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This article is an orphan, as few or no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from related articles; suggestions may be available. (August 2010) This page is a new unreviewed article. This template should be removed once the page has been reviewed by someone other than its creator; if necessary the page should be appropriately tagged for cleanup. If you are the article's creator, you can seek feedback on your new article. (August 2010) Bevilacqua Dynasty before the 12th century The first written account of the Bevilacqua dynasty coincides with the rise to power of King Otto I the Great (912-973) of Germany. Otto I was the son of King Henry I (876-936) of Germany, the founder of the Saxon dynasty. In 962, Otto I became King of the Lombards and controlled much of northern Italy. The king gained control of northern Italy by defeating the French, Spanish, Hungarians, and Italians. On 2 February 962, Pope John XII crowned him the first Holy Roman Emperor which marked the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire and the German nation. The Bevilacqua family had ruled over Lake Garda from the city of Lazise since the 9th century. In order to ensure Principe Antonio Bevilacqua's support, Holy Roman Emperor Otto I issued his Concessagli Decree which granted autonomy to the country of Lazise making it the first free Common of the Italians. In 962, Antonio Bevilacqua was made Governor of Lazise, and he reconstructed and expanded his family's immense castle which is now surrounded by the magnificent Villa Bernini Park in Lazise. Lazise was made a city-state in 983 under the rule of Emperor Otto I. The Bevilacqua family was granted considerable military and commercial autonomy, a right that was expanded by later emperors. The next written account about the Bevilacqua family is a document from 987 which is stored in the archives of the City of Aquila. It cites information about two Aquiline families of Paganichese origin. The document records that "Antonio Bevilacqua transferred one noble knight to Roscio of Paganica de Aquila." At that time, a powerful noble family would award another noble family for loyalty with the gift of a knight. Antonio Bevilacqua gave Roscio of Paganica a knight for his loyalty against Charlemagne's French Carolingian empire in Italy which disintegrated completely in 987. The city of Aquila derived its name from the ancient Latin word aquilnus which means "of or like an eagle". The families from Aquila were known as Aquilines. Families from the area of Paganica were considered to be of Paganichese origin. The Paganichese belonged to "religious societies" faithful to the "cultori of the divinity". At the time of the Imperial Age of Rome during the 1st through the 4th centuries, these religious societies were guardians of the ancient Celtic religious sanctuaries in the lush valleys of the foothills of the Alps near the city of Ala (which means "wing" in English). The Bevilacqua family is originally from Ala in the province of Trento, and the family's first coat of arms was a white eagle's wing on a light blue background with a prince's crown. The Bevilacqua family expanded their power by remaining loyal to the descendants of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I. They solidified their position as one of the ruing families of Verona and Ferrara. The emperor had ceded Verona and Ferrara to the Duchy of Bavaria, and they granted land to the Bevilacqua family for their continued loyalty. In 1037, a legal document in Latin registers land in Verona and Cavedine near Trento to "Petrus Bibitaquam" which means Peter Bevilacqua in Latin. In 1050, there is a deed for property written for lands in the City of Melegnano in Ferrara belonging to "Gregorius Bibitaquam" or Gregorius Bevilacqua. In 1056, Gregorius Bevilacqua acquired more property in Ferrara for his loyalty to King Henry III of Germany (King Otto's grandson). On May 7, 1059, the Principality of Bevilacqua was established located between Verona and Padova. On May 25, 1060, the Duke and Marques of Tuscany gave the Bevilaqua family additional property in an adjustment entitled, Comitatu Ariminensi in Villa Corbiano Bibensuquam. This property in Corbiano was given to Bevilacqua for loyalty to Bonifacio Canossa, Marquis of Tuscany. Bonifacio Canossa was the grandson of Atto Adalbert who helped Queen Adeleide of Italy escape from King Berengar. Queen Adeleide married Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, and they granted Atto Adalbert the County of Canossa. Bonifacio Canossa was assassinated in 1052, and his widow Marchioness Beatrice Canossa married Godfrey II, Duke of Lower Lorraine. In 1055, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry III kidnapped Marchioness Beatrice and her daughter Countess Matilda Canossa (1046–1115). Matilda was the last heir of the powerful Canossa family which ruled Tuscany in the 10th and 11th centuries. She was a descendant of the German Saxon and Lombard kings, the Franconian kings of Luxembourg, and was the daughter of Frederick of Lorraine. Her great-grandfather, Athene of Canossa, was made Count of Modena and Reggio by Holy Roman Emperor Otto 1. Her grandfather had acquired Mantua, Ferrara and Brescia, and her father, Boniface acquired Tuscany, Spoleto, Parma, and Cremona. Holy Roman Emperor Henry III (a direct descendant of Otto I) reconciled with Godfrey II and released his wife and daughter, Beatrice and Matilda in 1057. When Godfrey II died in 1069, Countess Matilda Canossa married Godfrey III who was the brother of Pope Stephen IX. Godfrey III nicknamed the Humpbacked, the son of Matilda's stepfather was murdered on February 26, 1076, Countess Matilda became the sole heiress to the richest estate in Italy. At this time, Count Viviano Bevilacqua was a major supporter of Countess Matilda and religious reform in Verona. In 1073, he built the Church of San Giovanni de Gualberto (now called the Church of Saintest Trinita) on the hill called Mount Olive Grove in Verona including the Monastero for the Vallombrosani Benedictines. The Vallombrosani order of monks was begun by Saint Giovanni who was a friend of Viviano Bevilacqua. Giovanni was born in the year 1000, and he was the youngest son of Gualberto a descendant of the noble Visdomini family from Florence. Before Saint Giovanni died on July 12, 1073, a Vallombrosa monk named Ildebrando Aldobrandini Hildebrand was elected Pope and took the name Gregory VII. The new pope gave his name to the Valombrosan reform and it came to be known as the "Gregorian Reform". With his relative, Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, Pope Gregory VII was able to implement many reforms including the acceptance of the "Gregorian Calendar". The pope's name Hildebrand (Hellebrand) came to signify "a bright flame" to his friends and "a brand of hell" to his enemies. Countess Matilda sided with Pope Gregory VII in the Investiture Controversy against Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV (son of Henry III). Pope Gregory VII claimed supreme religious and civil authority over the Emperor. Pope Gregory VII withdrew the right of Henry IV to appoint bishops, invest them with churches, and make them feudal lords. In 1075, Pope Gregory VII threatened Henry IV with "excommunication until he had given proper satisfaction, and also deprivation of his kingdom without hope of recovering it". In retaliation, Henry IV deposed Gregory VII on the grounds that his election was irregular. He sent a letter to "Hildebrand, no longer pope but a false monk. I, Henry, king by the grace of God, with all my bishops say to thee: Descend! Descend thouever accursed!" In 1076, Pope Gregory VII declared, "I depose Henry IV from the government of the whole Kingdom of Germany and Italy, release all Christians from their oath of allegiance, and forbid him to be obeyed as king". Since Henry IV did not gain the support of his followers, he was forced to wait outside the Castle of Canossa in the dead of winter barefooted and in the garb of a penitent for three days before Countess Matilda and Pope Gregory VII would allow him in the castle. Pope Gregory VII lifted his excommunication on January 26, 1077. After Pope Gregory VII died, Emperor Henry IV attacked Matilda in 1077 to avenge his humiliation. Henry IV plundered and seized Pisa and Lucca, but Matilda escaped to Reggio. In 1089, at the age of forty three she married the seventeen year old Duke Welf V of Bavaria from whom she separated in 1095. In a deed dated July 3, 1098, Countess Matilda granted more property to the Bevilacqua family in the territory of Reggio for their assistance and protection. In 1111, she made peace with Henry V, the son of her arch enemy, who appointed her vice queen of Italy. Subsequently, Countess Matilda developed a powerful fortified system of fourteen castles to protect her feudal property throughout northern Italy. Matilda donated her estates to the Holy See, which made up the greater part of the temporal dominion of the papacy known as the Papal States. In 1140, the Ghibelline and Guelph political parties originated from a power struggle between two families for control of the German kingdom including Italy. The Ghibelline was descendants of the House of Hohenstaufen and their ancestral castle was called Waiblingen in Franconia. The Guelph descended from the Dukes of Bavaria, and rebelled against the ruling imperial House of Hohenstaufen. The Ghibelline crushed and annihilated many of the Guelphs in 1140. In 1142, the Guelphs of Padova attacked the Ghibelline of Verona to take over the city. Medieval historian, Ottone of Frisinga, wrote an account about "a battle of 1142 between the citizens of Verona and Padova which occurred west of the Bevilacqua castle, nearly in the river bed of the Fratta River." The Bevilacqua family led the Ghibelline of Verona and defeated the Guelph citizens of Padova led by the Carrara family. The Bevilacqua family reconstructed and dedicated Saint Peter's Church in Cantalovo of Bevilacqua to celebrate their victory. The original church was built in the early 900's, and the reconstruction was begun in 1142 and completed in 1161. The reconstruction followed the technique of early Roman buildings and it is made of bricks baked in a kiln. Several frescoes decorate the inside walls of the church which are from the late 14th century. Over the outside door of Saint Peter's Church, a barbaric inscription is carved on a white Verona marble block which says, "This is the ancient parochial church of Porto reconstructed in 1161 by the work of Balduino, under the rule of Emperor Frederic Barbarossa". Balduino was most probably Balduino della Scala (b. - 1169) who was the founder of the della Scala dynasty and rulers of Verona. The della Scala were well known in the area hence no title to his name was necessary. In the Archives of the Capitolare of Verona, a document is still preserved from 1159 granting additional "territory to Guglielmo Bevilacqua by King Frederic Barbarossa witnessed by Balduino for loyalty and service to the della Scala family, rulers of Verona." In 1152, Pope Eugenius III was threatened by the followers of the revolutionary Arnold of Brescia for control of Rome. In March 1153, Pope Eugenius III negotiated the Treaty of Constance with King Frederic Barbarossa (1123–1190) promising to crown him Holy Roman Emperor for his protection. However, Eugenius III died in July before Frederic could come to his aid in Rome. Pope Anastasius IV was crowned his successor on July 12, 1153 and quickly became an ally of Frederick Barbarossa. but the pope died in December of the following year. On the following day, Pope Adrian IV was unanimously elected the successor of St. Peter. Pope Adrian IV asked King Frederic to come to Rome to establish. In October, 1154 Frederic began his march to Rome, but was not successful in subjugating northern Italy or the rebellious city of Milan. On June, 18 1155 Frederic defeated Arnold of Brescia, and as a result he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Frederick I Barbarossa was the Ghibelline hereditary ruler, because he was the son of Frederick of Hohenstaufen. His mother was Judith of Bavaria of the Guelph dynasty, and he tried to unite the Ghibelline and Guelph parties. However, a dispute began between the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I and Pope Adrian IV. Frederick I attempted to reassert his family's Imperial Authority over the pope and the Italian city states to rule the Germanic Empire and Italy. Once again, the Holy Roman Emperor claimed that his power came directly from God, and the pope was simply an intermediary between the Emperor and God. The pope believed that God gave him the power to rule church and state and the Holy Roman Emperor was just the political arm of the church. Frederick I Barbarossa replaced Adrian IV's successor Pope Alexander III (1130–1181) with his own pope called Victor. Barbarossa then attacked and almost completely destroyed Milan for not supporting him. During the years 1155-1158, Frederick reached the height of his power. In 1166, Frederick separated from his wife Adela von Bohburg, and married Beatrice, the heiress of Burgundy. In 1174, Frederick made his fifth expedition to Italy to battle the pro-papal Lombard League. Frederick was defeated and seriously wounded at the Battle of Legnano on May 29, 1176. The Battle of Legnano just outside of Verona took place adjacent to the Principality of Bevilacqua. In 1184, the Church of Saint Salvaro was given to Niccolo Bevilacqua by the Canossa family for their service and dedication against Barbarossa. Saint Salvaro of Niccolo of the Bevilacqua was situated in what was then called the county of Tarmassia which was a district of the city of Verona. An ancient document from 1184 was transcribed by Dr. G. B. Bertoli di Casaleone (October 21, 1895) that documents the transmittal of the church from the Canossa family to Niccolo Bevilacqua. In the northeast wail of the church, an engraved stone documents that the church was built by Contessa Matelda Canossa in 1118. He signed a peace treaty with Pope Alexander III. In the Peace of Venice, Frederick acknowledged the sovereignty of the Papal States, and Pope Alexander acknowledged Frederick's over lordship of the Church. However, the Lombard League continued the war until 1183. The Peace of Constance gave the cities of the Lombard League the right to elect town magistrates, and eliminated the burdensome taxes. The Peace of Venice and the Peace of Constance were very short lived. The wars between the Ghibelline and Guelph continued for almost 400 years until Barbarossa's Ghibelline followers were subjugated by King Charles V of Spain in 1529. However, Charles V was at continual warfare with King Francis I of France for control of Italy until his death in 1580. The wars with the Ottoman Empire and the invasions by the Turks from 1535 until 1545 made peace even more elusive. These wars allowed the Protestants supported by the Swabian League (ancient Ghibelline) to gain power in Germany, and the breach between the Catholics and Protestants widened. In 1545, Charles V devoted much of his efforts to defeat the Protestant Princes in Germany. References The Original Archives of the Bevilacqua and the Bevilacqua-Lazise families in the Archives of the Civic Museums in Verona, Bologna, Ferrara, and Aquilea. Memorie storiche della nobile famiglia Bevilacqua by Antonio Frizzi and Giambattista Bodoni, Publisher: Parma : Dalla Reale Stamperia, 1779. Famiglie celebri italiane. Volume ottavo by Conte Pompeo Litta, Publisher: Milano : Tip. del dottore G. Ferrario, 1852. Stemmi di un'illustre famiglia Ferrarese (Bevilacqua) /Conti Avogli-Trotti e Canestri-Trotti derivata dai medesimi by F Giuseppe Ferruccio Pasini Publisher: Pisa : Presso la Direzione del Giornale Araldico, 1888. Exemptiones, immunitates, & priuilegia concessa familiae Beuilaquae Ferrarien[sis], & Bononien by Pope Clement VIII, Catholic Church. Publisher: [Rome : Paolo Blado, 1600]. Compendio historico dell'origine, discendenza, attioni, et accasamenti della famiglia Bevilacqua by Valerio Seta, Publisher: Ferrara, Italy : Vittorio Baldini, 1606. External links