Sforza , the ruling family of Milan, 1450–1535. The Sforzas were cunning politicians and able administrators. During their rule, Milan prospered. Two members of the family were especially notable:

Francesco (I) Sforza

(1401–1466) was a prominent mercenary soldier. He married the daughter of the duke of Milan and became duke in 1450.

Ludovico (or Lodovico) Sforza

(1451–1508), son of Francesco, was one of the wealthiest and most powerful figures of his time. He was duke of Milan from 1481 to 1499, when he was deposed by Louis XII of France. Ludovico is especially remembered as a patron of Leonardo da Vinci.