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In the Battle of Pavia (1525), Hercolani injured the horse of Francis I of France, which enabled the Imperial Spanish forces to capture Francis alive and ended the battle. Hercolani was hailed as the "victor of the battle of Pavia."
In 1534 Hercolani was killed in Forlì by members of the Guelph faction, in vengeance of his action against Francis I of France.