Queste infrascripte cose se ademandano per l'Ambassiata del S. Messer Michele de Attendolis ala Maista de Serenissimo et Illustrissimo don Alfonso Re de Aragona, de Sicilia [?] (?These things written below are requested through the embassy of Sir Michele de Attendolis to the Majesty of the most serene and illustrious Don Alfonso King of Aragon, Sicily [?]'). Manuscript on paper. [In] castris apud Covante[m], 19 June 1441

Autore: ATTENDOLO, Micheletto (ca. 1370-1463)-ALFONSO D'ARAGONA (1393-1458)


Dati tipografici:

296x222 mm. Single leaf written on both sides. Embossed stamp with the Aragonese arms at the bottom. Traces of folding, a few small holes along the folds, minimal marginal foxing.

This is a document drawn up by the chancellery of King Alfonso of Aragon, a few months before he conquered Naples, and signed by the latter as “Rex Alphonsus”, in response to a series of requests made by Michele Attendolo (among them, a general pardon for himself and his vassals, the confirmation of previous concessions, the intercession for some of his allies, etc.); to many of them Alfonso grants his placet, while others, especially the economic requests, are rejected as not possible at present. Attendolo interceded, among others, for the Prince of Taranto Giovanni Antonio Orsini del Balzo (1401-1463) and for Isabella di Chiaromonte, also known as Isabella of Taranto (1424-1465), the future Queen Consort of Naples.

Micheletto Attendolo, cousin of Muzio Attendolo, was a great condottiero, who first served in the Kingdom of Naples under the command of Queen Giovanna II and then in the Florentine Republic. Later he entered the service of Pope Eugene IV, who created him high constable of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1420 he married Polissena Sanseverino, who brought him a dowry of fifteen important fiefs, including Torre Amara, S. Marco, S. Martino in Terranova, Tursi, Tito, Anzi, Potenza, Vera, Campagna, Policoro, Vignola and Alianello. Many of these feuds are mentioned in the present document, as Attendolo is asking for a “confirmazione et nova donatione et concessione”.

After the death of Queen Giovanna II (1435), he entered the service of Renato of Anjou, for whom he governed the lands of Calabria until 1438, when the king called him to protect him from Alfonso of Aragon. Attendolo remained in the Kingdom of Naples at least until 1440, then returned to the service of the Florentines and for them he carried off the famous victory of Anghiari (29 June 1440), after which the whole of the Casentino fell into the hands of Florence.

In January 1441, a few months before this document was signed and before he was appointed Captain General by the Venetians in place of Gattamelata, Attendolo fought against the Aragonese in Abruzzo. In 1446, at the head of the Venetian army, he defeated the Milanese troops at Casalmaggiore, reaching as far as the gates of Milan; for this victory he was made a Venetian nobleman and was given the lordship of Castel Franco in the Treviso area.

In 1448 he was discharged by the Venetians and after a brief period again in the service of the Florentines, he accepted Sforza's invitation and moved to Lombardy, where he was granted the fief of Pozzolo Formigaro. There he died, forgotten, in 1463.

Attendolo is depicted by Paolo Uccello in one of the three paintings celebrating the Battle of San Romano (Paris, Louvre) and his portrait also appeared in the famous lost cartoon of the Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci (cf. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, IV, 1962, entry by R. Capasso).

Alfonso V of Aragon, called the Magnanimous, King of Aragon, Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica and, from 1442, of Naples, was the progenitor of the Aragonese branch of Naples.