How are you related to Manfred of Sicily?

Connect to the World Family Tree to find out

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Manfred Hohenstaufen, king of Sicily

German: Manfred Hohenstaufen, könig von Secilien, Italian: Manfredi Hohenstaufen, re di Sicilia, Spanish: Manfredo de Hohenstaufen, rey de Sicilia
Also Known As: "von Hohenstaufen"
Birthplace: Venosa, Provincia di Potenza, Basilicata, Italy
Death: February 26, 1266 (33-34)
Benevento, Campania, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and Bianca Lancia, d'Agliano
Husband of Beatrice of Savoy and Helena Angelina Hohenstaufen
Ex-partner of Mistress
Father of Beatrice della Gherardesca, Nidda; Constance II of Sicily; Federico Hohenstaufen; Beatrix Hohenstaufen, di Sicilia; Enrico di Siciliano and 1 other
Brother of Constance Hohenstaufen, Anna of Sicily and Violante Sanseverino, principessa siciliana
Half brother of Henry VII Jordan Hohenstaufen, king of the Romans; Heinrich Jordan Hohenstaufen; Agnes; "Heinrich" Karl Otto Hohenstaufen; Frederick Hohenstaufen and 12 others

Occupation: King of Sicily
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Manfred of Sicily

Manfred of Sicily was the King of Sicily from 1258 to 1266. He was an illegitimate son of the emperor Frederick II, but his mother, Bianca Lancia (or Lanzia), is reported by Matthew of Paris to have been married to the emperor while on her deathbed.

Frederick himself appears to have regarded Manfred as legitimate, and by his will named him as Prince of Taranto and appointed him as the representative in Italy of his half-brother, the German king, Conrad IV. Manfred, who initially bore his mother's surname, studied in Paris and Bologna and shared with his father a love of poetry and science.

At Frederick's death, Manfred, although only about 18 years old, acted loyally and with vigour in the execution of his trust. The reign was in turmoil, mainly due to riots spurred by Pope Innocent IV. Manfred was able to subdue numerous rebel cities, with the exception of Naples. When his legitimate brother Conrad IV appeared in southern Italy in 1252, disembarking at Siponto, his authority was quickly and generally acknowledged. Naples fell in October 1253 into the hands of Conrad. The latter, in the meantime, had grown distrustful of Manfred, stripping him of all his fiefs and reducing his authority to the principality of Taranto.

In May 1254 Conrad died of malaria. Manfred, after refusing to surrender Sicily to Innocent IV, accepted the regency on behalf of Conradin, the infant son of Conrad. However, the pope having been named tutor of Conradin, he excommunicated Manfred in July 1254. The regent decided to open negotiations with Innocent. By a treaty made in September 1254, Apulia passed under the authority of the pope, who was personally conducted by Manfred into his new possession. But Manfred’s suspicions being aroused by the demeanour of the papal retinue, and also annoyed by the occupation of Campania by papal troops, he fled to the Saracens at Lucera. Aided by Saracen allies, he defeated the papal army at Foggia on December 2, 1254, and soon established his authority over Sicily and the Sicilian possessions on the mainland. In that year Manfred supported the Ghibelline communes in Tuscany, in particular Siena, to which he provided a corps of German knights that was later instrumental in the defeat of Florence at the Battle of Montaperti. He thus reached the status of patron of the Ghibelline League. Also in that year Innocent died, succeeded by Alexander IV, who immediately excommunicated Manfred. In 1257, however, Manfred crushed the papal army and settled all the rebellions, imposing his firm rule of southern Italy and receiving the title of vicar by Conradin.

The following year, taking advantage of a rumour that Conradin was dead, he was crowned king of Sicily at Palermo on August 10. The falsehood of this report was soon manifest; but the new king, supported by the popular voice, declined to abdicate and pointed out to Conradin’s envoys the necessity for a strong native ruler. The pope, to whom the Saracen alliance was a serious offence, declared Manfred’s coronation void. Undeterred by the excommunication Manfred sought to obtain power in central and northern Italy, where the Ghibelline leader Ezzelino IV da Romano had disappeared. He named vicars in Tuscany, Spoleto, Marche, Romagna and Lombardy. After Montaperti he was recognized as protector of Tuscany by the citizens of Florence, who did homage to his representative, and he was chosen "Senator of the Romans" by a faction in the city. His power was also augmented by the marriage of his daughter Constance in 1262 to Peter III of Aragon.

Terrified by these proceedings, the new Pope Urban IV excommunicated him. The pope first tried to sell the Kingdom of Sicily to Richard of Cornwall and his son, but in vain. In 1263 he was most successful with Charles, the Count of Anjou, a brother of the French King Louis IX, who accepted the investiture of the kingdom of Sicily at his hands. Hearing of the approach of Charles, Manfred issued a manifesto to the Romans, in which he not only defended his rule over Italy but even claimed the imperial crown.

Charles' army, some 30,000 strong, entered Italy from the Col de Tende in late 1265. He soon reduced numerous Ghibelline strongholds in northern Italy and was crowned in Rome in January 1266, the pope being absent. On January 20 he set southwards and waded the Liri river, invading the Kingdom of Sicily. After some minor clashes, the rival armies met at the Battle of Benevento on February 26, 1266, and Manfred's army was defeated. The king himself, refusing to flee, rushed into the midst of his enemies and was killed. Over his body, which was buried on the battlefield, a huge heap of stones was placed, but afterwards with the consent of the pope the remains were unearthed, cast out of the papal territory, and interred on the bank of the Garigliano River, outside of the boundaries of Naples and the Papal States.

Manfred was married twice. His first wife was Beatrice, daughter of Amadeus IV, count of Savoy, by whom he had a daughter, Constance, who became the wife of King Peter III of Aragon; his second wife, who died in prison in 1271, was Helena Angelina Doukaina, daughter of Michael II Komnenos Doukas. Manfred's son-in-law Peter III became also King Peter I of Sicily from 1282 after the Sicilian Vespers expelled the French from the island again.

MANFRED von Hohenstaufen, son of Emperor FRIEDRICH II & his mistress Bianca Lancia (Venosa 1232-killed in battle Benevento 26 Feb 1266). The Thomas Tusci Gesta Imperatorum et Pontificum names "[illegitimus filius Frederici]…Manfredus" as son of "sorore marchionis Lancee", specifying that he and his sister were legitimated as a result of their father's declaration at the deathbed of their mother[658]. The Historia Sicula of Bartolomeo di Neocastro names "Manfredus et domina Constanza" as the children of "dominus Fridericus secundus…Romanorum…imperator" and ["his fifth wife"] "domina Blanca…de Lancea de Lombardia"[659]. He was bequeathed the kingdom of Sicily and 10,000 uncias under his father's testament[660]. Matthew Paris calls him "Memfredum filium Fretherici naturalem sed legitimatum"[661]. At the time of his first marriage, his father constituted him Lord of territory from Pavia to Genoa. The Istoria of Saba Malaspina records that "Manfredus" was invested with "principatu Tarentino" by his father[662]. "Manfredus…imp. Frid. filius" accepted the allegiance of "Henricum…fratrem nostrum et Petrum Ruffum de Calabria regni Siciliæ marescalcum", on behalf of "regis…Conradi", by charter dated 15 Dec 1250[663]. After Pope Innocent IV named Edward of England, son of Henry III King of England, as king of Sicily, Manfred forced the Papacy to recognise Konradin's rights and his own appointment as regent in Sicily[664]. "Manfredus…imperatoris Friderici filius…princeps Tarantinus…montis sancti Angeli dominus et…regis Conradi secundi in regno Sicilie baiulus generalis" confirmed to "domino Raynerio Zeno…Veneciarum, Dalmacie atque Chroacie duci" the privileges granted to Venice by his father, by charter dated Sep 1257[665]. He deposed his nephew in 1258, and was crowned MANFREDO King of Sicily 10 Aug 1258 at Palermo, although this was not recognised by the Papacy. The monk Conrad´s Brevis Chronica records that "dominus Manfredus princeps" was crowned king at Palermo 10 Aug "primæ Indictionis"[666]. Pope Urban IV offered the kingdom of Sicily to Charles de France Comte d'Anjou who began preparations to invade and claim his rights. He defeated and killed King Manfred at Benevento.

m firstly (Betrothed 8 May 1246, proxy Mar 1247, contract 21 Apr 1247, [Dec 1248/Jan 1249]) as her second husband, BEATRIX de Savoie, widow of MANFREDO III Marchese di Saluzzo, daughter of AMEDEE IV Comte de Savoie & his first wife Marguerite de Bourgogne ([1223][667]-10 May before 1259). ... ... ...

m secondly (betrothed before Feb 1258, Trani 2 Jun 1259) HELENA Dukaina Angelina, daughter of MIKHAEL II Komnenos Dukas Angelos Lord of Epirus & his wife Theodora Dukaina Petraliphaina Basilissa ([1242]-in prison Nocera before 18 Jul 1271[675]). ... ... ...

King Manfred & his first wife had one child:

King Manfred & his second wife had five children:
King Manfredo had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

view all

Manfred of Sicily's Timeline

Venosa, Provincia di Potenza, Basilicata, Italy
Catania, Sicilia, Italy
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
February 26, 1266
Age 34
Benevento, Campania, Italy