Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini

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Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini
Spouse(s) Mary of Enghien
Noble family Orsini family
Father Nicola Orsini
Mother Giovanna di Sabran
Born 1350/55
Nocera Inferiore
Died 17 January 1406(1406-01-17)
Buried Cathedral of Taranto [lost]

Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini (also known as Raimondello; 1361 - 17 January 1406) was a nobleman from the Kingdom of Naples. He was Count of Soleto (1382), Duke of Benevento (1385–1401), Prince of Taranto (1393–1406), Count of Lecce (1401–06), Duke of Bari, Grand Constable of the Kingdom of Naples, Gonfalonier of the Holy Roman Church (1385, confirmed in 1399 together with the principality of Taranto). He was a member of the influential Orsini family of Rome.


Raimondello was born at Nocera Inferiore, the second son of Nicola Orsini (1331–1399), 3rd Count of Nola, grand Justiciar and also Grand Chancellor of the Kingdom of Naples, and his second wife Maria Del Balzo (of the counts of Soleto). His grandfather was Roberto Orsini di Nola (1295–1345), 2nd Count of Nola, Grand Justiciar of Naples. His grandmother was the heiress Sveva Del Balzo (born in the first years of 14th century), Countess of Soleto, heiress of des Baux. The family is later known as del Balzo Orsini. His full brother Roberto was 4th Count of Nola, died 1400 and left only illegitimate issue, however natural son inherited County of Nola and became Grand Justiciar. One of his sisters, Sveva, married Francesco Del Balzo, Duke of Andria. His father and grandfather also held the title of Senator of Rome.

Having been deprived of the Del Balzo heritage, he went to Eastern Europe to fight as a crusader. However, at his return to Italy he reconquered those lands. In 1384, thanks to the help of Louis I of Anjou (whom Raimond has repeatedly supported), he married Mary of Enghien, Countess of Lecce. After the death of Louis, he remained loyal to the Angevines in their struggle against the house of Durazzo. However, in 1398, he sided for Ladislaus of Naples, a member of the Durazzo, obtaining the investiture of the principality of Taranto, which he conquered in 1399.

Raimondello at that point was the richest Italian feudal lord of his era. The principality of Taranto included half of the Kingdom of Naples, and the Prince ruled almost independently from the king. Spurred by Pope Innocent VII, in 1406 Raimondo rebelled against Ladislaus, but died soon afterwards.

Raimondello ordered the construction of the church of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria in Galatina, a masterpiece of Franciscan art. He is buried in the church, together with his son and heir Giovanni Antonio.


Raimondello and Mary had the following children:

  • Giovanni Antonio (1386–1463), Prince of Taranto, Duke of Bari, Count of Lecce, Acerra, Soleto, Conversano, also 1443 count of Matera, 1453 Ugento.
  • Maria del Balzo Orsini, married Antonio Acquaviva, 2nd Duke of Atri. Apparently childless.
  • Caterina del Balzo Orsini, married Bartolomeo (also known as Tristano) di Chiaramonte (de Clermont), Count of Copertino (1380 - c. 1432)
  • Gabriele (died 1453), Count of Ugento 1434, 1st Duke of Venosa 1441, Count of Lecce, Neapolitan General and Admiral. Married 1431 Giovanna (Ippolita) Caracciolo del Sole dei Duchi di Melfi, daughter of Sergianni Caracciolo dei Duchi di Melfi, Grand Seneschal of Kingdom of Sicily, and his wife Caterina Filangieri.
Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini
Born: 1361 Died: 17 January 1406
Preceded by
Otto, Duke of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
Prince of Taranto
Succeeded by
Ladislaus of Durazzo
Preceded by
Mary of Enghien
Count of Lecce