A skilled mercenary who fought for Filippo Visconti, the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza married Visconti's daughter in 1441. When Visconti died, Sforza used his military prowess and his marriage to seize control of the state, installing himself as Duke of Milan. Machiavelli cites Sforza as a ruler who successfully gained and preserved his power through prowess.
The timeline below shows where the character Francesco Sforza appears in The Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...by previously unknown rulers. Some new principalities are "completely new," as was the case with Francesco Sforza , who rose from private citizen to Duke of Milan. Others are only partly new... (full context)
...armies. By contrast, the Carthaginians were nearly ruined by their reliance on mercenaries. Machiavelli offers Francesco Sforza as a modern example of the danger of mercenary troops, recounting how Sforza, a mercenary... (full context)