Federigo [Federico] II da Montefeltro, 1st Duke of Urbino
(b Gubbio, 1422; reg 1444–82; d Ferrara, 10 Sept 1482).
He was the illegitimate son of Guidantonio da Montefeltro, Count of Urbino (reg 1404–43). In his youth he spent two years at the Gonzaga court in Mantua, attended the humanist school of Vittorino da Feltre and served as a condottiere from 1437. He became Count of Urbino after the assassination of his half-brother, Oddantonio (reg 1443–4). Federigo’s mastery of warfare was renowned throughout Europe. In 1444 he served the Sforzas of Milan and was later employed by Florence and Naples (1451). He was infrequently engaged after the peace of Lodi (1454), although various city-states retained the promise of his service. In 1469 he headed the alliance of Naples, Milan and Florence against Pope Paul II (reg 1464–71). In 1474, however, he was created Duke of Urbino by Sixtus IV (reg 1471–84) and granted the rights to land in Romagna. He fought for the papacy against Florence in 1479.
Roger J. Crum