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(färnā`zā), Italian noble family that ruled ParmaParma
, city (1991 pop. 170,520), capital of Parma prov., in Emilia-Romagna, N Italy, on the Parma River and on the Aemilian Way. It is a rich agricultural market, a transportation junction, and a major industrial center.
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 and PiacenzaPiacenza
, city (1991 pop. 102,268), capital of Piacenza prov., in Emilia-Romagna, on the Po River. It is an agricultural, commercial, and industrial center. Manufactures include agricultural machinery, chemicals, furniture, buttons, and food products.
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 from 1545 to 1731. In the 12th cent. the Farnese held several fiefs in Latium. They became one of the most prominent families in Rome and were Guelph supporters of the papacy. In 1534, Alessandro Farnese became pope as Paul IIIPaul III,
1468–1549, pope (1534–49), a Roman named Alessandro Farnese; successor of Clement VII. He was created cardinal by Alexander VI, and his influence increased steadily.
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. He used his office to aggrandize his family and in 1545 he detached lands from the papal dominions to create the duchy of Parma and Piacenza for his illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, 1503–47. Pier Luigi attacked fiscal and judicial abuses; he thereby gained the hatred of the nobility and was assassinated. His son, Ottavio Farnese, 1520–86, who succeeded him, married Margaret of Austria (see Margaret of ParmaMargaret of Parma,
1522–86, Spanish regent of the Netherlands; illegitimate daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. She was married (1536) to Alessandro de' Medici (d. 1537) and (1538) to Ottavio Farnese, duke of Parma.
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), illegitimate daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VCharles V,
1500–1558, Holy Roman emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, king of Spain (1516–56); son of Philip I and Joanna of Castile, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragón, Isabella of Castile, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Mary of Burgundy.
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. Ottavio's brother, Alessandro Farnese, 1520–89, was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. A patron of men of letters such as Pietro Bembo and of artists such as Giorgio Vasari, he oversaw the completion of the Farnese PalaceFarnese Palace,
in Rome, designed by Antonio da Sangallo (see under Sangallo) for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (Pope Paul III). It was begun before 1514 and, after the architect's death, was continued by Michelangelo and completed by Giacomo della Porta.
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 in Rome. Ottavio's son and successor was Alessandro Farnese, 1545–92, one of the great generals of his time (see Farnese, AlessandroFarnese, Alessandro
, 1545–92, duke of Parma and Piacenza (1586–92), general and diplomat in the service of Philip II of Spain. He was the son of Duke Ottavio Farnese and Margaret of Parma and thus a nephew of Philip II and of John of Austria, under whom he
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). Alessandro's son, Ranuccio I, 1569–1622, reformed the duchy's administration and judicial system and was a benefactor of education and the arts. The four dukes who succeeded Ranuccio I were less distinguished rulers, although they continued the family's patronage of the arts despite increasing economic and political troubles. The last duke of the line, Antonio, died in 1731. His niece, Elizabeth FarneseElizabeth Farnese
, 1692–1766, queen of Spain, second consort of Philip V; niece of Antonio Farnese, duke of Parma. Soon after her marriage (1714), arranged by Cardinal Alberoni and the princesse des Ursins, she gained a strong influence over her weak husband and for some
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, queen of Philip VPhilip V,
1683–1746, king of Spain (1700–1746), first Bourbon on the Spanish throne. A grandson of Louis XIV of France, he was titular duke of Anjou before Charles II of Spain designated him as his successor.
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 of Spain, secured (1748) the succession to the duchy for her son Philip, founder of the line of Bourbon-Parma (see BourbonBourbon
, European royal family, originally of France; a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty (see Capetians). One branch of the Bourbons occupies the modern Spanish throne, and other branches ruled the Two Sicilies and Parma.
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, European royal family).


See R. Solari, The House of Farnese (1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an aristocratic Italian family that ruled the duchy of Parma and Piacenza from 1545 to 1731. The origins of the Farnese family can be traced to the 12th century.

Pier-Luigi Farnese. Born 1503; died 1547. Son of Pope Paul HI. In 1545 the pope invested Farnese with the duchy of Parma and Piacenza, which was carved out of papal territory.

Alessandro Farnese. Born 1545; died 1592. Duke from 1586. Governor-general of the Spanish Netherlands from 1578.

Antonio Farnese. Born 1679; died 1731. Last duke of the Farnese line. Antonio Farnese ruled from 1727. After his death, the duchy of Parma and Piacenza passed to the Spanish Bourbons.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Alesandro . original name of (Pope) Paul III
2. Alessandro, duke of Parma and Piacenza. 1545--92, Italian general, statesman, and diplomat in the service of Philip II of Spain. As governor of the Netherlands (1578--92), he successfully suppressed revolts against Spanish rule
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Created by Roman sculptors around 225 A.D., the Farnese Sarcophagus originally was used as a coffin.
Because the theatre cannot be the Teatro Farnese as stated in the catalog description and since there is no text that identifies the theatre, production, or designers, attempts have been made to identify the production by an analysis of the scene drawings.
This historical stone was offered by the Philippine Islands to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain, wife of Philip V, great grandfather of the Count of Villafranca, current owner of that stone 6K 1/39.'
The narrative threads of these stories include the enviable patronage of the powerful Farnese family, who championed the cause of the new order and funded the building of the Gesu; the long and at times challenging campaign to suitably embellish its austere and barren interior and dedicate its principal altars; and the imperative to formulate a new imagery exalting and promoting the Order's founders, Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, following their canonization in 1622.
The Philippines' gift to Reina Elisabetta Farnese, 1714 (from Sotheby's).
In addition to the bust, which left the Gesu for the first time for Fairfield's show, a chasuble of the Gesu's benefactor Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, a bronze statuette of St.
Rhoads Industries extends their gratitude for this award to Governor Tom Wolf and his office, as well as State Representative Marie Donatucci, State Senator Larry Farnese and State Senator and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Vincent Hughes.
The orientation of the Gesu on its small piazza, its single nave plan and barrel-vaulted ceiling, and the sober, elegant fagade designed by the late Renaissance architect Giacomo della Porta (1532-1602) were all dictated by the church's powerful and imperious benefactor, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520-89), whose munificence is prominently commemorated in inscriptions on the exterior frieze and interior entrance wall.
Among the topics are translating Aristotle in 15th-century Italy: George of Trebizond and Leonardo Bruni, a knowing likeness: artists and letterati at the Farnese Court in mid-16th-century Rome, Greek antiquities and Greek histories in the late Renaissance, defining philosophy in 15th-century humanism: four case studies, and Justus Lipsius as historian of philosophy: the reception of the Manuductio ad stoicam philosophiam (1604) in the history of philosophy.
Their core is from the Farnese Collection, which includes a collection of engraved gems and the Farnese Marbles.

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