Caterina Sforza

Born as the illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza in 1462, Caterina Sforza became a unique women for her time. Caterina left her home for Rome after her father's death.  She began her life fulfilling her duties as wife and mother of eight but than she began to fulfill roles usually reserved to men. With her husband, Catarina seized control of Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome during the turmoils of 1484.  In Forli it was Caterina who issued justice, especially after the revolt in 1487 in which her husband failed to do anything.  Caterina was also involved in a plot and tried to poison Pope Alexander VI.  Caterina was then captured and imprisoned in Castel Sant' Angelo for one year.  Catarina died in 1509 at the age of 46. Renaissance men referred to Caterina as "the Virago," or women warrior, for all her accomplishments.

Annotated Bibliography

Melisende. "Caterina Sforza: Countess of Forli." Pages from History. 13 December 2008. <> (16 March 2009). 
This website is very informative about the life of Caterina, however, in does not go into much detail.  It is a good guideline for learning more about her life broadly.  It speaks very little of her childhood or her family.  It mainly focuses on her life and accomplishments after the death of her husband.  There is also mention of her time in capture at the Vatican.  This is recommended for a person who has previous knowledge of Caterina Sforza. 

"Caterina Sforza Duchess of Forlž and Imola (1463?-1509)" Project Sophia. 2001. <> (16 March 2009). 
Nice essay on her life.



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Original written in 1998
Revised by Karen Woods, November 2000
Last Revision: 16 March 2009

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