Battle of Ponza (1435)

Battle of Ponza
Part of Aragon's Conquest of Naples

The surrender of Alfonso V of Aragon
Date5 August 1435[1][2]
LocationIsland of Ponza, Tyrrhenian Sea
Result Decisive Genoese victory[3][4][5][6]
Duchy of Milan
Republic of Genoa
Crown of Aragon
Commanders and leaders
Filippo Visconti
Biagio Assereto
Jacopo Giustiniani
Alfonso V of Aragon
King of Aragon
John II of Aragon
King of Navarre
Henry of Aragon
Prince Infante
Genoese fleet:
3 galleys
13 vessels
2,400 soldiers
Aragonese fleet:
11 galleys
14 vessels
6,000 soldiers
Casualties and losses
90 killed[8] 600 killed[8]
~ 100 Aragonese nobles
13 vessels lost[3][4]

The Naval battle of Ponza was fought in early August 1435, when the Duke of Milan dispatched a Genoese fleet, in order to relief the town of Gaeta,[13] which was currently being besieged by the King of Aragon.[14]


Joan II, Queen of Naples, died on 2 February 1435,[1] and by her will bestowed Rene d'Anjou with the crown of Naples.[14] However, Alfonso, king of Aragon and Sicily, whom Queen Joan II had primarily adopted, claimed the succession, on the ground of this first adoption.[1] Thus the successionist war between the House of Anjou and the House of Aragon over the Kingdom of Naples ensued.[12][13]
At this critical moment Rene d'Anjou was currently imprisoned in the Duchy of Burgundy[15] and Alfonso of Aragon lost no time in stirring up his partisans in the Kingdom of Naples, whilst he himself sailed from Sicily with a large fleet to besiege Gaeta.[14]
Gaeta itself was garrisoned by the Genoese[4] who shortly after Queen Joan's death dispatched Francesco Spinola with 800 infantry.[5][16] The Duke of Milan (to whom the Republic of Genoa had lately submitted)[1] sided with the House of Anjou[16] and dispatched a Genoese fleet[13] in July under Biagio Assereto in order to relief Gaeta.[16] Alfonso immediately sailed against the Genoese fleet[12] with superior numbers.[15] The two fleets met near the island of Ponza and after a long and gallant conflict,[15] which lasted for ten hours,[13] the Genoese were completely victorious.[6] The royal galley of Aragon was compelled to strike,[15] and Alfonso V, King of Aragon was captured.[2]


The siege of Gaeta was lifted,[12] and the return of the Genoese fleet was met with a triumphant reception at Genoa.[10] The King and all the noble Aragonese prisoners were then brought to Milan before the Duke,[16] and with this one strike the war seemed already over.[9]
However the King of Aragon managed to persuade the Duke of Milan to his side and against Rene d'Anjou, and was set at liberty with all other prisoners.[1] The Genoese were so utterly exasperated by the Dukes decision[4] that they started to rebel against him, drove out the Milanese garrison and overthrew his rule on 27 December 1435.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Simonde de Sismondi, Jean-Charles-Léonard (1832). A History of the Italian Republics. Philadelphia.
  2. 1 2 3 4 de Madrazo, Pedro (1839). Recuerdos y bellezas de España: Cataluña. Barcelona.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Zurita, Jerónimo (1579). Segunda parte de los Anales de la Corona de Aragon: Book 14. Zaragoza.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Burchett, Josiah (1720). A Complete History of the Most Remarkable Transactions at Sea. London.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Ersch, Johann Samuel (1847). Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste: 3. Section. Leipzig.
  6. 1 2 3 de Cherrier, Claude Joseph (1858). Histoire de la Lutte des Papes et des Empereurs: Vol.III. Paris.
  7. 1 2 3 Schlosser, Friedrich Christoph (1849). F. C. Schlosser's Weltgeschichte für das Deutsche Volk: Vol.IX. Frankfurt a.M.
  8. 1 2 3 Canale, Michele Giuseppe (1864). Nuova Istoria della Repubblica di Genova: Vol.IV. Florence.
  9. 1 2 3 Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1988). Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelalter: Book 1-6. Munich.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 von Stramberg, Christian (1858). Denkwürdiger und nützlicher Rheinischer Antiquarius: Vol.VII. Koblenz.
  11. 1 2 Troyli, Placido (1753). Istoria generale del Reame di Napoli. Naples.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 Leo, Heinrich (1829). Geschichte von Italien: Vol.III. Hamburg.
  13. 1 2 3 4 von Meerheimb, Richard (1865). Von Palermo bis Gaëta. Dresden.
  14. 1 2 3 Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843). The Biographical Dictionary: Vol.II. London.
  15. 1 2 3 4 Col. Proctor, George (1844). The History of Italy. London.
  16. 1 2 3 4 Ersch, Johann Samuel (1854). Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste: 1. Section. Leipzig.

See also

Coordinates: 40°54′00″N 12°58′00″E / 40.9000°N 12.9667°E / 40.9000; 12.9667

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