Alice of Normandy
Alice or Adeliza, Adelaide or Aelis was a countess consort of Burgundy, the daughter of Richard II, Duke of Normandy and Judith of Brittany. He had to leave his county of Brionne and Vernon in Normandy, after being at the head of the coalition of the barons of Normandy, guy found refuge with his uncle Geoffrey II, Count of Anjou. He attempted to take over the county of Burgundy from his brother William, Viscount of Lons-le-Saunier, sire Montmorot and Scey married to Aldeberge Scey. They had a son Montmorot Thibert, founder of the house Montmorot, alberada of Buonalbergo was Robert Guiscards first wife
Robert Guiscard was a Norman adventurer remembered for the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily. Robert was born into the Hauteville family in Normandy, went on to become Count of Apulia and Calabria and his sobriquet, in contemporary Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, is often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel. In Italian sources he is often Roberto il Guiscardo or Roberto dAltavilla, from 999 to 1042 the Normans in Italy, coming first as pilgrims, were mainly mercenaries serving at various times the Byzantines and a number of Lombard nobles. The first of the independent Norman Lords was Rainulf Drengot who established himself in the fortress of Aversa becoming Count of Aversa, in 1038 there arrived William Iron-Arm and Drogo, the two eldest sons of Tancred of Hauteville, a petty noble of the Cotentin in Normandy. The two joined in the revolt of the Lombards against Byzantine control of Apulia, by 1040 the Byzantines had lost most of that province.
Robert Guiscard was the son of Tancred of Hauteville and eldest by his second wife Fressenda. According to the Byzantine historian Anna Comnena, he left Normandy with only five mounted riders, upon arriving in Langobardia in 1047, he became the chief of a roving robber-band. He was a man of stature, surpassing even the biggest men, he had a ruddy complexion, fair hair, broad shoulders, eyes that all. In a well-built man one looks for breadth here and slimness there, in him all was admirably well-proportioned and elegant. Homer remarked of Achilles that when he shouted his hearers had the impression of a multitude in uproar, but Robert’s bellow, so they say, put tens of thousands to flight. Lands were scarce in Apulia at the time and the roving Guiscard could not expect any grant from Drogo, Guiscard soon joined Prince Pandulf IV of Capua in his ceaseless wars with Prince Guaimar IV of Salerno. The next year, Guiscard left Pandulf, according to Amatus of Montecassino because Pandulf reneged on a promise of a castle, Guiscard returned to his brother Drogo and asked to be granted a fief.
Drogo, who had just finished campaigning in Calabria, gave Guiscard command of the fortress of Scribla, dissatisfied with this position, Guiscard moved to the castle of San Marco Argentano. During his time in Calabria, Guiscard married his first wife, Alberada De Macon and she was the daughter of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy, known as Renaud I De Macon, Baron of Buonalbergo, and Girard of Buonalbergo, and his wife Alice of Normandy. The Lombards turned against their allies, and Pope Leo IX determined to expel the Norman freebooters. His army was defeated, however, at the Battle of Civitate sul Fortore in 1053 by the Normans, Humphrey commanded the centre against the popes Swabian troops. Early in the battle Count Richard of Aversa, commanding the right van, put the Lombards to flight and chased them down, Guiscard had come all the way from Calabria to command the left. Honored for his actions at Civitate, Guiscard succeeded Humphrey as count of Apulia in 1057, in company with Roger, his youngest brother, Guiscard carried on the conquest of Apulia and Calabria, while Richard conquered the principality of Capua
Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona
Ramon Berenguer I, called the Old, was Count of Barcelona in 1035–1076. He promulgated the earliest versions of a code of Catalan law. Born in 1024, he succeeded his father, Berenguer Ramon I the Crooked in 1035 and it was during his reign that the dominant position of Barcelona among the other Catalan counties became evident. Ramon Berenguer campaigned against the Moors, extending his dominions as far west as Barbastro, historians claim that those tributes helped create the first wave of prosperity in Catalan history. During his reign Catalan maritime power started to be felt in the western Mediterranean, Ramon Berenguer the Old was the first count of Catalonia to acquire lands and influence north of the Pyrenees. Another major achievement of his was beginning the codification of Catalan law in the written Usatges of Barcelona which was to become the first full compilation of law in Western Europe. Legal codification was part of the efforts to forward and somehow control the process of feudalization which started during the reign of his weak father, Berenguer Ramon.
Another major contributor was the Church acting through the institution of the Peace and Truce of God and this established a general truce among warring factions and lords in a given region for a given time. The earliest extant date for introducing the Truce of God in Western Europe is 1027 in Catalonia, while still married to his second wife Blanca, he became involved with the wife of the Count of Toulouse, Almodis de La Marche, countess of Limoges. Both quickly married and were excommunicated by Pope Victor II. Ramon Berenguer I, together with his third wife Almodis, founded the Romanesque cathedral of Barcelona and their velvet and brass bound wooden coffins are still displayed in the Gothic cathedral which eventually replaced the cathedral that they founded. He was succeeded by his twin sons Ramon Berenguer II and Berenguer Ramon II, bernard F. Reilly, The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain, 1031-1157, Blackwell Publishing,1995. The status of her authority, Patricia Humphrey, Queens and Potentates, theresa M.
Vann, Academia Press,1993
Alfonso VIII of Castile
Alfonso VIII, called the Noble or the one of the Navas, was the King of Castile from 1158 to his death and King of Toledo. He is most remembered for his part in the Reconquista and the downfall of the Almohad Caliphate and his reign saw the domination of Castile over León and, by his alliance with Aragon, he drew those two spheres of Christian Iberia into close connection. Alfonso was born to Sancho III of Castile and Blanche, in Soria on 11 November 1155 and he was named after his grandfather Alfonso VII of León and Castile, who divided his kingdoms between his sons. This division set the stage for conflict in the family until the kingdoms were re-united by Alfonso VIIIs grandson and his early life resembled that of other medieval kings. Though proclaimed king when only two years of age, Alfonso was regarded as merely nominal by the nobles to whom a minority was convenient. Immediately, Castile was plunged into conflicts between the noble houses vying for ascendancy in the inevitable regency.
The devotion of a squire of his household, who carried him on the pommel of his saddle to the stronghold of San Esteban de Gormaz, the noble houses of Lara and Castro both claimed the regency, as did the boys uncle, Ferdinand II of León. In 1159 the young Alfonso was put briefly in the custody of García Garcés de Aza, in March 1160 the Castro and Lara met at the Battle of Lobregal and the Castro were victorious, but the guardianship of Alfonso and the regency fell to Manrique Pérez de Lara. Alfonso was put in the custody of the loyal village Ávila, at barely fifteen, he came forth to do a mans work by restoring his kingdom to order. It was only by a surprise that he recovered his capital Toledo from the hands of the Laras, during the regency, his uncle Sancho VI of Navarre took advantage of the chaos and the kings minority to seize lands along the border, including much of La Rioja. In 1170, Alfonso sent an embassy to Bordeaux to Henry II of England, due to the brides young age of 9, the marriage was finalized at Burgos, before 17 September 1177.
The marriage treaty helped provide Alfonso with an ally against his uncle. In 1176, Alfonso asked his father-in-law to arbitrate the border territories. While Alfonso received back much which had taken from him. In 1186, he recuperated part of La Rioja from the Kingdom of Navarre, in 1187, Alfonso negotiated with Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor who was seeking to marry his son Conrad to Alfonsos eldest child and heir, Berengaria. In April 1188 they agreed on a treaty in Seligenstadt which made clear that she was the heir of Castile after any sons of Alfonso, and this became relevant in her ultimate succession to the throne, even though the marriage to Conrad was never consummated and annulled. The treaty documented traditional rights and obligations between the sovereign and the nobles in Castile, in July 1188, Alfonso convened his court in Carrión de los Condes to allow the nobles to review and ratify the treaty. At that court, Alfonso knighted both Conrad and Alfonso IX of León, who would ultimately marry Berengaria, the younger Alfonso had come to seek the support and acknowledgement of his ascent to the throne of León from his older cousin
Robert I, Duke of Burgundy
Robert I of Burgundy, known as Robert the Old and Tete-Hardi, was Duke of Burgundy from 1032 to his death. Robert was son of King Robert II of France and brother of Henry I of France, in 1025, with the death of his eldest brother Hugh Magnus, he and Henry rebelled against their father and defeated him, forcing him back to Paris. In 1031, after the death of his father the king, Robert participated in a rebellion against his brother, in which he was supported by his mother, peace was only achieved when Robert was given Burgundy. Throughout his reign, he was more than a robber baron who had no control over his vassals, whose estates he often plundered. He seized the income of the diocese of Autun and the wine of the canons of Dijon and he burgled the abbey of St-Germain at Auxerre. In 1048, he repudiated his wife, Helie of Semur followed by the assassination of her brother Joceran, in that same year, the Bishop of Langres, refused to dedicate the church of Sennecy so as not to be exposed to the violence of the duke.
His first son, died in battle at an age and his second son, Henry. He was succeeded by Henrys eldest son, his grandson, Hugh I and he married his first wife, Helie of Semur, about 1033, and repudiated her in 1048. Robert and Helie had five children, killed in battle Henry and he died shortly before his father, thus making his son Roberts heir. Cambridge Medieval History, Volume III—Germany and the Western Empire
Constance of Burgundy
Constance of Burgundy was the daughter of Duke Robert I of Burgundy and Helie de Semur-en-Brionnais. She was Queen consort of Castile and León by her marriage to Alfonso VI of León and she was the granddaughter of King Robert II of France, the second monarch of the French Capetian dynasty. She was the mother of Urraca of León, who succeeded her father in both Castile and León, in 1065, Constance married her first husband, Hugh II, Count of Chalon. They were married for fourteen years until Hughes death in 1079, in late 1079, Constance remarried to Alfonso VI of León and Castile. The marriage appears to have been orchestrated via the Cluniac connections at Alfonsos court and he had previously been married to Agnes of Aquitaine, whom he had either divorced or had been widowed by. The marriage of Constance and Alfonso initially faced opposition, apparently due to a kinship between Constance and Agnes. Constance was instrumental in having the Roman Rite replace the Visigothic rite in the churches of Castile and Alfonso had several children but only one of these lived to adulthood, Urraca Queen of Castile and León in her own right.
Married firstly to Raymond of Burgundy, had issue, married secondly to Alfonso the Battler, no issue. Constance died in 1093 leaving her daughter and her husband a widower. He went on to three further wives after her death, but only had a son by his Muslim mistress. The grave that contained the remains of Alfonso VI was destroyed in 1810 during a fire in the Monastery, the remains of the king and several of his wives, including those of Constance, were collected and kept in the abbots chamber until 1821. The purpose was to all remaining interests in a new sanctuary that was being built then
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, to the west and south it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The Portugal–Spain border is 1,214 kilometres long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union, the republic includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. The territory of modern Portugal has been settled, invaded. The Pre-Celts, Celts and the Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic, in 711 the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Moors, making Portugal part of Muslim Al Andalus. Portugal was born as result of the Christian Reconquista, and in 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the worlds major economic and military powers.
Portugal monopolized the trade during this time, and the Portuguese Empire expanded with military campaigns led in Asia. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories, Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe and a legacy of over 250 million Portuguese speakers today. Portugal is a country with a high-income advanced economy and a high living standard. It is the 5th most peaceful country in the world, maintaining a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government and it has the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other Western European countries like France and Italy. Portugal is a pioneer when it comes to drug decriminalization, as the nation decriminalized the possession of all drugs for use in 2001.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe, the name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale. Other influences include some 5th-century vestiges of Alan settlements, which were found in Alenquer, the region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula. These were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing. Chief among these tribes were the Calaicians or Gallaeci of Northern Portugal, the Lusitanians of central Portugal, the Celtici of Alentejo, a few small, semi-permanent, commercial coastal settlements were founded in the Algarve region by Phoenicians-Carthaginians. Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC, during the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula had been annexed to the Roman Republic.
The Carthaginians, Romes adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies and it suffered a severe setback in 150 BC, when a rebellion began in the north
Sikelgaita was a Lombard princess, the daughter of Guaimar IV, Prince of Salerno, and second wife of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia. She commanded troops in her own right and she married Robert in 1058, after Robert divorced his first wife Alberada, due to supposed consanguinity. Her sister Gaitelgrima had earlier married Roberts half-brother Drogo, the divorce from Alberada and the marriage to Sikelgaita were probably part of a strategy of alliance with the remaining Lombard princes, of whom Guaimar was chief. Alberada, for her part, appears to have had no qualms about dissolving her marriage, Sikelgaita frequently accompanied Robert on his conquests. She conducted the siege of Trani while Robert moved against Taranto, although at first she tried to persuade him not to attack the Byzantine Empire, she nevertheless brought troops and accompanied him on his campaign against them. As a middle-aged woman with a family, it is unlikely that she was a combatant although obviously close to the action.
According to the Byzantine historian Anna Comnena, she was like another Pallas, if not a second Athena, in 1083, Sikelgaita returned to Italy with Robert to defend Pope Gregory VII against the Emperor Henry IV. She accompanied him on a campaign against the Byzantines, during which Robert died on Kefalonia in 1085 with Sikelgaita at his side. Early in 1086, Sikelgaita was in Salerno making a donation of the town of Centraro in his honour to Montecassino, Sikelgaita donated a large amount of silver for her health while she was ill on another occasion. Supposedly, she tried to poison Roberts son Bohemond by his first wife, with her son she put the Jews of Bari under that citys archbishop. On her death, she was, at her own request, journal of Medieval Military History 3, pp. 72–87. The Normans in the South 1016-1130, the Age of Robert Guiscard, Southern Italy and the Norman Conquest. Loud, Graham A. Coinage and Plunder in the Age of Robert Guiscard, the English Historical Review, Vol.114, No.458.
Monte Cassino and the West in the Earlier Middle Ages, Sikelgaita of Salerno and the Norman Conquest of Italy