Under tije Radiant Sun and the Crescent Moon: Italo Calvino's Storytelling. ^2 Not until the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries did there take place the con- struction of a more coherent territorial lordship under the impetus of Marchese Orlando I Pallavicino (d.
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In his first marriage, Orlando wed Antonia, the daughter of Count Giovanni Castiglione of Milan, probably a distant relation of the author of The Courtier.
Although the marriage ended shortiy afteru^ard, with Antonia's early death, and Gasparo was a son from Orlando's second marriage (to Laura Landi), it is important to realize, because of the first marriage, that Gasparo was still, in a wa\^ a kind of distant cousin or uncle of Baldassar Castiglione.-*-^ Perhaps this helps to explain why, in the eulo- gy of Gasparo in Book Four, Castiglione calls Gasparo 's death a loss "to our house" ^ that contributed to the growth of the local economy.48 Population figures for Cortemaggiore confirm a story of dra- matic growth: in 1457, there were only 29 men between the ages of fifteen and sixty^^; nearly a century later, in 1545, a census recorded 585 men and 583 women (of all ages), for a total population of 1,168 distributed among 212 hearths.
The village was known as Cortemaggiore.'*'' It was in this small town that Castiglione's Gasparo was raised.
"Chiosar con altro testo" leggere Dante nel Trecento. Ladif.s Gian Lodovico, to^jether with five ot his retainers and their families, set- tied in a sleepy village of shepherds next to a ruined casde, located on the west bank of the river Arda, close to Piacenza and Cremona.
In the fif- teenth century, and even well into the sixteenth, the ideal Lombard noble house was a large consotieria led by numerous brothers and male cousins who lived together on fiefs that were supposed to be passed undivided from generation to generation.^s m realit}', many aristocratic houses were riven by the quarrels of male heirs, and the Milanese dukes, who hoped to control these fiefs, were only too happy to take advantage of this con- tentiousness.36 After the death of Orlando the Magnificent in 1457, in the midst of a terrific row among seven heirs, Duke Francesco Sforza was asked to resolve the dispute and divide the estate.