Marignano, battle of (märēnyäˈnō) [key], 1515, in the Italian Wars, fought by Francis I of France and his Venetian allies against the Swiss Confederates, who then controlled the duchy of Milan. It was fought (Sept. 13–14) near the town of Marignano (now Melegnano), 10 mi (16.1 km) SE of Milan. One of the bloodiest engagements in the Italian Wars, its outcome was decided by the timely arrival of Venetian cavalry. Their military ambitions broken, the Swiss made peace with Francis and negotiated (1516) the "perpetual alliance" (see Switzerland). Described as a "battle of giants," Marignano established the superiority of artillery and cavalry over the reputedly invincible Swiss infantry tactics.
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