The battle of Legnano (1176) secured their rights to the Lombard cities, and to Milan its consular government; but on many occasions the authority of a foreign podestà was substituted for the native consuls.
The long period of peace was favourable to agriculture (greatly furthered by the Cistercians ), also to the wool and the silk industries, in the former of which, throughout Milanese territory, 60,000 men were employed, while the silk industry supported 40,000 persons.
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(MEDIOLANENSIS) Located in Lombardy, northern Italy. The city is situated on the Orona River, which, with three canals, the Naviglio Grande (1257-72), the Naviglio Martesana (1457), and the Naviglio di Pavia (1805-19), is the highway of the commerce of this great industrial centre, called the moral capital of Italy. 296 it was several times the capital of the emperors of the West ( Maximian Herculius, Valentinian I, his Son Honorius, and later, of Ricimer and of Odoacer).
The soil is very fertile and there is extensive cattle-raising and manufacturing throughout the province. by the Insubres, on the site of the ruined Melpum, and became the chief centre of the Cisalpine Gauls. it obtained Roman citizenship, and under the emperors it had famous schools and was a flourishing city, the Emperor Adrian having made it the seat of the prœfectus Liguriœ and Constantine, of the vicarius Italiœ . The edict of toleration of Constantine and Licinius (313) was agreed on and published at Milan.
The name of Milan is probably derived from the Celtic met lan , which means "in the middle of the plain". After the defeat of the Gauls near Clastidium, Mediolanum was taken by the consul Lucius Scipio (221) and became a Roman municipium . In 452 the town was besieged by Attila, and in 538 destroyed by Uraia, a nephew of Vitiges, King of the Goths, with a loss, according to Procopius, of 300,000 men.
Perchance for this reason the Lombard kings did not thereafter select Milan for their capital, though Bertarius did so during the brief division of the kingdom between the sons of Gundobad (661).
After Charlemagne, Milan was the seat of counts, whose authority however, was overshadowed by the prestige of the archbishops, foremost among whom was Ansperto da Biassono (869-81), who fortified the town and adorned it with beautiful buildings.
In 896-97 it endured a severe Siege by the Hungarians, and a century later Otto II transferred the title of count to the archbishops.
The most distinguished of these was Ariberto (1018-45), who induced Conrad II to take the crown of Italy.
With the assistance of the people he made war on Pavia and Lodi (1027), on which account he incurred the enmity of the greater feudal lords whom he exiled, but who, leagued together, defeated the archbishop at Campo Malo (1035), and returning to the city, called Conrad to their assistance; the latter, however, besieged Milan in vain (1037).
Though the struggle continued, a noble, Lanzano, and no longer Ariberto, headed the popular party.