Raimondo Orsini del Balzo

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Raimondo (kneeling) in a fresco in Castel Nuovo in Naples
The coat of arms of Orsini del Balzo

Raimondo Orsini del Balzo (* 1350-1355 in Taranto ; † January 17, 1406 ), (also Raimondello or Ramondello), was an important nobleman of the Kingdom of Naples . He was Count of Soleto (1382), Duke of Benevento (1385-1401), 14th Prince of Taranto (1393-1406), Count of Lecce (1401-06), Duke of Bari , constable of the Kingdom of Naples and from 1389 gonfalonier of the Holy Roman Church .


Raimondello was the second son of Nicola Orsini di Nola (1331-1399), 3rd Count of Soleto, 4th Count of Nola, great executioner and clerk of the Kingdom of Naples and Maria del Balzo, daughter of Francesco I del Balzo, 1st Duke by Andria and Margaret of Anjou .

Raimondello's grandfather was Roberto Orsini di Nola (1295-1345), 2nd Count of Nola, great executioner of Naples and his grandmother was the heiress Sveva del Balzo (born at the beginning of the 14th century), Countess of Soleto, heiress of the Baux, (later the family came to be known as del Balzo Orsini). His brother Roberto was the 5th Count of Nola († 1400) and left only illegitimate heirs. One of his sisters, Sveva, married Francesco del Balzo, Duke of Andria .

Raimondo was an adventurer, warrior and crusader and mixed robbery and piety without hesitation. In 1384 Raimondello married Maria von Enghien (* 1367 - † May 9, 1446 ), Countess of Lecce, daughter and (after her brother) heiress to her father, Count Johann von Enghien , Lord of Nivelles , Presle, Omophita and Diskoria and his wife Bianca del Balzo the Count of Andria.

Raimondello became the richest Italian feudal lord of his time. The Principality of Taranto included half of the Kingdom of Naples, and the prince ruled almost independently of the king. Because of this, there was a fight between Raimondello and King Ladislaus of Naples , who ruled over the principality after Raimondo's death by marrying Maria de Enghien.

Chancel and sarcophagus by Raimondo Orsini del Balzo

1384 Raimondello received from Past Urban VI. permission for the expansion of an already existing Byzantine church from the 13th century with an adjoining monastery and hospital in Galatina . When the church was completed in 1391, it was dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria .

Raimondello died surprisingly on January 17th, 1406. His wife Maria von Enghien had a grave monument erected for her first husband after 1420 in the presbytery of the Basilica Santa Caterina d'Alessandria of Galatina, a masterpiece of Franciscan art. Raimondo is depicted in her deathly sleep with a Franciscan robe. Above it, the prince appears again, kneeling with his hands together.


His children with Maria:

  • Giovanni Antonio Orsini del Balzo (1386–1463), Prince of Taranto, Duke of Bari, Count of Lecce, Acerra, Soleto, Conversano, 1443 Count of Matera and 1453 of Ugento ; ⚭ Anna Colonna, niece of Pope Martin V .; died without a male heir
  • Gabriele del Balzo Orsini (1404–1453 / 54), 1434 Count of Ugento, 1441 1st Duke of Venosa, Count of Lecce, Neapolitan general and admiral; ⚭ 1431 Giovanna (Ippolita) Caracciolo del Sole from the Melfi family; died without a male heir
  • Maria del Balzo Orsini (* around 1400, † 1413), married to Antonio Acquaviva , second Duke of Atri
  • Katharina del Balzo Orsini (around 1400, † 1429), also known as Katharina von Tarent, married to Bartholomeo (alias Tristan) von Chiaromonte (de Clermont); Knights of the French Clermont-Lodeve family. Tristan became Count of Copertino through his wife's dowry. (Katharina del Balzo Orsini, who lived at the same time and was married to Giulio Antonio of Aragona and of Acquaviva, Duke of Atri, and who brought Casamassima and Conversano into the marriage as a dowry, was apparently not the same Katharina, but a relative, perhaps the daughter of Giovanni Antonio or of Gebriel, Duke of Venosa.)


Golden Rose by Giuseppe and Pietro Paolo Spagna. Rome, around 1818/19 in the Vienna Treasury

Pope Urban VI. gave Raimondo Orsini del Balzo the Golden Rose in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and made him Gonfaloniere of the Holy Roman Church because he had freed him from the pagans in Nocera .

See also

Web links

Commons : Raimondello Orsini  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Raimondo Orsini del Balzo. In: Treccani.it. Retrieved November 15, 2017 (Italian).
  2. Domenico Ludovico De Vincentiis: Storia di Taranto, Collana di storia ed arte tarantina . Mandese, Taranto 1983, p. 172 (Italian).
  3. ^ Domenico Ludovico De Vincentiis, p. 154
  4. ^ Domenico Ludovico De Vincentiis, p. 152
  5. Padre Antonio Febbraro: Guida di Santa Caterina . Salentina, Galatina 2016, p. 9 f . (Italian).
  6. ^ Padre Antonio Febbraro, p. 23
  7. ^ Maria d'Enghien, regina di Sicilia. In: Treccani.it. Retrieved November 15, 2017 (Italian).
  8. ^ Padre Antonio Febbraro, p. 65
  9. ^ Moroni Romano (Gaetano): Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da san Pietro sino ai nostri giorni , Volume LIX . Emiliana, Venice 1852, p. 125 (Italian).
predecessor Office successor
Otto of Taranto Prince of Taranto
Ladislaus of Naples