Margraviate of Mantua
Coat of arms
|Status||Margraviate, within the imperial Kingdom of Italy of the Holy Roman Empire|
|Common languages||Lombard – Italian|
|Margrave of Mantua|
|Gianfrancesco I (first)|
|Federico II (last)|
|Historical era||Early Modern|
|16 August 1328|
|22 September 1433|
|8 April 1530 1530|
|Currency||Zecca di Mantova|
The Marquisate or Margraviate of Mantua was a margraviate in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Constituted by the Capitano del popolo, an administrative title used in Italy during the Middle Ages.
The Marquisate of Mantua began with Gianfrancesco I Gonzaga, a member of the important House of Gonzaga, who inherited the city of Mantua in 1407, when he was only 12 years old.
The 9th century was the period of episcopal supremacy, and in the 11th the city formed part of the vast possessions of Bonifacio III, marquis of Canossa. From him it passed to Geoffrey, duke of Lorraine, and afterwards to the countess Matilda, whose support of the pope led to the conquest of Mantua by the emperor Henry IV in 1090. Reduced to obedience by Matilda in 1113, the city obtained its liberty on her death, and instituted a communal government of its own, salva imperiali justitia. It afterwards joined the Lombard League; and the unsuccessful attack made by Frederick II in 1236 brought it a confirmation of its privileges. But after a period of internal discord Ludovico Gonzaga attained to power (1328), and was recognized as imperial vicar (1329); and from that time till the death of Ferdinando Carlo in 1708 the Gonzagas were masters of Mantua under Gian Francesco II, the first Margrave, Ludovico III, Gian Francesco II (whose wife was Isabella d'Este), and Federico II, the first duke of Mantua, the city rose rapidly into importance as a seat of industry and culture. It was stormed and sacked by the Austrians in 1630, and never quite recovered.