Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
I: The Norman Kingdom of Sicily and the Crusades, pp. 2-43 PDF (16.9 MB)
Ch. I NORMAN KINGDOM OF SICILY AND THE CRUSADES 7 If the old count's attitude had prevailed after his death in 1101, his widow Adelaide would not have fallen into the trap when in 1113 wily politicians invited her to marry king Baldwin I of Jerusalem.6 No one seems to have warned her that the whole purpose of the project was to acquire her immense dowry, and eventually the wealth of her son, in order to put the poverty-stricken kingdom on a sounder financial footing. Three years later, when Adelaide's dowry was exhausted and the marriage had proved barren, she was repudiated on the pretext that Baldwin's previous divorce, and therefore his marriage with Adelaide, had been illegal. Baldwin's vassals did not wish Jerusalem to become a dependency of the county of Sicily or to be ruled by an absentee prince. The queen returned to Sicily humiliated, and died shortly thereafter. Her son Roger II, who according to the marriage contract should have inherited Jerusalem, naturally conceived an "eternal hatred" of the kingdom and its people. The failure to acquire Jerusalem was more than compensated for elsewhere: in Africa eventually, but more immediately on the Italian mainland. In August I 127 duke William of Apulia, son of Roger Borsa and last male successor of Robert Guiscard in the direct line, died, whereupon Roger II crossed the strait of Messina with an army and marched on Apulia to claim it as his "heritage". In one victorious battle after another he forced pope Honorius II and the barons and cities of Apulia and Calabria to submit and to recognize him. Soon the contested papal election of 1130 gave Roger a splendid opportunity. One of the two competing popes, the schismatic Pierleone, Anacletus II, turned to Roger for assistance against his rival, Innocent II, who was supported by Bernard of Clairvaux and, through Bernard's influence, by the kings and most of the princes and churches of the west. In return for a pledge of support, Anacletus granted Roger in hereditary right the title and dignity of king of Sicily and of Calabria and Apulia (often summed up as "Italy"). On Christmas day 1130, in the presence of the magnates of his lands and with the pomp befitting a ruler of Sicily, Roger was crowned by a representative of Anacletus in the cathedral of Palermo, the city "which in the days of old had been 6 William of Tyre, Historia, XI, 29 (RHC, 0cc., I), pp. 505-506 For the sources on Adelaide's marriage, see H. Hagenmeyer's notes to Fulcher of Chartres, Historia Hierosolymitana (Heidelberg, 1913), pp. 576-577. Compare R. Röhricht, Geschichte des Konigreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck, 1898), pp. 103, 113, 118; Runciman, Crusades, II, 102-105; and volume I of the present work, chapter XII, pp. 406-407; also E. Pontieri, "La Madre di re Ruggero, Adelaide del Vasto, contessa di Sicilia, regina di Gerusalemme," Atti del Convegno di studi ruggeriani, II, 422-432.
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