Milo of Verona

Milo (Italian: Milone) was the Count (later Margrave) of Verona from 931 until 955. He was a vassal of four successive kings of Italy from 910. Under Berengar I he became a courtier (familiaris) and by 924 head of the bodyguard. By 927 he had expanded his landholdings to have vassals of his own. Under Hugh, he revolted twice but kept his position in Verona. Under Berengar II, he was raised to the rank of margrave (marchio) in 953.

Milo was a son of Manfred, from Mosezzo in the region of Novara. His brother Manfred was the count of Lomello. His given name suggests a kinship with the Widonids, perhaps on his mother's side. He is described in a document of 906 as being "of Frankish origin"[a] and not a Lombard. His wife, Valperga, was also a Frank. All the evidence suggests that he belonged from the beginning to the upper ranks of the nobility.[1]

Berengar I's vassal

Crypt of San Zaccaria in Venice

Milo's first documentary appearance associates him with the city of Verona and with the aristocratic supporters of King Berengar I. On 1 September 906, he undersigned a donation by the German bishop of Verona, Adalard, to his friend Ingelfred, also a German. It is unclear how Milo came to prominence at Verona—possibly he arrived in the retinue of Ingelfred[2]—but he was to spend the rest of his life based out of the city.[1]

In November 910, Milo was one of ten vassals of the king who acted as a judicial "college" during two placita (public hearings) held at Cremona by Berengar. These placita marked the resumption of public royal justice after it had fallen in abeyance during years of civil war between rivals for the throne. On 1 December 914, Milo witnessed a gift of Ingelfred, who since 906 had become count of Verona, to the nunnery of San Zaccaria in Venice. Milo was to show generosity to the nuns in his will, and it is possible that he had relatives living there.[1] He subscribed Ingelfred's gift with a signum manus as a "lord vassal of the king [from the people] of the Franks".[b][2]

As a loyal support and vassal, Milo was rewarded by Berengar with a real property after Berengar was crowned Emperor by Pope John X in 915. The diploma recording this royal gift is now lost. Milo was eventually welcomed into the imperial household—the so-called familia—of Berengar as head of the emperor's personal bodyguard. He was holding this position when, on 7 April 924, Berengar was assassinated at Verona. According to Bishop Liutprand of Cremona, a contemporary, Milo had tried in vain to warn the emperor of the conspiracy. Three days after the assassination, he caught the assassin, the steward (sculdascio) Flambert, and hanged him alongside his accomplices.[1]