Charles VIII, King of France

Charles VIII, the son of Louis XI, was born in Amboise in 1470, and died there in 1498.

Urged by Lodovico Sforza of Milan, who was an enemy of the House of Aragón in Naples, Charles began his Italian expedition in March 1494. At that time Italian territorial lords were occupied mostly with their own rivalry and Charles had practically no resistance in his "walk" into Italy. It was said that Charles had conquered Italy "with chalk", that is with no efforts at all except that of marking the houses where his soldiers were to stay in their march along the Peninsula. Even Naples fell, and the Neapolitans saluted in triumph Charles's troop. But a league against him—called the Holy Alliance—formed by Milan, Venice, Spain, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Pope Alexander VI, soon forced his retreat. The battle between the French and the Italian troops was fought at Fornovo, near Mantua, on July 6, 1495. Having returned to France, Charles died three years later, at only 28 years of age, while preparing a new Italian military expedition.

Charles left no male heir, and was succeeded by his cousin Louis XII.