FYI April 09, 2019

On This Day

1454 – The Treaty of Lodi is signed, establishing a balance of power among northern Italian city-states for almost 50 years.
The Treaty of Lodi, also known as the Peace of Lodi was a peace agreement between Milan, Naples, and Florence signed on 9 April 1454 at Lodi in Lombardy, on the banks of the Adda. It put an end to the long struggles between expansive Milan, under Filippo Maria Visconti, and Venice in the terraferma, which had produced a single decisive Venetian victory, at the battle of Maclodio in 1427, in which the Venetian ally was Florence, but had resulted in no lasting peace: see Wars in Lombardy. After a further generation of intermittent seasonal campaigning, the Treaty of Lodi established permanent boundaries between Milanese and Venetian territories in Northern Italy, along the river Adda.[1] Francesco Sforza was confirmed as the rightful duke of Milan. A principle of a balance of power in Northern Italy was established, one that excluded ambitions of smaller states: the republic of Genoa, the house of Savoy, the Gonzaga and the Este.

A related agreement was signed at Venice on 30 August, among Milan, Venice and Florence, which had switched sides, in which the parties bound themselves to principles of non-aggression. The Kingdom of Naples and the smaller cities, even the Papal States, soon joined the Italic League.[2] Thus, the Peace of Lodi brought Milan and Naples into a definitive peace alliance with Florence. Francesco Sforza would base his lifelong external policy on this principle of balance of power. The status quo established at Lodi lasted until 1494, when French troops intruded into Italian affairs under Charles VIII, initiating the Italian Wars.

The Treaty was abrogated in 1483 when Venice and the Pope fought a war against Milan.

While lasting less than 50 years, some scholars have argued that the Treaty provided a proto-Westphalian model of an inter-city-state system (as opposed to an inter-nation-state system) following a century of incessant warfare in Northern Italy.[3][4] The Treaty functioned to temporarily institutionalize a regional balance of power in which outright warfare gave way to diplomacy.


Born On This Day

1336 – Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire (d. 1405)
Timur[3] (Persian: تیمور‎ Temūr, Chagatai: Temür; 9 April 1336 – 18 February 1405), historically known as Amir Timur and Tamerlane[4] (Persian: تيمور لنگ‎ Temūr(-i) Lang, “Timur the Lame”), was a Turco-Mongol conqueror. As the founder of the Timurid Empire in Persia and Central Asia, he became the first ruler in the Timurid dynasty.[5] According to John Joseph Saunders, Timur was “the product of an islamized and iranized society”, and not steppe nomadic.[6]

Born into the Barlas confederation in Transoxiana (in modern-day Uzbekistan) on 9 April 1336, Timur gained control of the western Chagatai Khanate by 1370. From that base, he led military campaigns across Western, South and Central Asia, the Caucasus and southern Russia, and emerged as the most powerful ruler in the Muslim world after defeating the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria, the emerging Ottoman Empire, and the declining Delhi Sultanate.[7] From these conquests, he founded the Timurid Empire, but this empire fragmented shortly after his death.

Timur was the last of the great nomadic conquerors of the Eurasian Steppe, and his empire set the stage for the rise of the more structured and lasting Gunpowder Empires in the 16th and 17th centuries.[8][9]:1 Timur envisioned the restoration of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan (died 1227) and according to Gérard Chaliand, saw himself as Genghis Khan’s heir.[10] Though not a Borjigid or a descendent of Genghis Khan,[11] he clearly sought to invoke the legacy of the latter’s conquests during his lifetime.[12] According to Beatrice Forbes Manz, “in his formal correspondence Temur continued throughout his life to portray himself as the restorer of Chinggisid rights. He justified his Iranian, Mamluk, and Ottoman campaigns as a re-imposition of legitimate Mongol control over lands taken by usurpers.”[13] To legitimize his conquests, Timur relied on Islamic symbols and language, referred to himself as the “Sword of Islam”, and patronized educational and religious institutions. He converted nearly all the Borjigin leaders to Islam during his lifetime. Timur decisively defeated the Christian Knights Hospitaller at the Siege of Smyrna, styling himself a ghazi.[14]:91 By the end of his reign, Timur had gained complete control over all the remnants of the Chagatai Khanate, the Ilkhanate, and the Golden Horde, and even attempted to restore the Yuan dynasty in China.

Timur’s armies were inclusively multi-ethnic and were feared throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe,[14] sizable parts of which his campaigns laid to waste.[15] Scholars estimate that his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population at the time.[16][17]

He was the grandfather of the Timurid sultan, astronomer and mathematician Ulugh Beg, who ruled Central Asia from 1411 to 1449, and the great-great-great-grandfather of Babur (1483–1530), founder of the Mughal Empire, which ruled parts of South Asia for over three centuries, from 1526 until 1857.[18][19] Timur is considered as a great patron of art and architecture, as he interacted with intellectuals such as Ibn Khaldun and Hafiz-i Abru.[14]:341–2




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