Duchy of Modena and Reggio

The Duchy of Modena and Reggio (Italian: Ducato di Modena e Reggio, Latin: Ducatus Mutinae et Regii) was a small northwestern Italian state that existed from 1452 to 1859, with a break during the Napoleonic Wars (1796–1814) when Emperor Napoleon I reorganized the states and republics of renaissance-era Italy, then under the domination of his French Empire.[1] It was ruled from 1814 by the noble House of Este, of Austria-Este.

Duchy of Modena and Reggio

Ducato di Modena e Reggio  (Italian)
Ducatus Mutinae et Regii  (Latin)
Flag of Modena and Reggio
Coat of arms of Modena and Reggio
Coat of arms
Motto: Dextera Domini exaltavit me
"The right hand of the Lord is exalted"
Anthem: (from 1814)
Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser
"God Save Emperor Francis"
The Duchy of Modena and Reggio in 1815
The Duchy of Modena and Reggio in 1815
StatusFiefdom of the Holy Roman Empire
Common languagesLatin, Italian
• 1452–1471
Borso (first)
• 1846–1859
Francesco V (last)
Historical eraEarly modern era
• Created
• Re-established
• Merged to form the United Provinces of Central Italy
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Italy (medieval)
Duchy of Mirandola
County of Novellara and Bagnolo
Duchy of Ferrara
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)
Cispadane Republic
United Provinces of Central Italy
Today part of Italy

House of Este

In 1452 Emperor Frederick III offered the duchy to Borso d'Este, whose family had ruled the city of Modena and nearby Reggio Emilia for centuries. Borso in 1450 had also succeeded his brother as margrave in the adjacent Papal Duchy of Ferrara, where he received the ducal title in 1471. The Este lands on the southern border of the Holy Roman Empire with the Papal States formed a stabilizing buffer state in the interest of both.

The first Este dukes ruled well and the city achieved an economic and cultural peak: Borso's successor Duke Ercole I had the city of Modena rebuilt according to plans designed by Biagio Rossetti, his successors were patrons of artists like Titian and Ludovico Ariosto. In the War of the League of Cambrai from 1508, troops from Modena fought in Papal service against the Republic of Venice. Upon the death of Duke Alfonso II in 1597, the ducal line became extinct. The Este lands were bequested to Alfonso's cousin Cesare d'Este; however, the succession was not acknowledged by Pope Clement VIII and Ferrara was finally seized by the Papacy. Cesare could retain Modena and Reggio as Imperial fiefs.

In the 1628 War of the Mantuan Succession, the dukes of Modena sided with Habsburg Spain and in turn received the town of Correggio from the hands of Emperor Ferdinand II. During the War of the Spanish Succession, Duke Rinaldo was ousted by French troops under Louis Joseph de Bourbon, he could not return until 1707. In 1711 the small Duchy of Mirandola was absorbed by the Este. His successor Francesco III backed France in the 1740 War of the Austrian Succession, and was expelled by Habsburg forces, but his duchy was restored by the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

In 1796 Modena was again occupied by a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte, who deposed Duke Ercole III and created the Cispadane Republic out of his territory. By the 1801 Treaty of Lunéville, the last Este Duke was compensated with the Breisgau region of the former Further Austrian territories in southwestern Germany, and died in 1803. Following his death, the ducal title was inherited by his son-in-law, the Habsburg-Lorraine archduke Ferdinand of Austria, an uncle of Emperor Francis II.

House of Austria-Este

With the dissolution of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1814, following the final fall of Emperor Napoleon I after the Battle of Waterloo, Ferdinand's son, Francis IV, again assumed the rule as Duke of Modena under the domination of the Austrian Empire (1815). Soon after, he inherited the territories of Massa and Carrara from his mother. In the course of the Italian unification period in the 1830s-60s, the "Austria-Este" dukes were briefly ousted in the revolutions of 1831 and 1848, but soon returned.

During the Second Italian War of Independence (April to July, 1859) following the Battle of Magenta, the last Duke Francis V was again forced to flee, this time permanently. In December, Modena joined with the Tuscany and the Parma to form the "United Provinces of Central Italy", which were annexed to the growing Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in March 1860, which led the Italian unification movement, which further led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Provinces of the Duchy before the dissolution

Traditional titles

The Duke of Modena was:[2]

Knighthood orders

The Duke of Modena, since Francis V, was Grand Master of the :

See also


  1. ^ Trudy Ring; Robert M. Salkin; Sharon La Boda (1 January 1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe. Taylor & Francis. pp. 446–. ISBN 978-1-884964-02-2. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  2. ^ Modena Ducale – Associazione "Legittimismo Estense"
  3. ^ Star Archived May 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine;
  4. ^ Sash & Star
Benedetta d'Este

Benedetta Maria Ernestina d'Este (born in Modena, 18 August 1697; died in Sassuolo, 17 September 1777) was a noblewoman and princess of the Duchy of Modena and Reggio.

Cassa di Risparmio di Carrara

Cassa di Risparmio di Carrara S.p.A. was an Italian saving bank based in Carrara, Tuscany. The bank was absorbed by the parent company Banca Carige in 2015.

Cassa di Risparmio di Reggio Emilia

Cassa di Risparmio di Reggio Emilia S.p.A. (Carire) was an Italian bank based in Reggio Emilia. The bank merged with Banca Popolare di Brescia in 1999.

According to Mediobanca, the bank was ranked 45th in terms of client deposits in 1998 (€1,905,209 thousands).

Ciro Menotti

Ciro Menotti (22 January 1798 – 23 May 1831) was an Italian patriot.

County of Novellara and Bagnolo

The County of Novellara and Bagnolo (Italian: Contea di Novellara e Bagnolo) was an independent state which existed in Northern Italy from 1371 to 1728. It was ruled for some three centuries and a half by the Gonzaga of Novellara branch of the eponymous large Italian noble family.

Ducal Palace of Modena

The Ducal Palace of Modena is a Baroque palace in Modena, Italy. It was the residence of the Este Dukes of Modena between 1452 and 1859. It currently houses a portion of the Italian Military Academy.

Ducal Palace of Sassuolo

The Ducal Palace in Sassuolo is a Baroque villa located in the town of Sassuolo, near Modena, northern Italy.

Duchy of Guastalla

The Duchy of Guastalla was an Italian state which existed between 1621 and 1748. It was bordered by the Duchy of Modena and Reggio and the Po River to the north, on the opposite bank of the Duchy of Mantua.

Duchy of Massa and Carrara

The Duchy of Massa and Carrara was the duchy that controlled the towns of Massa di Carrara and Carrara; the area is now part of unified Italy, but retains its local identity as the province of Massa-Carrara.

Duchy of Mirandola

The Duchy of Mirandola was a state which existed in Italy from 1310 until 1711, centered in Mirandola (in what is now the province of Modena) and ruled by the Pico family.

Duchy of Reggio

The Duchy of Reggio was one of the states that belonged to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, ruled by the House of Este, in the north of Italy, in a territory now belonging to the Province of Reggio Emilia. The capital was Reggio.

The perimeter of the duchy was from the Apennines to the river Po. The ancient borders were with the County of Novellara and Bagnolo (ruled by a branch of the House of Gonzaga), and the County of Guastalla, the Principality of Correggio, the Duchy of Modena and Garfagnana, all ruled by the dukes of Este. Other neighbour states were those of Lucca, Tuscany, the Duchy of Parma and the Marquisate of Mantua.

Francesco Selmi

Francesco Selmi (7 April 1817 – 13 August 1881) was an Italian chemist and patriot, one of the founders of colloid chemistry.

Selmi was born in Vignola, then part of the Duchy of Modena and Reggio. He became head of a chemistry laboratory in Modena in 1840, and a professor of chemical pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Bologna in 1867. He published the first systematic study of inorganic colloids, in particular silver chloride, Prussian blue, and sulfur, in the period 1845–50.

He died in Vignola on 13 August 1881.

Italian scudo

The scudo (pl. scudi) was the name for a number of coins used in various states in the Italian peninsula until the 19th century. The name, like that of the French écu and the Spanish and Portuguese escudo, was derived from the Latin scutum ("shield"). From the 16th century, the name was used in Italy for large silver coins. Sizes varied depending on the issuing country.

First scudo d'argento (silver shield) was issued in 1551 by Charles V (1519–1556) in Milan.Under Maria Theresa and Joseph II the scudo d'argento had a weight of 23.10 g and a fineness of 896/1000.In the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia (under the control of the Habsburg Austrian Empire), the Lombardy-Venetia scudo was equivalent to the Conventionsthaler and was subdivided into six lire.

Before the Napoleonic Wars, the lira was subdivided into 20 soldi, each of 12 denari. Later, the lira was made up of 100 centesimi.

When Austria-Hungary decimalized in 1857, the scudo was replaced by the florin at a rate of 2 florin = 1 scudo. Coins of ½ and 1 soldo were issued, equal to ½ and 1 kreuzer, for use in Lombardy and Venetia.

In the Papal States, the Papal States scudo was the currency until 1866. It was divided into 100 baiocchi (sing. baiocco), each of 5 quattrini. It was replaced by the lira, equal to the Italian lira.

The Duchy of Modena and Reggio also issued scudi, worth four lire or one third of a tallero.

In Malta under the Order of St John, the Maltese scudo circulated from the 16th century until the Order was expelled in 1798. The currency remained the official currency of Malta until 1825 and the last coins were removed from circulation in 1886. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta has issued coins denominated in scudi since 1961.

List of historic states of Italy

Italy, up until the Italian unification in 1860, was a conglomeration of city-states, republics, and other independent entities. The following is a list of the various Italian states during that period.

Order of the Eagle of Este

The Order of the Eagle of Este is a knighthood order of the dynastic house of Duchy of Modena and Reggio, a former sovereign state before the Italian unification.

The Order was instituted on 27 December 1855 by Francis V of Modena, Duke of Modena & Reggio, to reward the services and the merits of faithful civilians and officers. The order was established under the protection (patronage) of Saint Contardo of Este, a founder's ancestor in maternal line (House of Este) & protector of Modena.

Paris Declaration Respecting Maritime Law

The Paris Declaration Respecting Maritime Law of 16 April 1856 was a diplomatic policy agreed to by 55 nations. Written by France and Great Britain, its primary goal was to abolish privateering, whereby a belligerent party gave formal permission for armed privately owned ships to seize enemy vessels. It also regulated the relationship between neutral and belligerent and shipping on the high seas introducing new prize rules. They agreed on three major points: free ships make free goods, effective blockade, and no privateering. In return for surrendering the practice of seizing neutral goods on enemy ships, France insisted on Britain's abandoning its Rule of 1756 prohibiting neutral assumption of enemy coastal and colonial trade.

Sant'Agostino, Modena

Sant'Agostino is a Roman Catholic parish church located on Piazza Sant'Agostino in central Modena, Italy.

Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)

The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748, sometimes called the Treaty of Aachen, ended the War of the Austrian Succession following a congress assembled on 24 April 1748 at the Free Imperial City of Aachen, called Aix-la-Chapelle in French and then also in English, in the west of the Holy Roman Empire. The resulting treaty was signed on 18 October 1748 by Great Britain, France, and the Dutch Republic. Two implementation treaties were signed at Nice on 4 December 1748 and 21 January 1749 by Austria, Spain, Sardinia, Modena, and Genoa.

United Provinces of Central Italy

The United Provinces of Central Italy, also known as Confederation of Central Italy or General Government of Central Italy, was a short-lived military government established by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. It was formed by a union of the former Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Duchy of Parma, Duchy of Modena, and the Papal Legations, after their monarchs were ousted by popular revolutions.

Since August 1859, the pro-Piedmontese regimes of Tuscany, Parma, Modena and the Papal Legations entered into a group of military treaties. On 7 November 1859, they elected Eugenio Emanuele di Savoia-Carignano as their regent. However, King Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, who was allied to France which claimed a counterpart, refused to endorse the election, and sent Carlo Bon Compagni instead as the Governor General of Central Italy, who was responsible for the diplomatic and military affairs of the states.

On 8 December 1859, Parma, Modena and the Papal Legations were incorporated into the Royal Provinces of Emilia. After plebiscites were held in March 1860, and France was granted Nice and Savoy, the territory was formally annexed to Piedmont-Sardinia.

Princes of Modena
1st generation
2nd generation
3rd generation
4th generation
5th generation
6th generation
7th generation
8th generation
9th generation
10th generation
11th generation
Princesses of Modena
1st generation
2nd generation
3rd generation
4th generation
5th generation
6th generation
7th generation
8th generation
9th generation
10th generation
11th generation
12th generation
1st generation
2nd generation
3rd generation
4th generation
5th generation
6th generation
7th generation
8th generation
9th generation
10th generation
11th generation
12th generation
Etruscan civilization
Ancient Rome
Early Modern
French Revolutionary
and Napoleonic eras

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