Battle of Fossalta

Battle of Fossalta
Part of Guelphs and Ghibellines
Enzo Codice Chigi.JPG
Battle of Fossalta and king Enzio captured
Date26 May 1249
Location
Fossalta stream near Modena
ResultGuelph victory
Belligerents
Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg Ghibellines:
Holy Roman Empire
Cremona and Modena
Guelphs:
Bologna
Lombard League
Commanders and leaders
Enzio of Sardinia
Buoso da Dovara
Filippo Ugoni
Ottaviano degli Ubaldini
Antonio Lambertacci
Strength
15,000[1]8,800[1]
Casualties and losses
Heavy[2]
Also king Enzio and 400 knights captured [3]
Heavy[2]

The Battle of Fossalta was an episode of the War of the Guelphs and Ghibellines in Northern Italy. It took place in Fossalta, a small location on the Panaro river, and is especially remembered for the capture of Enzio of Sardinia, son of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.

Prelude

In the spring of 1249, a Guelph Romagnol army of the Lombard League advanced to the Panaro. The army was composed of 3,000 Knights and 2,000 foot soldiers from the Margrave Azzo VII d'Este and 1,000 Knights and 800 foot soldiers of Bolognese militias from Porta Stieri, Porta San Procolo and Porta Ravegnana.[1] The army was led by the Brescian Filippo Ugoni, who had victoriously defended Milan while besieged by Emperor Frederick II, and accompanied by Ottaviano degli Ubaldini, the Cardinal of Bologna.

The Guelph army threatened the Ghibelline city of Modena and therefore the Modenese had requested help from Enzio of Sardinia, who was then imperial vicar in northern Italy, and resided at Cremona.

Enzio organised a massive army of 15,000 men, composed of Imperial Germans and Lombard Ghibellines from Cremona and Modena.[4][5] He led the army across the Po by using his self-constructed bridge at Bugno. They arrived at the Fossalta stream, some 5 km north of Modena.