Ruggero "Borsa" d'Altavilla, duca di Puglia

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Ruggero d'Altavilla

Also Known As: "Roger Borsa książę Apulii"
Birthdate: (50)
Birthplace: Probably Brindisi, Contea di Apulia (Present Puglia), Ducato di Apulia, Calabria, e Sicilia, (Present Italy)
Death: February 22, 1111 (46-54)
Salerno, Principato di Salerno (Present Campania), Ducato di Apulia, Calabria, e Sicilia, (Present Italy)
Place of Burial: Salerno, Provincia Salerno, Campania, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert of Hauteville, Guiscard and Sichelgaita of Salerno, Countess
Husband of Maria Hauteville, contessa di Nocera and Adela of Flanders
Father of Teodora de Hauteville; Louis Hauteville; William II Hauteville, 3°duke of Apulia; N. of Sicily; N. N. and 1 other
Brother of Mafalda de Pulla-Calàbria, comtessa consort de Barcelona; Gui de Hauteville, duca di Amalfi; Sybille de Hauteville; Mabille de Grandmesnil and Robert de Hauteville, Scalione
Half brother of Sir Thomas de Hauteville; Emma de Hauteville; Boemondo I, principe d'Antiochia; Héria d'Altavilla; Olympias Doukas, Helena and 1 other

Managed by: Ofir Friedman
Last Updated:

About Ruggero "Borsa" d'Altavilla, duca di Puglia


Summary on Roger "Borsa" Duke of Apulia:



  • Father: Robert "Guiscard" or "The Weasel" de Hauteville, Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily (c1020 - 17 July 1085)
  • Mother: Sichelgaita (or "Gaita") di Salerno (c1040 - 27 July 1090)


  • 1. Marco or Bohemond of Apulia, Prince of Antioch (1052 - 1111)
  • 2. Emma (b. c 1045) wife of Marchese Odo "le Bon"


  • 1. Mathilde or Mahalta of Apulia (c1059 - after 6 June 1112), wife of Ramon Berenguer II "Cap d'Estopes", Conde de Barcelona 1078-1082, and wife of Amaury I, Vicomte de Narbonne (1085 onward)
  • 3. Mabel of Apulia, wife of Guillaume de Grantmesnil (m. 1088/1096)
  • 4. Eria of Apulia, wife of Ugo d'Este or Hugues V, Comte du Maine (m. 1078 and later divorced).
  • 5. Robert of Apulia (d. after May 1103)
  • 6. Guy of Apulia, Duca di Amalfi e Sorrento (d. 5 July 1108)
  • 7. Sibylle of Apulia wife of Ebles II, Comte de Roucy (m. before 1082)
  • 8. Olympias of Apulia (d. after 1090), betrothed to Konstantinos Dukas, co-Emperor of Byzantium (Aug. 1074 - 1078, baptized Helena)
  • 9. Cecile of Apulia
  • 10. Gaitelgrima of Apulia (d. after 1086), wife of Drogo, then wife of Onfroi, Conti di Sarno.

Spouses and partners with Children:

  • Spouse: Adela de Flandre, widow of Knud II "den Hellige," King of Denmark (c. 1065 - April 1115)
    • 1. Louis of Apulia (d. shortly before 2 September 1094)
    • 2. Guillaume of Apulia, Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily (c. 1096 - 25 July 1127), husband of Gaitelgrima di Airola (m. May 1115, d. 1117), and Gaitelgrima di Capua (m. 1120, d. after 1127)
    • 3. Guiscard of Apulia (d. August 1108)
  • Unknown Mistress
    • 1. Guillaume, Conte di Gesualdo e Lucera (d. c.1150)

Basic Information:

Birth: c.1060

Baptism: c. 1061

Marriage: 1092 with Adela de Flandre, widow of Knud II "den Hellige" King of Denmark

Death: 22 February 1111

Burial: Salerno San Mateo

Alternate names: Roger "Borsa", Duke of Apulia, or Roger "the Purse"

Occupation: Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily 1085-1111


  • 1059 August: At a Council at Melfi, his father Robert "Guiscard" de Hauteville, Count of Apulia, declares hijself a vassal of Pope Nicholas II after capturing Anti-Pope Benedict X. In return, Pope Nicholas declares him as Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily. Presuming his elder sister Mathilde of Apulia was born earlier in the year, he could have been conceived around this time before he went on campaign the following year.
  • 1060 May: His father Robert captured Civitas Tarenti and later captures "Brundusium". He continues on to capture Reggio before the end of the year. It is known that his wife often accompanied her husband in campaign, donning armor and standing alongside him, so Roger could have been born in any of these places after the start of the campaign.
  • 1060 October: His father Robert was defeated by Miriarcha of the Byzantine Empire, recovering "Hydrunte".
  • 1061: Before his father besieged Melfi, Roger would have been born to Robert's second wife Sichelgaita di Salerno.
  • 1062: His father captures rival Miriarcha at Brinidisi, and takes Oria, establishing a castrum in Mejana, likely the family home.
  • 1066: While his father is seriously ill, Roger's mother Sichelgaita of Salerno forces her husband's vassals at Trani to agree to Roger's succession. The only dissension was from Abelard, Roger's cousin, who claimed the Duchy of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily for himself.
  • 1068: His father lays siege to Bari, while Byzantine forces are tied up against the Seljuks.
  • 1071 April 16: Bari falls after three years siege, as does much of the rest of mainland Byzantium in Italy.
  • 1072 His father Robert captures Palermo with a large fleet, establishing control of Sicily. He leaves the island before the end of the year.
  • 1074 August: His younger sister Olympius is sent to Byzantium to become wife to Co-Emperor Konstantinos Dukas as part of a peace settlement with the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1074 November: His father Robert expels Duke Ioannes from Amalfi.
  • 1076 December 13: His father Robert takes Salerno, the last Lombard state in southern Italy, and establishes his capital there.
  • 1077 December 19: His father Robert attacks Benevento, stirring the wrath of Pope Nicholas II
  • 1078 March 3: His father Robert is excommunicated by Pope Nicholas II. This eventually leads to a rebellion against Robert. In Byzantium. Meanwhile, as his older sister Mathilde is married to Ramon Berenguer II "Cap d'Estopes" Conde of Barcelona, his younger sister Olympius, renamed Helena, is imprisoned in a convent after the Byzantine ruler broke off the engagement for her marriage with Konstantinos Dukas. Mathilde becomes known as Mahalta while in Catalonia.
  • 1078, Autumn: Both Roger's parents take part in the effort to repress the rebellion set against Robert by Nicholas II's excommunication of him. Trani is besieged by Sichelgaita while Robert takes charge at Taranto. An additional rebellion erupts over Robert forcing Ugo d'Este to pay much of the cost of his wedding with his daughter, Eria of Apulia.
  • 1079 His father Robert suppresses the rebellion stirred up against him.
  • 1080 June 29: His father Robert meets with Pope Gregory VII and swears fealty to the Papacy, ending the excommunication against him. Following this, he sets out against Byzantium in Illyria on the eastern Adriatic Sea coast in order to pursue Roger's rebellious cousin Abailardo, on the pretext of avenging his daughter, who had been put into a convent two years ago when her engagement was broken off.
  • 1081: Bohemond of Apulia, his stepbrother, captures Valona in the campaign against the Byzantines, but is defeated in a battle against allied Venetian and Byzantine forces. He later assists in the capture of Durazzo, carried out under the direction of both of Roger's parents. Much of the Illyria coast falls under the control of his father, Robert, who places the conquered territory under the administration of Bohemond. Meanwhile, Kaiser Heinrich's war to install anti-Pope Clement III was building as an invasion force marched southward from the German states against Rome itself. Robert takes part in the successful defense of the Papacy.
  • 1082: By this time, Ebles II Comte de Roucy marries Rogers younger sister Sibylle of Apulia.
  • 1082 December 6: Ramon Berenguer II "Cap d'Estopes" Conde de Barcelona, is murdered at Perxa de Astor, near Girona. Guillem Ramon, Seneschal of Catalonia, throws his support to Roger's sister Mahalta in the chaotic aftermath.
  • 1084 March 21: Kaiser Heinrich enters Rome and installs his Anti-Pope Clement III three days later while Pope Gregory VII remains holed up in Castel Sant'Angelo. Shortly after, Roger's father Robert attacks and takes Rome, but the excesses of his campaign results in a popular uprising. Roger moves in to save the day. Meanwhile, Bohemond has managed to lose most of the territory conquered three years ago to the Byzantines, prompting his return to that side of the Adriatic, where he goes after Corfu.
  • 1085: Amaury, Vicomte de Nabonne, marries Roger's elder sister Mathilde, more or less uniting Catalonia with its neighboring French coastal province.
  • 1085 May 25: Pope Gregory VII dies while in exile at Salerno ("I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, I [now] die in exile.")
  • 1085 July 17: While advancing on Corfu, which had been lost to the Byzantines by Bohemond, Roger's father Robert catches a fever and dies at Phiscardo Bay in Cephalonia. His body is taken to Venosa and buried at the Monastery of Santissima Trinità. Robert had promised the Greek lands to Bohemond and the Italian lands to the meeker of the two Roger, but Roger was in Greece at the time of his father's death, and Bohemond was in Italy. Roger leaves his troops behind and rejoins his warrior mother at Cephalonia. The two sail back to Italy to secure Roger's claim to the Duchy.

1085 September: Roger, with the help of Count Roger of Sicily, is recognized as the new Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily (an act that cost the new duke control of Sicily and Calabria). Bohemond fled Taranto for Capua, where he joined forces with Jordan I. The two take Oria and Otranto, as well as Taranto. 1086 March: With much of his lands under threat, Roger agrees to a truce with Bohemond, and both agree to be co-rulers of Apulia under a short-lived agreement.

  • 1086 May 24: Cardinal Desiderius is elected Pope Victor III. Within four days, the Pope and cardinals flee Rome before the Imperial Prefect retakes the city.
  • 1087 May 9: Pope Victor III is enthroned in Rome, but leaves a little more than a week later to his abbey in Monte Cassino.
  • 1087 Summer: Bohemond, conspiring with some of Roger's vassals, attacks his brother and defeats him at Fragneto, retaking Taranto. Eventually, he would retake Benevento, Canosa, Capua, and Lucera, but he could never fully defeat his half-brother.
  • 1087 September 16: Pope Victor III dies at Monte Cassino.
  • 1088 March: Otho de Labery is elected Pope Urban II by acclamation. He begins to diplomatically move against Anti-Pope Clement III, still holding Rome. One of the moves is to excommunicate Ugo d'Este, who repudiated Roger's younger sister Eria of Apulia "without cause" after marrying her a decade earlier.
  • 1088: Sometime over the next 8 years, Guillaume de Grantmesil, after leaving a strong impression on Roger's deceased father Robert during the campaign to take Durazzo, marries Roger's younger sister Mabel de Apulia. He had been granted several valleys by his father, as well as a dowry of 15 castles.
  • 1089: In an agreement mediated by Pope Urban II, Roger cedes Galipoli, Taranto, and Brindisi, which forms part of a new Principality of Taranto. The Pope invests Roger with the title of the Duchy of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily, but in all practicalities, he is left with little else but the lands of the previous Principality of Salerno. He begins to carry out plans to urbanize his many towns, starting with Mezzogiorno.
  • 1090 April: Sichelgaita dies in Salerno, and is buried at Monte Cassino. In the aftermath, Bohemoth annexes Bari, but then faces rebellion by the Count of Conversano and Lord of Montescaglioso. After Sichelgaita's death, Olympias or Helena of Apulia is returned to Italy, where she eventually settles in the court of her uncle at Palermo for the remainder of her days. Roger and Pope Urban II work together to encourage Bruno of Koln, founder of the Carthusian Order, to accept election as Archbishop of Reggio di Calabria.
  • 1092: Roger "Borsa", Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily, marries Adela de Flandre, widow of King Knud II "den Hellige" King of Denmark, a member of the illustrious Saxon Billung family.
  • 1094 September 2: Roger's firstborn son, Louis of Apulia, dies while still an infant, likely at Salerno.
  • 1095 March: At the Council of Piacenza, Pope Urban II accepts the request for help given by 14-year-old Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos in retaking Anatolia from the Seljuk Turks.
  • 1095 November 27: Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont declares a Holy Crusade against the Seljuk Turks, with the intent not only to retake Anatolia, but also Jerusalem.
  • 1096: Roger's secondborn son Guillaume of Apulia is born, likely at Salerno.
  • 1097 April: His brother Bohemond sets out on the First Crusade, during which he swears allegiance to the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I.
  • 1098 May: At the request of his first cousin once removed, Prince Richard II, Roger besieged Capua, the city he was selected to rule but had long since been exiled from. Roger was to obtain suzerainty over Richard for the assistance, but Richard's successors would never recognize his overlordship. The city falls in 40 days.
  • 1098 June 28: His brother Bohemond captures Antioch and declares himself Prince of Antioch in defiance of his earlier pledge of allegiance to Byzantium. This creates a new three-way war between Bohemond, the Seljuk Turks, and the Byzantines.
  • 1098 July: Fearing that an approaching counter-attack by Kerbogha, Atabeg of Mosul, would succeed in retaking Antioch, Guillaume de Grantmesnil and his brother Aubrey abandon Bohemond and the city by climbing down from the city walls on a rope. They are disgraced when the city defends itself from the Turks. Meanwhile, Roger's younger brother Guy fights with bravery against the Turks, and is eventually made Duca di Amalfi e Sorrento.
  • 1099 July 29: Pope Urban II dies in Rome without having heard of the capture of Jerusalem, only two weeks earlier.
  • 1099 August 13: Tuscan Ranierius or Father Clementi is elected Pope Paschal II.
  • 1103: Ebles II, Comte de Roucy, husband of Roger's younger sister Sibylle, dies.
  • 1104 October: Roger lays siege to William Conte di Mont Sant'Angelo, who had pledged his support to the Byzantines. William is expelled from Gargano, and his county is abolished. Meanwhile, Bohemond returns to Italy to preapare for a large-scale invasion of Byzantium in order to overthrow the Emperor. He obtains the backing of England, France, and the Papacy.
  • 1107 October: his stepbrother Bohemond is defeated by the Byzantines at Durazzo on the Adriatic coast. Despite Bohemond's earlier defiance, the Emperor agrees to confirm his princiapality on the condition that he accepts Byzantine suzerainty.
  • 1108: After the signing of the treaty of Devol, Bohemond returns to Apulia, where he remains for the rest of his short life.
  • 1108 July 5: Roger's younger brother Guy of Apulia, Duca di Amalfi e Sorrento, dies.
  • 1108 August: Roger's thirdborn son Guiscard of Apulia, probably close to age 10 or so, dies.
  • 1111 February 22: Roger "Borsa" Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily, dies at age 50, and is buried at the Iglesia San Mateo in Salerno. His son Guillaume of Apulia, age 15, succeeds him, but only under the regency of his mother Adela de Flandre, who holds power for three years. Eventually Guillaume effectively signs over his dukedom to Roger II of Sicily in return for his support against rival Jordan Conte di Ariano. Roger's half brother, Bohemond, dies less than a couple weeks later at Canosa di Puglia in Apulia, and is buried at the Cathedral there. Roger's illegitimate son Guillaume eventually becomes Conte di Gesualdo e Lucera.

From the Foundation For Medieval Genealogy Medlands Project page on Sicily (Covering Roger's birth family):

ROBERT "Guiscard/Weasel" de Hauteville, son of TANCRED de Hauteville & his second wife Fressenda --- ([1020]-Phiscardo Bay, Cephalonia 17 Jul 1085, bur Monastery of Santissima Trinità, Venosa).

  • Malaterra names "Robertus dictus a nativitate Guiscardus…" first among the sons of Tancred & his second wife[261]. Lupus Protospatarius names Robert as brother of "Umfreda", specifying that he succeeded the latter in 1056 as duke[262]. Amatus records that "a man from Normandy…Robert…later called Guiscard" arrived in southern Italy "in aid of his brother whom he asked to give him some land as a benefice, but his brother did not give him any aid or counsel", dated to [1047] from the context[263]. The same source states that, at first, he joined "Pandulf" [Pandulf IV Prince of Capua], who promised him his daughter in marriage[264].
  • Malaterra records that Robert was given the command of the garrison of Scribla near Cosenza by his half-brother Drogo Count of Apulia, dated to 1049[265]. This grant was presumably made after the death of Prince Pandulf IV, which is recorded in Feb 949. Amatus records that Robert´s brother gave him "[in] the very limits of Calabria…a very secure mount whch was well supplied with timber…[named] San Marco" {San Marco Argentano, between Malvito and Bisignano[266]} and "put him in possession of the whole of Calabria"[267].
  • Robert´s bandit activities in the region earned him his nickname. After the Normans' victory against Pope Leo IX at Civitate in 1053, they went on to capture further territory in Italy, with Robert taking Minervino, Otranto and Gallipoli, after which his half-brother ordered him back to Calabria fearful of his growing power. The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records that "Robertus comes" entered "Callipolim", after "Humphredus" defeated "Græcis circa Oriam", and captured "Hydrontum et Castrum Minervæ" in 1055[268].
  • His half-brother Onfroi appointed him guardian of his infant son Abailardo, but he seized the latter's lands on Onfroi's death.
  • The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records the death in 1056 of "Humphredus" and the succession of "comes Apuliæ Robertus qui dictus est Guiscardus"[269]. He was formally acclaimed as his half-brother's successor as Conte di Apulia at Melfi in Aug 1057.
  • Triggered by the famine of 1058, the population rebelled against their Norman oppressors, the revolt rapidly spreading throughout Calabria. With help from his brother Roger, the rebellion was suppressed.
  • Sweeping aside earlier differences, the papacy under Nicholas II agreed an alliance with the Normans to suppress anti-Pope Benedict X. The anti-pope was captured, unfrocked and imprisoned in the church of Sant'Agnese in Rome.
  • At the Council of Melfi in Aug 1059 Robert declared himself vassal of the Pope, initiating a long alliance between the two powers, which the Normans put to full advantage in consolidating their position of power in Italy and later in Sicily. Pope Nicholas II declared him ROBERT Duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, although the Normans had not then made any claim on Sicily nor set foot there, and encouraged him to complete the conquest of the remaining parts of Italy held by the Byzantines. The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records that "Robertus comes Apuliæ" was made "Dux Apuliæ, Calabriæ et Siciliæ" by "Papa Nicolao in civitate Melphis" to whom he swore homage for all his lands in 1059[270].
  • The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records that "Robertus" captured "civitas Tarenti" in May 1060 and that he later captured "Brundusium"[271]. Robert captured Reggio in 1060, and Brindisi in 1062. The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records that "Miriarcha cum expercitu Imperiali" defeated "Robertum et Malgerum" in Oct 1060 and recovered lands including "Hydrunte"[272]. While his brother Roger turned his attention to Sicily, Robert continued his campaigns in Apulia. The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records that "Robertus Dux" captured "Acherontiam" and besieged "Melphim" in 1061, and in 1062 recaptured Brindisi (where he captured "Miriarcham") and Oria, and established "castrum in Mejana"[273].
  • Having suppressed the rebellion of his nephew Abelard in 1068, he took advantage of the withdrawal of Byzantine troops to fight the Seljuks in Asia Minor, and laid siege to Bari. The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records that "Robertus Dux" defeated "Græci" at "campo Litii" and captured "Gavianum, Obbianum et Barim" in 1069 and "Brundusium" in 1071[274]. Bari surrendered 16 Apr 1071 after a three year siege, following the arrival of support from Robert's brother Roger from Sicily.
  • They moved on together to Sicily and captured Palermo in 1072. The Chronicon Breve Normannicum records that "Robertus Dux" invaded Sicily with a large fleet in 1072 and that "Goffridus comes" besieged and captured Palermo[275]. Robert claimed suzerainty over the island, having been invested as Duke by the Pope several years earlier, but installed his brother Roger as Count of Sicily and left Sicily for the last time himself end 1072. The Chronicon Amalphitani records that "Dux Robertus Guiscardus de gente Normannorum" expelled Duke Ioannes from Amalfi in Nov 1074[276]. In 1076, he laid siege to Salerno, the last Lombard state in southern Italy. After its surrender on 13 Dec 1076, Robert installed his capital there.
  • On 19 Dec 1077, he attacked Benevento, which resulted in the Pope excommunicating him a second time 3 Mar 1078. After the death of his ally Richard Prince of Capua, he was obliged to lift the siege. Later in the year, several of his principal vassals rebelled against Robert. The revolt spread rapidly to all his mainland Italian territories, but was suppressed the following year[277].
  • After years of rivalry with Pope Gregory VII, a meeting was arranged 29 Jun 1080 at which Robert swore fealty for the lands which he held from the Papacy. Robert then turned his attention to Byzantium, in particular the Byzantine province of Illyria where his rebel nephew Abailardo had sought refuge, on the pretext of revenging his daughter who had been put in a convent after her betrothal to Konstantinos Dukas had been broken in 1078.
  • After capturing Durazzo in 1081, most of the Illyrian coast fell under his control. Called upon to defend Pope Gregory VII against Emperor Heinrich IV and his anti-Pope Clement III, Robert was obliged to return to Italy. In 1084, he attacked Rome, but was faced with a popular uprising against the excesses of his troops, and saved by his son Roger "Borsa".
  • Returning to Greece, he succeeded in recapturing Corfu which had been lost in his absence, but died of fever on his way to capture Cephalonia. Malaterra records the death of Duke Robert "Guiscard" in Jul 1085[278].

Betrothed ([1047/49]) to --- di Capua, daughter of PANDULF IV Prince of Capua & his wife Maria --- (-after [1047/49]).

  • Amatus records that "Pandulf attracted Robert [=Guiscard] to him…and gave him a…castle…promised…him his daughter as a wife…but [later] Pandulf refused him", dated to [1047/49][279].

m firstly ([1051], divorced [1058] on grounds of consanguinity) ALBERADA, aunt of GERARD di Buonalbergo, daughter of --- ([1032]-after 1058).

  • Amatus records that "Gerard who was called Buonalbergo" came to Robert "Guiscard" who was visiting his brother in Apulia, proposed his marriage to "my aunt, my father´s sister…Alberada" (specifying that Robert´s brother Drogo at first opposed the marriage) and agreed to serve him in Calabria, dated to [1050/51] from the context, adding that Gerard was "believed to have been the first to call him Guiscard"[280]. Malaterra names "Alberadam" as the first wife of Robert "Guiscard", recording that they were separated on grounds of consanguinity[281], although the precise relationship between husband and wife is not known.
  • The Chronica Mon. Casinensis names the first wife of Robert as "Alveradam amitam suam [=Girardus de bono alipergo]", recording the couple's separation on grounds of consanguinity[282].


m secondly ([1058/59]) SICHELGAITA di Salerno, daughter of GUAIMAR IV Prince of Salerno & his wife Gemma of Capua ([1040/45]-Salerno 27 Jul 1090, bur Monte Cassino).

  • The Gestis Ducum Normannorum names "primogenitam filiam Gaumarii principis Salerni…Sichelgaitam" as the wife of "Robertus Wiscardus Normannigena dux Apuliæ"[283]. The Annals of Romoald in 1060 record the marriage of "Sikelgaitum Guaimerii principis filia" and "Robbertus Guiscardus"[284]. Malaterra names "filiamque Gaimari Salernitani principis Sigelgaytam" as the second wife of Robert "Guiscard"[285]. The Chronica Mon. Casinensis names the second wife of Robert as "sororem Salernitani principis…Sikelgaita"[286].
  • Her birth date is estimated from her having borne children immediately after her marriage. Her husband became heir to the Principality of Salerno through this marriage, although her husband forestalled his inheritance by conquering Salerno in 1077.
  • The Alexeiad names Robert "Guiscard"'s wife Gaita when recording that "she went on campaign with her husband and when she donned armour she was indeed a formidable sight"[287]. She successfully laid siege to Trani, while her husband did the same at Taranto, as part of their campaign to suppress the rebellion of autumn 1078. She also fought in the battle to capture Durazzo in 1081/82.
  • The Annals of Romoald record the death in Apr 1090 of "Sikelgaita ducissa mater Rogerii ducis"[288].


Robert "Guiscard" & his first wife had [two children]:

1. MARCO [Bohémond] of Apulia (1052-Canosa di Puglia, Apulia 6/7 Mar 1111, bur Cathedral of Canosa di Puglia).

  • The Annals of Romoald name "Boamundum" as the son of Robert "Guiscard" & his first wife[289]. The Lignages d'Outremer name "Beymont" as son of "Robert Guichart qui conquest Puille", stating that he was "prince de Tarente" before he was granted Antioch[290]. William of Tyre records "Boamundus" as son of Robert Guiscard in 1097[291]. He inherited the large size and height of his father[292]. However, it is clear from subscription lists in charters that Bohemond was excluded from the succession in Apulia, at least from the time his half-brothers were of age. For example, "…Marchisus cognomina Boiemont…" is listed sixth among the subscribers of the charter dated 19 Feb 1076 under which "Rotbertus dux" made concessions to the cathedral of Santa Maria at Melfi[293]. "…Marcus qui Abbamonte dicor filius eius…" subscribed the charter dated 19 Jun 1080 under which "Rubbertus dux" granted property to Montecassino, after his half-brother Roger[294].
  • His father gave him command of the campaign against Byzantine Illyria in 1081. He captured Valona, was defeated in a naval battle by the Venetians allied with Byzantium, but then laid siege to Durazzo. During his father's temporary absence attacking Rome, Bohémond lost most of the conquered territory.
  • On the death of his father, he fought his half-brother Roger, whom his father had designated sole heir in Apulia. Moving southwards from his castle at Taranto, he captured Oria and Otranto, and was able to force peace in return for the grant, not only of Oria and Otranto, but also of Gallipoli, Taranto and Brindisi together with the region between Conversano and Brindisi, with the title Prince of Taranto.
  • In 1090, he annexed Bari but was faced with rebellion by the Count of Conversano and the Lord of Montescaglioso.
  • As one of the leaders of the First Crusade, he acceptance to swear allegiance to Emperor Alexios I in Apr 1097, agreeing that the emperor should become overlord of any new principalities founded by the crusaders and that any land captured which had previously belonged to the empire should be handed back to Byzantium[295]. Albert of Aix records that "Boemundus" swore allegiance to the emperor and agreed not to conquer any territory within the empire without the emperor´s consent[296]. He played a decisive role in the capture of Antioch 28 Jun 1098 after a siege lasting 8 months. After the fall of Antioch, Bohémond declared himself BOHEMOND I Prince of Antioch in defiance of his oath of allegiance to the emperor. Faced with attacks from both the Turks and Byzantium, both of whose interests were threatened by the establishment of the new principality of Antioch on their borders, Bohémond left his nephew Tancred as regent in Antioch and returned to Europe in 1104 to prepare a larger-scale campaign against Byzantium to overthrow Emperor Alexios I. With English, French and Papal support, he marched on Byzantium but was defeated at Avlona near Durazzo on the Adriatic coast Oct 1107. Emperor Alexios confirmed Bohémond as Prince of Antioch, but obliged him to accept Byzantine suzerainty in the Treaty of Devol in 1108[297].
  • Bohémond lived the remaining years of his life in Apulia.

2. [EMMA ([1045/55]-).

  • She is named Emma in the Gesta Tancredi and by Tudebodus Imitatus, both of whom state that she was the sister of Robert "Guiscard"[298]. Orderic Vitalis also says that she was the sister of Robert "Guiscard" but does not name her[299]. William of Tyre records "Tancredus" as "ex sorore nepos" of Robert Guiscard[300]. Albert of Aix names her son "Tancredus filius sororis Boemundi"[301]. Guibert, on the other hand, refers to "Tancredum, Marchionis cujusdam ex Boemundi, nisi fallor, sorore filium, cujus frater cum Hugone Magno præcesserat cui Guillelmus erat vocabulum, et quemdam qui dicebatur de priima civitate Richardum nominatiores agnovimus, virum sane pulchra corporis habitudine spectandum: quem pro Constantia, Boemundi conjuge, ad Franciæ regem vidimus legatione perfunctum"[302]. Tancred is described as Bohémond's nephew "so nevolo de una sorella" in Itinerario di la Gran Militia a la Pavese[303].
  • Chronologically it is more probable that Emma was the daughter, rather than sister, of Robert "Guiscard". If she had been his sister, she could not have been born much later than 1030, which appears inconsistent with the likely birth dates of her two sons in the early 1070s. If she was his daughter, it is unlikely that she could have been born from Robert's second marriage as she would have been too young to have given birth in the late 1060s/early 1070s. It is also possible that Emma was Robert's illegitimate daughter, although this seems improbable if her husband was as illustrious as appears from his title, and also inconsistent with her son marrying the daughter of the king of France.
  • m ODO [Guglielmo] "le Bon", son of --- (-after 1085). Marchese. Orderic Vitalis records that Tancred was the son of "Odonis boni marchisi"[304]. William of Tyre, on the other hand, records Tancred as "Tancredus Willelmi marchionis filius"[305]. "Tancrede figliolo di Vuillermo Marchion" is also recorded in Itinerario di la Gran Militia a la Pavese[306]. He is simply called "Marchisum" in the Gesta Tancredi, which states that Tancred was "a patre quidem haud ignobilis filius"[307]. Tudebodus Imitatus refers to the father of Tancred as "qui Marchusus dictus est"[308]. His sons are consistently referred to as "Marchisi filius" in contemporary chronicles concerning the First Crusade. These references suggest that he was alive at the time and, because he is referred to without a name, that he was such a well-known figure as to be recognisable only by his title. The illustrious marriage of Tancred son of "the Marquis" to the daughter of Philippe I King of France in 1106 is also best explained if the bridegroom had good family connections on his father's as well as his mother's side of the family. The names "Guglielmo" and "Odo" suggest a family relationship with the northern Italian family of the Marchesi di Monferrato, although it is not known what connections they may have had with southern Italy. Pushing this speculation further, the name of the first wife of Guglielmo [III] Marchese di Ravenna, the father of Ranieri Marchese di Monferrato, is unknown. Assuming that his connection with southern Italy could be proved, it is not impossible that Guglielmo married firstly Emma daughter of Robert "Guiscard" and was father by her of Tancred. The highly speculative nature of these conjectures must be emphasised. However, no other contemporary marchese Guglielmo or Odo has so far been identified in records relating to either northern or southern Italy. Orderic Vitalis records that Robert "Guiscard" Duke of Apulia summoned "Odon the Marquis", among others, to his deathbed in 1085[309], which also gives some indication of the relative importance of Odo/Guglielmo in contemporary southern Italy.]

Robert "Guiscard" & his second wife had eleven children:

3. MATHILDE of Apulia ([1059]-after 6 Jun 1112, bur Girona).

  • The Gestis Comitum Barcinonensium record that "Raimundus-Berengarii filius [Raimundi-Berengarii]" married "filiam…Rotberti Guiscardi Ducis Apuliæ et Messinæ"[310]. Mathilde was the oldest daughter of Robert "Guiscard" according to William of Apulia[311]. The Alexeiad records that Robert "Guiscard" betrothed "one daughter to Raymond, son of the Count Barcinon" but does not name her[312]. Her parentage is confirmed by the Vita Sancti Ollegarii which names her son “Raymundum comitem Barchinonensem filium filiæ Roberti Guisardi principis Apuliæ”[313].
  • She was known as MAHALTA in Catalonia. She was strongly supported by Guillem Ramón Seneschal of Catalonia and his brothers after the murder of her first husband.
  • Her second marriage is deduced from the testament of her son by her first marriage "Raimundus Berengarii…Barchinonensis comes et marchio", dated [8 Jul] 1130, which appoints "Aimericum fratrem meum" as one of the testator's manumissores[314]. "Aimericus…vicecomes Narbone…et uxor mea Mealtis…et filiorum eius" donated property to the abbey of Saint-Martial on leaving for the Holy Land, by charter dated [1100/01][315]. A charter dated 7 Feb 1102 names "domini Haymerici vicecomitis Narbonensis et uxoris eius…Matta filiorumque eorum…Aymericus, Giscardus et Bernardus"[316]. "Aymericus…vicecomes Narbonensis…cum uxore mea…Mahalda et filiis nostris…Aymericus, Guiscardus et Bernardus Raymundi" donated property to Saint-Pons de Thomières for "Berengarii filii nostri" on his becoming a monk at the monastery by charter dated 29 Apr 1103[317]. Ramon Berenguer and his mother Mahalta issued a charter dated 6 Jun 1112[318].
  • m firstly (1078) RAMÓN BERENGUER II "Cabeza le Estopa/Cap d'Estopes" Conde de Barcelona, "Cabeza le Estopa/Cap d'Estopes" son of RAMÓN BERENGUER I "el Viejo" Conde de Barcelona & his third wife Almodis de La Marche ([1055]-murdered Perxa de Astor, near Girona 6 Dec 1082).
  • m secondly (1085[319]) AMAURY [I] Vicomte de Narbonne, son of BERNARD Vicomte de Narbonne & his wife Fides [Foi] de Rouergue (-[1105/06]).


4. ROGER of Apulia ([1060/61]-22 Feb 1111, bur Salerno San Mateo).

  • The Annals of Romoald name (in order) "Rogerium et Robbertum atque Guidonem" as the three sons of Robert "Guiscard" & his second wife[320].
  • He succeeded his father in 1085 as ROGER "Borsa/the Purse" Duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily.


5. MABEL of Apulia .

  • She is named as sister of Roger Duke of Apulia by Orderic Vitalis, who also names her husband and says that the marriage was arranged by her brother after he reached a settlement with his half-brother Marco Bohemond[321]. In a later passage, Orderic names her "Mabel dite Courte Leuve", also names her father and specifies that her dowry consisted of fifteen (unspecified) castles[322]. Malaterra records that the wife of "Guillelmus de Grantemenil" was "sororem ducis, filiam…Guiscardi, Mabiliam"[323]. "La contessa Mabilia, vedova del protosebasta Guglielmo di Grantmesnil ed il figlio Guglielmo" donated the church of San Pietro di Bragalla to Cava by charter dated Sep 1117[324].
  • m (Apulia [1088/1096][325]) GUILLAUME de Grantmesnil, son of HUGUES de Grantmesnil & his wife Adelise de Beaumont-sur-Oise (-before 1114). He is named, and his parentage given, by Orderic Vitalis, who also names his wife and her father[326]. William I King of England offered him his niece, daughter of Robert Comte de Mortain, but Guillaume left for Apulia[327]. Europäische Stammtafeln states that he was in Apulia from 1081[328], although the basis for this is not known. "Avunculus" of Arnoul de Montpinçon, whose "acquisitions" inspired the latter to set out for Apulia[329]. He took part in Robert Guiscard's campaign against Durazzo in 1081 and was summoned by Duke Robert to his deathbed[330]. He was granted land in the valleys of the Crati, the Coscile and at Cotrone[331], although it is not known whether this refers to part of the "15 castles" of his wife's dowry (see below) or whether they were grants made to Guillaume in his own right before his marriage. Either way, it is clear that Guillaume's career in Apulia must have been particularly successful for him to have risen from a relatively obscure background and to have made such a prominent marriage. Orderic Vitalis reports that in [Jul] 1097 Guillaume and his brother Aubrey were among those who, fearing that Antioch would be recaptured by the Turks, let "themselves down the wall with ropes" in order to escape and "were called clandestine rope-dancers to their lasting disgrace"[332]. Albert of Aix records that "Willelmus Carpentarius, Willelmusque alter, quondam familiaris et domesticus imperatoris Constantinopolis, qui et sororem Boemundi principis Siciliæ uxorem duxerat", escaped "out of fear" from Antioch to Alexandretta, believing that the crusading army was doomed after it was besieged by Kerbogha atabeg of Mosul, dated to mid-1098 from the context[333]. He died in Apulia after returning from Antioch according to Orderic Vitalis[334], the text suggesting that this was before 1114. Europäische Stammtafeln[335] refers to "1130" but the source to which this relates has not so far been found.

6. [ERIA] of Apulia .

  • Orderic Vitalis states that the wife of Ugo was the daughter of Robert Guiscard (without naming her) and that her husband repudiated her "without cause", for which he was excommunicated by Pope Urban[336]. Her father's insistance that his principal vassals meet the cost of her wedding caused considerable resentment, triggering the revolt against Robert Guiscard in autumn 1078. Amatus records the marriage of Duke Robert's (unnamed) daughter, endowed "with a very fine dowry", and the (unnamed) son of Marquis Azzo[337]. The primary source which confirms her name has not yet been identified.
  • m (1078, divorced) as his second wife, UGO d'Este [HUGUES [V] Comte du Maine], son of ALBERTO AZZO II d'Este & his second wife Gersende du Maine.

7. ROBERT of Apulia (-after May 1103).

  • The Annals of Romoald name (in order) "Rogerium et Robbertum atque Guidonem" as the three sons of Robert "Guiscard" & his second wife[338]. "…Robertus ducis filius…" was among the subscribers of the charter dated 19 Feb 1076 under which "Rotbertus dux" made concessions to the cathedral of Santa Maria at Melfi[339]. "…Robberti filius ducis Robberti…" was among the subscribers of the charter dated Jun 1087 under which "Rogerius…dux ducis Robberti filius" donated property to the church of Bari[340].

8. GUY of Apulia (-5 Jul 1108).

  • The Annals of Romoald name (in order) "Rogerium et Robbertum atque Guidonem" as the three sons of Robert "Guiscard" & his second wife[341]. "Guidonis filii Roberti" subscribed the charter under which "Robertus dux Apulie, Calabrie et Sicilie" granted rights to "Trostainus de Mileto in Troia"[342]. According to the Alexeiad, Emperor Alexios I "secretly made overtures to Guy with offers of a marriage alliance…and [he] accepted" during his father's campaign in Durazzo in [1083/84][343].
  • William of Tyre records "domini Boamundi frater Guido nomine" at Constantinople in [1098][344]. He was in the service of Emperor Alexios I[345]. According to Orderic Vitalis, he was among those present in Constantinople encouraged to go to the aid of his half-brother Bohémond at the siege of Antioch[346].
  • Duca di Amalfi e Sorrento.
  • The Annals of Romoald record the death of "Guido frater Rogerii ducis" in 1108[347].

9. SIBYLLE of Apulia .

  • The Alexeiad records that Robert "Guiscard" married "the other [daughter] to Eubulus who was himself a count of great distinction" but does not name her[348]. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines names "Sybilla" as wife of "comitis Ebali de Roceio" but does not give her origin[349]. [1092]/1117.
  • m (before 1082) EBLES [II] Comte de Roucy, son of HILDUIN [IV] Comte de Montdidier et de Roucy, Seigneur de Ramerupt & his wife Adelaide de Roucy (-May 1103).

10. [OLYMPIAS] of Apulia (-after 1090).

  • The Annals of Romoald record the betrothal of an unnamed daughter of Robert "Guiscard" and "imperatorem Constantinopolem" in 1076[350]. The Alexeiad records that Emperor Mikhael Dukas "promised his own son Konstantinos in marriage to the daughter of this barbarian Robert", in a later passage stating that "the lady's name was Helena"[351]. Skylitzes records the betrothal of "Robertus…filiam…Helenam" and "suo filio Constantino" (referring the son of Emperor Mikhael VII), dated to [1073/75][352]. Amatus also records this betrothal[353].
  • She is named Olympias by Houts who does not cite the primary source on which this is based[354]. She lived in Constantinople after her betrothal and was baptised into the Greek Orthodox church as HELENA. Orderic Vitalis says that two of the daughters of Robert "Guiscard" were living in Constantinople, and that they remained there after the accession of Emperor of Alexios I (in 1081), performing light service at court before being sent back to Sicily[355].
  • After the betrothal was ended, she was placed in a convent.
  • She eventually returned to Italy after the death of her parents, and settled at her uncle's court at Palermo.
  • Betrothed (Aug 1074, contract broken 1078) to KONSTANTINOS Dukas co-Emperor, Porphyrogenetos son of Emperor MIKHAEL VII & his wife Maria of Georgia (-[1092/97]).

11. CECILE of Apulia .

  • Chalandon records that Cécile is named in a charter at Bari[356].

12. GAITELGRIMA of Apulia (-after 1086).

  • Chalandon records that Gaitelgrima, married firstly to Drogo and secondly to Onfroi, is named in a charter of Cava dated 1086[357]. "Gaitelgrime comtesse de Sarno, veuve du comte Anfroi" is named in a charter dated 1081[358].
  • m firstly DROGO, son of ---.
  • m secondly ONFROI [Conte di Sarno], son of --- (-1081 or before).


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  • [262] Lupus Protospatarius 1056, MGH SS V, p. 59.
  • [263] Amatus II.45, p. 85.
  • [264] Amatus III.6, p. 88.
  • [265] Malaterra I.12, 16, pp. 14 and 16.
  • [266] Chalandon (1907), Tome I, p. 119.
  • [267] Amatus III.7, p. 88.
  • [268] Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, RIS V, p. 278.
  • [269] Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, RIS V, p. 278.
  • [270] Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, RIS V, p. 278.
  • [271] Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, RIS V, p. 278.
  • [272] Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, RIS V, p. 278.
  • [273] Romoaldi Annales 1057, MGH SS XIX, p. 405.
  • [274] Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, RIS V, p. 278.
  • [275] Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, RIS V, p. 278.
  • [276] Muratori, L. A. (1773) Antiquitates Italicæ Medii ævi, Tome I, Chronici Amalphitani fragmenta XXII, p. 361.
  • [277] Norwich (1992), p. 217.
  • [278] Malaterra, III.41, p. 82.
  • [279] Amatus III.6, p. 88.
  • [280] Amatus III.11, pp. 89-90.
  • [281] Malaterra, I.30, p. 22.
  • [282] Leonis Marsicani, Chronica Monasterii Casinensis III.15, MGH SS VII, p. 707.
  • [283] Gestis Ducum Normannorum, Continuatione Roberti 42, MGH SS XXVI, p. 8.
  • [284] Romoaldi Annales 1060, MGH SS XIX, p. 406.
  • [285] Malaterra, I.30, p. 22.
  • [286] Leonis Marsicani, Chronica Monasterii Casinensis III.15, MGH SS VII, p. 707.
  • [287] Alexeiad, Book 1, p. 61.
  • [288] Romoaldi Annales 1090, MGH SS XIX, p. 412.
  • [289] Romoaldi Annales 1060, MGH SS XIX, p. 406.
  • [290] Nielen, M.-A. (ed.) (2003) Lignages d'Outremer (Paris), Le Vaticanus Latinus 4789, CCC.XXXIIII, p. 93.
  • [291] RHC, Historiens occidentaux I, Historia Rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum ("L'estoire de Eracles Empereur et la conqueste de la terre d'Outremer") (“WT”) II.XIII, p. 90.
  • [292] Norwich (1992), p. 227.
  • [293] Actes des Ducs Normands d'Italie I, 23, p. 87.
  • [294] Actes des Ducs Normands d'Italie I, 31, p. 101.
  • [295] Runciman, S. (1978) A History of the Crusades (Penguin), Vol. 1, p. 149-52.
  • [296] RHC, Historiens occidentaux, Tome IV (Paris, 1879), Alberti Aquensis Historia Hierosolymitana ("Albert of Aix (RHC)"), Liber II, Cap. XVIII, p. 312.
  • [297] Runciman (1978), Vol. 2, pp. 49-50.
  • [298] RHC, Historiens occidentaux, III (1866) Radulfo Cadomensi Gesta Tancredi, in expeditione Hierosolymitana (Paris) ("Gesta Tancredi") I, p. 605, and RHC, Historiens occidentaux, III (1866) Tudebodus imitatus et continuatus Historia peregrinorum eutnium Ierusolymam ad liberandum Sanctum Sepulcrum de potestate ethnicorum (Paris) ("Tudebodus Imitatus"), p. 171.
  • [299] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VII, p. 33.
  • [300] WT I. XVII, p. 45.
  • [301] Albert of Aix (RHC), Liber II, Cap. XVIII, p. 312.
  • [302] RHC, Historiens occidentaux, IV (1879) Guiberto Historia quæ dicitur gesta dei per Francos (Paris) ("Guibert") III.II, p. 152.
  • [303] Itinerario di la Gran Militia a la Pavese II.XI, p. 683.
  • [304] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. V, Book IX, p. 37.
  • [305] WT II.XIII, p. 90.
  • [306] Itinerario di la Gran Militia a la Pavese II.XI, p. 682.
  • [307] Gesta Tancredi I, p. 605.
  • [308] Tudebodus Imitatus, p. 171.
  • [309] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VII, p. 33.
  • [310] Ex Gestis Comitum Barcinonensium, RHGF XII, p. 375.
  • [311] William of Apulia, Poem on the Deeds of Robert Guiscard: Mathieu, M. (1963) Guillaume de Pouilles, La Geste de Robert Guiscard (Palermo), G. A. Loud (trans.) (“William of Apulia”), available at <> (30 Dec 2002), Book IV, p. 1.
  • [312] Alexeiad, Book 1, p. 61.
  • [313] Vita Sancti Ollegarii 3, Florez. H. (1775) España Sagrada Tomo XXIX (Madrid), XXI, p. 473.
  • [314] Udina I Abelló, A. (ed.) (2001) Els testaments dels comtes de Barcelona I dels reis de la corona de Aragó de Guifré Borrell a Joan II (Barcelona) (“Els Testaments”), 11, p. 92.
  • [315] Leroux, A., Molinier, E, and Thomas, A. (1883) Documents Historiques bas-latins, provençaux et français concernant principalement La Marche et Le Limousin (Limoges) ("DHML") Tome I, V, p. 125.
  • [316] Devic, Dom C., Dom Vaissete, Dulaurier, E. (1875) Histoire Générale de Languedoc 3rd Edn. (Toulouse), Tome V, Preuves, Chartes et Diplômes, 411, col. 772.
  • [317] Histoire Générale de Languedoc 3rd Edn. Tome V, Preuves, Chartes et Diplômes, 417, col. 785.
  • [318] Bofarull y Mascaró (1836) Tomo II, p. 128, citing Real Archivo, n. 150 de la colección del 11 Conde D. Ramon Berenguer III.
  • [319] Shideler (1999), J. C. (1999) A Medieval Catalan noble family: the Montcadas 1000-1230, Chapter 1, p. 28 footnote 81, in the Library of Iberian Resources on-line consulted at (7 Dec 2002).
  • [320] Romoaldi Annales 1060, MGH SS XIX, p. 406.
  • [321] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VIII, p. 169.
  • [322] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VIII, p. 339.
  • [323] Malaterra, IV.21, p. 99.
  • [324] Tropeano, P. M. (ed.) Codice Diplomatico Verginiano (Montevergine), Vol. I, 132, (extract in translation only) at Biblioteca Pubblica Statale con annesso Archivio del Monumento Nazionale de Montevergine, available at <> (20 Nov 2009).
  • [325] ES III 697 gives "after 1088".
  • [326] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VIII, p. 231.
  • [327] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VIII, p. 339.
  • [328] ES III 697.
  • [329] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. III, Book V, p. 167.
  • [330] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VII, pp. 16 and 32.
  • [331] Jamison, E. M. 'Some notes on the Anonymi Gesta Francorum, with special reference to the Norman contingents from South Italy and Sicily in the First Crusade', in Studies in French Language and Medieval Literature presented to Professor M. K. Pope (Manchester, 1939), pp. 199-200, cited in Chibnall, Vol. IV, p. 338 footnote 6.
  • [332] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. V, Book IX, p. 99.
  • [333] Albert of Aix (RHC), Liber IV, Cap. XXXVII, p. 414.
  • [334] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VIII, p. 339.
  • [335] ES III 697.
  • [336] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VIII, p. 195.
  • [337] Amatus VIII.34, p. 204.
  • [338] Romoaldi Annales 1060, MGH SS XIX, p. 406.
  • [339] Actes des Ducs Normands d'Italie I, 23, p. 87.
  • [340] Actes des Ducs Normands d'Italie I, 61, p. 215.
  • [341] Romoaldi Annales 1060, MGH SS XIX, p. 406.
  • [342] Actes des Ducs Normands d'Italie I, 40, p. 127.
  • [343] Alexeiad, Book 6, pp. 188-9.
  • [344] WT VI.XII, p. 253.
  • [345] Runciman (1978), Vol. 1, p. 240, and Marquis de la Force 'Les conseillers latins d'Alexis Comnène', in Byzantium, xi (1936), p. 157, cited in Chibnall, Vol. V, p. 76 footnote 2. .
  • [346] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. V, Book IX, p. 77.
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  • [348] Alexeiad, Book 1, p. 61.
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  • [353] Amatus VII.26, p. 178.
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  • [355] Orderic Vitalis, Vol. IV, Book VII, p. 15.
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  • [358] Chalandon (1907), Tome II, p. 567, citing Archives de Cava, B. 17.

From the Foundation For Medieval Genealogy Medlands Project page on Sicily (Covering Roger's marriage family):

ROGER of Apulia, son of ROBERT "Guiscard/Weasel" de Hauteville Duke of Apulia & his second wife Sichelgaita of Salerno ([1060/61]-22 Feb 1111, bur Salerno San Mateo).

  • The Annals of Romoald name (in order) "Rogerium et Robbertum atque Guidonem" as the three sons of Robert "Guiscard" & his second wife[359]. William of Tyre names him and his father[360]. Tudebodus Imitatus states, in relation to Bohémond, that Roger was "frater eius ex solo patre"[361].
  • During his father's serious illness of 1066, his mother forced her husband's vassals in Trani as his father's successor. He was campaigning in Greece when his father died.
  • Having been designated sole heir, he succeeded in 1085 as ROGER "Borsa/the Purse" Duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily. Returning to Italy to take possession, he was challenged by his half-brother Bohemond. Despite military support from Roger Count of Sicily, provided in return for those parts of Calabria and Sicily in possession of the Duke of Apulia, his reign witnessed the territorial decline of Apulia, reduced to little more than the previous principality of Salerno[362].
  • The Annals of Romoald record the death of "Rogerius dux" in Feb 1111, specifying that he was 50 years old and that he was buried "in ecclesia beati Mathei apostoli"[363].

m (1092) as her second husband, ADELA de Flandre, widow of KNUD II “den Hellige/the Holy” King of Denmark, daughter of ROBERT I "le Frison" Count of Flanders & his wife Gertrud of Saxony [Billung] ([1065]-Apr 1115).

  • The Annals of Romoald record the marriage in 1092 of "reginam Danorum nomine Alam, filiam Robberti Frisonis comitis Flandrensium" and "Rogerius dux"[364]. Malaterra names the wife of "dux Rogerius" as "neptem Francorum regis Philippi filiam Flandrensium marchionis Roberti…Adalalam"[365]. She was regent in Apulia 1111-1114 for her son Guillaume Duke of Apulia.
  • The Annals of Romoald record the death of "Hala ducissa mater Guillelmi ducis" in Apr 1115[366].

Mistress (1): ---.

  • The name of Duke Roger's mistress is not known.

Duke Roger & his wife had three children:

1. LOUIS of Apulia (-shortly before 2 Sep 1094).

  • The Annals of Romoald name (in order) "Ludovicum et Guiscardum, qui in puerilibus annos mortui, [et] Gulielmus" as the sons of "Rogerius dux" and his wife[367].
  • Malaterra records the death of "Lodovisio filio ducis" and that he was still "parvulus"[368].

2. GUILLAUME of Apulia ([1096/97]-Salerno 25 Jul 1127, bur Salerno San Mateo).

  • The Annals of Romoald name (in order) "Ludovicum et Guiscardum, qui in puerilibus annos mortui, [et] Gulielmus" as the sons of "Rogerius dux" and his wife[369]. William of Tyre names him and his father[370].
  • His birth date is estimated from the Chronicle of Romualdo Guarna which records his death "apud Salernum…major triginta annis" in 1126 "menso Julio in festo B. Nazarii"[371].
  • He succeeded his father in 1111 as GUILLAUME Duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, under the regency of his mother until 1114. Faced with the rebellion of Jordan Conte di Ariano, in 1122 he requested the military help of Roger II Count of Sicily, but the latter took advantage of Guillaume's weakness as ruler by insisting on retaking Guillaume's half share in the cities of Palermo and Messina[372] along with the whole of Calabria. He promised to recognise Roger II as his heir at Messina in 1125.
  • The Annales Casinenses record the death in 1127 of "dux Gulielmus"[373]. The Chronicle of Romualdo Guarna records the death of Duke Guillaume "apud Salernum morte communi major triginta annis" in 1126 "menso Julio in festo B. Nazarii" and his burial "apud Salernum…in ecclesia B. Matthaei Apostoli" with his father[374].
  • After his death, Roger II acted swiftly to enforce his rights, laid siege to Salerno and had himself acclaimed as Duke at Reggio, ignoring the fact that the Dukedom should have reverted to the Papacy according to the legal rules of fiefdom[375].
  • m firstly (before May 1115) GAITELGRIMA di Airola, daughter of ROBERTO Conte di Airola, Alife e Caiazzo & his wife Gaitelgrima --- (-1117). The Annals of Romoald record the marriage in 1116 of "Gaitelgrima filiam comitis Roberti de Airola" and "Gulielmus dux"[376]. "…Duchessa Gaitelgrima…" subscribed the charter dated May 1115 under which "Guglielmo duca, figlia del duca Ruggiero" confirmed donations to the monastery of Santa Maria di Malfinó, for the soul of "madre Ala", by charter dated May 1115[377].
  • m secondly ([1120/21]) GAITELGRIMA di Capua, daughter of JORDAN II Principe di Capua & his wife --- (-after 1127). The primary source which records the second marriage of Duke Guillaume and his wife's parentage has not so far been identified. The Chronicle of Falco Beneventano records that "uxor eius" cut her hair after the death of Guillaume Duke of Apulia[378].

3. GUISCARD of Apulia (-Aug 1108).

  • The Annals of Romoald name (in order) "Ludovicum et Guiscardum, qui in puerilibus annos mortui, [et] Gulielmus" as the sons of "Rogerius dux" and his wife, specifying in a later passage that "Guiscardus filius ipsius Rogeri [dux]" died in Aug 1108[379].

Duke Roger had one illegitimate child by Mistress (1):

4. GUILLAUME (-[1145/50]).

  • Chalandon records that Guillaume, signor di Gesualdo e Lucera, illegitimate son of Duke Roger, is named in charters dated Apr 1115 and May 1116[380].
  • Conte di Gesualdo e Lucera.


  • [359] Romoaldi Annales 1060, MGH SS XIX, p. 406. 
  • [360] WT XIV.IX, p. 619. 
  • [361] Tudebodus Imitatus, p. 171. 
  • [362] Houben (2002), p. 21. 
  • [363] Romoaldi Annales 1101, MGH SS XIX, p. 413. 
  • [364] Romoaldi Annales 1092, MGH SS XIX, p. 412. 
  • [365] Malaterra, IV.20, p. 98. 
  • [366] Romoaldi Annales 1115, MGH SS XIX, p. 415. 
  • [367] Romoaldi Annales 1092, MGH SS XIX, p. 412. 
  • [368] Malaterra, IV.21, p. 100. 
  • [369] Romoaldi Annales 1092, MGH SS XIX, p. 412. 
  • [370] WT XIV.IX, p. 619. 
  • [371] Cronica di Romualdo Guarna arcivescovo Salernitano (Chronicon Romualdi II archiepiscopi Salernitani) ("Romualdo Guarna"), Re, G. del (ed.) (1845) Cronisti e scrittori sincroni Napoletani, Vol. 1 (Napoli), p. 6. 
  • [372] The sharing arrangement was made by Robert "Guiscard" after the capture of Palermo in 1072. 
  • [373] Annales Casinenses 1127, MGH SS XIX, p. 308. 
  • [374] Romualdo Guarna, 1126, p. 6. 
  • [375] Houben (2002), p. 42. 
  • [376] Romoaldi Annales 1116, MGH SS XIX, p. 415. 
  • [377] Battaglia, G. (1895) I diplomi inediti relativi all´ordinamento della proprietà fondiaria in Sicilia sotto i Normanni e gli Svevi, Documenti per servire alla Storia di Sicilia, prima serie, diplomatica, Vol. XVI (Palermo), Tabulario del monasterio di Santa Maria di Malfinó detto anche di Santa Barbara ("Santa Maria di Malfinó"), 1, p. 3. 
  • [378] Falconis Beneventani Chronicon ("Falco Beneventano"), Re, G. del (1845) Cronisti e scrittori sincroni Napoletani, Vol. 1 (Naples), p. 193. 
  • [379] Romoaldi Annales 1092 and 1108, MGH SS XIX, pp. 412 and 414. 
  • [380] Chalandon (1907), Tome I, p. 313, citing Archives de Cava, E. 40, E, 46. 

Roger Borsa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger Borsa (1060/1061–February 22, 1111) was the son and successor of Robert Guiscard, the Norman conqueror of Southern Italy and Sicily. His mother was Sikelgaita, an imposing warrior Lombard noblewoman. Roger was not as adept as Robert Guiscard, and most of his reign was spent in feudal anarchy. His ambitious mother arranged for Roger to succeed his father in place of Robert Guiscard's eldest son by another wife, Bohemund of Taranto. According to John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich:

"...Roger—nicknamed Borsa, the purse, from his early-ingrained habit of counting and recounting his money. He was a weak and hesitant thirteen-year-old who gave the impression that a childhood spent with Robert and Sichelgaita had been too much for him."

In 1073, Sichelgaita had Roger proclaimed heir after Guiscard fell ill at Trani. Roger's cousin Abelard was the only baron to dissent from the election of Roger, claiming that he was the rightful heir to the duchy. Roger accompanied his father on a campaign to Greece in 1084. He was still in Greece when his father died on 17 July 1085 in Kefalonia. While Bohemond was supposed to inherit the Greek possessions and Roger the Italian ones, it was Bohemund who was in Italy (Salerno) and Roger in Greece (Bundicia) at the time of the Guiscard's passing.

Roger rejoined his mother on Cephalonia, his absence causing panic and confusion with his army, according to Goffredo Malaterra. The two quickly returned to the peninsula and with the support of Roger I of Sicily, his uncle, was recognised as duke in September. His Lombard heritage also made him a more attractive candidate than his Norman half-brother, who had fled to Capua. With the support of Jordan I of Capua, he rebelled against his brother and took Oria, Otranto, and Taranto. Roger, however, made peace in March 1086 and the brothers acted as effective co-rulers. In late Summer 1087, Bohemond renewed the war with the support of some of his brother's vassals. He surprised and defeated Roger at Fragneto and retook Taranto. Though described as a powerful warrior (he took the cities of Benevento, Canosa, Capua, and Lucera by siege), Roger Borsa was never able to check Bohemund's power or bring him under his control. The war was finally resolved by the mediation of Pope Urban II and the award of Taranto and other possessions to Bohemund. Roger also granted him Cosenza and other holdings he desired allodially. In 1089 Roger Borsa was officially invested with the duchy of Apulia by Pope Urban II.

Borsa planned to urbanise the Mezzogiorno by granting charters to various towns and encouraging urban planning. In 1090, he and Urban encouraged Bruno of Cologne, founder of the Carthusian Order to accept election to the archbishopric of Reggio di Calabria.

In May 1098, at the request of his first cousin once removed, Prince Richard II of Capua, Borsa and his uncle Count Roger I of Sicily began the siege of Capua, from which the prince had long ago been exiled as a minor. In exchange for his assistance, the duke received the homage of Richard, though he seems to have made no use of it, for Richard's successors paid no heed to Roger Borsa's overlordship. Capua fell after forty days of notable besieging, for Pope Urban II had come to meet Roger of Sicily and Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury had come to meet the pope.

In October 1104, Roger besieged William, Count of Monte Sant'Angelo, who was at that time independent and pledged to the Byzantines, and expelled him from the Gargano, abolishing the county.

In 1092, Roger Borsa married Adela, the daughter of Robert I, Count of Flanders, and widow of Canute IV of Denmark. He was succeeded by their son William. However William proved to be as weak a ruler as his father, and the domain was ultimately inherited by a cousin, Roger II of Sicily.

One of the prime sources for Roger's reign is the work of William of Apulia, who dedicated his chronicle to Guiscard and his son.


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.

Matthew, Donald. The Norman Kingdom of Sicily. Cambridge University Press: 1992.

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Ruggero "Borsa" d'Altavilla, duca di Puglia's Timeline

May 1060
Probably Brindisi, Contea di Apulia (Present Puglia), Ducato di Apulia, Calabria, e Sicilia, (Present Italy)
Age 31
Age 34
February 22, 1111
Age 50
Salerno, Principato di Salerno (Present Campania), Ducato di Apulia, Calabria, e Sicilia, (Present Italy)
Sicily - dtr of Roger I