Portrait of Alexander Farnese (1545-1592), Duke of Parma and Piacenza (1586-1592), Governor of the Spanish Netherlands (1578-1592), Captain General of the Army of Flanders (1578), 1590
Alexander Farnese (Italian: Alessandro Farnese, Spanish: Alejandro Farnesio) (27 August 1545 – 3 December 1592) was Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Castro from 1586 to 1592, and Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1578 to 1592. He is best known for his successful campaign 1578-1592 against the Dutch Revolt, in which he captured the main cities in the south (now Belgium) and returned them to the control of Catholic Spain. Alessandro was the son of Duke Ottavio Farnese of Parma (a grandchild of Pope Paul III) and Margaret, the illegitimate daughter of the King of Spain and Habsburg Emperor Charles V. In the autumn of 1577, Farnese was sent to join Don John at the head of reinforcements, and it was his able strategy and prompt decision at a critical moment that won the Battle of Gembloux in 1578. Shortly afterwards Don John, whose health had broken down, died. Phillip II appointed Farnese to take his place, both as Captain-General of the Army of Flanders, and as Governor-General.
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