18 Apr:
Poland’s Italian Queen

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):