Roger II of Sicily

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Roger II (22 December 1095[1] – 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, later became Duke of Apulia and Calabria (1127), then King of Sicily (1130). Roger had succeeded in uniting all the Norman conquests in Italy into one kingdom with a strong centralized government.

Contents

Background

In the early decades of the 11th century, Norman adventurers came to southern Italy, initially to fight against the Saracens or the Byzantine Empire. These mercenaries not only fought the enemies of the Italian city-states, but in the following century they gradually became the rulers of the major polities south of Rome

At the time of the birth of his youngest son, in 1093, Roger I ruled the County of Sicily, his nephew, Roger Borsa, was the Duke of Apulia and Calabria, and his great nephew, Richard II of Capua, was the Prince of Capua.

Alongside these three major rulers were a large number of minor counts, who effectively exercised sovereign power in their own localitites. These counts at least nominally owed their allegiance to one of these three Norman rulers, but such allegiance was usually weak and often ignored.[2]

When Roger I, Count of Sicily, died in 1101 the throne was assumed by his young son, Simon of Hauteville, who himself died but four years later in 1105.

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