Micheletto Corella

Micheletto Corella (Micheletto Coreglia, Michele de Corella or Miguel de Corella) was a Valencian condottiero born on an unknown date in Valencia. He was killed in Milan in February 1508.

Micheletto Corella
Miguel de Corella
DiedFebruary 1508 (aged 38)
Other names
  • Micheletto Coreglia
  • Michele de Corella


Known as Valentino's executioner, he and Cesare Borgia were thought to be close friends since childhood, going on to accompany one another during their studies at the University of Pisa.[1]

On 23 December 1499, a Don Michele de Corella and the Bishop of Trani were left in Forli as lieutenants in Cesare Borgia's army around the time of the seizure of Forli.[2]

In March, 1502, Corella was left by Cesare as his governor in Piombino.[3] Corella was then dispatched to Pesaro with Ramiro de Lorqua under the order of Cesare Borgia in October, 1502.[4] With his lances, on his way to Pesaro, Corella heard of the insurgence of the rebelling Fossombrone and Pergola, and ventured to those towns to sack them pitilessly as punishment.

Machiavelli describes a conversation Corella had with Oliverotto da Fermo on 31 December 1502: "Therefore Don Michele rode off and joined Oliverotto, telling him that it was not right to keep his men out of their quarters, because these might be taken up by the men of the duke; and he advised him to send them at once to their quarters and to come himself to meet the duke."[5]

On the night of 31 December 1502, Vitellozzo Vitelli and Oliverotto da Fermo, who had been arrested under Cesare's command, were strangled to death, supposedly by Corella (hinted in Machiavelli's letter of 31 December).

In November 1503, Michele da Corella and della Volpe had gone north with seven hundred horse to support Cesare's Romagnuoli but the group were defeated in Tuscany by the army of Gianpaolo Baglioni (Rafael Sabatini, The Life of Cesare Borgia, Chapter III: Julius II) After Micheletto Corella and della Volpe were taken prisoner in 1503, Corella was first imprisoned in Florence and then in Rome where he was questioned and tortured.[6] However, he refused to reveal the many secrets he knew about the Borgias.[1]

He was liberated by Pope Julius II in 1505, and thanks to Niccolò Machiavelli's mediation, was hired by Florence as bargello. He held this position for two years, until 1507.[7]

He was killed in Milan in 1508 by fellow countrymen, although the instigator is unknown.[8]

The Italian-English novelist and historian Rafael Sabatini described Micheletto Corella as follows: "Corella was a captain of foot, a soldier of fortune, who from the earliest days of Cesare's military career had followed the duke's fortunes – the very man who is alleged to have strangled Alfonso of Aragon by Cesare's orders. He is generally assumed to have been a Spaniard, and is commonly designated as Micheletto, or Don Miguel; but Alvisi supposes him, from his name of Corella, to have been a Venetian, and he tells us that by his fidelity to Cesare and the implicit manner in which he executed his master's orders, he earned - as is notorious- considerable hatred." (Rafael Sabatini, The Life of Cesare Borgia Chapter XII: Lucrezia's Third Marriage.)

Portrayals in popular cultureEdit






  1. ^ a b Fusero 1972, p. 247.
  2. ^ Sabatini 1891, p. 260-275.
  3. ^ Sabatini 1891, p. 315-321.
  4. ^ Sabatini 1891, p. 346-363.
  5. ^ Machiavelli, Niccolò (1503). A description of the methods adopted by the Duke Valentino when murdering Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, the Signor Pagolo, and the Duke di Gravina Orsini.
  6. ^ Dionisotti 1980, p. 30.
  7. ^ Dionisotti 1980, p. 10.
  8. ^ Dionisotti 1980, p. 25.
  9. ^ "Micheletto Corella Played by Sean Harris". Sho.com. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  10. ^ Shellabarger, Samuel (31 July 2002). Prince of Foxes. Bridgeworks. pp. 146–148. ISBN 9781461623397. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  11. ^ Sabatini, Rafael (2010). The Shame of Motley. Wildside Press. pp. 283–284. ISBN 9781434407146. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  12. ^ Saberhagen, Fred (1990). A Matter of Taste. ISBN 9781937422066. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  13. ^ Castaños Ruiz, Clara (12 October 2013). "Assassin's Creed y su relación con España". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 June 2018.


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