Biography of Giovanni del Agnello (¿-1387)

Italian politician born in Pisa in the first half of the 14th century and died in Genoa in 1387. In a time of decline of their city, it gave a coup that allowed him to govern as Doge of Pisa and as Governor and defender of Lucca (which depended on Pisa) for four years.

Coming from a humble family, he/she won great fame among their fellow citizens by the Fortune acquired through trade. Wealthy wool merchant and opposed to the Florentine politics, played in their city several public positions, which was noted for his moderation and good sense, what he/she did to earn the trust of the Pisans. He/She was appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Pisa and was sent to Milan, with diplomatic mission against Bernabé Visconti. But the Lord of Milan, who wanted to install a despotic government in Pisa, encouraged the ambitions of Sant'Agnello, that delivered men and money, that the 13 August 1364 was presented at the Palace of the elders and seized power. The judges of the Republic were kept prisoners and threatened with death until he/she swore her loyalty as dux of the city, new title for the Pisans.

Retained the Government's high-handed way for four years, leaning on the Visconti and the Emperor Carlos IV. He/She did rely on itself and linked under oath of fidelity officials occupying old courts. During his Government not summoned the Council, dissolved the Assembly of elders and in 1366 declared his position for life and hereditary, although at a time it had instituted it as a judiciary that is renewable annually. Giovanni de el Agnello surrounded himself with princely pomp, constituting a real court and when married in second marriage with a Da Vico, came with her triumphantly in Pisa. It had an armed guard in his palace and ordered to fortify several buildings in the city for the defense.

Hatred of fellow by the continuous looting, abusive taxes and continuous failure won in relations with Florence, which did not get it reemprendiese to trade with Pisa. Conscious of his unpopularity, in 1368 offered their support to Carlos IV in Exchange for changed him the title Doge by the imperial vicar. While the emperor was in Pisa, receiving entertainments of old Doge, it suffered an accident, falling from a podium and breaking a leg. It was the moment chosen by the people to declare rebellion against the tyrant, whose henchmen were expelled from the city along with Giovanni. For his part, Lucca was declared independent of Pisa. In the hope of return to their homeland with the help of the Emperor, dell Agnello took refuge in Milan next to the Visconti. In 1370, at a time of resurgence of the pro-florentino party in Pisa, Bernabé VIsconti helped his protégé try a hand coup to seize power again. New failure, Giovanni dell Agnello withdrew to Genoa until the end of his days.


DONATI, C. L'idea di nobilita in Italy: secoli XIV-XVIII. Rome, 1995.

LINTNER, V. history of Italy. Madrid, 1995.

ORSI, P. history of Italy. Barcelona, 1960.

ZELLER, J. history of Italy, from the invasion of the barbarians to the present day. Madrid, 1958.