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Area/Ruler: Naples: Charles II of Anjou
Reigned: 1285 AD - 1309 AD
Denomination: AR Gigliato
Obverse: King enthroned facing, flanked by lion on each side."KAROL (SAO?) DEI GRATIA ? SICILY REX"
Reverse: Ornate cross fleury with lis in angles."HONOR REGIS NIDIANI DI LIGH"??
Reference: Gn. 3510
Weight: 3.9 gms
Diameter: 25.7 mm
Comment: This coin from the Thessalonian hoard, hidden by Crusaders.

The division of Naples from the Two Sicilies

In 1061 the Normans, under Robert Guiscard and his brother Roger I of Sicily, began the conquest of Sicily which was occupied by the Saracens, completing it in 1091. In 1127 Roger II, Count of Sicily, was recognized as Duke of Apulia and Calabria, and in 1130 he assumed the title of King of Sicily. The domain of Roger II was sometimes called the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, or the Two Sicilies, because the southern part of the Italian mainland was known as "Sicily on this side of Cape Faro".

In 1194 the Norman rule was succeeded by that of the House of Hohenstaufen, whose most illustrious member was the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. As Frederick I of Sicily, he presided over a brilliant court and, in 1231, issued the antifeudal Constitutions of Melfi, which centralized authority in Sicily. Hohenstaufen rule did not long survive his death in 1250; with papal support, Charles I, Count of Anjou and the brother of Louis IX of France, seized control of the kingdom in 1266.

In 1282 Sicilians revolted against his oppressive rule. The revolt was known as the Sicilian Vespers, and was the name given to the massacre whose signal to begin was the first stroke of the vesper bell, of the French in Sicily on Easter Monday, March 30, 1282. Charles I had aroused the hatred of the Sicilians by imposing heavy taxes and especially by putting the island under the control of French officials and soldiers. On that Monday evening the inhabitants of Palermo rose against their oppressors. Their example was followed in other towns, until almost all the French in Sicily had been massacred. Charles made a determined attempt to reconquer the island, but the Sicilians summoned to their aid Pedro III, king of Aragón, who was elected king of Sicily that same year. A long war followed between the Aragónese and the Angevins for control of Sicily, with the Aragónese ultimately gaining the ascendancy.

Thus the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was divided, with Naples remaining under the control of the House of Anjou with Charles I as King succeeded by his son Charles II.

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