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Oct 26, 2011
Iacopo I Boboni-Orsini
The story of the Orsini family begins with Iacopo Boboni-Orsini in 1067. The son of Bobone, he was also the brother to Pietro Boboni-Orsini, whose line later obtained dominance of Papal Politics. Being a second son, he didn't inherit his father's rich lands in Roma, but his father provided for him a good theological education. He is fluent in Latin, Italian, and German.
He is the Count of Orvieto, a rather poor county bordering the main Papal holdings around Roma. Though studying to be a Bishop, the Pope needed a man to guard the less prioritized Papal lands, and so Iacopo was gifted the county in December of 1066. Having been celibate all his life, he decided to marry Giovanna Sfondrati, a merchant's daughter, which gave a considerable dowry.
To end off this brief summary of Iacopo's life before his reign, we will add this quote commonly attributed to him:
"The greatest sin is not of death, of the carnal ways, or even heresy. The greatest sin is a man lusting for power, rather than having it thrust upon himself."- Iacopo I

Italy in 1067
Italy, as it dawned in 1067, was in a fragile balance. In the north laid an assortment of republics and bishops (including Antipope Cadalous I of Parma), bound only by their allegiance to Germany (or more aptly, Italian duchies pledged to Germany. In the middle lay the Papal lands. And finally to the south lay the Norman Duchy of Apulia, the Greek Comes of Napoli, and the Lombard Prince of Salerno.
The year of 1067
Unfortunately, the first actual records of his reign pop up in May, in a short anecdote describing his looks and personality:
"He [Iacopo] was plump of body, but sharp in mind. The Count [Iacopo] was short in stature [as well]. [Well] educated, a sense of inner greatness, [and] with skill in governance."
We also see that Giovanna was already with child by this time, but historians have no idea for how many months.
Also pertaining to the situation of Italy at the time was the conquest of Capua by Robert Guiscard and his Normans. Though the Count of Capua, Richard, was Norman, he was one of the few in vassalage to Apulia at the time. Iacopo spoke before the Roman senate to address the Norman expansion:
"Nobles of Roma, I come before you today to address the issue of Norman expansion. As many of you know, Capua has been conquered by them. Being the only state separating Apulia from Roma [and] my lands, the Normans now border us. Having already forced his holiness to give him his title, he has expanded across the lands of the Greeks [Byzantines] in the South. After this, and attacking Napoli and Salerno, [he] would much rather fight his holiness the Roman Empire [H.R.E.]. I suggest we be ready for a fight at any time."
Due to the increased threat from Apulia, the senate sent a man to lead the armies of Orvieto should war come. His name was Cataldo di Orvieto, and after being appointed leader of the army he started right away at the task of improving Iacopo's armies. He also aided his counterpart in Roma when he could.
Also, in August, Iacopo completed a great literary work, known as "The Divine Right of the Monarch". His book was one of the first to highlight a King's divine right to rule, as granted by god. In can still be found in the Papal library. He made only five copies, distributed to three senators and the current Pope, as well as one to keep for himself. After the printing press was invented, seven new copies were made, but all but the one currently held in the Papal library has been destroyed.
However, soon Giovanna was infected with some kind of ailment lost to history, and there were fears she'd miscarriage or die. Iacopo constantly prayed and stayed by his wife. He is known to have said this when asked why he was doing this:
"I am a son of Adam, she a daughter of Eve. We are bonded by marriage, but also something more. She took my virginity from me, and I took it from her. We know each other in a way no other can. For this I must never lose my faith in her life, and more importantly if she does succumb to the pains of childbirth, her soul's place in heaven."
The year ended with Iacopo in his state of mourning.

Hello, I'm SunTzu72. You may have briefly read my Capuan AAR, which was lost to a computer crash on the second day. What you can expect from this AAR:
-One or Two updates a week
-It to end once CK2 is out, though i may do it over in the CK2 forums
-The Orsinis being King of Serbia or of Italy (two most realistic ones)
-Other than that, a hopefully vibrant new writAAR
Last edited:


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Dec 6, 2008
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I've always liked the Orsinis; it was always fun to play as them. Great to finally see an AAR featuring them. Of course, my best Orsini game ended about 1130, with them holding Croatia for two generations due to judicially placed assassinations and marriage spamming. Anyway, I look forward to this AAR, it looks fantastic so far.
Oct 26, 2011
The year of 1068
Early in the year, Cataldo di Orvieto's reforms of the army led to the invention of the "Shortbow", which was smaller and lighter than the classic bow while also being slightly more precise and accurate. Cataldo himself drew the original designs, with some revisions made by the Senate and officers of the army. This put Papal archers roughly on foot with those of Apulia, Venice, and Pisa.
Only a month later, Giovanna gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Nunzia Boboni-Orsini, despite her illness. Although the birth was painful, Iacopo was then convinced God was on his side. It is said he went right to his personal chapel after the birth and he recited a psalm:
"LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!"
It was then said he took her right to his bedchamber, which could be proven a month later when she was found to once again be pregnant.
However, the Senate was more concerned with news from the North: The Duchess of Tuscany, Mathilda di Canossa, had broken ties with Germany and declared Civil War.
The enormity of this decision was a thing of awe. It could literally break the power balance in Italy, as well as the still German Italian duchies and republics. Iacopo once again spoke before the Senate very briefly.
"If his holiness supports her, we are doomed."
The Duchess of Tuscany was known to have a great influence of Anslem of Lucca, the current Pope. Therefore, the Pope would probably support her...and doom Roma in the process. The Senate, Iacopo, and their respective armies all held their breath.
The year ended with Tuscany taking the initiative and capturing a large portion of German border lands.

SplendidTuesday, I have always thought the Orsinis to be a really fun game, too. Also, to all readAARs out there, I going to post some updates on the weekend too because I have to take a couple day trip soon and I know you need your fix.
Oct 26, 2011
The year of 1069
The year of 1069 was destined to be a year of great conflict, and so it was. At the beginning of the year, Germany responded in force to Tuscany's offensive, pushing them back and capturing Brescia. Not only that, but King Heinrich's other vassals were beginning to show discontent. He had named his son Dietmar heir, without consent from the Princes of the Empire, angering many nobles.
Only a week after the start of the year, the Republic of Genoa declared support for the Duchess, breaking away from Germany. It was suspected this was because of Heinrich's refusal to aid Genoa in increased raids from the Margrave of Corsica, Alberto "Rufo" IV Obertenghi. (Margrave Rufo had recently lost a war with the Count of Cagliari Cangrande, and was forced to pay most of his gold as indemnities.)
The Duchess welcomed them. Her ambition was great, as she wanted to become the Queen of Italy, and forced most of her vassals to call her by that title. Germany still hadn't recognized the claim. The senate was furious, and tried everything they could to make the Pope not coronate her, but he did so in February. Much of the senate, as well as Iacopo himself, did not accept it.
The Pope later capitulated and said the coronation was "invalid, not truly ordained by God", much to the relief of Iacopo, the senate, and most of all King Heinrich, who could have faced Excommunication. The discontent vassals of King Heinrich retreated.
In the midst of these events, a miracle happened. Despite prolonged illness, Giovanna once again successfully birthed a child, a son and heir to Iacopo. He was christened Lucio, and baptized by Pope Anslem himself. Much jubilation was in order, and the senate threw a feast in honor of the babe. For now, the Pope could not afford to have Iacopo thinking of rebellion at a time like this. (Though those thoughts probably never crossed his mind, due to his pious nature.)
By March, Heinrich had captured Modena and Ferrara, only the Tuscan Enclave of Mantua escaping his grasp. It seemed the rebellion was utterly doomed. Despite Genoa's helpful flanking of the advancing German troops, it seemed inevitable that Tuscany would fall by the end of the year. Then, Genoa's support stopped, after the trading city itself fell under siege by Udo Staden, Duke of Brandenburg and Prince of the Empire. With a force of almost 4000, Genoa would also very likely fall.
The Duchess surrendered, was exiled, and Heinrich took full control of her estates. This only caused more anger among the Princes. Genoa still hadn't fallen, so Heinrich enlisted the help of the Margrave of Corsica. After the help from them, Heinrich elevated Margrave Rufo to Count, as well as promised he would remain independent. (However, if he claimed the Princedom of Sardinia and Corsica, he would be forced to join the Empire.)
It was only a few weeks later when Genoa fell. Heinrich now had to decide how to deal with them. He decided to take Genoa for himself, and then grant most of their gold to the new Count of Corsica. With that, Iacopo, the senate, and indeed the Pope himself exhaled...
Iacopo could now focus most of his time taking care of his sick wife and raising Nunzia and Lucio. By now, it was late may, and summer was coming upon Italy. The year ended with a good thing and a bad thing: Giovanna was pregnant. Bad Thing: The Duchy of Swabia had just declared themselves independent of Germany...

I think we can all agree this update was far more exciting than previous ones... I wish we could go to war with someone already. In the meantime, let's take our guesses who will be our first fight. I'm guessing Corsica, simply because their the easiest to take on, but for all I know at this point it may not be a offensive war...:excl:
Oct 26, 2011
The year of 1070
Duke Rudolph of Swabia had long been the most discontent of Heinrich's vassals, as well as having a personal rivalry with him. Swabia was in the central H.R.E., a rather powerful Duchy that could call on almost 4000 men, a formidable force. Not only that, but Swabia was unsafely close to the capital of Germany. If Duke Rudolph was fast, he could mount a quick assault and capture the heart of the kingdom itself.
King Heinrich was now on his last legs. He still hadn't secured the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor, he was in no place for prolonged fighting, and several other major dukes were on the brink of rebellion. In desperation, he asked the Pope to issue an excommunication bull to Duke Rudolph, which the Pope denied. The King could only grovel for a moment before marching his armies from Tuscany back to Central Germany.
Luckily for him, Duke Rudolph was severely wounded in one of the first battles. Since Duke Rudolph had no sons, his brother would inherit him if he died. His brother was much more loyal to Heinrich. Thus, Duke Rudolph only had to die of his wounds. It seemed very likely, as he was 43 years old and thus the average age for a man to die.
However, the true impact was the effect on the other vassals. After Duke Rudolph's rebellion, many other vassals openly plotted rebellions of their own. Those included:
Upper Lorraine
Lower Lorraine
And many other, minor counties and duchies.
The next to rebel was Austria, not listed because of its relatively minor position but still very violent in their hate of Heinrich. Then came Trent. And Ancona. And Bologna. And Meissen. The list went on and on...and on, as the H.R.E. was literally falling apart. The senate was even worried that some of the successor states would attack the Papacy, especially the Swiss Count of Ancona, Werner, and the Duchess of Spoleto Augusta Foscaro.
Iacopo decided that action needed to be taken. As such, he proposed a preemptive strike against Spoleto before the Duchess gained too much power. It took the senate until March to approve the idea. Pope Anslem promised to crown him Grand Duke of Spoleto, and also grant him the County itself. Iacopo wasted no time, and raised his levies to attack.
Iacopo arrived in Spoleto in May, to begin the siege. However, he was met by an army of the Duchess, led by Aleardo Sommariva, General (and some say lover) of the Duchess. Though he led a slightly smaller army, he was older and more skilled in warfare then the church-raised Iacopo.
Iacopo decided to maneuver to higher ground (Spoleto was hilly, so there was plenty available) before starting the fight. He hoped the Aleardo would come after him on the hill, where Iacopo's more advanced archers could pick them off one-by-one. However, Aleardo sent in his archer first, catching Iacopo off guard.
Iacopo, freshly recovered from the initial attack sent some cavalry to flank them and told his archers to make a responding volley. Nearly 50 men were killed by the volleys, more by the flanking. Aleardo could only try to hold them off, as Pope Anslem was leading an army of 5000 to aid Iacopo.
However, in the midst of the carnage, Iacopo was gravely injured. During the flanking maneuver, he had gone with his cavalry, but Aleardo had moved his pikemen around to flank them. Although they were beaten off, they still didn't leave without making a deep cut in Iacopo's chest. He resolved to lead from his headquarters in safer territory. Cataldo took control of the battle in the field. Under his leadership, the battle was concluded and the siege began.
In late June the senatorial forces arrived, and the siege's progress grew greater. In a last ditch effort, Aleardo sallied forth and was beaten back. The siege went on until August, when the Duchess officially surrendered. She was stripped off all her titles.
As promised, Iacopo was given the title of Grand Duke of Spoleto (though he still answered to Papal authority) and gained full control over the city and its surrounding domains. He was crowned in a lavish ceremony, and then settled with his family into their new residence in Spoleto.
While Iacopo was wounded, the rest of his family was prosperous. Nunzia had grown into a pretty and smart little girl. Lucio had grown into a playful young boy, and was already visibly taller than his sister. Giovanna was pregnant with Iacopo's next child.
They were ignorant of the world outside the Papacy. Iacopo was happy with how his side of the dynasty was progressing (Pietro had only one child, a sickly boy) and spent much of his time with his children, especially his heir, Lucio.
In fact, only a month after the coronation, Giovanna gave birth to another girl, Margherita.
Not everything was good though, as Iacopo's wound got infected. The doctors and priests said that if it had been a limb, they could amputate it, but no such luck.
The new year of 1071 dawned with that bad news.

I won't be here from Tuesday to around Friday, so this may be the last update till then.
P.S. I know it's really hard to press the "reply to thread button", but you could at least try.:D
Oct 26, 2011
I am now seriously concerned with the amount of replies this AAR is getting. :mad:

P.S. I will get the next update posted after a week long trip, and I expect to see some comments when I'm back, Lazy Lurkers! :cool:


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Dec 6, 2008
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Nooo Iacopo! You can't die! You're too awesome for your own good!

Good to see that the Orsinis have expanded though; the Spoleto trick is one of my favorite ways to expand as well. And excellent, the HRE is falling to pieces!

Sorry for not commenting very much; I'll try to do better in the future.
Oct 26, 2011
Nooo Iacopo! You can't die! You're too awesome for your own good!

Good to see that the Orsinis have expanded though; the Spoleto trick is one of my favorite ways to expand as well. And excellent, the HRE is falling to pieces!

Sorry for not commenting very much; I'll try to do better in the future.

I know. I'm concerned Iacopo will die and the whole "legacy" I made for him in the first update will no longer make sense. I have played further into the game, so i know stuff that I can't reveal quite yet. And don't worry, at least you commented once. I checked yesterday and there were 166 views. Unless those were all you, you don't have to worry about it. In the first few days I was updating like lightning. To all readAARs out there: I think I have enough time to post the final update before my trip today, so get ready for it. I won't be leaving until rather late in the day. (I actually didn't know that until today).
Oct 26, 2011
The year of 1071
Iacopo's first priority was to expand his new Grand Duchy across Central Italy. As such, he sent demands to the Counts of Urbino and Ancona for them to be under the tutelage of Iacopo. The Count of Urbino, a nationalistic Italian and in favor of Iacopo almost instantly accepted. However, the same was not true for the German Count of Ancona, as he declined a few days later. Though Iacopo asked the senate for military support for an invasion, they declined. The reasons were twofold:
1. Iacopo had obtained a rather bad reputation for the Papacy
2. Iacopo did not have the suitable prestige to attack anyway
Thus, even with the Count of Urbino (a longtime friend of the Count of Ancona) on his side, he failed to bring Werner into the fold. Though it angered Iacopo, he couldn't do much about it, as he was confined to his bed. Also, it began to have an effect on his children. Both of their parents were sick, and they started to develop independent personalities. Lucio especially, engrossed himself in the affairs of state. Soon the court started calling him a "Child Prodigy", much to the delight of Iacopo.
Iacopo once again tried to subjugate Ancona later, but failed.
It was around this time that the H.R.E. began to siege Urbino. Furious, Iacopo, Pope Anslem, and the senate all demanded to know what was going on. The Commander of the Army explained his orders.
"The Emperor told me to lay siege to Urbino to annoy that god damn Iacopo. Says he wants the bastard to back down and let him control Italy."
Though everybody was angry, they could do little. Pope Anslem hoped for an excommunication, but the senate said that would only make them attack the Papacy.
Luckily, Iacopo managed to contact the Count, and arranged for a Guerilla attack. When Heinrich was getting to close for comfort, a vastly superior army led by Cataldo and the Count ambushed them and began the assault. However, a German army bigger than both of the other ones on the field began to approach.
When the Papal army beat off the first German army, they prepared to meet the second one. Although the second army outnumbered Cataldo, he and the Count were both superior to the German (actually Italian, but he fought for Germany) Commander Dioniso di Razzi. They met on February 24th, in a hilly area outside Urbino Castle.
They were beaten back with minimal losses. All looked up for Iacopo and the Papacy, especially when Iacopo's wound closed back up. (He still, however, had a minor illness).
In May, Lucio began to have fears of darkness. Iacopo addressed the causes of the fear and dealt with them accordingly. In fact, Lucio was already the strongest of Iacopo's brood. Not only smart and prodigal, but also strong and martial. Iacopo thought, when the time was right, he would get a good education at court.
In early June, the Archbishopric of Tuscany broke away from the H.R.E. Heinrich had still not received his crown, and it seemed like the Western Roman Empire was doomed to fall in ash and flame. Iacopo was the new protector of the Papacy, not the Holy Roman Emperor. Iacopo secretly hoped that one of his dynasty might hold that title, though it seemed unlikely.
In July Iacopo got a happy surprise, as the formerly disgruntled Count of Ancona willingly joined the Grand Duchy. With that, the Papacy had achieved its goal in crowning Iacopo Grand Duke: they had total dominance of Central Italy. Now they thought to move north as soon a plausible and take the German successor states on.
In December, however, Iacopo's minor illness turned into a life-threatening disease. As the fortunes of the Grand Duchy of Spoleto continue to be mixed, the year ended.

Rabid Bogling

Mouldering Sod
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Haven't looked at the CK AARs in quite a while, but it's good to see one of my favourite-to-play families the focus of one. Written well, no less. Cheers!

It's a miracle you weren't excommunicated off the bat. Seemed to always happen to me when I took up Orvieto.
Oct 26, 2011
Haven't looked at the CK AARs in quite a while, but it's good to see one of my favourite-to-play families the focus of one. Written well, no less. Cheers!

It's a miracle you weren't excommunicated off the bat. Seemed to always happen to me when I took up Orvieto.

Yep, the first couple times I played I was excommunicated and Apulia ganged up on me. Anyway, I'm sorry for the huge delay in updating, but i had some major things happen last month. Regular updating will continue from now on. (Or more accurately, tommorow, when the first is done)