Duchy of Naples

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Duchy of Naples
Province of the Byzantine Empire
661–1137 Bandiera del Regno di Sicilia 4.svg
Location of Lucania Southern Italy 1112.svg
Location of Lucania
Map of southern Italy, showing the Duchy of Naples, c. 1112
Capital Naples
Historical era Middle Ages
  Established661
  Annexation to the Kingdom of Sicily in the hands of Roger II of Sicily 1137
Today part ofFlag of Italy.svg  Italy

The Duchy of Naples (Latin : Ducatus Neapolitanus, Italian : Ducato di Napoli) began as a Byzantine province that was constituted in the seventh century, in the reduced coastal lands that the Lombards had not conquered during their invasion of Italy in the sixth century. It was governed by a military commander ( dux ), and rapidly became a de facto independent state, lasting more than five centuries during the Early and High Middle Ages. The modern city of Naples remains a significant region of Italy, today.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, and together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a regional or a traditional language in these countries, where Italians do not represent a historical minority. In the case of Romania, Italian is listed by the Government along 10 other languages which supposedly receive a "general protection", but not between those which should be granted an "advanced or enhanced" one. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, is the common name given to the surviving Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. "Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans". In medieval Western Europe it was sometimes labelled the Imperium Graecorum since the Holy Roman Empire, created in 800 AD by Charlemagne and Pope Leo III, was believed to represent the legitimate Roman Empire.

Lombards Historical ethnical group

The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774.

Contents

First local duchy

In 661, Naples obtained from the emperor Constans II the right to be ruled by a local duke, one Basil, whose subjection to the emperor soon became merely nominal. Among his titles were patrikios ("patrician") and hypatos ("consul"). At that time the Ducatus Neapolitanus controlled an area corresponding roughly to the present day Province of Naples, encompassing the area of Vesuvius, the Campi Flegrei, the Sorrentine Peninsula, Giugliano, Aversa, Afragola, Nola, and the islands of Ischia and Procida. Capri was later part of the duchy of Amalfi. He had authority over the neighbouring seaports of Gaeta, Amalfi, and Sorrento, though each of these was largely autonomous, especially during the later years of the Neapolitan duchy.

Constans II Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian dynasty

Constans II, also called Constantine the Bearded, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 641 to 668. He was the last emperor to serve as consul, in 642. Constans is a nickname given to the Emperor, who had been baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. The nickname established itself in Byzantine texts and has become standard in modern historiography.

Basil was the first Duke of Naples from 661 to 666. Neapolitan by birth, soldier of the Byzantine Empire by trade, he was nominated by the emperor Constans II to be dux Campaniae in 661.

Hypatos and the variant apo hypatōn was a Byzantine court dignity, originally the Greek translation of Latin consul. The dignity arose from the honorary consulships awarded in the late Roman Empire, and survived until the early 12th century. It was often conferred upon the rulers of the south Italian principalities. In Italian documents the term was sometimes Latinised as hypatus or ypatus, and in Italian historiography one finds ipato. The feminine form of the term was hypatissa (ὑπάτισσα).

In this era, the duchy coined monies with the effigy of the emperor and Greek inscriptions. Greek was the official language.

Papal suzerainty

In 763, the duke Stephen II switched his allegiance from Constantinople to Rome, putting Naples under papal suzerainty. Already during the reign of the imperially appointed John I (711- ca 719), the papacy had come to the duke's aid against the Lombards, while Byzantine assistance seemed remote. Stephen II's reign is considered a period of transition in the history of Naples: it moved away from the iconoclastic East and towards the papal West. The Byzantine Greeks were soon to become as much a threat to the Neapolitans as the Lombards.

Stephen II was the duke of Naples during an important transitional period in its history, from 755 to his death. He was styled as eminentissimus consul and was the leader of the local aristocracy when he was appointed by the patrician of Sicily. By the end of his reign, through a rupture with the Byzantine Empire, Naples was practically independent. After his abdication, Naples experienced a period of crisis until the election of Sergius I in 840.

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city was located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Sometime around the beginning of the ninth century, the dukes began striking coinage with Latin inscriptions, as Latin replaced Greek in official usage. Saint Januarius replaced the emperor on the coins. Acts were still dated by the imperial reign, but the emperor was of no consequence in regular Neapolitan affairs. In 813, when Leo V the Armenian called for the fleet of the entire ducatus to aid the Byzantine admiral in combating the Saracen pirates preying on Sicily, Duke Anthimus could ignore the order; only Amalfi and Gaeta responded with contingents. Apparently, the Neapolitans felt themselves practically independent already and their underlings felt themselves independent of Naples.

Leo V the Armenian Byzantine emperor (lived 775–820)

Leo V the Armenian was Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 813 to 820. A senior general, he forced his predecessor, Michael I Rangabe, to abdicate and assumed the throne. He ended the decade-long war with the Bulgars, and initiated the second period of Byzantine Iconoclasm. He was assassinated by supporters of Michael the Amorian, one of his most trusted generals, who succeeded him on the throne.

<i>Saracen</i> Archaic term referring to Muslims

Saracen was a term widely used among Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ages to refer to Arab Muslims. The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the Common Era, Greek and Latin writings used this term to refer to the people who lived in desert areas in and near the Roman province of Arabia Petraea, and in Arabia Deserta. In Europe during the Early Middle Ages, the term came to be associated with tribes of Arabia. The oldest source mentioning the term Saracen dates back to the 7th century. It was found in Doctrina Jacobi, a commentary that discussed the event of the Arab conquests on Palestine.

Anthimus or Anthemus was the Duke of Naples for from 801 until around 818, when the patrician of Sicily re-established Byzantine control over the ducatus. Anthimus was, for most of his reign, independent of any higher authority, but he was losing control over his own subject cities, Gaeta and Amalfi.

The duchy was not yet hereditary; in 818, the patrician of Sicily appointed Theoctistus without imperial approval. He revoked this appointment, and appointed one Theodore II in 821, but he was chased from the city the same year in favour of the elected Stephen III. This Stephen first began to mint pieces with his own initials on them and not those of the Eastern Emperor.

The Theme of Sicily was a Byzantine province (theme) existing from the late 7th to the 10th century, encompassing the island of Sicily and the region of Calabria in the Italian mainland. Following the Muslim conquest of Sicily, from 902 the theme was limited to Calabria, but retained its original name until the middle of the 10th century.

Theoctistus was the Duke of Naples during an ill-recorded period in its history. His reign began sometime around 818 and lasted until 821.

Stephen III was the duke of Naples during an important transitional period in its history, from 821 to his death. By the end of his reign, Naples was completely independent.

Hereditary duchy

In 840, Duke Sergius I made the succession to the duchy hereditary, and thenceforth Naples was de facto independent. In this age, the city was mainly a military centre, ruled by an aristocracy of warriors and landowners, even though it had been compelled to surrender to the neighbouring Lombards much of its inland territory. Naples was not a merchant city as other Campanian sea cities like Amalfi and Gaeta, but had a respectable fleet who took part in the Battle of Ostia against the Saracens in 849. Anyway, Naples did not hesitate to ally with infidels if this turned to its advantage: in 836, for example, it asked support to the Saracens in order to push off the siege of Lombard troops coming from the neighbouring Duchy of Benevento. After its dukes rose to highest prominence under the Duke-Bishop Athanasius and his successorsof whom Gregory IV and John II participated at the Battle of the Garigliano in 915Naples declined in importance in the tenth century, until it was captured by its traditional rival, Pandulf IV of Capua.

Sergius I was the first duke of Naples of his dynasty, often dubbed the "Sergi," which ruled over Naples for almost three centuries from his accession in 840 until the death of his namesake Sergius VII in 1137.

Campania Region of Italy

Campania is a region in Southern Italy. As of 2018, the region has a population of around 5,820,000 people, making it the third-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km2 (5,247 sq mi) makes it the most densely populated region in the country. Located on the south-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, with the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, it includes the small Phlegraean Islands and Capri for administration as part of the region.

Battle of Ostia battle

The naval Battle of Ostia took place in 849 in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Muslim pirates and an Italian league of Papal, Neapolitan, Amalfitan and Gaetan ships. The battle ended in favor of the Italian league, as they defeated the pirates. It is one of the few events to occur in southern Italy during the ninth century that is still remembered today, largely for the walls named after Leo and for the Renaissance painting Battaglia di Ostia by Raphael.

Struggles for relevance in the Norman South

In 1027, duke Sergius IV donated the county of Aversa to a band of Norman mercenaries led by Rainulf Drengot, whose support he had needed in the war with the principality of Capua. In that period he could not imagine the consequences, but this settlement began a process which eventually led to the end of Naples' independence itself. Sergius cemented his position with marital alliances with the Normans, but when these broke down, he was abandoned by his mercenaries and retired to a monastery. His son, John V, cosied up to Guaimar IV of Salerno and eventually did homage to him.

Naples was the last of the southern Italian states which the Normans had met when they first entered Italy. It survived the fall of the Lombard principalities: Capua, Salerno, Benevento. It had survived the fall of its fellow Greek duchies: Amalfi, Gaeta, Sorrento. In 1137, Duke Sergius VII was forced to surrender to Roger II of Sicily, who had had himself proclaimed King of Sicily seven years earlier. Under the new rulers the city was administrated by a compalazzo (palatine count), with little independence left to the Neapolitan patriciate. In this period Naples had a population of 30,000 and yet got its sustenance from the inland country: commerce activities were mainly delegated to foreign people, mainly from Pisa and Genova.

Apart from the church of San Giovanni a Mare, Norman buildings in Naples were mainly lay ones, notably castles (Castel Capuano and Castel dell'Ovo), walls and fortified gates.

See also

Sources

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The Dukes of Naples were the military commanders of the ducatus Neapolitanus, a Byzantine outpost in Italy, one of the few remaining after the conquest of the Lombards. In 661, Emperor Constans II, highly interested in south Italian affairs, appointed a Neapolitan named Basil dux or magister militum. Thereafter a line of dukes, often largely independent and dynastic from the mid-ninth century, ruled until the coming of the Normans, a new menace they could not weather. The thirty-ninth and last duke, Sergius VII, surrendered his city to King Roger II of Sicily in 1137.

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Sergius VI was the magister militum and duke of Naples from 1077 to his death. He was the son of the Neapolitan senator John, and succeeded his uncle, John's elder brother, Sergius V. His sister Inmilgia married Duke Landulf of Gaeta. His reign is very obscure because of the slight documentary evidence.

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