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The Duke Valentino had returned from Lombardy, where he had been to
Clear himself with the King of France from the calumnies which had been
Raised against him by the Florentines concerning the rebellion of Arezzo
And other towns in the Val di Chiana, and had arrived at Imola, whence
He intended with his army to enter upon the campaign against Giovanni
Bentivogli, the tyrant of Bologna: for he intended to bring that city
Under his domination, and to make it the head of his Romagnian duchy

These matters coming to the knowledge of the Vitelli and Orsini and
Their following, it appeared to them that the duke would become too
Powerful, and it was feared that, having seized Bologna, he would seek
To destroy them in order that he might become supreme in Italy. Upon
This a meeting was called at Magione in the district of Perugia
To which came the cardinal, Pagolo, and the Duke di Gravina Orsini
Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, Gianpagolo Baglioni, the tyrant
Of Perugia, and Messer Antonio da Venafro, sent by Pandolfo Petrucci
The Prince of Siena. Here were discussed the power and courage of the
Duke and the necessity of curbing his ambitions, which might otherwise
Bring danger to the rest of being ruined. And they decided not to
Abandon the Bentivogli, but to strive to win over the Florentines; and
They send their men to one place and another, promising to one party
Assistance and to another encouragement to unite with them against the
Common enemy. This meeting was at once reported throughout all Italy
And those who were discontented under the duke, among whom were the
People of Urbino, took hope of effecting a revolution

Thus it arose that, men's minds being thus unsettled, it was decided by
Certain men of Urbino to seize the fortress of San Leo, which was
Held for the duke, and which they captured by the following means. The
Castellan was fortifying the rock and causing timber to be taken there;
So the conspirators watched, and when certain beams which were being
Carried to the rock were upon the bridge, so that it was prevented from
Being drawn up by those inside, they took the opportunity of leaping
Upon the bridge and thence into the fortress. Upon this capture being
Effected, the whole state rebelled and recalled the old duke, being
Encouraged in this, not so much by the capture of the fort, as by the
Diet at Magione, from whom they expected to get assistance

Those who heard of the rebellion at Urbino thought they would not lose
The opportunity, and at once assembled their men so as to take any town
Should any remain in the hands of the duke in that state; and they sent
Again to Florence to beg that republic to join with them in destroying
The common firebrand, showing that the risk was lessened and that they
Ought not to wait for another opportunity

But the Florentines, from hatred, for sundry reasons, of the Vitelli and
Orsini, not only would not ally themselves, but sent Nicolo Machiavelli
Their secretary, to offer shelter and assistance to the duke against
His enemies. The duke was found full of fear at Imola, because, against
Everybody's expectation, his soldiers had at once gone over to the
Enemy and he found himself disarmed and war at his door. But recovering
Courage from the offers of the Florentines, he decided to temporize
Before fighting with the few soldiers that remained to him, and to
Negotiate for a reconciliation, and also to get assistance. This latter
He obtained in two ways, by sending to the King of France for men and by
Enlisting men-at-arms and others whom he turned into cavalry of a sort:
To all he gave money

Notwithstanding this, his enemies drew near to him, and approached
Fossombrone, where they encountered some men of the duke and, with the
Aid of the Orsini and Vitelli, routed them. When this happened, the duke
Resolved at once to see if he could not close the trouble with offers of
Reconciliation, and being a most perfect dissembler he did not fail in
Any practices to make the insurgents understand that he wished every man
Who had acquired anything to keep it, as it was enough for him to have
The title of prince, whilst others might have the principality

And the duke succeeded so well in this that they sent Signor Pagolo to
Him to negotiate for a reconciliation, and they brought their army to a
Standstill. But the duke did not stop his preparations, and took
Every care to provide himself with cavalry and infantry, and that such
Preparations might not be apparent to the others, he sent his troops in
Separate parties to every part of the Romagna. In the meanwhile there
Came also to him five hundred French lancers, and although he found
Himself sufficiently strong to take vengeance on his enemies in open
War, he considered that it would be safer and more advantageous
To outwit them, and for this reason he did not stop the work of

And that this might be effected the duke concluded a peace with them in
Which he confirmed their former covenants; he gave them four thousand
Ducats at once; he promised not to injure the Bentivogli; and he formed
An alliance with Giovanni; and moreover he would not force them to come
Personally into his presence unless it pleased them to do so. On the
Other hand, they promised to restore to him the duchy of Urbino and
Other places seized by them, to serve him in all his expeditions, and
Not to make war against or ally themselves with any one without his

This reconciliation being completed, Guido Ubaldo, the Duke of Urbino
Again fled to Venice, having first destroyed all the fortresses in
His state; because, trusting in the people, he did not wish that the
Fortresses, which he did not think he could defend, should be held by
The enemy, since by these means a check would be kept upon his friends
But the Duke Valentino, having completed this convention, and dispersed
His men throughout the Romagna, set out for Imola at the end of November
Together with his French men-at-arms: thence he went to Cesena, where he
Stayed some time to negotiate with the envoys of the Vitelli and Orsini
Who had assembled with their men in the duchy of Urbino, as to the
Enterprise in which they should now take part; but nothing being
Concluded, Oliverotto da Fermo was sent to propose that if the duke
Wished to undertake an expedition against Tuscany they were ready; if
He did not wish it, then they would besiege Sinigalia. To this the duke
Replied that he did not wish to enter into war with Tuscany, and thus
Become hostile to the Florentines, but that he was very willing to
Proceed against Sinigalia

It happened that not long afterwards the town surrendered, but the
Fortress would not yield to them because the castellan would not give
It up to any one but the duke in person; therefore they exhorted him
To come there. This appeared a good opportunity to the duke, as, being
Invited by them, and not going of his own will, he would awaken no
Suspicions. And the more to reassure them, he allowed all the French
Men-at-arms who were with him in Lombardy to depart, except the hundred
Lancers under Mons. di Candales, his brother-in-law. He left Cesena
About the middle of December, and went to Fano, and with the utmost
Cunning and cleverness he persuaded the Vitelli and Orsini to wait for
Him at Sinigalia, pointing out to them that any lack of compliance would
Cast a doubt upon the sincerity and permanency of the reconciliation
And that he was a man who wished to make use of the arms and councils of
His friends. But Vitellozzo remained very stubborn, for the death of
His brother warned him that he should not offend a prince and afterwards
Trust him; nevertheless, persuaded by Pagolo Orsini, whom the duke had
Corrupted with gifts and promises, he agreed to wait

Upon this the duke, before his departure from Fano, which was to be
On 30th December 1502, communicated his designs to eight of his most
Trusted followers, among whom were Don Michele and the Monsignor d'Euna
Who was afterwards cardinal; and he ordered that, as soon as Vitellozzo
Pagolo Orsini, the Duke di Gravina, and Oliverotto should arrive, his
Followers in pairs should take them one by one, entrusting certain
Men to certain pairs, who should entertain them until they reached
Sinigalia; nor should they be permitted to leave until they came to the
Duke's quarters, where they should be seized

The duke afterwards ordered all his horsemen and infantry, of which
There were more than two thousand cavalry and ten thousand footmen, to
Assemble by daybreak at the Metauro, a river five miles distant from
Fano, and await him there. He found himself, therefore, on the last day
Of December at the Metauro with his men, and having sent a cavalcade
Of about two hundred horsemen before him, he then moved forward the
Infantry, whom he accompanied with the rest of the men-at-arms

Fano and Sinigalia are two cities of La Marca situate on the shore of
The Adriatic Sea, fifteen miles distant from each other, so that he who
Goes towards Sinigalia has the mountains on his right hand, the bases
Of which are touched by the sea in some places. The city of Sinigalia is
Distant from the foot of the mountains a little more than a bow-shot
And from the shore about a mile. On the side opposite to the city runs
A little river which bathes that part of the walls looking towards Fano
Facing the high road. Thus he who draws near to Sinigalia comes for
A good space by road along the mountains, and reaches the river which
Passes by Sinigalia. If he turns to his left hand along the bank of it
And goes for the distance of a bow-shot, he arrives at a bridge which
Crosses the river; he is then almost abreast of the gate that leads into
Sinigalia, not by a straight line, but transversely. Before this gate
There stands a collection of houses with a square to which the bank of
The river forms one side

The Vitelli and Orsini having received orders to wait for the duke, and
To honour him in person, sent away their men to several castles distant
From Sinigalia about six miles, so that room could be made for the men
Of the duke; and they left in Sinigalia only Oliverotto and his band
Which consisted of one thousand infantry and one hundred and fifty
Horsemen, who were quartered in the suburb mentioned above. Matters
Having been thus arranged, the Duke Valentino left for Sinigalia, and
When the leaders of the cavalry reached the bridge they did not pass
Over, but having opened it, one portion wheeled towards the river and
The other towards the country, and a way was left in the middle through
Which the infantry passed, without stopping, into the town

Vitellozzo, Pagolo, and the Duke di Gravina on mules, accompanied by a
Few horsemen, went towards the duke; Vitellozo, unarmed and wearing a
Cape lined with green, appeared very dejected, as if conscious of his
Approaching death--a circumstance which, in view of the ability of the
Man and his former fortune, caused some amazement. And it is said that
When he parted from his men before setting out for Sinigalia to meet the
Duke he acted as if it were his last parting from them. He recommended
His house and its fortunes to his captains, and advised his nephews that
It was not the fortune of their house, but the virtues of their fathers
That should be kept in mind. These three, therefore, came before
The duke and saluted him respectfully, and were received by him with
Goodwill; they were at once placed between those who were commissioned
To look after them

But the duke noticing that Oliverotto, who had remained with his band in
Sinigalia, was missing--for Oliverotto was waiting in the square before
His quarters near the river, keeping his men in order and drilling
Them--signalled with his eye to Don Michelle, to whom the care of
Oliverotto had been committed, that he should take measures that
Oliverotto should not escape. Therefore Don Michele rode off and joined
Oliverotto, telling him that it was not right to keep his men out of
Their quarters, because these might be taken up by the men of the duke;
And he advised him to send them at once to their quarters and to come
Himself to meet the duke. And Oliverotto, having taken this advice, came
Before the duke, who, when he saw him, called to him; and Oliverotto
Having made his obeisance, joined the others

So the whole party entered Sinigalia, dismounted at the duke's quarters
And went with him into a secret chamber, where the duke made them
Prisoners; he then mounted on horseback, and issued orders that the men
Of Oliverotto and the Orsini should be stripped of their arms. Those of
Oliverotto, being at hand, were quickly settled, but those of the Orsini
And Vitelli, being at a distance, and having a presentiment of the
Destruction of their masters, had time to prepare themselves, and
Bearing in mind the valour and discipline of the Orsinian and Vitellian
Houses, they stood together against the hostile forces of the country
And saved themselves

But the duke's soldiers, not being content with having pillaged the
Men of Oliverotto, began to sack Sinigalia, and if the duke had
Not repressed this outrage by killing some of them they would have
Completely sacked it. Night having come and the tumult being silenced
The duke prepared to kill Vitellozzo and Oliverotto; he led them into
A room and caused them to be strangled.
Neither of them used words in
Keeping with their past lives: Vitellozzo prayed that he might ask of
The pope full pardon for his sins; Oliverotto cringed and laid the blame
For all injuries against the duke on Vitellozzo. Pagolo and the Duke di
Gravina Orsini were kept alive until the duke heard from Rome that the
Pope had taken the Cardinal Orsino, the Archbishop of Florence, and
Messer Jacopo da Santa Croce. After which news, on 18th January 1502, in
The castle of Pieve, they also were strangled in the same way

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