Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Sforza a celebrated Italian family, founded by JACOPO SFORZA (1369-1424), the son of a farmer at Cotignola, in the Romagna, who became a famous condottiere, and died constable to Joanna II. of Naples. His real name was Muzio Attendolo, which he abandoned for that of Sforza ("stormer"). FRANCESCO SFORZA (140l-66), his natural son, an able tactician and general, at frst supported the Duke of Milan against the Venetians and Florentines, but afterwards supported the latter in their struggle with the Milanese, In 1441, however, he married the Duke's only daughter, and on his death in 1447 laid claim to the duchy, which he obtained after three years' hard fighting. Meanwhile he had wrested the March of Ancona from the Pope (1434), and yielded it to him again (1447). He was a wise ruler and a patron of learning, and was much beloved hy the Milanese. LODOVICO-MARIA SFORZA, "The Moor" (1451-circa 1510), third son of the preceding, succeeded his brother GALEAZZO and his nephew GIOVANNI-GALEAZZO, the latter of whom be probably poisoned (1494). Whilst Regent, in 1491, he had incited Charles VIII. of France to invade Italy and attack Naples, but he now became alarmed at the success of the French, and joined the league by which Charles was expelled. In 1499 the Mlanese were conquered by Louis XII., and in 1500 Lodovico was carried captive to France, where he passed the remainder of his life.