Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/161

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


the Terra di Lavoro. Yet the clause stipulating that the incomes of the two shares should be approximately equal might, with a little goodwill, have pointed the way to an equitable settlement. The main difficulty turned on the question of the Capitanata. The inhabitants of the barren Abruzzi depended on the corn-lands of the Capitanata for their food-supplies. The flocks that wintered in the plains were driven in summer to the mountain pastures, from Apulia proper into the Southern Apennines, and from the Capitanata into the Abruzzi, toll (dogand) being taken from them on the way for the King of Sicily. The treaty settled that "the dogana of Apulia" should be collected by the commissaries of Spain and equally divided between the kings. The French, supported by recent administrative usage, denied that the Capitanata was part of Apulia, and claimed it as a necessary complement of their own share.

No satisfactory agreement was reached on these dangerous points,, although the question was referred to the kings for decision. At Troia in the Capitanata, at Tripalda in the Principato ultra, collisions took place. Finally, in July open war broke out. Louis about the same time visited the Milanese, and apparently purchased the neutrality or support of Cesare by giving him a free hand in the Romagna, and even against Bologna. Reinforcements were sent to the French, and the Spaniards were driven from Cerignola, and then from Canosa (August, 1502). Gonzalo was obliged to concentrate at Barletta on the northerly coast of Apulia, holding also Taranto. The indecision of the French leaders saved the great captain. While they were occupying unimportant places in Apulia and Calabria, and watching Gonzalo at Barletta, the time for a crushing blow went by. The Venetians sent provisions if not money to Barletta. Reinforcements were sent into Calabria from Sicily. In March, 1503, a fresh army reached Reggio from Spain. In April 3000 Landsknechte were sent by Maximilian from Trieste to Barletta. Gonzalo had already shown that he was to be feared, when he fell upon la Palice at Ruvo, defeated, and captured him. On hearing that Aubigny had been routed at Seminara in Calabria, he was able to take a vigorous offensive. He left Barletta with the chief part of his troops and seized Cerignola. The French generals decided to strike a despairing blow. They attacked Gonzalo's army in a fortified position at Cerignola, and were completely defeated, Nemours being killed. The news determined Allegre to evacuate Naples except the castles, and to retire to Gaeta. On the 16th of May Gonzalo entered the capital. Prospero Colonna was sent to subdue the Abruzzi, while the great engineer, Pedro Navarra, employed the newest resources of military art against the castles of Naples. In a short time they were made untenable. At Gaeta however the French, strengthened by reinforcements from Genoa, repulsed the conquerors; while Louis d'Ars still held Venosa with a remnant of the army defeated at Cerignola.