Since autumn 1475, the plague repeatedly ravaged Rome. Because of the renewed outbreak of the plague, in June 1476, Pope Sixtus IV left the city on the Tiber and took-up residence in Foligno, in Umbria. At that time, Sultan Mehmed II was about to enter Moldavia against the athlete of the Papacy, Stephen III the Great. The Ottoman campaign was a failure, for all combatants in effect. A 200,000 ducats crusader levy was agreed by most of the Italian states. The collection and the distribution of the sum led however to heated discussions between the ambassadors summoned to Sixtus IV’ new residence, chiefly between those of Naples and of Venice. Ferdinand of Aragon, king of Naples wanted the entire subsidy to be sent to Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, his son-in law to be. The Republic of Venice demanded the disputed sum for her Eastern favourite, Stephen. Apparently more preoccupied by the purity of the air, Sixtus delegate the highly delicate matter to Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga, the son of Ludovico III il Turco, margrave of Mantua. In the end, both Matthias (the Hungarian) and Stephen (the Romanian) came out empty-handed from this affair. 


 Sixtus IV, Matthias Corvinus, Stephen III of Moldavia, Francesco Gonzaga, crusading, plague. 

Crusading in the Time of the Plague: The Arbitrage of Foligno