Bernabò Visconti

(1323 - 1385)

Born into the Milanese family that dominated northern Italian politics for hundreds of years, Bernabò Visconti ruled Milan from 1355 until 1385, when he was overthrown by a nephew and died in prison. Four years after he issued orders banning plague victims from Milan—thereby becoming one of Italy’s first leaders to enact quarantine laws based on an evolving understanding of plague transmission—Visconti hosted Geoffrey Chaucer in his court. A decade later Chaucer immortalized Visconti in his “Monk’s Tale” as the “god of delight and scourge of Lombardy.”\

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