Carroccio

carrociowaggon
A Carroccio (carrocc) was a large four-wheeled wagon bearing the city signs around which the militia of the medieval communes gathered and fought.wikipedia
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Company of Death

Knights of Death
The Carroccio was the protagonist in the battle of Legnano (29 May 1176), during which he was defended, according to legend, by the Company of Death, led, according to popular tradition, by Alberto da Giussano, a fictional character who actually appeared only in literary works of the following century.
The Company of Death (Compagnia della Morte in Italian) is the name used in the historical literature of English language for two related chosen tactical corps, two selected bands of warriors, entrusted to guarantee the cohesiveness and efficiency in battle of both the Milanese and Lombard League's militias through their bond by oath to the defence of the Milanese Carroccio, the wagon on which the standard of the Lombard allies stood.

Basilica of San Simpliciano

San SimplicianoBasilica of St. SimplicianBasilica di San Simpliciano
According to the legend, during the fight, three doves out of the burials of the saints Sisinnio, Martirio and Alessandro at the basilica of San Simpliciano in Milan rested on the Carroccio causing the flight of Frederick Barbarossa.
In 1176 the church became famous when, according to the legend, the bodies of the martyrs housed here flew as doves to the field of Legnano, landing on the City's Carroccio, (a ceremonial war waggon) as a sign of the imminent victory against Frederick Barbarossa's army.

Olona

Olona RiverOlona Valleyriver Olona
This would suggest that the Carroccio was located on the edge of a steep slope flanking the river Olona, so that the imperial cavalry, whose arrival was planned by Castellanza along the river, would have been forced to attack the center of the army of the Lombard League going up the escarpment : this decision later proved to be strategically incorrect, given that Frederick Barbarossa came instead from Borsano, or from the opposite side, which forced the municipal troops to resist around the Carroccio with the escape road blocked by the Olona.
The Carroccio, escorted by hundreds of knights, was placed along an escarpment flanking the Olona with the aim of having a natural defense on at least one side.

San Giorgio su Legnano

San Giorgio
Considering the last hypothesis mentioned, the final clash could also have taken place on part of the territory now belonging to the contrade of Sant'Ambrogio and San Magno (between the quartier of "Costa di San Giorgio" and the Olona is still present a steep slope: this slope was later included in the Castello park) and to the municipality of San Giorgio su Legnano.
One of the chronicles of the famous battle (May 29, 1176), the Annales of Cologne, contains information indicating where the Carroccio was probably, and therefore where plausibly the battle would be fought: so that no warrior could withdraw, the Lombardi "aut vincere aut mori parati, grandi fossa suum exercitum circumdederunt", i.e. "ready to win or die in the field, placed their army inside a large pit".

Battle of the Standard

Battle of NorthallertonThe Battle of the Standard
Similar cart-mounted standards were also to be found elsewhere in Europe, at the Battle of the Standard (1138), employed by the English, and at the Battle of Sirmium (1167), employed by the Hungarians.
This cart-mounted standard was a very northerly example of a type of standard common in contemporary Italy, where it was known as a carroccio.

Altar

high altarHoly Tablealtars
Defended by selected troops, paved with the colors of the municipality, it was generally pulled by oxen and carried an altar, a bell (called "martinella"), an antenna on which a Christian cross and the city signs.
The ultimate example is the carroccio of the medieval Italian city states, which was a four-wheeled mobile shrine pulled by oxen and sporting a flagpole and a bell.

Battle of Legnano

Legnanobattles of Legnanodefeat at Legnano
The Carroccio was the protagonist in the battle of Legnano (29 May 1176), during which he was defended, according to legend, by the Company of Death, led, according to popular tradition, by Alberto da Giussano, a fictional character who actually appeared only in literary works of the following century.
For this reason, the Carroccio, the emblem of the autonomy of the municipalities belonging to the Lombard League carrying the cross of Aribert, escorted by a few hundred men of the League, was transferred from Milan to Legnano, leaving from the capital of Milan from Porta Romana, and then up the Olona to its final destination.

Alberto da Giussano

The Carroccio was the protagonist in the battle of Legnano (29 May 1176), during which he was defended, according to legend, by the Company of Death, led, according to popular tradition, by Alberto da Giussano, a fictional character who actually appeared only in literary works of the following century.
The three birds then leaned on the Carroccio during the battle causing the escape of Barbarossa.

Cremona

CremoneseCremona, Italy Cremonese
In the mid-13th century the Carroccio di Cremona was instead captured in battle by the municipal militias of Parma.
Its army, under the command of Umberto Pallavicino, captured Parma's carroccio and for centuries kept the enemy's trousers hanging from the Cathedral's ceiling as a sign of the rival's humiliation.

Aribert (archbishop of Milan)

AribertAriberto da IntimianoAribert, Archbishop of Milan
Its function became purely symbolic, with the addition of the cross, of the city signs, of the altar and with its preservation in the main church of the city in a detectable moment between 1037 and 1039 thanks to the Archbishop of Milan Aribert, who imposed his use in one of the sieges that Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor did on several occasions in Milan.
That year, he held up the Carroccio as the symbol of Milan and soon it was the symbol of all the Tuscan cities as far as Rome.

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor

Frederick IIEmperor Frederick IIFrederick II of Hohenstaufen
The Carroccio of the Lombard League was captured by the imperials in 1237 during the battle of Cortenuova, donated to Pope Gregory IX by the emperor Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and transported to the Palazzo Senatorio in Rome in what is still called the Sala del Carroccio ("Room of Carroccio"), where the commemorative inscription of the gift is kept made by the emperor to the Roman people.
Frederick celebrated it with a triumph in Cremona in the manner of an ancient Roman emperor, with the captured carroccio (later sent to the commune of Rome) and an elephant.

Battle of Cortenuova

battle in Cortenuovabattle of Cortenovabattlefield at Cortenuova
The Carroccio of the Lombard League was captured by the imperials in 1237 during the battle of Cortenuova, donated to Pope Gregory IX by the emperor Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and transported to the Palazzo Senatorio in Rome in what is still called the Sala del Carroccio ("Room of Carroccio"), where the commemorative inscription of the gift is kept made by the emperor to the Roman people.
At Cortenuova, other Milanese and troops from Alessandria had amassed around their Carroccio, where the Lombards fought valiantly under the Saracen arrows and the Teutonic charges.

Palio di Legnano

In the same year of the discovery, it was paraded during the historical procession of the Palio di Legnano.
The estimated 50,000 pounds included 35,000 pounds to be used to pay the loan for 400 medieval clothes, and 15,000 pounds for horses destined for horse racing and for the oxen that should have pulled the copy of the Carroccio.

Battle of Altopascio

AltopascioFlorence's defeat
The Florentine carroccio was captured by the Ghibelline forces of Castruccio Castracani in the 1325 Battle of Altopascio, after which it was displayed by the victors in a triumph held in the streets of Lucca.
For his victory, he was granted the title of Duke of Lucca by Emperor Louis IV and the city offered him a veritable Roman Triumph, in which the Florentine carroccio was shown in the streets.

Battle of Montaperti

MontapertiMontaperti in 1260
Inside the Siena Cathedral, on the other hand, two large 10-15 meter spars are preserved, which traditionally refers to the Carroccio, victorious from the battle of Montaperti.
The first division, led by Count d'Arras, the seneschal of Count Giordano (the German mercenary commander) consisted of 200 German knights and 200 Sienese crossbowmen, who maneuvered unseen south of the battlefield around the Monselvoli-Costaberci Ridge and took up a position south of Monselvoli Hill along the road to Asciano with orders to charge the Guelfs upon hearing the Ghibellines shout “San Giorgio" ("Saint George"). The second division, led by the German commander, Count Giordano d'Agliano made up the vanguard of the Sienese main body and consisted of 600 German knights and 600 infantry. The third division, led by the captain of the Sienese forces, Count Aldobrandino Aldobrandeschi, formed the main body of the Ghibelline army, consisting of about 600 Tuscan knights and 17,000 Sienese and allied infantry. The fourth division, commanded by Niccolò da Bigozzi, centurion of the Terzo di Camollia, made up the rearguard with the specific task of guarding the Sienese carroccio, and consisted of 200 Sienese knights and a few hundred armed priests and monks.

Battle of Sirmium

a decisive battleBattle of Syrmia (1167)Battle of Zemun
Similar cart-mounted standards were also to be found elsewhere in Europe, at the Battle of the Standard (1138), employed by the English, and at the Battle of Sirmium (1167), employed by the Hungarians.
The Byzantines captured the main Hungarian standard, which was mounted on an oxen-drawn wagon similar to the Italian carroccio.

Legnano

Legnano, ItalyItalian town
The Battle of Legnano was crucial in the long war waged by the Holy Roman German Empire to try to assert its power over the municipalities of northern Italy, who decided to put aside each other's rivalries by allied themselves in a military-led union symbolically by Pope Alexander III, the Lombard League, whose symbol was the Carroccio.

Stadio Giovanni Mari

Giovanni Mari
The stadium in Via Pisacane, before the horse race, is the scene of the last phase of the historical parade as well as the preparatory events for the horse race, such as the honors to the Carroccio and the charge of the figurants who impersonate the Compagnia della Morte; this assault was made, according to legend, by the military structure led by Alberto da Giussano during the battle of Legnano.

Wagon

wagonsdraydrays
A Carroccio (carrocc) was a large four-wheeled wagon bearing the city signs around which the militia of the medieval communes gathered and fought.

Gonfalon

gonfalonegonfanongonfalon of state
A Carroccio (carrocc) was a large four-wheeled wagon bearing the city signs around which the militia of the medieval communes gathered and fought.

Militia

militiasmilitiamenhome guard militia
A Carroccio (carrocc) was a large four-wheeled wagon bearing the city signs around which the militia of the medieval communes gathered and fought.

Medieval commune

communefree communecommunes
A Carroccio (carrocc) was a large four-wheeled wagon bearing the city signs around which the militia of the medieval communes gathered and fought.

Lombardy

LombardLombardiaLombardy Region
It was particularly common among the Lombard, Tuscan and, more generally, northern Italian municipalities.

Tuscany

TuscanToscanaTuscany, Italy
It was particularly common among the Lombard, Tuscan and, more generally, northern Italian municipalities.