Cesare d'Este, Duke of Modena

Cesare d'Este (8 October 1562 11 December 1628) was Duke of Modena and Reggio from 1597 until his death.

Cesare d'Este
Portrait by Cesare Aretusi
Duke of Modena and Reggio
Reign27 October 1597 – 11 December 1628
PredecessorAlfonso II d'Este
as Duke of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio
SuccessorAlfonso III d'Este
Born8 October 1562
Ferrara, Duchy of Ferrara
Died11 December 1628(1628-12-11) (aged 67)
SpouseVirginia de' Medici
IssueAlfonso, Duke of Modena
Laura, Duchess of Mirandola
Luigi, Lord of Montecchio
Borso d'Este
FatherAlfonso d'Este, Marquis of Montecchio
MotherGiulia della Rovere
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Born in Ferrara, Cesare was the son of Alfonso d'Este, Marquis of Montecchio, fourth son of Alfonso I d'Este and the cousin of Alfonso II d'Este, duke of Ferrara and Modena.

When the latter died without heirs in the October 1597, Cesare inherited the duchy.

The legitimacy of the succession was recognised by the Emperor Rudolph II but not by Pope Clement VIII: thus, as Ferrara was nominally a Papal fief, the city was returned to the Papal States, despite the attempts of the young duke, who sought help from the major powers to no avail..

The capital was therefore moved to Modena, which he entered on 30 January 1598. His first years were troublesome: he had to face the quarrels between the Modenese and Ferrarese nobles who had come with him, the attempt at independence of Maro Pio of Sassuolo, and a war against Lucca for the possession of Garfagnana.

On 30 January 1586 he married Virginia de' Medici, daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, who suffered increasing symptoms of madness, until her death in 1615. He was succeeded by his son, Alfonso.


  • Giulia d'Este (15881645) died unmarried;
  • Alfonso III d'Este, Duke of Modena (15911644), father of Francesco I d'Este, Duke of Modena;
  • Laura d'Este (15941630) married Alessandro I Pico, Duke of Mirandola and had issue;
  • Luigi d'Este, Lord of Montecchio and Scandiano (1593/15941664), had issue;
  • Caterina d'Este (15951618) died unmarried;
  • Ippolito d'Este (15991647) died unmarried;
  • Niccolo d'Este (16011640) married Sveva d'Avalos, no issue;
  • Borso d'Este (16051657) married Ippolita d'Este (daughter of his brother Luigi) and had issue (including Maria Angela Caterina d'Este);
  • Foresto d'Este (16061639/1640);
  • Angela Caterina d'Este (died 1651), died unmarried, nun
Cesare d'Este, Duke of Modena
Born: 8 October 1562 Died: 11 December 1628
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Alfonso II
Duke of Modena and Reggio
Succeeded by
Alfonso III
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