Charles VIII., the seventh king of the house of Valois, born at Amboise, June 30, 1470, died April 7, 1498. Being only 13 years of age on the death of his father, Louis XL, his eldest sister, Anne de Beaujeu, seized the reins of government, overpowered Louis of Orleans and his associates, who attempted to resist her, and ruled France in peace and prosperity till her brother became of age. The chivalric romances and accounts of Charlemagne's heroic deeds had imbued his weak mind with the idea that it was his mission to restore the Roman empire, and to take Constantinople from the Turks. At the head of a powerful army he entered Italy in 1494, triumphantly marched through the peninsula, and took possession of Naples. Satisfied with his military exploits, he left a part of his army in Naples, and hurried home with a select body of about 9,000 soldiers. When in the neighborhood of Parma, he encountered at Fornovo an army of 40,000 Italians, whom he routed (July 6, 1495), and triumphantly reentered France. He soon learned that his army had been defeated by the Spaniards under Gonzalvo de Cordova, and that the kingdom of Naples had returned to its old allegiance (149G). He was planning a new expedition when he suddenly expired from the effects of an apparently trifling accident.