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 Huesca, the son of Alfonso II of Aragon, 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 June 15,1204 he married Marie of Montpellier and she gave him a son, but Peter soon repudiated her. Marie was popularly venerated as a saint for her piety and marital suffering, 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, however the childs younger brother James makes no mention of her and Sancha was apparently dead before the New Year, according to Niques information.
He participated in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 which marked the point of Muslim domination in the Iberian peninsula. The Crown of Aragon was widespread in the area that is now southernwestern France, the Cathars or Albigenses rejected the authority and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Innocent called upon Philip Augustus 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 approximately 20,000 men and children, Cathar and he was accompanied by Raymond of Toulouse, who tried to persuade Peter to avoid battle and instead starve out Montforts forces. The Battle of Muret began on September 12,1213, the Aragonese forces were disorganized and disintegrated under the assault of Montforts squadrons. Peter himself was caught in the thick of fighting, and died as a result of an act of bravado. He was thrown to the ground and killed, the Aragonese forces broke in panic when their king was slain and Montforts 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 Peters death, the passed to his only son by Marie of Montpellier. Martín Alvira-Cabrer,12 de Septiembre de 1213, El Jueves de Muret, 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, Testimonios y Memoria Histórica,6 vols. Zaragoza, Institución Fernando el Católico,2010, Christian, Les deux visages de Marie de Montpellier, Académie des Sciences et Lettres de Montpellier
Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy
Beatrice of Burgundy was a Sovereign Duchess of Burgundy, and a Holy Roman Empress consort by marriage to Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor. Beatrice was the surviving child of Renaud III, Count of Burgundy. Orphaned as a child, she inherited the County of Burgundy and Frederick were married on 9 June 1156 at Würzburg. She was 13 years of age, he was 33, by this marriage Frederick obtained control of the vast county of Burgundy. There never was another except Gods mother Mary And Beatrice is so happy she excels her and she became the second wife of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, and as such Holy Roman Empress, at the age of about 12. The couple had 11 children, most of whom died young, Beatrice was active at the Hohenstaufen court, encouraging literary works and chivalric ideals. She accompanied her husband on his travels and campaigns across his kingdom and she was crowned Holy Roman Empress by Antipope Paschal III in Rome on 1 August 1167, and as Queen of Burgundy at Vienne in August 1178.
In 1184, Beatrice fell ill with an illness at Jouhe. She was buried in Speyer Cathedral, but her heart was buried in Jouhes old Benedictine abbey and she had the following children, Beatrice. She was betrothed to King William II of Sicily but died of tuberculosis before they could be married, renamed Frederick VI, Duke of Swabia after the death of his older brother. Conrad II, Duke of Swabia and Rothenburg, philip of Swabia King of Germany in 1198. She was betrothed to King Emeric of Hungary but died before they could be married, Beatrice is a character in Umberto Ecos novel Baudolino, whose protagonist is deeply in love with her - a love never consummated except for a single kiss. Media related to Beatrice of Burgundy at Wikimedia Commons Carson, Thomas
Morocco, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco, is a sovereign country located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Geographically, Morocco is characterized by a mountainous interior, large tracts of desert. Morocco has a population of over 33.8 million and an area of 446,550 km2 and its capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca. Other major cities include Marrakesh, Tetouan, Salé, Agadir, Oujda, Kenitra, a historically prominent regional power, Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, the Alaouite dynasty, the current ruling dynasty, seized power in 1666. In 1912 Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with a zone in Tangier. Moroccan culture is a blend of Arab, indigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces. Morocco annexed the territory in 1975, leading to a war with indigenous forces until a cease-fire in 1991.
Peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy, the king can issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister, Moroccos predominant religion is Islam, and the official languages are Arabic and Tamazight. The Moroccan dialect, referred to as Darija, and French are widely spoken, Morocco is a member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean, and the African Union. It has the fifth largest economy of Africa, the full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to Kingdom of the West, although the West in Arabic is الغرب Al-Gharb. The basis of Moroccos English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty, the origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most likely from the Berber words amur akush or Land of God.
The modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc, in Turkish, Morocco is known as Fas, a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish Marruecos, the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian Mechta-Afalou burials and European Cro-Magnon remains, the Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco
Berengaria of Castile
Berengaria was queen regnant of Castile in 1217 and queen consort of León from 1197 to 1204. As the eldest child and heir presumptive of Alfonso VIII of Castile, she was a sought after bride, and was engaged to Conrad, after his death, she married her cousin, Alfonso IX of León, to secure the peace between him and her father. She had five children with him before their marriage was voided by Pope Innocent III, when her father died, she served as regent for her younger brother Henry I in Castile until she succeeded him on his untimely death. Within months, she turned Castile over to her son, Ferdinand III, she remained one of his closest advisors, guiding policy and ruling on his behalf for the rest of her life. She was responsible for the re-unification of Castile and León under her sons authority and she was a patron of religious institutions and supported the writing of a history of the two countries. Berengaria was born either in 1179 or 1180, in Burgos and she was the eldest daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England.
Those who cared for the young infanta were generously rewarded and her nurse, Estefanía, received land from Alfonso and Eleanor on her retirement in May 1181. Another nurse, received a retirement gift in 1189 at Berengarias request. Berengarias first engagement was agreed in 1187 when her hand was sought by Conrad, Duke of Rothenburg, the next year, the marriage contract was signed in Seligenstadt, including a dowry of 42000 Maravedí. Conrad marched to Castile, where in Carrión the engagement was celebrated, Conrad would only be allowed to co-rule as her spouse, and Castile would not become part of the Empire. The treaty documented traditional rights and obligations between the sovereign and the nobility. The marriage was not consummated, due to Berengarias young age and Berengaria never saw each other again. Those fears were neutralized when the duke was assassinated in 1196, in order to help secure peace between Castile and León, Berengaria married Alfonso IX of León, her first cousin once removed, in Valladolid in 1197.
As part of the marriage, and in accordance with Spanish customs of the time, she received direct control over a number of castles and lands within León. Most of these were along the border with Castile, and the nobles who ran them in her name were allowed to seek justice from either king in the event of being wronged by the other. In turn, these knights were charged with maintaining the peace along the border in the queens name and Alfonso IX had five children, Eleanor. Constance, a nun in the Abbey of las Huelgas, Ferdinand III, King of Castile and León. Alfonso, Lord of Molina and Mesa by his first marriage, married John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem
Louis IX of France
Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII the Lion, although his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom until he reached maturity. During Louiss childhood, Blanche dealt with the opposition of rebellious vassals, as an adult, Louis IX faced recurring conflicts with some of the most powerful nobles, such as Hugh X of Lusignan and Peter of Dreux. Simultaneously, Henry III of England tried to restore his continental possessions and his reign saw the annexation of several provinces, notably Normandy and Provence. Louis IX was a reformer and developed French royal justice, in which the king is the judge to whom anyone is able to appeal to seek the amendment of a judgment. He banned trials by ordeal, tried to prevent the private wars that were plaguing the country, to enforce the correct application of this new legal system, Louis IX created provosts and bailiffs.
According to his vow made after an illness, and confirmed after a miraculous cure. He was succeeded by his son Philip III, Louiss actions were inspired by Christian values and Catholic devotion. He decided to punish blasphemy, interest-bearing loans and prostitution and he expanded the scope of the Inquisition and ordered the burning of Talmuds. He is the only canonized king of France, and there are many places named after him. Much of what is known of Louiss life comes from Jean de Joinvilles famous Life of Saint Louis, two other important biographies were written by the kings confessor, Geoffrey of Beaulieu, and his chaplain, William of Chartres. The fourth important source of information is William of Saint-Parthus biography, while several individuals wrote biographies in the decades following the kings death, only Jean of Joinville, Geoffrey of Beaulieu, and William of Chartres wrote from personal knowledge of the king. Louis was born on 25 April 1214 at Poissy, near Paris, the son of Prince Louis the Lion and Princess Blanche, and baptised in La Collégiale Notre-Dame church.
His grandfather on his fathers side was Philip II, king of France, while his grandfather on his mothers side was Alfonso VIII, tutors of Blanches choosing taught him most of what a king must know—Latin, public speaking, military arts, and government. He was 9 years old when his grandfather Philip II died, a member of the House of Capet, Louis was twelve years old when his father died on 8 November 1226. He was crowned king within the month at Reims cathedral, because of Louiss youth, his mother ruled France as regent during his minority. Louis mother trained him to be a leader and a good Christian. She used to say, I love you, my son, as much as a mother can love her child
Sancha of Castile, Queen of Aragon
Sancha of Castile was the only surviving child of King Alfonso VII of Castile by his second wife, Richeza of Poland. On January 18,1174, she married King Alfonso II of Aragon at Zaragoza, a patroness of troubadours such as Giraud de Calanson and Peire Raymond, the queen became involved in a legal dispute with her husband concerning properties which formed part of her dower estates. In 1177 she entered the county of Ribagorza and took possession of various castles and fortresses which had belonged to the crown there. After her husband died at Perpignan in 1196, Sancha was relegated to the background of political affairs by her son Peter II. She retired from court, withdrawing to the convent for noble ladies, the Monastery of Santa María de Sigena, at Sigena, there she assumed the cross of the Order of St John of Jerusalem which she wore until the end of her life. The queen mother entertained her widowed daughter Constance at Sijena prior to her leaving Aragon to marry Emperor Frederick II in 1208.
She died soon afterwards, aged fifty-four, and was interred in front of the altar of her foundation at Sigena. Peter II, King of Aragon and Lord of Montpellier, married firstly King Imre of Hungary and secondly Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. Alfonso II, Count of Provence and Razès, married Count Raymond VI of Toulouse. Sancha, married Count Raymond VII of Toulouse, in March 1211 Ferdinand, cistercian monk, The Queens of Aragon, Their Lives and Times, Stanley Paul & Co, London
Irene Angelina, was a Byzantine princess member of the Angelos dynasty and by her two marriages Queen of Sicily in 1193 and Queen of Germany from 1198 to 1208. She was the daughter of Byzantine emperor Isaac II Angelos and his first wife. Who became nun with the name Irene, Irene was born in Constantinople, her father Isaac II inaugurated his reign with a decisive victory over the Norman invaders on the Balkans in the 1185 Battle of Demetritzes. In 1193 he and King Tancred of Sicily arranged Irenes marriage with Tancreds eldest son, Roger was declared co-king, but died on 24 December 1193, shortly before his fathers death on 20 February 1194. Sicily was claimed by Tancreds aunt Constance and her husband, Emperor Henry VI, after he had conquered the Sicilian kingdom, Irene was captured on 29 December 1194 and was married on 25 May 1197 to Henrys younger brother, Duke Philip of Swabia. In Germany, she was renamed Maria, after the Emperor had died on September 28, Philip was elected King of the Romans in Mühlhausen on 8 March 1198.
She thus had an influence on the eventual diversion of the Crusade to Constantinople in 1204. Rivalled by the Welf scion Otto IV, Philip was able to stable his rule over the German kingdom, on 21 June 1208, he was killed by the Bavarian Count Palatine Otto VIII of Wittelsbach, leaving Irene widowed a second time. After the murder of her husband, Irene - who was pregnant at the time - retired to Hohenstaufen Castle, two months on 27 August, she gave birth to another daughter. Both mother and child died shortly afterwards and she was buried in the family mausoleum in the Staufen proprietary monastery of Lorch Abbey, along with her daughter and sons. Her grave was destroyed and cannot be reconstructed and Irene had seven children, two sons who died in infancy and four daughters, married her fathers rival Emperor Otto IV in 1212 and died three weeks without issue. Maria, married Duke Henry, Hereditary Prince of Brabant, by whom she had issue, married King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, by whom she had issue.
Elisabeth, married King Ferdinand III of Castile, by whom she had issue, in his poem on King Philips Magdeburg Christmas celebrations, the minnesinger Walther von der Vogelweide described Irene as rose ane dorn, ein tube sunder gallen. O city of Byzantium, annals of Niketas Choniates tr, bruno W. Häuptli, IRENE von Byzanz, in, Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, vol. 28, Nordhausen 2007, ISBN 978-3-88309-413-7, pp. 858–862, Irene Angelina at Find a Grave Bibliography about Irene Angelina in OPAC Regesta Imperii
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick I, known as Frederick Barbarossa, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and he became King of Italy in 1155 and was crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155. Two years later, the term sacrum first appeared in a document in connection with his Empire and he was formally crowned King of Burgundy, at Arles on 30 June 1178. He was named Barbarossa by the northern Italian cities which he attempted to rule, Barbarossa means red beard in Italian, in German, he was known as Kaiser Rotbart, before his imperial election, Frederick was by inheritance Duke of Swabia. He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, Frederick therefore descended from the two leading families in Germany, making him an acceptable choice for the Empires prince-electors. Historians consider him among the Holy Roman Empires greatest medieval emperors, in 1147 he became Duke of the southern German region of Swabia, and shortly afterwards made his first trip to the East, accompanied by his uncle, the German king Conrad III, on the Second Crusade.
The expedition proved to be a disaster, but Frederick distinguished himself, when Conrad died in February 1152, only Frederick and the prince-bishop of Bamberg were at his deathbed. Frederick energetically pursued the crown and at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 the kingdoms princely electors designated him as the next German king and he was crowned King of the Romans at Aachen several days later, on 9 March 1152. Fredericks father was from the Hohenstaufen family, and his mother was from the Welf family, the Hohenstaufens were often called Ghibellines, which derives from the Italianized name for Waiblingen castle, the family seat in Swabia, the Welfs, in a similar Italianization, were called Guelfs. The reigns of Henry IV and Henry V left the status of the German empire in disarray, for a quarter of a century following the death of Henry V in 1125, the German monarchy was largely a nominal title with no real power. The king was chosen by the princes, was given no resources outside those of his own duchy, the royal title was furthermore passed from one family to another to preclude the development of any dynastic interest in the German crown.
When Frederick I of Hohenstaufen was chosen as king in 1152, royal power had been in abeyance for over twenty-five years. The only real claim to lay in the rich cities of northern Italy. The Salian line had died out with the death of Henry V in 1125, one of the Hohenstaufens gained the throne as Conrad III of Germany. When Frederick Barbarossa succeeded his uncle in 1152, there seemed to be excellent prospects for ending the feud, the Welf duke of Saxony, Henry the Lion, would not be appeased, remaining an implacable enemy of the Hohenstaufen monarchy. Barbarossa had the duchies of Swabia and Franconia, the force of his own personality, the Germany that Frederick tried to unite was a patchwork of more than 1600 individual states, each with its own prince. A few of these, such as Bavaria and Saxony, were large, many were too small to pinpoint on a map. The titles afforded to the German king were Caesar, Augustus, by the time Frederick would assume these, they were little more than propaganda slogans with little other meaning
James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, and Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276, King of Majorca from 1231 to 1276, and Valencia from 1238 to 1276. By a treaty with Louis IX of France, he wrested the county of Barcelona from nominal French suzerainty and his part in the Reconquista was similar in Mediterranean Spain to that of his contemporary Ferdinand III of Castile in Andalusia. As a legislator and organiser, he occupies a place among the Spanish kings. James compiled the Llibre del Consolat de Mar, which governed maritime trade and he was an important figure in the development of the Catalan language, sponsoring Catalan literature and writing a quasi-autobiographical chronicle of his reign, the Llibre dels fets. James was born at Montpellier as the son of Peter II of Aragon. Peter endeavoured to placate the northern crusaders by arranging a marriage between his son James and Simons daughter, when the former was only two years old. He entrusted the boy to be educated in Montforts care in 1211, Montfort would willingly have used James as a means of extending his own power had not the Aragonese appealed to Pope Innocent III, who insisted that Montfort surrender him.
James was handed over to the papal legate Peter of Benevento at Carcassonne in May or June 1214, the kingdom was given over to confusion until, in 1217, the Templars and some of the more loyal nobles brought the young king to Zaragoza. In 1221, he was married to Eleanor, daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile, the next six years of his reign were full of rebellions on the part of the nobles. By the Peace of Alcalá of 31 March 1227, the nobles, in 1228, James faced the sternest opposition yet from a vassal. Guerau IV de Cabrera occupied the County of Urgell in opposition to Aurembiax, the heiress of Ermengol VIII, who had died without sons in 1208. Although Aurembiaxs mother, had made herself a protegée of Jamess father, upon her death in 1220 Guerau occupied the county and displaced Aurembiax, James intervened on behalf of Aurembiax, to whom he owed protection. He bought Guerau off and allowed Aurembiax to reclaim her territory and she surrendered Lleida to James and agreed to hold Urgell in fief for him.
On her death in 1231, James exchanged the Balearic Islands for Urgell with her widower, Peter of Portugal, from 1230 to 1232, James negotiated with Sancho VII of Navarre, who desired his help against his nephew and closest living male relative, Theobald IV of Champagne. Pope Gregory IX was required to intervene, in the end, James accepted Theobalds succession. James endeavoured to form a state straddling the Pyrenees in order to counterbalance the power of France north of the Loire, as with the much earlier Visigothic attempt, this policy was victim to physical and political obstacles. As in the case of Navarre, he declined to launch into perilous adventures, by the Treaty of Corbeil, signed in May 1258, he ended his conflict with Louis IX of France, securing the renunciation of French claims to sovereignty over Catalonia. After his false start at uniting Aragon with the Kingdom of Navarre through a scheme of mutual adoption, James turned to the south, James conquered Majorca on 31 December 1229, and Minorca and Ibiza were acquired during the reconquest
Isaac II Angelos
Isaac II Angelos or Angelus was Byzantine Emperor from 1185 to 1195, and again from 1203 to 1204. His father Andronikos Doukas Angelos was a leader in Asia Minor who married Euphrosyne Kastamonitissa. Andronikos Doukas Angelos was the son of Constantine Angelos and Theodora Komnene, thus Isaac was a member of the extended imperial clan of the Komnenoi. During the brief reign of Andronikos I Komnenos, Isaac was involved in the revolt of Nicaea, the Emperor did not punish him for this disloyalty, and Isaac remained at Constantinople. On September 11,1185, while Andronikos was absent from the capital, Isaac killed Hagiochristophorites and took refuge in the church of Hagia Sophia. Andronikos was a ruler in some ways but was hated for his cruelty. Isaac appealed to the populace, and a tumult arose that spread rapidly over the whole city, when Andronikos returned he found that he had lost popular support, and that Isaac had been proclaimed emperor. Andronikos attempted to flee by boat but was apprehended, Isaac handed him over to the people of the City, and he was killed on 12 September 1185.
Isaac II Angelos strengthened his position as emperor with dynastic marriages in 1185 and 1186 and his niece Eudokia Angelina was married to Stefan, son of Stefan Nemanja of Serbia. Isaacs sister Theodora was married to the Italian marquis Conrad of Montferrat, in January 1186 Isaac himself married Margaret of Hungary, daughter of King Béla III. Isaac inaugurated his reign with a victory over the Norman King of Sicily, William II. William had invaded the Balkans with 80,000 men and 200 ships towards the end of Andronikos Is reign, elsewhere Isaacs policy was less successful. In late 1185, he sent a fleet of 80 galleys to liberate his brother Alexius III from Acre and he sent a fleet of 70 ships, but it failed to recover Cyprus from the rebellious noble Isaac Komnenos, thanks to Norman interference. The oppressiveness of his taxes, increased to pay his armies and finance his marriage, the rebellion led to the establishment of the Second Bulgarian Empire under the Asen dynasty. Also in 1187 an agreement was made with Venice, in which the Venetian Republic would provide between 40 and 100 galleys at six months notice in exchange for favorable trading concessions.
Because each Venetian galley was manned by 140 oarsmen, there were about 18,000 Venetians still in the Empire even after Manuel Is arrests, the Emperors attention was next demanded in the east, where several claimants to the throne successively rose and fell. In 1189 the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa sought and obtained permission to lead his troops on the Third Crusade through the Byzantine Empire and he had no sooner crossed the border than Isaac, who had meanwhile sought an alliance with Saladin, threw every impediment in his way. In retaliation Barbarossas army occupied the city of Philippopolis and defeated a Byzantine army of 3,000 men that attempted to recapture the city, thus compelled by force of arms, Isaac II was forced to fulfill his engagements in 1190