The battle of Fornovo (6 July ) was an unsuccessful attempt by an Italian army to stop Charles VIII of France during his retreat from Naples. Battle of Fornovo Charles VIII, attempting to seize control of southern Italy for use as a platform for war against the Ottoman Turks, lead the most. Nicolle, David. Fornovo France’s Bloody Fighting Retreat. Oxford: Osprey, Santosuosso, Antonio. “Anatomy of Defeat: The Battle of Fornovo in

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His arrival cheered the wavering spirits of many, and his encouragement strengthened the tottering lines. The 149 French progress south had greatly alarmed the Italian powers.

Alessandro Beneditti, The Battle of Fornovo (1495)

Some ascribe this lapse to the suddenness and confusion of the battle, others to the scarcity of mercenary soldiers, who had not yet come to the camp. But Charles was anxious, seeing the enemy numbers growing, while he had no hope of reinforcements. Click here to view animation.

But on the contrary the Venetian proveditors, suspecting the loyalty of the people of Parma, took Oppiano and dashed the hopes of the Frenchman that the people fornovvo Parma might dare to desert. He feared that divine justice might suddenly plunge down from the loftiest heights to fornoco lowest depths that very fortune which earlier seemed to promise the entire world. He had great credence fornovp authority with the King, since he had left his son as hostage, and he wanted the Frenchman to acquire the rule and become arbiter over all Italy.

Meanwhile much blood was shed, fognovo was it allowed those who in fear or cowardice had begun fighting on the other side of the Taro to stop at this time. The French army got quite badly spread out along the valley, and in the end the advance guard escaped virtually unscathed.

Battle of Fornovo, 1495

While the battle was at its most delicate point, the Stradioti saw that the French guarding the baggage train were being driven out by the assigned Italian light cavalry, and they immediately left their positions to fall upon the rich baggage to plunder 11495.

Yet he decided to seek for peace or a truce first with all his powers and with every device, and otherwise undergo the risk of war, and he reflected in particular, on the counsel of Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, that the victory would be readily assured if he brought over to his side the vacillating citizens of Parma, and that this could easily be done if the dornovo of the Venetians pitched their camp beyond the Taro.


The rest of the spear-bearing foot soldiers made up one line or vast phalanx which advanced not far from the lines of the horsemen. On hearing this, the King went on 4 July firnovo the highest point of the mountain, and when he saw from it the vast forces of the Venetians, he exclaimed with a deep sigh that he had been deceived.

1459 Very many think that the French with a small band could have routed the Italians if they had dared advance freely, but the narrowness of the field refutes them. At length the opinion prevailed that the battle should be entrusted to fate. Their leader was wounded in the throat and a hand was rendered useless.

A day’s truce was declared for burial of the dead. To him the proveditor replied on the instant that there was no need for victors to 145. On a more positive side, his expedition did broaden contacts between French and Italian humanistsenergizing French art and letters in the latter Renaissance.

Of course, neither army followed up the battle with any bold action, and thus the battle is remembered only as an indecisive draw. The speed and violence of the campaign left the Italians stunned.

Battle of Fornovo, – The Art of Battle

The entire force was divided into nine lines, according to the French practice, the purpose being to harass the first and middle line of the French by two Italian lines in closer fighting, so that they could not forget the last group and turn back; the commander himself and his uncle along with Ranuccio Farnese would thus attack the rear of the enemy on both sides, and when that group had been scattered those in front would easily be thrown into confusion by the fugitives, and the other lines, standing in readiness, would at once carry out the commands given them.

Here the enemy could not foronvo without great trouble, and even if they wanted to attack precipitately and obstinately they would be overcome and routed by their own weariness. After a short space Count Niccola of Pitigliano and Franceso Secco rode alone in front, the first one the prisoner, the second the leader, and they were talking with one another about the outcome of affairs.


The French rested for the rest of the day, then forbovo north during the night, reaching the relative safety of Asti on 15 July joining up with other French troops. Meanwhile the King drew up three enormous battle groups. Views Read Edit View history.

He intended indeed to pass through a very well-protected place, that is, along the slopes of the hill, which were rendered fully secure from passage of the enemy also by ditches, muddy depths, the river Taro, the height of the banks, and moreover the shrubs and thickets.

This led to the development of tactics destined to establish field supremacy, the capture of wealthy prisoners for ransom, and the minimizing of casualties.

The second, the largest, was led by Charles himself. But neither Frenchman fornoo Venetian wanted to continue the very bloody fight. Some still breathed after hands and feet had been amputated, intestines collapsed, brains laid bare, so unyielding of life is nature. But at the proper place I shall reckon the number of the Latins, whose soldiers were arriving every day.

Alessandro Beneditti, The Battle of Fornovo () » De Re Militari

In these he put his entire hope of safety and resolved not to await hunger longer, but to undergo the risk of battle. So the entire city was a prey to varied turmoil, until on the following day the Senate was informed in a detailed letter concerning the state of everything and revealed to all the victory of which they had despaired. For by means of a compact line, because of the difficult terrain, they could not have harassed the Latins, and in like manner scattered over the defiles and the swamps, and subdued by hunger as they were, they could by no means have crushed five whole Venetian lines, nor did the narrow quarters permit the lines to be spread out more widely.