Il rafforzamento dell'apparato difensivo della Sicilia nella prima età vicereale.

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During the period 1480 to 1530 the Sicilian system of fortifications is intimately connected to the role and political importance of the island in its relationship to the rest of the European States. It is also linked to its position in the context of the Mediterranean countries. In the first case its role is marginal. In the second case it is strategically immensely important given the ongoing conflict with the Ottoman Empire that makes it indispensable for Sicily to keep its defensive mechanism in good working order. At the same time it needs to respond effectively to the relentless advancement and development of new weaponry.At the end of the 15th century building works are only limited to maintenance. There is nothing of an innovative nature. There are also very few men with adequate technical knowhow in the field of weaponry or the ability to design relevant defensive projects.In the last days of the century however, the controversial figure of Gonsalvo Fernandez Captain of the Crown makes an appearance. To date he has not yet been adequately studied. Sent to Sicily by King Ferdinand of Spain in 1496, he has a solid technical preparation as well as a remarkable operational capability. He is personally in charge of restructuring the main castles and forts in the key towns of the island, where he introduces some pioneering features. Still later, changes of a very limited and fragmentary nature are introduced in several Sicilian cities by the Spanish Viceroy Ugo Moncada. He makes changes even in the city of Tripoli, in North Africa, conquered by Spain in 1510.Following the death of Ferdinand the Catholic in 1516 and the accession to the Spanish throne of Charles V, the demands for modern and efficient fortifications become pressing. The government of the island searches for experienced men highly trained in the field of defense. The viceroy Ettore Pignatelli, Count of Montleone, enlists the help of Pietro Antonio Tomasello from Padova. Tomasello, who is given the title of Royal Engineer from 1523 to 1537, updates and renews the vast heritage of defensive structures in the most exposed Sicilian cities such as Trapani, Milazzo and Siracusa. His work has recently been exhaustively researched. It forms the foundation, from 1533, for the development of the work of the famous engineer from Bergamo, Antonio Ferramolino.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
VolumeSerie Terza 1 / 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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