Alfonso II of Naples Historical Profile

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Alfonso II of Naples Historical Profile
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ALFONSO II OF NAPLES STATS
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Name: Alfonso II of Naples
Born: 4 November 1448
Home town: Naples
Died: 18 December 1495 (Messina)
Position: Duke of Calabria until 1494, King of Naples from
1494-95
House of: Aragonese kings of Naples (d'Aragona)
Personality type: Cruel, stubborn, skilled soldier but not a strong leader
Famous for: Abdicating the throne in favor of his son Ferrante II during the French invasion
Strength(s): He presided over a famous Renaissance court, patronized men of arts and letters
Weakness(es): Cruel, tyrannical,
Quirks: --


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ALFONSO II OF NAPLES BIO
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Born at Naples, Alfonso was the oldest child of Ferdinand I of Naples and his first wife, Isabella of Taranto, the daughter of Tristan, Count of Copertino and Caterina Orsini. He was the cousin of Ferdinand II of Aragon, king of Aragon and the first (co-)ruler of a unified Spain. His teacher was the humanist Giovanni Pontano, whose De splendore describes the proper virtues and manner of life becoming to a prince.
When his mother Isabella of Taranto died (1465), he succeeded to her feudal claims, which included the Brienne claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
In 1463, when Alfonso was fifteen, his great-uncle Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini, Prince of Taranto, died, and he obtained some lands from the inheritance. Alfonso had shown himself a skilled and determined soldier, helping his father in the suppression of the Conjure of the Barons (1485) and in the defence of the Kingdom's territory against the Papal claims.
As a condottiero, he fought in the most important wars of the age, such the war following the Pazzi Conspiracy (1478–1480) and the War of Ferrara (1482–1484).
Alfonso's reign was destined to be short. When his father died, the kingdom's finances were exhausted and the invasion of King Charles VIII of France was imminent; Charles (instigated by Lodovico Sforza, who wished to stir up trouble to allow him to seize power in Milan) had decided to reassert the Angevin claim to Naples and the accompanying title of King of Jerusalem. Charles invaded Italy in September, 1494. Alfonso managed to gain back the support of Pope Alexander VI, who invited Charles to devote his effort against the Turks instead. Alfonso received the official Papal coronation as Rex Siciliae on May 8, 1494 from Juan de Borja Lanzol de Romaní, el mayor, previously the papal legate to Alfonso II.
However, the King of France did not relent; by early 1495 Charles was approaching Naples, after having defeated Florence and the Neapolitan fleet under Alfonso's brother, Frederick of Calabria at Porto Venere. Alfonso, terrified by a series of portents, as well as unusual dreams (perhaps attributable to memories of his victims), abdicated in favour of his son, Ferdinand or Ferrandino, and fled, entering a Sicilian monastery. He died in Messina later that year. [Source: Wikipedia]





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