Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II known as Andrew of Jerusalem, was King of Hungary and Croatia between 1205 and 1235. He ruled the Principality of Halych from 1188 until 1189/1190, again between 1208/1209 and 1210, he was the younger son of Béla III of Hungary, who entrusted him with the administration of the newly conquered Principality of Halych in 1188. Andrew's rule was unpopular, the boyars expelled him. Béla III willed money to Andrew, obliging him to lead a crusade to the Holy Land. Instead, Andrew forced his elder brother, King Emeric of Hungary, to cede Croatia and Dalmatia as an appanage to him in 1197; the following year, Andrew occupied Hum. Despite the fact that Andrew did not stop conspiring against Emeric, the dying king made Andrew guardian of his son, Ladislaus III, in 1204. After the premature death of Ladislaus, Andrew ascended the throne in 1205. According to historian László Kontler, "t was amidst the socio-political turmoil during reign that the relations, institutional framework and social categories that arose under Stephen I, started to disintegrate in the higher echelons of society" in Hungary.
Andrew introduced a new grants policy, the so-called "new institutions", giving away money and royal estates to his partisans despite the loss of royal revenues. He was the first Hungarian monarch to adopt the title of "King of Halych and Lodomeria", he waged at least a dozen wars to seize the two Rus' principalities, but the local boyars and neighboring princes prevented him from conquering the principalities. He participated in the Fifth Crusade to the Holy Land in 1217 -- 1218; when the servientes regis, or "royal servants", rose up, Andrew was forced to issue the Golden Bull of 1222, confirming their privileges. This led to the rise of the nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary, his Diploma Andreanum of 1224 listed the liberties of the Transylvanian Saxon community. The employment of Jews and Muslims to administer the royal revenues led him into conflict with the Holy See and the Hungarian prelates. Andrew pledged to respect the privileges of the clergymen and to dismiss his non-Christian officials in 1233, but he never fulfilled the latter promise.
Andrew's first wife, Gertrude of Merania, was murdered in 1213 because her blatant favoritism towards her German kinsmen and courtiers stirred up discontent among the native lords. The veneration of their daughter, Elizabeth of Hungary, was confirmed by the Holy See during Andrew's lifetime. After Andrew's death, his sons, Béla and Coloman, accused his third wife, Beatrice d'Este, of adultery and never considered her son, Stephen, to be a legitimate son of Andrew. Andrew was the second son of Béla's first wife, Agnes of Antioch; the year of Andrew's birth is not known, but modern historians agree that he was born around 1177. Andrew was first mentioned in connection to his father's invasion of the Principality of Halych in 1188; that year, Béla III invaded Halych upon the request of its former prince, Vladimir II Yaroslavich, expelled by his subjects. Béla forced Roman Mstislavich, to flee. After conquering Halych, he granted it to Andrew. Béla captured Vladimir Yaroslavich and imprisoned him in Hungary.
After Béla's withdrawal from Halych, Roman Mstislavich returned with the assistance of Rurik Rostislavich, Prince of Belgorod Kievsky. They tried to expel Andrew and his Hungarian retinue, but the Hungarians routed the united forces of Mstislavich and Rostislavich. A group of local boyars offered the throne to Rostislav Ivanovich, a distant cousin of the imprisoned Vladimir Yaroslavich. Béla III sent reinforcements to Halych. Andrew's reign remained unpopular in Halych, because the Hungarian soldiers insulted local women and did not respect Orthodox churches; the local boyars allied with their former prince, Vladimir Yaroslavich, who had escaped from captivity and returned to Halych. Duke Casimir II of Poland supported Vladimir Yaroslavich, they expelled Andrew and his retinue from the principality in August 1189 or 1190. Andrew returned to Hungary after his defeat, he did not receive a separate duchy from his father. On his deathbed, Béla III, who had pledged to lead a crusade to the Holy Land, ordered Andrew to fulfill his vow.
Andrew's father died on 23 April 1196, Andrew's older brother, succeeded him. Andrew used the funds that he inherited from his father to recruit supporters among the Hungarian lords, he formed an alliance with Leopold VI, Duke of Austria, they plotted against Emeric. Their united troops routed the royal army at Mački, Slavonia, in December 1197. Under duress, King Emeric gave Dalmatia to Andrew as an appanage. In practice, Andrew administered Dalmatia as an independent monarch, he granted land and confirmed privileges. He cooperated with the Frankopans, Babonići, other local lords; the Canons Regular of the Holy Sepulchre settled in the province during his rule. Taking advantage of Miroslav of Hum's death, Andrew invaded Hum and occupied at least the land between the Cetina and Neretva rivers, he styled himself, "By the grace of God, Duke of Zadar and of all Dalmatia and Hum" in his charters. Pope Innocent III urged Andrew to lead a crusade the Holy Land, but Andrew hatched a new conspiracy against Emeric with the help of John, Abbot of Pannonhalma, Bishop of Vác, many other prelates and lords.
The Pope threatened him with excommunication if he failed to fulfill his father's vow, but Andrew did not yield. The conspiracy was uncovered on 10 March 1199, when King Emeric seize
Alfonso III of Aragon
Alfonso III, called the Liberal or the Free, was the King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona from 1285. He conquered the Kingdom of Majorca between his succession and 1287, he was a son of King Peter III of Aragon and Constance and heiress of King Manfred of Sicily. Soon after assuming the throne, he conducted a campaign to reincorporate the Balearic Islands into the Kingdom of Aragon -, lost due to the division of the kingdom by his grandfather, James I of Aragon, thus in 1285 he declared war on his uncle, James II of Majorca, conquered both Majorca and Ibiza reassuming suzerainty over the Kingdom of Majorca. He followed this with the conquest of Menorca - until an autonomous Muslim state within the Kingdom of Majorca - on 17 January 1287, the anniversary of which now serves as Menorca's national holiday, he sought to maintain Aragonese control over Sicily early in his reign by supporting the claims to the island of his brother, James II of Aragon. However, he retracted the support for his brother shortly before his death and instead tried to make peace with the Papal States France.
His reign was marred by a constitutional struggle with the Aragonese nobles, which culminated in the articles of the Union of Aragon - the so-called "Magna Carta of Aragon", which devolved several key royal powers into the hands of lesser nobles. His inability to resist the demands of his nobles was to leave a heritage of disunity in Aragon and further dissent amongst the nobility, who saw little reason to respect the throne, brought the Kingdom of Aragon close to anarchy. During his lifetime a dynastic marriage with Eleanor, daughter of King Edward I of England, was arranged; however Alfonso died before meeting his bride. He died at the age of 26 in 1291, was buried in the Franciscan convent in Barcelona. Dante Alighieri, in the Divine Comedy, recounts that he saw Alfonso's spirit seated outside the gates of Purgatory with the other monarchs whom Dante blamed for the chaotic political state of Europe during the 13th century. Alighieri, Purgatorio, Canto VII, l. 115ff. Jones, Michael. McKitterick, Rosamond, ed.
The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 6, C.1300-c.1415. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521362900. Nelson, Lynn; the Chronicle of San Juan De LA Pena: A Fourteenth-Century Official History of the Crown of Aragon ISBN 0-8122-1352-1 O'Callaghan, Joseph. A History of Medieval Spain ISBN 0-8014-9264-5
Béla III of Hungary
Béla III was King of Hungary and Croatia between 1172 and 1196. He was the second son of Géza's wife, Euphrosyne of Kiev. Around 1161, Euphrosyne granted Béla a duchy, which included Croatia, central Dalmatia and Sirmium. In accordance with a peace treaty between his elder brother, Stephen III, who succeeded their father in 1162, the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos, Béla moved to Constantinople in 1163, he was renamed to Alexios, the emperor granted him the newly created senior court title of despotes. He was betrothed to Maria. Béla's patrimony caused armed conflicts between the Byzantine Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary between 1164 and 1167, because Stephen III attempted to hinder the Byzantines from taking control of Croatia and Sirmium. Béla-Alexios, designated as Emperor Manuel's heir in 1165, took part in three Byzantine campaigns against Hungary, his betrothal to the emperor's daughter was dissolved after her brother, was born in 1169. The emperor deprived Béla of his high title. Stephen III died on 4 March 1172, Béla decided to return to Hungary.
Before his departure, he pledged. Although the Hungarian prelates and lords unanimously proclaimed Béla king, Archbishop of Esztergom opposed his coronation because of Béla's alleged simony; the Archbishop of Kalocsa crowned him king on 18 January 1173, with Pope Alexander III's approval. Béla fought with Géza, whom he held in captivity for more than a decade. Taking advantage of the internal conflicts in the Byzantine Empire after Emperor Manuel's death, Béla reoccupied Croatia and Sirmium between 1180 and 1181, he occupied the Principality of Halych in 1188. Béla promoted the use of written records during his reign. Hungarian chronicles from the 14th century state that he was responsible for the establishment of the Royal Chancery; the royal palace built in Esztergom during his reign was the first example of Gothic architecture in Central Europe. He was the wealthiest European monarch of his time, according to a list of his revenues, but the reliability of the list is questioned. Béla was the second son of Géza's wife, Euphrosyne of Kiev.
The date of his birth was not recorded. Studies of his bones show that Béla died in 1196 at around 49 years old, so he must have been born around 1148, his DNA was demonstrated to belong to Y-haplogroup R1a. The contemporaneous John Kinnamos's reference to "the territory which his father, while still alive, had apportioned" to Béla shows that Géza II granted a distinct territory as an appanage to his younger son. Béla's patrimony included the central parts of Dalmatia, because Kinnamos mentioned the province "as Béla's heritage". Historians Ferenc Makk and Gyula Moravcsik agree that Béla received Croatia from his father. Whether Syrmium was part of Béla's patrimony, or if he only acquired it after his father's death is subject to scholarly debates. According to historian Warren Treadgold, Béla's patrimony included Bosnia; the exact date of Géza II's grant cannot be determined, but according to Makk, Béla seems to have received his duchy around 1161. Géza II, who died on 31 May 1162, was succeeded by his first-born son, Stephen III.
Stephen III seems to have confirmed Béla's possession of the duchy, because Kinnamos referred to the land, "long before granted" to Béla by Géza and Stephen. Shortly after his ascension to the throne, Stephen III was expelled by his uncles, Ladislaus II and Stephen IV; the Byzantine Emperor, Manuel I Komnenos, supported the uncles' takeover, but Stephen III returned to Hungary and regained his crown by force in the middle of 1163. Béla remained neutral during his brother's conflict with their uncles, because there is no report of Béla's activities in 1162 and 1163. In 1163, Emperor Manuel signed a peace treaty with Stephen III, in which he renounced his support of Stephen's opponents. In exchange, Stephen III agreed to send Béla to Constantinople, to allow the Byzantines to take possession of Béla's duchy; the Emperor promised that he would betroth his daughter, Maria, to Béla. "When came and realized that it was impossible for to rule the Hungarians' land, he turned to something else. As stated, he desired with all his might to lay claim to Hungary, situated in the midst of the western nations.
He therefore intended to unite in marriage Béla, who was's son after, to his own daughter Maria." Emperor Manuel dispatched. Béla arrived in Constantinople around the end of 1163, he was renamed to Alexios, received the title of despotes, which only emperors had used before that time. Béla's betrothal to the emperor's daughter was officially announced. Stephen III invaded Syrmium in the summer of 1164. Emperor Manuel led his armies against Stephen, stating that he arrived "not to wage war on the Hungarians but to recover his land for Béla", according to Kinnamos. Béla-Alexios—along with his uncle, Stephen IV, their distant relative, Stephanos Kalamanos—accompanied the emperor during the campaign. Before long, a new peace treaty was signed. A Byzantine army occupied Syrmium, organized into a Byzantine theme, or district. Stephe
Peter II of Aragon
Peter II the Catholic was the King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona from 1196 to 1213. He was born in the son of Alfonso II of Aragon and Sancha of Castile. In 1205 he acknowledged the feudal supremacy of the papacy and was crowned in Rome by Pope Innocent III, swearing to defend the Catholic faith, he was the first king of Aragon to be crowned by the pope. In the first decade of the thirteenth century he commissioned the Liber feudorum Ceritaniae, an illustrated codex cartulary for the counties of Cerdagne and Roussillon. On 15 June 1204 he married Marie of Montpellier and heiress of William VIII of Montpellier by Eudocia Comnena, she gave him a son, but Peter soon repudiated her. Marie was popularly venerated as a saint for her piety and marital suffering, but was never canonized. Marie perhaps bore Peter II a daughter, "Sancha", at Collioure in October 1205 according to Christian Nique.. Sancha was betrothed to Raymond VII the son Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, not long after her birth, according to Nique, only days.
The marriage contract included Marie's inheritance, to be passed to the child should something happen to Peter, says Nique, citing documents discovered in 1850, something Marie would at first not agree to, but agreed to a few months stating that she had agreed under pressure. However the child's younger brother James makes no mention of her and Sancha was dead before the New Year, according to Nique's information, he participated in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 which marked the turning point of Muslim domination in the Iberian peninsula. The Crown of Aragon was widespread in the area, now southwestern France, but which at that time was under the control of vassal local princes, such as the Counts of Toulouse; the Cathars or Albigenses rejected the teachings of the Catholic Church. Innocent called upon Philip II of France to suppress the Albigenses. Under the leadership of Simon of Montfort a campaign was launched; the Albigensian Crusade, begun in 1209, led to the slaughter of 20,000 men and children, Cathar and Catholic alike.
Over the course of twenty years military campaigns destroyed the flourishing civilization of Occitania and by 1229 brought the region under the control of the King of France, the Capetian dynasty from the north of France. Peter returned from Las Navas in autumn 1212 to find that Simon de Montfort had conquered Toulouse, exiling Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, Peter's brother-in-law and vassal. Peter arrived at Muret in September 1213 to confront Montfort's army, he was accompanied by Raymond of Toulouse, who tried to persuade Peter to avoid battle and instead starve out Montfort's forces. This suggestion was rejected; the Battle of Muret began on 12 September 1213. The Aragonese forces disintegrated under the assault of Montfort's squadrons. Peter himself was caught in the thick of fighting, died as a result of a foolhardy act of bravado, he was killed. The Aragonese forces broke in panic when their king was slain and Montfort's crusaders won a crushing victory; the nobility of Toulouse, vassals of the Crown of Aragon, were defeated.
The conflict culminated in the Treaty of Meaux-Paris in 1229, in which the integration of the Occitan territory into the French crown was agreed upon. Upon Peter's death, the kingdom passed to his only son by Marie of Montpellier, the future James the Conqueror. Sumption, Jonathan; the Albigensian Crusade. 2000. Martín Alvira-Cabrer, 12 de Septiembre de 1213: El Jueves de Muret, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, 2002. Martín Alvira-Cabrer, Muret 1213. La batalla decisiva de la Cruzada contra los Cátaros, Barcelona, 2008 and 2013. Martín Alvira-Cabrer, Pedro el Católico, Rey de Aragón y Conde de Barcelona. Documentos, Testimonios y Memoria Histórica, 6 vols. Zaragoza, Institución Fernando el Católico, 2010. Nique, Les deux visages de Marie de Montpellier, Montpellier: Académie des Sciences et Lettres de Montpellier
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona
Ramon Berenguer IV, sometimes called the Saint, was the Count of Barcelona who brought about the union of his County of Barcelona with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the Crown of Aragon. Ramon Berenguer IV inherited the county of Barcelona from his father Ramon Berenguer III on 19 August 1131. On 11 August 1137, at the age of about 24, he was betrothed to the infant Petronilla of Aragon, aged one at the time. Petronilla's father, Ramiro II of Aragon, who sought Barcelona's aid against Alfonso VII of Castile, withdrew from public life on 13 November 1137, leaving his kingdom to Petronilla and Ramon Berenguer, the latter in effect becoming ruler of Aragon, although he was never king himself, instead using the titles "Count of the Barcelonans and Prince of the Aragonians", those of "Marquis of Lleida and Tortosa", he was the last Catalan ruler to use "Count" as his primary title. The treaty between Ramon Berenguer and his father-in-law, Ramiro II, stipulated that their descendants would rule jointly over both realms, that if Petronilla died before the marriage could be consummated, Berenguer's heirs would still inherit the Kingdom of Aragon.
Both realms would preserve their laws and autonomy, remaining distinct but federated in a dynastic union under one ruling House. Historians consider this arrangement the political masterstroke of the Hispanic Middle Ages. Both realms gained Aragon got its much needed outlet to the sea. On the other hand, formation of a new political entity in the north-east at the time when Portugal seceded from León in the west gave more balance to the Christian kingdoms of the peninsula. Ramon Berenguer pulled Aragon out of its pledged submission to Castile, aided no doubt by his sister Berengaria, wife of Alfonso the Emperor, well known in her time for her beauty and charm. In the middle years of his rule, Ramon Berenguer turned his attention to campaigns against the Moors. In October 1147, as part of the Second Crusade, he helped Castile to conquer Almería, he invaded the lands of the Almoravid taifa kingdoms of Valencia and Murcia. In December 1148, he captured Tortosa after a five-month siege with the help of Southern French, Anglo-Norman and Genoese crusaders.
The next year, Fraga and Mequinenza in the confluence of the Segre and Ebro rivers fell to his army. Ramon Berenguer campaigned in Provence, helping his brother Berenguer Ramon and his infant nephew Ramon Berenguer II against the Counts of Toulouse. During the minority of Ramon Berenguer II, the Count of Barcelona acted as the regent of Provence. In 1151, Ramon signed the Treaty of Tudilén with Alfonso VII of Castile; the treaty defined the zones of conquest in Andalusia as an attempt to prevent the two rulers from coming into conflict. In 1151, Ramon Berenguer founded and endowed the royal monastery of Poblet. In 1154, he accepted the regency of Gaston V of Béarn in return for the Bearnese nobles rendering him homage at Canfranc, thus uniting that small principality with the growing Aragonese empire. Ramon Berenguer IV died on 6 August 1162 in Borgo San Dalmazzo, Italy, leaving the title of Count of Barcelona to his eldest surviving son, Ramon Berenguer, who inherited the title of King of Aragon after the abdication of his mother Petronilla of Aragon two years in 1164.
He changed his name to Alfonso as a nod to his Aragonese lineage, became Alfonso II of Aragon. Ramon Berenguer IV's younger son Pere inherited the county of Cerdanya and lands north of the Pyrenees, changed his name to Ramon Berenguer; the Chronicle of San Juan de la Peña said he was, " man of great nobility and probity, of lively temperament, high counsel, great bravery, steady intellect, who displayed great temperance in all his actions. He was handsome in appearance, with a large body and well-proportioned limbs." Riley-Smith, Jonathan. Atlas of the Crusades. New York: Facts on File. Villegas-Aristizabal, Lucas, "Anglo-Norman involvement in the conquest of Tortosa and Settlement of Tortosa, 1148-1180", Crusades 8, pp. 63–129
Felicia of Roucy
Felicia of Roucy was a queen consort of Aragon and Navarre. She was a daughter of his wife Alice of Roucy, she was married in 1076 to Sancho Ramírez king of Aragon after he had divorced his first wife, Isabella of Urgell. His accession to the crown of Navarre that year made her the first Aragonese consort to be Queen consort of Navarre, she is now thought to have outlived Sancho. Felicia gave birth to three sons, Ferdinand and Ramiro, the latter two following her step-son Peter I of Aragon and Navarre in Aragon. Through Ramiro's only daughter Petronila of Aragon, she was ancestor of the rulers of Aragon
Peter I of Aragon and Pamplona
Peter I was King of Aragon and Pamplona from 1094 until his death in 1104. Peter was the eldest son of Sancho Ramírez, from whom he inherited the crowns of Aragon and Pamplona, Isabella of Urgell, he was named in honour of Saint Peter, because of his father's special devotion to the Holy See, to which he had made his kingdom a vassal. Peter continued his father's close alliance with the Church and pursued his military thrust south against bordering Al-Andalus taifas with great success, allying with Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, known as El Cid, the ruler of Valencia, against the Almoravids. According to the medieval Annales Compostellani Peter was "expert in war and daring in initiative", one modern historian has remarked that "his grasp of the possibilities inherent in the age seems to have been faultless." The Crónica de San Juan de la Peña, a rather late source for Peter's reign, states that Peter was 35 years of age when he died, which places his birth in 1068 or 1069. As a child Peter was placed in the line of succession to the County of Urgell by the first testament of his uncle Ermengol IV, after Ermengol's own son and brothers.
He was not destined to inherit it. In 1085, two years after his father had conquered Graus, Peter was entrusted with Sobrarbe and Ribagorza as a subkingdom with its capital at Graus, which he thenceforth ruled more or less independently with the title of king. On 28 October 1087 Peter joined his father in Pamplona in Navarre, where the two monarchs confirmed the rights of the bishops in the city, he pursued the Reconquista with vigour in the southeast of the realm. In 1087 he may have been present at the unsuccessful siege of Tudela; that year he conquered Estada, in 1088 Montearagón, on 24 June 1089 Monzón. These conquests opened up the valley of the Cinca, which he proceeded to conquer as far as Almenar, taken in 1093. Peter succeeded to the whole of his father's kingdom on the latter's death while besieging Huesca in 1094. Peter raised the siege. After 1094 his objectives shifted westwards, towards the valley of the Gallega. In 1095 Peter renewed his father's oaths to Urban II, Urban renewed his promise of protection, under which Sancho, his sons, his kingdom had been placed in July 1089.
On 16 March 1095 the pope issued a bull, Cum universis sancte, granting the king and queen of Aragon immunity from excommunication without the permission of the pope. That same year, while he was besieging Huesca, Peter defeated the relief forces of the Taifa of Zaragoza at the Battle of Alcoraz. Peter rewarded a certain Sancho Crispo for his contribution of three hundred knights and infantry at Alcoraz, he went on to take Huesca on 27 November of that same year. The next year Peter travelled south to inspect his fortress at Castellón, though the Historia Roderici claims that he came to help Rodrigo, he met Rodrigo in Valencia and with a large force assembled they decided to reinforce the southern frontier fort of Benicadell, rebuilt by Rodrigo in 1091. As they were passing by Xàtiva they were met by an Almoravid force under the command of Mohammed, the nephew of Almoravid leader Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the commander whom Rodrigo had defeated at the Battle of Cuarte in 1095, they decided to hastily restock Benicadell and retreat to Valencia via the coast, but were met at the Battle of Bairén by Muhammad's forces encamped on the high ground that reached to the sea.
A small Almoravid fleet had been assembled from the southern ports, including Almería, the Christians were trapped between arrow fire from the ships and the cavalry perched atop the hill. Rodrigo roused the troops with a speech and the next day at midday the Christians charged; the Battle of Xàtiva ended in a rout, with many Almoravids killed or forced into the river or the sea, where many drowned. Peter and Rodrigo returned to Valencia in triumph and thanking God for the victory, as the Historia records. In 1099, in preparation for the fall of Barbastro, Peter sent Pons Bishop of Roda, to Rome to ask Pope Urban to transfer the see of Roda to Barbastro; the pope complied and endowed the transferred diocese with all the re-conquered lands of the Diocese of Lleida. Peter's motive in this action was to curtail any expansion of the Diocese of Urgell in the direction of Lleida. In any case, Barbastro fell in 1100. According to what is a legend, at the urging of the monks of San Juan de la Peña Peter planned to join on the Crusade of 1101 and make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but Pope Paschal II refused to allow it and ordered him to make war on Zaragoza instead.
Peter aided by knights from France and Catalonia did make war on Zaragoza in 1101, in a campaign that lasted the whole year. He may have been inspired by the First Crusaders, since contemporary accounts of the 1101 campaign call him a "cross-bearer"; the size of his forces so impressed a contemporary scribe in León that he remarked in the dating formula of a document of 12 February that "Peter, Aragonese king, with his infinite multitude of armed men, the city of Zaragoza, with Christ's banner, fought". By June Peter had begun the siege of Zaragoza itself. For the siege he had a fortress built named Juslibol and ringed the city with banners bearing the cross. In August he was conducting a razzia as far south as Alpenes and the river Ebro, but the campaign was aborted due to insufficient cavalry. By the end of the year he had expanded Aragon and Navarre in the west as far as the walls of Zaragoza and Tudela, though the cities both remained in Muslim hands. During his reign Peter bestowed fueros on Barba