I was researching the Pataria movement in Milan that began around 1045. I found mention of a compromise of Milan in 1044. This got me interested in these earlier events. The only information that I can find is in this link:

  1. 1041 The people of Milan, headed by Lanzo, drive the nobles out of Milan

  2. 1044 Peace restored in Milan

Historian's history of the World

What are the details of this conflict? Was prince-bishop Aribert involved? Is it connected to relations with Germany, like Conrad's siege of Milan in 1039?

Added 4/11: Semipaiscuba has provided a source, but it leaves me with questions. The events were the result of a revolt in 1035 that compelled Conrad to grant the "lesser nobles" the same status as the nobles. It appears that these lesser nobles kicked out the greater nobles in 1041. What I'm confused about is that it begins to describe mercantile and artisinal groups later on in the conflict. I think the explanation for this is on wikipedia, but I would like more information about their relationship, if both comprised the rebels.

In the political arena of Italy, power was disputed between the great territorial magnates— the capitanei— with their vassal captains and the lesser nobility— the valvassores— allied with the burghers of the Italian communes. -Aribert Wikipedia

I'd like to place the events into context with the preceding and later periods if they are related. Did it cause the Holy Roman Emperor to lose influence? Did it create the political situation that led to the Pataria movement?

1 Answer 1


In short, yes it was connected to relations with Germany, and yes, Aribert was involved:

Under Emperor Henry II (1002-24) and without a reformer on the papal throne, this situation did not present a crisis, but matters degenerated late in the reign of Emperor Conrad II (1024-39). The usefulness of the archbishop depended on his capacity to control the region around Milan in the emperor’s interest. A revolt in 1035 while the incumbent, Archbishop Aribert, was on an imperial mission threw that capacity into doubt. The rebels were minor lords who chafed under the domination and condescension of the archbishop’s capitanei. Their representatives tried to persuade the emperor that his archbishop was exploiting and exacerbating the ethnic conflicts between Germans and Italians, to the Germans’ detriment. Whatever Conrad’s real feelings about these charges, he clearly believed that it was necessary to soften the distinction between the highly privileged capitanei and the lesser lords who were in rebellion, and he did so in a decree of 1037 that granted the latter the rights of nobles.

Archbishop Aribert defied the proclamation and in retaliation put together an anti-imperial party intent on preserving the status quo ante. The early days of the reign of Henry III saw tentative gestures meant to defuse the crisis, but the whole situation exploded in 1042 when mercantile and artisanal groups in Milan expelled the archbishop and his anti-imperial retainers from the city.

A compromise worked out in 1044 did not last. Politics in Milan was a bizarre cacophony of clashing forces: the townsmen in a sworn commune or conspiracy opposed the again resident archbishop and his noble supporters, and the spectre of imperial intercession hovered in the wings. During all of this time, it needs to be recalled, the emperor remained convinced that the key to the domination of northern Italy lay in restoring and maintaining some sort of workable alliance between himself and the archbishop.

William Jordan - Europe in the High Middle Ages: The Penguin History of Europe


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