Alberic I of Spoleto

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Alberic I (died c. 925) was the Lombard duke of Spoleto from between 896 and 900 until 920, 922, or thereabouts. He first appears as a page to Guy III of Spoleto at the Battle on the Trebbia in 889 He may have later been the count of Fermo or margrave of Camerino, but whatever the case, he succeeded to Spoleto after murdering Duke Guy IV.

He was recognised soon by King Berengar I, with whom he fought the Magyars in 899 or 900. Alberic allied with his neighbour, the margrave of Tuscany Adalbert II, against Pope Sergius III. The two then blocked the road to Rome to prevent Berengar's imperial coronation in 906 or 907. His alliance with the Tusculani was very advantageous. By his marriage to Marozia, the daughter of Theodora and Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum, he received the title of "patrician of the Romans," patricius Romanorum.

Most famously perhaps, Alberic was one of the three great leaders of the Christian League which defeated the Saracens at the Battle of the Garigliano in June 915. He led his troops from Spoleto and Camerino with those of Theophylact of Tusculum to join with Pope John X—and his contingent from Latium and Adalbert of Tuscany—and Nicholas Picingli, the strategos of Bari, leading the Byzantine forces and Lombard and Greek princes of the South: Guaimar II of Salerno, Landulf I of Benevento, Atenulf II of Capua, John I and the later Docibilis II of Gaeta, and Gregory IV and the later John II of Naples. Even Berengar sent a contingent from La Marche. The battle went famously and many a petty prince received titles of great honour. Alberic was appointed the "consul of the Romans" in 917.[1]

He became, however, a tyrant in the Eternal City and people and pope expelled him. He was subsequently murdered in Orte between 924 or 926, probably because of his reliance on marauding Hungarians who supported his power. The dates of his downfall and death are as uncertain as those of his rise. He last appears in a datable document of 917, the Liber largitorius of Farfa Abbey. He had three or four sons by Marozia:

  • Alberic II, who was later prince of Rome
  • Constantino (d. after January 14, 945)
  • Sergio, bishop of Nepi (d. before 963)
  • and possibly also Pope John XI (many sources consider him illegitimate son of Pope Sergius III).

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Italian nobility
Preceded by
Guy IV
Duke of Spoleto
898–922
Note: dates are disputed
Succeeded by
Boniface I
Unknown Patricius Romanorum
909–922
Succeeded by
Alberic II