The founder of the illustrious house which was so conspicuous
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, was the son of a
day-labourer. His name was Giacomuzzo Attendolo, changed to Sforza
from the following incident:—Being desirous of going to the wars, he
consulted his hatchet thus: he flung it against a tree, saying, “If it
sticks fast, I will go.” It did stick fast, and he enlisted. It was
because he threw it with such amazing force that he was called Sforza,
the Italian for force.
(in Jerusalem Delivered) of Lombardy. He, with his two
brothers, Achilies and Palamedes, were in the squadron of adventurers
in the allied Christian army.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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