Lodovico della Torre

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Lodovico della Torre († July 30, 1365 in Soffumbergo) was Patriarch of Aquileia from 1359 until 1365.

In his family, there were many patriarchs of Aquileia: Raimondo della Torre (1273-1299) was his great-uncle, Pagano della Torre (1319-1332) and Gastone della Torre (1316-1318) were distant cousins.

Lodovico started his career as canon in Aquileia. He was then subsequently bishop of Trieste, Oleno (Greece) and Koroneia, where to he had been transferred in 1357. Between 1340 and 1350, he was staying for a while at the papal Court in Avignon. He was again in Avignon, when he was appointed patriarch of Aquileia on May 10, 1359. A certain Benvenuto of Udine tried to prevent the appointment, claiming that the family della Torre had taken part in the murder of Patriarch Bertrand de St. Geniès. He was not successful, but Lodovico seemed to have had many enemies in the patriarch before he arrived there.

One of his competitors, Pileo di Prata, was the candidate of Bishop Francesco da Carrara, the second competitor, Paul Praunspeck von Jägendorf was the candidate of the Hungarian king. Against all these powers, Lodovico had to fight very hard to be appointed, but with the Pope’s support, he succeeded.

The new Patriarch established diplomatic contacts inside and outside the Patriarchate. After a long time of peace, Rudolf of Habsburg planned in July 1361 to attack Aquileia. He made an alliance with the emperor Karl IV and declared war. Aquileia was conquered very fast, almost without fighting, and a peace contract was signed on September 12, 1361. Lodovico was forced to travel to Vienna together with Rudolf’s brother Friedrich. Two other hostages accompanied the Patriarch: Francesco di Savorgnano and Simone di Valvasone. They managed to flee in the end of January 1362. Count Rudolf arrived in Vienna in February 1362. His territorial claims were immense and meant a total isolation for Aquileia. Political changes brought a slight modification of Rudolf’s claims in favour of Aquileia. A treaty was signed on April 21, 1362 and Lodovico was set free. When he returned, he realised that his enemies, as for example the family di Spilimbergo, had gained strength. In September 1363, Habsburg troupes invaded the Patriarchate again.Because of a new alliance against the Habsburg power, Karl IV was interested in supporting Aquileia. There was yet another reason – the emperor was planning a channel between Danube and Moldau in order to simplify trade between Venice and Prague.

After a long time of hesitation, Rudolf declared war again in June 1365. During the military preparation, Rudolf died on July 27, 1365 in Milan. Three days later, on July 30, Lodovico died in the castle of Soffumbergo after a short sickness. The general confusion was enormous. The Venetian Republic and the Pope spoke up for peace. There were just some skirmishes, and the patriarchate gained the upper hand. With the appointment of the next Patriarch, Marquard of Randeck, the emperor’s candidate, the situation was stabilised.


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