In the late 15th century, in an effort to reduce the troublesome power of his in-laws and enemies, the royal family of Naples, Ludovico promised King Charles VIII of France free passage through Milan and into Naples. The French invasion of 1494 failed, but in 1499 another French expedition moved into Italy led by the new king, Louis XII. The French turned on Ludovico and took Milan, moving from there into many other areas of Italy. The glory of the Milanese court collapsed under French control, and the artists who had flocked to the city now fled to new locations. The Venetians were very much resigned to hierarchy in their government and society. In 1315, the Venetian Golden Book of the Nobility listed the names of the most influential families in the city, allowing them membership in the Great Council and disenfranchising all others. During the entire two centuries of the Renaissance, the list of families
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