|Duke of Parma and Piacenza|
|Reign||5 March 1622 – 11 September 1646|
|Born||28 April 1612|
Parma, Duchy of Parma
|Died||11 September 1646 (aged 34)|
Parma, Duchy of Parma
|Spouse||Margherita de' Medici|
|Issue||Ranuccio II Farnese|
|Father||Ranuccio I Farnese|
Odoardo was the eldest legitimate son of Ranuccio I Farnese and Margherita Aldobrandini. After Ranuccio's natural son and his potential rival, Ottavio, was relegated in a prison, he reigned initially under the regency of his uncle Odoardo Farnese and, after the latter's death, of his mother, Margherita Aldobrandini.
He came of age in 1628 and in the same year he married Margherita de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo II de' Medici's daughter. His first notable act as Duke was an alliance with France in 1633, a move designed to counter Spanish predominance in northern Italy and support his territorial ambitions. He also asked for loans to improve the army, but his first campaigns were ineffective: Piacenza was occupied by the Spanish troops, and his army was defeated by Francesco I d'Este. Spanish troops overran the duchy and devastated the countryside, but did not attempt to lay siege to the cities. In the absence of French assistance, Odoardo was convinced by Pope Urban VIII to sign a treaty of peace with Spain in 1637.
His aggressive rule of Castro, a Farnese fief in the Papal States north of Rome, who the Barberini (Pope Urban's family) were eager to acquire, caused Odoardo to be excommunicated in 1641. Instead of reconciliation, he sought alliances with Venice, Florence and the Duchy of Modena, and invaded northern Lazio with 7,000 troops. His army was composed mostly of cavalry, and were unable to recover Castro by siege. Although the Farnese fleet was destroyed and the Duke often proved recalcitrant, in the peace of 1644, the city of Castro was returned to him and Odoardo was reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church and readmitted to the Sacraments.
Marriage and childrenEdit
- Caterina Farnese (2 October 1629) died at birth.
- Ranuccio II Farnese (1630–1694) married Princess Margaret Yolande of Savoy (1), Isabella d'Este (2), Maria d'Este
- Maria Maddalena Farnesio (c.1633/1638 - 1693)
- Alessandro Farnese (10 January 1635 – 18 February 1689), Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1678 to 1682
- Orazio Farnese (24 January 1636 – 2 November 1656)
- Caterina Farnese (3 September 1637 – 24 April 1684) Carmelitan nun
- Pietro Farnese (4 April 1639 – 4 March 1677)
- Ottavio Farnese (5 January 1641 – 4 August 1641) died in infancy.
- Hanlon, Gregory (2019). The Hero of Italy: Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma, his Soldiers, and his Subjects in the Thirty Years' War. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-258628-5.
- Williams, George L. (2004). Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Pope. McFarland. p. 106. ISBN 0-7864-2071-5.