Marignano, battle of

Marignano, battle of

(märēnyä`nō), 1515, in the Italian Wars, fought by Francis I of France and his Venetian allies against the Swiss Confederates, who then controlled the duchy of Milan. It was fought (Sept. 13–14) near the town of Marignano (now Melegnano), 10 mi (16.1 km) SE of Milan. One of the bloodiest engagements in the Italian WarsItalian Wars,
1494–1559, series of regional wars brought on by the efforts of the great European powers to control the small independent states of Italy. Renaissance Italy was split into numerous rival states, most of which sought foreign alliances to increase their
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, its outcome was decided by the timely arrival of Venetian cavalry. Their military ambitions broken, the Swiss made peace with Francis and negotiated (1516) the "perpetual alliance" (see SwitzerlandSwitzerland
, Fr. Suisse, Ger. Schweiz, Ital. Svizzera, officially Swiss Confederation, federal republic (2005 est. pop. 7,489,000), 15,941 sq mi (41,287 sq km), central Europe. It borders on France in the west and southwest, with the Jura Mts.
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). Described as a "battle of giants," Marignano established the superiority of artillery and cavalry over the reputedly invincible Swiss infantry tactics.
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