Sibila of Fortia

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Sibila of Fortia
Sibilla de Fortia DarocaSMiguel.jpg
Image of Sibila of Fortià in San Miguel de Daroca
Queen consort of Aragon
Tenure 1377–1387
Coronation January 1381 (Zaragoza)
Spouse Artal de Foces
Peter IV of Aragon
Issue Isabella, Countess of Urgel
House House of Aragon
Father Berenguer de Fortià
Mother Francesca of Palau
Died 24 November 1406
Barcelona, Spain
Burial San Francisco (Framenors)
Pantheon of Poblet
Cathedral of Barcelona

Sibila of Fortià (died 1406), Queen of Aragon, was daughter of Berenguer de Fortià and his wife Francesca of Palau. Sibila belonged to the lineage of Fortià, the lower nobility, with possessions in the rural Empordà, in the county of Ampurias. She was Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to Peter IV of Aragon; his fourth wife.

Early life[edit]

Sibila was said to be a natural beauty in her early adulthood. She married her first husband, Artal de Foces[1] on an unknown date. Upon her widowhood, Sibila became a lady in waiting to Peter's third queen, Eleanor of Sicily, during the royal couple's stay in Sibila's home of Empordà. Eleanor died in 1375; she had left Peter two surviving sons and one daughter.

Sibila attracted the attention of the king, soon after Eleanor's death. Sibila was in her twenties and Peter was fifty six. The king's sons, Martin of Aragon and John of Aragon soon found out what was happening. They were opposed the idea of their father marrying Sibila; the marriage could cause dynastic problems that could imperil their rights in the line of succession. Indeed, the announcement of the marriage of the lovers lead to some tense relations between the king and his sons.

Second Marriage: Queen of Aragon[edit]

On 11 October 1377, in Barcelona, Sibila married Peter IV of Aragon, thus becoming the fourth wife of the sovereign Aragon. She was the fourth wife of Peter, his previous wives were: Maria of Navarre, Eleanor of Portugal and Eleanor of Sicily. It is believed that before the marriage, Sibila gave birth to a son, Alfonso, who only lived for a year. The child's birth has been doubted and some do not believe in the child's existence, the only evidence of his existence is in the Chronicle of Peter IV of Aragon.

The couple had at most three children:

Over time, things grew worse. Sibila's family were invited to court, the king became friends with Sibila's brother, Bernard. Peter, Sibila and her family made up one half of the court, the other half of the court was made up of Peter's son and heir, John, his infamous French wife Violante de Bar and their followers.

Widowhood[edit]

Arms as Queen Consort

Peter died in 1387 and so John and Violant became King and Queen of Aragon. They wanted rid of Sibila. For her own safety, Sibila fled to Sant Martí Sarroca; her stepdaughter, Eleanor of Aragon had lived there before her death. However, Sibila did not live there for long, she was forced to go back to Aragon, on the command of John and Violant.

They however did not execute Sibila, she was sent to live in Barcelona, but under close surveillance. She was however treated better in Barcelona than at the royal court. John died in 1396, and Martin succeeded him. Sibila remained in Barcelona.

Death and burial[edit]

Sibila died in Barcelona on 24 November 1406. By order of King Martin she had a state funeral. She was buried in the convent of San Francisco (Framenors) in Barcelona, traditional burial place of kings and queens of Aragon. She was later transferred to the pantheon of Poblet.

When the convent was demolished, in the nineteenth century, Sibila and others were buried on 20 April 1852, at the Cathedral of Barcelona. She was the first deposited in a box embedded in the wall of the chapel of the Martyrs of the cloister, covered by Isabella II of Spain and on 13 October 1998, moved inside the temple, in a box placed on the wall to the left of the altar major.

Bibliography[edit]

  • E. Albertí, ladies, queens, abbesses: Eighteen female figures in medieval Catalonia, Barcelona, Alberto, 2007.
  • J. Nonell Bassegoda, "The Royal Tombs of the Cathedral of Barcelona", Bulletin de la Real Academia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi, 13 (1999), 237-255.
  • A. Boscolo, Fortià di Sibila, regina d'Aragona, Padua, CEDAM, 1970 [trad. Catalan: Queen Sibylla of Fortià, Barcelona, Rafael Dalmau, 1971].
  • L. Riber, Fortis Sibila, Madrid, Ediciones y Publicaciones Españolas, 1944, pp. 13–55.
  • J. M. Roca, "La Reyna ampurdanesan" Sovereignty of Catalonia: collection of historical monographs, Barcelona, Fundació Concepció Rabell and Cibils, widow Romaguera, 1928, pp. 9–211.
  • R. Tasis and Mark, The King lives in Pere III, Barcelona, Aedos, 1954

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Aragon, Kings
  2. ^ Descendants of Sibilia de Fortia
  3. ^ Sibilia de Fortia
Preceded by
Eleanor of Sicily
Queen consort of Aragon
1377–1387
Succeeded by
Violante de Bar