Ad Carolum .V. Caesarem augustissimum pro Francisco Sphortia Insubrum duce oratio

Autore: PIZZACARI, Battista (fl. 1st half of the 16th cent.)

Tipografo: Calvo Francesco Minizio.

Dati tipografici: Roma,   1529-30

Formato: in quarto


4to (199x144 mm). [12] leaves. The last leaf is a blank. Collation: A-C4. Title within an architectural woodcut border with at the bottom the emblem of ancient Rome. Modern wrappers, red edges. A fine copy.

VERY RARE FIRST EDITION of this speech probably held at the audience granted by Emperor Charles V to Francesco II Sforza at Bologna on November 24, 1529 through the intercession of Pope Clement VII to obtain for Sforza pardon for all his past offences (G. Giordani, Della venuta e dimora in Bologna del sommo pontefice Clemente VII. per la coronazione di Carlo V. imperatore celebrate l'anno MDXXX, Bologna, 1892, p. 42).

After the Spanish army had defeated the French at the Battle of Bicocca in 1522, emperor Charles V installed Lodovico Sforza's youngest son Francesco Maria Sforza (1495-1535) as duke of Milan (July 27, 1525). But what little trust there were between the Sforza and the Habsburgs evaporated when it was revealed that before receiving the investiture, Francesco had shown some sympathy to a plan to join the pope, Venice and Florence in freeing Italy from foreign domination. Outraged, Charles withdrew his recognition of Francesco's rights to the duchy, his troops besieging and then sacking Milan itself. Francesco now joined the anti-imperial league of Cognac. Hostilities continued until the peace of Cambrai in August 1529. Charles was persuaded by Clement VII to pardon Francesco, whose investiture as Duke of Milan took place on December 23. The imperial diploma dated from Bologna, January 2, 1530 is still preserved in the Archivio di Stato of Milan. Charles V spent three days in Milan arranging for Francesco's marriage to his eleven years old niece, Christina of Denmark. Francesco died childless in 1535 and the duchy of Milan became part of the Habsburg family patrimony (cf. J. Black, Absolutism in Renaissance Milan. Plenitude of Power under the Visconti and the Sforza, 1329-1535, Oxford, 2009, pp. 183-184; see also J.D. Tracy, Emperor Charles V, Impresario of War: Campaign Strategy, International Finance and Domestic Politics, Cambridge, 2002, pp. 120-121).

Just a few weeks before Charles V arrived at Bologna for the coronation, the Turks had laid siege to Vienna (September 17- October14, 1529). This released a veritable flood of publications on the Turks all over Europe and numerous humanists took the occasion to address themselves directly to Charles V exhorting him to defend Christendom against the Ottoman Turks. So also did Pizzacari in his speech: “[…] nunc populi, nunc universus terrarium orbis, sub tuis auspiciis quam libertatem sint consequturi, consyderabunt. Converte quaeso Caesar, converte contra verso tui imperii inimicos iram & arma, contra foedissimum & impurissimum Turcarum Regem, Christi & religionis nostrae hostem. En vides illum fines tui Imperii invader, depraedari. Turcas Ipsos hominum genus Barbarum, immane, impurum, & Deo pariter et hominibus invisum patieris Christiano nomini tam diu insultare? Christianorum fines indies infestare? Imperium et ditionem late propagare?” (leaf C1r) (cf. F. Bosbach, The European Debate on Universal Monarchy, in: “Theories of Empire, 1450-1800”, P. Armitage, ed., Aldershot, 1998, p. 135, n. 15).

Little is known about Battista Pizzacari, a humanist from Ferrara, who was active at Rome, probably at the Papal Curia, and was the author of speeches held at the election of the popes Adrian VI (1522) and Clemens VII (1523) (L. Ughi, Dizionario storico degli uomini illustri ferraresi, Ferrara, 1804, II, p. 116).

Edit 16, CNCE 54614; Universal STC, 849825; F. Barberi, Le edizioni romane di Francesco Minuzio Calvo, in: “Miscellanea di scritti di bibliografia ed erudizione in memoria di Luigi Ferrari”, Florence, 1952, p. 91, no. 110 (the title woodcut is reproduced on plate III); F. Borsetti, Historia Almi Ferrariae Gymnasii, Ferrara, 1785, II, p. 397.