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Mccxxv

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Chapter Summary

On Monday morning, 23 September 1325, the captain-general of Florence, Ramón de Cardona, led a weary Guelf army down a dusty Tuscan road to the town of Altopascio, some fifteen kilometers to the southeast of Lucca. The twin disasters at Altopascio and Zapolino signaled a turningpoint in the papacy’s twenty-year struggle to restore order to the Italian peninsula. From early in his pontificate, John XXII determined to do whatever was necessary to pacify Italy. The papacy’s principal opponent in Tuscany was Castruccio Castracani, a larger-than-life and supremely gifted man who had risen from early exile and political ruin to become one of the greatest princes of early fourteenth-century Italy. To address the problems that pervaded this central Italian theater, John XXII turned to Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini.

Keywords: Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini; John XXII; MCCXXV; Ramón de Cardona

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