Giudicato of Cagliari
|Giudicato of Cagliari
Rennu de Calari
Coat of arms
Giudicato of Cagliari (rose in the map)
|-||1089 – 1102||Constantine I of Cagliari|
|-||1214–1232||Benedetta of Cagliari|
|-||1256 – 1258||William III of Cagliari|
The Giudicato of Cagliari (Italian: Giudicato di Cagliari) was one of the four Sardinian giudicati of the Middle Ages. It covered the entire south and central east portion of the island and was composed of thirteen subdivisions called curatoriae. To its north and west lay Arborea and north and on the east lay Gallura and Logudoro. During the period of Pisan-Genoese dominance, Cagliari remained steadfastly in the Pisan camp.
Origins and extent
Cagliari was historically one of the most important cities on Sardinia and remains the largest to this day. The capital in turn of both the Vandal and Byzantine provinces of Sardinia, Cagliari became the eponymous capital of the Giudicato of Cagliari that evolved when imperial power receded in the West. Left to fend for themselves, the Byzantine officials of Sardinia maintained the forms and titles of the imperial administration. The iudicati ("judgeships"), bureaucratic subdivisions in the empire, developed into independent states with hereditary sovereigns still entitled Giudice (Latin iudice), by the tenth century. By then, the number of Giudicati had stabilized at four following the absorption of the Giudicato of Agugliastra which lay along the eastern coast of the island north of Cagliari, into the Giudicato of Cagliari sometime in the previous century.
The region of Cagliari, due to its proximity to Sicily, had long been the first landing are for conquering armies and the last outpost of retreating foreigners. It had been the Vandal's chief town and the last stronghold to be abandoned by the Saracens when they were finally expelled from Sardinia in the early eleventh century by the Republic of Pisa. First seizing the Sulcis region in the southeast, the Pisans then conquered Cagliari itself and rebuilt the town. Pisa had a keen interest in Sardinia because it was a perfect base for controlling the commercial routes between Italy and North Africa.
The first giudice well-known to history is Torchitorio I. His birth name was Orzoccorre, Torchitorio being a dynastic name. At that time, Cagliari regularly passed back and forth between two clans, the Torchitorio de Ugunale and Salusio de Lacon. Torchitorio was judge at a time when Western monasticism was being introduced into Sardinia as part of the Gregorian reform of the Papacy. Cagliari, like the other giudicati, was placed under papal and Pisan authority. Torchitorio was a sponsor of the monks of Monte Cassino who were arriving on the island to bring economic, technological, and religious renewal. Torchitorio succeeded in having his son succeed him around 1089, when Constantine I appeared with the title of rex et iudex Caralitanus: "King and Judge of Cagliari."
Among the traditions of these early giudici was that of confirming one of one's predecessor's acts, usually donations of land or grants of privileges. Constantine II patronised the monasteries founded by monks from Saint-Victor in Marseille. However, surging Pisan religious houses came into conflict the Provençal monasteries, while the archbishop of Cagliari came into conflict with not only the archbishop of Pisa, but also Constantine. Nevertheless, the 1150s saw restoration and renovation of sacred art and edifices. Along with Gonario II of Torres and Comita I of Gallura, Constantine pledged fidelity to the archbishop of Pisa. All this suggests strong allegiance to the reformed papacy despite the still near-autonomous status of Cagliari at the time.
House of Massa
Constantine II's daughter succeeded him with her husband Peter. The Pisans tried to remove him after her death and they sent Obert, Margrave of Massa, to conquer the giudicato. Obert set himself up as giudice and on his death, Pisa installed his son William I in his place.
William spent his reign (1188 – 1214) in constant wars with Arborea, Gallura, and Logudoro. He arrested and imprisoned the judge of Arborea, Peter I and ruled Arborea in his name. He tried to conquer Gallura, but was rebuffed by Lamberto Visconti. He was on fairly good terms with the Pisans throughout his career, but on his death, he left only daughters. Benedetta, his heiress, was married to Barisone III of Arborea and thus those two giudicati were united, to be torn apart on his death (1217). Cagliari slowly declined thereafter, as various factions fought for the control of Benedetta. Pisan domination became stronger than ever. In 1256, John tried to throw off the Pisan yolk and allied with the Republic of Genoa, but was assassinated by Pisan agents. John was succeeded by his son, but Pisa partitioned Cagliari in 1258 and the history of the giudicato came to a sudden close.
- However, there is some evidence that during the period of independence from external rule, the city was deserted because it was too exposed to attacks by Moorish pirates. Apparently many people left Cagliari and founded a new town (named Santa Igia) in an area close to the Santa Gilla swamp to the west of Cagliari, but distant from the sea.
- Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Rome, 1963 – Present.
- Nowé, Laura Sannia. Dai "lumi" dalla patria Italiana: Cultura letteraria sarda. Mucchi Editore: Modena, 1996.
- Casula, Francesco. "The History of Sardinia." Sardinia Tourist Board. 1989.