The Swabian Sunset Part 4

According to globalsciencellc, Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence, already had doors open to the peninsula: the Piedmontese valleys. In recent years he has advanced from the Maritime Alps and the Ligurian Apennines towards the Po Valley, insinuating himself between Saluzzo, Savoia, Monferrato, between the Langhe and Asti. In 1251 other cities were given to him: Cuneo, then Alba, Mondovì, Cherasco, Savigliano. Some abbeys gave him his temporalities. The benevolent neutrality of the Savoy, who saw this Angevin activity turn especially against the enemy Asti, was helpful; even more, the alliance that in 1965 Carlo made, in view of the expedition to Sicily, with the Marquis of Monferrato, in collision with Pelavicino and placed on the threshold of Lombardy, where Anjou was also working to create a base of partisans. Given this diplomatic preparation, it is explained how Carlo reached the Garigliano almost without obstacles and in Benevento he won, with the help of the barons who betrayed Manfredi and the curia which provided blessings and money; and he wins again in Tagliacozzo, always thanks to the strong support of Urban IV, the French pope. Who, perhaps no longer believing, as for a moment Innocent IV, in the possibility of directly governing the kingdom, wanted a new Charles who, without an imperial crown or kingdom of Italy, would help the Holy See to support the party of the Church in Italy, to keep the peninsula obedient to it, to assure it of the peaceful possession of Rome, where the popes were unable to live peacefully, even while it seemed they had the thrones of the earth.

Thus, having arranged the things of the kingdom, Urban IV wanted to arrange Tuscany; and in between, sleep peacefully. A country of bankers, wool importers and textile exporters, these interests had to be leveraged here. And already in 1263, Florence being part and center of the Ghibelline league, Urban had threatened the consuls and the Wool Guild of Florence that, if they did not promote the passage of the municipality to the part of the Church, he would order the Venetians and the other faithful of the Church that were throughout Italy, under penalty of excommunication, not to do business with them. By 1266, that passage to part of the Church had taken place; but since the new people’s rulers did not intend to put themselves at the service of the Holy See and its part, they turned to form there a Guelph or Church party centered on the high bank, keeping the democratic elements low. And in October ’67, in the field of Charles of Anjou around Poggibonsi, there was a parliament of representatives of the cities subject to the king and a Guelph league or “size”, that is, an agreement for the common maintenance of an army that had to, starting from Pisa, carry out the subjugation of Tuscany. And from then until Boniface VIII, Tuscany was more and more open or bent to the influence, almost political dominion, of Rome, at the same time that it worked to make effective its temporal authority over the state of the Church up to Bologna. The conditions of many provinces favored this growing Angevin and papal affirmation. On 11 August 1270, in Sassari, the suffragan bishops of the Church of Torres, the representatives of the municipality of Sassari and the university of the faithful of part of the Church of the kingdom of Logudoro, elect Philip son of Charles “king and lord of the whole island for the Roman Church”, to which the island itself in fact and law belongs. A few years later, Gregory XI, who took the bait in Lausanne with the new king of Germany Rodolfo, obtained from him the recognition of Sardinia and also of Corsica. The Ghibelline Pisa is thus deeply wounded. Pelavicino also falls in Lombardy. At the same time, at the foot of the western Alps, other cities gave themselves to Charles: including Alexandria, a city of pontifical right from the time of its foundation. And then the marquises of Ceva and Del Carretto, Tommaso I di Saluzzo and di Busca, the counts of Biandrate become his vassals, putting their forces at his disposal against the supporters of the Swabian and the municipality of Asti. The alpine passes, for the Stura, the Cadibona pass, the Col di Tenda, are insured. In 1270 Turin expelled the podestà and gave himself to Carlo. Shortly after, Ivrea too. Asti is now surrounded. The city autonomies, which are on the verge of sunset, are hit from all sides: even by the pope’s men, who too had made a program against the Swabians. But many of those cities give themselves to him, to escape from a closer lord, a Monferrato or a Savoy, who are now also pursuing them.

The Swabian Sunset 4