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The fatal Italy tour of the Duke of Luxembourg

Henry VII, Duke of Luxembourg, was elected Emperor meilleurs casinos en ligne of the Holy Roman Empire in 1308 at Aquisgrana, following the tragic death of his predecessor, Albert of Hapsburg.

His fame is closely linked with his interventionist policy in Italy. His journey to be crowned by the Pope in Rome was seen by many as a possible solution to the rivalry between Italian cities and the wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Dante Alighieri himself encouraged this journey.

And finally, in 1310, almost by public demand and after a period of personal “surveys”, Henry VII decided to travel to Italy. He had promised himself he would bring peace back to the Italian towns, but his well-meaning ideal soon contrasted with the intestinal fighting between the towns and factions.

He was therefore forced (against his will?) to fight various adversaries. He laid siege to the rebellious Brescia where he lost his brother, Valerano, and then went to Genoa where he lost his wife, Margherita of Bradante, then he went to Pisa, the Ghibelline city most faithful to him. In 1311, he put on the iron crown of the King of the Romans in Milan. Then, due to a series of circumstances, political contrasts and plotting, to some it seemed that he favoured the Ghibelline cause and was therefore opposed by the Guelph Leagues, especially in Tuscany and Umbria.

From northern Italy, he reached Rome which, in the meantime, had been invaded by his adversary, Robert of Anjou, King of Naples and a relative of the King of France. Overcoming many obstacles, he managed to have himself crowned in 1312, in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, not by the Pope who at that time lived in Avignon, but by a Cardinal appointed by the Pope.

Leaving Rome as Emperor, he went to Umbria and Tuscany to fight against the Guelph League. He stopped off at Pisa, his ally, and then laid siege to the Guelph Florence without managing to take it. He then decided to call it off and marched towards Siena. Here, already ill, he camped at Pancole and attempted to take Siena, but also this city didn’t fall. From Pancole, the Emperor moved with his whole army to the plains of Orgia. From here he went to Bagni di Macereto for a few days of cure, and, convinced he had regained perfect physical health, he went south along the Via Romana with all his army (about 12,000 infantry and cavalry), marching hastily against the King of Naples, Roberto of Anjou.

But his illness overtook him and forced him to stop at Buonconvento on 21st August, 1313. Here, after three days of agony, he died in the church of San Pietro. Immediately the legend was born that the Emperor had been poisoned with the host consecrated by his confessor; a story that was believed for along time, in spite of authoritative denials.

The body of the Emperor was transferred in great secret from Buonconvento to Paganico, here it received its funerals and was then taken to Suvereto where it was preserved and then transferred to Pisa where is was buried in the Monumental Cemetery and then in the Cathedral, where it still lies today.

Seeing how things went, perhaps Henry VII was justified in taking his time before coming to Italy …It certainly wasn’t a fortunate journey!

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