Roger II "the Norman" de Hauteville, king of Sicily & Africa

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Roger II "the Norman" de Hauteville, king of Sicily & Africa

Italian: Ruggero II "il Normanno" d'Altavilla, re di Sicilia e Africa, Spanish: Roger II "el Normando" Hauteville, rey de Sicilia y África
Also Known As: "the Norman"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Mileto, Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy
Death: February 26, 1154 (58)
Palermo, Sicilia, Italia (Italy)
Place of Burial: Cathedral, Palermo, Sicilia, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Roger I "Bosso" of Hauteville, the great count of Sicily and Adelaide del Vasto, lady of Savona
Husband of Elvira Alfónsez, infanta de Castilla y León; Sibylle de Bourgogne and Béatrix de Rethel, Queen Consort of Sicily
Ex-husband of Airolda de Hauteville
Partner of ... di Molise and N.N.
Father of ... de Hauteville, of Sicily; ... de Hauteville, of Sicily; Adelisa of Loreto, of Sicily; Marina (illegitimate daughter of Roger II of Sicily); Roger III de Hauteville, duke of Apulia and 4 others
Brother of Simon de Hauteville, Gran Conte di Sicilia; Mathilde (III) de Sicile and Maximilla de Hauteville
Half brother of Geoffrey "il Leproso" de Hauteville, count of Ragusa; Geoffrey II Hauteville, count of Ragusa; Mathilde (I) de Sicile; Emma Hauteville, of Sicily-Evreux; Flandrina de Hauteville, countess of Paternò & Butera and 9 others

Occupation: Count of Sicily in 1105. Duke of Apulia & Calabria in 1127, then King of Sicily in 1130 & Africa in 1148
Managed by: Scott Rogers
Last Updated:

About Roger II "the Norman" de Hauteville, king of Sicily & Africa

-http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruggero_II_di_Sicilia ...iniziò a regnare nel 1112. È suo merito l'aver accorpato sotto un unico regno tutte le conquiste normanne dell'Italia meridionale e di aver organizzato un governo efficiente, personalizzato e centralizzato.


-http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SICILY.htm#RogerIIdied1154B

ROGER of Sicily, son of ROGER I Count of Sicily & his third wife Adelaida di Savona [Monferrato] ([22 Dec 1095]-Palermo 26 Feb 1154, bur Palermo Cathedral). The Annals of Romoald name "frater eius [=Symonis] Rogerus comes" when recording that he succeeded his brother[480]. His birth date is calculated back from Romuald recording his date of death 27 Feb 1154, at the age of 58 years, two months and 5 days according to the chronicle of Romuald of Salerno[481]. He succeeded his brother in 1105 as ROGER II Count of Sicily, under the joint regency of his mother and his brother-in-law Robert de Bourgogne. The De Rebus Gestis Rogerii Siciliæ Regis of Alessandro Abbot of Telese records that "frater primogenitus…Simon" succeeded his father, but died and was succeeded by his brother Roger under the tutelage of "genitrix illius Adalasia"[482]. Declared of age after 12 Jun 1112, the date of the last document issued jointly with his mother[483]. "Rogerius Sicilie atque Calabrie comes" confirmed a judgment relating to Bagnara by charter dated [Oct] 1116 witnessed by "Henricus avunculus comitis, Robertus Avenellus, Rainaldus de Tirone"[484]. He strengthened the Sicilian navy, which became one of the most powerful in the Mediterranean. As the price for assisting Guillaume Duke of Apulia to crush the rebellion of Jordan Conte di Ariano in 1122, Roger insisted on retaking Guillaume's half share in the cities of Palermo and Messina along with the whole of Calabria. In revenge for the Almoravid attack on Nicotera, on the coast of Calabria, in 1122, a Sicilian fleet sailed in Jul 1123 with the aim of attacking Mahdia on the north African coast, but the expedition was defeated by the Zirid emir al-Hassan. He seized Montescaglioso in 1124, claiming to succeed to his deceased sister Emma. Duke Guillaume promised to recognise Roger II as his heir at Messina in 1125, and when the former died in 1127 Roger acted swiftly to assert his rights, laid siege to Salerno and had himself acclaimed as Duke of Apulia at Reggio, ignoring the fact that the dukedom should have reverted to the Papacy according to the legal rules of fiefdom[485]. Pope Honorius II, as rival claimant, formally forbade Roger from assuming the title of Duke. The crisis escalated, with the two sides mustering troops on the River Bradano in the eastern Basilicata in the summer of 1128. The Pope conceded faced with the strength of the Sicilian forces, investing Roger as Duke 22 Aug 1128 outside the walls of Benevento. In 1129, Roger II expanded his area of authority in Apulia, capturing Taranto, Nardò and Bari, though failing to take Brindisi. He had all counts, bishops and abbots swear allegiance to him at a solemn court at Melfi in Sep 1129. His conquest of southern Italy was completed in 1130 when Robert II Prince of Capua submitted to him. He claimed the principality of Antioch in 1130 as the nearest male heir of Bohémond II, but was unable to press this due to his preoccupations in southern Italy. Taking advantage of the further weakness of the Papacy following the schism of Feb 1130, he pressured anti-Pope Anacletus II to invest him (by Papal Bull at Benevento 27 Sep 1130) as ROGER II King of Sicily, justified on the fiction that Sicily had once been a kingdom[486]. He was crowned at Palermo 25 Dec 1130. The duchy of Naples submitted to him in 1131. However, he was faced with rebellion by barons in Apulia, led by his brother-in-law Rainulf Conte di Alife, who defeated him at Nocera 25 Jul 1132. In 1133, Roger II exacted his revenge, capturing Venosa, Montepeloso, Acerenza, Bisceglie, Trani and Troia. With the arrival of Emperor Lothar in Italy, allied with Pope Innocent II, Roger suffered reverses, Salerno surrendering to Imperial forces 8 Aug 1137. Emperor Lothar and Pope Innocent II jointly invested Rainulf Conte di Alife as Duke of Apulia. Roger II re-entered Salerno in Oct 1137, but was defeated by Rainulf at Rignano near Monte Gargano, 30 Oct 1137. He unsuccessfully attempted to conciliate with Pope Innocent II after the death of Anacletus II in Jan 1138. Innocent II announced Roger's excommunication at the Second Lateran Council in Apr 1139, but with the death of Rainulf later the same month Roger was able to reassert control over the whole of southern Italy. He captured Pope Innocent II at San Germano (now Cassino) and obliged the Pope to crown him again 25 Jul 1139. Able now to turn his attention to north Africa, Roger II's fleet began plundering coastal towns taking advantage of the weakness of the Zirid emir. The capture of Tripoli in 1146 marked the start of a period of conquest, with Mahdia, Susa and Sfax falling in 1148. The area was settled by Sicilian colonists, the local Muslim inhabitants treated with tolerance, but Sicily's north African expansion was short-lived, falling to the Almohads after Roger II's death. In the meantime relations with Germany and Byzantium had grown tense, in part through the negotiations between Emperor Konrad III and Emperor Manuel I for the latter's marriage with the German Emperor's sister-in-law Bertha von Sulzbach, part of whose dowry was confirmed under the Treaty of Thessaloniki 1348 as the duchy of Apulia. Roger II launched attacks against Byzantium in 1147, partly to forestall any action on the part of the Byzantine/German alliance, and captured Corfu, Corinth and Thebes, although the Byzantine/Venetian alliance defeated the Sicilian fleet off Cape Malea in 1149 and soon recaptured Corfu. Robert of Torigny records the death "1154 IV Kal Mar" as "Rogerius rex Sicilie"[487]. The Annales Siculi record the death in 1154 of "Rogerius rex Siciliæ, ducatus Apuliæ et principatus Capuæ"[488].

m firstly ([1117]) Infanta doña ELVIRA de Castilla y León, daughter of ALFONSO VI King of Castile and León & his [fifth wife Isabel née Zaïda ---] ([1100/16 Mar 1104]-6 Feb 1135). ... .... ...

m secondly (1149) SIBYLLE de Bourgogne, daughter of HUGUES II "Borel/le Pacifique" Duke of Burgundy [Capet] & his wife Mathilde de Mayenne ([1126]-Salerno 16 Sep 1150, bur Monastery of the Trinity de la Cava de Tirreni). ... ...

m thirdly (1151) BEATRICE de Rethel, daughter of ITHIER de Vitry Comte de Rethel & his wife Béatrice de Namur ([1130/32]-30 Mar 1185). ... ...

Mistress (1): --- di Molise, daughter of [HUGUES [I] Conte di Molise & his wife ---]. ...
Mistresses (2) and (-)




W i k i   S p a m 

Roger II (22 December 1095[1] – 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, later became Duke of Apulia and Calabria (1127), then King of Sicily (1130). It is Roger II's distinction to have united all the Norman conquests in Italy into one kingdom with a strong centralized government.

Contents

1 Background

2 Reign

2.1 Rise to power in Sicily

2.2 Rise to power in southern Italy

2.2.1 Royal investiture

2.2.2 Peninsular rebellions

2.2.3 Imperial invasion

2.2.4 Consolidation of kingship

2.3 Later reign: the peaceful years

3 Family

4 Notes

5 References

6 External links


Background

See also: Norman conquest of southern Italy


Coin of Roger II of Sicily, silver Ducale, Brindisi mint.In the early decades of the 11th century, Norman adventurers came to southern Italy, initially to fight against the Saracens or the Byzantine Empire. These mercenaries not only fought the enemies of the Italian city-states, but in the following century they gradually became the rulers of the major polities south of Rome

At the time of the birth of his youngest son, in 1093, Roger I ruled the County of Sicily, his nephew, Roger Borsa, was the Duke of Apulia and Calabria, and a distant nephew, Richard II of Capua, was the Prince of Capua.

Alongside these three major rulers were a large number of minor counts, who effectively exercised sovereign power in their own localitites. These counts at least nominally owed their allegiance to one of these three Norman rulers, but such allegiance was usually weak and often ignored.[2]

When Roger I, Count of Sicily, died in 1101 the throne was assumed by his young son, Simon of Hauteville, who himself died but four years later.

Reign

Southern Italy in 1112 CE, at the time of Roger II's coming of age, showing the major states and cities. Numerous smaller city-states, usually under the suzerainty or vassalage of the larger states, are not shown.

The border of the Kingdom of Sicily in 1154, at the time of Roger's death, is shown by a thicker black line encircling most of southern Italy.

[edit] Rise to power in Sicily

On the death of his elder brother, Simon of Hauteville, in 1105, Roger inherited the County of Sicily under the regency of his mother, Adelaide del Vasto. During this time the mother was assisted by such notables as Christodulus, the emir of Palermo.

In the summer of 1110, he was visited by the Norwegian king Sigurd Jorsalfare on his way to Jerusalem.

In 1112, Roger attained his age of majority and began his personal rule, being named "now knight, now Count of Sicily and Calabria" in a charter document dated June 12, 1112.[3]

In 1117, his mother, who had married Baldwin I of Jerusalem, returned to Sicily, and Roger married his first wife, Elvira, daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile and his fourth queen, Isabella, who may be identical to his former concubine, the converted Moor, Zaida, baptised Isabella.

In 1122, William II, the Duke of Apulia and Roger's first cousin once removed, offered to renounce his remaining claims to Sicily as well as part of Calabria. Roger, in exchange, crossed the Straits of Messina to subjugate the duke's vassal, Count Jordan of Ariano. In doing so, he penetrated the Basilicata and took Montescaglioso.

Rise to power in southern Italy

When William II of Apulia died childless in July 1127, Roger claimed all Hauteville family possessions in the peninsula as well as the overlordship of the Principality of Capua, which had been nominally given to Apulia almost thirty years earlier. However, the union of Sicily and Apulia was resisted by Pope Honorius II and by the subjects of the duchy itself.

Royal investiture

Coronation mantle of Roger II. It bears an inscription in Arabic with the Hegira date of 528 (1133–34).The popes had long been suspicious of the growth of Norman power in southern Italy and at Capua in December, the pope preached a crusade against Roger, setting Robert II of Capua and Ranulf II of Alife (his own brother-in-law) against him. After this coalition failed, in August 1128 Honorius invested Roger at Benevento as Duke of Apulia. The baronial resistance, which was backed by Naples, Bari, Salerno, and other cities whose aim was civic freedom, gave way. In September 1129 Roger was generally recognized as duke of Apulia by Sergius VII of Naples, Robert of Capua, and the rest. He began at once to enforce order in the duchy, where the ducal power had long been fading.

Upon the death of Pope Honorius in February 1130 there were two claimants to the papal throne. Roger supported Antipope Anacletus II against Innocent II. The reward was a crown, and, on 27 September 1130, Anacletus' papal bull made Roger king of Sicily. He was crowned in Palermo on the Christmas Day 1130.

Peninsular rebellions

This plunged Roger into a ten-year war. The famous Bernard of Clairvaux, Innocent's champion, organized a coalition against Anacletus and his "half-heathen king." He was joined by Louis VI of France, Henry I of England, and the Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor. Meanwhile southern Italy revolted.

In 1130, the Duchy of Amalfi revolted and in 1131, Roger sent John of Palermo across the Strait of Messina to join up with a royal troop from Apulia and Calabria and march on Amalfi by land while George of Antioch blockaded the town by sea and set up a base on Capri.[4] Amalfi soon capitulated.

In 1132, Roger sent Robert II of Capua and Ranulf II of Alife to Rome in a show of force in support of Anacletus. While they were away, Roger's half-sister Matilda, the wife of Ranulf, fled to Roger claiming abuse. Simultaneously, Roger annexed Ranulf's brother's County of Avellino. Ranulf demanded the restitution of both wife and countship. Both were denied, and Ranulf left Rome against orders, with Robert following.


Roger II riding to war, from Liber ad honorem Augusti of Petrus de Ebulo, 1196.First Roger dealt with a rebellion in Apulia, where he defeated and deposed Grimoald, Prince of Bari, replacing him with his second son Tancred. Meanwhile, Robert and Ranulf took papal Benevento. Roger went to meet them but was defeated at the Battle of Nocera on 25 July 1132. Roger retreated to Salerno.

The next year, Lothair III came down to Rome for his imperial coronation. The rebel leaders met with him there, but they were refused help because Lothair's force was too small.[5] With the emperor's departure, divisions in his opponents' ranks allowed Roger to reverse his fortunes. By July 1134, Roger's troops had forced Ranulf, Sergius, and the other ringleaders to submit. Robert was expelled from Capua and Roger installed his second son, Alfonso of Hauteville as Prince of Capua. Roger II's eldest son Roger was given the title of Duke of Apulia.

Meanwhile, Lothair's contemplated attack upon Roger had gained the backing of Pisa, Genoa, and the Byzantine emperor, each of whom feared the growth of a powerful Norman kingdom. A Pisan fleet led by the exiled prince of Capua laid anchor in Naples (1135). Ranulf joined Robert and Sergius there, encouraged by news coming from Sicily that Roger was fatally ill or even already dead. The important fortress of Aversa, among others, passed to the rebels, and only Capua resisted under the royal chancellor, Guarin. On June 5, however, Roger disembarked in Salerno, much to the surprise of the whole mainland provinces. The royal army, split in several forces, easily conquered Aversa and even Alife, the base of the natural rebel leader, Ranulf. Most of the rebels took refuge in Naples, which was besieged in July, but despite the poor health conditions within the city, Roger was not able to take it, and returned to Messina late in the year.

Imperial invasion

The Tabula Rogeriana, a ancient world map drawn by Al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154.In 1136, the long-awaited imperial army, led by Lothair and the duke of Bavaria, Henry the Proud, descended the peninsula to support the three rebels. Henry, Robert, and Ranulf took a large contingent of troops to besiege the peninsular capital of the kingdom, Salerno. Roger remained in Sicily, leaving its mainland garrisons helpless under the chancellor Robert of Selby, while even the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus sent subsidies to Lothair. Salerno surrendered, and the large army of Germans and Normans marched to the very south of Apulia. There, in June 1137, Lothair besieged and took Bari. At San Severino, after the victorious campaign, he and the pope jointly invested Ranulf as duke of Apulia (August 1137), and the emperor then retired to Germany. Roger, freed from the utmost danger, immediately disembarked in Calabria, at Tropea, with 400 knights and other troops, probably mostly Muslims. After having been welcomed by the Salernitans, he recovered ground in Campania, sacking Pozzuoli, Alife, Capua, and Avellino. Sergius, terrified, was forced to acknowledge him as overlord of Naples and sway his allegiance to Anacletus: that moment marked the fall of an independent Neapolitan duchy, and thereafter the ancient city was fully integrated into the Norman realm.

Thence Roger moved to Benevento and northern Apulia, where Duke Ranulf, although steadily losing his bases of power, had some German troops plus some 1,500 knight from the cities of Melfi, Trani, Troia, and Bari, who were "ready to die instead to lead a miserable life." On 30 October 1137, at the Battle of Rignano (next to Monte Gargano), the younger Roger and his father, with Sergius of Naples, met the defensive army of Duke Ranulf. It was the greatest defeat of Roger II's career. His son fought with courage, and Sergius died honourably in battle, but Roger himself fled the field to Salerno. It capped the meteoric career of Ranulf: twice victor over Roger. Anacietus II died in January 1138, but Innocent II refused to reconcile with the King.

In Spring 1138, the royal army invaded the Principality of Capua, with the precise intent of avoiding a pitched battle and of dispersing Ranulf's army with a series of marches along sharp terrain. While the count of Alife lacked decision, Roger, now supported by Benevento, destroyed all the rebels' castles in the region, capturing an immense booty. Ranulf himself, who had taken refuge in Troia, his capital, was killed by a malaric fever on 30 April 1139. Later, Roger exhumed him from the Troian cathedral in which he was buried and threw him in a ditch, only to later repent and rebury him decently.

At this time, Sergius being dead, Alfonso was elected in his place and together with his brother Roger, went off to conquer the Abruzzi.


AR Scyphate Ducalis. Dated year 10 (1140), after the king's victory on July 25. Obverse: Christ. Reverse: King Roger and Duke Roger.

[edit] Consolidation of kingship

After the death of Anacletus in January 1138, Roger had sought the confirmation of his title from Innocent. However, the pope wanted an independent Principality of Capua as a buffer state between the Kingdom of Sicily and the Papal States, something Roger would not accept.[6] In the summer of 1139, Innocent II invaded the kingdom with a large army, but was ambushed at Galluccio on (22 July 1139),[7] southeast of present-day Cassino, by Roger's son and was captured. Three days later, by the Treaty of Mignano, the pope proclaimed Roger II as rex Siciliae ducatus Apuliae et principatus Capuae. The boundaries of his regno were only later fixed by a truce with the pope in October 1144. These lands were for the next seven centuries to constitute the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.

In 1139, Bari, where during the wars of the past year 50,000 inhabitants had remained unscathed behind the massive walls, decided to surrender: the excellentissimus princeps Jaquintus, who had led the rebellion of the city, was hanged together with many of his followers, but the city avoided a sack. His execution of the prince and his counsellors was perhaps the most violent act of Roger's life.

While his sons overcame pockets of resistance on the mainland, on 5 November 1139 Roger returned to Palermo to plan a great act of legislation: the Assizes of Ariano an attempt to establish his dominions in southern Italy as a coherent state. He returned to check up on his sons' progress in 1140 and then went to Ariano, a town central to the peninsular possessions (and a centre of rebellion under his predecessors). There he promulgated the great law regulating all Sicilian affairs. It invested the king and his bureaucracy with absolute powers and reduced the authority of the often rebellious vassals. While there, centralising his kingdom, Roger declared a new standard coinage, named after the duchy of Apulia: the ducat.

Later reign: the peaceful years

"The Cappella Palatina, at Palermo, the most wonderful of Roger's churches, with Norman doors, Saracenic arches, Byzantine dome, and roof adorned with Arabic scripts, is perhaps the most striking product of the brilliant and mixed civilization over which the grandson of the Norman Trancred ruled" (EB1911).Roger had now become one of the greatest kings in Europe. At Palermo, Roger drew round him distinguished men of various races, such as the famous Arab geographer Idrisi and the Greek historian Nilus Doxopatrius. The king welcomed the learned, and he practised toleration towards the several creeds, races and languages of his realm. To administer his domain he hired many Greeks and Arabs, who were trained in long-established traditions of centralized government.[8] He was served by men of nationality as dissimilar as the Englishman Thomas Brun, a kaid of the Curia, and, in the fleet, first by Christodulus and then George of Antioch, whom he made in 1132 ammiratus ammiratorum or "Emir of Emirs," in effect prime vizier. This title gave way to the English word admiral. Roger made Sicily the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean.

A powerful fleet was built up under several admirals, or "emirs", of whom the greatest was George, formerly in the service of the Muslim prince of Mahdia. Mainly thanks to him, a series of conquests were made on the African coast (1135–1153). Tripoli was captured in 1146 and Cape Bona in 1148. These conquests were lost in the reign of Roger's successor William and never formed an integral part of the kingdom.

The Second Crusade (1147–1148) offered Roger an opportunity to revive the attacks against the Byzantine Empire, the traditional Norman enemy to the East. It also afforded him an opportunity, through the agency of Theodwin, a cardinal ever-vigilant for Crusade supporters, to strike up a correpondance with Conrad III of Germany in an effort to break his alliance with Manuel I Comnenus. Roger never went himself on an expedition against Byzantium, handing over the command to the skillful George. In 1147, George set sail from Otranto with seventy galleys to assault Corfu. According to Nicetas Choniates, the island capitulated thanks to George's bribes (and the tax burden of the imperial government), welcoming the Normans as their liberators. Leaving a garrison, George sailed on to the Peloponnesus. He sacked Athens and quickly moved on to the Ionian Islands. He ravaged the coast all along Euboea and the Gulf of Corinth and penetrated as far as Thebes, Greece, where he pillaged the silk factories and carried off the Jewish damask, brocade, and silk weavers, taking them back to Palermo where they formed the basis for the Sicilian silk industry. George capped the expedition with a sack of Corinth, in which the relics of Saint Theodore were stolen, and then returned to Sicily. In 1149, however, Corfu was retaken. George went on a punitive expedition against Constantinople, but could not land and instead defied the Byzantine emperor by firing arrows against the palace windows. Yet the attack on the empire had no enduring results.

The king died at Palermo on 26 February 1154, and was buried in the Cathedral of Palermo. He was succeeded by his fourth son William. Roger II's elaborate coronation cloak, later used by the Holy Roman Emperors, is now in the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer) in Vienna. Roger is the subject of King Roger, a 1926 opera by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski.

Family

Roger's tomb in the Cathedral of Palermo.Roger's first marriage was in 1117 to Elvira of Castile, a daughter of King Alfonso VI of Castile. When she died, rumors flew that Roger had died as well, as his grief had made him a recluse. They had six children:

Roger (b. 1118 - d. 12 May 1148), heir, Duke of Apulia (from 1135), possibly also Count of Lecce;

Tancred (b. 1119 - d. 1138), Prince of Bari (from 1135).

Alfonso (b. 1120/1121 - d. 10 October 1144), Prince of Capua (from 1135) and Duke of Naples;

Adelisa (b. ca.1126? - d. aft.1184), Countess di Florenzia in her own right; married firstly with Joscelin, Conte di Loreto, and secondly with Robert, Conte di Loritello e Conversano.

William (b. 1131 - d. 7 May 1166), his successor, Duke of Apulia (from 1148);

Henry (b. 1135 - d. young).

Roger's second marriage was in 1149 to Sybille of Burgundy, daughter of Hugh II, Duke of Burgundy. They had two children:

Henry (b. 29 August 1149 - d. young);

Stillborn child (16 September 1150).

Roger's third marriage was in 1151 to Beatrix of Rethel, a grandniece of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. They had a daughter:

Constance (b. posthumously 2 November 1154 - d. 28 November 1198), married with the Emperor Henry VI, who became King of Sicily in his right.

Roger also had several illegitimate children. One illegitimate daughter, Marina, married the great admiral Margaritus of Brindisi. Another illegitimate child, Simon, became the Prince of Taranto


Roger II of Sicily

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger II (22 December 1095[1] – 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, later became Duke of Apulia and Calabria (1127), then King of Sicily (1130). It is Roger II's distinction to have united all the Norman conquests in Italy into one kingdom with a strong centralized government.

Background

In the early decades of the 11th century, Norman adventurers came to southern Italy, initially to fight against the Saracens or the Byzantine Empire. These mercenaries not only fought the enemies of the Italian city-states, but in the following century they gradually became the rulers of the major polities south of Rome

At the time of the birth of his youngest son, in 1093, Roger I ruled the County of Sicily, his nephew, Roger Borsa, was the Duke of Apulia and Calabria, and a distant nephew, Richard II of Capua, was the Prince of Capua.

Alongside these three major rulers were a large number of minor counts, who effectively exercised sovereign power in their own localitites. These counts at least nominally owed their allegiance to one of these three Norman rulers, but such allegiance was usually weak and often ignored.[2]

When Roger I, Count of Sicily, died in 1101 the throne was assumed by his young son, Simon of Hauteville, who himself died but four years later.

Reign

Rise to power in Sicily

On the death of his elder brother, Simon of Hauteville, in 1105, Roger inherited the County of Sicily under the regency of his mother, Adelaide del Vasto. During this time the mother was assisted by such notables as Christodulus, the emir of Palermo.

In the summer of 1110, he was visited by the Norwegian king Sigurd Jorsalfare on his way to Jerusalem.

In 1112, Roger attained his age of majority and began his personal rule, being named "now knight, now Count of Sicily and Calabria" in a charter document dated June 12, 1112.[3]

In 1117, his mother, who had married Baldwin I of Jerusalem, returned to Sicily, and Roger married his first wife, Elvira, daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile and his Moorish concubine or wife, Zaida.

In 1122, William II, the Duke of Apulia and Roger's first cousin once removed, offered to renounce his remaining claims to Sicily as well as part of Calabria. Roger, in exchange, crossed the Straits of Messina to subjugate the duke's vassal, Count Jordan of Ariano. In doing so, he penetrated the Basilicata and took Montescaglioso.

[edit]Rise to power in southern Italy

When William II of Apulia died childless in July 1127, Roger claimed all Hauteville family possessions in the peninsula as well as the overlordship of the Principality of Capua, which had been nominally given to Apulia almost thirty years earlier. However, the union of Sicily and Apulia was resisted by Pope Honorius II and by the subjects of the duchy itself.

Royal investiture

The popes had long been suspicious of the growth of Norman power in southern Italy and at Capua in December, the pope preached a crusade against Roger, setting Robert II of Capua and Ranulf II of Alife (his own brother-in-law) against him. After this coalition failed, in August 1128 Honorius invested Roger at Benevento as Duke of Apulia. The baronial resistance, which was backed by Naples, Bari, Salerno, and other cities whose aim was civic freedom, gave way. In September 1129 Roger was generally recognized as duke of Apulia by Sergius VII of Naples, Robert of Capua, and the rest. He began at once to enforce order in the duchy, where the ducal power had long been fading.

Upon the death of Pope Honorius in February 1130 there were two claimants to the papal throne. Roger supported Antipope Anacletus II against Innocent II. The reward was a crown, and, on 27 September 1130, Anacletus' papal bull made Roger king of Sicily. He was crowned in Palermo on the Christmas Day 1130.

[edit]Peninsular rebellions

This plunged Roger into a ten-year war. The famous Bernard of Clairvaux, Innocent's champion, organized a coalition against Anacletus and his "half-heathen king." He was joined by Louis VI of France, Henry I of England, and the Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor. Meanwhile southern Italy revolted.

In 1130, the Duchy of Amalfi revolted and in 1131, Roger sent John of Palermo across the Strait of Messina to join up with a royal troop from Apulia and Calabria and march on Amalfi by land while George of Antioch blockaded the town by sea and set up a base on Capri.[4] Amalfi soon capitulated.

In 1132, Roger sent Robert II of Capua and Ranulf II of Alife to Rome in a show of force in support of Anacletus. While they were away, Roger's half-sister Matilda, the wife of Ranulf, fled to Roger claiming abuse. Simultaneously, Roger annexed Ranulf's brother's County of Avellino. Ranulf demanded the restitution of both wife and countship. Both were denied, and Ranulf left Rome against orders, with Robert following.

First Roger dealt with a rebellion in Apulia, where he defeated and deposed Grimoald, Prince of Bari, replacing him with his second son Tancred. Meanwhile, Robert and Ranulf took papal Benevento. Roger went to meet them but was defeated at the Battle of Nocera on 25 July 1132. Roger retreated to Salerno.

The next year, Lothair III came down to Rome for his imperial coronation. The rebel leaders met with him there, but they were refused help because Lothair's force was too small.[5] With the emperor's departure, divisions in his opponents' ranks allowed Roger to reverse his fortunes. By July 1134, Roger's troops had forced Ranulf, Sergius, and the other ringleaders to submit. Robert was expelled from Capua and Roger installed his second son, Alfonso of Hauteville as Prince of Capua. Roger II's eldest son Roger was given the title of Duke of Apulia.

Meanwhile, Lothair's contemplated attack upon Roger had gained the backing of Pisa, Genoa, and the Byzantine emperor, each of whom feared the growth of a powerful Norman kingdom. A Pisan fleet led by the exiled prince of Capua laid anchor in Naples (1135). Ranulf joined Robert and Sergius there, encouraged by news coming from Sicily that Roger was fatally ill or even already dead. The important fortress of Aversa, among others, passed to the rebels, and only Capua resisted under the royal chancellor, Guarin. On June 5, however, Roger disembarked in Salerno, much to the surprise of the whole mainland provinces. The royal army, split in several forces, easily conquered Aversa and even Alife, the base of the natural rebel leader, Ranulf. Most of the rebels took refuge in Naples, which was besieged in July, but despite the poor health conditions within the city, Roger was not able to take it, and returned to Messina late in the year.

Imperial invasion

In 1136, the long-awaited imperial army, led by Lothair and the duke of Bavaria, Henry the Proud, descended the peninsula to support the three rebels. Henry, Robert, and Ranulf took a large contingent of troops to besiege the peninsular capital of the kingdom, Salerno. Roger remained in Sicily, leaving its mainland garrisons helpless under the chancellor Robert of Selby, while even the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus sent subsidies to Lothair. Salerno surrendered, and the large army of Germans and Normans marched to the very south of Apulia. There, in June 1137, Lothair besieged and took Bari. At San Severino, after the victorious campaign, he and the pope jointly invested Ranulf as duke of Apulia (August 1137), and the emperor then retired to Germany. Roger, freed from the utmost danger, immediately disembarked in Calabria, at Tropea, with 400 knights and other troops, probably mostly Muslims. After having been welcomed by the Salernitans, he recovered ground in Campania, sacking Pozzuoli, Alife, Capua, and Avellino. Sergius, terrified, was forced to acknowledge him as overlord of Naples and sway his allegiance to Anacletus: that moment marked the fall of an independent Neapolitan duchy, and thereafter the ancient city was fully integrated into the Norman realm.

Thence Roger moved to Benevento and northern Apulia, where Duke Ranulf, although steadily losing his bases of power, had some German troops plus some 1,500 knight from the cities of Melfi, Trani, Troia, and Bari, who were "ready to die instead to lead a miserable life." On 30 October 1137, at the Battle of Rignano (next to Monte Gargano), the younger Roger and his father, with Sergius of Naples, met the defensive army of Duke Ranulf. It was the greatest defeat of Roger II's career. His son fought with courage, and Sergius died honourably in battle, but Roger himself fled the field to Salerno. It capped the meteoric career of Ranulf: twice victor over Roger. Anacietus II died in January 1138, but Innocent II refused to reconcile with the King.

In Spring 1138, the royal army invaded the Principality of Capua, with the precise intent of avoiding a pitched battle and of dispersing Ranulf's army with a series of marches along sharp terrain. While the count of Alife lacked decision, Roger, now supported by Benevento, destroyed all the rebels' castles in the region, capturing an immense booty. Ranulf himself, who had taken refuge in Troia, his capital, was killed by a malaric fever on 30 April 1139. Later, Roger exhumed him from the Troian cathedral in which he was buried and threw him in a ditch, only to later repent and rebury him decently.

At this time, Sergius being dead, Alfonso was elected in his place and together with his brother Roger, went off to conquer the Abruzzi.

Consolidation of kingship

After the death of Anacletus in January 1138, Roger had sought the confirmation of his title from Innocent. However, the pope wanted an independent Principality of Capua as a buffer state between the Kingdom of Sicily and the Papal States, something Roger would not accept.[6] In the summer of 1139, Innocent II invaded the kingdom with a large army, but was ambushed at Galluccio on (22 July 1139),[7] southeast of present-day Cassino, by Roger's son and was captured. Three days later, by the Treaty of Mignano, the pope proclaimed Roger II as rex Siciliae ducatus Apuliae et principatus Capuae. The boundaries of his regno were only later fixed by a truce with the pope in October 1144. These lands were for the next seven centuries to constitute the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.

In 1139, Bari, where during the wars of the past year 50,000 inhabitants had remained unscathed behind the massive walls, decided to surrender: the excellentissimus princeps Jaquintus, who had led the rebellion of the city, was hanged together with many of his followers, but the city avoided a sack. His execution of the prince and his counsellors was perhaps the most violent act of Roger's life.

While his sons overcame pockets of resistance on the mainland, on 5 November 1139 Roger returned to Palermo to plan a great act of legislation: the Assizes of Ariano an attempt to establish his dominions in southern Italy as a coherent state. He returned to check up on his sons' progress in 1140 and then went to Ariano, a town central to the peninsular possessions (and a centre of rebellion under his predecessors). There he promulgated the great law regulating all Sicilian affairs. It invested the king and his bureaucracy with absolute powers and reduced the authority of the often rebellious vassals. While there, centralising his kingdom, Roger declared a new standard coinage, named after the duchy of Apulia: the ducat.

Later reign: the peaceful years

Roger had now become one of the greatest kings in Europe. At Palermo, Roger drew round him distinguished men of various races, such as the famous Arab geographer Idrisi and the Greek historian Nilus Doxopatrius. The king welcomed the learned, and he practised toleration towards the several creeds, races and languages of his realm. To administer his domain he hired many Greeks and Arabs, who were trained in long-established traditions of centralized government.[8] He was served by men of nationality as dissimilar as the Englishman Thomas Brun, a kaid of the Curia, and, in the fleet, first by Christodulus and then George of Antioch, whom he made in 1132 ammiratus ammiratorum or "Emir of Emirs," in effect prime vizier. This title gave way to the English word admiral. Roger made Sicily the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean.

A powerful fleet was built up under several admirals, or "emirs", of whom the greatest was George, formerly in the service of the Muslim prince of Mahdia. Mainly thanks to him, a series of conquests were made on the African coast (1135–1153). Tripoli was captured in 1146 and Cape Bona in 1148. These conquests were lost in the reign of Roger's successor William and never formed an integral part of the kingdom.

The Second Crusade (1147–1148) offered Roger an opportunity to revive the attacks against the Byzantine Empire, the traditional Norman enemy to the East. It also afforded him an opportunity, through the agency of Theodwin, a cardinal ever-vigilant for Crusade supporters, to strike up a correpondance with Conrad III of Germany in an effort to break his alliance with Manuel I Comnenus. Roger never went himself on an expedition against Byzantium, handing over the command to the skillful George. In 1147, George set sail from Otranto with seventy galleys to assault Corfu. According to Nicetas Choniates, the island capitulated thanks to George's bribes (and the tax burden of the imperial government), welcoming the Normans as their liberators. Leaving a garrison, George sailed on to the Peloponnesus. He sacked Athens and quickly moved on to the Ionian Islands. He ravaged the coast all along Euboea and the Gulf of Corinth and penetrated as far as Thebes, Greece, where he pillaged the silk factories and carried off the Jewish damask, brocade, and silk weavers, taking them back to Palermo where they formed the basis for the Sicilian silk industry. George capped the expedition with a sack of Corinth, in which the relics of Saint Theodore were stolen, and then returned to Sicily. In 1149, however, Corfu was retaken. George went on a punitive expedition against Constantinople, but could not land and instead defied the Byzantine emperor by firing arrows against the palace windows. Yet the attack on the empire had no enduring results.

The king died at Palermo on 26 February 1154, and was buried in the Cathedral of Palermo. He was succeeded by his fourth son William. Roger II's elaborate coronation cloak, later used by the Holy Roman Emperors, is now in the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer) in Vienna. Roger is the subject of King Roger, a 1926 opera by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski.

Family

Roger's first marriage was in 1117 to Elvira of Castile, a daughter of King Alfonso VI of Castile. When she died, rumors flew that Roger had died as well, as his grief had made him a recluse. They had six children:

Roger (b. 1118 - d. 12 May 1148), heir, Duke of Apulia (from 1135), possibly also Count of Lecce;

Tancred (b. 1119 - d. 1138), Prince of Bari (from 1135).

Alfonso (b. 1120/1121 - d. 10 October 1144), Prince of Capua (from 1135) and Duke of Naples;

Adelisa (b. ca.1126? - d. aft.1184), Countess di Florenzia in her own right; married firstly with Joscelin, Conte di Loreto, and secondly with Robert, Conte di Loritello e Conversano.

William (b. 1131 - d. 7 May 1166), his successor, Duke of Apulia (from 1148);

Henry (b. 1135 - d. young).

Roger's second marriage was in 1149 to Sybille of Burgundy, daughter of Hugh II, Duke of Burgundy. They had two children:

Henry (b. 29 August 1149 - d. young);

Stillborn child (16 September 1150).

Roger's third marriage was in 1151 to Beatrix of Rethel, a grandniece of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. They had a daughter:

Constance (b. posthumously 2 November 1154 - d. 28 November 1198), married with the Emperor Henry VI, who became King of Sicily in his right.

Roger also had several illegitimate children. One illegitimate daughter, Marina, married the great admiral Margaritus of Brindisi. Another illegitimate child, Simon, became the Prince of Taranto.


Wikipedia:

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Roger II. (Sizilien)

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Roger II.; Abbildung aus dem Liber ad honorem Augusti des Petrus de Ebulo, 1196

Roger II. wird von Christus gekrönt, Mosaik in La Martorana

Ansicht der Kuppel der Capella Palatina in Palermo

Sarkophag Friedrichs II. im Dom von Palermo, im Hintergrund der Sarkophag Rogers II.

Roger II. (* 22. Dezember 1095; † 26. Februar 1154) aus dem Adelsgeschlecht der Hauteville war seit 1130 König von Sizilien. Der zweite Sohn Rogers I. aus dessen dritter Ehe wurde nach dem Tode seines Bruders im Jahre 1105 Graf von Sizilien, wobei seine Mutter Adelheid bis spätestens 1113 die Herrschaft für ihn ausübte. Ab diesem Zeitpunkt entwickelte er sich zu einem der bedeutendsten Herrscher des mittelalterlichen Europa.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

[Anzeigen]

   * 1 Leben
   * 2 Nachkommen
   * 3 Literatur
   * 4 Einzelnachweise
   * 5 Weblinks

Leben [Bearbeiten]

Von seinen normannischen Verwandten im Jahre 1127 mit dem Herzogtum Apulien (1127) und mit Tarent (1128) beerbt, gewann er ganz Süditalien bis hin zu den päpstlichen Besitzungen. Mit Päpsten hatte er mehrmals Meinungsverschiedenheiten. So wurde er erst am 22. August 1128 von Papst Honorius II. auf einer Brücke in Benevent in einem Friedensschluss mit dem Herzogtum Apulien belehnt.[1] Roger nutzte das Schisma unter Innozenz II. für seine Zwecke aus, verbündete sich mit dem Gegenpapst Anaklet II. und ließ sich Weihnachten 1130 in Palermo zum König von Sizilien erheben. Die militärischen Auseinandersetzungen mit Innozenz führten 1139 zur Gefangennahme des Papstes; Innozenz musste die Königswürde Rogers anerkennen.

Roger II. galt als sehr gebildet und weltoffen und hat vermutlich nicht nur Griechisch, sondern auch Arabisch gesprochen. Er errichtete eine effiziente Herrschaft über seine Besitzungen und förderte den Schwefelabbau, die Seidengewinnung und den Aufbau einer Handelsmarine, um nicht nur mit Byzanz, sondern auch mit den arabischen und nordafrikanischen Städten einen einträglichen Handel zu treiben. An seinem Hof lebte unter anderen auch der arabische Kartograf Al-Idrisi, der für ihn eine silberne Weltkarte erschuf.

Mit seinem Gesetzgebungswerk der Assisen von Ariano legte Roger II. nach dem Vorbild des Corpus iuris civilis Kaisers Justinian I. von Byzanz die Grundlagen seiner Königsherrschaft in einer Art Verfassung nieder. Unter den darin enthaltenen Beschlüssen finden sich u.a. auch die Gleichberechtigung und Toleranz gegenüber seinen Untertanen verschiedener Herkunft.

Stark in die Kreuzzugsbewegung involviert, konnte Roger II. schon bald Besitzungen in Nordafrika erwerben, was Handel und Steueraufkommen zusätzlich begünstigte. Mit der Eroberung von Tunis im Jahre 1146 wurde er zum Beherrscher des zentralen Mittelmeers. Roger II. galt zu seiner Zeit denn auch als der reichste Herrscher Europas und unterhielt – ohne Vorbild für den Westen – einen ausgedehnten Harem. Unter ihm erlebte Sizilien eine bis heute nie wieder erreichte Blütezeit.

Die Capella Palatina, Palastkapelle König Rogers II. in Palermo, verkörpert die Toleranzpolitik der Normannen in ihrer schönsten Form: Kufische Inschriften finden sich neben biblischen Heilsgeschichten, arabische Ornamentik und byzantinische Mosaikkunst gehen eine unvergleichliche Synthese ein.

Nachkommen [Bearbeiten]

Roger II. war dreimal verheiratet. Aus seiner ersten Ehe mit Elvira († 1135), einer Tochter Alfons' VI. von Kastilien, gingen vier Söhne hervor. Die drei ältesten, Roger, Tankred und Alfons, starben noch vor ihrem Vater. Den jüngsten Sohn Wilhelm (geboren 1122) setzte er 1151 zum Mitregenten ein. Er wurde als Wilhelm I. auch der Nachfolger seines Vaters als König von Sizilien.

Die zweite Ehe mit Sibylle, einer Tochter des Herzogs Hugo II. von Burgund, blieb kinderlos. Sibylle starb bereits 1150, im Jahr nach der Hochzeit, an einer Fehlgeburt.

Aus seiner dritten Ehe mit Beatrix († 1185), einer Tochter des Grafen Günther von Rethel, ging als einziges Kind Konstanze hervor, die erst nach dem Tod Roger II. geboren wurde. Sie heiratete 1186 Kaiser Heinrich VI., womit das Königreich Sizilien auf die Staufer überging. Roger II. wurde im Dom von Palermo bestattet, in dem später auch sein Enkel, Kaiser Friedrich II., beigesetzt wurde.

Literatur [Bearbeiten]

   * Theo Broekmann: Rigor iustitiae. Herrschaft, Recht und Terror im normannisch-staufischen Süden (1050 – 1250). Darmstadt 2005.
   * Carlrichard Brühl: Urkunden und Kanzlei König Rogers II. von Sizilien. Köln 1978.
   * Erich Caspar: Roger II. (1101 – 1154) und die Gründung der normannisch-sicilischen Monarchie. Wagner, Innsbruck 1904 (Nachdrucke 1963, 1966; italienisch 1999).
   * Ferdinand Chalandon: Histoire de la domination normande en Italie et en Sicile. (2 Bd.), New York 1960.
   * Josef Deér: Papsttum und Normannen. Untersuchungen zu ihren lehnsrechtlichen und kirchenpolitischen Beziehungen. Köln 1972.
   * Hubert Houben: Roger II. von Sizilien. Herrscher zwischen Orient und Okzident. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1997.

Einzelnachweise [Bearbeiten]

  1. ↑ Reinhard Barth: Die Chronik der Kreuzzüge, Seite 87, abgefragt am 22. August 2009

Weblinks [Bearbeiten]

   * Roger II. in der Genealogie-Mittelalter
   * Roger II. (Sizilien). In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL).

Vorgänger Amt Nachfolger

Simon Graf/König von Sizilien

1105–1154 Wilhelm I.

Bohemund II. Fürst von Tarent

1128–1132 Tankred


Roger II (22 December 1095[1] – 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, later became Duke of Apulia and Calabria (1127), then King of Sicily (1130). It is Roger II's distinction to have united all the Norman conquests in Italy into one kingdom with a strong centralized government.

In the early decades of the 11th century, Norman adventurers came to southern Italy, initially to fight against the Saracens or the Byzantine Empire. These mercenaries not only fought the enemies of the Italian city-states, but in the following century they gradually became the rulers of the major polities south of Rome

At the time of the birth of his youngest son, in 1093, Roger I ruled the County of Sicily, his nephew, Roger Borsa, was the Duke of Apulia and Calabria, and his great nephew, Richard II of Capua, was the Prince of Capua.

Alongside these three major rulers were a large number of minor counts, who effectively exercised sovereign power in their own localitites. These counts at least nominally owed their allegiance to one of these three Norman rulers, but such allegiance was usually weak and often ignored.[2]

When Roger I, Count of Sicily, died in 1101 the throne was assumed by his young son, Simon of Hauteville, who himself died but four years later in 1105.

Rise to power in Sicily

On the death of his elder brother, Simon of Hauteville, in 1105, Roger inherited the County of Sicily under the regency of his mother, Adelaide del Vasto. During this time the mother was assisted by such notables as Christodulus, the emir of Palermo.

In the summer of 1110, he was visited by the Norwegian king Sigurd Jorsalfare on his way to Jerusalem.

In 1112, Roger attained his age of majority and began his personal rule, being named "now knight, now Count of Sicily and Calabria" in a charter document dated June 12, 1112.[1]

In 1117, his mother, who had married Baldwin I of Jerusalem, returned to Sicily, and Roger married his first wife, Elvira, daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile and his fourth queen, Isabella, who may be identical to his former concubine, the converted Moor, Zaida, baptised Isabella.

In 1122, William II, the Duke of Apulia and Roger's first cousin once removed, offered to renounce his remaining claims to Sicily as well as part of Calabria. Roger, in exchange, crossed the Straits of Messina to subjugate the duke's vassal, Count Jordan of Ariano. In doing so, he penetrated the Basilicata and took Montescaglioso.

[edit]Rise to power in southern Italy

When William II of Apulia died childless in July 1127, Roger claimed all Hauteville family possessions in the peninsula as well as the overlordship of the Principality of Capua, which had been nominally given to Apulia almost thirty years earlier. However, the union of Sicily and Apulia was resisted by Pope Honorius II and by the subjects of the duchy itself.

The popes had long been suspicious of the growth of Norman power in southern Italy and at Capua in December, the pope preached a crusade against Roger, setting Robert II of Capua and Ranulf II of Alife (his own brother-in-law) against him. After this coalition failed, in August 1128 Honorius invested Roger at Benevento as Duke of Apulia. The baronial resistance, which was backed by Naples, Bari, Salerno, and other cities whose aim was civic freedom, gave way. In September 1129 Roger was generally recognized as duke of Apulia by Sergius VII of Naples, Robert of Capua, and the rest. He began at once to enforce order in the duchy, where the ducal power had long been fading.

Upon the death of Pope Honorius in February 1130 there were two claimants to the papal throne. Roger supported Antipope Anacletus II against Innocent II. The reward was a crown, and, on 27 September 1130, Anacletus' papal bull made Roger king of Sicily. He was crowned in Palermo on the Christmas Day 1130.

Peninsular rebellions

This plunged Roger into a ten-year war. The famous Bernard of Clairvaux, Innocent's champion, organized a coalition against Anacletus and his "half-heathen king." He was joined by Louis VI of France, Henry I of England, and the Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor. Meanwhile southern Italy revolted.

In 1130, the Duchy of Amalfi revolted and in 1131, Roger sent John of Palermo across the Strait of Messina to join up with a royal troop from Apulia and Calabria and march on Amalfi by land while George of Antioch blockaded the town by sea and set up a base on Capri.[3] Amalfi soon capitulated.

In 1132, Roger sent Robert II of Capua and Ranulf II of Alife to Rome in a show of force in support of Anacletus. While they were away, Roger's half-sister Matilda, the wife of Ranulf, fled to Roger claiming abuse. Simultaneously, Roger annexed Ranulf's brother's County of Avellino. Ranulf demanded the restitution of both wife and countship. Both were denied, and Ranulf left Rome against orders, with Robert following.

First Roger dealt with a rebellion in Apulia, where he defeated and deposed Grimoald, Prince of Bari, replacing him with his second son Tancred. Meanwhile, Robert and Ranulf took papal Benevento. Roger went to meet them but was defeated at the Battle of Nocera on 25 July 1132. Roger retreated to Salerno.

The next year, Lothair III came down to Rome for his imperial coronation. The rebel leaders met with him there, but they were refused help because Lothair's force was too small.[4] With the emperor's departure, divisions in his opponents' ranks allowed Roger to reverse his fortunes. By July 1134, Roger's troops had forced Ranulf, Sergius, and the other ringleaders to submit. Robert was expelled from Capua and Roger installed his second son, Alfonso of Hauteville as Prince of Capua. Roger II's eldest son Roger was given the title of Duke of Apulia.

Meanwhile, Lothair's contemplated attack upon Roger had gained the backing of Pisa, Genoa, and the Byzantine emperor, each of whom feared the growth of a powerful Norman kingdom. A Pisan fleet led by the exiled prince of Capua laid anchor in Naples (1135). Ranulf joined Robert and Sergius there, encouraged by news coming from Sicily that Roger was fatally ill or even already dead. The important fortress of Aversa, among others, passed to the rebels, and only Capua resisted under the royal chancellor, Guarin. On June 5, however, Roger disembarked in Salerno, much to the surprise of the whole mainland provinces. The royal army, split in several forces, easily conquered Aversa and even Alife, the base of the natural rebel leader, Ranulf. Most of the rebels took refuge in Naples, which was besieged in July, but despite the poor health conditions within the city, Roger was not able to take it, and returned to Messina late in the year.

In 1136, the long-awaited imperial army, led by Lothair and the duke of Bavaria, Henry the Proud, descended the peninsula to support the three rebels. Henry, Robert, and Ranulf took a large contingent of troops to besiege the peninsular capital of the kingdom, Salerno. Roger remained in Sicily, leaving its mainland garrisons helpless under the chancellor Robert of Selby, while even the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus sent subsidies to Lothair. Salerno surrendered, and the large army of Germans and Normans marched to the very south of Apulia. There, in June 1137, Lothair besieged and took Bari. At San Severino, after the victorious campaign, he and the pope jointly invested Ranulf as duke of Apulia (August 1137), and the emperor then retired to Germany. Roger, freed from the utmost danger, immediately disembarked in Calabria, at Tropea, with 400 knights and other troops, probably mostly Muslims. After having been welcomed by the Salernitans, he recovered ground in Campania, sacking Pozzuoli, Alife, Capua, and Avellino. Sergius, terrified, was forced to acknowledge him as overlord of Naples and sway his allegiance to Anacletus: that moment marked the fall of an independent Neapolitan duchy, and thereafter the ancient city was fully integrated into the Norman realm.

Thence Roger moved to Benevento and northern Apulia, where Duke Ranulf, although steadily losing his bases of power, had some German troops plus some 1,500 knight from the cities of Melfi, Trani, Troia, and Bari, who were "ready to die instead to lead a miserable life." On 30 October 1137, at the Battle of Rignano (next to Monte Gargano), the younger Roger and his father, with Sergius of Naples, met the defensive army of Duke Ranulf. It was the greatest defeat of Roger II's career. His son fought with courage, and Sergius died honourably in battle, but Roger himself fled the field to Salerno. It capped the meteoric career of Ranulf: twice victor over Roger. Anacletus II died in January 1138, but Innocent II refused to reconcile with the King.

In Spring 1138, the royal army invaded the Principality of Capua, with the precise intent of avoiding a pitched battle and of dispersing Ranulf's army with a series of marches along sharp terrain. While the count of Alife lacked decision, Roger, now supported by Benevento, destroyed all the rebels' castles in the region, capturing an immense booty. Ranulf himself, who had taken refuge in Troia, his capital, was killed by a malaric fever on 30 April 1139. Later, Roger exhumed him from the Troian cathedral in which he was buried and threw him in a ditch, only to later repent and rebury him decently.

At this time, Sergius being dead, Alfonso was elected in his place and together with his brother Roger, went off to conquer the Abruzzi.

Consolidation of kingship

After the death of Anacletus in January 1138, Roger had sought the confirmation of his title from Innocent. However, the pope wanted an independent Principality of Capua as a buffer state between the Kingdom of Sicily and the Papal States, something Roger would not accept.[5] In the summer of 1139, Innocent II invaded the kingdom with a large army, but was ambushed at Galluccio on (22 July 1139),[6] southeast of present-day Cassino, by Roger's son and was captured. Three days later, by the Treaty of Mignano, the pope proclaimed Roger II as rex Siciliae ducatus Apuliae et principatus Capuae. The boundaries of his regno were only later fixed by a truce with the pope in October 1144. These lands were for the next seven centuries to constitute the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.

In 1139, Bari, where during the wars of the past year 50,000 inhabitants had remained unscathed behind the massive walls, decided to surrender: the excellentissimus princeps Jaquintus, who had led the rebellion of the city, was hanged together with many of his followers, but the city avoided a sack. His execution of the prince and his counsellors was perhaps the most violent act of Roger's life.

While his sons overcame pockets of resistance on the mainland, on 5 November 1139 Roger returned to Palermo to plan a great act of legislation: the Assizes of Ariano an attempt to establish his dominions in southern Italy as a coherent state. He returned to check up on his sons' progress in 1140 and then went to Ariano, a town central to the peninsular possessions (and a centre of rebellion under his predecessors). There he promulgated the great law regulating all Sicilian affairs. It invested the king and his bureaucracy with absolute powers and reduced the authority of the often rebellious vassals. While there, centralising his kingdom, Roger declared a new standard coinage, named after the duchy of Apulia: the ducat.

Roger had now become one of the greatest kings in Europe. At Palermo, Roger drew round him distinguished men of various races, such as the famous Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi and the Greek historian Nilus Doxopatrius. The king welcomed the learned, and he practised toleration towards the several creeds, races and languages of his realm. To administer his domain he hired many Greeks and Arabs, who were trained in long-established traditions of centralized government.[7] He was served by men of nationality as dissimilar as the Englishman Thomas Brun, a kaid of the Curia, and, in the fleet, first by Christodulus and then George of Antioch, whom he made in 1132 ammiratus ammiratorum or "Emir of Emirs", in effect prime vizier. This title gave way to the English word admiral. Roger made Sicily the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean.

A powerful fleet was built up under several admirals, or "emirs", of whom the greatest was George, formerly in the service of the Muslim prince of Mahdia. Mainly thanks to him, a series of conquests were made on the African coast (1135–1153). Tripoli was captured in 1146 and Cape Bona in 1148. These conquests were lost in the reign of Roger's successor William and never formed an integral part of the kingdom.

The Second Crusade (1147–1148) offered Roger an opportunity to revive the attacks against the Byzantine Empire, the traditional Norman enemy to the East. It also afforded him an opportunity, through the agency of Theodwin, a cardinal ever-vigilant for Crusade supporters, to strike up a correpondance with Conrad III of Germany in an effort to break his alliance with Manuel I Comnenus. Roger never went himself on an expedition against Byzantium, handing over the command to the skillful George. In 1147, George set sail from Otranto with seventy galleys to assault Corfu. According to Nicetas Choniates, the island capitulated thanks to George's bribes (and the tax burden of the imperial government), welcoming the Normans as their liberators. Leaving a garrison of 1,000 men, George sailed on to the Peloponnesus. He sacked Athens and quickly moved on to the Ionian Islands. He ravaged the coast all along Euboea and the Gulf of Corinth and penetrated as far as Thebes, Greece, where he pillaged the silk factories and carried off the Jewish damask, brocade, and silk weavers, taking them back to Palermo where they formed the basis for the Sicilian silk industry. George capped the expedition with a sack of Corinth, in which the relics of Saint Theodore were stolen, and then returned to Sicily. In 1149, however, Corfu was retaken. George went on a punitive expedition against Constantinople, but could not land and instead defied the Byzantine emperor by firing arrows against the palace windows. Yet the attack on the empire had no enduring results.

The king died at Palermo on 26 February 1154, and was buried in the Cathedral of Palermo. He was succeeded by his fourth son William. Roger II's elaborate coronation cloak, later used by the Holy Roman Emperors, is now in the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer) in Vienna. Roger is the subject of King Roger, a 1926 opera by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski.


Roger II (22 December 1095[1] – 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, later became Duke of Apulia and Calabria (1127), then King of Sicily (1130). It is Roger II's distinction to have united all the Norman conquests in Italy into one kingdom with a strong centralized government.

Roger's first marriage was in 1117 to Elvira of Castile, a daughter of King Alfonso VI of Castile. When she died, rumors flew that Roger had died as well, as his grief had made him a recluse. They had six children:

   * Roger (b. 1118 - d. 12 May 1148), heir, Duke of Apulia (from 1135), possibly also Count of Lecce;
   * Tancred (b. 1119 - d. 1138), Prince of Bari (from 1135).
   * Alfonso (b. 1120/1121 - d. 10 October 1144), Prince of Capua (from 1135) and Duke of Naples;
   * Adelisa (b. ca.1126? - d. aft.1184), Countess di Florenzia in her own right; married firstly with Joscelin, Conte di Loreto, and secondly with Robert, Conte di Loritello e Conversano.
   * William (b. 1131 - d. 7 May 1166), his successor, Duke of Apulia (from 1148);
   * Henry (b. 1135 - d. young).

Roger's second marriage was in 1149 to Sybille of Burgundy, daughter of Hugh II, Duke of Burgundy. They had two children:

   * Henry (b. 29 August 1149 - d. young);
   * Stillborn child (16 September 1150).

Roger's third marriage was in 1151 to Beatrix of Rethel, a grandniece of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. They had a daughter, Constance (2 November 1154 - 28 November 1198), who married with the Emperor Henry VI, later King of Sicily in his right.

Roger also had several illegitimate children. One illegitimate daughter, Marina, married the great admiral Margaritus of Brindisi. Another illegitimate child, Simon, became the Prince of Taranto.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b Houben, p. 30.
  2. ^ Mathew, p. 21.
  3. ^ Houben, 60. Norwich, 11.
  4. ^ Houben, p. 63.
  5. ^ Houben et al., p.71
  6. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911.
  7. ^ Maurice Keen, Pelican History of Medieval Europe, Routledge Kegan & Paul 1968

[edit] References

Search Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Roger II of Sicily

   * Aubé, Pierre. Roger II de Sicile. 2001.
   * Matthew, Donald. The Norman Kingdom of Sicily (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks), 1992.
   * Norwich, John Julius. The Normans in the South 1016-1130. Longmans: London, 1967.
   * Norwich, John Julius. The Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194. Longman: London, 1970.
   * Houben, Hubert (translated by Graham A. Loud and Diane Milburn). Roger II of Sicily: Ruler between East and West. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
   * Rowe, John Gordon. "The Papacy and the Greeks (1122-1153) (Part II)." Church History, Vol. 28, No. 3. (Sep., 1959), pp 310–327.
   * Wieruszowski, Helen. "Roger II of Sicily, Rex-Tyrannus, In Twelfth-Century Political Thought." Speculum, Vol. 38, No. 1. (Jan., 1963), pp 46–78.
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Roger II "the Norman" de Hauteville, king of Sicily & Africa's Timeline

1095
December 22, 1095
Mileto, Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy
1118
1118
Italy
1119
1119
1120
May 1120
Monreale, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy
1120
1126
1126
1154
February 26, 1154
Age 58
Palermo, Sicilia, Italia