Throughout the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Venice was assailed at sea by the Ottoman Turks and on land by the so-called Holy League against Venice, which sought to knock Venice from its pedestal of arrogance. The city survived the onslaught, however, by relying on its strength in sea trade. Milan, the most northern of the major Italian city-states, came to dominate the Po River valley. The city's strategic location along trade lines and as a gateway to Italy from the north necessitated a strong military state. Due to the need for strong leadership, Milan became a strong monarchy under a succession of powerful dukes. The Visconti family ruled as dukes almost continuously from 1317 to 1447, maintaining the stability of the volatile region through military might. At the height of their power they controlled nearly all of northernmost Italy. In 1447 the last Visconti died, and the Milanese attempted to
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