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"Vitellozzo Vitelli, Cesare's syphilitic wild dog; unleashed when terrible examples were to be made."
Leonardo da Vinci on Vitellozzo.[src]

Vitellozzo Vitelli (c. 1458–1502) was an Italian condottiero and one of Cesare Borgia's generals. At the time, his fellow generals were Ramiro d'Orco and Oliverotto da Fermo.


Serving the Borgia

Though Vitellozzo and his fellow generals loyally conquered Romagna for Cesare, the Captain General shifted all the blame onto them, in order to preserve his own reputation with the people. After Ramiro was executed as a "gift" for the citizens, Vitellozzo and Oliverotto rebelled against Cesare.[1]

They took much of Cesare's land out of retaliation, but Cesare only assured them that—should they enter his service again—all would be forgiven. Vitellozzo and Oliverotto consented to this, and went on to serve Cesare for several more months.[1]



Oliverotto and Vitellozzo (back) moments before their execution.

However, after some time, Cesare threw a "dinner" in the honor of his two generals, but when they arrived, it was revealed to be an ambush. Cesare thanked them for handing Romagna to him, but claimed it was time for him to "shed his bloody gloves". As the Papal Guard attacked them, the two generals drew their own weapons to defend themselves.[1]

Vitellozzo and Oliverotto skillfully overpowered the guards, and turned instead to Cesare. However, Vitellozzo detected a surviving Papal guard attacking him from behind. He managed to turn and kill the guard, but received a serious blow in return. Oliverotto meanwhile was felled by a bolt from Cesare's crossbow.[1]

Some time later, both generals regained consciousness, and found themselves chained back-to-back before Cesare and Micheletto Corella. Though Oliverotto attempted to blame Vitellozzo, claiming that the rebellion was all his plan, Cesare ultimately ordered Micheletto to strangle both of them, only claiming that their "sacrifice" would be invaluable to him.



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