Ferdinand I (Naples)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ferdinand I.

Ferdinand I or Ferrante (born June 2, 1424 in Valencia , † January 25, 1494 in Genoa ) became king of Naples in 1458 - at the age of 34 - and held this rule until his death.


Ferdinand I was born the illegitimate son of Alfonso V of Aragón , who, adopted by Queen Joan II , had seized the throne of Naples in 1421. The sources do not agree on Ferdinand's mother, some name Dona Margarita de Ixar, a lady-in-waiting to Alfons' wife, Queen Maria of Castile, who allegedly had her murdered after giving birth, other sources name a Vilardona Carlina. Alfonso had his son brought to Naples in 1438 and in 1440 he achieved Ferdinand's recognition as a legitimate son by Pope Eugene IV . Ferdinand was declared Prince of Calabria and heir to the throne in Naples in 1443 and was confirmed as such by the Pope.

Married to Isabella of Clermont , daughter of the Count of Copertino , Tristano of Clermont, since 1445 , he occupied Naples in 1458 after the death of his father. Pope Kalixt III. , who did not recognize Eugen's legitimation, refused to admit the illegitimate born, but died in the same year. The loan was then made by Kalixt's successor, Pius II . Nevertheless, he had to fight for several years against the pretender René von Anjou , the son of Duke John of Calabria . With the support of the Milanese Francesco Sforza he succeeded in driving out the representatives of the House of Anjou; in gratitude, Ferdinand enfeoffed Francesco's son Sforza Maria Sforza (18 Aug 1451 to 29 July 1479) with the Neapolitan duchy of Bari.

In 1465 he came into the possession of the empire and consolidated his power through the marriage of his daughter to the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV , Leonardo della Rovere, and the marriage of his son Alfons to the daughter of the Duke of Milan , Ippolita Maria Sforza.

In 1463 he was elected Knight of the Order of the Garter and in 1473 as Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece .

Esortazione di insorgere contro i baroni ribelli , 1486

Shortly before Ferdinand I's death, Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan, irritated by nobility hostile to him , allied himself with Charles VIII of France to assert the rights of the House of Anjou to the Neapolitan throne. During his efforts to break this alliance, Ferdinand died on January 25, 1494 at the age of 69 in Genoa.

Ferdinand was a state-wise and energetic prince, who strengthened the king's power, especially by weakening the nobility, and who maintained his independence even with regard to the pope. He also eagerly took care of material interests (especially silk breeding), as well as the sciences, especially jurisprudence. His court was a center of humanism and the Renaissance .

Jacob Burckhardt describes Ferdinand, however, as “ gloomy and cruel [...], in any case he is the most terrible of the princes of the time. Restlessly active, recognized as one of the strongest political minds, at the same time not a libertine, he directs all his forces, including those of an irreconcilable memory and profound dissimulation, toward the destruction of his opponents. Offended in all things in which one can offend a prince, in that the leaders of the barons were related by marriage to him and allied with all foreign enemies, he got used to the extreme as an everyday occurrence. The procurement of the funds in this struggle and in his foreign wars was again taken care of in the Mohammedan manner which Frederick II had used: only the government dealt with grain and oil; Ferrante had centralized trade in general in the hands of a chief merchant, Francesco Coppola, who shared the benefits with him and took all shipowners into his service; Forced loans, executions and confiscations, garish simony and pillage of the clerical corporations created the rest. Now, in addition to the hunt, which he practiced ruthlessly, Ferrante allowed himself two kinds of amusement: to have his opponents either alive in well-kept dungeons or dead and embalmed in the costume they wore during their lifetime. He giggled when he talked to his confidante about the prisoners; not even a secret was made of the mummy collection. His victims were almost all men, whom he seized by betrayal, even at his royal table. The proceedings against Prime Minister Antonello Petrucci, who had become gray and sick on the job, were completely infernal, and Ferrante continued to accept gifts from his growing fear of death until finally an appearance of participation in the last baron conspiracy gave the pretext for his arrest and execution, at the same time as Coppola [1487 ]. The way in which all this is depicted in Caracciolo and Porzio makes the hair stand on end. "


Ferdinand had six children with his first wife, Isabella von Clermont (January 1424 - March 30, 1465):

  1. Matthias Corvinus , King of Hungary , Anti- King of Bohemia
  2. Vladislav II , King of Bohemia and Hungary

Widowed in 1465, Ferdinand married his cousin Johanna von Aragón (* 1454 - 19 January 1517), daughter of John II , King of Aragón in 1477 . He had two children with her:

He had three children with his mistress Diana Guardato :

With his mistress Eulalia Ravignano he had a daughter:

He had four children with his mistress Giovanna Caracciola :

Ferdinand also had a daughter:


  1. ^ Jacob Burckhardt: The culture of the Renaissance in Italy - An attempt . Basel 1860. p. 35 f. books.google . Burckhardt's references: Tristano Caracciolo [1437–1522]: de varietate fortunae, in Murat. XXII. - Jovian. Pontanus : de prudentia, l. IV; de magnanimitate, l. I; de liberalitate, de immanitate. - Cam. Porzio , Congiura de 'Baroni, passim. - Comines , Charles VIII, chap. 17, with the gen. Characteristics of the Aragonese. Paul. Jovius , Histor. I; p. 14, in the speech of a Milanese envoy; Diario Ferrarese, at Murat. XXIV, Col. 294.

Web links

Commons : Ferdinand I. (Naples)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Alfons I. King of Naples
Alfonso II