Duke of Amalfi

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Ducal arms of Amalfi

Medieval Amalfi was ruled, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, by a series of dukes (Latin: duces), sometimes called dogi (singular doge) corresponding with the republic of Venice, a maritime rival throughout the Middle Ages. Before the dukedom was formally established in 957, various patricians governed the territory. Amalfi established itself as one of the earliest maritime trading powers renowned throughout the Mediterranean, competing with northern European cities.

The Duke of Amalfi was reestablished as a Spanish ducal title in 1639 by King Philip IV for Prince Ottavio Piccolomini, a Holy Roman Imperial Army Field Marshal.

Of noble Tuscan descent, two Popes were scions of the Piccolomini family, and the 1st duke's younger brother Dom. Ascanio served as Archbishop of Siena from 1628 until 1671.

King Alfonso XIII revived the dukedom in 1902.[1]

Early rulers[edit]

Prefects (839–914)[edit]

The prefecture's establishment is not certain, but the first elected Prefect of Amalfi was in 839.

Patricians (914–957)[edit]

The time of the patricians (or judges) is not well known, the numbering of the rulers of Amalfi usually begins again with the judgeship. Mastalus was elected judge upon his succession in 914.


Independent dukes (957–1073)[edit]

Mastalus was elected duke on his coming of age, but died the next year. A new dynasty was then inaugurated, it reigned uninterrupted for the next 115 years, except during the period 1039–1052, when the duke of Salerno conquered the duchy.

Norman governance[edit]

Amalfi was conquered by Robert Guiscard, duke of Apulia. Nevertheless, Amalfi rebelled twice, once electing the former prince of Salerno, Gisulf, and once electing a Neapolitan of that ducal family.

A certain Manso ruled Amalfi—minting his own currency—under the title of vicedux (Vice-duke) sometime between 1077 and 1096, most probably during the reign of Robert's son Roger Borsa. Manso recognised Norman overlordship and was most probably a Norman appointee.

Neapolitan dukes (1388–1673)[edit]

The title "Duke of Amalfi" (Duca di Amalfi in Italian) was revived under the kingdom of Naples in the late 14th century, passing to the Piccolomini family in 1461.

Spanish dukedom (1902- )[edit]

The 20th-century title Duque de Amalfi was revived by Alfonso XIII of Spain:


As with other Spanish noble titles, the dukedom of Amalfi descended according to cognatic primogeniture, meaning that females could inherit the title if they had no brothers (or if their brothers had no issue). That changed in 2006, since when the eldest child (regardless of gender) can automatically succeed to noble family titles.

See also[edit]



  • Chalandon, Ferdinand. Histoire de la domination normande en Italie et en Sicilie. Paris: 1907.
  • Gay, Jules. L'Italie méridionale et l'empire Byzantin, vol. 2. New York: Burt Franklin, 1904.
  • Skinner, Patricia. Family Power in Southern Italy: The Duchy of Gaeta and its Neighbours, 850–1139. Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Skinner, Patricia. Medieval Amalfi and Its Diaspora, 800–1250. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Stasser, Thierry. "Où sont les femmes?" Prosopon: The Journal of Prosopography (2006).

External links[edit]