March 1480. Thereupon Alphonso, duke of Calabria, who was fighting in Tuscany on the side of his father Ferdinand, came to an agreement with Siena and, in the same way as his grandfather Alphonso, tried to obtain the lordship of the city and the recall of the exiled rebels in 1456. The noveschi (to whose order most of the rebels belonged) favoured his pretensions, but the riformatori were against him. Many of the people sided with the noveschi, rose in revolt on 22nd June 1480 and, aided by the duke's soldiery, reorganized the government to their own advantage. Dividing the power between their two orders of the nine and the people, they excluded the riformatori and replaced them by a new and heterogeneous order styled the aggregati, composed of nobles, exiles of 1456 and citizens of other orders who had never before been in office. But this violent and perilous upset of the internal liberties of the republic did not last long. A decree issued by the Neapolitan king (1482) depriving the Sienese of certain territories in favour of Florence entirely alienated their affections from that monarch. Meanwhile the monte of the nine, the chief promoters of the revolution of 1480, were exposed to the growing hatred and envy of their former allies, the monte del popolo, who, conscious of their superior strength and numbers, now sought to crush the noveschi and rise to power in their stead. This change of affairs was accomplished by a series of riots between 7th June 1482 and 20th February 1483. The monte del popolo seized the lion's share of the government; the riformatori were recalled, the aggregati abolished and the noveschi condemned to perpetual banishment from the government and the city. But " in perpetuo " was an empty form of words in those turbulent Italian republics. The noveschi, being " fat burghers " with powerful connexions, abilities and traditions, gained increased strength and influence in exile; and five years later, on 22nd July 1487, they returned triumphantly to Siena, dispersed the few adherents of the popolo who offered resistance, murdered the captain of the people, reorganized the state, and placed it under the protection of the Virgin Mary. And, their own predominance being assured by their numerical strength and influence, they accorded equal shares of power to the other monti.
Among the returned exiles was Pandolfo Petrucci, chief of the noveschi and soon to be at the head of the government. During the domination of this man (who, like Lorenzo de' Medici, was surnamed " the Magnificent ") Siena enjoyed many years of splendour and prosperity. We use the term " domination " rather than " signory " inasmuch as, strictly speaking, Petrucci was never lord of the state, and left its established form of government intact; but he exercised despotic authority in virtue of his strength of character and the continued increase of his personal power. He based his foreign policy on alliance with Florence and France, and directed the internal affairs of the state by means of the council (collegio) of the balia, which, although occasionally reorganized for the purpose of conciliating rival factions, was always subject to his will. He likewise added to his power by assuming the captainship of the city guard (1495), and later by the purchase from the impoverished commune of several outlying castles (1507). Nor did he shrink from deeds of bloodshed and revenge; the assassination of his father-in-law, Niccolo Borghesi (1500), is an indelible blot upon his name. He successfully withstood all opposition within the state, until he was at last worsted in his struggle with Cesare Borgia, who caused his expulsion from Siena in 1502. But through the friendly mediation of the Florentines and the French king he was recalled from banishment on 29th March 1503. He maintained his power until his death at the age of sixty on 21st May 1512, and was interred with princely ceremonials at the public expense. The predominance of his family in Siena did not last long after his decease. Pandolfo had not the qualities required to found a dynasty such as that of the Medici. He lacked the lofty intellect of a Cosimo or a Lorenzo, and the atmosphere of liberty- loving Siena with its ever-changing factions was in no way suited to his purpose. His eldest son, Borghese Petrucci, was incapable, haughty and exceedingly corrupt; he only remained three years at the head of affairs and fled ignominiously in 1515. Through the favour of Leo X., he was succeeded by his cousin Raffaello Petrucci, previously governor of St Angelo and afterwards a cardinal.
This Petrucci was a bitter enemy to Pandolfo's children. He caused Borghese and a younger son named Fabio to be proclaimed as rebels, while a third son, Cardinal Alphonso, was strangled by order of Leo X. in 1518. He was a tyrannical ruler, and died suddenly in 1522. In the following year Clement VII. insisted on the recall of Fabio Petrucci; but two years later a fresh popular outbreak drove him from Siena for ever. The city then placed itself under the protection of the emperor Charles V., created a magistracy of " ten conservators of the liberties of the state " (December 1524), united the different monti in one named the " monte of the reigning nobles," and, rejoicing to be rid of the last of the Petrucci, dated their public books, ab instaurata libertate year I., II., and so on.
The so-called free government subject to the empire lasted for twenty-seven years; and the desired protection of Spain weighed more and more heavily until it became a tyranny. The imperial legates and the captains of the Spanish guard in Siena crushed both government and people by continual extortions and by undue interference with the functions of the balia. Charles V. passed through Siena in 1535, and, as in all the other cities of enslaved Italy, was received with the greatest pomp; but he left neither peace nor liberty behind him. From 1527 to 1545 the city was torn by faction fights and violent revolts against the noveschi, and was the scene of frequent bloodshed, while the quarrelsomeness and bad government of the Sienese gave great dissatisfaction in Tuscany. The balia was reconstituted several times by the imperial agents—in 1530 by Don Lopez di Soria and Alphonso Piccolomini, duke of Amalfi, in 1540 by Granvella (or Granvelle) and in 1548 by Don Diego di Mendoza; but government was carried on as badly as before, and there was increased hatred of the Spanish rule. When in 1540 Don Diego announced the emperor's purpose of erecting a fortress in Siena to keep the citizens in order, the general hatred found vent in indignant remonstrance. The historian Orlando Malavolti and other special envoys were sent to the emperor in 1550 with a petition signed by more than a thousand citizens praying him to spare them so terrible a danger; but their mission failed: they returned unheard. Meanwhile Don Diego had laid the foundation of the citadel and was carrying on the work with activity. Thereupon certain Sienese citizens in Rome, headed by Aeneas Piccolomini (a kinsman of Pius II.), entered into negotiations with the agents of the French king and, having with their help collected men and money, marched on Siena and forced their way in by the new gate (now Porta Romana) on 26th July 1552. The townspeople, encouraged and reinforced by this aid from without, at once rose in revolt, and, attacking the Spanish troops, disarmed them and drove them to take refuge in the citadel (28th July). And finally by an agreement with Cosimo de' Medici, duke of Florence, the Spaniards were sent away on the 5th August 1552 and the Sienese took possession of their fortress.
The government was now reconstituted under the protection of the French agents; the balia was abolished, its very name having been rendered odious by the tyranny of Spain, and was replaced by a similar magistracy styled capitani del popolo e reggimento. Siena exulted in her recovered freedom; but her sunshine was soon clouded. First, the emperor's wrath was stirred by the influence of France in the counsels of the republic; then Cosimo, who was no less jealous of the French, conceived the design of annexing Siena to his own dominions. The first hostilities of the imperial forces in Val di Chiana (1552–1553) did little damage; but when Cosimo took the field with an army commanded by the marquis of Marignano the ruin of Siena was at hand. On 26th January Marignano captured the forts of Porta Camollia (which the whole population of Siena, including the women, had helped to construct) and invested the city. On the 2nd of August of the same year, at Marciano in Val di Chiana, he won a complete victory over the Sienese and French troops under Piero Strozzi, the Florentine exile and