Caterina Sforza  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Caterina Sforza, Countess of Forlì (early 1463 – 28 May 1509) was an Italian noblewoman, the illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan and Lucrezia Landriani, the wife of the courtier Gian Piero Landriani, a close friend of the Duke.

Raised in the refined Milanese court, which in the 15th century was admired by all of Europe, Caterina later held the titles of Lady of Imola and Countess of Forlì, by her marriage to Girolamo Riario. She was also the Regent for her first-born son, Octaviano.

The descendant of a dynasty of famous condottieri, Caterina, at an early age, distinguished herself by her bold and impetuous actions that were instigated to safeguard her possessions from possible usurpers, and to uphold the military defense of her states, when they were involved in the myriad political intrigues that were a distinguishing feature of 15th century Italy.

In her private life Caterina was devoted to various activities, among which were "experiments" in alchemy and a love of hunting and dancing.

She was a devoted mother as well as a dedicated teacher to her many children, of whom only the youngest, the famous captain Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, inherited the forceful, militant character of his mother.

Following a heroic resistance on her part, she had to face the vindictive fury of Cesare Borgia, who took Caterina as his prisoner. Upon regaining her liberty following her imprisonment in Rome, she led a quiet life in Florence.

In the final years of her life, she confided to a monk: "If I were to write the story of my life, I would shock the world".

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Caterina Sforza" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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