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The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century. Later the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him out of the island of Sicily leaving him with just the southern half of the Italian Peninsula — the Kingdom of Naples. The house and its various branches would go on to influence much of the history of Southern and Central Europe during the Middle Ages, until becoming defunct in 1434.

In its time, the House ruled Naples and Sicily, Hungary and Croatia, and Poland.

Rise of Charles I and his sons

A younger son of House of Capet king Louis VIII of France the Lion, Charles was first given a noble title by his brother Louis IX of France who succeeded to the French throne in 1246. Charles was named Count of Anjou and Maine; the feudal County of Anjoumarker was a western vassal state of the Kingdom of France, which the Capetians had wrested from the House of Plantagenet only a few decades earlier. Charles married the heiress of the County of Provence named Beatrice of Provence, she was a member of the House of Barcelona; this meant Charles' holdings were growing as Count of Provence. After fighting in the Seventh Crusade, Charles was offered by Pope Clement IV, the Kingdom of Sicily — which at the time included not only the island of Sicily but also the southern half of the Italian Peninsula. The reason for Charles being offered the kingdom was because of a conflict between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, the latter of whom were represented by the ruling House of Hohenstaufen.

It was at the Battle of Benevento that the Guelph Capetians gained the Sicilian kingdom from the Ghibelline Swabians, this was cemented after victory at Tagliacozzo. In keeping with the political landscape of the period, Charles is described by scholars as shrewd, energetic and highly ambitious; he dreamed of empire. He signed the Treaty of Viterbo in 1267 with Baldwin II of Courtenay and William II of Villehardouin, the political alliance gave much of the rights to the Latin Empire to Charles and a marriage alliance for his daughter Beatrice of Sicily. The Byzantines had taken back the city of Constantinoplemarker in 1261 and this was a plan to take it back from Michael VIII Palaiologos. It also recognised Charles' possession of Corfumarker and cities in the Balkans such as Durazzomarker, as well as giving him suzerainty over the Principality of Achaea and sovereignty of the Aegean islands aside from those already held by the Republic of Venicemarker. For a while Charles was preoccupied helping his French brother in the unsuccessful Eighth Crusade on Tunismarker. After this he once again focused on Constantinople, but his fleet was wrecked in a freak storm off the coast of Trapanimarker. With the elevation of Pope Gregory X, there was a truce between Charles and Michael in the form of the Council of Lyons, as Christians focused on improving ecumenical relations, with hopes of regaining the Kingdom of Jerusalem back from the Muslims.

Charles had fully solidified his rule over Durazzo by 1272, creating a small Kingdom of Albania for himself, out of previously Despotate of Epiros territory; he was well received by local chiefs.

Charles was driven out of Sicily in 1282, but his successors ruled Naples until 1435.

Charles II, divided inheritence

This House of Anjou included the branches of Anjou-Hungary, which ruled Hungary (1308–1385, 1386–1395) and Polandmarker (1370–1399), Anjou-Tarantomarker, which ruled the remnants of the Latin Empire (1313–1374) and Anjou-Durazzomarker, which ruled Naples (1382–1435) and Hungary (1385–1386).

The line became extinct in the male line with the death of King Ladislas of Naples in 1414, and totally extinct with the death of his sister Joan II in 1435.

Branching out

Hungary

Naples

Taranto

Durazzo

Titles

Designation and details

Title Held Designation and details
Count of Anjou 1246–1297 Awarded to Charles I by his brother. Remained under direct control of the Capetian House of Anjou until passing to another Capetian branch the House of Valois by marriage.
Count of Maine 1246–1309 Awarded to Charles I by his brother. Remained under direct control of the Capetian House of Anjou until passing to another Capetian branch the House of Valois-Anjou by creation of John II of France.
Count of Provence 1246–1382 Inherited by marriage between Charles I and Beatrice of Provence who held the county. Issueless Joan I of Naples left the county to Louis I of Anjou of the House of Valois-Anjou.
King of Sicily 1266–1282 Won the kingdom through conquest.


List of monarchs

Kingdom of Sicily

Portrait Name From Until Relationship with predecessor
Charles I of Sicily 6 January 1266 4 September 1282 no direct relation to Manfred of Sicily, won the kingdom through right of conquest.


Kingdom of Naples

Portrait Name Branch From Until Relationship with predecessor
Charles I of Naples Anjou-Sicily 4 September 1282 7 January 1285 the southern half of the Italian Peninsula was part of the Kingdom of Sicily before the Sicilian Vespers forced Charles out of the island.
Charles II of Naples
(Charles the Lame)
Anjou-Sicily 7 January 1285 5 May 1309 son of Charles I of Naples.
Robert of Naples
(Robert the Wise)
Anjou-Naples 5 May 1309 20 January 1343 son of Charles II of Naples.
Joan I of Naples Anjou-Naples 20 January 1343 12 May 1382 granddaughter of Robert of Naples. Daughter of Charles, Duke of Calabria
Charles III of Naples
(Charles the Short)
Anjou-Durazzo 12 May 1382 24 February 1386 second cousin of Joan I of Naples, whom he had murdered. Son of Louis of Durazzo.
Ladislas of Naples Anjou-Durazzo 24 February 1386 6 August 1414 son of Charles III of Naples.
Joan II of Naples Anjou-Durazzo 6 August 1414 2 February 1435 sister of Ladislas of Naples, daughter of Charles III of Naples.


Hungary

Portrait Name Branch From Until Relationship with predecessor
Charles I of Hungary Anjou-Hungary 12 July 1312 16 July 1342
Louis I of Hungary
(Louis the Great)
Anjou-Hungary 16 July 1342 10 September 1382 son of Charles I of Hungary.
Mary of Hungary Anjou-Hungary 1371 17 May 1395 daughter of Louis I of Hungary.


Sources

Notes

References




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