punti forti collegati tra loro per il soccorso..; l’estensione ai circuiti cittadini dei moderni concetti di difesa, l’ampliamento del fronte di difesa in profondità esternamente e internamente rispetto alle mura: tutti questi sono concetti che avranno ampia fortuna nell’architettura militare e che d’Alviano fu tra i primissimi a sperimentare con successo.” GUARNERI

-“Opulentissimo Italiae Regno iam pacato, seu potius a mitioribus feris ad harpyas translato, Bartholomaeus Livianus, non minus elegans literarum quam armorum admirator et auctor, Romam rediturus me poeticae rhetoricaeque studijs et aetate florentem, a Pontani Academia evocatum, suae militiae honesto auctoramento et convictu initiatum adiunxit.” G. Borgia, riportato da E. VALERI

-“Tra i comandanti italiani del Rinascimento spicca la figura di questo valorosissimo soldato, che fin da giovanissimo si distinse nel mestiere delle armi. Si narra addirittura che la carriera militare gli fu predetta alla nascita dagli astrologi, dopo che la madre lo partorì nel momento in cui il pianeta Marte raggiungeva lo Zenith.” TRAXINO

-“Una delle sue doti più apprezzate era la rapidità di movimento.” ROSETTO

-“Fu un rinomato capitano, impetuoso, collerico, persino feroce nell’imporre la disciplina ai suoi soldati.” PASERO

-“Fu destro, coraggioso, colto e geniale; amico di molti letterati del suo tempo: egli stesso amante delle lettere, e, secondo il Tiraboschi, autore dei Commentarii delle sue guerre.” ARGEGNI

-“Pronto a ogni evenienza, in grado di coprire più fronti, non ingessato da sterili tatticismi.” F. ORSINI

-Scritta che compare sul lato destro della porta del nuovo Borgo di Treviso “Bartholen. Liviano/Veneti. Exercitus/Imperatore.Designante/Idemque. Approbante. Senatu”.

-Scritta che compare sulla facciata della chiesa parrocchiale di Alviano “Bartholomeus Atibus Livianus dux S. Marci/ Cassani Bisignani et Tricasici nobilium Brutorum et Luca/ norum urbium, cum XX validis adjacentibus oppidis,/ dominus Catholici Fernandi Aragoniae regis munere ob fu/ gatos ad Minturnas hostes additoque ob id sibi citerio/ ris Siciliae regno arce majorum suorum vetustate collabente./ A fundamentis erecta templum hoc Livianae plebi ad orandum./ D.M.O.L./ Apostolorum Christi principibus Petro/ et Paulo faciebat MDVI

-Epitaffio posto sul sepolcro sotto la sua statua di marmo “Bartholomaeo Liviano imperatori plurimis bellis spectato, quem ad Gaidum praepropera mors fractum laborius abstulit, M.D.X.V nonis octobris, Senatus dicatam memoriam renovavit ad meritae gloriae peremitatem MDCXXXIII”


-S. Bassetti. Bartolomeo Liviano, unego sior de Pordenon. Historia de lo governador  zeneral   di la zente d’arme de la Serenissimanostra veneta repubblica.

-C. Cansacchi. I primi passi di un grande condottiero: Bartolomeo d’Alviano.

-L. Leonij. Vita di Bartolomeo d’Alviano.

-M. Savi Lopez. Bartolomeo d’Alviano.

-A. e M. Tenneroni. Vita di Bartolomeo d’Alviano.

-E. Irace. “Impaziente della quiete”. Bartolomeo d’Alviano, un condottiero nell’Italia del Rinascimento (1455-1515)

Topics: Bartolomeo d’Alviano biography, Defense of the Venetian Republic, Italian condottiero leaders, Military tactics of Renaissance Italy, Bartolomeo d’Alviano’s contributions to Venice

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