Bartolomeo d'Alviano (1455-1515)

Bartolomeo d'Alviano (1455-1515) was an Italian condottiere who fought both for and against the French in the early stages of the Italian Wars. He was born in 1455 into a noble family in Umbria. In a period when infantry was beginning to dominate Alviano became known as a successful and aggressive cavalry commander.

During the Italian War of Louis XII (1499-1503) Alviano fought for the Spanish, successfully leading a light cavalry force during Gonzalo de Cordoba's victory at the Garigliano (29 December 1503).

In 1507 Alviano entered Venetian service, where he remained for the rest of his life. In the following year Venice found itself under attack (War of the League of Cambrai). Alviano was co-commander of the Venetian army alongside Nicolo Orsini, Count of Pitigliano. Avliano inflicted a defeat on an Imperial army commanded by the Duke of Brunswick at the Cadore (2 March 1508), briefly forcing the Imperial army to retire back across the Alps. Alviano commanded the Venetian advance guard at the battle of Agnadello (14 May 1509). After some early successes his advance guard was overwhelmed by the French. Pitigliano refused to come to his assistance and Alviano was captured.

After his release Alviano was appointed as commander in chief of the Venetian Army (1513). He suffered another defeat at La Motta Vicenza, west of Venice (7 October 1513). Towards the end of the War of the Holy League he conquered Friuli for Venice (1513-14). He was then sent to support Francis I's invasion of Milan of 1515. He commanded a cavalry force that arrived early on the second day of the battle of Marignano (13-14 September 1515), triggering the Swiss retreat from the battlefield. Alviano performed well in the battle, but one month later he died.  

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 October 2014), Bartolomeo d'Alviano (1455-1515) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_alviano_bartolomeo.html

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