County of Apulia and Calabria
|County of Apulia and Calabria|
|-||Raised to duchy||1059|
The County of Apulia and Calabria, later the Duchy of Apulia and Calabria, was a Norman country founded by William of Hauteville in 1042 in the territories of Gargano, Capitanata, Apulia, Campania, and Vulture. It became a duchy when Robert Guiscard was raised to duke in 1059.
The duchy was disestablished in 1130 when the last duke of Apulia and Calabria, Roger II of Sicily became King of Sicily. The tile of duke was thereafter used intermittently as a title for the heir apparent to the Kingdom of Sicily.
William I of Hauteville, who returned in September 1042 in Melfi, was recognized by all the Normans as supreme leader. He turned to Guaimar IV, Lombard, Prince of Salerno, and Rainulf Drengot, Count of Aversa, and offered both an alliance. With the unification of the two Norman families, Altavilla and Drengot, Guaimar offered official recognition of the conquests and at the end of the year, an assembly of Lombards and Norman barons at Melfi met with Rainulf and William, which ended at the beginning of the following year (1043). In this meeting, Guaimar V of Salerno ensured the Hauteville dominance over Melfi. William of Hauteville formed the second core of his possessions and differentiated himself from Rainulf I of Aversa, head of the territories of Campania. All the barons present offered a tribute as a vassal to Guaimar, which recognized William I of Hauteville as the first of the title of Count of Apulia. To tie it to himself, he offered to marry her niece Guide, daughter of Guy, Duke of Sorrento. Guaimar reconfirmed the title of count to Rainulf as well, which created the County of Puglia.
William stated that the first capital of the county, and home of the Crown would be Melfi, a city that would remain outside the partition. It would remain capital for forty years before being moved to Salerno: the center of the city was divided into twelve districts, each of them with a palace and a count with control over that area of town.
- John Julius Norwich, The Normans in the South 1016-1130, Longmans, London, 1967.
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