Bonifacio II, marchese del Monferrato

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Boniface II "the Giant" degli Aleramici, marquis of Montferrat

English (default): Boniface II "the Giant", marquis of Montferrat, Italian: Bonifacio II "il Gigante" degli Aleramici, marchese del Monferrato
Birthplace: Of Monferato, Piemonte, Italy
Death: December 06, 1253 (51)
Moncalvo, Province of Asti, Piedmont, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Guglielmo VI degli Aleramici, marchese del Montferrato and Berta de Clavesana
Husband of Marguerite de Savoie
Father of Andelasia / Adelheid / Alessina di Monferrato and William VII, marquess of Montferrat
Brother of Beatrice, di Montferrato; Alix di Montferrato, reine de Chypre and Elena da Verona

Occupation: Markgraf von Montferrat 1225 oder 1226–1253 und Titularkönig von Thessaloniki 1239–1240, Marquess of Montferrat
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Bonifacio II, marchese del Monferrato


BONIFAZIO di Monferrato, son of GUGLIELMO VI Marchese di Monferrato & his second wife Berta di Clavesana (-[22 Sep 1253/10 Dec 1255]). He succeeded his father in 1225 as BONIFAZIO II Marchese di Monferrato. "Dominus Bonefacius marchio de Monte ferrato filius condam domini Villelmi marchionis" granted exemptions to Staffarda by charter dated 30 Dec 1230[208]. Emperor Friedrich II renounced his rights to Thessaloniki, bequeathed to him by Demetrio di Monferrato King of Thessaloniki, in favour of Marchese Bonifazio in [1239/40][209]. The testament of "Bonefacius Montisferrati marchio", dated 12 Jun 1253, bequeathes property to "Alaxinam filiam meam inpuberem", appoints "Guilelminum filium meum inpuberem" as his heir, substituting in turn "Alaxinam…filia mea" and "Tomam de Saluciis", if his son died childless, and appoints "dominam Margaritam comitissam uxorem mea matrem ipsius Guilelmini et dominum comitem de Sabaldia et dominum Tomam de Sabaldia fratrem suum et Dalfinum de Vianesio et dominum Jacobum de Careto et dominum Georgium et dominum Manuellem de Ceva et Bastardinum de Monteferrato" as guardians of his son[210]. "Dominus Bastardinus de Monteferrato castellanus Reuellj" [Revello], acting for Tomaso Marchese di Saluzzo, invested "Jordano domine Elie de Reuello" with land at Revello, in the presence of Bonifazio Marchese di Monferrato, by charter dated 22/23 Sep 1253[211].

m (Betrothed 18 Jan 1228, before 18 Nov 1235) as her first husband, MARGUERITE de Savoie, daughter of AMEDEE IV Comte de Savoie & his first wife Marguerite de Bourgogne [Capet] ([1224/28]-after 14 Jan 1264). "Thomas comes Maurianæ" donated property to "Bonifacio Marchioni Montisferrati" by way of dowry of "Margarethæ futuræ uxoris Bonifacii et filiæ Amedei Sabaudia primogeniti Thomæ comitis" by charter dated 18 Jan 1228[212]. The date of her marriage is confirmed by a charter dated 18 Nov 1235, which confirmed a pact between her father and the bishop of Torino, approved by "domina Margarita eius filia…uxor dom. Bonifacii marchionis Montisferrati"[213]. "Bonifacius marchio Montisferrati" donated property to "uxori suæ Margarethæ, Amadei comitis Sab. filiæ" by charter dated 9 Dec 1235[214]. A fourth testament of "Amedeus comes Sabaudie" is dated 19 Sep 1252, appoints "Bonifacium filium meum" as his heir, under the tutelage of his brother Thomas, substituting "fratri meo Thome de Sabaudia comitis…Beatricem filiam meam uxorem quondam Manfredi marchionis Salutiarum et Margaretam filiam meam uxorem Bonifacii marchionis Montisferrati", and names "Cecilie…uxori nostre…Beatrix filia mea minor"[215]. A fifth testament of Comte Amédée IV is dated 24 May 1253, appoints "Bonifacius filius suus, sub tutela Thomæ comitis" as his heir, substitutes "filiæ Amedei comitis…marchionissæ Beatrix Salutiarum et Margaretha Montisferrati", bequeathes "castrum Montis Meliani" to "Cæciliæ comitissæ", and chooses to be buried at Hautecombe[216]. The testament of "Bonefacius Montisferrati marchio", dated 12 Jun 1253, bequeathes property to "Alaxinam filiam meam inpuberem", appoints "Guilelminum filium meum inpuberem" as his heir, substituting in turn "Alaxinam…filia mea" and "Tomam de Saluciis", if his son died childless, and appoints "dominam Margaritam comitissam uxorem mea matrem ipsius Guilelmini et dominum comitem de Sabaldia et dominum Tomam de Sabaldia fratrem suum et Dalfinum de Vianesio et dominum Jacobum de Careto et dominum Georgium et dominum Manuellem de Ceva et Bastardinum de Monteferrato" as guardians of his son[217]. She married secondly (Papal dispensation 26 Jan 1255) as his second wife, Aymar [III] Comte de Valentinois. Her second marriage is shown in Europäische Stammtafeln[218], although this is inconsistent with her dying in 1254 as shown in another table[219]. The primary source which confirms her second marriage has not yet been identified. The marriage is not given by Jules Chevalier[220]. The testament of "Beatricis relictæ Raimundi Berengarii comitis Provinciæ", dated 14 Jan 1264, adds bequests to "…Margarithæ matri marchionis Montisferrati nepti suæ…"[221].

 Marchese Bonifazio II & his wife had three children: 

*1. ALESSINA (-6 Feb 1285). ... ...

  • 2. GUGLIELMO (-in prison Alessandria 8 Feb 1292). ... ... ...
  • 3. TEODORA ([after Jun 1253]-). ...
 Marchese Bonifazio II had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:   

*4. NICCOLINO (-after 1305). ...

Boniface II, Marquess of Montferrat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 (Redirected from Boniface II of Montferrat)

Boniface II (July 1202 – 12 June 1253), called the Giant, was the Margrave of Montferrat from 1225 until his death. He received the titularity of the Kingdom of Thessalonica in 1239.

Boniface was the eldest but only son of the three children of William VI and his second wife, Berta di Clavesana. He was appointed to succeed his father in 1225 when William led a group of crusaders to Frankish Greece. In Spring 1226, he took full command of Montferrat.

Boniface contracted an alliance with his cousin Manfred III of Saluzzo by which if one died without heirs the other would inherit his domains. This served to avert a civil war in which the intervention of the Emperor Frederick II, who was not on good terms with Boniface, could have been expected. Boniface had failed to repay the heavy debts to the German crown which his father had incurred. In 1226, threatened by imperial disfavour, he allied with the Lombard League against the Emperor. Despite the eventual mediation of Pope Honorius III, the two men were ever distrustful of one another.

Towards 1228, Boniface negotiated a marital alliance with the House of Savoy. He proposed to marry Margaret, daughter of Amadeus IV of Savoy, but her grandfather Thomas I refused to grant the marriage while she was still very young. The two were wed in December 1235 at Chivasso, his capital, and Margaret became the mother of the future William VII. Amadeus appears to have concluded an agreement with Boniface whereby the latter would succeed to his Alpine Piedmontese lands if the Savoyard died without heirs. However, the alliance with Savoy broke down and the agreement was never realised.

However, Boniface's main sights were set not on the Piedmont but on nearby Alessandria: from 1227, when he strengthened an alliance with Asti, he continued until his death to fight the Alessandrini. On the side of Alessandria rallied the League and Milan. In 1230, after having lost many fortified places, Boniface was roundly defeated and forced to recognise the power and rights of the League. When he tried again to bring Alessandria into submission, with allies from Saluzzo and Savoy, the Milanese army attacked Chivasso. The protracted siege lasted four months, with Boniface's attempts to repulse the besiegers failing each time. Chivasso capitulated 5 September 1231 and was not returned to Boniface for another year, after the margrave had admitted his own defeat and come to terms.

After a subsequent rupture in his relations with Saluzzo and Savoy, he was prevented for a while from seeing his wife, who had gone on a trip to Piedmont. It was then that Boniface decided to switch loyalties and turned to the imperial camp. He escorted the Emperor on his Italian journeys and, in 1239, Frederick invested him with Thessalonica, which had originally been conquered by his grandfather in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade. Boniface I had left it to his second son Demetrius, who ceded his rights to the Emperor in 1230. This situation of amicability with the Empire did not persist, however. In 1243, he was bought over to the Guelph party. In 1245, when Frederick visited Turin, Boniface met him and requested his pardon. He was received back into the imperial fold. At this time of constant warfare with his relatives, news arrived of the death of Manfred of Saluzzo. Following the dead margrave's will, Boniface was afforded custody and guardianship of the young heir Thomas and his sister Alasia.

The continuing political manoeuvring of Boniface was a response to the growing power of Amadeus of Savoy and, above all, the imperial decision to create a satellite state in Piedmont, carved from territory of Savoy, Saluzzo, and, above all, Montferrat. The death of Frederick in 1250 brought a brief respite and calm to Boniface's politics. Thenceforward distracted by the fight for the southern Piedmont, Boniface dedicated more energy to internal affairs than to warmaking. At Rome, Frederick's successor, Conrad IV, invested him with some adjacent land, particularly the city of Casale Monferrato. On 4 May 1253, Conrad invested him with Casale and on 12 May he was dead at Moncalvo, only a few hours after dictating his testament. His son William succeeded him.


Caravale, Mario (ed). Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani: XII. Rome, 1970.

Bonifacio II.


Bonifatius II. (Montferrat)

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Bonifatius II., genannt „il Gigante“ (der Riese) (* 1202 oder 1203; † 12. Juni 1253 in Moncalvo), war Markgraf von Montferrat 1225 oder 1226–1253 und Titularkönig von Thessaloniki 1239–1240.



   * 1 Frühe Jahre

* 2 Verhältnis zum Kaiser
* 3 Krieg mit Alessandria
* 4 Die späten Jahre
* 5 Literatur
Frühe Jahre [Bearbeiten]

Als einziger Sohn des Markgrafen Wilhelm VIII. wurde Bonifatius entweder 1202 oder 1203 wahrscheinlich in Moncalvo geboren. Zusammen mit seinem Vater nahm er 1225 an dessen Orientexpedition teil. Markgraf Wilhelm fiel Ende September des gleichen oder des folgenden Jahres einer Epidemie zum Opfer, die einen großen Teil des Heeres dahinraffte, worauf der Kreuzzug zum Erliegen kam. Bonifatius beeilte sich, sein Erbe in Montferrat anzutreten, denn das Territorium der Markgrafschaft lag strategisch günstig in den südlichen Ausläufern der Alpen, und insbesondere der Graf von Savoyen hegte großes Interesse, die Herrschaft seinem Land zuzuführen. Bonifatius kannte die expansorischen Ziele des starken westlichen Nachbarn und schloss deshalb mit seinem Cousin Manfred von Saluzzo einen testamentarischen Vertrag, der sie im Falle von Kinderlosigkeit zu Alleinerben des jeweils anderen machen würde.

Verhältnis zum Kaiser [Bearbeiten]

Der Erbvertrag der Aleramici verfolgte letztendlich nicht nur das Ziel, die Markgrafschaften Saluzzo und Montferrat in der Familie zu halten. Vielmehr war Montferrat beim Kaiser hochverschuldet; Bonifatius hatte sich auch deswegen dem Lombardischen Städtebund gegen Friedrich II. angeschlossen und brauchte dringend Verbündete. Die Situation spitzte sich allmählich zu einer echten Krise zu, sodass sich der Papst als Vermittler einschaltete und um den Jahreswechsel 1226/27 erreichte, die Situation zu entschärfen und einen Ausgleich zwischen Bonifatius und Friedrich II. zu erzielen. Das Verhältnis zwischen Friedrich und Montferrat blieb aber dennoch getrübt, was in erster Linie an der Schaukelpolitik des Markgrafen lag.

Krieg mit Alessandria [Bearbeiten]

Die Mitgliedschaft im guelfischen Städtebund konnte nicht über eine tiefgreifende Feindschaft hinwegtäuschen, die Bonifatius gegen die Stadt Alessandria hegte. Man kann davon ausgehen, dass es nicht zuletzt diese Antipathie war, die Montferrat (wenn auch nicht für immer) zurück ins Lager der Ghibellinen führte. Alessandria war die widerspenstige Nachbarin, die seit ihrer Entstehung für Unruhe in der Markgrafschaft sorgte. Gegründet von einer Hand voll Dörfern, die sich der Herrschaft Montferrats entzogen, schafften es die Allesandriner 1215, mit der Hilfe Mailands und Vercellis die Stadt Casale, einen der Hauptorte Montferrats, zu erobern.

1227 suchte Bonifatius Verbündete gegen die streitbare Stadt und fand diese in Asti, einem freien Stadtstaat innerhalb der Markgrafschaft. Auf der Seite Alessandrias stand der lombardische Städtebund und das starke Heer Mailands. Nach zahlreichen Gefechten und Verlusten einiger Stützpunkte kam es 1230 zur Schlacht, in der Bonifatius und Asti gegen die Alessandriner und Mailänder verloren. Montferrat musste einen Friedensvertrag unterzeichnen und sich dem Willen des Städtebundes unterordnen. Nachdem eine Besatzungsmacht abgezogen war, wagte der Markgraf einen neuen Versuch, gegen Alessandria zu ziehen. Diesmal gewann er Savoyen und Saluzzo als Verbündete. Doch kaum hatte man von den neuen Plänen Bonifatius’ gehört, schickten die Mailänder ein neues Heer, dass Chivasso, die Hauptstadt Montferrats, angriff und vier Monate lang belagerte. Bonifatius musste hilflos zusehen, als seine Stadt am 5. September 1231 kapitulierte und vom Städtebund besetzt wurde. Erst nach einem Jahr (und nachdem sich der Markgraf für besiegt erklärte) händigte man ihm die Stadt wieder aus.

Die späten Jahre [Bearbeiten]

Immer wieder wechselte Bonifatius die Fronten. Seine unstete Diplomatie brachte ihm immer größeren Ärger ein. 1243 wechselte er abermals ins Lager der Guelfen, und 1245 suchte er den Kaiser in Turin auf, diesen um Verzeihung bittend, damit er ungestört die Vormundschaft über die Kinder des 1244 verstorbenen Cousins Manfred III. von Saluzzo antreten konnte. Für die ständigen Fraktionswechsel gab es einen guten Grund: die Angst vor dem immer mächtiger werdenden Grafen von Savoyen und vor der Idee Friedrichs, auf Kosten Montferrats, Saluzzos und Savoyens in Piemont einen neuen kaiserlichen Staat zu gründen, der als Brückenkopf für die Italienische Halbinsel dienen sollte. Friedrichs Tod markierte einen Augenblick der Ruhe in Bonifatius’ Politik.

Unter Konrad IV. kam die Stadt Casale wieder an Montferrat. Damit hatte die Markgrafschaft ihre größte Ausdehnung im südlichen Piemont erreicht. Acht Tage nach der Belehnung mit Casale verstarb Bonifatius am 12. Mai 1253 in Moncalvo. Mit seiner Frau Margarete von Savoyen hatte er drei Kinder; der Erstgeborene Wilhelm wurde sein Nachfolger, die Tochter Alessina (oder Adelheid) († 1285) heiratete in erster Ehe Albrecht I. von Braunschweig und in zweiter Ehe den Grafen Gerhard I. von Holstein, die Tochter Theodora ehelichte den Grafen Gherardo della Gherardesca. Über den Verbleib eines unehelichen Sohnes, Nicolino, ist nichts bekannt.

Literatur [Bearbeiten]

   * F. Cognasso, Il Piemonte nell' età sveva, 1968

* L. Usseglio, I marchesi di Monferrato in Italia e in Oriente durante i sec. XII e XIII, hg. C. Patrucco, 1926

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Bonifacio II, marchese del Monferrato's Timeline

July 1202
Of Monferato, Piemonte, Italy
Trino, Provincia di Vercelli, Piemonte, Italy
Casale Monferrato,Alessandria,,Italy
December 6, 1253
Age 51
Moncalvo, Province of Asti, Piedmont, Italy