Historical Essay



Or three pignates
Sable set 2-1.


Residence: Naples,Rome,Madrid,Palermo

Historical and illustrious family of southern Italy, recognized by many authors as descending from the Lombard Dukes of Benevento, which proven line starts with Lucio Pignatelli, Constable of Naples in 1102.

To explain Coat-of-Arms and Name many authors refer that a famous Landolfo under the service of King Roger of Hauteville of the Norman's Dynasty, during the assault and the Sack of the Imperial Palace in Constantinople , he came out holding on his hands three Silver Pignates and from then was assumed the Coat-of-Arms.

A recent document found in the Archives of Monteroduni line stated that in 1094 two Pignatellis  “orti a nobile sanguine “ supplied over  1500 warriors to “ certamen “ in the Holy land.

This story will confirm that is most likely that the “Droit de Pillage “ was very common at that time , thus the logic of the silver pignates ..

Other Historians claim that a famous Gisulfo leading a fleet on behalf of the King Roger of Hauteville against the Byzantines in Negroponte , won the naval battle by launching pignates in fire.

The Family held numerous fiefdoms : Seigneur of Caserta in 1269,
Patrician of Naples at the Seggi of Nido e Capuana.

Enjoyed Nobility Rank in Rome , Venice , Sicily , Spain and Mexico.

The family joined the Knights of Malta in 1420 with Giovanni , Commendatore of Monopoli and Pietro Prior of Messina.

The family held important positions in the Church Hierarchy and on Civil Service .

The family received the Toson d'Or in the branches of Monteleone and Terranova and Strongoli.

Grandee of Spain in the Lines of Monteleone e Terranova , Belmonte , Strongoli , Fuentes.

This very Illustrious Family divided in three main Lines :
from RICCARDO in 1250 descended

TOMMASO , Governatore d'Atri ( 1431 ) and in the dawn of the XV Century three main Lines were established by their sons

STEFANO ( branches of Marques of Casalnuovo , Princes of Monteroduni , Dukes of Montecalvo )

CARLO ( Counts and Dukes of Monteleone , Marques of Caronia ,Princes of  Castelvetrano and through the last Heiress of Fernando Cortez Marchioness of Valle Oaxaca and Countess of Priego )

PALAMEDE ( Lords of Cerchiara , Princes of Noja, Princes of Holy Roman Empire , and through marriages Dukes of Terranova , Princes of Holy Roman Empire with the Branches of Belmonte ( 1723 ) ;Monteleone and Terranova , Strongoli ,Fuentes e Cerchiara ( 1648 )

The first-born  line descending from  CARLO(1421-1476) extinguished with Geronima (1599- 1667 ) , Princess of Holy Roman Empire , V  Duchess of  Monteleone , Countess of Borrello , Vice-Queen of Aragona  in  1655 ; daughter of  Ettore III ,  IV Duca di Monteleone  ( 1572 – 1622 ) , Viceroy of Catalogna  and Caterina Caracciolo Countess of S. Angelo dei Lombardi .

This Line ended in the Branch of Marchesi di Cerchiara  and Principi di Noja , with the marriage of  Geronima with Fabrizio Pignatelli , V Marchese of Cerchiara , III Principe of Noja , who inherited from her  the  Dukedom of Monteleone (title held since  1527 ), the Earldom of Borrello (title held since1520 ) and the Baronia of Mesiano e Rosario( titles held since 1501 ) and the Earldom of S. Angelo di Lombardi  via  Caracciolo family (title held since 1426 ).

Giacomo  Pignatelli (? – 1539 ) son of the third-born brother PALAMEDE started  the Line of Cerchiara and Noja .

A very illustrious descendant  of Giacomo was the Pontiff Innocenzo XII  ( 1691-1700 ), his secular name was Antonio Pignatelli , son of Francesco dei Marchesi di Cerchiara, Marchese di Spinazzola ( 1576 ) , Principe di Minervino in 1629, inheritance and succession of the Carafa family, from his wife Porzia ( marr.1605) , daughter of Fabrizio Carafa  Duke of  Andria .

The title of  Marquis of Cerchiara  was granted in 1556 to Fabrizio I ( ? – 1567 ), son of Jacopo (Giacomo ) ; Viceroy of Calabria , I Marquis di Cerchiara , II Signore di Noja.

The title of Prince of the Noja “State” (Basilicata/Lucania ) was granted in 1600  to Fabrizio , III Marchese di Cerchiara .

The first line of the Branch of Marchesi of Cerchiara and Principi di Noja  took also the name and  the Coat-of-Arms of the family Aragona Cortes , after the marriage attested in 1639 by the Notary P.Graffeo in Palermo.

In the contract , was established that all descendants of Ettore Pignatelli , Marquis del Vaglio with Giovanna Tagliavia Aragona Cortes, will carry the full Tagliavia Aragona Pignatelli Cortes name.

With this marriage the following fiefs and titles were inherited : Marquis of Avola (title held since 1542 ) ; Prince of Castelvetrano (title held since 1564 ) ; Duke of Terranova (title held since 1561) ; Count of Borghetto ( title held since 1565 ); the title Prince of the Holy Roman Empire was granted in  1648 ( with the right to all descendants m/f ) to the father of  Giovanna : Diego Tagliavia Aragona Cortes  Duke of Terranova , Prince of  Castelvetrano etc…. 

The above mentioned Giovanna , from her mother Stefania Carrillo Cortes  , niece of Ferdinando Cortes, “ Conquistador del Mexico”  inherited also the titles of Marquis of Valle Oaxaca and Count of  Priego ( Mexico ).

The name  Aragona , originated from Orlando Signore of Avola ( 1363 )  son  of   King Federico II .

Tagliavia was a Sicilian family originated by Bartolomeo , Signore of Castelvetrano ( 1209 ) and took the full  name of Tagliavia Aragona with the marriage of Giovanvincenzo Tagliavia , Count of Castelvetrano ( 1522 ) with Beatrice Aragona  niece of Federico III  King of Sicily and Aragona .

In the XVII century with the marriage of  Nicolo’ Pignatelli (  bur. In  Cerchiara the 23rd of August 1648, bur. in Naples  the 8th of  March 1730)  : Viceroy of Sardinia and Sicily , and second brother of  Fabrizio III , V Marchese di Cerchiara e III Principe di Noja , with her grand-niece  Giovanna II Aragona Pignatelli Cortes(1677-1723) daughter of  Andrea Fabrizio (?-1677) Duke of Monteleone , all titles and fiefs were inherited by  the first-born of the four brothers  :

1-    Diego , Prince of H.R.E. , Marquis of Valle Oaxaca later Duke of Terranova and Monteleone.

2- Ferdinando, Prince of  H.R.E. , later Prince of Strongoli

3- Antonio,  Prince of  H.R.E. , later Count of Fuentes

4 -Fabrizio Prince of   H.R.E. later Line of Cerchiara.

From the last born PALAMEDE

were  generated the second

and third Line of Monteleone:

A}  Princes  of Strongoli (title held since 1620 ) : following the marriage of Ferdinando Pignatelli , Prince of  the Holy Roman Empire, Admiral  of the Kingdom of  Naples , Grandee of Spain  , Knight of Toson d’Or ,( 1689 – 1767 ) with Lucrezia Pignatelli (1704 -1760) , IV Princess of  Strongoli , VI Countess of Melissa and Duchess of Tolve, all titles and fiefs inherited from the family  Campitelli and Moles were received

through  marriages.

B} The Line  Counts of Fuentes (Title held since  1508 ) inheritance and succession of the family Moncaio-Blanes y Centelles.This branch had the honour to generate Saint Joseph Pignatelli (1737-1811) , relevant representative of the Jesuit Order.

C} The Branch , descendant from  Domenico Pignatelli Y de Vaez (1630 c.a.-1700 c.a. ) Marquis of S.Vincenzo, Capitano Generale of Estremadura ,Galicia and Navarra , married Anna de Aymerich  and generated the  following lines :

D} The Line  Pignatelli y Americh , Princes of Belmonte ( 1619 ) , Dukes of Acerenza ( 1593 ) , Marquis of Galatone (1562 ) Counts of Copertino (1557 ) inheritance from Ravaschieri and Pinelli family.

Paolina Francesca Pignatelli Y Americh- Pinelli-Ravaschieri Squarciafico (1824-1911) (Female Succession) ,  direct descendant of the above mentioned Domenico , she held the titles of XXI Countess of Copertino , XI Marquise of Galatone , IX Duchess of Acerenza , VII Princess of Belmonte etc.. Grandee of Spain  on the Acerenza fief , daughter of Gennaro (1777-1829), she inherited all fiefs ,estates and titles of brothers who died earlier; she married in 1839 Angelo V Granito, IV Marquis of Castellabate  and Baron of Rocca Cilento, Gentiluomo di Camera of H.M. the King of the Two Sicilies and  Sovraintendente Generale of the Royal Archives.

E } and the Line Granito-Pignatelli di Belmonte originated.

The descendants of  STEFANO, second-born of the famous above mentioned three brothers (XV century ) , generated the Line of Marquis of  Casalnuovo( 1630 ) , the Line of the Dukes of Montecalvo (1611)  and the actual first LINE of

 Princes of Monteroduni (1702)

The line of Casalnuovo ended in mid of last century

  The Colonel of The House of Pignatelli  today is :

Giovanni Pignatelli della Leonessa (1920-) , VIII Prince  of  Monteroduni , IV Prince of Sepino ,Count of  Tuhegl , Duke of Castoria ,Baron del Gallo , Patrizio Napolitano son of the VII Prince of Monteroduni  Luigi (1885-1930) and Maria dei Marchesi Ajossa (1889-1969).

Following the Court Sentence of the Tribunal of Naples in 1859 over  the two centuries old dispute , between the Casalnuovo line and the Monteleone-Terranova line, concerning the title of Count of Borrello and Duke of Monteleone ,  titles granted to the Pignatelli branch by Ferdinand V of Aragon with male primogeniture succession ; the above mentioned titles should have been used by the first male line , while the Pignatelli Tagliavia Aragona Cortes Line has always used the Monteleone , Borrello titles through female succession according to the Spanish feudal law of succession in force during the Spanish Vice-Kingdom of Naples:

Giovanna II daughter of Andrea Fabrizio last Duke of Monteleone ( died in 1677 ) who married Nicolo’ Pignatelli Prince of Noja and Marquis of Cerchiara and before with Geronima ( 1599-1667) who married in 1615 Fabrizio V Marquis of Cerchiara and III Prince of Noja (see above and Genealogy Tables and Pignatelli Cortes History )

Consequently the Monteroduni line , actual first line,  after the extinction of Casalnuovo may hold the title of Count of Casalnuovo , Count of Borrello , Duke of Monteleone.

Relevant Female Succession and Inheritance into Pignatelli

Ruffo della Leonessa , Dukes of San Martino and Princes of Sepino ended with Carolina (1814-1870) , who married Giovanni , Prince of Monteroduni   bringing titles and estates and the name della Leonessa.

Campitelli ,Princes of Strongoli and Counts of Melissa with Giovanna , who married Geronimo Pignatelli in XVII Century.

Caracciolo , Counts of S.Angelo dei Lombardi with Caterina (1573-1622) , who married Ettore Pignatelli , Count of Borrello and Duke of Monteleone.

 Aymerich , Marquis of San Vincenzo with Anna Giustiniana , who married in the XVII century, Domenico Pignatelli Marquis of Cerchiara and Prince of Noja.

Tagliavia Aragona Cortes ,Princes of Castevetrano , Princes of H.R.E. , Marquis of Avola , Counts of Borghetto and Priego ,Dukes of Terranova , Marquis of Valle Oaxaca (Cortes Line of Succession), Grandee of Spain with Giovanna  (1639) , who married Ettore Pignatelli , Duke of Monteleone and Count of Borrello.

Pinelli-Ravaschieri , Princes of Belmonte , Marquis of Galatone , Counts of Copertino , with Anna , who married in 1721 Antonio  Pignatelli , Marquis of San Vincenzo.

Piccolomini , Princes of Valle and Maida , Dukes of Girifalco and Lacconia , with Giulia who married in 1770 Ettore Pignatelli , XI Duke of Monteleone.

Moncajo-Blanes Y Centelles , Counts of Fuentes with Maria Francesca , who married in 1720 Antonio Pignatelli of the Marquis of Cerchiara and of the Princes of Noja.

Gonzaga ,Dukes of Solferino , with Maria Luisa who in 1742 married Joaquim (Gioacchino )  Pignatelli  , I Count of Fuentes.

FIEFS and ESTATES held by The PIGNATELLI family

 The Fiefs were over 179  , we list here the relevant ones :

Amendolara , Bellizzi , Briatico , Caiazzo , Castellamare sul Golfo , Carpineto , Ferolito , Ferrandina , Gallo , Guastalla , Leverano , Maddaloni , Melfi , Novi , Nusco , Orta , Palma , Pisciotta , Regina , Sant’Angelo , Sant’Eufemia , Scafati , Summonte , Taurasi , Torritto , Tufara , Trecase , Veglie …


 18 :

Counts of Acerra , Borghetto (1564 ) , Borrello ( 1506 ) , Cerinola , Cerignola , Copertino ( 1557 ) , Egmont , Fuentes , Melissa , Mesagne , Montavano , Monteleone , Priego , San Giovanni Lappione (1618 ) , Sant’ Angelo de’ Lombardi ( 1508 ) , San Valentino , Tuehgl , Vaglio.


 22 :

Argensola , Avola , Caronia , Casalnuovo (1630 ) , Cerchiara ( 1556 ) , Collelongo ( 1735 ) , Colletorto ( 1712 ) , Favara (1559 ) , Galatone ( 1562 ) , Lauro , Moio , Padula , Paglieta ,( 1603 ) , Sambuca , San Giovanni , San Vincenzo , Spinazzola ( 1586 ) , Tertiveri , Trentola , Tufara , Vaglios , Valle Oaxaca ( 1547 ) with the Signorie in Mexico of ( Caro , Cotaxilla , Coyocan , Cuernavaca , Etla , Nico , Sancta Maria , Sant’Anna , Tambaya , Tapulia , Tuxilla  ).


17 :

Acerenza ( 1593 ) , Alliste , Bellosguardo , Bisaccia ( 1600 ) , Caivano ,Castoria (1715), Corigliano d’Otranto ( 1798  ) , Girifalco , Montecalvo ( 1611 ) , Monteleone ( 1533 ) , Rocca Mondolfa  ,  San Demetrio ( 1735 ) , San Marco , San Martino  (1621 ) , San Mauro , Terranova ( 1561 ) , Tolve ( 1678 ) .


 14 :

Belmonte ( 1619 ) , Castelvetrano ( 1564 ) , Marsiconuovo ( 1677 ) , Minervino ( 1631 ) , Moliterno ( 1745 ) , Monasterace , Montecorvino ( 1750 ) , Monteroduni ( 1702 ) , Muro Leccese ( 1798 ) , Noja ( 1600 ) , Racale , Supino ( 1627 ) , Valle and Maida

Genealogy Cortes Pignatelli
Genealogia Cortes Pignatelli
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History Pignatelli Aragona Cortes
Click Here

Lafayette-Pignatelli Line

History Pignatelli di Monteroduni
Storia Pignatelli di Monteroduni
Cick here

Historical Essay
Pignatelli of Strongoli Line
Cick here

The Genealogical Tree and Biography of Innocent XII
Click here

click here

(Existing updated Lines of Succession in 2003)
click here (german language)

Stemma Pignatelli Strongoli
( Line from 1689 to 1970 )
click here


PIGNATELLI  family history  by Enciclopedia Treccani (Ruggero Moscati 1935)



The Dynastic Tradition of the Pignatelli family

The Pignatelli Family traced their ancestry back to Agilmondo , a King of Lombards (VIII-IX) Century , of the Dukedom and later Principality of Benevento.

It was and it is a proud and illustrious family. It was one of the seventh great families of the Realm (of Naples).

It was also very common to marry with other prominent families, (including the other Pignatelli Branches ), as a way to keep and inherit the assets ,the fortunes and to hold power and wealth.

Pignatelli married into Carafa , Sanseverino , Caracciolo , d'Aquino ,del Balzo,
Spinelli , Campitelli , Ravaschieri etc… etc. and other prominent Papal families as Orsini ,Caetani, Colonna , della Rovere, Conti.

But in many ways the Neapolitan families as Carafa and Pignatelli (Papal families) were unlike other roman papal families ( the power and wealth was within Rome and Lazio region ) : the base of power and the source of their wealth were the feudal holdings in the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily.

Their policy tended to marry the heiress of Principalities and fiefdoms of Southern Italy.

We outline some interesting examples:

Niccolo Pignatelli V Prince of Noja married in 1679 Giovanna Pignatelli
Duchess of Monteleone , Marq of Valle Oaxaca etc.. heiress of the fortunes Tagliavia - Cortes.(Sicily and Mexico)

Ettore IV Duc of Monteleone married in 1592 Caterina Caracciolo heiress of the Earldom of S.Angelo de' Lombardi. (fief between Salerno and Bari)

Ferdinando Pignatelli Knight of the Toson d'Or , Prince of the Holy Roman Empire , Duke of Tolve , Grandee of Spain , married in 1719
Lucrezia Pignatelli III Princess of Strongoli (fief in The Calabria region )(Title inherited by marriage with the Campitelli Family by Geronimo I Prince of Strongoli in early 1600).

In the Genealogy section , we can see the complex marriage policy implemented by the family.

At the peak of their power the Pignatelli were owners of 179 fiefs , 18 Counties or/Earldom , 22 Marquisates , 16 Dukedoms and 14 Principalities .

Today several branches are still existing.




Click here



Historical Notes on Neapolitan Nobility and Aristocracy

There were many States in Historical Italy,each with a separate nobility.

They differed in structure, wealth and power.

After the unification of Italy previous Nobility laws and customs were maintained.

Historically, since the introduction of the Feudal System,Titles were granted by Emperors ,Kings(German,Austrian,French,Spanish) and Popes,in addition Powerful Lords (Milan Dukes, Tuscany ,Venice,Parma...) also conceded Titles To local Aristocracy.

The hereditary Titles of Principe,Duca,Marchese,Conte,Barone were granted by Patent Letter by Emperors,Popes and Kings out of the Feudal System of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Status of Patrizio is related to the City of origin.

The Title of Don means Noble Rank and The Consulta Araldica(Italian authority after the unification ,which supervised the Titles recognition and concession) in 1929 granted this historical custom (Don and Donna) only to those Feudal Families(mainly Naples and Sicily) of Princes ,Dukes , the Roman Nobility and some Lombard Families.

When the Italian Republic was established in 1946,all Titles were abolished, but the Noble Families recognized before 1928, were authorized to incorporate the title on the surname.

Naples (Dukedom then Realm)

All Conquerors of Southern Italy adopted the Feudal System, Land possession was divided in Fiefs since the Lombard invasion in 590-839 AD (the first Dukedom was established in Benevento in 758 AD).
With the Normans invasion (Tancredi and Roger d'Hauteville 1060-1194) a further implementation was undertaken, but mainly from the Lombard feudal structure than the Frankish.

The Hohenstaufen with Conrad and Frederick (1194-1266) introduced the Female Succession.
The conquest of the Realm by Charles I of Anjou (1266) ,in order to avoid collaterals succession established the concept of legitimate descendants.

Under the Angevins (1262-1441) and Aragonese(1442-1495) ruling not changements were made.

With the Emperor Charles V (Spanish Ruling 1503) the system was modified as the last descendant died ,remote and collateral lines must succeed male and/or female.

During the Reign of Philip II of Spain (1595) and Charles VI of Austria( 1720) was introduced the Male succession in spite of Female with equal right.

The titles of Princes and Dukes were granted outside the Royal Family already under the Angevins and Aragonese ruling (Queen Jeanne I 1343 and Alfonso the Magnanimous 1442): Prince of Taranto (1373) to Giacomo del Balzo;
Duke of Andria(1343) to Francesco del Balzo;
Prince of Salerno (1442) to Antonello Sanseverino....

Under the Spanish Viceroyalty and ruling (1504-1707) titles were distributed lavishly.

With the arrival of The Bourbons (1740-1799 and the restoration 1805-1861) the practice of a husband to adopt the title of the woman was officially legitimate. The titles of Prince in the Royal Family were allowed only to primogeniture of Males.

During the Napoleon Ruling (1799-1815) the Feudalism was officially abolished by Joseph Bonaparte (1806), but all titles granted were confirmed
by Ferdinand IV of Bourbon ,King of the Two Sicilies.

Essential Chronology of the History of Naples

Mainland southern Italy and Sicily were conquered independently by various Norman knights, the former from the Byzantines and Lombards, the latter from the Saracens, in the course of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries.

They were formed into the Kingdom of Sicily, with its capital at Palermo, under Count Roger II of Sicily (1130).
This kingdom was conquered successively by the Hohenstaufens (Swabia) and the Angevins (Anjou and Provence ); Charles I of Anjou moved the capital to Naples.

Under the Angevins, and thereafter, the mainland is known as 'Sicilia citra Farum' (i.e., Sicily on this side of the lighthouse marking the straits of Messina), but comes often to be called the Kingdom of Naples; the island of Sicily is known as 'Sicilia ultra Farum' (beyond the lighthouse).

The revolt known as the Sicilian Vespers (1282) separated the island from the mainland and placed it under Aragonese rule; after the conquest of Naples by Alfonso of Aragon (1435-42) the island and the mainland came again under a single ruler, but on Alfonso's death (1458) they were again separated; the conquest of Naples by Ferdinand of Aragon (1501-04) once more placed them under a single ruler, but administrative union in the form of the 'Kingdom of the Two Sicilies' was not carried through until 1816.

The Normans

1059 Treaty of Melfi; Pope Gregory VII legitimizes conquests by Robert Guiscard and his Norman associates under papal suzerainty
1130-1154 Roger II, previously count of Sicily, claims kingship of Sicily, Apulia, and Capua (1130); overcomes opposition of Pope Innocent II by defeating and capturing the pope. His successors are William I, the Bad (1154-1166) and William II, the Good (1166-1189)
1186 Constance, aunt of William II, marries Henry, heir of Frederick Barbarossa; on William's death she is his heiress (1189)

The Hohenstaufens

1189-1197 Emperor Henry VI claims the Sicilian throne in the right of his wife; he is opposed by Tancred of Lecce (d. 1194)
1198-1250 Frederick of Hohenstaufen (b.1194; later Emperor Frederick II)
1198 Queen Constance before her death places Frederick under the guardianship of Pope Innocent III; rivalry among German-Sicilian administrators
1208 Emperor Otto of Brunswick makes a claim to Sicily, opposed by the pope; Frederick of Hohenstaufen takes over government (but leaves for Germany, 1212)
1220 Frederick returns to Sicily having become Emperor Frederick II (he pretends to leave for Jerusalem, 1227, and actually leaves, 1228)
1229 Pope Gregory IX claims Sicily in Frederick's absence, but he returns and re-establishes his authority
1231 Frederick II proclaims the Constitutions of Melfi (the Liber Augustalis), organizing the government of the Kingdom of Sicily under an apparatus of royal control (he leaves again for Germany, 1235)
1236 Frederick II begins a series of campaigns in northern Italy that drain the resources of Sicily (he returns to Apulia, 1249, and dies there)
1250-1254 Emperor Conrad IV; he names his illegitimate half-brother Manfred as vicar in Sicily and Italy
1254-1266 Manfred assumes power in his own right after Conrad IV's death; (he is crowned at Palermo, 1258, and extends his influence to northern Italy)
1262 Charles of Anjou accepts Pope Urban IV's offer of Sicilian kingship
1266 Battle of Benevento; Manfred defeated and killed by Charles
1268 Conradin (son of Conrad IV) leads an expedition to reclaim Sicily; at the battle of Tagliacozzo he is defeated by Charles and executed at Naples


The Angevins

1266-1285 Charles I
1268 Battle of Tagliacozzo; defeat and execution of Conradin; Charles secures his control over the kingdom
1282 The Sicilian Vespers; Peter III of Aragon takes control of Sicily
1285-1309 Charles II, the Lame
1302 Peace of Caltabellotta; Aragonese control of Sicily is accepted
1309-1343 Robert, the Wise, hostage of Aragon ( married Jolanda of Aragon ), supports the Guelf faction against the Papacy ,patron of Literature and Art
1343-1382 Joanna I; she marries her cousin Andrew of Hungary (younger brother of Louis the Great of Hungary)
1345 Andrew of Hungary murdered with the connivance of Joanna I
1347-48 Invasion of Louis of Hungary; Joanna flees to Avignon; she obtains permission (1348) to marry Louis of Taranto (d.1362); Louis of Hungary meets resistance, withdraws
1350 Second invasion of Louis of Hungary fails(peace treaty, 1351)
1363 Joanna marries James of Majorca (d.1375)
1372 Peace with Frederick IV of Sicily; he is recognized as 'King of Trinacria' (terms accepted by Pope Gregory XI only after modification, 1374)
1376 Joanna marries Otto of Brunswick
1380 Joanna disinherits Charles of Durazzo, names Louis of Anjou as her heir
1382 Revolt by Charles of Durazzo; Joanna imprisoned and strangled

The Angevins of Durazzo

1382-1386 Charles III of Durazzo; he is opposed by Louis of Anjou (d.1384)
1385 Charles III returns to Hungary, where he is killed (1386)
1386-1414 Ladislas
1386-93 Regency of Queen Mother Marguerite; conflicts with Louis II of Anjou (1386-1400) who holds the city of Naples
1399 Ladislas successfully occupies the city of Naples
1407 Ladislas occupies Rome which Pope Gregory XII cannot hold
1411 Renewed conflict with Louis II of Anjou; Ladislas forced to withdraw from Rome but then reoccupies it
1414 Sudden death of Ladislas in Rome ends Neapolitan bid for hegemony in Italy
1414-1435 Joanna II
1414-15 In first months of Joanna's reign power is exercised by the Queen's favourite, Pandolfo Alopo, as chamberlain
1415 Joanna marries James de la Marche; he executes Alopo (1415) but soon rouses opposition from the barons and is confined (1416); on his release he leaves the country (1419)
1417 Sergianni Caracciolo becomes the Queen's favourite; Pope Martin V is at first favourable
1419 Caracciolo alienates the condottiere Muzio Attendolo Sforza and Pope Martin V
1420 Joanna is attacked by Louis III of Anjou, Martin V, Sforza; defended by Caracciolo with the assistance of Alfonso of Aragon and the condottiere Braccio da Montone
1421 Joanna adopts Alfonso of Aragon as her heir
1423 Alfonso and Braccio quarrel with Caracciolo; Caracciolo has Joanna adopt Louis III of Anjou as her heir, make peace with Martin V
1431 Caracciolo, having made enemies among the nobility, is assassinated. Alfonso of Aragon gains influence
1433 Joanna again adopts Alfonso of Aragon as her heir
1433-34 Louis III campaigns to take over the kingdom, but dies (Nov. 1434)
1435 Joanna on her death (Feb.) bequeaths the kingdom to René of Anjou (brother of Louis III)

The Aragonese

1435-1458 Alfonso I of Aragon, the Magnanimous
1435-42 Conflict with the forces of René of Anjou
1442 Alfonso occupies the city of Naples; arranges for his illegitimate son Ferrante to succeed him there (while his brother John succeeds in Aragon and Sicily); Pope Eugenius IV comes to terms (1443)
1458-1494 Ferrante (Ferdinand I)
1458-64 Conflict with the forces of René, then John of Anjou
1480-81 Turkish occupation of Otranto
1485 The Great Barons Conspiracy (Francesco Coppola Count of Sarno,Antonello Sanseverino Prince of Salerno, Pietro Guevara Marchese del Vasto , Pirro del Balzo Prince of Altamura ), in the Angevin interest, with support from the Pope; Ferrante (1486) makes terms with some of the barons, arrests and later executes the ringleaders , makes terms with the Pope
1494-1495 Alfonso II
1495 Confronted with French invasion, Alfonso abdicates, retires to Messina (Jan.), dies (Dec.)
1495-1496 Ferrandino (Ferdinand II)
1495 Ferrandino retreats to Sicily before the French (Feb.)
1495 Charles VIII of France occupies Naples (Feb.-May)
1495 Ferrandino returns to the mainland (July) and regains control of the kingdom but dies (Oct. 1496)
1496-1501 Frederick of Altamura (uncle of Ferrandino)
1500 Secret treaty of Granada between Ferdinand of Aragon and Louis XII of France for the conquest and partition of Naples (Nov.)
1501 Joint Franco-Spanish invasion; Frederick of Altamura is forced into exile (Aug.; he dies in France, 1504; but his son the Duke of Calabria takes up residence in Spain)
1501-1516 Ferdinand the Catholic, of Aragon
1503-04 Following disagreements between the French and Spanish conquerors of the kingdom, hostilities break out and the French are driven out (they abandon their claim by treaty, 1505)
1503-07 Gonsalvo da Cordova acts as the king's lieutenant in Naples (his most important successor under Ferdinand is Raymond of Cardona, 1509-22)
1516 On the death of Ferdinand, Naples, with Spain, is inherited by his grandson Charles of Hapsburg (Charles I of Spain, after 1519 Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire)


Angevin conquest, revolt,
Aragonese intervention

1266-1282 Charles of Anjou becomes king as a result of his victories on the mainland; makes Naples his capital rather than Palermo
1282 The 'Sicilian Vespers', a popular uprising against the French in which many are massacred; Peter III of Aragon, inheritor of the Hohenstaufen claims in Sicily and South Italy as the husband of Manfred's daughter, lands on the island with an armed force
1282-1285 Peter III is crowned as Peter I of Sicily, refuses homage to the pope
1285-1295 James I (second son of Peter) becomes King of Sicily while his elder brother Alfonso III inherits the Crown of Aragon
1291 On the death of Alfonso III James I of Sicily becomes also James II of Aragon (to 1327); returning to Aragon, he places his younger brother Frederick in charge of Sicily
The Independent Monarchy
1296-1337 Frederick II (younger brother of James I), on James coming to terms with Pope Boniface VIII and abdicating the kingship of Sicily (1295), with the backing of the Sicilian Estates declares himself an independent king; he is excommunicated by the Pope and war against Naples follows
1302 Treaty of Caltabellotta, with Charles II of Naples; Frederick's position is reluctantly acknowledged, but the Angevins will continue to make attempts to dislodge the Aragonese from Sicily
1337-1342 Peter II
1342-1355 Louis, inheriting the throne at the age of four, is unable to establish a strong government and accepts a tributary relationship to the papacy. Baronial clans (especially the Chiaramonte and the Ventimiglia) quarrel for power
1355-1377 Frederick III, the Simple. Intermittent war against Naples continues
1372 Naples and the papacy come to terms with Frederick as a tributary King of 'Trinacria'
1377-1402 Mary of Aragon (daughter and heiress of Frederick III); government is effectively taken over by the heads of four baronial families who style themselves 'vicars'
1390 Mary is taken to Aragon and married to Martin 'the Younger' (grandson of John II of Aragon); they return with a military force (1392), defeat the opposing barons, and rule jointly until Mary's death (1402). Martin repudiates the treaty of 1372 and rules as King of Sicily
1402-1409 Martin I, the Younger (widower of Mary of Aragon) rules alone
1409-1410 Martin II, the Elder (Martin I of Aragon, father of Martin the Younger) inherits Sicily after his son's death
Union with Aragon
1410 On the death of Martin the Elder, Sicily subject to disorder remains in union with Aragon, and is ruled by the kings of the House of Trastamara (1412-1516) and then by the Hapsburgs; mainland Naples is also in union with Aragon under Alfonso the Magnanimous (1435-1458) and again under Ferdinand the Catholic (from 1501 on), but the island will be governed separately from the mainland until 1816


To be continued….By Gioacchino del Balzo copyright 2001