County of Sicily

County of Sicily
Counté de Cesile
Contado di Sicilia
The county in 1112, before merger with mainland Duchy of Apulia and Calabria
Capital Palermo
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Monarchy
   1071–1101 Roger I
  1101–1105 Simon
  1105–1130 Roger II
   Established 1071
   Disestablished 1130
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Emirate of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
Today part of  Italy

The County of Sicily was a Norman state comprising the islands of Sicily and Malta from 1071 until 1130. The county began to form during the Christian reconquest of Sicily (106191) from the Muslim Emirate, established by conquest in 965. The county is thus a transitional period in the history of Sicily. After the Muslims had been defeated and either forced out or incorporated into the Norman military, a further period of transition took place for the county and the Sicilians.


The County of Sicily was created by Robert Guiscard in 1071 for his younger brother Roger Bosso. Guiscard himself had received the title Duke of Sicily (dux Siciliae) in 1059 from Pope Nicholas II as encouragement to conquer it from the Muslims. In 1061 the first permanent Norman conquest (Messina) was made and in 1071, after the fall of Palermo, the capital of the emirate and future capital of the county, Guiscard invested Roger with the title of count and gave him full jurisdiction in the island save for half the city of Palermo, Messina, and the Val Demone, which he retained for himself. Roger was to hold the county which comprised conquests yet to be made under Guiscard. In February 1091 the conquest of Sicily was completed when Noto fell. The conquest of Malta was begun later that year; it was completed in 1127 when the Arab administration of the island was expelled.

Robert Guiscard left Roger in an ambiguous relationship with his successors of the Duchy of Apulia and Calabria. During the reigns of Roger II of Sicily and William II of Apulia conflict broke out between the two Norman principalities, first cousins through Roger and Robert respectively. Through the mediation of Pope Calistus II and in return for aid against a rebellion led by Jordan of Ariano in 1121, the childless William ceded all his Sicilian territories to Roger and named him his heir.

When William died in 1127, Roger inherited the mainland duchy; three years later, in 1130 in Palermo, he merged his holdings to form the Kingdom of Sicily with the approval of Pope Anacletus II.

List of counts

Sicily was granted, pending its Christian reconquest, to Robert Guiscard as "duke" in 1059 by Pope Nicholas II. The Guiscard granted it as a county to his brother Roger.

Count Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Roger I
son of Tancred of Hauteville and Fredisenda
Judith of Évreux
4 children

Eremburga of Mortain
8 children

Adelaide del Vasto
4 children
aged 80
son of Roger I of Sicily and Adelaide del Vasto
never married 1105
aged 12
Roger II
22 December 1095
son of Roger I of Sicily and Adelaide del Vasto
Elvira of Castile
6 children

Sibyl of Burgundy
2 children

Beatrix of Rethel
1 child
26 February 1154
aged 59

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.