Eugene of Savoy

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Eugene of Savoy,

1663–1736, prince of the house of SavoySavoy, house of,
dynasty of Western Europe that ruled Savoy and Piedmont from the 11th cent., the kingdom of Sicily from 1714 to 1718, the kingdom of Sardinia from 1720 to 1861, and the kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1946.
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, general in the service of the Holy Roman Empire. Born in Paris, he was the son of Eugène, comte de Soissons of the line of Savoy-Carignano, and Olympe Mancini, niece of Cardinal MazarinMazarin, Jules
, 1602–61, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, b. Italy. His original name was Giulio Mazarini. After serving in the papal army and diplomatic service and as nuncio at the French court (1634–36), he entered the service of France
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. After being refused a commission in the French army by King Louis XIV, Eugene entered (1683) the service of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I against the Ottoman Turks. He fought bravely in the relief of Vienna and then in Hungary, where he helped in the capture of Belgrade (1688). By 1697, Eugene had been appointed imperial commander in Hungary, and at Zenta he annihilated the Turkish army. Faced with opposition in Vienna, he began to take a more active part in political affairs. He became (1700) a member of the emperor's privy council and (1703) president of the imperial war council. He was the principal imperial commander in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14; see Spanish Succession, War of theSpanish Succession, War of the,
1701–14, last of the general European wars caused by the efforts of King Louis XIV to extend French power. The conflict in America corresponding to the period of the War of the Spanish Succession was known as Queen Anne's War (see French and
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). In N Italy, Eugene was victorious over the French forces under Nicolas CatinatCatinat, Nicolas
, 1637–1712, marshal of France. The son of a magistrate, he won promotion by merit rather than by wealth or descent. In the War of the Grand Alliance he commanded against Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, whom he defeated in N Italy at Staffarda (1690) and
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 and the duke of VilleroiVilleroi, François de Neufville, duc de
, 1644–1730, marshal of France and favorite of King Louis XIV. In the War of the Grand Alliance, he succeeded (1695) Marshal Luxembourg as commander in Flanders, where he was unsuccessful against King William III of England.
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. In 1704 he joined the duke of MarlboroughMarlborough, John Churchill, 1st duke of
, 1650–1722, English general and statesman, one of the greatest military commanders of history.
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 in Bavaria, and together they won the signal victory of BlenheimBlenheim, battle of,
major engagement of the War of the Spanish Succession (see Spanish Succession, War of the), fought on Aug. 13, 1704, at the village of Blenheim (Blindheim), near Höchstädt, Bavaria.
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. Returning to Italy, Eugene fought (1705) an inconclusive battle at Cassano against his cousin, Louis Joseph de VendômeVendôme, Louis Joseph, duc de
, 1654–1712, marshal of France; grandson of César de Vendôme and son of Laura Mancini. He fought in the War of the Grand Alliance.
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. His invasion of Provence (1707) was a failure, owing to the inadequacy of his forces. In 1708, Eugene again cooperated with Marlborough in Flanders; the victories of Oudenarde (1708) and Malplaquet (1709) resulted. After the conclusion (1713) of the Peace of Utrecht (see Utrecht, Peace ofUtrecht, Peace of,
series of treaties that concluded the War of the Spanish Succession. It put an end to French expansion and signaled the rise of the British Empire. By the treaty between England and France (Apr.
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) by England and France, Eugene continued to campaign on the Rhine against the French under Marshal Villars. Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI empowered him late in the year to negotiate with the war-weary French at Rastatt. The Peace of Rastatt (1714) complemented that of Utrecht. Eugene was made governor of the Austrian Netherlands (1715) and later imperial vicar in Italy. He again fought (1716–18) the Turks successfully, defeating them at Petrovaradin (1716) and at Belgrade (1717) and making possible the Austrian triumph marked by the Treaty of Passarowitz (1719). In the War of the Polish Succession, Eugene was made commander despite his advanced age. One of the greatest commanders in modern history, Prince Eugene was noted for his severe character and his hatred of Louis XIV as well as for his patronage of the arts.


See biography by N. Henderson (1965).

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