County of Sicily

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County of Sicily
Counté de Cesile
Contado di Sicilia

1071–1130


Coat of arms

The county in 1112, before merger with mainland Duchy of Apulia and Calabria
Capital Palermo
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Monarchy
Count
 -  1071–1101 Roger I
 -  1101–1105 Simon
 -  1105–1130 Roger II
History
 -  Established 1071
 -  Disestablished 1130

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 (1061–91) from the Muslim Emirate, established by conquest in 965. The county is thus a transitionary 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 he merged his holdings to form the Kingdom of Sicily with the approval of Pope Anacletus II.

List of counts[edit]

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
1071–1101
Roger I 1031
son of Tancred of Hauteville and Fredisenda
Judith of Évreux
1061
4 children

Eremburga of Mortain
1077
8 children

Adelaide del Vasto
1087
4 children
1101
Mileto
aged 80
Simon
1101–1105
Hauteville 1093
son of Roger I of Sicily and Adelaide del Vasto
never married 1105
Mileto
aged 12
Roger II
1105–1130
Roger II 22 December 1095
Mileto
son of Roger I of Sicily and Adelaide del Vasto
Elvira of Castile
1117
6 children

Sibyl of Burgundy
1149
2 children

Beatrix of Rethel
1151
1 child
26 February 1154
Palermo
aged 59