List of counts of Aversa
- Rainulf I 1020-1045
- Asclettin 1045 (nephew)
- Rainulf II Trincanocte 1045-1048 (cousin)
- Herman 1048-1049 (son)
- Richard I 1049-1078 (cousin)
1. Normans – The Normans were the people who, in the 10th and 11th centuries, gave their name to Normandy, a region in France. They were descended from Norse raiders and pirates from Denmark, Iceland and Norway who, under their leader Rollo, through generations of assimilation and mixing with the native Frankish and Gallo-Roman populations, their descendants gradually adopted the Carolingian-based cultures of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, the Norman dynasty had a major political, cultural and military impact on medieval Europe and even the Near East. The Normans were famed for their spirit and eventually for their Christian piety. They adopted the Gallo-Romance language of the Frankish land they settled, their becoming known as Norman, Normaund or Norman French. The Normans are noted both for their culture, such as their unique Romanesque architecture and musical traditions, and for their significant military accomplishments and their chief men were specially lavish through their desire of good report. They were, moreover, a race skillful in flattery, given to the study of eloquence, so that the boys were orators. They were enduring of toil, hunger, and cold whenever fortune laid it on them, given to hunting and hawking, delighting in the pleasure of horses, and of all the weapons and garb of war. The treaty offered Rollo and his men the French lands between the river Epte and the Atlantic coast in exchange for their protection against further Viking incursions. The area corresponded to the part of present-day Upper Normandy down to the river Seine. The territory was equivalent to the old province of Rouen. Before Rollos arrival, its populations did not differ from Picardy or the Île-de-France, the Norman language was forged by the adoption of the indigenous langue doïl branch of Romance by a Norse-speaking ruling class, and it developed into the regional language that survives today. The Normans thereafter adopted the growing feudal doctrines of the rest of France, the new Norman rulers were culturally and ethnically distinct from the old French aristocracy, most of whom traced their lineage to Franks of the Carolingian dynasty. Most Norman knights remained poor and land-hungry, and by 1066 Normandy had been exporting fighting horsemen for more than a generation, many Normans of Italy, France and England eventually served as avid Crusaders under the Italo-Norman prince Bohemund I and the Anglo-Norman king Richard the Lion-Heart. Opportunistic bands of Normans successfully established a foothold in Southern Italy, probably as the result of returning pilgrims stories, the Normans entered Southern Italy as warriors in 1017 at the latest. In 999, according to Amatus of Montecassino, Norman pilgrims returning from Jerusalem called in at the port of Salerno when a Saracen attack occurred. The Normans fought so valiantly that Prince Guaimar III begged them to stay, the Hauteville family achieved princely rank by proclaiming prince Guaimar IV of Salerno Duke of Apulia and Calabria. He promptly awarded their elected leader, William Iron Arm, with the title of count in his capital of MelfiNormans – Victorian interpretation of the Normans' national dress, 1000–1100
2. Mezzogiorno – It generally coincides with the administrative regions of Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Molise, Sicily, and Sardinia. Some also include the most southern and eastern parts of Lazio within the Mezzogiorno, Southern Italy carries a unique legacy of culture. It features many major tourist attractions, such as the Palace of Caserta, there are also many ancient Greek cities in Southern Italy, such as Sybaris, which were founded several centuries before the start of the Roman Republic. These same subdivisions are at the bottom of the Italian First level NUTS of the European Union, the term Mezzogiorno first came into use in the 18th century and is an Italian rendition of meridies. The term was popularised by Giuseppe Garibaldi and it eventually came into vogue after the Italian unification. In a similar manner, Southern France is colloquially known as le Midi, Southern Italy forms the lower part of the Italian boot, containing the ankle, the toe, the arch, and the heel, along with the island of Sicily. Separating the heel and the boot is the Gulf of Taranto, named after the city of Taranto and it is an arm of the Ionian Sea. The island of Sardinia, right below the French island of Corsica, on the eastern coast is the Adriatic Sea, leading into the rest of the Mediterranean through the Strait of Otranto. Along the northern coast of the Salernitan Gulf and on the south of the Sorrentine Peninsula runs the Amalfi Coast, off the tip of the peninsula is the isle of Capri. The climate is mainly Mediterranean, except at the highest elevations and the eastern stretches in Apulia, along the Ionian Sea in Calabria. The largest city of Southern Italy is Naples, a name from the Greek that it has maintained for millennia. Bari, Taranto, Reggio Calabria, Foggia, and Salerno are the next largest cities in the area. The region is very active and highly seismic, the 1980 Irpinia earthquake killed 2,914 people, injured more than 10,000. Also during this period, Greek colonies were established in places as widely separated as the eastern coast of the Black Sea, Eastern Libya and they included settlements in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula. The Romans called the area of Sicily and the foot of Italy, Magna Graecia, the ancient geographers differed on whether the term included Sicily or merely Apulia and Calabria—Strabo being the most prominent advocate of the wider definitions. With this colonisation, Greek culture was exported to Italy, in its dialects of the Ancient Greek language, its religious rites, an original Hellenic civilization soon developed, later interacting with the native Italic and Latin civilisations. Many of the new Hellenic cities became very rich and powerful, like Neapolis, Syracuse, Acragas, other cities in Magna Graecia included Tarentum, Epizephyrian Locri, Rhegium, Croton, Thurii, Elea, Nola, Syessa, Bari, and others. After Pyrrhus of Epirus failed in his attempt to stop the spread of Roman hegemony in 282 BCE, from then to the Norman conquest of the 11th century, the south of the peninsula was constantly plunged into wars between Greece, Lombardy, and the Islamic CaliphateMezzogiorno – Satellite image of Southern Italy
3. Sergius IV of Naples – Sergius IV was Duke of Naples from 1002 to 1036. He was one of the catalysts in the growth of Norman power in the Mezzogiorno in the first half of the eleventh century. He was nominally a Byzantine vassal, like his father, John IV, in 1024, he submitted to Pilgrim, Archbishop of Cologne, when the latter was besieging Capua on behalf of Emperor Henry II, though his own duchy was not threatened. By this he acquired a reputation for weakness in the eyes of Prince Pandulf IV of Capua, the Wolf of the Abruzzi, in 1026, Pandulf, returned from captivity, besieged his old capital, now ruled by Pandulf V, the count of Teano. Basil Boiannes, the Greek catapan of Italy, negotiated a surrender and gave Pandulf V safe conduct to Naples, by this, Sergius incurred Pandulf IVs enmity. In the next year, after Sergius ally Boiannes was recalled, Pandulf attacked Naples and quickly captured it, Pandulf V fled to Rome and Sergius went into hiding. For Sergius, however, fortune reversed itself when Pandulf IV was abandoned by his Norman ally, Sergius and the Duke of Gaeta, his nephew, John V, sent an embassy to the Norman to ask his assistance in regaining the Neapolitan duchy. With Rainulfs help, Pandulf IV was chased from Naples and Sergius reinstated, early in 1030, Sergius gave Rainulf the county of Aversa as a fief, the first Norman principality in the region. Sergius also gave his sister in marriage to the new count, in 1034, Pandulf IV instigated a revolt in Sorrento and annexed it to Capua. In the same year, Sergius sister died and Rainulf returned to Pandulfs side, broken in spirit, Sergius retired to the monastery of the Holy Saviour in insula maris, where the Castello delOvo now stands. He was succeeded by his son, John V, when John went to Constantinople seeking aid from the Byzantines, Sergius briefly came out of retirement to act as regent. On Johns return, Sergius returned to his monastery, where he was living as late as June 1036. His two retirements explain Amatus of Montecassinos reference to him becoming a monk. The Normans in the South 1016-1130, histoire de la domination normande en Italie et en SicilieSergius IV of Naples – Italy in the time of Sergius IV.
4. Aversa – Aversa is a city and comune in the Province of Caserta in Campania, southern Italy, about 5 kilometres north of Naples. It is the centre of a district, the agro aversano, producing wine. Aversa is also the seat of the faculties of Architecture. Aversa is located near the city of Naples, from which it is separated by only 5 kilometres, and only 16 kilometres from Caserta, the capital of the province to which it belongs, the Caserta Province. It is located in a coastal plain north of Naples. The plain on which it sits was known in ancient Roman times as the Campania Felix, however, some say that the founding of the city took place with the Etruscans. In any case, because of malaria that ravaged the region. Only a small fortification, a castellum, still stands in the area. A. D. via the Roman road that ran towards Rome, see also List of Counts of Aversa. Aversa, which replaced the city of Atella that had been laid waste during the Gothic Wars, was the first of the Norman territories in the Mediterranean. In 1030, the site was ceded to Rainulf Drengot, a cadet of the lords of Quarrel near Alençon in Normandy, he was invested as count by Duke Sergius IV of Naples and confirmed by Emperor Conrad II. The diplomacy of Robert Guiscard, who built the fortifications, led to the investiture of a bishop responsible to the Pope at Aversa, one of the first bishops was the Norman Guitmund, a Benedictine monk, theologian, and opponent of Berengar of Tours. In particular Queen Joanna I chose Aversa for her preferred seat, there a group of nobles threw her husband Andrew from a window with a rope around his neck. His brother, King Louis I of Hungary, head of the Capetian House of Anjou, marched into Italy and at Aversa took his vengeance at a banquet of reconciliation, as Joanna escaped to Avignon. The presence of the court also benefitted Aversa by the institution of the Real Casa dellAnnunziata an orphanage, when Alfonso V of Aragon permanently enthroned the kingdom of Naples within the domains of the Crown of Aragon, Aversa continued to maintain the privileges it had enjoyed. Soon the epidemics and subdivisions of land caused it to be relegated as an urban center of Naples. In the fourteenth or fifteenth century the County of Aversa was taken over by a family from Valencia, in fact, the palace of the Count of Almenara in Almenara is also known as the palace of the Count of Aversa. Italian wine, both white and sparkling, under the Aversa DOC appellation comes from this area, viticulture in Aversa is unique for its use of growing the grapevines with poplar trees acting as trellisesAversa – Facade of the cathedral.
5. Rainulf I – Rainulf Drengot was a Norman adventurer and mercenary in southern Italy. In 1030 he became the first count of Aversa and he was a member of the Drengot family. When Rainulf was exiled by Richard II of Normandy for a violent criminal act and they brought with them a band of 250 warriors, formed of other exiles, landless cadets and similar adventurers. In 1017 they arrived in the Mezzogiorno, which was in a state of virtual anarchy, establishing a stronghold at Monte Gargano in Apulia, they joined forces with the Lombard Melus of Bari, who had rebelled against his Byzantine overlords but who was currently on the run. Their first major engagement with the army of the Byzantine catepan Basil Boioannes, fought at the Battle of Cannae and they were decimated and their leader, Rainulfs brother Gilbert, was killed. They took to protecting, at a price, bands of pilgrims headed for the shrine of St Michael from the depredations of other marauders, Rainulf also served the Lombard Pandulf IV of Capua. Under his protection, Amatus reports, they hastened to plunder the neighboring places, but since human thoughts are inclined to greed and money always triumphs in the end, from time to time they abandoned him. They sold their services as they could, according to circumstances, soon the balance of power in Lombard Campania lay in Norman hands, For the Normans never desired any of the Lombards to win a decisive victory, in case this should be to their disadvantage. But now supporting the one and then aiding the other, they prevented anyone being completely ruined, Norman reinforcements and local miscreants, who found a welcome in Rainulfs encampment with no questions asked, swelled the numbers at Rainulfs command. Their Norman language and Norman customs welded a disparate group into the semblance of a nation, Rainulf eventually switched his allegiance to Sergius IV of Naples, with whom he achieved some success. In 1030, Duke Sergius gave him the former Byzantine stronghold of Aversa north of Naples, with the title of count and his title to Aversa was recognised in 1037 by Emperor Conrad II. After vanquishing the Byzantines in battle in 1038, he declared himself prince, formalizing his independence from Naples and he conquered his neighbour Pandulfs principality, and Conrad approved the union of the two domains, which formed the largest polity in southern Italy. In 1039, he was at the side of Guaimar IV of Salerno, ranulf was one of the leader of the anti-Byzantine coalition which rebelled in southern Italy in 1040. He took part in the victory at the battle of Olivento in March 1041. In 1042, after the victory of his Norman ally William Iron Arm, he received, from the erstwhile Byzantine territories, suzerainty over Siponto and he died in June 1045 and was succeeded by his nephew, Asclettin, son of Asclettin of Acerenza. The historians Amatus of Montecassino and William of Apulia are the contemporary sources for the career of Rainulf. Norman conquest of southern Italy Drengot family Norman World, The first Norman rulers Lexikon des Mittlealters volRainulf I – Italy in 1000 AD, prior to Rainulf's arrival in southern Italy
6. Principality of Capua – The Principality of Capua was a Lombard state centred on Capua in Southern Italy, usually de facto independent, but under the varying suzerainty of Western and Eastern Roman Empires. It was originally a gastaldate, then a county, within the principality of Salerno, Old Capua was an ancient Italian city, the greatest Roman city of the south. It was the centre of Lombard gastaldate in the duchy of Benevento and it first enters history as a Lombard state under Landulf the Old with the death of the Beneventan duke Sicard in 839. Landulf and his sons were partisans of Siconulf of Salerno, in 841, Capua was sacked and completely destroyed by Saracens in the pay of Radelchis I of Benevento. Landulf and his eldest son, Lando I, took the initiative in fortifying the hill of Triflisco on which was built New Capua. Pando the Rapacious declared Capua independent of Salerno in 862, on his death in the same year, the succession to the county was thrown into dispute. His son was deposed by Bishop Landulf who thus united the ecclesiastical, Salerno allied with Lando and Benevento with Pandenulf. A succession crisis followed in 887 and Atenulf established himself and his status with the aid of the aforementioned Athanasius of Naples. Atenulf would try to avert future succession crises and to vindicate the independent pretensions of Capua à la those of Benevento, in 899, Atenulf I defeated Radelchis II and conquered Benevento. Atenulf associated his son, Landulf, as co-prince and built up alliances with the local Greek states, like Naples and Gaeta, Landulf mostly continued the policies of his father and spent most of his career after Garigliano trying to weaken the Byzantine authority in Apulia and the Campania. In this, he was moderately successful. His son, Landulf II, allied against the Lombard principality of Salerno, like his father, he attacked Byzantine possessions, but was defeated and forced to submit to nominal Byzantine suzerainty. Under Landulfs sons, the union of Capua and Benevento broke down and they remained legally bound, before his death, he had gained from Emperor Otto I the title of Duke of Spoleto also. He split his great dominion between his sons, Landulf IV received Benevento-Capua and Pandulf II, Salerno, soon, Benevento and Capua split legally, with Landulf IV keeping a Capua much reduced in power. In the 990s, Capua experienced debilitating turmoil as one prince was assassinated, another deposed by the Emperor Otto III, and a third deposed by the citizens. The old dynasty was reinstalled in 1000 under Landulf VII, who made his brother, Pandulf II of Benevento, regent for his heir, thus, Capua and Benevento were briefly united for the last time. The chief interest of Lombard Capua in this, its period, was the control of a seaport, especially a large and important one. Capua experienced a new zenith under Pandulf IV, who was deposed twice between his succession in 1016 and his death in 1050 and he was originally an ally of the Byzantines and remained allied with them against all his neighbours until the endPrincipality of Capua – A map of Italy, showing the Principality of Capua, as it appeared in 1000 CE.