Charles II of Naples

From Academic Kids

Charles II, known as the Lame (Fr. le Boiteux) (born c. 1248, died 5 May 1309, Naples) was the King of Naples and Sicily, titular king of Jerusalem, and Prince of Salerno. He was a son of Charles I of Naples.

He had been captured by Roger of Lauria in the naval battle at Naples in 1284. When his father died, he was still a prisoner of Peter III of Aragon.

In 1288 King Edward Longshanks mediated to make peace, and Charles was liberated only to retain Naples alone. Sicily was left to the Aragonese. Charles was also to induce his cousin Charles of Valois to renounce for twenty thousand pounds of silver the kingdom of Aragon which given him by Pope Martin IV to punish Peter for having invaded Sicily, but which the Valois had never effectively occupied.

Charles was then released, leaving three of his sons and sixty Provenal nobles as hostages, promising to pay 30,000 marks and to return a prisoner if the conditions were not fulfilled within three years. He went to Rieti, where the new Pope Nicholas IV, immediately absolved him from all the conditions he had sworn to observe, crowned him King of Sicily in 1289, and excommunicated King Alfonso III of Aragon. Charles of Valois, in alliance with Castile, prepared to take possession of Aragon. Alfonso, being hard pressed, had to promise to withdraw the troops he had sent to help his brother James in Sicily, to renounce all rights over the island, and pay a tribute to the Holy See.

Alfonso died childless in 1291 before the treaty could be carried out, and James took possession of Aragon, leaving the government of Sicily to the third brother Frederick.

The new Pope Boniface VIII, elected in 1294 at Naples under the auspices of King Charles, mediated between the latter and James, and a most dishonourable treaty was signed: James was to marry Charless daughter Bianca and was promised the investiture by the pope of Sardinia and Corsica, while he was to leave the Angevin a free hand in Sicily and even to assist him if the Sicilians resisted.

An attempt was made to bribe Frederick into consenting to this arrangement, but being backed up by his people he refused, and was afterwards crowned king of Sicily. The ensuring war was fought on land and sea but Charles, though aided by the pope, his cousin Charles of Valois and James, was unable to conquer the island, and his son the prince of Taranto was taken prisoner at the battle of La Falconara in 1299. Peace was at last made in 1302 at Caltabellotta. Charles gave up all rights to Sicily and agreed to the marriage of his daughter Leonora and King Frederick; the treaty was ratified by the pope in 1303. Charles spent his last years quietly in Naples, which city he improved and embellished. He died in August 1309, and was succeeded by his son Robert the Wise.

In 1270, he married Maria of Hungary (c. 1257March 25, 1323), the daughter of Stephen V of Hungary. They had fourteen children:

  1. Charles Martel d'Anjou, titular King of Hungary
  2. Louis (February 9, 1275, NoceraAugust 19, 1298, Chateau de Brignoles), Bishop of Toulouse
  3. Robert of Naples, King of Naples
  4. Philip I of Taranto, Prince of Achaea and Taranto, Despot of Romania, Lord of Durazzo, titular Emperor of Constantinople
  5. Raymond Berengar (12811307), Count of Provence, Prince of Piedmont and Andria
  6. John (1283 – aft. March 16, 1308), a priest
  7. Tristan (1284–bef. 1288)
  8. Peter (1291August 29, 1315, Battle of Montecatini), Count of Gravina
  9. John of Gravina (1294April 5, 1336, Naples), Duke of Durazzo, Prince of Achaea, and Count of Gravina, married March 1318 (div 1321) Matilda of Hainault (November 29, 12931336), married November 14, 1321 Agnes of Prigord (d. 1345)
  10. Marguerite (1273December 31, 1299), Countess of Anjou and Maine, married at Corbeil August 16, 1290 Charles of Valois
  11. Blanca (1280October 14, 1310, Barcelona), married at Villebertran November 1, 1295 James II of Aragon
  12. Leonora, (August 1289August 9, 1341, Monastery of St. Nicholas, Arene), married at Messina May 17, 1302 Frederick III of Sicily
  13. Maria (1290 – c. 1346), married at Palma de Majorca September 20, 1304 Sancho I of Majorca, married 1326 Jaime de Ejerica (1298 – April 1335)
  14. Beatrice (1295 – c. 1321), married April 1305 Azzo VIII, Margrave d'Este (d. 1308), married 1309 Bertrand III of Baux, Count of Andria (d. 1351)



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