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Holy League

Holy League, in Italian history, alliance formed (1510–11) by Pope Julius II during the Italian Wars for the purpose of expelling Louis XII of France from Italy, thereby consolidating papal power. Venice, the Swiss cantons, Ferdinand II of Aragón, Henry VIII of England, and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I were the chief members of the league. The Swiss, who did most of the fighting, routed the French at Novara (1513), but in the same year Julius II died and the league fell apart. The French victory (1515) at Marignano reestablished the French in Lombardy.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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