https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9780429292354/3abb420d-80da-4aed-a9cf-ae5c42b997f9/content/ifig0001.tif"/>On the night of August 16, 1328 a group of efficient conspirators murdered Passarino Bonaccolsi, the Lord of Mantua, massacred several hundred of his friends and relations and seized control of the city. The chief conspirator was a man of sixty, Luigi Gonzaga, who was Bonaccolsi’s brother-in-law. Neither the family connection nor the Bonaccolsis’ fifty-five years of successful rule in Mantua deterred Gonzaga. In the political anarchy of fourteenth-century Italy those who aspired to political power were never scrupulous about the means used to achieve their ends. The following year the people of the city elected Gonzaga hereditary captain-general and lord of Mantua, and the year after that he was recognized as imperial vicar of the city by the Holy Roman Emperor.