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Kingdom of Sicily

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kingdom of Sicily

Regnum Siciliae (in Latin)
Regnu di Sicilia (in Sicilian)
Regno di Sicilia (in Italian)
Flag (from 14th century)
Coat of arms (from 14th century)
Motto: Animus Tuus Dominus "ANTUDO"
The Kingdom of Sicily in 1190.
The Kingdom of Sicily in 1190.
StatusPersonal unions with:
Holy Roman Empire
(also with the Kingdom of Jerusalem: 1225–1228)
Crown of Aragon
Kingdom of Spain
Duchy of Savoy
Habsburg Monarchy
Kingdom of Naples
Official languagesLatin
Roman Catholicism
Minority religions: Gallican Rite and Byzantine rite, as well as Judaism and Islam
GovernmentFeudal monarchy
• 1130–1154
Roger II (first)
• 1266–1282
Charles I of Anjou
• 1759–1816
Ferdinand III (last)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
County of Sicily
County of Apulia and Calabria
Duchy of Amalfi
Zirids around 1000CE.png
Zirid dynasty
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

The Kingdom of Sicily (Latin: Regnum Siciliae, Italian: Regno di Sicilia, Sicilian: Regnu di Sicilia,[1][2][3][4] Catalan: Regne de Sicília, Spanish: Reino de Sicilia) was a state that existed in the south of the Italian peninsula and for a time the region of Ifriqiya from its founding by Roger II of Sicily in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of the southern peninsula. The island was divided into three regions: Val di Mazara, Val Demone and Val di Noto; val being the apocopic form of the word vallo, derived from the Arabic word wilāya (meaning 'district').

In 1282, a revolt against Angevin rule, known as the Sicilian Vespers, threw off Charles of Anjou's rule of the island of Sicily. The Angevins managed to maintain control in the mainland part of the kingdom, which became a separate entity also styled Kingdom of Sicily, although it is commonly referred to as the Kingdom of Naples, after its capital. From 1282 to 1409 the island was ruled by the Spanish Crown of Aragon as an independent kingdom, then it was added permanently to the Crown.[5]

After 1302, the island kingdom was sometimes called the Kingdom of Trinacria.[6] In 1816, the island Kingdom of Sicily merged with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In 1861, the Two Sicilies were invaded and conquered by an Expedition Corp (Expedition of the Thousand) led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, who later transferred them to the house of Savoy, to form, after a referendum, with the Kingdom of Sardinia itself (i.e. Savoy, Piedmont and Sardinia) and several northern city-states and duchies, the new Kingdom of Italy.


Norman conquest

By the 11th century, mainland southern Lombard and Byzantine powers were hiring Norman mercenaries, who were descendants of French and Vikings; it was the Normans under Roger I who conquered Sicily, taking it away from the Arab Muslims. After taking Apulia and Calabria, Roger occupied Messina with an army of 700 knights. In 1068, Roger I of Sicily and his men defeated the Muslims at Misilmeri but the most crucial battle was the siege of Palermo, which led to Sicily being completely under Norman control by 1091.[7]

Norman kingdom

16+13 carats of gold. The Arab dinar was worth four tari, and the Byzantine solidus six tari.[10] In the kingdom, one onza was equivalent to thirty tari or five florins. One tari was worth twenty grani. One grana was equivalent to six denari. After 1140, the circulation of the copper coin romesina stopped and it was replaced by the follaris. Twenty-four follari were equivalent to one Byzantine miliaresion.

After defeating the Tunisians in 1231, king Frederick II minted the augustalis. It was minted in 21+12 carats and weighed 5.28 grams.[39] In 1490, the triumphi were minted in Sicily. They were equivalent to the Venetian ducat. One triumpho was worth 11+12 aquilae. One aquila was worth twenty grani. In transactions tari and pichuli were mainly used.[6]


During the Norman reign, several different religious communities coexisted in the Kingdom of Sicily. These included Latin Christians (Roman Catholics), Greek-speaking Christians (Greek Catholic), Muslims and Jews. Although local religious practices were not interrupted, the fact that Latin Christians were in power tended to favor Latin Christianity (Roman Catholicism). Bishops of the Greek rite were obliged to recognize the claims of the Latin Church in Sicily, while Muslim communities were no longer ruled by local emirs. Greek-speaking Christians, Latin Christians, and Muslims interacted on a regular basis, and were involved in each other's lives, economically, linguistically, and culturally. Some intermarried. Christians living in an Arabic-speaking area might adopt Arabic or even Muslim names.[40] In many cities, each religious community had its own administrative and judicial order. In Palermo, Muslims were allowed to publicly call for prayer in mosques, and their legal issues were settled by qadis, judges who ruled in accordance with Islamic law.[10] Since the 12th century, the Kingdom of Sicily recognized Christianity as the state religion.[41]

After the establishment of Hohenstaufen authority, Latin- and Greek-speaking Christians maintained their privileges, but the Muslim population was increasingly oppressed. The settlements of Italians brought from northern Italy (who wanted Muslim property for their own) led many Muslim communities to revolt or resettle in mountainous areas of Sicily.[42] These revolts resulted in some acts of violence, and the eventual deportation of Muslims, which began under Frederick II. Eventually, the government removed the entire Muslim population to Lucera in Apulia and Girifalco in Calabria, where they paid taxes and served as agricultural laborers, craftsmen, and crossbowmen for the benefit of the king. The colony at Lucera was finally disbanded in 1300 under Charles II of Naples, and many of its inhabitants sold into slavery.[42] The Jewish community was expelled after the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition from 1493 to 1513 in Sicily. The remaining Jews were gradually assimilated, and most of them converted to Roman Catholicism.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Documenti per servire alla storia di Sicilia: Diplomatica, Volumes 14-16 (in Italian). U. Manfredi Editori. 1891-01-01. p. XXXII.
  2. ^ Vio, Michele Del (1706-01-01). Felicis, et fidelissimæ urbis Panormitanæ selecta aliquot ad civitatis decus, et commodum spectantia privilegia per instrumenta varia Siciliæ ... opera don Michaelis De Vio . (in Italian). in palatio senatorio per Dominicum Cortese. p. 314.
  3. ^ Gregorio, Rosario (1833-01-01). Considerazioni sopra la storia di Sicilia dai tempi normanni sino al presenti, Volume 3 (in Italian). dalla Reale Stamperia. p. 303.
  4. ^ Mongitore, Antonino; Mongitore, Francesco Serio e (1749-01-01). Parlamenti generali del regno di Sicilia dall' anno 1446 sino al 1748: con le memorie istoriche dell' antico, e moderno uso del parlamento appresso varie nazioni, ed in particolare della sua origine in Sicilia, e del modo di celebrarsi, Volume 1 (in Italian). Presso P. Bentivenga. p. 109.
  5. ^ "Italy to c. 1380 - The southern kingdoms". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  6. ^ a b c d N. Zeldes (2003). The Former Jews of This Kingdom: Sicilian Converts After the Expulsion, 1492–1516. BRILL. pp. 5, 69, 296–97. ISBN 90-04-12898-0.
  7. ^ "Chronological - Historical Table Of Sicily". In Italy Magazine. 7 October 2007. Archived from the original on 27 July 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  8. ^ Douglas, David. The Norman Fate, 1100-1154. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1976.
  9. ^ a b c d Houben, Hubert (2002). Roger II of Sicily: A Ruler between East and West. Cambridge University Press. pp. 7, 148. ISBN 0-521-65573-0.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Donald Matthew (1992). The Norman Kingdom of Sicily. Cambridge University Press. pp. 4–6, 71–74, 86–92, 285, 286, 304. ISBN 0-521-26911-3.
  11. ^ a b c d Malcolm Barber (2004). The Two Cities: Medieval Europe, 1050–1320. Routledge. p. 211. ISBN 0-415-17414-7.
  12. ^ a b c d e David Nicolle (2002). Italian Medieval Armies 1000–1300. Osprey Publishing. pp. 5–10, 18–19, 34. ISBN 1-84176-322-5.
  13. ^ James Ross Sweeney, Stanley Chodorow (1989). Popes, Teachers, and Canon Law in the Middle Ages. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-2264-7.
  14. ^ Hunt Janin (2008). The University in Medieval Life, 1179–1499. McFarland. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7864-3462-6.
  15. ^ a b Katherine Fisher (2004). Magna Carta. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 53, 84–85. ISBN 0-313-32590-1.
  16. ^ a b c Steve Runciman (1958). The Sicilian Vespers: A History of the Mediterranean World in the Later Thirteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. pp. 32–34, 209, 274. ISBN 0-521-43774-1.
  17. ^ Allan W. Atlas (1985). Music at the Aragonese court of Naples. Cambridge University Press. p. 1. ISBN 0-521-24828-0.
  18. ^ a b Carolyn Bain (2004). Malta & Gozo. Lonely Planet. p. 23. ISBN 1-74059-178-X.
  19. ^ a b c d e Danforth Prince (2007). Frommer's Sicily. Frommer's. p. 314. ISBN 978-0-470-10056-1.
  20. ^ W. H. Clements, "The Defences of Sicily, 1806-1815," Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Autumn 2009, Vol. 87 Issue 351, pp 256-272
  21. ^ Alfonso Scirocco (2007). Garibaldi: Citizen of the World. Princeton University Press. p. 279. ISBN 978-0-691-11540-5.
  22. ^ Smith, Denis Mack (1992-03-01). Italy and Its Monarchy. Yale University Press. p. 17. ISBN 0300051328.
  23. ^ Smith, Denis Mack (1985-04-18). Cavour and Garibaldi 1860: A Study in Political Conflict. Cambridge University Press. p. 389. ISBN 9780521316378.
  24. ^ Finkelstein, Monte S. (1998-01-01). Separatism, the Allies and the Mafia: The Struggle for Sicilian Independence, 1943-1948. Lehigh University Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780934223515.
  25. ^ Hess, Henner (1998-01-01). Mafia & Mafiosi: Origin, Power and Myth. NYU Press. p. 155. ISBN 9781863331432.
  26. ^ Lukacs, John (1968-01-01). Historical Consciousness: The Remembered Past. Transaction Publishers. p. 116. ISBN 9781412825146.
  27. ^ Ziblatt, Daniel (2006-01-01). Structuring the State: The Formation of Italy and Germany and the Puzzle of Federalism. Princeton University Press. p. 102. ISBN 0691121672.
  28. ^ Noble, Thomas F. X. (1994). Western Civilization. Houghton Mifflin. p. 895.
  29. ^ a b Samantha Kelly (2003). The New Solomon: Robert of Naples (1309–1343) and Fourteenth-Century Kingship. BRILL. p. 134. ISBN 90-04-12945-6.
  30. ^ [citation needed]
  31. ^ Lucy Riall (1998). Sicily and the Unification of Italy: Liberal Policy and Local Power, 1859–1866. Oxford University Press. p. 206. ISBN 0-19-820680-1.
  32. ^ Kenneth M. Setton (1985). A History of the Crusades, Volume V: The Impact of the Crusades on the Near East. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 313. ISBN 0-299-09144-9.
  33. ^ Perry Anderson (1984). Lineages of the Absolutist State. Verso. p. 146. ISBN 0-86091-710-X.
  34. ^ a b c d Jedidiah Morse. A Compendious and Complete System of Modern Geography: or, A View of the Present State of the World. Thomas and Andrews. p. 503.
  35. ^ Henri Bresc (in Un monde mediteranéen) claims that Sicily was relegated to being an agricultural satellite for wealthier northern Italian cities, and sees the Sicilian people as an early proletariat
  36. ^ Backman, The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily, 1995.
  37. ^ Epstein, An Island for Itself: Economic Development and Social Change in Late Medieval Sicily, (2003).
  38. ^ Desmond Gregory (1988). Sicily: The Insecure Base: A History of the British Occupation of Sicily, 1806–1815. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 35. ISBN 0-8386-3306-4.
  39. ^ Peter L. Bernstein (2000). The power of gold: the history of an obsession. John Wiley and Sons. p. 90. ISBN 0-471-25210-7.
  40. ^ Metcalfe, Alex. Muslims and Christians in Norman Sicily: Arabic Speakers and the End of Islam (2003).
  41. ^ Gwynne-Timothy, John (1970). People and power in an age of upheavel, 1919 to the present. University of California Press. p. 41. ISBN 9789733203162.
  42. ^ a b The best discussion of the fate of Sicilian Muslims can be found in Julie Taylor, Muslims in Medieval Italy: The Colony at Lucera (2003), but is also discussed in Alex Metcalfe, The Muslims of Medieval Italy (2009).


  • Abulafia, David. Frederick II: A Medieval Emperor, 1988.
  • Abulafia, David. The Two Italies: Economic Relations between the Kingdom of Sicily and the Northern Communes, Cambridge University Press, 1977.
  • Abulafia, David. The Western Mediterranean Kingdoms 1200–1500: The Struggle for Dominion, Longman, 1997. (a political history)
  • Alio, Jacqueline. Queens of Sicily 1061-1266: The Queens Consort, Regent and Regnant of the Norman-Swabian Era of the Kingdom of Sicily, Trinacria, 2018.
  • Aubé, Pierre. « Les Empires normands d’Orient, XIe-XIIIe siècles », Paris, rééd. Perrin, 2006.
  • Aubé, Pierre. « Roger II de Sicile. Un Normand en Méditerranée », Paris 2001, rééd. Perrin, 2006.
  • Johns, Jeremy. Arabic administration in Norman Sicily : the royal dīwān, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Mendola, Louis. The Kingdom of Sicily 1130-1860, Trinacria Editions, New York, 2015.
  • Metcalfe, Alex. Muslims and Christians in Norman Sicily: Arabic Speakers and the End of Islam, Routledge, 2002.
  • Metcalfe, Alex. The Muslims of Medieval Italy, 2009.
  • Norwich, John Julius. Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History, 2015.
  • Runciman, Steven. The Sicilian Vespers: A History of the Mediterranean World in the Late 13th Century, Cambridge University Press, 1958.

This page was last edited on 8 July 2021, at 19:43
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