“Divus Alphonsus Rex”: the inscriptions dedicated to Alfonso the Magnanimous after his conquest of Naples (1442-1458)

Gema Capilla Aledón


Because of his ties to the Neapolitan throne and his role in the European politics of the Quattrocento, Alfonso the Magnanimous, King of Aragon (1416-1458), built a discourse around his image with which to represent himself before his contemporaries and posterity as the new princeps sponsored by Italian Humanism. In addition to the works of his aulic humanists, this discourse associates the written word with the King in materials such as coins, seals, medals, pottery, architecture and marble, using different types of scripts, from textual Gothic to humanistic capitals, including vestiges of Romanesque scripts and alla greca capitals. The fact that the monarch took up permanent residence in Italian lands after the conquest of Naples in 1442, led to a quantitative and qualitative leap in the production of the materials that made up his image. Therefore, the aim of this article is to analyse the use he made of the written word, namely his mottoes and arms, and to restore the place of each piece within Alfonso’s representative discourse according to its specific chronology, motivation and target audience, bearing in mind the turning point that his establishment in Italy meant.


Alfonso the Magnanimous; Inscriptions; Late Middle Ages; Crown of Aragon; Kingdom of Naples

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