Monferrato, Or Montferrat
MONFERRATO, or MONTFERRAT, an ancient marquisate of North Italy, in the valley of the Tanaro, the name of which still survives in the fuller title (Casale Monferrato) of the town of Casale. The princes of Monferrato were among the most powerful Italian families of the Middle Ages. Among them were several famous crusaders : Conrad, prince of Tyre from 1187 to 1192, the valiant opponent of Saladin ; and Boniface, king of Thessalonica from 1183 to 1207. In 1305, on the extinction of the male line, the marquisate passed to Theodore Palmologus through his mother, the empress Irene. The Palasologi became extinct in 1533. The duchy was subsequently attached to Mantua, and ultimately absorbed in Savoy in the beginning of last century.