We follow Queen Joanna of Naples as she goes through three more husbands, ever searching for the right one, but getting ambitious power grabbing insensitive men or total nut jobs until she finally settles on the one who will see her to her end. Meanwhile she will guide the kingdom of Naples through the Sicilian question, rebellions, the plague, warring bandits and the great Western schism.
We see how Mastino Della Scala of Verona continues with his father Cangrande’s expansionist policy taking over neighbouring cities in northern Italy. This starts to get on the nerves of some of the bigger players, such as Florence, Venice and Milan who end up forming a coalition against the Della Scala. The coalition wins out and in the aftermath, although the Della Scala are not completely done for, their hopes for expansion are and Milan Florence and Venice can get to consolidating their external and internal situations.
While everyone (the Pope, the king of France, Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence etc.) is manoeuvring in northern Italy along comes an unexpected king, John of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia. Will he be able to unite the northern cities?
As we really dig into the 14th century, we look at an overview of the different ways in which the communes turned into the signorie, cities and groups of cities ruled over by a single hereditary ruler.
The website mentioned in the episode RESCI, the catalogue of the signorie in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries can be found here:
We go back over around 50 years from the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II to beyond 1300 to retrace the steps of the kingdom of Sicily, the war of the Sicilian Vespers, the northern communes and maritime republics as well as looking over at Sardinia and keeping an eye as always on the papacy.