Mediaeval Italy bridges three different political and cultural spheres:
|Fiefs of Italy|
Kingdom of Lombardy
Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Sardinia
Duchy of Benevento
Duchy of Spoleto
Duchy of Modena
Archbishopric of Ravenna
Archbishopric of Milan
Duchy of Milan
Duchy of Tuscany
Duchy of Mantua
Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Urbino
Margravate of Tuscany
Margravate of Spoleto
Margravate of Montferrat
Principality of Verona
Republic of Venice
Republic of Genoa
While there was such a division quite early in the history of Italy, with (1) Celts in the north, (2) Etruscans and Latium in the center, and (3) obscure indigenous people surrounded by Greek colonists in the south, the distinctive Mediaeval division of the country began with the invasion of the Lombards in 568. This was after Justinian and his great general Belisarius had retrieved the country from the Ostrogoths (536-553). The Lombards secured the north and broke through into the south; but this left a Roman corridor from Rome to Ravenna, and Lombard rule south of this only consisted of the montane Duchies of Benevento and Spoleto. The rest of the south, especially the littoral areas, principal cities, and all of Sicily, remained in Roman hands. When the Lombards finally took Ravenna in 751, Pope Stephen III appealed to the Franks. In response, King Pepin "donated" the Rome-Ravenna corridor, the Exarchate of Ravenna, to the Papacy in 754; and, after defeating the Lombards in 756, he delivered government of this area to the Pope. This established the Papal States, which survived until 1870 -- 1116 years. The Lombards were finally overthrown by Charlemagne in 774, and the Kingdom remained part of the Carolingian Empire until 888. It was then independent under Carolingian in-laws until conquered by Otto I of Germany in 961. An independent Italian Kingdom then did not exist until 1861 -- exactly 900 years later.
The policy of the Papacy was, understandably, to prevent the unification of Italy, which would have endangered Papal power. For a while, this was not much of an issue. The South remained in Lombard and Roman hands and constituted an area that was politically and culturally very different from Francia. It was culturally still part of Romania, and indeed there were still many Greek speakers, especially in Sicily, who had been living there since Greek colonization began in the 8th century BC. This was first compromised by the Islamic conquest of Sicily (827-878). Next came the Norman conquest of southern Italy, which then extended also to Sicily. The Normans finished the expulsion of the Romans in 1071, and of Islâm in 1072. This established the region as a distinct part of the Periphery of Francia. It would be the Regnum (Regno), the center of European politics and culture under the brilliant Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, the Stupor Mundi, "Wonder of the World." The modern tourist might be puzzled to find the massive prophyry sarcophagus of a Mediaeval German Emperor in Palermo. But that was Frederick's capital.
The Regnum did not include Sardinia, but then Sardinia's status is often ambiguous. Since it ended up in the hands of Aragón, it can be treated as part of the Periphery. Later, it passed to Savoy, which puts it in the Core of Francia. This is the kind of ambiguity characteristic through the Middle Ages of Italy as a whole. Spoleto, which begins as one of the detached southern Lombard Duchies, becomes more fully integrated into Lombardy and Francia after the Carolingian conquest -- rendering its own assignment, like Sardinia, ambiguous.
|Fiefs of the Regnum,|
the Regno, the Mezzogiorno
Kingdom of Sicily & Naples|
Aragonese Kingdom of Sicily
Anjevian Kingdom of Naples
Aragonese Kingdom of Naples
Savoyard Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of Sardinia
Princes of Benevento & Salerno
Princes of Capua, I
Princes of Capua, II
Dukes of Benevento & Spoleto
Dukes of Naples, Amalfi, & Gaeta
Counts of Capua
Counts of Aversa
Knights of Malta
The Regnum was unusual among the territories of Francia in that the Normans received it as a fief directly from the Papacy. That was a theoretical curiosity -- ironically part of the settlement after Pope Leo IX had been defeated and captured at the Battle of Civitate in 1053 -- but in practice had little effect on the behavior either of the Normans or of Frederick II. It had some significance when the Pope, as suzerain, got Charles of Anjou to exterminate the Hohenstaufen. But then Sicily revolted against Charles in 1282 and attached itself, to the chagrin and fury of the Pope, to Aragón. Eventually, Sicily, Sardinia, and Naples all ended up in the hands of the Kings of Aragón, and so finally the Kings of Spain.
Even Napoleon, although annexing Rome itself and ruling the north as the King of Italy, kept the south as a separate Kingdom. The Congress of Vienna restored the Bourbons, who had maintained themselves in Sicily, to the whole of Sicily and Naples, now called the Kingdom of the "Two Sicilies". This was the situation until 1860, when Garibaldi landed in Sicily with the intention of reunited Italy. The Kings of Sardinia became the Kings of an Italy, now joining the north and south for the first time since the Lombards invaded in 568 -- 1293 years. This left part of the original dividing line, Rome itself, still in the hands of the Pope, defended by French troops. The capital of Italy was temporarily at Florence (after another brief stint at Pisa -- now a matter for trivia questions). When Napoleon III withdrew his troops in 1870, to use them against Prussia, Rome was occupied, despite the protests of the Pope, and made capital of the completely reunited country. The only exception to Italian unification visible on the map here is Corsica, which was sold by the Republic of Genoa to France in 1768. Although Italy entered World War I to regain Italia Irredenta, "Unredeemed Italy," this ended up meaning the Tyrol, Trieste, and Istria -- Austrian possessions -- not Corsica. Italy abandoned its alliance with Germany and Austria, from which a victory might had netted Corsica (or even Savoy and Nice, ceded to France in 1860), in order to seek, and win, the Austrian areas (1918). Italy returned to a German alliance in World War II, and ended up losing the Slavic speaking part of Istria to Yugoslavia. In modern Europe, there now seems little prospect of Corsica ever returning to Italian rule, although a movement for detaching Corsica from France exists.
Philosophy of History
The Margraves of Tuscany and Spoleto, 812-1115 AD
|The Margraves of Tuscany|
|Boso of Arles||931-936|
|Beatrice of Bar||1053-1076|
|Wido (Guy) I||842-866|
|Wido (Guy) III||c.880-894|
|King of Italy,|
|Otto of Saxony||King of|
|King of Italy,|
|Spoleto Imperial Fief|
At right are the contemporary Margraves of Spoleto. Spoleto had been one of the semi-autonomous Lombard Duchies of Southern Italy, under rather closer control of the Lombard Kings in the north than the more distant, and durable, Duchy of Benevento. Some dates and numberings in the table, from Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies, are contradicted by the genealogy in The New Cambridge Medieval History, Volume III, c.900-c.1024 [Timothy Reuter, editor, Cambridge, 1999, p.702], given below. Alberic II in Gordon and Anscar II (Margrave of Ivrea) of the History seems to have divided Spoleto between them. I have been able to sort out some of this using the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [Andreas Thiele, R. G. Fischer Verlag, Part 2, Second Edition, 1997]. But it seems to be a very obscure period, and I have not been able to account for the identity of all the figures listed by Gordon and the History.
The line of the Margraves of Spoleto shifts to Alberic of Fermo or of Camerino in 900. This line becomes entangled with the Tusculani, in association with which we find no less then eight Popes. Alberic's grandson, Pope John XII, crowns Otto I Emperor but also cedes Spoleto to him.
This genealogy doesn't cover much of the history of Tuscany, but does show the interesting marriages of the Margraves of Spoleto, Tuscany, and Ivrea.
In the later days of the Margravate, it became a battlefield of the conflict between the German Emperors and the Popes. The final family of Margraves was of the house of Attoni, founded by Atto Adalbert, son of the Baron Siegfried of Lucca, who helped Queen Adeleide of Italy escape the attentions of King Berengar II, protecting her at Canossa castle. When she married the King (then Emperor) Otto I, he granted Atto a County of Canossa. Atto's grandson, Boniface, then succeeded to Tuscany. Two years after Boniface was assassinated in 1052, the widowed Marchioness, Beatrice, married Godfrey II (the Bearded), Duke of Upper (1044-1047) and Lower Lorraine (1065-1069). In 1055 the Emperor Henry III then kidnapped Beatrice and her daughter, Matilda, but before he died (1056) the Emperor reconciled with Godfrey and released the women. When Godfrey died in 1069, Matilda married his son Godfrey III (the Hunchback), Duke of Lower Lorraine (1069-1076). When her child by Godfrey died, Matilda returned to Italy.
When her mother Beatrice died in 1076, Matilda succeeded to the Margravate and took the side of the Pope Gregory VII in the Investiture Controversy. The Emperor Henry IV stood barefoot in the snow outside Matilda's family castle at Canossa in 1077. In 1089 the 43-year-old Matilda married the 17-year-old Welf V, of the principal German family of Papal supporters. The marriage didn't work out, and when Matilda and Welf separated in 1095, this complicated the Imperial-Papal conflict, since the Emperor took the side of the Welfs. In 1110, a confused settlement was patched up. The Popes were so grateful for Matilda's support that eventually, in 1634, her body was moved to St. Peter's Basilica.
Philosophy of History
Montferrat, Monferrato in Italian, was a domain in the north of Italy, near modern Alessandria. Originally a County, it was elevated to a Margravate in the course the transition from the rule of Berengar II, King of Italy, to that of Otto I of Germany, who was then crowned Roman Emperor. Presumably Count Aledram benefited from the conflict, ending up as an adherent of Otto.
I have chosen to use the term "margrave." In feudal usage, this is equivalent to "marquess" in English and "marquis" in French. "Marquis" is the term most frequently seen in relation to Montferrat. Since the Italian form of the name "Montferrat" is also rarely seen in English, one is often left with the false impression that this is a French, not an Italian, feudatory.
This genealogy is entirely from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [Andreas Thiele, R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 1997, pp. 257-261]. The early dates seem consistently uncertain.
The family achieves prominence with the Crusades. Of the sons of William VI, two married Queens of Jerusalem. William VII married Sibylla and fathered King Baldwin V of Jerusalem. Sibylla's second husband, Guy of Lusignan, was the King of Jerusalem who lost the battle of Hattin to Saladin in 1187. Conrad marries Queen Isabella. Their daughter Maria married John Brienne, who acted as King of Jerusalem and then Emperor of Romania. Their daughter Yolanda married the German Emperor and "Wonder of the World" (Stupor Mundi) Frederick II. The biggest splash, however, was made by their brother Boniface. He had been in service in Romania with his other brother Rainier -- both of them were made Caesars by the Emperor Andronicus I Comnenus. Boniface had fought at Hattin and with Richard the Lionheart on the Third Crusade. Then in 1201 he was elected leader for the Fourth Crusade. This, of course, ended up going poorly. The Crusaders didn't have enough money to pay Venice for passage to Palestine. But the Venetians offered passage in exchange for a couple of little jobs. First was to take the Dalmatian city of Zara. This was done, and Pope Innocent III excommunicated the entire force for attacking Christians instead of Muslims. The next task was to restore Isaac II on the throne in Constantinople, which was accomplished in 1203, under the direction of his son, who was also installed as Alexius IV. When Alexius was unable to pay off Venice and the Crusaders as promised, and was then overthrown by the outraged Greeks in 1204, the Crusaders took and sacked the City.
This appalling deed destroyed the last bastion of continuity with the Classical World and ushered in the brief and pathetic Latin Empire in Romania. Boniface was the obvious choice as Emperor in Constantinople but his election was vetoed by Venice, which didn't want anyone so vigorous or competent. But it was left to Boniface to reduce the rest of Romania to Latin authority. With his capture of the second city of the Empire, Thessalonica, he made himself King thereof. He then established feudal dependencies as the Duchy of Athens (1205-1456) and the Principality of Achaea (1205-1432). His own rule was short-lived, with him dying at the hand of the Bulgar Tsar Kalojan in 1207. His minor son Demetrius barely had time to come of age before Thessalonica was taken by Epirus in 1224.
Demetrius himself was childless, so the title to Thessalonica passed to his nephew Boniface II back in Montferrat. That might have been the end of it, and the claim to Thessalonica could have floated around for years like many such claims, if not for the marriage of Boniface's granddaughter Yolanda, who fell heir to Montferrat with the death of her brother in 1305. Yolanda married the Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus. His son by his first marriage would succeed as the Emperor Michael IX; but now Yolanda's son Theodore would succeed as Margrave of Montferrat. Their other son, John, is listed by Andreas Thiele as the "titular" King of Thessalonica; but now, of course, the claim to Thessalonica has returned to the Sovereign who actually holds the territory, John's father Andronicus. John's title thus now derived from the relevant suzerain; and while its possession may have been largely honorary, like the Heir of England being the Prince of Wales, John, who was already a Despot of the Empire, was going to be exercising a lot more authority on the spot than any "titular" authorities off in Francia would ever be able to do.
This extraordinary turn means that subsequent Margraves of Montferrat are of the Imperial Palaeologi family. The irony of this is considerable. The domain of the leader of the Fourth Crusade passes to the family of the Greeks who ejected the Latins from Constantinople and ruled as the last Emperors of Romania. In 1536 Montferrat passes to the husband of the Heiress Margaret, Duke Frederick II Gonzaga of Mantua (Mantova). Under Frederick's son William (XII), Montferrat itself was raised to the status of a Duchy, but then in 1708 it was absorbed by Savoy. However, Margaret was not the unambiguous successor to Montferrat. After her brother Boniface IV died in 1530, the Margravate passed to her uncle John George. John George had a son, Flaminio, who should have inherited. However, John George had only married in the year of his death, 1533, and Flaminio was therefore no more than an infant, if not born posthumously. The influence of Savoy seems to have helped disinherit Flaminio and enthrone Margaret and her husband. But Flaminio lived and had two sons. Thiele cites one descendant living in 1900. With no further information, one is left to wonder how many, or any, Italian Paleologhi are today descendants of the Imperial Palaeologi of Montferrat.
Philosophy of History
|Captains-General of Mantua|
|Margraves of Mantua|
(John Francis) II
|Dukes of Mantua|
I of Nevers
|Mantua to Emperor,|
Montferrat to Savoy,
Francesco II (also Gianfrancesco, John Francis, II or III) married Isabella d'Este (the house of Modena). Andreas Thiele says, "Sie macht den Hof v. Mantua zum strahlenden Mittelpunkt der italien. Renaissance(!)" -- "She made the court of Mantua into the shining center of the Italian Renaissance" [see Thiele below, p.249].
Federico II married Margaret of Montferrat. Margaret was the heiress of Montferrat, which brought the Margravate, soon to be a Duchy also, to Mantua -- though it was separated from Mantua by the territory of the much more powerful Milan. But Margaret was actually also the heiress of the Roman Palaeologi family, who had become the heirs of Montferrat. Boniface of Montferrat had led the Fourth Crusade against Constantinople and then become King of Thessalonica. Nevertheless, Yolanda (d.1317), the heiress of Montferrat, married the Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus, and it was her son Theodore who inherited Montferrat.
Federico's son Ludovico (or Luigi) married the heiress of Nevers. This was ultimately a possession of Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy and came to the Gonzagas by way of Cleves & Mark-Altena.
The Gonzagas were made Margraves by the Emperor Sigismund, and then Dukes by the great Emperor Charles V. When the male line failed (1708), right in the middle of the War of the Spanish Succession, the Emperor Joseph I took possession of Mantua, while Montferrat passed to his ally Savoy.
Meanwhile Eleonore, a granddaughter of Duke Carlo I, had made a very good marriage, to the Emperor Ferdinand III. This was Ferdinand's third marriage, so it did not contribute any heirs to Austria, but their own daughter Eleonore, after marriage to an ephemeral King of Poland, married Duke Charles IV of Lorraine. This led to their grandson, the Duke Francis III, who then married the great Maria Theresa, the Heiress of Austria, founding the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine. All the subsequent Hapsburgs are thus descendants, not only of Gonzaga, but of the Imperial Palaeologi. I imagine that there are others, but this is the only line of modern descent from the Palaeologi that I have noticed.
The list of Captains-General, Margraves, and Dukes is from the Oxford Dynasties of the World by John E. Morby [Oxford University Press, 1989, 2002, p.107]. The genealogical diagram beginning with Gianfrancesco is based on the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, by Andreas Thiele, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 1997]. The map of Italy is adapted from April Blood, by Lauro Martines [Oxford, 2003].
Philosophy of History
& Dukes of Urbino
|Buonconte||Count of Montefeltro,|
|Papal Rule, 1285-1294|
|Papal Rule, 1322-1324|
|Papal Rule, 1369-1375|
|Della Rovere Dukes of Urbino|
|Francesco Maria I||1508-1538|
|Francesco Maria II||1574-1621,|
|Papal Rule, 1631|
And Guidobaldo, when he made
That grammar school of courtesies
Where wit and beauty learned their trade
Upon Urbino’s windy hill,
Had sent no runners to and fro
That he might learn the shepherds’ will.
Fiefs in the Papal States were often granted by Popes to their relatives. With Urbino, Count Federico III is made a Duke by Pope Sixtus IV, Francesco della Rovere, even as Federico's daughter Giovanna marries Sixtus' nephew Giovanni. The son of Giovanna and Giovanni, Francesco Maria, then succeeds to the Duchy, which is then in the possession of the della Roveres until the male line fails and the territory reverts to the Papacy.
Other genealogical connections of the della Rovere Popes are given with the list of Popes. Francesco Maria II married a granddaughter, Lucretia, of Lucretia Borgia, whose children otherwise failed to continue the line of d'Este in Modena. Finally, the della Roveres intermarry with the Medici of Florence, whose own line then shortly afterwards dies out.
The list of Counts and Dukes is from the Oxford Dynasties of the World, by John E. Morby [Oxford University Press, 1989, 2002, p.105]. The genealogical diagram is based on Morby, on April Blood, by Lauro Martines [Oxford, 2003, p.xv], and on the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, by Andreas Thiele, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 1997, p.249], and Volume III, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser, Ergänzungsband [Andreas Thiele, R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 2001, p.210].
Philosophy of History
|da Romano, Ghibelline|
|Di Sehio, Ghibelline|
|San Bonifazio, Guelph|
|della Scala, Ghibelline|
|Excommunicated for supporting Conradin Hohenstaufen, 1267|
|holds Parma, 1335-1341|
|To Milan, 1387-1404|
|To Padua, 1404;|
both to Venice, 1405
How to label the rulers and the realm of Verona is a little confusing. The Northern Italian cities of the 12th century, such as the members, including Verona (1167-1226), of the Lombard League, the Lega Lombarda, were essentially republics. The podestà (like potestà, "power") was the elected mayor. Once Mastino I made his office hereditary (1263), he became the Signore, the "Lord." This made Verona a signoría, a domain or "seignitory." Nevertheless, the Lord of Verona is often called the "Prince," and Bruce R. Gordon lists the state as a "Principality." This is reasonable, since a "lord" may be no more than a baron at the bottom of a very deep feudal hierarchy, while any ruler who is essentially sovereign and autonomous may be called a "prince." In the 15th century, as the political arrangements in Italy matured, the surviving independent cities, which had not remained Republics (like Genoa), tended to become Duchies (like Milan).
Cangrande was one of the archetypes of the Renaissance Prince, sheltering Dante Alighieri in exile (as had Bartolomeo I), and patronizing Petrarch and Giotto. Dante wrote a letter to Cangrande explaining the levels of interpretation that would apply to The Divine Comedy. And Dante repaid Cangrande's attentions by placing him in The Paradiso. The prince also appears favorably in Boccaccio's Decameron.
Cangrande is also evidently the prince in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet's families, the Montagues (Montecchi) and the Capulets, respectively, are feuding because of the conflict between Guelphs (the Papal party of the Welfs) and Ghibellines (the Imperial party of the Hohenstaufen or Waiblingen) that troubled the politics of many Italian cities -- note that Verona left the Lombard League, which resisted the Emperors, in 1226 when the Ghibellines achieved control of the city. The Montagues were Guelphs and the Capulets Ghibellines. In the play the Prince, who was a Ghibelline, does not seem to favor one family over the other, which may reflect his policy of reconciling the factions to his rule. The houses of the two families, or at least what are thought to be, are still pointed out and marked in Verona.
Shakespeare set another play in Verona, the self-explanatory The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Cangrande and his brother Bartolomeo married sisters whose father was Conrad of Antioch, the son of Frederick of Antioch, an illegitimate son of the Emperor Frederick II. Frederick's mother, who was the source of his connection to the Principality of Antioch, is called "Maria" or "Mathilda." I had difficulty identifying her parentage among the de Hauteville Princes of Antioch. I could not track her down in my regular sources, and I had even gotten the idea that she was the wife rather than the mother of Fredrick of Antioch. Fortunately, a correspondent, Jan van den Burg, found some references, including Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln Neue Folge Band I.1, Die fränkischen Könige (...) Kaiser desen Römischen Reiches Deutscher Nation, Tafel 16 Die Staufer III. This is a curious feature of the della Scala genealogy, although the subsequent descent of the family was the result of neither marriage.
Cangrande was from the della Scala family -- a name that can also be rendered as "de Scalis" or "Scaliger" (Scaligeri). There is a curious sequel involving this name. Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609), who introduced the device of Julian Day Numbers, was the son of the Humanist scholar Julius Caesar Scaliger (1484-1558), after whom the Day Numbers were actually named (not directly after Julius Caesar). The elder Scaliger was born in Italy; and although he styled himself as "Giulio Cesare della Scala," his own father's name was Benedetto Bordone and he went as a Bordone in his youth. It was later that he claimed to actually be a della Scala, a Scaliger. Although this seems to make it unlikely that he was an actual Scaliger, the present fame of the name is principally due to Joseph Justus.
Thus, for its very brief period of fame, the influence of Verona survives in literature and even in the history of science.
Philosophy of History
The d'Este family was from an old Lombard family. Otbert I achieves prominence with the coming of the Germans, King then Emperor Otto I, to Italy. Otbert becomes the Count Palatine of Italy, i.e. the keeper of the Imperial Palace, and his successors continue as Margraves of Milan and of other Northern Italian locales. There are then two significant landmarks in the history of the family. First Albert Azzo II marries Kunigunde, the Heiress of the Welfs. Their son founds the line of the "Younger Welfs" detailed elsewhere. By his second marriage, the line of d'Este continues in Milan. As Milan shifts to communal government, the d'Estes shift to other cities, like Ferrara and then Modena. It is as Dukes of Modena that they continued to the 19th century.
|Obizzo II||Lord of Ferrera|
loss of Ferrera,
|Modena annexed to|
Lombard Republic, 1796;
Cisalpine Republic, 1797,
Kingdom of Italy, 1805-1814
This list was originally from Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy, which left a few obscurities. Now the list has been modified and the entire genealogy produced from Andreas Thiele's Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 1, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997, p.33], Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 1997, pp.231-236], and Volume III, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser, Ergänzungsband [R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 2001, pp.163-164].
|Annexed by Sardinia|
to Italy, 1859
When the Duke of Modena was deposed by Napoleon, he was compensated by the Treaty of Campo Formio (between France and Austria, 1797) with Breisgau. Francis IV would have been able to return in 1814.
In 1859 a plebiscite voted for union with Sardinia, whence it passed into the Kingdom of Italy when that was formed in 1861.
Philosophy of History
|Doges of Genoa|
|Corsica taken from Pisa, 1284;|
defeat of Venice, 1298
|Caffa in Crimea taken, 1343|
|John Di Morta||1344-1350|
|John Di Valenti||1350-1353|
|occupied by Milan, 1353-1356;|
war with Venice, 1353-1355
|war with Venice, 1378-1381|
|Anthony Adorno I||1384-1390|
|Anthony Montalto I||1392-1393|
|Anthony Montalto II||1393-1394|
|Anthony Adorno II||1394-1396|
|occupied by France, 1396-1409;|
occupied by Montferrat, 1409-1413
|Barnabas De Grano||1415|
|occupied by Milan, 1421-1436|
|John Tregoso I||1447-1448|
|Louis Tregoso I||1448-1450|
|occupied by France, 1458-1460|
|Louis Tregoso II||1460-1463|
|occupied by Milan, 1464-1476|
|John Battista Tregoso||1476-1483|
|occupied by Milan, 1487-1499;|
occupied by France, 1499-1507
|Paul Da Novi||1507|
|occupied by France, 1507-1512|
|John Tregoso II||1512-1513|
|occupied by France, 1515-1522|
|Censor, 1527-1555, d.1560|
|Oberto Cattaneo Lazzari||1528-1530|
|Cristoforo Grimaldi Rosso||1535-1537|
|Giovanni Battista Doria||1537-1539|
|Gianandrea Giustiniani Lungo||1539-1541|
|Leonardo Cattaneo della Volta||1541-1543|
|Andrea Centurione Pietrasanta||1543-1545|
|Giovanni Battista di Fornari||1545-1547|
|Benedetto Gentile Pevere||1547-1549|
|Gaspare Grimaldi Bracelli||1549-1551|
|Agostino Pinello Ardimenti||1555-1557|
|Pietro Giovanni Chiavica Cibo||1557-1558|
|Paolo Battista Giudice Calvi||1561-1561|
|Battista Cicala Zoaglio||1561-1563|
|Giovanni Battista Lercari||1563-1565|
|Ottavio Gentile Odorico||1565-1567|
|Paolo Giustiniani Moneglia||1569-1571|
|Giacomo Durazzo Grimaldi||1573-1575|
|Prospero Centurione Fattinanti||1575-1577|
|Giovanni Battista Gentile Pignolo||1577-1579|
|Gerolamo de Franchi Tosso||1581-1583|
|Ambrogio di Negro||1585-1587|
|Giovanni Agostino Giustiniani Campi||1591-1593|
|Antonio Grimaldi Cebá||1593-1595|
|Lazzaro Grimaldi Cebá||1597-1599|
|Pietro de Franchi (Sacco)||1603-1605|
|Luca Grimaldi (de Castro)||1605-1607|
|Agostino Pinello Luciani||1609-1611|
|Alessandro Giustiniani Longo||1611-1613|
|Giovanni Giacomo Imperiale (Tartaro)||1617-1619|
|Federico de Franchi||1623-1625|
|Giovanni Luca Chiavari||1627-1629|
|Leonardo della Torre||1631-1633|
|Giovanni Stefano Doria||1633-1635|
|Giovanni Francesco Brignole Sale||1635-1637|
|Giovanni Battista Durazzo||1639-1641|
|Giovanni Agostino de Marini||1641-1642|
|Giovanni Battista Lercari||1642-1644|
|Giovanni Battista Lomellini||1646-1648|
|Giacomo de Franchi (Toso)||1648-1650|
|Gerolamo de Franchi||1652-1654|
|Giovanni Battista Centurione||1658-1660|
|Gian Bernardo Frugoni||1660-1661|
|Stefano de Mari||1663-1665|
|Antonio da Passano||1675-1677|
|Luca Maria Invrea||1681-1683|
|Francesco Maria Imperiale Lercari||1683-1685|
|Oberto della Torre||1689-1691|
|Giovanni Battista Cattaneo||1691-1693|
|Francesco Maria Sauli||1697-1699|
|Girolamo de Mari||1699-1701|
|Federico de Franchi||1701-1703|
|Antonio Grimaldi Cebá||1703-1705|
|Stefano Onorato Ferreti||1705-1707|
|Domenico Maria de Mari||1707-1709|
|Francesco Maria Imperiale||1711-1713|
|Giovanni Antonio Giustiniani||1713-1715|
|Cesare de Franchi||1721-1723|
|Francesco Maria Balbi||1730-1732|
|Domenico Maria Spinola||1732-1734|
|Lorenzo de Mari||1744-1746|
|Gian Franceso Brignone Sale II||1746-1748|
|Cesare Cattaneo della Volta||1748-1750|
|Giovanni Battista Grimaldi||1752-1754|
|Gian Giacomo Veneroso||1754-1756|
|Giovanni Giacomo Grimaldi||1756-1758|
|Rodolfo Giulio Brignone Sale||1762-1764|
|Francesco Maria della Rovere||1765-1767|
|Corsica sold to France, 1768|
|Giovanni Battista Negrone||1769-1771|
|Giovanni Battista Cambiaso||1771-1773|
|Pier Franco Grimaldi||1773-1775|
|Giacomo Maria Brignole||1779-1781|
|Marco Antonio Gentile||1781-1783|
|Giovanni Battista Ayroli||1783-1785|
|Gian Carlo Pallavicino||1785-1787|
|Raffaele de Ferrari||1787-1789|
|Alerame Maria Pallavicini||1789-1791|
|Giuseppe Maria Doria||1793-1795|
|Giacomo Maria Brignole||1795-1797|
|occupied by France||Ligurian|
|annexed to Sardinia, 1814|
The first cities responsible for maritime commercial culture on the West side of Italy were the Duchies of Naples, Gaeta, and Amalfi, which drifted into autonomy and independence after the Roman reconquest of Italy in the 6th century. Amalfi emerged as the most successful seapower of the Duchies. But then as Amalfi began to be overshadowed by the new Norman states in the 11th century, it was Pisa that emerged as its most powerful rival. Pisa, however, as with Genoa later, had difficulty achieving and maintaining its independence. At first it was a possession of the Duchy of Lucca. In the 9th & 10th centuries, fleets from the city were already involved in naval actions from Italy to North Africa. In 1003 a communal government revolted against Lucca. By 1052, Pisa had occupied Corscia, to the distress of Genoa, and in 1060 defeated Genoa in a naval battle. In 1077 Pope Gregory VII recognized Pisan independence; and in 1092 Pople Urban II recognized Pisan rule over Sardinia and Corsica. A communal government survived from 1081 to 1312 (encompassing episodes like Schopenhauer's "dungeon of Ugolino" in 1289). Thereafter Pisa's independence began to be interrupted, and finally Florence took over 1406-1494 and permanently after 1509.
By the end of the 13th century, however, Genoa had surpassed Pisa, taking Corsica from it as Aragon took Sardinia (1323), and challenging Venice in both war and trade -- and sharing with England the symbol of the red on white Cross of St. George. The city completely replaced Venice as the most favored nation in Constantinople under the Palaeologi, receiving the city of Galata, across the Golden Horn from the capital, as a Genovese colony. Although officially neutral during the Turkish siege of Constantinople in 1453, and contributing only a single ship to the defense of the city, a Genovese captain, Giovanni Giustiniani Longo, did lead an unofficial contingent of defenders from Genoa. Giustiniani was perhaps militarily the most effective leader of the defense. When he was wounded and left the walls, one is then not surprised to learn that the city fell on that day. As the last Emperor's name, Constantine XI, recalls the founder of the city, Giustiniani's name echoes the Emperor, Justinian, who recovered Genoa itself from the Ostrogoths.
In 1298 the Genovese defeated a Venetian fleet and captured 5,000 prisoners, including Marco Polo, who began to recount his travels to China while sitting in a Genovese prison.
As modern history began, the significance of Genoa, as of Venice, declined, but Genoa suffered repeated occupations, while Venice did not, as the armies of France moved in and out of Italy. Later, it may not have been considered significant enough to occupy, until the French Revolution ushered in an era in which small mediaeval remnants got scooped up by larger states. Or the city may have been sufficiently strengthened by the reforms of Andrea Doria, who converted the Dogeship into a biannual office. Among subsequent Doges we see many familiar names, like Doria itself, Grimaldi, the name of the present Princes of Monaco, and even Giustiniani.
Pisa, meanwhile, was annexed by Florence in 1406, was briefly freed (by the French, 1494), and then was permanently incorporated into Florence in 1509. Venice, of course, survived until occupied by Napoleon in 1797. Corsica, always difficult to control, was sold to France in 1768. Still a troublesome possession, it contributed, of course, Napoleone Buonaparte (or Napoleon Bonaparte) to be the first Emperor of France.
The most famous resident of Genoa was probably Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Columbo), celebrated by Italians, sometimes with opposition, on Columbus Day every year. Columbus, however, may originally have been of Spanish (Cristóbal Colón), or even Jewish, derivation. The latest theories are that he was actually Catalan and deliberately tried to obscure his origins because of a brief stint at piracy. Since he married Spanish nobility, chances are that he was not of an origin that would have been prevented such a marriage, i.e. Jewish or a Genovese commoner.
Like many north Italian cities, Genoa was a center of banking. For many years, in the heyday of Spanish power, it was one of the principal sources of loans to the Kings of Spain.
This list is entirely from Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies. It has English equivalents for Italian, where the Italian names are often more familiar. I have also seen the name "Tregoso" given as "Fregoso."
Philosophy of History
|Bishops of Milan|
|St. Barnabas||c.52 AD|
|St. Protasius Algisi||c.351|
|St. Dionysius Mariani||351-365|
|Council II, Constantinople I, Arianism condemned, 381; orders public penance of Emperor Theodosius I for massacre at Thessalonica, 390|
|St. Simplicianus Soresini||397-400|
|St. Venerius Oldrati||400-408|
|St. Martinianus Osio||423-435|
|St. Glycerius Landriani||436-438|
|St. Lazarus Beccardi||438-449|
|St. Eusebius Pagani||449-462|
|St. Gerontius Bescapè||462-465|
|St. Benignus Bossi||465-472|
|St. Senator Settala||472-475|
|St. Theodorus I de' Medici||475-490|
|St. Laurentius I Litta||490-512|
|St. Eustorgio II||512-518|
|St. Magnus de' Trincheri||518-530|
|St. Dacius Agliati||530-552|
|Vitale de' Cittadini||552-555|
|St. Ausanus Crivelli||566-567|
|St. Honoratus Castiglioni||568-572|
|Lombards conquer northern Italy, 568|
|Constantius de' Cittadini||593-600|
|St. Giovan I Bono||649-660|
|St. Antonino Fontana||660-661|
|St. Mansueto Savelli||672-681|
|St. Benedetto I Crespi||681-725|
|Pietro I Oldrati||784-801|
|St. Anselmo I Biglia||813-818|
|St. Buono Castiglioni||818-822|
|Angilberto II Pusterla||824-859|
|Ansperto Confalonieri da Biassono||868-881|
|Anselmo II Capra||882-896|
|Landolfo I Grassi||896-899|
|Andrea da Carcano||899-906|
|Gariberto di Besana||918-921|
|Valperto de' Medici||953-970|
|Landolfo II da Carcano||980-998|
|Arnolfo II da Arsago||998-1018|
|Ariberto da Intimiano||1018-1045|
|St. Guido da Velate||1045-1069, d.1071|
|Gotifredo da Castiglione||anti-bishop,|
|Tebaldo da Castiglione||1075-1080|
|Anselmo III da Rho||1086-1093|
|Anselmo IV da Bovisio||1097-1101|
|Giordano da Clivio||1112-1120|
|Anselmo V Pusterla||1126-1133|
|Umberto I da Pirovano||1146-1166|
|St. Galdino della Sala||1166-1176|
|Algisio da Pirovano||1176-1182|
|Umberto II Crivelli||1182-1185|
|Pope Urban III,|
|Milone da Cardano||1185-1195|
|Umberto III da Terzago||1195-1196|
|Filippo I da Lampugnano||1196-1206|
|Umberto IV da Pirovano||1206-1211|
|Gerardo da Sessa||1211-1212|
|Enrico I da Settala||1213-1230|
|Guglielmo I da Rizolio||1230-1241|
|Leon da Perego||1241-1257|
|Ruffino da Frisseto||1295-1296|
|Francesco I da Parma||1296-1308|
|Aicardo da Intimiano||1317-1339|
|Giovanni II Visconti||1342-1354|
|Guglielmo II Pusterla||1361-1370|
|Simon da Borsano||1370-1380|
|Antonio de' Saluzzi||1380-1401|
|Petros II Philargos||1402-1410|
|Antipope at Pisa, Alexander V,|
|Francesco II Crippa||1409-1414|
|Francesco III Piccolpasso||1433-1443|
|Enrico II Rampini||1443-1450|
|Giovanni III Visconti||1450-1453|
|Carlo I da Forlì||1457-1461|
|Giovan IV Arcimboldi||1484-1488|
|Guido Antonio Arcimboldi||1488-1497|
|Ippolito I d'Este||1497-1520|
|Ippolito II d'Este||1520-1550|
|Giovan Angelo Arcimboldi||1550-1555|
|Filippo II Archinti||1556-1558|
|St. Carlo Borromeo||1560-1584|
|Federico I Borromeo||1595-1631|
|Federico II Visconti||1681-1693|
|Federico III Caccia||1693-1699|
|Giuseppe I Archinti||1699-1712|
|Benedetto II Erba Odescalchi||1712-1737|
|Carlo Gaetano I Stampa||1737-1742|
|Giuseppe II Pozzobonello||1743-1783|
|Filippo Maria Visconti||1784-1801|
|Giovan Battista Caprara||1802-1810|
|Carlo Gaetano II Graf von Gaisruck||1816-1846|
|Bartolomeo Carlo Romilli||1847-1859|
|Paolo Angelo Ballerini||1859-1867|
|Luigi Nazari di Calabiana||1867-1893|
|Andrea Carlo Ferrari||1894-1921|
|Pope Pius XI,|
|Giovanni Battista Montini||1954-1963|
|Pope Paul VI,|
|Carlo Maria Martini||1979-2002|
The Germanic invasions eroded the position of Milan; and the Lombards chose nearby Pavia as their capital. All the cities of northern Italy languished until the Crusades. Then, with the revival of trade, they all grew rapidly in size, wealth, and power. The Lombard League became strong enough to defeat the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa at Legnano in 1176. By the 13th century, Milan and Venice were the largest cities in Western Europe. Under the Visconti (1312-1447), Milan would emerge as a Power in its own right, once again dominating the Plain as the Roman city had. Milan was also especially fortunate in being bypassed by the Black Death (c.1334-1351). Although the Archbishops did not gain the temporal power of other ecclesiastical princes, three Popes and one major Anti-Pope would eventually emerge from their ranks, most recently Pope Paul VI. Milan remains the most important city in Northern Italy, and the center, with Paris and London, of the European fashion industry.
There are no less than seven Visconti Archbishops of Milan. Only two of them may be found in the Visconti genealogy below. The others, beginning with Roberto, are from collateral lines. Indeed, four of the seven, beginning with Giovanni III in 1450, do not serve until after the main line of the Visconti died out in 1447. We also see two Borromeo Archbishops, the family whose crest, the Borromean Rings, is the icon for The Proceedings of the Friesian School.
Another noteworthy name among the bishops of Milan is Castiglioni, the name of two -- St. Honoratus (568-572) and St. Buono (818-822). Later we get the name as Castiglione, born by two bishops, Gotifredo (anti-bishop, 1070-1075) and Tebaldo (1075-1080). The Oxford Dictionary of Surnames lists the names under "Castille": "French: regional name for someone from Castille, the Fr. name of Sp. Castilla" [Oxford, 1988, p.98]. However, it is unlikely to impossible (Castille didn't exist yet in the 6th century) that Italian archbishops would be named after Castille, let alone in some French version of the name. Clearly, however, all such names are derived from Latin castrum or castellum, "fortress, castle." The tradition in the families of the Castiglioni and Castiglione is that the names came from Castrum Stiliconis, the "Camp of Stilicho," the German general who in 395 was left by the Emperor Theodosius I as the Magister Militum, the "Master of Soldiers," of the Roman Army. There is no doubt that Stilicho's camp would have been in Northern Italy, near Milan and Ravenna. There are several towns in Italy named "Castiglion" or "Castiglione," including a Castigilione near Mantua where Napoleon defeated the Austrians in 1796.
Born nearby was Baldesarre Castiglione (1478-1529), the author of The Book of the Courtier (Il Cortegiano, 1528), said to be one of the three books that the Emperor Charles V kept by his bedside. The courtly life described by Castiglione was largely derived from his experience serving the Dukes of Urbino, at first Guidubaldo I (1482-1508) and then Francesco Maria I (1508-1538). It is noteworthy that Castiglione studied Greek at Milan with Demetrios Chalcondylas, an Athenian who fled to the West in 1447 -- one among many Greeks who characterized, or in part initiated, the Italian Renaissance. The Book of the Courier was first printed by the Aldine Press in Venice, which specialized in printing Greek books.
This list is entirely from Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies.
Philosophy of History
Dukes of Milan,
Visconti & Sforzas, 1312-1535 AD
|Matteo I Visconti||1312-1322|
Duke of Milan,
By the time three grandsons of Matteo came to power, Matteo II, Bernabò, and Galeazzo II, Milan dominated the region and the brothers ruled, respectively: Piacenza, Parma, Bologna, Lodi, and Bobbio; Cremona, Crema, Brescia, and Bergamo; and Como, Novara, Vercelli, Asti, Tortona, and Alessandria. Matteo was done away with by his brothers, and then Bernabò met a similar fate after his nephew Gian Galeazzo came to power. Gian Galeazzo obtained (i.e. bought) the title of Duke from the Emperor (1395) and began acting like nobility, contracting marriages for himself and his family with the Royal houses of Europe. This led to more trouble than he could have imagined.
When the male line of Visconti came to an end, the Milanese briefly tried to do without their Duke, but then the husband of Filippo Maria's illegitimate daughter Bianca, Francesco Sforza, seized power.
|Francesco I Sforza||1450-1466|
|French Occupation, 1499-1512,|
1515-1522, & 1524-1525
|Spanish Occupation, 1526-1529|
|Francesco II Maria||1529-1535|
|Spanish Rule, 1535|
In formulating the genealogy of the Visconti, initially before sources were available on the Internet, a major obscurity I encountered concerned the marriages of Gian Galeazzo. An Encyclopedia of World History; Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged, compiled and edited by William L. Langer [Houghton, Mifflin, Company; the Riverside Press, Boston, 1940, 1948, 1952, 1960] on its own diagram (p.297) showed him married to his cousin Catharine, who is the mother of the children shown. However, in the text (p.298), the same book said that he married Isabella, daughter of King John II of France, which was confirmed by their diagram for the Valois (p.275). Once there were Internet sources, I found that Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy had Isabella marrying an otherwise unidentified "John Galeas," with them as the parents of Valentina. It looked like I was going to need a much more detailed history of the Visconti to clear this up, though I did find this "John Galeas" person improbable -- it must be just an Anglicized and/or garbled rendering of Gian (pronounced in Italian like "John") Galeazzo (with "s" replacing "zzo"). I then found a more detailed treatment in the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [Andreas Thiele, R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 1997, pp. 237-241], where Gian Galeazzo's marriages and children are as shown. For a long time, I felt that Thiele was likely to be as exhaustive and accurate as anything I might find on the Internet. However, I became disillusioned when I began looking for the the antecedents of Giovanni Sforza, the second husband of Lucretia Borgia. Neither Thiele nor Thompsett were helpful in that respect. The answers seemed to be on Wikipedia, including the Italian language Wikipedia. This what I now show.
Philosophy of History
|Florence under the Medici|
|Cosimo the Elder, Pater Patriae||1434-1464|
|Piero I the Gouty||1464-1469|
|Lorenzo I the Magnificent||1469-1492|
|Piero II the Unfortunate||1492-1494,|
|Invasion of Charles VIII,|
Medici expelled, 1494-1512; Savonarola's "Bonfire of the Vanties," 1497; Savonarola executed, 1498
|Giulio, Clement VII||1519-1527|
|Sack of Rome, 1527|
Medici expelled, 1527-1530
|End of the Medici|
When the family first came to power in Florence, it was not through any formal office, position, or status. These rotated rapidly in the Republic. But the Medici gained in wealth and prestige and began to organize a political machine that gradually took over the electoral apparatus. The tenure of Lorenzo was so brilliant that he came to be called il Magnifico, "the Magnificent," an epithet shared by few other leaders in history. This gradual takeover was not without opposition. Many distinguished citizens were exiled and families attacked with punitive taxation just for opposing the Medici.
With Lorenzo rising in power, one ferocious attempt was made to remove him. On 26 April 1478, some members of the Pazzi family together with relatives of Pope Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), tried to assassinate Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano. The Pazzi were a venerable family. The name came from an ancestor in the First Crusade, whose courage as one of the first to climb over the walls of Jerusalem earned him the sobriquet Pazzo, "Madman." Now the "Madmen" launched another dangerous attack. They succeeded in killing Giuliano, but then Giuliano was not really running things. The attempt on Lorenzo was botched. The professional soldier hired to do it, Giovan Battista, Count of Montesecco, refused to participate when last minute changes called for the assault to take place in the cathedral. Two willing priests were found, but we might imagine they would be less accomplished in violence than the soldier, and they were. Lorenzo was only wounded.
Revenge was swift and bloody. The Medici treated the attacks as treason, even though neither Lorenzo nor his brother held any public office. The Pazzi men were killed, imprisoned, or exiled, and all the property of the family confiscated. Even distant relatives were prohibited from any longer using their name or the family crest. The result, however, was a war with the Pope and King Ferrante of Naples -- the Pazzi War, 1478-1480. Lorenzo was excommunicated, Florence placed under an interdict, and southern Tuscany invaded. For a while things looked bad, and murmurings again rose against the Medici, but eventually a compromise was reached, and Lorenzo emerged with solidified power. Some conspirators, like Count Girolamo Riario (d.1488), an in-law of Sixtus IV, were still being assassinated years later. Medici banking and other interests, however, had suffered, and this, together with Lorenzo's patronage of the arts, began to cost the family its fortune, with a undetermined bit of public money thrown in as well. All was well until his death, and then his less able son Piero had to reap the consequences.
It was the invasion of Italy by the French King Charles VIII in 1494 that disrupted the rule of the Medici. The Florentines expelled them for siding with the French. The Pazzi were exonerated, rehabilitated, and the exiles returned. They never returned to their former prominence, however, and later historians, dazzled by the culture surrounding the Medici, tended to repeat Medici propaganda about them. It even looks like the modern American gangster term "patsy," for a dupe, is from the name of the Pazzi. This continues, in an interesting fashion, in Hannibal by Thomas Harris , where the eponymous anti-hero murders a modern day Pazzi policeman the same way Francesco Pazzi was hung from a window of the Palazzo Vecchio -- most graphically shown in the 2001 movie. A more balanced treatment of the Pazzi may be found in April Blood, by Lauro Martines [Oxford, 2003] -- the source of the Pazzi genealogy given here.
During the last republican period in Florence, we get the notable but brief ascendency of the monk Savonarola, whose puritanical reign of terror was for a time popular and appalling. Most memorable was the "Bonfire of the Vanities," where Savonarola publicly burned art and other frivolities, either seized or brought by enthusiasts. Important works of art may thus have been lost.
But this sort of thing, although lingering in memory (cf. The Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe, 2008), wore out its welcome with the Florentines. After the execution of Savonarola in 1498, we find Niccolò Machiavelli beginning his own political career, becoming a secretary and diplomat for the Republic. He continues when Pier Soderini becomes Gonfalonier for life in 1502. As his diplomatic activities continue, in 1506 Machiavelli also begins to organize a Militia of the citizens, the kind of thing we know he believed in. In 1508 he is even put in charge of the operation to regain Pisa, which had seceded in 1494. This was successful in 1509.
In 1512 Spanish troops enter Tuscany and we get the fall of both Sonderini and Machiavelli. In 1513, Machiavelli retires to San Casciano and begins up write up his political ideas. Popes Leo X and Clement VII, i.e. the Medici Popes, nevertheless both consult with Machiavelli, who died in 1527, just as the Medici are about to be expelled, briefly, again.
The family returned to Florence thanks to the power within the Church of Lorenzo's son Giovanni, a Cardinal at 13 and elected Pope Leo X in 1513. Leo is supposed to have said, "God has given us the Papacy, so we may as well enjoy it." Leo's tenure, of course, was marked by the beginning of the Reformation. He is reputed to have at first dismissed Martin Luther as "some drunken German." Leo appointed his nephew Lorenzo to rule Florence, and then next his (illegitimate) cousin Giulio.
On Leo's death, Giulio became the head of the family and in short order was elected Pope as Clement VII. He had difficulty choosing the right side in the wars between France and the Emperor Charles V. The traditional anti-Imperial policy of the Papacy would indicate alliance with France. Unfortunately, Charles V was far more powerful than any Emperor had been in centuries. Clement allying himself with France thus brought a Spanish army into Italy. It sacked Rome and captured the Pope in 1527. The Medici were also, again, expelled from Florence.
They say that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The Mediaeval Emperors would have installed their own Pope, but Clement and Charles made up instead. In 1530, the Emperor installed Clement's illegitimate son, Alessandro, as Duke of Florence, and the Pope formally crowned Charles Emperor, the last time this was to happen, in Bologna -- a little too soon to use Rome after the sack of 1527. Thus the Medici achieved the princely rule so long feared by their enemies. The Republic of Florence was dead.
|III, Duke of|
|Louis of Parma||King of Etruria,|
|Annexed to France, 1807-1814|
|Annexed by Sardinia|
to Italy, 1860
Although only two lines of descent are shown in the genealogical diagram, it must be remembered that there were other branches of the family. A popup diagram may be examined that shows the descent of the family of Giovani di Bicci from the earliest Medici ancestors, together with the branch of the family that led to another Medici Pope, Leo XI -- though he reigned less than a year (1605). This extended Medici genealogy is derived from the "Genealogie delle Dinastie Italiane" website.
A tendency of the family to ally with France is evident in the marriages. Lorenzo the Magnificent's great grand-daughter Catherine married King Henry II of France. Three of her sons became Kings of France, and then her daughter Margaret married the next King, Henry of Navarre. Margaret had no children and eventually consented to an annulment. Henry, however, then married another Medici, Maria (Marie, in French), a daughter of Grand Duke Francesco I. Marie then became the mother of the future King Louis XIII. When Henry was assassinated in 1610, and Louis still a child, Marie actually ruled France as Regent. Rubens painted a series of 25 pictures to illustrate the life of the Queen. Although the Medici ruled Florence for another century, this was their last great moment on the stage of European history.
When the Medici Dukes died out in 1737, the Duchy ended up being offered to Duke Francis III of Lorraine. This was, oddly, part of the settlement of what was called the War of the Polish Succession (1733-1735). The French candidate for the throne of Poland in 1733 was Stanislas Lesczynski, who had briefly been King before (1704-1709) and was the father-in-law of King Louis XV. Russia wanted its own candidate, Augustus II of Saxony. The Russians won. In the protracted deal making that followed the actual war, Stanislas was compensated with Lorraine (which would then be inherited by his daughter, and so by France), and Francis was compensated with Tuscany, which had simply become available with the end of the Medici. Francis, as it happened, was married to the heiress of Austria, Maria Theresa.
When Maria Theresa's father, Charles VI, died in 1740, this set off the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). When Austria did well enough in the War that Francis was elected Emperor (1745), he and Maria Theresa left Tuscany to their second son, Leopold. Their first son, however, Joseph, died without issue, and so the Empire passed to Leopold. Leopold then left Tuscany to his second son, Ferdinand. This time the Hapsburgs were a bit more fertile, and Tuscany remained in the line of Ferdinand, except for exile during the Revolutionary Era (1801-1814), until the Unification of Italy, when Tuscany voted to join the Kingdom of Sardinia, soon to become the Kingdom of Italy.
During that Revolutionary Era, Napoleon had strangely created a "Kingdom of Etruria" for the Bourbons of Parma, until the area was annexed to France in 1807. The line of those Bourbons can be examined at Parma.
The diagram shows a little more of the Hapsburg family than is necessary just for the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. In particular, it shows the line of the Hapsburg Dukes of Modena, the first of whom, Ferdinand, had married the heiress of the d'Este family, the previous Dukes of Modena, Maria Beatrice. Maria's father had been deposed in 1796. He died in 1803. Presumably, Ferdinand and Maria were both in exile until the defeat of Napoleon in 1814.
With the end of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, as Italy is being united by Sardinia, the line of the family went elsewhere, as the daughter of the last Duke, Louise, married the last King of Saxony, Frederick Augustus III. Since a King of Saxony originally bumped Francis of Lorraine out of his own Duchy, perhaps it is fitting that Saxony should take in his ultimate heiress of Tuscany. Though the Kingdom of Saxony itself ended in 1918, there are living descendants.
Philosophy of History
|Pier Luigi||Duke of|
|Regent of the
Paolo had been made a Cardinal by Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia). The traditional story is that this happned in part perhaps because his sister, the beautiful Giulia Farnese, as we see at right ("Lady with Unicorn," by Rafael Santi), was Alexander's mistress. This now seems unlikely. Giulia was married to Orsino Orsini, from one of the major aristocratic families of Rome, often at odds with the Borgias. Nevertheless, Orsino's mother was a Borgia, and so his little part of the Orsini family was sometimes a friendly part of the Borgia cirle. Nothing of the sort is likely to have been the case were the Pope begetting illegitimate children on Giulia. Paolo already had an honorable eccelesiastical career, and the rumors about Giulia apparently come from political enemies. His own illegitimate son, as it happened, established the Farnese family for some time -- their line continues even today as the Ducal House of Luxembourg.
Alessander I was appointed regent of the Netherlands by King Philip II of Spain at the height of the Dutch revolt. He was ineffective at defeating the United Provinces but did retain what would become Belgium.
This list was originally from Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy, which left a few obscurities and hiatuses. Now the genealogy here is from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [Andreas Thiele, R. G. Fischer Verlag, Part 2, Second Edition, 1997, pp.242-243].
|King of Naples|
|King of Spain|
|Annexed to France, 1805-1814|
|Charles II Louis||1848-1849,|
|Annexed by Sardinia|
to Italy, 1859
What happened during the French Revolutionary period is a little confusing, until the region was annexed to France in 1805. The Bourbons seem to have been compensated with Florence during part of the period. In 1814, the Congress of Vienna gave Parma to the widow of Napoleon, Marie Louise of Austria, who, we might think, really had something coming for having endured the marriage to Napoleon: When he asked her to join him on Elba, or return to France during the 100 days, she declined. Parma was her possession, however, only during her lifetime. It was to be returned to the Bourbons afterwards, and it was, with a little glitch introduced by the revolutionary year of 1848. Meanwhile, the Bourbons, meaning Charles Louis and his mother Maria Louisa, had been compensated with Lucca.
In 1859 a plebiscite voted for union with Sardinia, whence it passed into the Kingdom of Italy when that was formed in 1861. The stranded heir of Parma, Felix, however, married Charlotte, the Grand Dutchess of Luxembourg. In this way, the house of Farnese-Bourbon succeeded to the Grand Duchy, and it continues on the throne there. This may not be the highest profile royalty, but it is a far better fate than that of other Houses dispossessed by modernity. It certainly would have pleased Elizabeth Farnese, back when she put her son Philip on the throne of Parma.
Philosophy of History
In the history of Mediaeval Francia, the South of Italy was a distinct cultural and historical region. Indeed, for a long time, we might not regard it as part of Francia at all. Retrieved by Justinian from the Ostrogoths, its story at first was part of that of Romania. Even the intrusion of the Lombards still belongs to the history of Germania in Late Antiquity. There were even many Greek speakers, especially in Sicily, who had been living there since Greek colonization began in the 8th century BC. Some of the thinking now is that Greek may have died out on the mainland in the first centuries AD, but it was then certainly reintroduced by Justinian's reconquest -- and I suspect that it had never died out at Naples.
The dynamic of the Lombard Duchies, surrounded and more or less contained by Romania, was first compromised by the Islamic conquest of Sicily (827-878). This deprived Romania of its local stronghold, safe from the Lombards, in Sicily. Next came the Norman conquest of southern Italy, which then extended also to Sicily. The Normans finished the expulsion of the Romans in 1071, and of Islâm in 1072. This established the region as a distinct part of the Periphery of Francia. It would be the Regnum (Regno), the center of European politics and culture under the brilliant Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, the Stupor Mundi, "Wonder of the World." The modern tourist might be puzzled to find the massive prophyry sarcophagus of a Mediaeval German Emperor in Palermo. But that was Frederick's capital.
The Regnum did not include Sardinia, but then Sardinia's status is often ambiguous. Since it ended up in the hands of Aragón, it can be treated as part of the Periphery. Later, it passed to Savoy, which puts it in the Core of Francia.
|Fiefs of the Regnum,|
the Regno, the Mezzogiorno
Kingdom of Sicily & Naples|
Aragonese Kingdom of Sicily
Anjevian Kingdom of Naples
Aragonese Kingdom of Naples
Savoyard Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of Sardinia
Princes of Benevento & Salerno
Princes of Capua, I
Princes of Capua, II
Dukes of Benevento & Spoleto
Dukes of Naples, Amalfi, & Gaeta
Counts of Capua
Counts of Aversa
Knights of Malta
The Regnum was unusual among the territories of Francia in that the Normans received it as a fief directly from the Papacy. That was a theoretical curiosity -- ironically part of the settlement after Pope Leo IX had been defeated and captured at the Battle of Civitate in 1053 -- but in practice had little effect on the behavior either of the Normans or of Frederick II. It had some significance when the Pope, as suzerain, got Charles of Anjou to exterminate the Hohenstaufen. But then Sicily revolted against Charles in 1282 -- the "Sicilian Vespers," one of the most dramatic events of the Middle Ages -- and attached itself, to the chagrin and fury of the Pope, to Aragón. Eventually, Sicily, Sardinia, and Naples all ended up in the hands of the Kings of Aragón, and so finally the Kings of Spain.
Even Napoleon, although annexing Rome itself and ruling the north as the King of Italy, kept the south as a separate Kingdom. The Congress of Vienna restored the Bourbons, who had maintained themselves in Sicily, to the whole of Sicily and Naples, now called the Kingdom of the "Two Sicilies". This was the situation until 1860, when Garibaldi landed in Sicily with the intention of reunited Italy. The Kings of Sardinia became the Kings of an Italy, now joining the north and south for the first time since the Lombards invaded in 568 -- 1293 years.
The South, however, remained distinct in language, culture, food, and economic development. The dialects of Naples and Sicily are still pretty much unintelligible to Northern Italians, where the standard language of Italy is based on the dialect of Florence. But the most serious disability of the South has been its economy, even though in 1860 Naples was still the larget city in Italy. From being one of the cultural centers of Europe in the 13th century, Sicily and Naples entered the 20th century with little better than a Third World level of economic development. Up in the rugged mountains of the area, life had not changed much for some centuries.
Hence, the first large body of Italian immigrants to the United States were from the South -- and suspicious of things like public education the way they had been suspicious of the designs of national authority back in Italy. They were hard working and often skilled but not, at first, particularly entrepreneurial. And they brought along the high level of potential violence traditionally found (and still found, in great measure, today) in Naples and Sicily. Ironically, this often reduced crime in some Manhattan neighborhoods. Previously, a great deal of violence and crime in New York City was due to Irish-Americans. The Irish found out very quickly, however, that Italians were usually armed, at least with a knife, and were not at all reluctant to fiercely defend themselves. Italian women, who in Mediterranean fashion held their honor as worth their lives, were dangerous targets for crime or even insult; and their relatives were ready to exact terrible revenge for any level of outrage. Italian neighborhoods became no-go areas for Irish toughs.
At the same time, the age old form of Sicilian crime, in the Mafia (Moranu li Franchiski, "Death to the French," dating to the Sicilian Vespers), immigrated also. This could involve legitimate business, such as the importation of olive oil, and could also reduce street crime, with ferocious sanctions for unauthorized illegalities; but, of course, its dark side began to give Italians a certain kind of reputation, especially when Prohibition created a vast Black Market, with a high level of demand, for illegal alcohol. After Prohibition, gansterism easily continued through gambling, prostitution, drugs, and labor unions -- where the frequent role of the latter in the equivalent of strong-arm extortion rackets (see On the Waterfront, 1954) and money laundering operations (see Casino, 1995) perfectly suited them for Mafia infiltration and control. A casual mention by Rodney Dangerfield of Mafia control of garbage collector unions in Back To School (1986) was followed by actual prosecutions of this connection in New York City. We are still waiting to find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, whose 1975 fate remains chillingly concealed by the omertà, the secrecy of Mafia operations.
Most modern Italian-Americans, however, have left the Mafia far behind. Little Italy in Manhattan is now mostly overrun with immigrants from China, and tourists looking for Italian restaurants on Mulberry Street must be startled that Chinatown has grown completely around the area. In 1980, the average family income of Italian-American families was actually higher than that of German-Americans and Anglo-Saxons (cf. Thomas Sowell, Ethnic America, 1981, p.5). Some distinctively Italian dishes, like spaghetti and pizza, have become so Americanized (often quite different from the Italian originals) that they are all but essential to American national identity -- and there is no certainty that popular and successful pizza chains, for instance, are run or even founded by Italians.
Although some famous Italian gangsters still loom in recent memory, like John Gotti (1940-2002), organized crime today might be expected to involve Ukranians, Columbians, or Mexicans before Italians. Fictional orgaized crime, however, has featured a New Jersey Italian crime family on the HBO series The Sopranos (1999-2007). But this has been followed by new stereotypes that have emerged with the "Guidos," i.e. Italian-Americans, seen on the popular MTV series, Jersey Shore. But drunk, stupid, and promiscuous do not seem like an improvement for the image of the successful and prosperous Italian-American community. The cast, filming a season of Jersey Shore in Italy, became an embarrassment to the Italian government -- not to mention to America. New Jersey governor Chris Christie denounced the show with the information that all but one of the cast members is actually from New York. The South of Italy, meanwhile, remains troubled with crime and poverty, with outrages by the Mafia fresh in recent memory.
Philosophy of History
|Dukes of Benevento|
|Monte Cassino sacked & abandoned, 580|
|campaign of Constans II, 663|
|Monte Cassino resettled, 718|
annexed to Francia, 774
|Dukes of Spoleto|
|Aistulf of Friuli||King of|
|Ratchis of Friuli||King of|
|to the Franks|
Spoleto, beginning about the same time as Benevento, but with a somewhat more obscure history, was not so lucky when it came to the Frankish conquest. With three Dukes doubling as Kings of Lombardy, and some of them also Dukes of Friuli, Spoleto clearly had stronger ties to Northern Italy, and so was more vulnerable to the fate of the Kingdom. Spoleto was then revived, however, as a Duchy or Margravate under the Carolingians. As such it survived until Berengar II of Italy, who took it from the last Margrave, who had become Pope John XII, in 959. Otto I then made it part of the Papal States. Spoleto thus belongs to Italy as part of Franica Media, while Benevento shares the fate of Southern Italy, in the Periphery of Francia.
|Princes of Benevento||Princes of Salerno|
|Bari held by Arabs, 847-871; The Divisio of Benevento & Salerno, 849|
|Emperor Louis II resident at Benevento, 866-871; ejects Arabs from Bari, 871; ejected from Benevento, 871; dies at Capua, 875||Ademar||856-861|
|Monte Cassino sacked by Arabs & abandoned, 883|
|occupied by Romanian Strategos, 891-895|
|Guy/Wido (IV) of Spoleto||895-900|
|Atenulf I of Capua||900-910||Guaimar,|
|Prince of Capua, 887-910|
|Arab base at Garigliano River (c.884) wiped out in combined operation, 915; victory over Romania at Basintello River, 929; Monte Cassino reoccupied, 934|
|Atenulf III of Carinola||933-943|
|Landulf II||943-961||Gisulf I||933-977|
|Landulf of Conza||973-974|
|943-959, 961-981||Pandulf I Ironhead||977-981|
|Manso, Duke of Amalfi||981-983|
|Landulf VI||1038-1053, 1054-1077||Guimario, Waimar IV||1030-1052|
|Papal Fief, 1051; Norman occupation, ceded to Pope by Emperor Henry III, 1053|
|Pandulf IV||1056-1074||Gisulf II||1052-1077|
|restored by Normans|
to Papacy, 1077
|to Normans, 1077|
|Counts of Capua|
|Landulf I the Old||840-843|
|effectively independent of Salerno, c.860|
|Lando II Cyruttu||861, deposed|
|Pando il Rapace||861-862|
|Landulf II il Vescovo||863-866, 871-879|
|Duke of Spoleto, 866-879|
|reunited with Benevento, 910-982|
|Princes of Capua|
|Pandulf IV, Wolf of the Abruzzi||1016-1022, 1026-1038, 1047-1050|
|Guaimar (IV)||Prince of Salerno, 1030-1052|
The Normans represented the first intimation of modern Europe. England would soon cease to be some strange Anglo-Saxon place and would receive the French infusion, from the Norman conquest (1066), that would characterize it ever since. Romania was gone from Italy forever (1071). And the Crusades (1092) would revive trade, urban life, and a cash economy -- features that had been preserved by Romania and Southern Italian cities like Naples and Amalfi but which had been largely missing from the rest of Christendom for centuries. The Italian cities, indeed, had maintained their trade in great measure through commerce with Islam, something that had always scandalized the Popes and became increasingly awkward in dealings with other Christian states.
The original lists here were from Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies. The treatment of Benevento and Salerno has now been revised on the basis of Before the Normans, Southern Italy in the Ninth & Genth Centuries, by Barbara M. Kreutz [University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991]. Her Appendix with the succession of "Southern Lombard Rulers" is revealing but has some lacunae and obscurities and does not continue all the way to the Norman Conquest, which is not entirely consistent with the purpose of the book. Also, the long line of Dukes of Capua, given in full by Gordon, is barely touched upon by Kreutz. I found the treatment of Capua at Wikipedia to be clearer than Gordon's lists, and so I have supplied tables for the earlier independent Counts and the later independent Princes. I have had trouble with several rulers of Benevento, especially late ones, listed by Gordon, who seem to represent rivals or coregents, but who are not present in Kreutz's list at all. I have tried to get this organized, which is why there are several cases of overlapping dates. Where the dates differ between Gordon and Kreutz, I have tried to use the latter, but in some cases it was impossible to know what the right idea would be.
A correspondent, Jan van den Burg, has drawn my attention to some problems in Gordon's lists, e.g. he has Grimoaldo II ruling from 687 to 680, which is a good trick without a time machine. Wikipedia has 677-680.
Philosophy of History
Naples and Amalfi and Sorrento have always been subject
to the Emperor of the Romans.
Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (d.959 AD), "Of the province of Lombardy and of the principalities and governorships therein," De Administrando Imperio [Dumbarton Oaks Texts, Greek text edited by Gy. Moravcsik, 1967, 2008, pp.116-117]
Naples was originally a Greek colony, the northernmost in Italy. The date of its founding is obscure, and it seemed have a closer relationship to Syracuse in Sicily than to a founding city back in Greece. Its original name was , Parthenópê -- one of the Sirens who was believed to have lured Odysseus in the vicinity -- but it came to be known as the "New City," , Neápolis (11 Parthenope is now an asteroid).
This becomes Napoli in Italian, although Napule in the local dialect of Naples. "Naples" is a plural form in English (like Flanders), and this is probably because "Napoli" looks like a plural in Italian (sing. *Napolo). But the "i" is no more than an artifact of the vowel in the Greek name, so the English form is based on a misapprehension, unlike the case with Flanders, which is a plural in Dutch.
|Dukes of Naples|
|Visit by Constans II, 663|
|Papal suzerainty, 763|
|coins without Roman Emperor|
|hires Arab mercenaries, 835|
|complete independence, 840|
|Sergio I Contardo||840-860|
|Arab fleet destroyed off Ostia by force organized by Pope Leo IV & commanded by Caesar, son of the Duke, 849|
|Fleet arrives from Romania to patrol against Arabs, 879; Duke excommunicated by Pope John VIII for collaborating with the Arabs, 880; whole Duchy excommunicated, 881|
|Arab fleet destroyed off Provence by Romania, 941|
|To Kingdom of|
Naples & Sicily
The Greek form of the name is remembered in the English adjective "Neapolitan," from Greek (Italian Napolitano), which is applied to ice cream as well as to the city and its inhabitants (with the Italian form as a common surname).
Other Greek colonies were also the "New City," including one in Palestine whose name is now rendered in Arabic as . The great opponent of Rome, Carthage, was, of course, a Phoenician colony. Its name in Punic also meant "New City," Qart-h.adasht ( in the Hebrew equivalent, writing the "t" in the adjective that is latent in what is ordinarily written and pronounced as an "h" in Hebrew and Arabic). In Italian usage, there was also a Napoli di Romania, a Naples in Mediaeval Romania; but this was the Greek city of Nauplia, , or Nauplion, , in Modern Greek pronounced Nafplio. This could also be Naioplia in Italian, and in Turkish could even be called the Mora Yenishehiri, i.e. the "New City" (the "new, its city," ) of the Morea, the Mediaeval Peloponnesus. Nauplia was the capital of Modern Greece from 1821 to 1834.
The Bay of Naples became a resort in the Roman period. The delightful prospect of Mt. Vesuvius at the head of the Bay became a byword for disaster when the volcano erupted in 79 AD, burying Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other towns under ash. The Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, observed the volcano from the naval base at Misenum, where he had been put in command by Nero, just outside the Bay to the north. Taking to boat to observe the eruption better, Pliny landed on the south shore of the Bay, planning to spend the night. He was too close to the volcano, however, and he seems to have been asphyxiated by an outflow of gas. His body was neither burned nor buried. Naples itself, potentially in some danger from Vesuvius, has suffered ashfalls from it at times over the years but has not been catastrophically affected. On the other hand, Naples is adjacent to a dormant caldera of a much larger volcano, whose eruption would be far more disastrous than anything that Vesuvius has done. With it, however, it is not clear what sort of timeline we're looking at.
Naples passed with Italy to the Ostrogoths, but then was recovered by Belisarius. After the advent of the Lombards, the city became isolated from other Roman possessions. Visited by Constans II in 663, it began to drift into autonomy, like Venice, under its own Dukes -- i.e. the Dux, "Leader," a Roman frontier military commander -- rendered in Greek. By 840, all remnants of Roman control had disappeared, and Duke Stephen II had already acknowledged the (ineffective) overlordship of the Pope in 763 (after the fall of Ravenna in 751).
|Dukes of Gaeta|
|Arab base at Garigliano River, c.884; wiped out in combined operation, 915|
|Dukes of Amalfi|
|To Apulia, 1073-1088|
|Gisulf of Salerno||1088-1089|
|To Apulia; sacked by Pisa, 1133|
Gaeta, up the coast, and Amalfi, on the southern peninsula of the Bay of Naples, themselves became in time autonomous and independent. All of the cities, however, faced common threats. The southern Lombards, of course, were a continual problem; but even the Lombards, with everyone else, needed to worry about a new enemy: the Arabs. Sicily, invaded by Aghlabids in 827, was completely conquered by them with the fall of Syracuse in 878. This campaign put Arab forces in Italian waters. The Vatican and Ostia were sacked in 846; but then the Pope was able to assemble a local fleet that defeated the Arabs in 849. This did not end the Arab threat, but it meant that perhaps it could be handled. In 846 a group of raiders had been stranded on a hilltop west of Tivoli, north-east of Rome. Surrounded, they agreed to convert to Christianity and settle on the spot, which even today is the village of Saracenesco (i.e. of the Saracens).
Meanwhile, Naples had been suspected of collaborating, and even of offering refuge to the defeated Arab fleet, even though the Christian fleet had been commanded by Caesar, son of the Duke of Naples. The Arab fleet, in any case, was finished off by a storm at sea. Similarly, Gaeta apparently tolerated the base of Arab raiders established on the Garigliano River in the 880's, despite its actions like the sacking of Monte Cassino, since the Arabs actually helped protect Gaeta from local enemies. Pope John X secured the neutrality of Gaeta, and in 915 the Arab base was surrounded and annihilated in a combined operation of the Papacy, Capua, Benevento, Salerno, Spoleto, and even a fleet from Romania.
Beginning in the 9th century, with the Macedonian Emperors, we see a revival of the power of Romania and an extension of Roman possessions against the Lombards in the South of Italy. This culminated in an ambitious and initially successful counter-invasion of Sicily commanded by George Maniaces (1037-1038). However, conflict among commanders, suspicion of the loyalty of Maniaces, and finally a revolt of Norman mercenaries (1040) led to a rapid collapse of the Roman position in Italy, as examined in the following section.
Shipping supplied to the First Crusade (1096-1099) initially involved Amalfi, which might have joined Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and other Italian cities in the future growth of Mediterranean trade. However, the restless Lombards, and an even newer enemy, the Normans, would spell the final end of independent cities in the South of Italy. We soon cease to hear of Naples or Amalfi in the Italian commerce that would dominate the former Mare Nostrum. Indeed, Amalfi would be sacked by Pisa in 1133 -- one of whose greatest prizes was a copy of the Justinian's Digest of Roman Law. Such a thing probably dated from the days of Romanian administration. Naples, however, would soon become the capital of Southern Italian Kingdoms, Sicily and/or Naples, all the way into the 19th century. But the days of the commercial importance of Naples and Amalfi would be over, sunk in the domination, and then the stagnation, of the Mezzogiorno Kingdoms. Commercial prominence passed to the North -- to Pisa, Venice, and Genoa. In 1406 Pisa itself would be defeated and absorbed by Florence, with the copy of Justinian's Digest seized by the victors. It joined other copies of Justinian's Code in renewed study of Roman law.
The maps of Southern Italy featured in this section and in other sections on this webpage are adapted from the map of 980 AD in Before the Normans, Southern Italy in the Ninth & Tenth Centures, by Barbara K. Kreutz [University of Pennsylania Press, 1991, p.xvi]. The maps for other dates (737, 888, 1025, 1042, 1071, 1092, 1130, & 1173) are based on The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily, by Gordon S. Brown [McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003, p.11], The Anchor Atlas of World History, Volume I [Hermann Kinder, Werner Hilgemann, Ernest A. Menze, and Harald and Ruth Bukor, 1974, p.118], the Historical Atlas of the World [Barnes & Noble, 1970, 1972, p.38; original edition by Oddvar Bjørklung, Haakon Holmboe, and Aders Røhr, J.W. Cappelengs Forlag, Oslo, 1962], and The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History [Colin McEvedy, 1992]. The is considerably uncertainty about precise borders, and the sources do not always agree.
Rome and Romania Index
Philosophy of History
The South of Italy, except for the Lombard Duchy of Benevento, its offshoots, like Salerno and Capua, and the city-state Republics, led by Dukes, of Naples, Amalfi, and Gaeta, remained within Romania until the Islâmic conquest of Sicily. As a whole, it entered the Frankish world only when the Normans expelled both Moslems and Romania.
Counts of Aversa
|Rainulf II Trincanocte||1045-1048|
|Princes of Capua|
|Richard I of Aversa||Aversa, 1049-1078|
Southern Italy and Sicily had not been united with the North since the Lombard invasion of 568, and then Sicily was detached from Romania by the Aghlabids between 827 and 878. The Normans, mainly through one group of brothers, ended all this by uniting the whole area, in 1139, one of the great achievements of Norman arms -- following by a few years the conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066.
The feat of Italian conquest was accomplished more slowly than England, beginning with the arrival of Norman mercenaries, helping the Lombards, just in time to be defeated by Basil Boioannes, the Byzantine/Romanian governor, at Cannae in 1018. Soon Normans were fighting for Boioannes, not against. When the German Emperor Henry II invaded Italy in 1022, Normans fought both for and against him, and decisively against him at the failed siege of the Byzantine stronghold of Troia in April, May, and June. Amid all the shuffling alliances, in 1030 the Norman Rainulf was presented with a fief, at Aversa, by the Duke of Naples, Sergio IV, whose sister he then married. This was the first Norman landed possession in Italy. When his wife died in 1034, however, Rainulf switched loyalties to Pandulf IV, the "Wolf of the Abruzzi," Prince of Capua
|the de Hauteville brothers arrive in Italy from Normandy, 1035|
|William Iron Arm||mercenary for Romania in Sicily, 1038-1040|
|Count of Apulia|
|becomes "Iron Arm" by defeating the Amir of Syracuse in single combat, 1040; joins rebellion in Italy, 1040; Battles of Venosa/Olviento & Montepeloso, in Apulia, Romania defeated, 1041|
|Drogo||Count of Apulia|
|Count of Apulia|
|defeated & captured Pope Leo IX at Civitate, 1053|
|Robert Guiscard||Count of Apulia|
|Duke of Apulia|
|invasion of Sicily, 1061; capture of Bari, last Romanian city in Italy, 1071; capture of Palermo, 1072; rescues Pope Gregory VII from Imperial forces, but troops loot and burn Rome, 1084|
|Roger I||Count of Sicily|
|conquest of Malta, 1090; conquest of Sicily completed, 1091|
|Roger Borsa||Duke of Apulia|
|Simon||Count of Sicily|
|Roger II||Count of Sicily|
|Duke of Apulia|
|King of Sicily|
(& Naples, 1138)
|defeated & captured Pope Innocent II at Galluccio, annexation of Naples, 1139|
|William||Duke of Apulia|
|William I the Bad||King of Sicily|
|revolt and unsuccessful campaign in Italy by Michael Palaeologus, 1155-1156|
|son-in-law of Roger II|
(II of the Empire)
|defeated with Epirotes by Empire of Nicaea, Battle of Pelagonia, 1259; killed by Charles I of Anjou, 1266|
|killed by Charles I of Anjou, 1268; Kingdom passes to Anjevians|
In 1035 began the sojourn of a group of brothers, the de Hautevilles, from Normandy. They enlisted with Rainulf, who in 1036 defected from Pandulf to Guimario (or Waimar, Gaimar, Guaimar) IV (or V), Prince of Salerno. With the help of the Emperor Conrad II, Guimario was installed in Capua and Pandulf fled. Rainulf's fief was transfered to Salerno and he was installed by the Emperor himself as a Prince of the Empire.
When Constantinople attempted a reconquest of Sicily (1038-1040), under the gifted but mercurial leadership of George Maniakes, the de Hautevilles were part of a contingent contributed by the Prince of Salerno/Capua. The eldest brother, William de Hauteville, distinguished himself. At the seige of Syracuse, an Arab sortee from the city led to William killing the Amîr in single combat, earning himself the sobriquet "Iron Arm" (Bras de Fer). This may have been the Amîr of Sicily itself, Abddullâh, who is otherwise reported to have died in the same year (1040). The fall of Syracuse, at the time, was in vain. Maniakes offended the Normans, who returned to Italy. A victim of Court intrigue, Maniakes was then recalled to Constantiople and imprisoned. Rebellion then began in Italy, which soon destroyed the position of Romania in Italy and, for the time being, led to the Christian abandonment of Sicily (1042).
After disputes among the local Lombards about leadership, with some of them even going over to Romania, in 1042 William de Hauteville was elected by the Normans to be the Count of Apulia. This was confirmed by Guimario of Salerno, who in turn was proclaimed Duke of Apulia and Calabria. However, in 1047 the Emperor Henry III intervened in Southern Italy, returning Capua to Pandulf the Wolf and reducing Guimario to Prince of Salerno but confirming Drogo, William's brother and successor, as Count of Apulia. This intervention was part of the colorful history of the Papacy, especially the unique triple tenure of Benedict IX, whom Henry replaced with Clement II in 1046 -- the Pope who then crowned him Emperor.
Robert Guiscard de Hauteville became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1059. By 1071 the last city of Romania in Italy, Bari, had been taken by Guiscard, who then spent a lot of time trying to expand against Romania on the mainland of the Balkans. He kept defeating Alexius Comnenus, memorably at Dyrrhachium in 1082, where many Englishmen from the Varangian Guard fell; but Alexius nevertheless maintained his resistance until defeating his son Bohemond at Larissa in 1083, after which the Norman invasion collapsed. Guiscard returned in 1085. After defeating the Venetian fleet, the Norman army was incapacitated by disease, which then carried off Guiscard himself.
In 1061 Sicily was invaded by Roger de Hauteville (Count of Sicily in 1072) and the conquest completed by 1091. When the mainland territory was inherited by Roger in 1127, he turned the whole area into the Kingdom of Sicily, the Regnum. This involved some difficult diplomacy. As the price of his support, Roger obtained a Crown from Pope Anacletus II, who, despite residing in Rome, lost support elsewhere to a rival, Innocent II, who canvased the rulers of Europe, obtaining, with the help of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, their support. Although Anacletus could claim a legitimate election, and lived out his reign in Rome, he is now regarded as an Anti-Pope. Free of his rival, who predeceased him, Innocent was not going to recognize Roger's kingship, and it was not until the Normans captured him at Galluccio in 1139 that Innocent was prepared to confirm the existence of the Kingdom. Since the Pope was often at odds with the German Emperors, it remained sensible to court the support of the Normans, who had previously rescued Gregory VII. Sometimes things worked this way, sometimes not; and the Popes sometimes tried playing the Germans off the Normans. Usually, since the Germans left, this strategy could not be maintained. The status of the Regnum continued to sometimes be disputed by Popes and Emperors, with Romania sometimes also trying to reestablish itself in Italy.
In Palermo, with Arab, Greek, and Latin influences all affecting the culture, policy, and art, we see mosaics representing King Roger in Byzantine form and identified in Greek as . "King" would be Rex in Latin, and is Rex borrowed into Mediaeval Greek, as I have discussed elsewhere. It is noteworthy that the Sicilian artists, who may in fact have come from Constantinople, accepted this terminology, which actually implied subordination to the Emperor of Romania.
Since Apulia and Calabria are not Sicily, modern usage has tended to characterize the Kingdom as that of Sicily and Naples, but this was not the construction at the time -- Naples was not even acquired until 1139, and even then the Mainland Capital of the Kingdom remained at Salerno -- and the divergence has resulted in some peculiarities (i.e. the "Two Sicilies"), as discussed below. In one form or another, this Kingdom survived as a distinct political unit, though often with Sicily and Naples divided, until 1861. But it would never again be as fragmented as it was at the time that the Normans arrived in the 11th century.
While Naples had fallen to Roger II, his first cousin Bohemond had gone on the First Crusade and become the first Prince of Antioch, founding a line that continued (though one heiress, Constance) until the end of Outremer, and which later included Kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem. Maria of Antioch even married an Emperor of Romania, Manuel I Comnenus.
Meanwhile, the Pope got some bad news: The German Emperor Henry VI of Hohenstaufen had married the heiress Constance of Sicily and Naples. The domain of the Pope's greatest protectors was suddenly in the hands of his greatest enemies, though it was a few years before the son of Henry and Constance, Frederick II, reached his majority and began to give the Popes the kind of trouble that they would have expected. This all turned out to be trouble indeed, but eventually Frederick died, his son had only a brief reign, Germany pretty much lapsed into anarchy, and the Popes could begin plotting the end of the Hohenstaufen. This was accomplished through Charles of Anjou, the brother of King Louis IX (St. Louis) of France. Charles defeated and killed Frederick's illegitimate son Manfred, and his legitimate grandson Conradin. What he hadn't reckoned on was public opinion, which tore Sicily from his grasp in 1282 and destroyed his plans to move on to Constantinople, if not Jerusalem.
The following genealogical tables follows the relevant descendants of Tancred de Hauteville, including the Princes of Antioch and the Hohenstaufen, and then the Anjevians and Bourbons. This has taken some piecing together, since Sicily and Naples form another one of those places that is peripheral to most histories (like Lorraine, Burgundy, & Navarre). This uses the trees and information in Byzantium, The Decline and Fall, John Julius Norwich [Knopf, 1996, pp. xxiv-xxv], The Normans in the South, 1016-1130, by John Julius Norwich [1967, Faber and Faber, 2010, pp.332-334], The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130-1194, by John Julius Norwich [1970, Faber and Faber, 2010, pp.394-395], A History of the Crusades, by Steven Runciman, Volume II, The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East 1100-1187 [Cambridge University Press, 1951,1993, p. 492], and Volume III, The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades [1951, 1993, pp. 530-531], The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily, by Gordon S. Brown [McFarland & Company, 2003], and the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, by Andreas Thiele, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [R. G. Fischer Verlag, Part 2, Second Edition, 1997, pp.205-207]. These are supplemented with information from other prose histories, like Medieval Europe by Martin Scott [Longmans, London, 1964, 1967], and on line from Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy.
Note that sometimes the numbering of the Aragonese Kings of Sicily is complicated by counting the Emperor Frederick II as King Frederick I of Sicily. Also note that although Jerusalem had fallen to Saladin in 1187, the Kingdom of Jerusalem continued to consist of coastal cities, like Acre, until 1291. These possessions are only called the "Kindgom of Acre" in modern scholarship. Charles of Anjou petitioned the Pope for the title for Jerusalem, which was granted, but the nobles of Outremer, who always regarded the office as elective, chose King Hugh III of Cyprus.
|King of Sicily,|
|the Sicilian Vespers,|
30 March 1282;
Sicily revolts against &
massacres the French;
Pedro III of Aragon,
with money from
invited in; Aragonese
line begins in Sicily
The Anjevian genealogy contains two persons after whom Franciscan Missions in California were named. One is Louis IX of France, brother of Charles of Anjou, for whom the Mission "San Luis Rey de Francia," near Oceanside, is named. The other is a son of Charles II, St. Louis the Bishop of Toulouse, for whom the Mission (and city) of "San Luis Obispo" is named. Apart from specific information about the Missions, I had never seen Louis of Toulouse listed as an Anjevian.
Kings of (First) Sicily
I of Sicily
|James II of Aragon||1285-1296|
|Frederick II (or I)||1296-1337|
|Frederick III (or II)|
|Martin I the Younger||1390-1409|
|Martin the Older,|
II of Sicily
|Ferdinand I||Sicily &|
Kings of Naples
|Robert the Wise||1309-1343|
|patron of Boccaccio, Paul|
of Perugia, & Greek literature
|Anjevian line ends;|
claim to Naples passes to
René the Good of Anjou,
Duke of Lorraine,
but by 1442 Alfonso V of
Aragon conquers the Kingdom
Joanna I of Naples willed her domains to Louis I of Anjou. Louis was able to secure Provence, but Naples fell to her cousin Charles III after he murdered Joanna. Later, Joanna II of Naples left her rights to René I the Good of Anjou, but he was unable to hold off Alfonso V of Aragon and Sicily. Both Sicily and Naples are subsequently part of the history of Spain and Austria.
Kings of Sicily & Naples
(First & Second Sicily)
I of Naples
|defeated by Anjevians at Sarno, 1460; Turks occupy Otranto, 1480-1482|
|John II||Aragon &|
|Invasion of Italy by Charles VIII of France, French Occupation of Naples, 1495-1496|
V of Spain,
III of Naples
Alfonso left Naples to his illegitimate son Ferdinand (Ferrante), with the rest of the Aragonese holdings going to his brother, John II. Ferrante had a hard but successful time fighting off the Turks, Anjevians -- now meaning John I (or II), Duke of Lorraine -- and other enemies. Ferrante was helped, as he helped in turn, Skanderbeg, the hero of Albania, who freed his lands from the Turks from 1443 to 1463. If Ferrante was able to capture an enemy, the torments of imprisonment and death might be followed by mummification, so that the King could display him for his amusement. He is said have kept his collection in a museum or even at a banquet table. I know of no precedent for his macabre practice.
According to Andreas Thiele, Ferdinand was einer der grausamsten und barbarischsten Despoten Istaliens überhaupt, "One of the most cruel/horrible and barbaric despots of Italy altogether" [Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume II, Part 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa R. G. Fischer Verlag, Part 2, Second Edition, 1997, p.210]. This reputation was irresistable to the producers of the recent Showtime series The Borgias [2011-2012], who nevertheless also could not forebear altering the history to make things worse. Thus while Ferrante was succeeded by his son Alfonso II, who abdicated on the eve of the French invasion of 1495 (and died within the year in Sicily) and was thus succeeded by his young son (aged 26) Ferdinand II, The Borgias skips Alfonso and goes directly to Ferdinand, who is then captured, tortured to death, and mummified, by Charles VIII of France.
However, in fact Ferdinand fled the French, kept his forces together, obtained refuge and help from his cousin, Ferdinand II of Aragón and Sicily (V of Spain), successfully fought his way back into Naples as Charles withdrew, and pursued French forces until they were quit of the Kingdom. The French had been no more popular than they were in Sicily in 1282. Then, after marrying his aunt (who was actually younger than he was), Ferdinand died a natural death. We might also keep in mind that the torture and murder of a fellow Monarch, even if captured in battle -- as happened to John II of France -- is something that was simply not done in Mediaeval Europe. John was feasted in London. If Charles had actually killed Ferdinand in such a way, the outrage of Europe would have been great, and, more to the point, the hosility of the House of Aragón would have been implacable. Aragón was going to be hostile enough, as it happened. It is unlikely that a Monarch like Charles VIII, for all his faults, would be been so gratuitously impolitic.
Before modern television, these Kings had already been fictionalized in a far more memorable work of art, Shakespeare's The Tempest. There we have Alonso (i.e. Alfonso), King of Naples, and his son Ferdinand. While there were indeed two Kings of Naples named "Alfonso" with sons named "Ferdinand," the history and personalities of Shakespeare's Alonso and Ferdinand match up with neither pair of them. Alfonso II was King far to briefly to be anything like King Alonso; and Ferdinand I was very far from being anything like the sweet and innocent Ferdinand of The Tempest. Instead, Alonso is more like Alfonso I, while Ferdinand seems to be much like the young and earnest Ferdinand II. We can just see him marrying Miranda. But Alfonso I had nothing to do with the Ducal succession in Milan, and Ferdinand II did not marry a princess of Milan. However, Ferdinand's father, Alfonso II did marry a princess of Milan, Ippolita Sforza, daughter of Duke Francesco I Sforza. She was Ferdinand's mother. At Milan, also, there was indeed an irregularity in the succession, as in The Tempest, but this was Ippolita's brother, Ludovico Maria, deposing his nephew, Gian Galeazzo, in 1479 -- not the fictional Duke Prospero being deposed by his brother Antonio. Thus, Shakespeare's story is entirely fictional (and the name "Miranda" evidently a novel coinage), with little more than names and places supplied from the history of Naples and Milan. The meaning of The Temptest, in turn, has nothing to do with any of this history or its participants.
The "Catalan Company," mercenaries from Aragón who had fought for Romania and then mutinied, killed the Duke of Athens and seized the Duchy in 1311. In 1312, a brother of King Peter II of Sicily was brought in to rule. Two more brothers followed. Then King Louis of Sicily took over the Duchy from his uncle John II in 1432, and for a while Athens was united to Sicily. Just as Sicily was about to be reunited to Aragón, Athens was lost to the Acciaiuolis. The genealogy for all this can be examined at Aragón and at Athens.
Frederick IV of Naples was deposed by his cousin Ferdinand II of Aragón, who had already united Spain by marrying Isabella of Castile. Sicily and Naples remained united to Spain until Naples (and Sardinia) was ceded to Austria, and Sicily to Savoy, after the War of the Spanish Succession (1713).
|Savoyard King of Sicily|
|Victor Amadeus II||Duke of Savoy,|
|King of Sicily,|
|King of Sardinia,|
|Bourbon Kings of the Two Sicilies|
|War of the Polish|
Sicily & Naples to
|King of Spain,|
|Parthenopean Republic in Naples,|
1799; Bourbons restored, 1799;
Bourbons deposed, 1805
|Bourbons restored in Naples,|
1815; Bourbons, deposed 1820,
restored by Austria,
financed by Rothschilds, 1821
|Garibaldi defeats Bourbons, 1860;|
Sicily & Naples joined to
Sardinia & Italy, 1861
Sicily and Naples became separated during the Revolutionary Era, when French forces could easily occupy the mainland of Italy but the British Navy prevented them from landing in Sicily. An interesting footnote to that situation is when Admiral Horatio Nelson developed a relationship with Lady Emma Hamilton, wife of the British Ambassador, Sir William Hamilton. Lady Hamilton even bore Nelson a daughter. Nelson's plea that Britain should support this girl in the event of his death, however, was overlooked, despite undying gratitude for his victory and death at Trafalgar in 1805.
An association a bit more intrinsic to the area was the discovery of Pompeii, which had been buried by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. In 1710 a local peasant, Giovanni Battista Nocerino, began digging up artifacts at what turned out to be Herculaneum. An Austrian officer, Maurice de Lorraine, Prince d'Elboeuf, learned of the artifacts, bought the land, and excavated it for a while himself. After the Bourbons came to power, excavation was reopened by order of King Charles in 1738. The Museo Borbonico was created just to house the discoveries. In 1745 excavation moved over to the site that proved to be the city of Pompeii proper. In 1748 the first fresco and skeletal victim were discovered. Less edifying discoveries soon followed. By 1758 rumors were circulating of obscene art. King Charles himself ordered a statue of a satyr copulating with a goat (found in 1752) to be kept locked away. By 1786, however, books were being published with references to this and other objects. The "Secret Museum" at Pompeii was soon well stocked with nudes, lucky phalluses, and representations of intercourse and bestiality. Access to the brothels of Pompeii, which were not alone in possessing such embarrassing artifacts, but were particularly rich, as might be imagined, with them, had to be restricted. Thus began both the modern arguments over pornography and over the decadence that brought about the Fall of Rome.
It was during this period that the English Ambassador, Sir William Hamilton again, who was in the Kingdom from 1764-1800, studied the volcanoes of Naples and Sicily. His 1774 book, Observations on Mount Vesuvius, Mount Etna, and Other Volcanoes, has been called the beginning of volcanology. Hamilton thus has a claim to fame that is both intrinsic to Naples and Sicily and is rather more important than just his being cuckold to Horatio Nelson.
Restored to Naples in 1815, the Bourbons acquired, or cultivated, the reputation of one of the most reactionary regimes in Europe. When Garibaldi landed an army in Sicily in 1860, Bourbon authority collapsed quickly, and the North and the South of Italy were finally reunited for the first time since the invasion of the Lombards in 568. Nevertheless, the two ends of Italy remain culturally and politically rather different until today.
Philosophy of History
Kings of Sardinia, 1720-1861
|Kings of Sardinia|
|Victor Amadeus II||Duke of Savoy,|
|King of Sicily,|
|King of Sardinia,|
Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736),|
second cousin of Victor Amadeus II,
becomes supreme commander of
Imperial Armies, 1697
|Charles Emanuel III||1730-1773|
|Victor Amadeus III||1773-1796|
|Charles Emanuel IV||1796-1802|
|Victor Emanuel I||1802-1821|
|Victor Emanuel II||King of Sardinia,|
|Savoy & Nice|
|King of Italy,|
After Louis helped get the Turks to besiege Vienna in 1683, where they were defeated, Imperial forces, with recruits and enthusiasm from all over Europe, began to drive them right out of Hungary, which had been under the Ottomans since 1526. The first great victories in Hungary were won by Charles (V) of Lorraine, Louis of Baden, and Maximilian of Bavaria. Later, Eugene, who had become a general fighting in Italy, was given command of the Imperial Army in Hungary. He destroyed the Turks at the battle of Zenta (1697), earning fame that would continue well into the next century.
This all was bad news for Louis, who tried to help the Turks with his own war; but the War of the League of Augsburg (1688-1697) did not save Hungary for the Sult.ân. Soon, the death of the last Spanish Hapsburg set off the greatest conflict of the Era, the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713).
Here Eugene, and his friend, John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, transformed European warfare from the slow sieges and counter-marches of the previous half century into battles of annihilation. Victor Amadeus switched to the Imperial side, and Eugene drove the French right out of Italy. As a result, while Spanish possessions in the Mediterranean mostly went to Austria, Savoy obtained Sicily, which of course had been a Kingdom since 1130. So the Duke of Savoy was now a King.
But this arrangement turned out to be awkward. After Spain invaded both Sardinia (1717) and Sicily (1718) and had to be defeated by Britain and Austria, Victor Amadeus traded in Sicily for Sardinia (1720). Now, Sardinia had never been as important as Sicily and had not been a kingdom; but it was promoted to one so that Savoy would not lose status with the trade of Sicily.
In 1814, Savoy also became the ruler of Genoa, which had been an independent, Mediaeval republic until the French Revolution. At this point, we see a flag that is designed to represent the rule of Savoy, Genoa, and Sardinia. The Sardinian flag is simply that of Aragón, of which Sardinia was long a possession, showing four "Moors heads." The first version of this is the flag of Savoy with the "Moors head" flag in one quarter and the Genoese Cross of St. George on the diagonal.
Soon, a more interesting design was developed, containing the three crosses of Savoy, Genoa, and Sardinia. Meanwhile, the flag of Savoy had sometimes been place in a blue field, or as the canton of a blue flag, apparently in each case to represent the Piedmont. The new multiple cross flag for the Kingdom of Sardinia thus came to be put as the canton of a blue flag also. In 1848, however, this interesting flag was abandoned and replaced with the nationalist tri-color for Italy, representing the goal of Sardinia to unite Italy -- which it did.
The list of Kings of Sardinia is given under the periphery of Francia, because that is really where Sardinia belongs, since it was long a possession of Romania, Islâm, and then Aragón. Its only "Core" association was as a possession of Pisa for a while. This is a little awkward, since Savoy, now as Sardinia, remained a core territory of Francia and, most importantly, would go on to form the nucleus of a new Kingdom of Italy. However, since the new Kingdom would integrate the unambiguously peripheral area of Sicily and Naples, it is worth the emphasis of putting Sardinia there also.
The process of unification would mainly be in antagonism to Austria, which became the dominant power in Italy after Napoleon. Ironically, Prince Eugene is now remembered as a German national hero because of his service to the Empire -- there was even a German heavy cruiser in World War II named the Prinz Eugen (sunk after the War at the Kwajalein atomic bomb test in 1947). But Italians would later have little love for Austria.
The House of Savoy is continued under Kings of Italy.
Philosophy of History