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Alfonso V

Alfonso V (Alfonso the Magnanimous), 1396–1458, king of Aragón and Sicily (1416–58) and of Naples (1443–58), count of Barcelona. He was the son of Ferdinand I, whom he succeeded in Aragón and Sicily. Queen Joanna II of Naples sought his aid against Louis III, rival king of Naples, and, after Alfonso had defeated (1421) Louis, Joanna adopted Alfonso as her heir. They quarreled in 1423, and when Joanna died (1435), she left her throne to René of Anjou. Attempting to conquer Naples, Alfonso was captured (1435) by the Genoese, but he was released through the agency of the duke of Milan. In 1442 he defeated René, took Naples, and was recognized (1443) as king by the Pope. Leaving his Spanish possessions under the rule of his wife and his brother, Alfonso spent the rest of his life in Naples, where he accorded great privileges to Spanish nobles and tried to introduce Spanish institutions. A patron of arts and letters, he held a splendid court and beautified the city. Alfonso also played a vigorous part in Italian politics. He left Naples to his Son Ferdinand I and the rest of his kingdom to his brother John II.

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

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