They were an Italian family, first known as the Attendois. They produced soliders of fortune and founded a dynasty that
ruled Milan for almost a century (from 1450-1535). They used their military position to become rulers in Milan. They
governed using force, ruse, and power politics. Under their rule the city-state flourished and expanded. They were warriors.
Muzio Attendolo Sforza
First prominent member of the family. He was a farmer from the Romagna. He became a conditiere. He fought for Italian states.
He became duke of Milan in 1450 because of his marriage to Bianca Maria Visconti.
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
The oldest son.He was a highly educated young man, but was known as a cruel man. He was a patron of the arts and employed
architect Bramante. He was assainated in a church by republican conspirators.
Ascanio Maria Sforza
He was another one of Francesco's sons. From 1455-1505 he was a cardinal of the Catholic church and was also a patron of