King Charles II from the Bible of Naples, c. 1340
| King of Naples |
Count of Provence and Forcalquier
|Coronation||29 May 1289|
|Count of Anjou and Maine|
|Prince of Achaea|
|Successor||Isabella and Florent|
|Died||5 May 1309 (aged 54–55)|
Naples, Kingdom of Naples
|Spouse||Maria of Hungary|
| Charles Martel, Prince of Salerno |
Louis, Bishop of Toulouse
Robert, King of Naples
Philip I, Prince of Taranto
John, Duke of Durazzo
Margaret, Countess of Anjou
Blanche of Anjou
Eleanor of Anjou
Maria of Anjou
|Father||Charles I of Naples|
|Mother||Beatrice of Provence|
Charles II, also known as Charles the Lame (French : Charles le Boiteux; Italian : Carlo lo Zoppo; 1254 – 5 May 1309), was King of Naples, Count of Provence and Forcalquier (1285–1309), Prince of Achaea (1285–1289), and Count of Anjou and Maine (1285–1290); he also styled himself King of Albania and claimed the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1285. He was the son of Charles I of Anjou —one of the most powerful European monarchs in the second half of the 13th century—and Beatrice of Provence. His father granted Charles the Principality of Salerno in the Kingdom of Sicily (or Regno) in 1272 and made him regent in Provence and Forcalquier in 1279.
After the uprising known as the Sicilian Vespers against Charles' father, the island of Sicily became an independent kingdom under the rule of Peter III of Aragon in 1282. A year later, his father made Charles regent in the mainland territories of the Regno (or the Kingdom of Naples). Charles held a general assembly where unpopular taxes were abolished and the liberties of the noblemen and clerics were confirmed. He could not prevent the Aragonese from occupying Calabria and the islands in the Gulf of Naples. The Sicilian admiral, Roger of Lauria, captured him in a naval battle near Naples in 1284. As he was still in prison when his father died on 7 January 1285, his realms were ruled by regents.
Born in 1254, Charles was the son of Charles I of Anjou and Beatrice of Provence.He was the sole heir of his father's vast dominion. By the time of Charles' birth, his father had seized Provence and Forcalquier (in the Holy Roman Empire), Anjou and Maine (in France), and the Kingdom of Sicily (a fief of the Holy See). In the 1270s, his father also proclaimed himself King of Albania (in reference to his conquests along the Eastern coast of the Ionian Sea), partially asserted his claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and inherited Achaea (in the Peloponnese). Charles' mother died in 1267, but his father's determination to keep his empire intact deprived Charles of his maternal inheritance during his father's lifetime.
Charles I arranged a double marriage alliance with Stephen V of Hungary in 1269.Stephen's daughter, Maria was engaged to Charles, and Charles' sister, Isabelle to Maria's brother, Ladislaus. Charles fell seriously ill in late 1271. To encourage prayers for his recovery, his father donated Charles' wax sculptures to churches frequented by pilgrims in the whole kingdom. After Charles recovered, his father made a pilgrimage at the shrine of Saint Nicholas in Bari and sent gifts to the sanctuary of Mary the Virgin at Rocamadour.
Charles was knighted together with his brother, Philip, and 100 Italian and French young noblemen at Pentecost 1272.On this occasion, his father also granted him the Principality of Salerno, which had customarily been held by the crown princes during the reign of the Norman kings of Sicily. The king stipulated that Charles could not claim other territories, most probably in reference to Provence.
His father appointed him to administer Provence in late 1279.He accompanied his cousin, Philip III of France, to a meeting with Peter III of Aragon at Toulouse in December 1280. Peter was the son-in-law of Manfred of Sicily who had lost the Kingdom of Sicily to Charles' father in 1266. Peter insolently ignored Charles during the meeting, although both Philip III and James II of Majorca, who was also present, reminded Peter that Charles was closely related to him.
[B]y no means could [Charles] find a cheerful countenance nor any comfort in ... [Peter III of Aragon]; rather was [Peter] harsh and angry towards him. [Philip III of France] and [James II of Majorca] took [Peter III] into a chamber one day and asked him how it was that he did not speak with [Charles]; that he knew full well that he was his near blood-relation, as he was the son of his cousin, the daughter of the count of Provence and besides, that his wife also, the daughter of the King of Hungary, was his blood-relation. But though there were many ties between them, they could obtain nothing from him in the end. And [Charles] invited [Philip III], [Peter III] and [James II] to a banquet, but [Peter III] would not accept it, wherefore the banquet had to be given up. But [James II] showed great civility to [Charles] and [Charles] to him. And so, on their departure from the interview, [Charles] left with [James II] and [Muntaner] saw them both enter Perpignan, and a great feast was made for them, and [James II] detained [Charles] for eight days.
The envoys of Charles' father with the representatives of Rudolf I of Germany and the Holy See started negotiations about the restoration of the Kingdom of Arles in 1278.They reached a compromise, that Pope Martin IV included in a papal bull on 24 May 1281. The bull prescribed that the kingdom, which should include the Dauphiné, Savoy and the nearby territories, was to be given to Charles' son, Charles Martel, on the day of his marriage with Rudolf's daughter, Clemence. Charles was appointed regent for his minor son.
Heavy taxation, forced loans and purveyance caused widespread discontent among Charles I's Italian subjects, especially in the island of Sicily. —known as the Sicilian Vespers —in Palermo on 30 March 1282. The riot quickly spread and put an end to Charles I's rule in the island. Peter III of Aragon came to Sicily accompanied by a large fleet in late August. He was proclaimed king on 4 September.A French soldier's arrogance caused a popular riot
Charles I and Peter III agreed that a judicial duel should decide their conflict. —an easily defensible town—on 13 February 1283. After his departure, Peter III captured Reggio Calabria.Before leaving for France in January 1283, Charles I appointed Charles and Charles' cousin, Robert II, Count of Artois, co-regents. He authorized them to take measures, after consulting with the papal legate, Gerard of Parma, to prevent the spread of the rebellion to the mainland territories. Charles and his troops left Reggio Calabria and marched as far as San Martino di Taurianova
Charles held a general assembly for the barons, prelates and the envoys of the towns at his camp near San Martino.The royal monopoly of salt and the practise of regular exchange of small coins was abolished. The assembly also decided that the monarchs could levy the most unpopular tax, the subventio generalis , only after consulting with the representatives of their subjects. The liberties of the noblemen and the clergy were confirmed and the commoners' obligations to contribute to the maintenance of royal fortresses and the flee were reduced. The reforms adopted at the assembly made the continuation of his father's active foreign policy impossible.
Charles strengthened the position of native aristocracy, appointing members of the Aquinas, Ruffo and Sanseverino families to the royal council.He also tried to make his father's most unpopular officials scapegoats for the abuses. In June 1283, he ordered the imprisonment of all male members of the della Marre and Rufouli families, who had been responsible for the collection of taxes and custom duties. The heads of the families were executed and their relatives were to pay huge ransoms.
Charles did not have funds to finance a lengthy war.He had to borrow thousands of ounces of gold from the Holy See, the kings of France and England, the ruler of Tunis and Tuscan bankers, and from the towns of the Regno. Gerard of Parma also persuaded the Southern Italian prelates to cede a part of their revenues to Charles for the war against the rebels and their supporters. He could then equip 40 new galleys in Provence. The Aragonese fleet had meanwhile imposed a blockade on the island of Malta. Charles dispatched his new fleet to the island, but the Sicilian admiral, Roger of Lauria, attacked and almost annihilated the Provençal galleys before they reached Malta. Lauria soon occupied the islands of Capri and Ischia, which enabled him to make frequent raids against the Bay of Naples. After he also captured Nisida, he imposed a blockade on Naples.
The inhabitants of Naples urged Charles to expel the Aragonese garrison from Nisida. —Peter III of Aragon's wife—imprisoned him at the fortress of Cefalù.Although his father had forbidden him to attack the Aragonese until his arrival, Charles decided to invade the islet. Believing that most Aragonese ships had left the Bay of Naples, he sailed for Nisida on 5 June 1284, but the Aragonese galleys soon surrounded and defeated his fleet. During the battle, Charles fell into captivity. He was first taken to Messina where the crowd demanded his execution in revenge for Conradin (Manfred of Sicily's young nephew, who had been beheaded at Charles I's order in 1268). To save Charles' life, Constance of Sicily
Charles I died on 7 January 1285. —who had been made baillif during Charles I's reign—continued to rule Acre which was the only town to acknowledge Charles' rule in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.On his deathbed, he had made Robert of Artois regent for the minor Charles Martel who would rule as vicar general until Charles was held in captivity. The Provençal delegates held a general assembly at Sisteron and decided to do their utmost to secure Charles' release. Pope Martin IV partially ignored Charles I's last will. He did not acknowledge the right either of the captive Charles or of his minor son to rule, claiming that an interregnum followed the king's death. The pope confirmed Artois' regency, but he made Cardinal Gerald co-regent, authorizing them to administer the kingdom on behalf of the Holy See. The regents appointed the most powerful ruler of the Peloponnese, William I de la Roche, Duke of Athens, bailiff of Achaea to secure the local lords' loyalty. Odo Poilechien
Pope Martin died on 29 March 1285.The crusade that he had declared against Aragon started in late May, but Peter III's resistance forced the crusaders to withdraw in September. At Peter's order, Charles was moved from Cefalù to Catalonia. Peter died on 10 November; his eldest sons, Alfonso III and James succeeded him in Aragon and Sicily, respectively. Henry II of Cyprus, who was regarded the lawful king of Jerusalem by most local lords, forced Odo Poilechien to leave Acre in June 1286. Since the Knights Templar and Hospitallers supported Henry, their estates were confiscated in the Regno.
Charles' sons sent a letter to Edward I of England, asking him to intervene to secure their father's release.Edward accepted their offer and mediated a fourteen-month truce in July 1286. James entered into negotiations with Charles about the conditions of Charles' release. Charles was ready to renounce the island of Sicily and Calabria in favor of James for at least the rest of his own lifetime, but Pope Honorius IV sharply opposed this plan. After Honorius died on 3 April 1287, Edward I mediated a compromise, which was completed in the presence of the delegates of the College of Cardinals in Oloron-Sainte-Marie in July. However, Philip IV of France refused to sign it, because it did not arrange for the compensation of his younger brother, Charles of Valois, who had laid claim to Aragon.
The new pope, Nicholas IV, who was enthroned in February 1288, also disapproved the treaty, but allowed Edward I to continue the negotiations. —Charles Martel, Louis and Robert —and 60 Provençal noblemen as hostages to Aragon to secure the fulfilment of his promise. He also promised that he would return to Aragon if he could not persuade his allies to make peace with Aragon in three years. After Edward I gave further guarantees, Alfonso III released Charles who went to Paris to start negotiations with Philip IV. Philip again repudiated the treaty and Charles left France for Italy to meet with the pope.A new agreement, repeating most terms of the previous compromise, was signed at Canfranc in October. According to the treaty, Charles was to be released for a ransom of 50,000 marks of silver, but he also had to promise to mediate a reconciliation between Aragon, France and the Holy See. He pledged that he would send his three sons
Pope Nicholas IV crowned Charles king in Rieti on Whit Sunday 1289.To persuade Charles to continue the war for Sicily, the pope granted the tenth of Church revenues from Southern Italy to him. The pope also absolved Charles from the promises that he had made to secure his release. Edward I of England protested against the pope's decision and continued to mediate between Charles and Alfonso III of Aragon. At Edward's request, Alfonso III released Charles Martel in exchange for Charles' fifth son, Raymond Berengar.
Influenced by Bartolomeo da Capua and his other advisors, Charles adopted a concept about the establishment of a purely Christian kingdom.He ordered the expulsion of the Jews and Lombards from Anjou and Maine, accusing them of usury. Applying the blood libel against the Jews of Southern Italy, he forced many of them to convert into Christianity. He also introduced the Inquisition in the Regno.
Alfonso III invaded Charles' realm and laid siege to Gaeta, because he thought that the burghers were ready to rise up against Charles, but the town resisted. —the daughter of the last native prince, William II —with a successful military commander, Florent of Hainaut. In September, he granted Achaea to them, but he kept his right to suzerainty over the principality and also stipulated that if Florent predeceased her, Isabella could not remarry without his consent.Charles Martel and Robert of Artois led troops to the town and surrounded the besiegers. Edward I of England sent envoys to Charles, urging him to respect the treaty of Canfranc. The pope dispatched two cardinals to prevent the reconciliation, but Charles and Alfonse signed a two-year truce. To secure stability in Achaea, Charles decided to restore a line of local rulers in the principality. He arranged a marriage for Isabella of Villehardouin
Charles left Southern Italy to start new negotiations with Philip IV.Before visiting Paris, he went to the Aragonese frontier to offer himself for imprisonment on 1 November in accordance with the treaty of Canfranc, but nobody came to arrest him. Charles and Philip IV signed a treaty at Senlis on 19 May 1290. Charles gave his daughter, Margaret, in marriage to Charles of Valois, giving Anjou and Maine to him as her dowry in return for his promise to abandon his claim to Aragon with the pope's consent. Philip IV also promised that he would make peace with Aragon as soon as Alfonso III and the Holy See were reconciled.
The envoys of all parties, but James of Sicily, started negotiations with the mediation of English delegates at Perpignan, and continued them in Tarascon in late 1290 and early 1291.They reached a compromise which was included in a treaty in Brignoles on 19 February 1291. The document confirmed most terms of the treaty of Senlis and restored the peace between Alfonso III, Philip IV and Charles. Charles received the districts of Avignon held by the French monarch. The Holy See also accepted the terms of the treaty because Alfonso of Aragon promised that he would lead a crusade against the Mamluks of Egypt.
The treaty of Brignoles deprived Alfonso's brother, James of Sicily, of Aragonese support, but Alfonso unexpectedly died on 18 June.James succeeded Alfonso in Aragon, but he did not want to cede the island of Sicily and Calabria to Charles and made his younger brother, Frederick, his lieutenant. The Mamluks occupied the last strongholds in the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the summer of 1291. Pope Nicholas IV called for a new crusade and urged the Christian "kings, princes and prelates" to send their proposals about the recovery of the Holy Land. Charles was the only monarch to answer the pope. He suggested that the sole grand master of the united military orders, who should be appointed from about the royal princes, was to rule the reconquered Kingdom of Jerusalem.
After realizing that his new subjects would not support a war for Sicily, James sent envoys to Rome to start negotiations about his submission shortly before Pope Nicholas died on 4 April 1292. —two realms ruled by the kings of Hungary—accepted the pope's decision. Charles made donations to them to secure their support, but Charles Martel could never assert his claim.Charles was also willing to reach a compromise, because he wanted to secure Hungary for his family. Charles' brother-in-law, Ladislaus IV of Hungary, had been murdered on 10 July 1290. The Hungarian noblemen elected Ladislaus' cousin, Andrew III, king, although Andrew's legitimacy was doubtful. Charles' wife regarded herself Ladislaus' lawful heir. Claiming that Hungary was the fief of the Holy See, Pope Nicholas IV granted Hungary to her son, Charles Martel, in 1292. The most powerful noblemen in Croatia and Slavonia
The death of Pope Nicholas IV gave rise to a prolonged interregnum. —a hermit who had been known for his apocalyptic visions—pope. Being grateful to Charles, Pope Celestine V granted him Church revenues from France, the Holy Roman Empire and England to finance a new military campaign against Sicily. After Celestine abdicated in December 1294, the cardinals elected Benedetto Caetani pope. Pope Boniface VIII was determined to put an end to the war, because he wanted to declare a new crusade for the reconquest of the Holy Land.Charles continued the negotiations with James with the mediation of Sancho IV of Castile. An agreement was completed in Figueras in late 1293. James agreed to give up Sicily in return for a compensation. To put an end to the interregnum in Rome, Charles persuaded the cardinals to elect Peter of Morrone
Pope Boniface VIII confirmed the compromise between James and Charles in Anagni on 12 June 1295.However, the Sicilians refused the Treaty of Anagni and James of Aragon's brother, Frederick, was crowned king of Sicily on 12 December 1295. Frederick soon made a raid against Basilicata.
An attempt was made to bribe Frederick into consenting to this arrangement, but being backed up by his people he refused, and was afterwards crowned King of Sicily. The ensuing war was fought on land and sea, but Charles, though aided by the Pope, his cousin Charles of Valois and James, was unable to conquer the island, and his son the prince of Taranto was taken prisoner at the Battle of La Falconara in 1299. Peace was at last made in 1302 at Caltabellotta. Charles gave up all rights to Sicily and agreed to the marriage of his daughter Eleanor and King Frederick; the treaty was ratified by the Pope in 1303. Charles spent his last years quietly in Naples, which city he improved and embellished.
He died in Naples in May 1309, and was succeeded by his son Robert the Wise, with his eldest grandson Charles I of Hungary excluded from Neapolitan succession.
In 1270, he married Maria of Hungary (c. 1257 – 25 March 1323), the daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth the Cuman. They had fourteen children:
|Ancestors of Charles II of Naples|
Alfonso the Magnanimous was the King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica, Sicily and Count of Barcelona from 1416, and King of Naples from 1442 until his death. He was one of the most prominent figures of the early Renaissance and a knight of the Order of the Dragon.
Charles I, commonly called Charles of Anjou, was a member of the royal Capetian dynasty and the founder of the second House of Anjou. He was Count of Provence (1246–85) and Forcalquier in the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Anjou and Maine (1246–85) in France; he was also King of Sicily (1266–85) and Prince of Achaea (1278–85). In 1272, he was proclaimed King of Albania; and in 1277 he purchased a claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Peter III of Aragon was King of Aragon, King of Valencia, and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. At the invitation of some rebels, he conquered the Kingdom of Sicily and became King of Sicily in 1282, pressing the claim of his wife, Constance II of Sicily, uniting the kingdom to the crown.
Philip III, called the Bold, was King of France from 1270 to 1285.
Frederick II was the regent of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1291 until 1295 and subsequently king of Sicily from 1295 until his death. He was the third son of Peter III of Aragon and served in the War of the Sicilian Vespers on behalf of his father and brothers, Alfonso ΙΙΙ and James ΙΙ. He was confirmed as king by the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302. His reign saw important constitutional reforms: the Constitutiones regales, Capitula alia, and Ordinationes generales.
Manfred was the last King of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen dynasty, reigning from 1258 until his death. The natural son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, Manfred became regent over the kingdom of Sicily on behalf of his nephew Conradin in 1254. As regent he subdued rebellions in the kingdom, until in 1258 he usurped Conradin's rule. After an initial attempt to appease pope Innocent IV he took up the ongoing conflict between the Hohenstaufens and the papacy through combat and political alliances. He defeated the papal army at Foggia on 2 December 1254. Excommunicated by three successive popes, Manfred was the target of a Crusade (1255–66) called first by Pope Alexander IV and then by Urban IV. Nothing came of Alexander's call, but Urban enlisted the aid of Charles of Anjou in overthrowing Manfred. Manfred was killed during his defeat by Charles at the Battle of Benevento, and Charles assumed kingship of Sicily.
Robert of Anjou, known as Robert the Wise, was King of Naples, titular King of Jerusalem and Count of Provence and Forcalquier from 1309 to 1343, the central figure of Italian politics of his time. He was the third son of King Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary, and during his father's lifetime he was styled Duke of Calabria (1296–1309).
The Kingdom of Naples comprised the part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was established by the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate kingdom also called the Kingdom of Sicily. In 1816, it reunified with the island of Sicily to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
James II, called the Just, was the King of Aragon and Valencia and Count of Barcelona from 1291 to 1327. He was also the King of Sicily from 1285 to 1295 and the King of Majorca from 1291 to 1298. From 1297 he was nominally the King of Sardinia and Corsica, but he only acquired the island of Sardinia by conquest in 1324. His full title for the last three decades of his reign was "James, by the grace of God, king of Aragon, Valencia, Sardinia and Corsica, and count of Barcelona".
Louis III was a claimant to the Kingdom of Naples from 1417 to 1426, as well as count of Provence, Forcalquier, Piedmont, and Maine and duke of Anjou from 1417 to 1434. As the heir designate to the throne of Naples, he was duke of Calabria from 1426 to 1434.
James IV of Majorca, also known as Jaume IV unsuccessfully claimed the thrones of the Kingdom of Majorca and the Principality of Achaea from 1349 until his death. He served as king consort of Naples, as such being excluded from government.
The Aragonese Crusade or Crusade of Aragon, a part of the larger War of the Sicilian Vespers, was declared by Pope Martin IV against King Peter III of Aragon in 1284 and 1285. Because of the recent conquest of Sicily by Peter, Martin declared a crusade against him and officially deposed him as king, on the grounds that Aragon was a papal fief: Peter's grandfather and namesake, Peter II, had surrendered the kingdom as a fief to the Holy See. Martin bestowed Aragon on Peter's nephew Count Charles of Valois, son of King Philip III of France.
The Treaty of Tarascon was an accord between Pope Nicholas IV, Philip IV of France, Charles II of Naples, and Alfonso III of Aragón that was intended to end the Aragonese Crusade, an episode in the War of the Sicilian Vespers. The treaty was signed at Tarascon, halfway between papal Avignon and Arles, on 19 February 1291, six years after Philip's uncle, Charles of Valois, tried to conquer Aragón from Alfonso's father, Peter III of Aragon, in an event called the Aragonese Crusade because it was sanctioned by Nicholas' predecessor, Pope Martin IV. The intent of the signatories in putting an end to hostilities was to prevent Aragonese domination of Sicily, then ruled by Alfonso's brother, James II.
The War of the Sicilian Vespers or just War of the Vespers was a conflict that started with the insurrection of the Sicilian Vespers against Charles of Anjou in 1282 and ended in 1302 with the Peace of Caltabellotta. It was fought in Sicily, Catalonia and elsewhere in the western Mediterranean between the kings of Aragon on one side against the Angevin Charles of Anjou, his son Charles II, the kings of France, and the Papacy on the other side. The war resulted in the division of the old Kingdom of Sicily; at Caltabellotta, Charles II was confirmed as king of Sicily's peninsular territories, while Frederick III was confirmed as king of the island territories.
Elizabeth of Carinthia (1298–1352) was an influential queen and royal family member in the Kingdom of Sicily, who lived and ruled in a tumultuous time. The daughter of the Otto, the penultimate duke of Carinthia and lord of Carniola from the House of Gorizia, she married Peter II of Sicily in 1323 and became the Queen of Sicily. During her time as Queen, Elizabeth ensured that the royal lineage of the Aragonese in Sicily continued. Two sons eventually ascended the throne, Louis of Sicily and Frederick IV of Sicily. Elizabeth was the regent for her young son Louis from 1348 until her death in 1352.
Beatrice of Provence, was ruling Countess of Provence and Forcalquier from 1245 until her death, as well as Countess of Anjou and Maine, Queen of Sicily and Naples by marriage to Charles I of Naples.
Eleanor of Anjou was Queen of Sicily as the wife of King Frederick III of Sicily. She was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou by birth.
Maria of Anjou was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou who served as Queen of Majorca during her marriage to King Sancho. She was the daughter of Charles II of Naples and his wife, Maria of Hungary.
The Treaty of Villeneuve (1372) was the definitive agreement that ended the dispute between the House of Anjou and the House of Barcelona over the Kingdom of Sicily that began ninety years earlier in 1282. Its final form was approved by Pope Gregory XI in a bull issued at Villeneuve-lès-Avignon on 20 August 1372, and it was ratified by Queen Joan I of Naples and King Frederick IV of Sicily on 31 March 1373 at Aversa, in Joan's kingdom, in front of the papal legate, Jean de Réveillon, Bishop of Sarlat.
The Treaty of Canfranc was an agreement, signed in October 1288, between Edward I of England and Alfonso III of Aragon about the release of Charles II of Naples, who had been captured by the Admiral of Sicily, Roger of Lauria, in a naval battle on 5 June 1284.
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