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Battle of Legnano

From Academic Kids

The Battle of Legnano, fought in 1176, marked the culmination of the futile attempts of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa to dominate the Italian city states.

Frederick failed to receive expected German reinforcements, and his largely cavalry forces were eventually repulsed by the Lombard League, comprising Milan and other states loyal to the Pope. During the battle, Frederick's forces were demoralized when he was wounded and erroneously thought to have been killed. Although Frederick subsequently negotiated a favorable peace, Legnano marked the Empire's last effort to control the lands south of the Alps during his reign.

La Battaglia di Legnano is an opera (Tragedia lirica in quattro atti, a lyrical tragedy in four acts) composed in 1848 by Giuseppe Verdi on a libretto by Salvatore Cammarano. It draws its inspiration from the battle of Legnano, which had occurred 7 centuries earlier, seen in the context of the struggle for the unification of Italy, the Risorgimento, and the expulsion of Austrian rule from Northeastern Italy: a political cause fervently championed by Verdi.

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