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Today In History with The Retrospectors

Poland's Italian Queen

Ep. 818

Milanese Princess Bona Sforza married the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Sigismund the Old, in Krakow Cathedral on 18th April, 1518 - making her the first Italian Queen of Poland, and one of the world’s most powerful women.

There followed a 29-course wedding feast, a bawdy consummation ritual …and decades of resentment, as the Polish aristocracy came to terms with the influence she would have upon her husband’s decision-making.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Sforza’s heritage transformed the Polish diet forever; consider if there is an accurate portrait of her in existence; and reveal the betrayal that led to her untimely death…

Further Reading: 

• ‘Bona Sforza – Ambitious Queen Of Poland Was Betrayed And Murdered’ (Ancient Pages, 2019): https://www.ancientpages.com/2019/01/21/bona-sforza-ambitious-queen-of-poland-was-betrayed-and-murdered/

• ‘Pursuit: The Queen who defied the Holy Roman Emperor’ (The University of Melbourne, 2020): https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/the-queen-who-defied-the-holy-roman-emperor

• ‘Poland's Italian Queen - The Life of Bona Sforza (1494 - 1557)’ (Oliwier Brzeziński, 2016): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlZ6JDkQmDI


Thanks so much for supporting the show! We massively appreciate it.

The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill. Edit producer: Ollie Peart

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2024.



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