Skip to main content

Sforza, Francesco I

Francesco I Sforza (fränchās´kō, sfôr´tsä), 1401–66, duke of Milan (1450–66); illegitimate son of Muzio Attendolo Sforza. He succeeded his father as leader of his band of mercenaries, and by his valor and sagacity he became one of the most powerful condottieri of his time. In 1441 he married Bianca Maria, illegitimate daughter of Filippo Maria (see under Visconti), duke of Milan. On Filippo's death (1447) the so-called Ambrosian republic was set up in Milan. Francesco, who commanded the Milanese troops, made himself master of the republic and was proclaimed duke in 1450 with the support of the Medici of Florence. He consolidated the power of Milan and in 1464 seized Genoa. An able prince, he patronized arts and letters and beautified Milan. His son, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, succeeded him as duke.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sforza, Francesco I." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 16 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Sforza, Francesco I." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (September 16, 2019).

"Sforza, Francesco I." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.