Charles I Capet, King of Naples, Sicily and Jerusalem (1227 - 1285) MP

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Nicknames: "King of Sicily", "Károly I.", "Charles /d'Anjou/", "King Charles I of /Naples/", "Count of /Anjou/", "King of Jerusalem", "of Anjou", "commonly called Charles of Anjou"
Birthplace: Paris, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Death: Died in Foggia Castle, Foggia, Foggia, Italy
Occupation: Roi de Naples & de Sicile, Comte de Provence & Forcalquier, Comte d'Anjou & Maine, Roi d'Albania, Roi de Jerusalem & Achaea, Prince of Achaia & Andravida 1278-1285
Managed by: Margaret, (C)
Last Updated:

About Charles I Capet, King of Naples, Sicily and Jerusalem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_Naples

Charles I (21 March 1226 – 7 January 1285), commonly called Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. Thereafter, he continued to claim the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples (and for this he is usually titled King of Naples after 1282, as are his successors). Charles was the youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, and hence younger brother of Louis IX of France and Alfonso II of Toulouse. He conquered the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen and began to acquire lands in the eastern Mediterranean. However, the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him to abandon his plans to reassemble the Latin Empire.

By marriage to Beatrice, heiress of Raymond Berengar IV of Provence, he was Count of Provence and Forcalquier from 1246. In 1247, his brother Louis IX made him Count of Anjou and Maine, as appanages of the French crown. By conquest and self-proclamation, he became King of Albania in 1272 and by purchase King of Jerusalem in 1277. By the testament of William II of Villehardouin, he inherited the Principality of Achaea in 1278.

Charles was born in 1226, shortly before the death of his father, King Louis VIII. Like his immediate older brother, Philippe Dagobert (who died in 1232 aged 10) he did not receive a county as appanage, as had his older brothers. Shortly after the death of Philippe Dagobert, his other brother, John Tristan, Count of Anjou and Maine, also died. Charles became the next in line to received the Counties, but was formally invested only in 1247. The affection of his mother Blanche seems largely to have been bestowed upon his brother Louis; and Louis tended to favour his other younger brothers, Robert of Artois and Alphonse of Toulouse. The self-reliance this engendered in Charles may account for the drive and ambition he showed in his later life.

Charles' wife Beatrice died on 23 September 1267, and he immediately sought a new marriage to Margaret, daughter of Bela IV of Hungary. However, Margaret wished to be a nun (and was later canonized); Charles instead married (on 18 November 1268), Margaret, Countess of Tonnerre (1250 – 4 September 1308, Tonnerre), the daughter of Eudes of Burgundy. However, he was able to make a marital alliance with the Hungarians: his son Charles, Prince of Salerno married Maria, daughter of crown prince Stephen, while Charles' daughter Elizabeth married Stephen's son Ladislas.

On his death, Charles left all of his domains to his son Charles, then a prisoner in Catalonia. For the time being, they were held by a joint regency between a papal legate and Robert II of Artois. Charles had spent his life striving to assemble a Mediterranean empire out of whatever land he could get through law or force of arms. He did so, it seems, with a clear conscience; he regarded himself as God's instrument to uphold the Papacy and punish the Hohenstaufen. He ruled justly, but with the rigidity and severity that might be expected in one of his convictions. Ultimately, his unbending austerity could not inspire the devotion needed to hold his conquests together.

Still, he was to leave a substantial legacy to his heirs. Henry II of Cyprus reclaimed the Kingdom of Jerusalem after his death, for the few short years left to it; but his possessions otherwise remained within the Angevin dynasty which he founded, or their descendants. Both the Angevins and their Aragonese rivals were to claim the title of "King of Sicily"; but the Angevins, confined to the mainland, would be known to history as "Kings of Naples". But the style of "King of Sicily" persisted; and when the two realms were reunited, it was under the style of "King of the Two Sicilies".

Charles of Anjou contributed to the early medieval revival of learning, often referred to as the "Latin" Renaissance, through his employment of several Jewish scholars at the University of Salerno and Naples, who were expert translators. The most famous of these, Moses of Palermo, he had tutored in Latin, to enable direct translations of ancient classical and Arab texts. These Jewish scholars translated dozens of philosophical and medical treatises into Latin, bringing the heritage of classical antiquity and the great contemporary Muslim culture to pre-Renaissance Europe. [3]

However, his wars resulted in an even more serious consequence than the partition of the Kingdom of Sicily. Pope Martin IV had hopelessly compromised the Papacy in his cause; and the botched secular "Crusades" against Sicily and (after Charles' death) Aragon greatly tarnished its spiritual power. The collapse of its moral authority and the rise of nationalism rang the death knell for Crusading, and would ultimately lead to the Avignon Papacy and the Western Schism. Charles was an able soldier and a good administrator; but his failure to understand the qualities of his diverse subjects, and his grasping, if pious, ambition, ultimately led him to failure.

In the Divine Comedy Dante sees Charles outside the gates of Purgatory "singing in accord" with his former rival Peter.

Marriage and children

Charles was wedded to Beatrice of Provence on 31 January 1246, in Aix-en-Provence. Beatrice was the youngest daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence and Forcalquier, who had died on 19 August 1245 by his wife Beatrice of Savoy. As his elder three daughters had all married kings and received substantial dowries, Raymond settled his entire inheritance upon Beatrice, making Charles Count of Provence and Forcalquier. They had the following children:

   * Louis (1248, Nicosia)
   * Blanche (1250 – July 1269), married 1265 Count Robert III of Flanders
   * Beatrice of Sicily (1252–1275), married 15 October 1273 at Foggia to Philip of Courtenay, titular Emperor of Constantinople
   * Charles II of Naples (1254 – 1309)
   * Philip of Sicily (1256 – 1 January 1277), titular King of Thessalonica from 1274, married 28 May 1271 to Isabella of Villehardouin
   * Robert (1258–1265)
   * Elizabeth of Sicily (1261 – c. 1300), married bef. September 1272 to Ladislas IV of Hungary

After the death of Beatrice, he married Margaret of Burgundy in 1268. Their only daughter, Margaret, died in infancy.

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The Angevin era defined the decline of Sicily, and particularly Palermo, as a center of political and economic power. While acknowledging that Sicily was a kingdom in its own right, Charles ruled from Naples, which previously had been a prosperous but politically less important city than Palermo, Bari or Salerno.

In Sicily, the changes were immediate. Thousands of French troops arrived, and taxes were increased. For the first time in centuries, Sicily was the "dominion" of a "foreign" ruler who saw no reason to visit the island. Worse, the Sicilians themselves were made to feel like subjects.

In the years following 1268, Sicily was almost entirely Latinized. Except for a few monasteries in the Nebrodi region, the Christians were Catholic, and with Charles' help a later pope, Gregory X, attempted to subjugate the Eastern (Orthodox) Church of Constantinople. The new regime openly resented the Arabs of Lucera (in Puglia) and Sicily. Mosques were gradually abandoned; many were converted to churches. Jews were tolerated, though their communities became fewer outside the major cities.

The Sicilian language had emerged as a Latin tongue, albeit with many Greek and Arabic words. In name, the Sicilian nobility had Norman, Swabian and Lombard roots. Truth be told, most Sicilian nobles had Arab or Byzantine ancestors, too. From the beginning, the nobility viewed the Angevin French in a negative light, initially as something of a nuisance and then as a repressive instrument of royal power. Charles of Anjou was anything but an enlightened ruler. His son, Charles "the Lame" of Salerno, was viewed by all, including his father, as weak and incompetent.

Around Sicily a number of structures remain from the rather brief Angevin period. Palermo's Church of Saint Francis of Assisi (the portal is shown here), begun in 1255, exemplifies the "Italianate Gothic" style --Italian but not particularly Gothic.

The expansionist policies of Charles were not limited to Italy. Apart from influence in northern Italy, he claimed the crown of Jerusalem borne by Frederick II. After Louis IX died on crusade in Tunisia in 1270, his son, Philip (who ruled France as Philip III), fell under the influence of Charles.

By 1282, Charles ruled Sicily and southern Italy, Jerusalem, Albania, Provence, Anjou, Maine and part of Tunisia. He was preparing an invasion of Constantinople which would have finally brought the Byzantine world --and particularly its Church-- under Latin control. The new pope, Martin IV, a Frenchman, openly encouraged this. Charles was, without doubt, the most powerful European monarch.

Two decades earlier, Manfred Hohenstaufen, an illegitimate son of Frederick II (but presumed heir to the thrones of Sicily and Germany) killed by Charles' Angevin forces at the Battle of Benevento in 1266, had betrothed his daughter, Constance, to Peter of Aragon. On this tenuous basis, a number of Sicilian nobles exiled from Charles' Kingdom since the 1260s sought the alliance of Peter I of Aragon, whose realm based at Barcelona included Catalonia and other prosperous regions of northeastern Spain. Based on the Sicilians' requests, but also on various other political issues, Peter soon began preparations for a war against Charles.

Clearly, the rivalry between Guelphs (supporters of the Papacy and now the Angevins) and Ghibellines (supporters of the Holy Roman Emperor and Swabians) had not abated, but what followed was completely unexpected.

On Easter Monday, 30 March, 1282, a popular revolt broke out, leading to the deaths of thousands of French, including numerous civilians. The uprising, later called the "Sicilian Vespers," spread across the island in a matter of days. The "War of the Vespers" was the first feudal revolt of this kind. Its efficiency and ruthlessness frightened monarchs far beyond Naples and Rome. Almost simultaneously, the French castellans and garrisons of Sicily's fortified cities were isolated and killed, in Palermo, Caccamo, Vicari, Caltanissetta, Girgenti (Agrigento), Caltanissetta, Milazzo, Castrogiovanni (Enna), Taormina, Catania... In September, Peter was formally nominated King of Sicily by the island's nobles. That, however, was not the end of the war.

In a series of battles at sea and skirmishes on land, the Angevin forces were defeated by Aragonese-Sicilian ones. In one of the war's comical episodes, Charles and the younger Peter were to meet for a duel to decide the fate of Sicily, each accompanied by a hundred fighting knights. This was to take place in June 1283 at Bordeaux, capital of the neutral French territories of Edward, King of England. Each king agreed to appear with his suite but it was tacitly understood that each would arrive at a different time. Then each sovereign claimed that the other was a coward. In another incident, King Charles' incompetent son, Charles of Salerno, was taken prisoner at a sea battle in June 1284 and held in the citadel of Cefalù.

When Charles died in January of 1285, Angevin power in Sicily had essentially vanished. The new king of Naples, Charles "the Lame," was still a prisoner, and Pope Martin at first refused to recognise him as the late monarch's heir. In the event, Martin himself died a few months after King Charles. In a gesture of alliance with his Angevin cousins, Philip III of France, attacked Aragon, his army soon defeated as much by malaria as by arms. Philip died in October 1285. Peter of Aragon died a month later.

--------------------

Charles I (21 March 1226 – 7 January 1285), known also as Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266,[1] though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. Thereafter, he continued to claim the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples (and for this he is usually titled King of Naples after 1282, as are his successors). Charles was the youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, and hence younger brother of Louis IX of France and Alfonso II of Toulouse. He conquered the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen and began to acquire lands in the eastern Mediterranean. However, the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him to abandon his plans to reassemble the Latin Empire.

By marriage to Beatrice, heiress of Raymond Berengar IV of Provence, he was Count of Provence and Forcalquier from 1246. In 1247, his brother Louis IX made him Count of Anjou and Maine, as appanages of the French crown. By conquest and self-proclamation, he became King of Albania in 1272 and by purchase King of Jerusalem in 1277. By the testament of William II of Villehardouin, he inherited the Principality of Achaea in 1278.

Contents [hide]

1 Early life

2 Accession in Provence

3 Seventh Crusade and return

4 Wider ambitions

5 Conquest of Sicily

6 Ambitions in the Latin Empire

7 Eighth Crusade

8 Conquest of Albania and Genoese War

9 Breakdown of the Union

10 Sicilian Vespers

11 War with Aragon

12 Death and legacy

13 Marriage and children

14 Ancestors

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links


[edit] Early life

Charles was born in 1226, shortly before the death of his father, King Louis VIII. Like his immediate older brother, Philippe Dagobert (who died in 1232 aged 10) he did not receive a county as appanage, as had his older brothers. Shortly after the death of Philippe Dagobert, his other brother, John Tristan, Count of Anjou and Maine, also died. Charles became the next in line to receive the Counties, but was formally invested only in 1247. The affection of his mother Blanche seems largely to have been bestowed upon his brother Louis; and Louis tended to favour his other younger brothers, Robert of Artois and Alphonse of Toulouse. The self-reliance this engendered in Charles may account for the drive and ambition he showed in his later life.

[edit] Accession in Provence

Upon his accession as Count of Provence and Forcalquier in 1246, Charles rapidly found himself in difficulties. His sisters-in-law felt cheated by their father's will, and his mother-in-law the Dowager Countess Beatrice of Savoy claimed the entire County of Forcalquier and the usufruct of Provence as her jointure. Furthermore, while Provence was technically a part of the Kingdom of Burgundy and hence of the Holy Roman Empire, in practice it was free of central authority. The recent counts had governed with a light hand, and the nobilities and cities (three of which, Marseille, Arles, and Avignon were Imperial cities technically separate from the county) had enjoyed great liberties. Charles, in contrast, was disposed towards a rigid administration; he ordered inquests in 1252 and again in 1278 to ascertain his rights[2] Charles broke the traditional powers of the great towns (Nice, Grasse, Marseille, Arles, Avignon) and aroused considerable hostility by his punctilious insistence on enjoying his full rights and fees. In 1247, while Charles had gone to France to receive the Counties of Anjou and Maine, the local nobility (represented by Barral of Baux and Boniface of Castellane) joined with Beatrice and the three Imperial cities to form a defensive league against him. Unfortunately for Charles, he had promised to join his brother on the Seventh Crusade. For the time being, Charles' only recourse was to compromise with Beatrice, allowing her to have Forcalquier and a third of the Provençal usufruct.

Rich Provence provided the funds that supported his wider career. His rights as landlord were on the whole of recent establishment, but his rights as sovereign entitled him to revenues on the gabelles (mainly salt), from alberga (commutation of gîte) and cavalcata (commutation of the duties of military service) and quista ("aids") (Baratier 1969). From the Church, unlike his brothers in the north, he received virtually nothing. Charles' agents were efficient, the towns were prosperous, the peasants were buying up the duties of corvée and establishing self-governing consulats in the villages: Provence flourished.

[edit] Seventh Crusade and return

Charles sailed with the rest of the Crusaders from Aigues-Mortes in 1248, and fought gallantly at Damietta and during the fighting around Mansourah. However, his piety does not seem to have matched that of his brother (Jean de Joinville relates a tale of Louis catching him gambling on the voyage from Egypt to Acre) and he returned with his brother Alphonse in May 1250. During his absence, open rebellion had broken out in Provence. Charles moved with his characteristic energy to suppress it, and Arles, Avignon, and Barral of Baux had surrendered to him by June 1251. Marseille held out until July 1252, but then sued for peace. Charles imposed a lenient peace, but insisted on the recognition of his full panoply of comital rights, and acknowledgement of his suzerainity by Marseille.[citation needed]

[edit] Wider ambitions

In November 1252, the death of his mother Blanche of Castile caused him to go north to Paris and assume the joint regency of the kingdom with his brother Alphonse. While in Paris, he was approached by envoys from Pope Innocent IV. Innocent was then seeking to detach the Kingdom of Sicily from the Holy Roman Empire (in the person of Conrad IV of Germany), and offered it to Charles, after his brother-in-law Richard, Earl of Cornwall had declined it. Alphonse, however, was cool to the idea; and King Louis forbade it outright. Balked, Charles took up the cause of Margaret II of Flanders against her son, John I, Count of Hainaut in the War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault. She granted him the County of Hainaut for his service. King Louis again disapproved, and on his return from Outremer in 1254 he returned Hainaut to John. The disappointed Charles returned to Provence, which had become restive again. The mediation of King Louis led to a settlement with Beatrice of Savoy, who returned Forcalquier and relinquished her claims for a cash payment and a pension. Marseille had attempted to involve Pisa and Alfonso X of Castile in the quarrel, but they proved unreliable as allies, and a coup by the supporters of Charles resulted in the surrender of the city's political powers. Charles spent the next several years quietly increasing his power over various lordships on the borders of Provence. A final rebellion occurred in 1262, when he was absent in France; Boniface of Castellane rebelled yet again, as did Marseille and Hugh of Baux. However, Barral of Baux now remained loyal to Charles, and Charles quickly returned to scatter the rebels. The mediation of James I of Aragon brought about a settlement; while Marseille was forced to dismantle its fortifications and surrender its arms, it otherwise went unpunished. Surprisingly, this leniency worked to good effect; hereafter, the Provençals proved staunch supporters of Charles, providing money and troops for his further conquests. Many of them were to be rewarded with high posts in his new dominions.

With the usurpation of the Sicilian throne from Conradin by Manfred of Sicily in 1258, the relationship between the Papacy and the Hohenstaufen had changed again. Instead of the boy Conradin, safely sequestered across the Alps, the Papacy now faced an able military leader in Italy. Accordingly, when negotiations broke down with Manfred in 1262, Pope Urban IV again took up the scheme of disseising the Hohenstaufen from the Kingdom, and offered the crown to Charles again. Manfred's own usurpation from Conradin told upon King Louis' scruples; this time, he was persuaded to admit the offer, and Charles ratified a treaty with the Pope in July 1263. The terms were heavily in favor of the Pope; the Kingdom must never be re-united with the Empire, and the King was never to hold Imperial or Papal office, or interfere with ecclesiastical matters in the Kingdom. Nevertheless, Charles accepted eagerly. For money, he called for help from the then-omnipotent Sienese banker, Orlando Bonsignori.[citation needed]Charles' cousin, Henry of Castile lent him forty thousand gold ounces to finance the war against King Manfred. This loan was never repaid. Henry of Castile, angered by Charles' disregard, changed sides to Conradin's and fought with a host of Spanish knights against Charles in Tagliacozzo. Defeated, Henry was imprisoned by Charles for 22 years in Canosa di Puglia and Castel del Monte, where he wrote the famous novel of chivalry, Amadis de Gaula.[3]

[edit] Conquest of Sicily


Sicilian coin of Charles's, bearing the inscription Karolus Dei gracia Sicilie rex around the king's image and that of Ducatus Apulie / Pricipat Capue around his coat-of-arms, referring to the Duchy of Apulia and the Principality of Capua, the two mainland provinces of the kingdom.

From the Cabinet des Médailles.Having endorsed the treaty, Charles could now play for time. With Manfred's troops advancing on the Papal States, Charles obtained an extensive renegotiation of the treaty on more favorable lines. As instructions went out to the clergy to submit contributions for the war, Urban IV died in October 1264 at Perugia, fleeing Manfred. This raised the possibility of a reversal of Papal policy. To underscore his resolve, he broke sharply with his previous policy of leniency and ordered the execution of several Provençal rebels, who had been in his hands for a year. Fortunately for Charles, the new Pope Clement IV was the former adviser to his brother Alphonse and strongly supported the accession of Charles. Charles entered Rome on 23 May 1265 and was proclaimed King of Sicily.

Charles was popular in Rome, where he was elected Senator, and his diplomacy had already undermined Manfred's support in northern Italy. While Charles' campaigns were delayed for lack of money, Manfred, curiously, idled away his time hunting in Apulia, while his support in the north of Italy waned. Charles was able to bring his main army through the Alps, and he and Beatrice were crowned on 6 January 1266. As Charles' army began an energetic campaign, Manfred suddenly shed his lethargy and moved to meet him. Worried that further delays might endanger the loyalty of his supporters, he attacked Charles' army, then in disarray from the crossing of the hills into Benevento, on 26 February 1266. In the Battle of Benevento that followed, Manfred's army was defeated in detail and he was killed in the melee. Upon his death, resistance throughout the Kingdom collapsed, and Charles became master of Sicily.

While Charles' administration in his new Kingdom was generally fair and honest, it was also stringent. As in Provence, he insisted on maximizing the revenues and privileges he could obtain from his new subjects. Discontent was high; but for now, Charles could focus on extending his power in northern Italy (which alarmed the Pope, who feared a powerful king of all Italy as much as he did an Emperor). But the Pope was willing to allow this; for in September 1267 Conradin marched south to reclaim the rights of the Hohenstaufen, and one of his agents instigated a revolt in Sicily. He entered Rome on 24 July 1268, where his arrival was wildly celebrated. At the Battle of Tagliacozzo, on 23 August 1268, it appeared he might win the day; but a sudden charge of Charles' reserve discomfited his army and he was forced to flee to Rome. Told it was no longer safe, he attempted to escape to Genoa, but was arrested and imprisoned in the Castel dell'Ovo in Naples. In a trial carefully managed by Charles, Conradin was condemned for treason, and he was beheaded on 29 October 1268 at the age of 16. By the end of 1270, he had captured Lucera[4] and put down the revolt in Sicily, executing many of the captured. With the whole kingdom cowed beneath his strict, if fair, rule, he was ready to consider greater conquests.

[edit] Ambitions in the Latin Empire

After the defeat of Manfred at Benevento, Charles immediately began to plan his expansion into the Mediterranean. Historically, the Kingdom of Sicily had at times controlled parts of the eastern Adriatic seaboard, and Manfred possessed the island of Corfu and the towns of Butrinto, Avlona and Suboto, which had formed the dowry of his wife Helena. Charles seized these at the end of 1266. From thence, he passed on to intrigue with the remaining nobility of the Latin Empire. In May 1267, he concluded the Treaty of Viterbo with the exiled Baldwin II of Constantinople and William II Villehardouin (through his chancellor Leonardo of Veruli). Taking advantage of the precarious situation of the remains of the Empire in the face of rising Greek power, he obtained confirmation of his possession of Corfu, the suzerain rights over Achaea, and sovereignty over most of the Aegean islands. Furthermore, the heirs of both the Latin princes were to marry children of Charles, and Charles was to have the reversion of the Empire and Principality should the couples have no heirs. With few options to check the Byzantine tide, he was well placed to dictate terms.


In 1277, he claims the Kingdom of JerusalemCharles' wife Beatrice died on 23 September 1267, and he immediately sought a new marriage to Margaret, daughter of Bela IV of Hungary. However, Margaret wished to be a nun (and was later canonized); Charles instead married (on 18 November 1268), Margaret, Countess of Tonnerre (1250 – 4 September 1308, Tonnerre), the daughter of Eudes of Burgundy. However, he was able to make a marital alliance with the Hungarians: his son Charles, Prince of Salerno married Maria, daughter of crown prince Stephen, while Charles' daughter Elizabeth married Stephen's son Ladislas.

[edit] Eighth Crusade

Having thus made secure his position in the East, he began to prepare a crusade to recover the Latin Empire. Michael VIII Palaeologus was greatly alarmed at the prospect: he wrote to King Louis, suggesting that he was open to a voluntary union of the Roman and Latin churches, and pointing out the interference a descent on Constantinople would pose to Louis' own crusading plans. Louis took a dim view of his sincerity; but he was eager to take up the cross again, and he notified Charles of his intentions. Charles continued with his preparations against Constantinople, hoping the crusade might be postponed, but he also prepared to turn his brother's crusade to his own advantage. The Caliph of Tunis, Muhammad I al-Mustansir had been a vassal of Sicily, but had shaken off his allegiance with the fall of Manfred.[citation needed] However, there were rumors he might be sympathetic to Christianity. Accordingly, Charles suggested to his brother that the arrival of a crusade in his support might bring about Mustansir's conversion. Thus it was that Louis directed the Eighth Crusade against Tunis. Charles did not arrive until late in the day on 25 August 1270, only to find that his brother had died of dysentery that morning. Charles took command, and after a few skirmishes, Mustansir concluded a peace treaty and agreed to pay tribute to Charles. Illness continued to plague the army, however, and a storm devastated the fleet of 18 men-of-war and innumerable smaller vessels as it returned to Sicily. Charles was forced to postpone his designs against Constantinople again.

[edit] Conquest of Albania and Genoese War

In February 1271, Charles began to expand his Adriatic possessions by capturing Durazzo, and he soon controlled much of the Albanian interior. In February 1272, he proclaimed himself King of Albania and appointed Gazzo Chinardo as his Vicar-General. He hoped to take up his expedition against Constantinople again, but was delayed by the rise of Pope Gregory X, consecrated on 27 March 1272. Gregory had high hopes of reconciling Europe, unifying the Greek and Latin churches, and launching a new crusade: to that end, he announced the Council of Lyon, to be held in 1274, and worked to arrange the election of an Emperor.

In November 1272, the strained relations between Charles and Ghibelline-ruled Genoa finally broke into war. Ghibelline revolts broke out across the north of Italy, and increasingly occupied the attention of Charles, even as Michael Palaeologus was negotiating a union of churches with the Pope. At the same time, he had made contact with Genoa and was sending money to encourage the revolts in the north. At the apparently successful conclusion of the Council of Lyon, a Union of Churches was declared, and Charles and Philip of Courtenay were compelled to extend a truce with Michael. This was a blessing in disguise for Charles, for the Ghibellines now controlled most of the north, and he was forced to retreat from Piedmont in late 1275. In truth, Pope Gregory was not entirely displeased; he regarded north Italy as best dealt with by its new Emperor, Rudolph of Habsburg, and preferred that Charles be confined to the south. If he wished to make war, let him look to Outremer; and to this end, Gregory endorsed the sale to Charles of the claims of Maria of Antioch on the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which had been rejected by the Haute Cour there. On 18 March 1277, he bought her claim and assumed the title of King of Jerusalem, sending Roger of San Severino as his bailli to Acre. There Roger ousted Balian of Ibelin, the bailli of Hugh III and compelled the nobles to swear fealty. In the meantime, Gregory had been succeeded by Pope Innocent V, who arranged a peace between Charles and the Genoese.

[edit] Breakdown of the Union

Meanwhile, in Constantinople, the Union of the Churches was proving difficult to arrange, and the Emperor Michael had great difficulty in imposing it on his people. Nevertheless, he persuaded Innocent of his sincerity in working towards it, and Charles was again forbidden to attack Constantinople. Knowing this, Michael began a campaign in Albania in late 1274, where he captured Berat and Butrinto. He also enjoyed some success in his campaigns in Euboea and the Peloponnese.

Affairs dragged on for several years, until the accession of Pope Martin IV on 23 March 1281. Pope Martin was a Frenchman, and lacked the evenhandedness of some of his recent precursors. He brought the full power of the Papacy into line behind Charles' plans. The Union, which had proved impossible to impose upon Constantinople, was called off, and Charles given authorization for the restoration of the Latin Empire.

He opened his campaign in Albania, where his general Hugh of Sully with 8,000 men (including 2,000 cavalry) captured Butrinto from the Despotate of Epirus in 1280 and besieging Berat. A Byzantine army of relief under Michael Tarchaniotes arrived in March, 1281: Hugh of Sully was ambushed and captured, and his army put to flight. The Byzantines took possession of the interior of Albania. Nor was Charles particularly successful in Achaea, where he had become (by the Treaty of Viterbo) Prince of Achaea on the death of William II Villehardouin in 1278. His bailli Galeran of Ivry was defeated at Skorta in his one attempt to engage the Byzantines, and was recalled in 1280 and replaced by Philip of Lagonesse. Nonetheless, Charles was to launch the body of his crusade (400 ships carrying 27,000 mounted knights) against Constantinople in the spring of 1282.

[edit] Sicilian Vespers

But Michael had not been working upon the military front alone. Many Ghibelline officials had fled the Kingdom of Sicily to the court of Peter III of Aragon, who had married Constance, the daughter and heir of Manfred. Manfred's former chancellor, John of Procida, had arranged contact between Michael, Peter and the refugees at his court, and conspirators on the island of Sicily itself. Peter began to assemble a fleet at Barcelona, ostensibly for another Crusade to Tunis. In fact, the master-plan of John of Procida was to place Peter on the throne of Sicily, his Hohenstaufen inheritance. The result was the uprising known as the Sicilian Vespers, which was initiated in Palermo on 29 March 1282. It rapidly grew into a general massacre of the French in Sicily. A few officials notable for their good conduct were spared; and the city of Messina still held for Charles. But through the diplomatic errors of Charles' Vicar, Herbert of Orleans, Messina, too, revolted on 28 April 1282. Herbert retreated to the castle of Mategriffon, but was forced to abandon the Crusading fleet, which was burnt.

The news surprised Peter of Aragon, who had expected to intervene only after Charles had left for Constantinople. But the conspirators, aided by the Emperor Michael (who wished to see Charles balked in his expedition), had set the revolt in motion early. Peter did not immediately intervene; he sailed with the fleet to Tunis, where he discovered that the would-be convert on whose behalf the crusade had ostensibly been undertaken had been caught and executed. While he bided his time, the Sicilians made an appeal to Pope Martin to take the Communes of their cities under his protection. But Martin was far too deeply committed to Charles and French interests to heed them; instead, he excommunicated the rebels, the Emperor Michael, and the Ghibellines in north Italy. Charles gathered his forces in Calabria and made a landing near Messina and began a siege. Several attempts to assault the city were unsuccessful. Rejected by the Pope, the Sicilians now appealed to King Peter and Queen Constance; he duly accepted, and landed at Trapani on 30 August 1282. He was proclaimed King in Palermo on 4 September; as the Archibishopric of Palermo was vacant, he could not immediately be crowned. In the face of the Aragonese landing, Charles was compelled to withdraw across the Straits of Messina into Calabria in September; but the Aragonese moved swiftly enough to destroy part of his army and most of his baggage. The Angevin house was forever ousted from Sicily.

[edit] War with Aragon

Despite his retreat into Calabria, Charles remained in a strong position. His nephew, Philip III of France, was devoted to him; and Pope Martin regarded the rebellion as an affront both to French interests and his own rights as suzerain of the Kingdom. Both sides temporized; the expense of a long war might be disastrous for both, and Peter and Charles arranged for a judicial duel, with a hundred knights apiece, on 1 June 1283 at Bordeaux. Skirmishes and raids continued to occur: in January 1283, Aragonese guerillas attacked Catona and killed Count Peter I of Alençon in his hostel. In February, the Aragonese crossed into Calabria to face off with Charles of Salerno. However, tensions between the Aragonese and the Sicilians had begun to rise. Both men now hoped to turn the war to their advantage, and the judicial duel turned into a farce, the two kings arriving at different times, declaring a victory over their absent opponent, and departing. Now the war was to escalate: Pope Martin had excommunicated Peter and proclaimed the war against the Sicilians a Crusade in January, and in March, declared Peter to be deprived of his dominions. On 2 February 1284, Aragon and Valencia were officially conferred upon Charles of Valois. The war continued in Italy: while little progress had been made in Calabria, a detachment of the Aragonese fleet was blockading Malta. Charles of Salerno sent a newly raised Provençal fleet to the relief of Malta; but it was caught by the main Aragonese fleet under Roger of Lauria and destroyed in the Battle of Malta. The Aragonese were now, however, running quite short of money, and Peter was threatened by the prospect of a French attack on Aragon. King Charles planned to raise new troops and a fleet in Provence, and instructed Charles of Salerno to maintain a strict defensive posture until his return from France. However, Roger of Lauria continued to command the sea and launch harassing raids up and down the coast of Calabria, and in May 1284 he successfully blockaded Naples, basing a small squadron on the island of Nisida to do so. The Neapolitans were infuriated by the blockade; and in June, Charles of Salerno armed the newly launched fleet at Naples and embarked on 5 June to destroy the blockading squadron. Evidently believing the main Aragonese fleet was raiding down the coast, he hoped to destroy the blockading squadron and return to Naples before it returned. However, Roger of Lauria had learned of his plans, and Charles found himself engulfed by superior numbers. After a short, sharp, fight, most of his fleet was captured, and he himself was taken prisoner.

News of the reverse caused anti-French riots in Naples, and Roger of Lauria was quick to take advantage of Charles' captivity to obtain the release of Beatrice, daughter of Manfred of Sicily, then held in Naples. King Charles arrived in Gaeta on 6 June and learned of the disaster. He was furious at his son and his disobedience; by the time he reached Naples, the riots had been quelled. He advanced on Calabria and attempted a landing in Sicily; but his main army was blocked at Reggio, and he retreated from Calabria entirely on 3 August. He continued to make preparations for a campaign against Sicily in the new year; but his health failed. On 7 January 1285, he died in Foggia.

[edit] Death and legacy


Charles I of Naples (or Anjou), Basilique Saint-Denis. Note he holds his heart in his left hand.On his death, Charles left all of his domains to his son Charles, then a prisoner in Catalonia. For the time being, they were held by a joint regency between a papal legate and Robert II of Artois. Charles had spent his life striving to assemble a Mediterranean empire out of whatever land he could get through law or force of arms. He did so, it seems, with a clear conscience; he regarded himself as God's instrument to uphold the Papacy and punish the Hohenstaufen. He ruled justly, but with the rigidity and severity that might be expected in one of his convictions. Ultimately, his unbending austerity could not inspire the devotion needed to hold his conquests together.

Still, he was to leave a substantial legacy to his heirs. Henry II of Cyprus reclaimed the Kingdom of Jerusalem after his death, for the few short years left to it; but his possessions otherwise remained within the Angevin dynasty which he founded, or their descendants. Both the Angevins and their Aragonese rivals were to claim the title of "King of Sicily"; but the Angevins, confined to the mainland, would be known to history as "Kings of Naples". But the style of "King of Sicily" persisted; and when the two realms were reunited, it was under the style of "King of the Two Sicilies".

Charles of Anjou contributed to the early medieval revival of learning, often referred to as the "Latin" Renaissance, through his employment of several Jewish scholars at the University of Salerno and Naples, who were expert translators. The most famous of these, Moses of Palermo, he had tutored in Latin, to enable direct translations of ancient classical and Arab texts. These Jewish scholars translated dozens of philosophical and medical treatises into Latin, bringing the heritage of classical antiquity and the great contemporary Muslim culture to pre-Renaissance Europe.[5]

However, his wars resulted in an even more serious consequence than the partition of the Kingdom of Sicily. Pope Martin IV had hopelessly compromised the Papacy in his cause; and the botched secular "Crusades" against Sicily and (after Charles' death) Aragon greatly tarnished its spiritual power. The collapse of its moral authority and the rise of nationalism rang the death knell for Crusading, and would ultimately lead to the Avignon Papacy and the Western Schism. Charles was an able soldier and a good administrator; but his failure to understand the qualities of his diverse subjects, and his grasping, if pious, ambition, ultimately led him to failure.

In the Divine Comedy Dante sees Charles outside the gates of Purgatory "singing in accord" with his former rival Peter.

[edit] Marriage and children

Charles was wedded to Beatrice of Provence on 31 January 1246, in Aix-en-Provence. Beatrice was the youngest daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence and Forcalquier, who had died on 19 August 1245 by his wife Beatrice of Savoy. As his elder three daughters had all married kings and received substantial dowries, Raymond settled his entire inheritance upon Beatrice, making Charles Count of Provence and Forcalquier. They had the following children:

Louis (1248, Nicosia)

Blanche (1250 – July 1269), married 1265 Count Robert III of Flanders

Beatrice of Sicily (1252–1275), married 15 October 1273 at Foggia to Philip of Courtenay, titular Emperor of Constantinople

Charles II of Naples (1254 – 1309)

Philip II (1256 – 1 January 1277), titular King of Thessalonica from 1274, married 28 May 1271 to Isabella of Villehardouin

Robert (1258–1265)

Elizabeth of Sicily (1261 – c. 1300), married bef. September 1272 to Ladislas IV of Hungary

After the death of Beatrice, he married Margaret of Burgundy in 1268. Their only daughter, Margaret, died in infancy.

[edit] Ancestors

[show]v • d • eAncestors of Charles I of Naples

                                 

 16. Louis VI of France 
 
         

 8. Louis VII of France   
 
               

 17. Adelaide of Maurienne 
 
         

 4. Philip II of France   
 
                     

 18. Theobald II, Count of Champagne 
 
         

 9. Adèle of Champagne   
 
               

 19. Matilda of Carinthia 
 
         

 2. Louis VIII of France   
 
                           

 20. Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut 
 
         

 10. Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut   
 
               

 21. Alice of Namur 
 
         

 5. Isabelle of Hainaut   
 
                     

 22. Thierry, Count of Flanders 
 
         

 11. Margaret I, Countess of Flanders   
 
               

 23. Sibylla of Anjou 
 
         

 1. Charles I of Naples   
 
                                 

 24. Alfonso VII of León 
 
         

 12. Sancho III of Castile   
 
               

 25. Berenguela of Barcelona 
 
         

 6. Alfonso VIII of Castile   
 
                     

 26. García VI of Navarre 
 
         

 13. Blanche of Navarre   
 
               

 27. Marguerite de l'Aigle 
 
         

 3. Blanche of Castile   
 
                           

 28. Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou 
 
         

 14. Henry II of England   
 
               

 29. Matilda of England 
 
         

 7. Eleanor of England   
 
                     

 30. William X, Duke of Aquitaine 
 
         

 15. Eleanor of Aquitaine   
 
               

 31. Aenor de Châtellerault 
 
         


[edit] Notes

1.^ Vieusseux, André,Italy and the Italians in the nineteenth century, (Pall-Mall East., 1824), 56

2.^ These enquêtes conserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale are the equivalent of Domesday for thirteenth-century Provence. They have been edited by Edouard Baratier, Enquêtes sur les droits et revenus de Charles I d'Anjou en Provence (1252 et 1278) (Paris 1969).

3.^ Peter Herde Die Schlacht bei Taggliacozzo [1]

4.^ During the siege of Lucera, Peter of Maricourt (Petrus Peregrinus), who was serving in Charles' army, wrote his famous work on magnetism, Epistola de magnete.

5.^ Raphael Patai, The Jewish Mind, Scribners, 1977, p.156

[edit] References

Runciman, Steven (1958). The Sicilian Vespers. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43774-1.

Vieusseux, André,Italy and the Italians in the nineteenth century, Pall-Mall East., 1824

Jean Dunbabin, Charles I of Anjou. Power, Kingship and State-Making in Thirteenth-Century Europe, London-New York 1998

David Abulafia, The state of research. Charles of Anjou reassessed, in “Journal of Medieval History”, 26 (2000), pp. 93-114.

[edit] External links

The Memoirs of the Lord of Joinville, translated by Ethel Wedgwood

Armorial of the House Anjou-Sicily (French)

House of Anjou-Sicily (French)

Regnal titles

Preceded by:

Manfred King of Sicily

1266–1282 Succeeded by:

Peter I

King of Naples

1266–1285 Charles II

New creation King of Albania

1272–1285

William II Prince of Achaea

1278–1285

Ramon Berenguer IV Count of Provence and Forcalquier

1246–1285

John, Count of Anjou Count of Anjou and Maine

1247–1285

--------------------

Wikipedia:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_I._%28Neapel%29

Karl I. (Neapel)

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Statue Karls von Anjou am Palazzo Reale von Neapel

Karl I. von Anjou (frz.: Charles d'Anjou, ital.: Carlo d'Angiò; * März 1227; † 7. Januar 1285 in Foggia) war seit 1266 König von Sizilien. Ab 1282 war sein Herrschaftsgebiet auf den festländischen Teil des Königreichs beschränkt, der Titel blieb jedoch unverändert. Er ist der Stammvater des älteren Hauses von Anjou, eines Seitenzweiges der französischen Herrscherdynastie der Kapetinger.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

[Anzeigen]

   * 1 Leben
         o 1.1 Herkunft und Jugend
         o 1.2 Kreuzzug nach Ägypten und Regentschaft in Frankreich
         o 1.3 Kampf gegen die Staufer
         o 1.4 Weltreichpläne
         o 1.5 König von Jerusalem
         o 1.6 Neue Offensive gegen Byzanz
         o 1.7 Die Sizilianische Vesper
         o 1.8 Bestattung
   * 2 Urteil
   * 3 Vorfahren
   * 4 Nachkommen
   * 5 Wappen
   * 6 Literatur
   * 7 Weblinks

Leben [Bearbeiten]

Herkunft und Jugend [Bearbeiten]

Karl war der fünfte, postum geborene Sohn des französischen Königs Ludwig VIII. der Löwe († 1226) und dessen Ehefrau Blanka von Kastilien. Er wurde auf den Namen Karls des Großen getauft, auf den sich die Kapetinger seit seinem Vater beriefen. Nach dem frühen Tod des Vaters übernahm die Mutter die Regentschaft des Königreiches für Karls ältesten Bruder Ludwig IX. (Ludwig der Heilige). Ursprünglich war Karl für eine geistliche Laufbahn bestimmt, nachdem aber 1232 seine älteren Brüder Johann Tristan und Philipp Dagobert starben, rückte Karl in deren von ihrem Vater bestimmten Erbverfügungen auf.

1245 führte Karl im Auftrag seines Bruders ein Heer in die Provence, um diese nach dem Tod des Grafen Raimund Berengar V. dem französischen Einfluss gegen Aragon zu sichern. Die älteste Tochter des Grafen, Margarete, war mit König Ludwig IX. verheiratet, doch galt diese nicht als Erbin der Grafschaft, sondern deren noch unverheiratete jüngste Schwester Beatrix. Um die Provence stärker an Frankreich zu binden, wurde Karl umgehend mit Beatrix in Aix verheiratet, was ihm die Herrschaft über dieses Land aber auch eine lebenslange Rivalität zu Margarete einbrachte, die mit dem Erbgang ihrer Schwester nicht einverstanden war. De jure war die Grafschaft Provence als Teil des alten Königreiches Burgund dem römisch-deutschen Kaiser lehnspflichtig, doch Karl ignorierte dies, indem er seinem Bruder gegenüber den Lehnseid ablegte. Kaiser Friedrich II. sah sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt außerstande, die Rechte des Reiches in der Provence zu wahren.

Auf einem Hoftag in Melun, August 1246, wurde Karl von seinem Bruder zum Ritter geschlagen und gemäß dem Testament ihres Vaters mit den Grafschaften Anjou und Maine belehnt. Diese Lehen gehörten vormals der Dynastie Plantagenet, welche aber 1204 von König Philipp II. August ihrer Besitzungen für verlustig erklärt wurde. Doch das damalige Haupt der Plantagenets, König Heinrich III. von England, erhob immer noch einen Anspruch darauf und gab diesen erst im Vertrag von Paris (1259) auf.

Kreuzzug nach Ägypten und Regentschaft in Frankreich [Bearbeiten]

Am 25. August 1248 brach Karl zusammen mit Ludwig IX. in Aigues-Mortes zum Sechsten Kreuzzug nach Ägypten auf. Er nahm an der Belagerung von Damiette teil und verteidigte im Dezember 1249 das Feldlager der Kreuzfahrer vor al-Mansura. Am 8. Februar 1250 fiel Karls Bruder Robert von Artois bei einem unvorbereiteten Angriff auf die Stadt, in der anschließenden Schlacht am 11. Februar war es nicht zuletzt das Verdienst von Karls Führungsqualitäten, welche den Sieg der Kreuzfahrer ermöglichten. Doch die Belagerung al-Masuras musste aufgrund des durch Krankheiten stark geschwächten Heeres aufgegeben werden. Auf dem Rückmarsch nach Damiette geriet Karl wie auch Ludwig IX. am 8. April 1250 bei Fariskur in die Gefangenschaft der Mameluken.

Nach der baldigen Herauslösung aus der Gefangenschaft kehrte Karl zusammen mit seinem Bruder Alfons von Poitiers nach Frankreich zurück, während Ludwig IX. selbst noch im heiligen Land verbleiben wollte, und übernahm einen Sitz im Regentschaftsrat seiner Mutter. Gemeinsam mit Alfons zog er in die Provence, wo sich der lokale Adel und die Städte unter der Führung von Barral des Baux gegen seine Herrschaft erhoben hatten. Bis zum Juni 1251 gelang es den Brüdern, die Revolte niederzuschlagen. Karl übernahm die Kontrolle in Marseille, während Avignon an Alfons fiel. Seine Position in der Regierung Frankreichs versuchte Karl mit persönlichen Interessen zu verbinden, als sich 1253 die Gräfin Margarete II. von Flandern an ihn wandte. Deren Söhne aus zweiter Ehe (Avesnes) kämpften seit mehreren Jahren gegen die Söhne aus erster Ehe (Dampierre) im flämischen Erbfolgekrieg um das reiche Erbe der Mutter. Diese versprach nun Karl die Grafschaft Hennegau als Gegenleistung für seine Unterstützung gegen die Avesnes-Brüder. Karl begann einen erfolgreichen Feldzug, in dem er die Stadt Mons eroberte und Valenciennes belagerte, worauf die Avesnes ein Bündnis mit König Wilhelm von Holland eingingen. Bevor es aber zu einem Waffengang mit diesem kam, kehrte König Ludwig IX. aus dem heiligen Land zurück, zog 1255 in Gent ein und erzwang ein Ende der Kampfhandlungen. Alle Parteien mussten 1256 den bereits 1246 gefassten königlichen Schiedsspruch betreffs der Erbfolge in Flandern akzeptieren, der Karl nicht berücksichtigte. Das Versprechen auf den Hennegau ließ sich Karl allerdings später von der Gräfin für viel Geld abkaufen.

Danach zog Karl in die Provence, wo er seine Herrschaft festigte, indem er im August 1257 den Fürst von Orange zu einer Huldigung bewegen konnte. Danach erweiterte er das Territorium der Provence bis 1259 auf Kosten des Grafen von Savoyen.

Kampf gegen die Staufer [Bearbeiten]

Papst Clemens IV. krönt Karl von Anjou

Die Schlacht von Benevent 1266. Darstellung aus der Chronik des Giovanni Villani, 14. Jahrhundert.

In den folgenden Jahren eröffnete sich für Karls Ehrgeiz in Unteritalien ein neues vielversprechendes Betätigungsfeld. Der Papst befand sich dort in einem Machtkampf gegen die Staufer und suchte dabei in den Königshäusern Europas um Unterstützung. Nachdem der englische Prinz Edmund 1254 seine Unterstützung versagt hatte, wandte sich der Papst erstmals an Karl von Anjou, der aber ebenfalls ablehnte. Die Ablehnung erfolgte dabei auf Druck König Ludwigs IX., der die Staufer immer noch als legitime Könige Siziliens betrachtete und ein Vorgehen gegen diese für moralisch bedenklich hielt.

Die Haltung Ludwigs IX. änderte sich 1258, nachdem Manfred den Thron in Palermo gegen die Rechte seines eigenen Neffen Konradin usurpiert hatte und die Lehnshoheit des Papstes auf Sizilien nicht anerkannte. Zusätzlich konnte Papst Urban IV. 1261 den französischen König davon überzeugen, dass jeder zukünftige Kreuzzug nur dann Aussicht auf Erfolg haben könne, wenn Sizilien von einem der Sache wohlwollend gesinnten König regiert würde. Nachdem Ludwig IX. mit einem letzten diplomatischen Versuch scheiterte, Manfred zu einem Bündnis mit dem Papst gegen Byzanz und die Muslime zu bewegen, gab er Karl 1263 sein Einverständnis zu einem Feldzug nach Italien, der den Charakter eines Kreuzzuges erhalten sollte. Der König unterstützte seinen Bruder auch finanziell, indem er eigens für ihn eine Steuer erhob.

Im August 1263 erfolgte die Wahl Karls zum Senator von Rom, und nachdem er in der Stadt eingezogen war, wurde er von Papst Clemens IV. am 28. August 1265 mit dem Königreich Sizilien belehnt. Am 6. Januar 1266 folgte die Krönung durch den Papst, worauf sich Karl mit seinem Heer gegen Manfred wandte. Er stellte und tötete ihn in der Schlacht bei Benevent. Dieser Sieg verhalf Karl im Anschluss nahezu kampflos zur Errichtung seiner Herrschaft über das Königreich Sizilien. In Neapel zog er am 7. März ein und sperrte die Familie Manfreds in einen Kerker, wo sie zugrunde gehen sollte. Er errichtete eine zentralisierte und effiziente Verwaltung und stützte sich dabei maßgeblich auf französische Beamte, welche auf die Bevölkerung einen extremen Steuerdruck ausübten, was Karl gewaltige Einnahmen bescherte. Sein junges Königtum sollte noch einmal ins Wanken geraten, nachdem sich der mündig gewordene Konradin 1268 mit einem Heer gegen ihn wandte, worauf sich auf Sizilien erste Revolten gegen Karl erhoben, die durch eine pisanische Flotte unterstützt wurden. Zur gleichen Zeit wurde der Papst durch eine Revolte der Bevölkerung aus Rom vertrieben, wo die Ghibellinen unter Karls vormaligen Verbündeten Heinrich von Kastilien, dem er nach Benevent noch das Senatorenamt übertragen hatte, die Macht übernahmen. Dennoch hielt Karl an seinem Bündnis mit dem Papst fest, von dem er im April 1268 in Viterbo das Reichsvikariat für Italien verliehen bekam. Zugleich ließ er Konradin exkommunizieren. Am 25. Juni schlug Konradin ein Heer Karls bei Ponte di Valle und zog am 24. Juli in Rom ein. Zusammen mit Heinrich von Kastilien zog er weiter in das Territorium Karls, um sich mit den aufständischen Sarazenen von Lucera zu vereinen, was Karl zu verhindern wusste. Am 23. August stellte er Konradin in der Schlacht bei Tagliacozzo und errang nach anfänglichen Rückschlägen einen vernichtenden Sieg über ihn, in dessen Folge Karl in Rom einziehen konnte, das Senatorenamt wieder übernahm und die Rückkehr des Papstes ermöglichte.

Konradin wurde auf der Flucht gefangen genommen und an Karl ausgeliefert. Um die Bedrohung der Staufer gegen seine Herrschaft endgültig zu beseitigen, ließ er einen Prozess gegen Konradin auffahren. Der habe schließlich gegen den Reichsvikar von Italien gekämpft und sich damit gegen die Autorität des Reiches gestellt. Dabei war die Legitimität von Karls Vikariat selbst damals schon umstritten, denn dieses Amt hatte er vom Papst empfangen und nicht etwa von einem Kaiser. Da aber das Reich seit dem Tod Friedrichs II. 1250 keinen Kaiser mehr hatte (Interregnum), beanspruchte der Papst die Vergabe des Vikariats für Italien, solange der Kaiserthron vakant blieb. Weiterhin wurde der Mord am Marschall Karls angeführt, der bei Ponte di Valle in Konradins Gefangenschaft geriet und später in dessen Heerlager von einigen seiner Anhänger getötet wurde. Das Urteil endete erwartungsgemäß mit einem Schuldspruch. Der letzte Staufer wurde am 29. Oktober 1268 in Neapel enthauptet. Die Mehrzahl der Zeitgenossen fasste diese Tat als ungeheuerliches Verbrechen auf, „eine Überschreitung der Schranken, die den Völkern seit Jahrhunderten von Recht und Sitte gezogen worden waren“ (so der Konradin-Biograf Ferdinand Geldner).

Weltreichpläne [Bearbeiten]

Karl war nun unumstritten König von Sizilien und damit einer der mächtigsten Herrscher des Mittelmeerraums. Dies eröffnete ihm weiterreichende Möglichkeiten auf die Etablierung eines großen Mittelmeerreichs. Gelegenheit bot ihm dabei der Gegensatz zwischen den Lateinern und Griechen im alten byzantinischen Raum. Seit der lateinische Kaiser von Konstantinopel, Balduin II. von Courtenay, 1261 vom byzantinischen Kaiser Michael VIII. Palaiologos vertrieben wurde, suchte er nach einem starken Verbündeten, um sein verloren gegangenes Reich zurückzuerobern. Kaiser Michael VIII. wiederum konnte seine Position ausbauen, indem er geschickt im Konflikt zwischen den Staufern und dem Papst lavieren konnte, so dass keine geeinte Front gegen ihn auftreten konnte. Dies änderte sich nun mit der Herrschaft Karls von Anjou, der mit dem Papst im besten Einvernehmen stand. Unter dessen Vermittlung schloss Karl am 27. Mai 1267 in Viterbo mit Balduin II. einen Vertrag, der die Rückeroberung Konstantinopels beinhaltete. Weiterhin bekam Karl die Oberhoheit über Morea, Epirus und Korfu, das er sogleich besetzen ließ, sowie ein Drittel aller Eroberungen zugesagt. Weiterhin gewann er die Fürsten des Balkans wie Konstantin Tich für sein antibyzantinisches Bündnis. Im Jahr darauf starb der Papst und Karl verhinderte in den nächsten drei Jahren die Wahl eines neuen Kirchenoberhauptes, um zu verhindern, dass der neue Papst seinen Plänen ablehnend entgegenwirken könnte. 1270 entsandte er erste Truppen auf den Peloponnes.

Karl von Anjou am Sterbebett seines Bruders, dem heiligen Ludwig, vor Tunis. 14. Jahrhundert.

Aber in dieser Situation vereitelte das Kreuzzugsvorhaben seines älteren Bruders Ludwig IX. von Frankreich im Juni 1270 seine Ziele, da er sich diesem nicht entsagen konnte (siehe Siebter Kreuzzug). Doch Karl verstand es, seinen Bruder gegen den Sultan von Tunis ziehen zu lassen, der angeblich unter dieser Bedrohung zum Christentum konvertieren würde. Tatsächlich war der Sultan einst ein Vasall Siziliens und hatte nach dem Ende König Manfreds diese Vasallität abgestreift. Karl war darauf bestrebt, diese zu erneuern. Als er am 25. August im Feldlager vor Tunis eintraf, lag sein Bruder bereits im Sterben. Nach dessen Tod versuchte Karl, den Oberbefehl über das Kreuzfahrerheer zu übernehmen, konnte sich aber gegen seinen Neffen Philipp III. nicht durchsetzen. Er erreichte dafür einen Friedensvertrag mit dem Sultan, der ihm einen hohen Tribut zahlte, und bei seinem Neffen erreichte er die Überantwortung der Eingeweide Ludwigs IX., dem schon damals der Ruf eines Heiligen vorauseilte. Die Eingeweide ließ er in Monreale bestatten. Inzwischen war auch Prinz Eduard Plantagenet mit einer englischen Kreuzfahrerflotte bei Tunis dazugestoßen und drängte die französischen Kreuzfahrer, den Kreuzzug in Palästina fortzusetzen. Bei der Überfahrt geriet Karls Flotte in einen Sturm und viele seiner Schiffe sanken, was ihm als Vorwand diente, nach Sizilien zurückzukehren.

Die Teilnahme am Kreuzzug vereitelte aber Karls Angriff auf Byzanz und auch danach sollte ihm vorerst keine Gelegenheit mehr gegeben werden, da 1271 mit Gregor X. ein Papst gewählt wurde, der ein distanziertes Verhältnis zu Karl pflegte. 1272 konnte Karl lediglich Durazzo einnehmen, diese Eroberungen nannte er regnum Albaniae – Königreich Albanien. Mit diesem selbst zugelegten Königstitel beanspruchte er auch die Oberherrschaft über die lokalen albanischen Fürsten. Die albanische Küste sollte als Ausgangspunkt für weitere Eroberungen in der Romania dienen. Um den Papst wieder enger an sein Lager zu binden, förderte Karl im Jahr 1273 die Wahl seines Neffen Philipp III. von Frankreich zum römisch-deutschen König. Gregor erkannte die Gefahr einer sich anbahnenden angevinischen Umklammerung und lieh seine Unterstützung statt dessen dem Grafen Rudolf von Habsburg, der sich in der Wahl auch durchsetzte.

Karls Pläne erlitten darauf einen neuen Rückschlag, nachdem Kaiser Michael VIII. die Union der Ostkirche mit dem Papsttum am 6. Juli 1274 auf dem Konzil von Lyon vollzog. Der byzantinische Kaiser tat dies gegen den Willen seines eigenen Klerus, konnte damit aber das Bündnis zwischen dem Papst und Karl von Anjou sprengen. In der Folge verlor Karl mehrere Stützpunkte auf dem Balkan an Byzanz wie Berat und Butrinto. Eine weitere Bedrohung erwuchs ihm mit dem König von Aragon, der sich als Erbe der Staufer in Szene setzte. Um ihn an sich zu binden, spielte Karl seinen dominierenden Einfluss auf seinen Neffen Philipp III. von Frankreich aus und erreichte im Vertrag von Orléans 1275 die Einbeziehung Navarras in eine gemeinsame Front gegen Aragon.

Die Statue Karls von Anjou im Gewand eines römischen Senators

(Arnolfo di Cambio)

König von Jerusalem [Bearbeiten]

Da seine Ambitionen in Richtung Byzanz einstweilig lahmgelegt waren, interessierte sich Karl nunmehr verstärkt für das heilige Land. Dort verfügte er über hervorragende Beziehungen, allerdings nicht zu den christlichen Baronen, sondern zu den Mameluken in Ägypten. Bereits 1272 hatte er einen Frieden zwischen dem Prinzen Eduard Plantagenet und dem Sultan Baibars I. ausgehandelt, der den Christen einen zehnjährigen Frieden einbrachte. Nun strebte er nach der Krone Jerusalems und wurde dabei nicht nur vom Papst, sondern auch von seinem Erzgegner Michael VIII. Palaiologos unterstützt. Der erhoffte sich durch eine Ablenkung Karls eine zusätzliche Entlastung.

Im März 1277 kaufte Karl unter Vermittlung des Papstes der Fürstentochter Maria von Antiochia ihren mehr als dünnen Ansprüche auf die Krone Jerusalems für 1.000 livre in Gold und einer Jahresrente von 4.000 livre ab. Die Barone Outremers erkannten aber weder Maria noch Karl an und erklärten sich für den König Hugo III. von Zypern als rechtmäßigen Erben der Staufer. In dem Templerorden hingegen fand Karl einen mächtigen Verbündeten, der mit Hugo III. von Zypern um den Besitz der Burgen von Sidon und Arsuf im Streit lag. Außerdem war der Großmeister der Templer, Guillaume de Beaujeu, ein Verwandter Karls. 1277 ernannte Karl seinen Gefolgsmann Roger von San Severino zu seinem Bailli in Jerusalem und entsandte ihn nach Akkon, der tatsächlichen Hauptstadt des Königreiches, welches nur noch über einen schmalen Küstenstreifen an der Küste Palästinas gebot. Mit der Hilfe der Templer und der Venezianer konnte Roger in Akkon einziehen, der rechtmäßige Bailli, Balian von Ibelin, übergab angesichts der Übermacht kampflos die Zitadelle der Stadt und zog sich nach Zypern zurück.

Damit gelang es Karl, seine Herrschaft in Akkon zu etablieren, die wenig später auch von Fürst Bohemund VII., dem Urgroßneffen Marias von Antiochia, anerkannt wurde. Militärisch wurde seine Herrschaft durch ein französisches Regiment gesichert, welches einst sein Bruder Ludwig IX. dort zurückgelassen hatte und noch immer von der französischen Krone unterhalten wurde. Mit den Mameluken erreichte er eine Koexistenz, da diese sich darauf verlassen konnten, dass Karl keinen Kreuzzug gegen sie zulassen würde. Die Herren von Tyros und Beirut hingegen blieben auf der Seite des Königs von Zypern, der seinen Anspruch weiter aufrecht erhielt.

Neue Offensive gegen Byzanz [Bearbeiten]

Der Tod Papst Gregors X. zu Beginn des Jahres 1276 ermöglichte Karl die Wiederaufnahme seiner antibyzantinischen Politik, indem er seinen Einfluss auf das Papsttum in den darauffolgenden kurzen Pontifikaten zu stärken wusste. Einzig Nikolaus III. versuchte, sich ihm zu widersetzen, der ihm das Vikariat und die Senatorenwürde entzog. Nach dessen Tod 1280 wurde mit Martin IV. ein Oberhaupt gewählt, welches gänzlich von der französischen Partei, das heißt Karl von Anjou, abhängig war.

Schon zuvor hatte Karl seine Position gegen Byzanz stärken können, nachdem 1278 der Fürst von Achaia gestorben war und sein Fürstentum gemäß dem Vertrag von Viterbo nun an Karl überging. Im gleichen Jahr hatte der Fürst von Epirus Karl als seinen Oberherren anerkannt und auch die Herrscher des Balkans hielten weiter an ihrer Allianz mit ihm fest. Unter Karls Einfluss kündigte Martin IV. gleich in seinem ersten Amtsjahr 1281 die Kirchenunion mit Byzanz einseitig auf und nahm damit die letzte Hürde für einen Angriff gegen Byzanz, wenig später schloss sich Venedig in Orvieto (3. Juli 1281) der angevinischen Allianz an, in der Hoffnung, von einem Sieg gegen Byzanz seine alten Handelsstützpunkte in Konstantinopel zurückzugewinnen.

Darauf entsandte Karl ein erstes Heer nach Albanien, das aber mit einer Belagerung von Berat scheiterte und von einem byzantinischen Entsatzheer vernichtet wurde. Dennoch zog Karl im Frühjahr 1282 eine Streitmacht von über 400 Schiffen und 27.000 Mann zusammen und bereitete sich auf den Hauptschlag gegen Byzanz vor. Auch seine Verbündeten auf dem Balkan ließen ihre Heere aufmarschieren.

Die Sizilianische Vesper [Bearbeiten]

In dieser entscheidenden Situation brach am 30. März 1282 in Palermo und Corleone eine Revolte der Bevölkerung gegen die französischen Beamten aus, die schnell auf andere Städte Siziliens übergriff. Karl nahm den Aufstand erst ernst, als am 30. August 1282 der aragonesische König Peter III. bei Trapani landete und sich zum König proklamieren ließ.

Die Ankunft Peters III. von Aragón auf Sizilien. Darstellung aus der Chronik des Giovanni Villani, 14. Jahrhundert.

Die Sizilianische Vesper, als der dieser Aufstand in die Geschichte einging, sollte sich als ein Ereignis weitreichender politischer Tragweite für die gesamte Mittelmeerregion um Italien, Griechenland, Spanien, Frankreich und dem heiligen Land erweisen. Bereits im Vorfeld der Erhebung wurde die wachsende Unzufriedenheit der Sizilianer gegen die Franzosen vom byzantinischen Kaiser geschürt und finanziell unterstützt, der darin die einzige Möglichkeit sah, der Bedrohung durch Karl von Anjou zu entgehen. Einen weiteren Förderer besaß die Revolte in dem König von Aragon, der mit einer Tochter König Manfreds verheiratet war und daher einen Anspruch auf die sizilianische Krone als Erbe der Staufer erhob.

Angesichts der ernstzunehmenden Bedrohung durch Peter von Aragon reiste Karl am Anfang des Jahres 1283 nach Frankreich. Dort arrangierten beide Herrscher ein gerichtliches Duell mit einhundert Rittern auf beiden Seiten, um einen längeren Krieg gegeneinander zu verhindern. Der Ausgang des Duells, welches am 1. Juni 1283 in Bordeaux stattfand, beendete jedoch nicht den Krieg. Im Juli desselben Jahres wurde Karls Flotte bei Malta vernichtet, worauf die Aragonier die Küste des italienischen Festlandes überfielen und den Hafen von Neapel abriegelten. Karl machte seinen Einfluss auf seinen Neffen, König Philipp III., geltend und bewegte ihn zu einem Kreuzzug gegen Aragon. Papst Martin IV. hatte seinen Segen zu solch einem Kreuzzug gegeben, indem er Peter exkommuniziert und all seines Besitzes für verlustig erklärt hatte. Unterdessen erlitt Karls gleichnamiger Sohn, den er als Regenten zurückgelassen hatte, in der Bucht von Neapel am 5. Juni 1284 eine schwere Niederlage gegen die aragonesische Flotte und geriet in Gefangenschaft. Karl kehrte nur drei Tage später wieder nach Neapel zurück und war fortan mit der Verteidigung seines Festlandbesitzes um Kalabrien und Apulien beschäftigt. In dieser Situation starb er am 7. Januar 1285 in Foggia.

Die sizilianische Vesper brachte Karls Pläne zur Errichtung eines Großreichs zu Fall. Seine Nachkommen konnten sich lediglich in Süditalien mit der Hauptresidenz Neapel behaupten, spielten aber in der Politik Europas nur noch eine untergeordnete Rolle und verzettelten sich in blutigen Intrigen untereinander. Auch die Herrschaft in Akkon ging 1286 verloren, nachdem der angevinische Statthalter die Zitadelle der Stadt an König Heinrich II. von Zypern ausgehändigt hatte. Der Anspruch auf das Königreich von Jerusalem blieb unter Karls Nachkommen nur noch in ihrer Titulatur erhalten. Für das byzantinische Reich gab das Ende Karls noch einmal eine Atempause für die kommenden einhundertfünfzig Jahre, bis es von den Osmanen erobert wurde. Der Verlust Siziliens an Aragon markierte zugleich den Beginn der katalanischen Dominanz im westlichen Mittelmeer, in Süditalien und in Griechenland.

Bestattung [Bearbeiten]

Karls Körper wurde im Dom San Gennaro in Neapel bestattet, seine Eingeweide blieben in der Kathedrale von Foggia. Sein Sohn ließ ein prachtvolles Grabmal in Auftrag geben, das bei einem Erdbeben 1456 beschädigt wurde. 1596 wurde es gänzlich zerstört und durch ein von Domenico Fontana gefertigtes Denkmal ersetzt, das noch heute an der Eingangswand des Domes zu sehen ist.

Im Jahr 1326 stiftete Klementine von Ungarn, Königin von Frankreich, ihrem Urgroßvater Karl in Saint-Jacques in Paris ein Herzgrab. Die eigens gefertigte Liegefigur, die einen jugendlichen Karl zeigt, der sein Herz in der linken Hand trägt, wurde 1820 in die Abtei von Saint-Denis überführt.

Liegefigur Karls von Anjou in der Abtei von Saint-Denis

Urteil [Bearbeiten]

Karl von Anjou war eine der umstrittensten Persönlichkeiten der mittelalterlichen Geschichte Europas. Allgemein bleibt an ihm bis heute das Bild des päpstlichen Henkers der Staufer haften, der in seinem übermäßigem Ehrgeiz und grenzlosen Machtstreben vor keinem Skrupel zurückschreckte. Von Dante wurde er sogar mit dem Tod des berühmtem Universalgelehrten Thomas von Aquin in Verbindung gebracht. Doch nicht alle mittelalterliche Chronisten überlieferten ein negatives Bild von ihm, so urteilte zum Beispiel Salimbene in seiner Chronika über Karl: „Er war ein ausgezeichneter Feldherr und nahm von den Franzosen den Schimpf, den sie unter dem heiligen Ludwig im Orient auf sich geladen hatten.“

Unbestritten ist Karls dominierender Einfluss auf die Politik. Er war es, der das Machtvakuum in Italien nach dem Ende der Staufer ausfüllte und den französischen König wie auch den Papst zu Instrumenten seiner Interessen machte. Diese Politik diskreditierte besonders die moralische Autorität des Papsttums, in dessen Namen Karl zwei Kreuzzüge gegen christliche Mächte führte, und somit dessen Weg in das babylonische Exil vorbereitete. Bedingt durch die kaiserlose Zeit avancierte Karl zum mächtigsten Herrscher seiner Zeit, was ihn laut Kienast zum „ungekrönten Kaiser des Abendlandes“ machte. In Dantes göttlicher Komödie sitzt Karl vor den Toren des Fegefeuers und singt im Akkord mit seinem Rivalen Peter von Aragon.

Vorfahren [Bearbeiten]



Ludwig VII. der Jüngere

(1120–1180)


Adele von Champagne

(1140–1206)


Balduin V. von Hennegau

(1150–1195)


Margarete I. von Flandern

(1145–1194)


Sancho III. von Kastilien

(1133–1158)


Blanka von Navarra

(?–1157)


Heinrich II. Plantagenet

(1133–1189)


Eleonore von Aquitanien

(1122–1204)


















































Philipp II. August

(1165–1223)






Isabelle von Hennegau

(1170–1190)






Alfons VIII. von Kastilien

(1155–1214)






Eleonore Plantagenet

(1161–1214)


























































Ludwig VIII. der Löwe

(1187–1226)














Blanka von Kastilien

(1188–1252)







































































Karl I. von Anjou

(1227–1285)

















Nachkommen [Bearbeiten]

Aus der ersten Ehe (seit 1246) mit Beatrix von Provence († 1267) entstammten folgende Kinder:

Beatrix von der Provence und Karl von Anjou, gekrönt als Königin und König von Sizilien. Vor dem Vater knieend, der Prinz Karl von Salerno. (Darstellung aus dem 14. Jahrhundert.)

   * Ludwig (*/† 1248 in Nikosia)
   * Blanche (* um 1250; † 10. Januar 1269)
         o ∞ 1266 mit Graf Robert III. von Flandern († 1322)
   * Beatrix (* um 1252; † 1275)
         o ∞ 1273 mit Philipp von Courtenay († 1283), Titularkaiser von Konstantinopel
   * Karl II. der Lahme (* 1254; † 6. Mai 1309 in Neapel), König von Neapel
   * Philipp (* 1256; † 1. Januar 1277 in Bari)
   * Robert (* um 1258; † 1265)
   * Isabella (* 1261; † 1304)
         o ∞ 1272 mit König Ladislaus IV. von Ungarn († 1290)

Der zweiten Ehe (seit 1268) mit Margarete von Burgund († 1308), Tochter des Grafen Odo von Nevers, Auxerre und Tonnerre entstammten folgende Nachkommen:

   * Margarethe († nach 1276 in jungen Jahren)

Wappen [Bearbeiten]

Erstes Wappen Karls von Anjou, benutzt bis 1246; die Burgenbordüre verweist auf Kastilien, das Land seiner Mutter.

Zweites Wappen Karls von Anjou, benutzt ab 1246.

1277 kaufte Karl die Rechte am Königreich Jerusalem und ergänzte entsprechend sein Wappen.

Literatur [Bearbeiten]

   * Peter Herde: Karl I. von Anjou. Stuttgart u.a. 1979
   * Tanja Michalsky: Memoria und Repräsentation: die Grabmäler des Königshauses Anjou in Italien. München 1995
   * Richard Sternfeld, Karl von Anjou als Graf der Provence (1245-1265), Berlin 1888 (Historische Untersuchungen, 10).

Weblinks [Bearbeiten]

   * genealogie-mittelalter.de

Vorgänger Amt Nachfolger

Manfred König von Sizilien

1266–1282 Peter I.

Fürst von Tarent

1266–1285 Karl II. der Lahme

(1282 abgespalten aus dem Königreich Sizilien) König von Neapel

1282–1285

(Amt neu geschaffen) König von Albanien

1272–1285

Hugo I. von Lusignan König von Jerusalem (Gegenkönig)

1277–1285

Wilhelm II. von Villehardouin Fürst von Achaia

1278–1285

(französische Krondomäne) Graf von Anjou

Graf von Maine

1246–1285

Beatrix Graf von Provence

(zusammen mit Beatrix)

1246–1267

--------------------

Charles I (21 March 1226 – 7 January 1285), known also as Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. Thereafter, he continued to claim the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples (and for this he is usually titled King of Naples after 1282, as are his successors). Charles was the youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, and hence younger brother of Louis IX of France and Alfonso II of Toulouse. He conquered the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen and began to acquire lands in the eastern Mediterranean. However, the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him to abandon his plans to reassemble the Latin Empire.

By marriage to Beatrice, heiress of Raymond Berengar IV of Provence, he was Count of Provence and Forcalquier from 1246. In 1247, his brother Louis IX made him Count of Anjou and Maine, as appanages of the French crown. By conquest and self-proclamation, he became King of Albania in 1272 and by purchase King of Jerusalem in 1277. By the testament of William II of Villehardouin, he inherited the Principality of Achaea in 1278.

Early life

Charles was born in 1226, shortly before the death of his father, King Louis VIII. Like his immediate older brother, Philippe Dagobert (who died in 1232 aged 10) he did not receive a county as appanage, as had his older brothers. Shortly after the death of Philippe Dagobert, his other brother, John Tristan, Count of Anjou and Maine, also died. Charles became the next in line to receive the Counties, but was formally invested only in 1247. The affection of his mother Blanche seems largely to have been bestowed upon his brother Louis; and Louis tended to favour his other younger brothers, Robert of Artois and Alphonse of Toulouse. The self-reliance this engendered in Charles may account for the drive and ambition he showed in his later life.

[edit] Accession in Provence

Upon his accession as Count of Provence and Forcalquier in 1246, Charles rapidly found himself in difficulties. His sisters-in-law felt cheated by their father's will, and his mother-in-law the Dowager Countess Beatrice of Savoy claimed the entire County of Forcalquier and the usufruct of Provence as her jointure. Furthermore, while Provence was technically a part of the Kingdom of Burgundy and hence of the Holy Roman Empire, in practice it was free of central authority. The recent counts had governed with a light hand, and the nobilities and cities (three of which, Marseille, Arles, and Avignon were Imperial cities technically separate from the county) had enjoyed great liberties. Charles, in contrast, was disposed towards a rigid administration; he ordered inquests in 1252 and again in 1278 to ascertain his rights. Charles broke the traditional powers of the great towns (Nice, Grasse, Marseille, Arles, Avignon) and aroused considerable hostility by his punctilious insistence on enjoying his full rights and fees. In 1247, while Charles had gone to France to receive the Counties of Anjou and Maine, the local nobility (represented by Barral of Baux and Boniface of Castellane) joined with Beatrice and the three Imperial cities to form a defensive league against him. Unfortunately for Charles, he had promised to join his brother on the Seventh Crusade. For the time being, Charles' only recourse was to compromise with Beatrice, allowing her to have Forcalquier and a third of the Provençal usufruct.

Rich Provence provided the funds that supported his wider career. His rights as landlord were on the whole of recent establishment, but his rights as sovereign entitled him to revenues on the gabelles (mainly salt), from alberga (commutation of gîte) and cavalcata (commutation of the duties of military service) and quista ("aids") (Baratier 1969). From the Church, unlike his brothers in the north, he received virtually nothing. Charles' agents were efficient, the towns were prosperous, the peasants were buying up the duties of corvée and establishing self-governing consulats in the villages: Provence flourished.

[edit] Seventh Crusade and return

Charles sailed with the rest of the Crusaders from Aigues-Mortes in 1248, and fought gallantly at Damietta and during the fighting around Mansourah. However, his piety does not seem to have matched that of his brother (Jean de Joinville relates a tale of Louis catching him gambling on the voyage from Egypt to Acre) and he returned with his brother Alphonse in May 1250. During his absence, open rebellion had broken out in Provence. Charles moved with his characteristic energy to suppress it, and Arles, Avignon, and Barral of Baux had surrendered to him by June 1251. Marseille held out until July 1252, but then sued for peace. Charles imposed a lenient peace, but insisted on the recognition of his full panoply of comital rights, and acknowledgement of his suzerainity by Marseille.[citation needed]

Wider ambitions

In November 1252, the death of his mother Blanche of Castile caused him to go north to Paris and assume the joint regency of the kingdom with his brother Alphonse. While in Paris, he was approached by envoys from Pope Innocent IV. Innocent was then seeking to detach the Kingdom of Sicily from the Holy Roman Empire (in the person of Conrad IV of Germany), and offered it to Charles, after his brother-in-law Richard, Earl of Cornwall had declined it. Alphonse, however, was cool to the idea; and King Louis forbade it outright. Balked, Charles took up the cause of Margaret II of Flanders against her son, John I, Count of Hainaut in the War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault. She granted him the County of Hainaut for his service. King Louis again disapproved, and on his return from Outremer in 1254 he returned Hainaut to John. The disappointed Charles returned to Provence, which had become restive again. The mediation of King Louis led to a settlement with Beatrice of Savoy, who returned Forcalquier and relinquished her claims for a cash payment and a pension. Marseille had attempted to involve Pisa and Alfonso X of Castile in the quarrel, but they proved unreliable as allies, and a coup by the supporters of Charles resulted in the surrender of the city's political powers. Charles spent the next several years quietly increasing his power over various lordships on the borders of Provence. A final rebellion occurred in 1262, when he was absent in France; Boniface of Castellane rebelled yet again, as did Marseille and Hugh of Baux. However, Barral of Baux now remained loyal to Charles, and Charles quickly returned to scatter the rebels. The mediation of James I of Aragon brought about a settlement; while Marseille was forced to dismantle its fortifications and surrender its arms, it otherwise went unpunished. Surprisingly, this leniency worked to good effect; hereafter, the Provençals proved staunch supporters of Charles, providing money and troops for his further conquests. Many of them were to be rewarded with high posts in his new dominions.

With the usurpation of the Sicilian throne from Conradin by Manfred of Sicily in 1258, the relationship between the Papacy and the Hohenstaufen had changed again. Instead of the boy Conradin, safely sequestered across the Alps, the Papacy now faced an able military leader in Italy. Accordingly, when negotiations broke down with Manfred in 1262, Pope Urban IV again took up the scheme of disseising the Hohenstaufen from the Kingdom, and offered the crown to Charles again. Manfred's own usurpation from Conradin told upon King Louis' scruples; this time, he was persuaded to admit the offer, and Charles ratified a treaty with the Pope in July 1263. The terms were heavily in favor of the Pope; the Kingdom must never be re-united with the Empire, and the King was never to hold Imperial or Papal office, or interfere with ecclesiastical matters in the Kingdom. Nevertheless, Charles accepted eagerly. For money, he called for help from the then-omnipotent Sienese banker, Orlando Bonsignori.[citation needed]Charles' cousin, Henry of Castile lent him forty thousand gold ounces to finance the war against King Manfred. This loan was never repaid. Henry of Castile, angered by Charles' disregard, changed sides to Conradin's and fought with a host of Spanish knights against Charles in Tagliacozzo. Defeated, Henry was imprisoned by Charles for 22 years in Canosa di Puglia and Castel del Monte, where he wrote the famous novel of chivalry, Amadis de Gaula.

Conquest of Sicily

Sicilian coin of Charles's, bearing the inscription Karolus Dei gracia Sicilie rex around the king's image and that of Ducatus Apulie / Pricipat Capue around his coat-of-arms, referring to the Duchy of Apulia and the Principality of Capua, the two mainland provinces of the kingdom.

From the Cabinet des Médailles.

Having endorsed the treaty, Charles could now play for time. With Manfred's troops advancing on the Papal States, Charles obtained an extensive renegotiation of the treaty on more favorable lines. As instructions went out to the clergy to submit contributions for the war, Urban IV died in October 1264 at Perugia, fleeing Manfred. This raised the possibility of a reversal of Papal policy. To underscore his resolve, he broke sharply with his previous policy of leniency and ordered the execution of several Provençal rebels, who had been in his hands for a year. Fortunately for Charles, the new Pope Clement IV was the former adviser to his brother Alphonse and strongly supported the accession of Charles. Charles entered Rome on 23 May 1265 and was proclaimed King of Sicily.

Charles was popular in Rome, where he was elected Senator, and his diplomacy had already undermined Manfred's support in northern Italy. While Charles' campaigns were delayed for lack of money, Manfred, curiously, idled away his time hunting in Apulia, while his support in the north of Italy waned. Charles was able to bring his main army through the Alps, and he and Beatrice were crowned on 6 January 1266. As Charles' army began an energetic campaign, Manfred suddenly shed his lethargy and moved to meet him. Worried that further delays might endanger the loyalty of his supporters, he attacked Charles' army, then in disarray from the crossing of the hills into Benevento, on 26 February 1266. In the Battle of Benevento that followed, Manfred's army was defeated in detail and he was killed in the melee. Upon his death, resistance throughout the Kingdom collapsed, and Charles became master of Sicily.

While Charles' administration in his new Kingdom was generally fair and honest, it was also stringent. As in Provence, he insisted on maximizing the revenues and privileges he could obtain from his new subjects. Discontent was high; but for now, Charles could focus on extending his power in northern Italy (which alarmed the Pope, who feared a powerful king of all Italy as much as he did an Emperor). But the Pope was willing to allow this; for in September 1267 Conradin marched south to reclaim the rights of the Hohenstaufen, and one of his agents instigated a revolt in Sicily. He entered Rome on 24 July 1268, where his arrival was wildly celebrated. At the Battle of Tagliacozzo, on 23 August 1268, it appeared he might win the day; but a sudden charge of Charles' reserve discomfited his army and he was forced to flee to Rome. Told it was no longer safe, he attempted to escape to Genoa, but was arrested and imprisoned in the Castel dell'Ovo in Naples. In a trial carefully managed by Charles, Conradin was condemned for treason, and he was beheaded on 29 October 1268 at the age of 16. By the end of 1270, he had captured Luceraand put down the revolt in Sicily, executing many of the captured. With the whole kingdom cowed beneath his strict, if fair, rule, he was ready to consider greater conquests.

[edit] Ambitions in the Latin Empire

After the defeat of Manfred at Benevento, Charles immediately began to plan his expansion into the Mediterranean. Historically, the Kingdom of Sicily had at times controlled parts of the eastern Adriatic seaboard, and Manfred possessed the island of Corfu and the towns of Butrinto, Avlona and Suboto, which had formed the dowry of his wife Helena. Charles seized these at the end of 1266. From thence, he passed on to intrigue with the remaining nobility of the Latin Empire. In May 1267, he concluded the Treaty of Viterbo with the exiled Baldwin II of Constantinople and William II Villehardouin (through his chancellor Leonardo of Veruli). Taking advantage of the precarious situation of the remains of the Empire in the face of rising Greek power, he obtained confirmation of his possession of Corfu, the suzerain rights over Achaea, and sovereignty over most of the Aegean islands. Furthermore, the heirs of both the Latin princes were to marry children of Charles, and Charles was to have the reversion of the Empire and Principality should the couples have no heirs. With few options to check the Byzantine tide, he was well placed to dictate terms.

In 1277, he claims the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Charles' wife Beatrice died on 23 September 1267, and he immediately sought a new marriage to Margaret, daughter of Bela IV of Hungary. However, Margaret wished to be a nun (and was later canonized); Charles instead married (on 18 November 1268), Margaret, Countess of Tonnerre (1250 – 4 September 1308, Tonnerre), the daughter of Eudes of Burgundy. However, he was able to make a marital alliance with the Hungarians: his son Charles, Prince of Salerno married Maria, daughter of crown prince Stephen, while Charles' daughter Elizabeth married Stephen's son Ladislas.

Eighth Crusade

Having thus made secure his position in the East, he began to prepare a crusade to recover the Latin Empire. Michael VIII Palaeologus was greatly alarmed at the prospect: he wrote to King Louis, suggesting that he was open to a voluntary union of the Roman and Latin churches, and pointing out the interference a descent on Constantinople would pose to Louis' own crusading plans. Louis took a dim view of his sincerity; but he was eager to take up the cross again, and he notified Charles of his intentions. Charles continued with his preparations against Constantinople, hoping the crusade might be postponed, but he also prepared to turn his brother's crusade to his own advantage. The Caliph of Tunis, Muhammad I al-Mustansir had been a vassal of Sicily, but had shaken off his allegiance with the fall of Manfred.[citation needed] However, there were rumors he might be sympathetic to Christianity. Accordingly, Charles suggested to his brother that the arrival of a crusade in his support might bring about Mustansir's conversion. Thus it was that Louis directed the Eighth Crusade against Tunis. Charles did not arrive until late in the day on 25 August 1270, only to find that his brother had died of dysentery that morning. Charles took command, and after a few skirmishes, Mustansir concluded a peace treaty and agreed to pay tribute to Charles. Illness continued to plague the army, however, and a storm devastated the fleet of 18 men-of-war and innumerable smaller vessels as it returned to Sicily. Charles was forced to postpone his designs against Constantinople again.

Conquest of Albania and Genoese War

In February 1271, Charles began to expand his Adriatic possessions by capturing Durazzo, and he soon controlled much of the Albanian interior. In February 1272, he proclaimed himself King of Albania and appointed Gazzo Chinardo as his Vicar-General. He hoped to take up his expedition against Constantinople again, but was delayed by the rise of Pope Gregory X, consecrated on 27 March 1272. Gregory had high hopes of reconciling Europe, unifying the Greek and Latin churches, and launching a new crusade: to that end, he announced the Council of Lyon, to be held in 1274, and worked to arrange the election of an Emperor.

In November 1272, the strained relations between Charles and Ghibelline-ruled Genoa finally broke into war. Ghibelline revolts broke out across the north of Italy, and increasingly occupied the attention of Charles, even as Michael Palaeologus was negotiating a union of churches with the Pope. At the same time, he had made contact with Genoa and was sending money to encourage the revolts in the north. At the apparently successful conclusion of the Council of Lyon, a Union of Churches was declared, and Charles and Philip of Courtenay were compelled to extend a truce with Michael. This was a blessing in disguise for Charles, for the Ghibellines now controlled most of the north, and he was forced to retreat from Piedmont in late 1275. In truth, Pope Gregory was not entirely displeased; he regarded north Italy as best dealt with by its new Emperor, Rudolph of Habsburg, and preferred that Charles be confined to the south. If he wished to make war, let him look to Outremer; and to this end, Gregory endorsed the sale to Charles of the claims of Maria of Antioch on the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which had been rejected by the Haute Cour there. On 18 March 1277, he bought her claim and assumed the title of King of Jerusalem, sending Roger of San Severino as his bailli to Acre. There Roger ousted Balian of Ibelin, the bailli of Hugh III and compelled the nobles to swear fealty. In the meantime, Gregory had been succeeded by Pope Innocent V, who arranged a peace between Charles and the Genoese.

Breakdown of the Union

Meanwhile, in Constantinople, the Union of the Churches was proving difficult to arrange, and the Emperor Michael had great difficulty in imposing it on his people. Nevertheless, he persuaded Innocent of his sincerity in working towards it, and Charles was again forbidden to attack Constantinople. Knowing this, Michael began a campaign in Albania in late 1274, where he captured Berat and Butrinto. He also enjoyed some success in his campaigns in Euboea and the Peloponnese.

Affairs dragged on for several years, until the accession of Pope Martin IV on 23 March 1281. Pope Martin was a Frenchman, and lacked the evenhandedness of some of his recent precursors. He brought the full power of the Papacy into line behind Charles' plans. The Union, which had proved impossible to impose upon Constantinople, was called off, and Charles given authorization for the restoration of the Latin Empire.

He opened his campaign in Albania, where his general Hugh of Sully with 8,000 men (including 2,000 cavalry) captured Butrinto from the Despotate of Epirus in 1280 and besieged Berat. A Byzantine army of relief under Michael Tarchaneiotes arrived in March, 1281: Hugh of Sully was ambushed and captured, and his army put to flight. The Byzantines took possession of the interior of Albania. Nor was Charles particularly successful in Achaea, where he had become (by the Treaty of Viterbo) Prince of Achaea on the death of William II Villehardouin in 1278. His bailli Galeran of Ivry was defeated at Skorta in his one attempt to engage the Byzantines, and was recalled in 1280 and replaced by Philip of Lagonesse. Nonetheless, Charles was to launch the body of his crusade (400 ships carrying 27,000 mounted knights) against Constantinople in the spring of 1282.

Sicilian Vespers

But Michael had not been working upon the military front alone. Many Ghibelline officials had fled the Kingdom of Sicily to the court of Peter III of Aragon, who had married Constance, the daughter and heir of Manfred. Manfred's former chancellor, John of Procida, had arranged contact between Michael, Peter and the refugees at his court, and conspirators on the island of Sicily itself. Peter began to assemble a fleet at Barcelona, ostensibly for another Crusade to Tunis. In fact, the master-plan of John of Procida was to place Peter on the throne of Sicily, his Hohenstaufen inheritance. The result was the uprising known as the Sicilian Vespers, which was initiated in Palermo on 29 March 1282. It rapidly grew into a general massacre of the French in Sicily. A few officials notable for their good conduct were spared; and the city of Messina still held for Charles. But through the diplomatic errors of Charles' Vicar, Herbert of Orléans, Messina, too, revolted on 28 April 1282. Herbert retreated to the castle of Mategriffon, but was forced to abandon the Crusading fleet, which was burnt.

The news surprised Peter of Aragon, who had expected to intervene only after Charles had left for Constantinople. But the conspirators, aided by the Emperor Michael (who wished to see Charles balked in his expedition), had set the revolt in motion early. Peter did not immediately intervene; he sailed with the fleet to Tunis, where he discovered that the would-be convert on whose behalf the crusade had ostensibly been undertaken had been caught and executed. While he bided his time, the Sicilians made an appeal to Pope Martin to take the Communes of their cities under his protection. But Martin was far too deeply committed to Charles and French interests to heed them; instead, he excommunicated the rebels, the Emperor Michael, and the Ghibellines in north Italy. Charles gathered his forces in Calabria and made a landing near Messina and began a siege. Several attempts to assault the city were unsuccessful. Rejected by the Pope, the Sicilians now appealed to King Peter and Queen Constance; he duly accepted, and landed at Trapani on 30 August 1282. He was proclaimed King in Palermo on 4 September; as the Archibishopric of Palermo was vacant, he could not immediately be crowned. In the face of the Aragonese landing, Charles was compelled to withdraw across the Straits of Messina into Calabria in September; but the Aragonese moved swiftly enough to destroy part of his army and most of his baggage. The Angevin house was forever ousted from Sicily.

War with Aragon

Despite his retreat into Calabria, Charles remained in a strong position. His nephew, Philip III of France, was devoted to him; and Pope Martin regarded the rebellion as an affront both to French interests and his own rights as suzerain of the Kingdom. Both sides temporized; the expense of a long war might be disastrous for both, and Peter and Charles arranged for a judicial duel, with a hundred knights apiece, on 1 June 1283 at Bordeaux. Skirmishes and raids continued to occur: in January 1283, Aragonese guerillas attacked Catona and killed Count Peter I of Alençon in his hostel. In February, the Aragonese crossed into Calabria to face off with Charles of Salerno. However, tensions between the Aragonese and the Sicilians had begun to rise. Both men now hoped to turn the war to their advantage, and the judicial duel turned into a farce, the two kings arriving at different times, declaring a victory over their absent opponent, and departing. Now the war was to escalate: Pope Martin had excommunicated Peter and proclaimed the war against the Sicilians a Crusade in January, and in March, declared Peter to be deprived of his dominions. On 2 February 1284, Aragon and Valencia were officially conferred upon Charles of Valois. The war continued in Italy: while little progress had been made in Calabria, a detachment of the Aragonese fleet was blockading Malta. Charles of Salerno sent a newly raised Provençal fleet to the relief of Malta; but it was caught by the main Aragonese fleet under Roger of Lauria and destroyed in the Battle of Malta. The Aragonese were now, however, running quite short of money, and Peter was threatened by the prospect of a French attack on Aragon. King Charles planned to raise new troops and a fleet in Provence, and instructed Charles of Salerno to maintain a strict defensive posture until his return from France. However, Roger of Lauria continued to command the sea and launch harassing raids up and down the coast of Calabria, and in May 1284 he successfully blockaded Naples, basing a small squadron on the island of Nisida to do so. The Neapolitans were infuriated by the blockade; and in June, Charles of Salerno armed the newly launched fleet at Naples and embarked on 5 June to destroy the blockading squadron. Evidently believing the main Aragonese fleet was raiding down the coast, he hoped to destroy the blockading squadron and return to Naples before it returned. However, Roger of Lauria had learned of his plans, and Charles found himself engulfed by superior numbers. After a short, sharp, fight, most of his fleet was captured, and he himself was taken prisoner.

News of the reverse caused anti-French riots in Naples, and Roger of Lauria was quick to take advantage of Charles' captivity to obtain the release of Beatrice, daughter of Manfred of Sicily, then held in Naples. King Charles arrived in Gaeta on 6 June and learned of the disaster. He was furious at his son and his disobedience; by the time he reached Naples, the riots had been quelled. He advanced on Calabria and attempted a landing in Sicily; but his main army was blocked at Reggio, and he retreated from Calabria entirely on 3 August. He continued to make preparations for a campaign against Sicily in the new year; but his health failed. On 7 January 1285, he died in Foggia.

Death and legacy

On his death, Charles left all of his domains to his son Charles, then a prisoner in Catalonia. For the time being, they were held by a joint regency between a papal legate and Robert II of Artois. Charles had spent his life striving to assemble a Mediterranean empire out of whatever land he could get through law or force of arms. He did so, it seems, with a clear conscience; he regarded himself as God's instrument to uphold the Papacy and punish the Hohenstaufen. He ruled justly, but with the rigidity and severity that might be expected in one of his c

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Charles I, King of Sicily's Timeline

1227
March 21, 1227
Paris, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
1246
January 31, 1246
Age 18
Aix-en-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
1246
Age 18
1248
1248
Age 20
Napoli,Napoli,Italy
1248
- 1254
Age 20
Egypt
1250
1250
Age 22
1252
1252
Age 24
Napoli, Napoli, Italy
1254
January 1, 1254
Age 26
Napoli, Campania, Italia
1256
1256
Age 28
Napoli, Napoli, Italy
1258
1258
Age 30
Of, Sicile