Mastino I della Scala
Mastino I della Scala born Leonardo or Leonardino, was an Italian condottiero, who founded the Scaliger
The noble family of the Scaliger were Lords of Verona. When Ezzelino III was elected podestà of the commune in 1226, he was able to convert the office into a permanent lordship...

 house of Lords of Verona
Lords of Verona
The Lords of Verona ruled the city from 1260 until 19 October 1387 and for ten days in 1404. The lordship was created when Mastino I della Scala was raised to the rank of capitano del popolo from that of podestà...


The son of Jacopino della Scala
Jacopino della Scala
Jacopino della Scala was an Italian merchant and politician, a member of the Scaliger family of future lords of Verona.Initially he worked as wool trader, not rich and without any noble title...

, he was podestà
Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities, since the later Middle Ages, mainly as Chief magistrate of a city state , but also as a local administrator, the representative of the Emperor.The term derives from the Latin word potestas, meaning power...

of Cerea
Cerea is a town and comune in the province of Verona, Veneto, northern Italy.-History:From 923 AD until 1223 Cerea was a castrum . On 1223 Cerea it became a "comune" but, a year after, it was plundered because of the war between Mantua and Verona. A period of decadence followed, also because of the...

 in 1259, and then podestà of Verona. Ezzelino III da Romano
Ezzelino III da Romano
Ezzelino III da Romano was an Italian feudal lord in the March of Treviso who was a close ally of the emperor Frederick II and ruled Verona, Vicenza and Padua for almost two decades...

, the chief Ghibelline leader of northern Italy, died that year, and Mastino inherited his role. In 1260 he obtained the position of capitano del popolo
Capitano del popolo
The capitano del popolo was an administrative title used in Italy during the Middle Ages.It was created in the early 13th century when the populares, the increasing wealthy classes of merchants, professionals, craftsmen and, in maritime cities, ship-owners, who were of non-noble origin, were able...

("people's captain") of Verona, managing to establish a hereditary seigniory, with a generally Ghibelline stance, from 1263. In the following year he led the Veronese army to the conquest of Lonigo
Lonigo is a town and comune in the province of Vicenza, Veneto, northern Italy, its population counts around 16.000 inhabitants.In its frazione of Bagnolo is the Villa Pisani, a Renaissance patrician villa designed by Andrea Palladio, which is part of a World Heritage Site...

 and Montebello
Montebello is the name of several places:* Montebello Islands, Australia* Montebello, Quebec, Canada* Montebello della Battaglia, Pavia, Italy* Montebello, Rimini, Province of Rimini, Italy * Montebello Vicentino, Vicenza, Italy...

, menacing Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

. He was also able to shortly annex the lands of the bishop of Trent. Mastino also obtained an agreement with the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 which granted to the Veronese free access to trades on the Adige River and signed a treaty of peace with the Guelph
Guelphs and Ghibellines
The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, respectively, in central and northern Italy. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the split between these two parties was a particularly important aspect of the internal policy of the Italian city-states...

 city of Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...


In 1267, when Conradin
Conrad , called the Younger or the Boy, but usually known by the diminutive Conradin , was the Duke of Swabia , King of Jerusalem , and King of Sicily .-Early childhood:Conradin was born in Wolfstein, Bavaria, to Conrad...

, last of the Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

, descended into Italy to reconquer the Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

, Mastino allied with him. Pope Clement IV
Pope Clement IV
Pope Clement IV , born Gui Faucoi called in later life le Gros , was elected Pope February 5, 1265, in a conclave held at Perugia that took four months, while cardinals argued over whether to call in Charles of Anjou, the youngest brother of Louis IX of France...

, ally of the current King of Naples Charles I of Anjou
Charles I of Sicily
Charles I , known also as Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282...

, excommunicated Conradin and all his Ghibelline supporters, including Mastino and Verona itself. The excommunication was raised only when, a few years later, 166 Cathars captured in Sirmione
Sirmione is a comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy . It is bounded by the comunes of Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda in the province of Verona and the region of Veneto...

 were publicly burnt alive in the Arena.

During the lord's absence, a civil war broke out, spurred by the counts of San Bonifacio, who managed to capture most of Scaliger's garrisons. Mastino's brother Bocca died during the fighting. Mastino's reaction was however stiff, and he soon defeated the rebels. He also managed to impose his brother Alberto
Alberto I della Scala
Alberto I della Scala was lord of Verona from 1277, a member of the Scaliger family.The son of Jacopino della Scala, he was podestà of Mantua in 1272 and 1275. In 1277, after the assassination of his brother Mastino, inherited the seigniory of Verona.Alberto died in Verona in 1301. His son...

 as podestà of Mantua, which had been the traditional supporter of the Veronese anti-Scaliger exiles.

Mastino was assassinated in Verona in 1277 by a member of the local aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 who was averse to the rule of the Scaliger; the alleged involvement of Alberto in the conspiracy is unproven. Alberto himself was able to maintain the seigniory.


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