Neapolitan Campaigns
The Neapolitan campaigns of Louis the Great, also called the Neapolitan Adventure (Nápolyi kaland) in Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

, was a war between the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, led by Louis the Great, and the Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

. It was fought from 1347 until 1352.


In 1343 Robert I, the Sage
Robert of Naples
Robert of Anjou , known as Robert the Wise was King of Naples, titular King of Jerusalem and Count of Provence and Forcalquier from 1309 to 1343, the central figure of Italian politics of his time. He was the third but eldest surviving son of King Charles II of Naples the Lame and Maria of Hungary...

, King of Naples, died. His only son, Charles of Calabria, had died in 1328, leaving two daughters, one of which, Joan
Joan I of Naples
Joan I , born Joanna of Anjou, was Queen of Naples from 1343 until her death. She was also Countess of Provence and Forcalquier, Queen consort of Majorca and titular Queen of Jerusalem and Sicily 1343–82, and Princess of Achaea 1373/5–81....

, had been married to Andrew
Andrew, Duke of Calabria
Andrew, Duke of Calabria was the second surviving son of Charles I of Hungary and Elizabeth of Poland...

, son of king Charles I of Hungary
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I , also known as Charles Robert , was the first King of Hungary and Croatia of the House of Anjou. He was also descended from the old Hungarian Árpád dynasty. His claim to the throne of Hungary was contested by several pretenders...

. During his sojourn Naples, Andrew gained the fierce hostility of her more refined wife. After her father's death, she received by the Avignonese Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI , bornPierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 until his death in December of 1352...

 the official investment of the Kingdom, which was then nominally a vassal of the Papal States. Andrew, who aimed also to the crown, received only the title of Duke of Calabria
Duke of Calabria
Duke of Calabria was the traditional title of the heir apparent of the Kingdom of Naples after the accession of Robert of Naples. It was also adopted by the heads of certain Houses that had once claimed the Kingdom of Naples in lieu of the royal title....


On June 14, 1345 Clement, after a payment of 44,000 marks, accepted to yield Andrew the title of king, but only as heir in case of Joan's death. Joan, who had an affair with Louis of Taranto
Louis of Taranto
Louis I of Naples , of the House of Anjou, was the Prince of Taranto from 1346 and King of Naples from 1352. He was a son of Philip I of Taranto and Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea. His paternal grandparents were Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary...

, was at the time under the strong influence of the latter's mother, Catherine of Valois
Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea
Catherine of Valois was titular Empress of Constantinople from 1308 to her death as Catherine II, Princess consort of Achaea from 1332 to 1341, and Governor of Cephalonia from 1341 to her death.-Life:...

. On September 19, before the Papal bull could reach the Kingdom, a conjure led by Catherine's relatives and courtesans had Charles assassinated during a hunt at Aversa
Aversa is a town and comune in the Province of Caserta in Campania southern Italy, about 15 kilometres north of Naples. It is the centre of an agricultural district, the agro aversano, producing wine and cheese...

. Bertramo del Balzo, great justicier of the realm, discovered and punished the assassins, but voices of a queen's involvement in the assassination had already become widespread.

In May 1346 Andrew's brother, King Louis of Hungary, sent envoyees to Clement to ask her deposition. Unsatisfied by the Pope's reply, he mustered an army, planning to embark his troops in Zara
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

. However, at the time the maritime city had rebelled against the Venetians
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

, whose ships were blockading its port. After a failed attempt to free it, the King had to postpone his expedition, while Zara returned under Venice's aegis.

The war

In November 1347 Louis set out for Naples with some 1,000 soldiers (Hungarians and Germans), mostly mercenaries. (later he increased this number appreciably.) When Louis I of Hungary reached the border of Joanna’s kingdom, he had 2000 Hungarian knights, 2000 mercenary heavy cavalry, 2000 Cuman horse archers and 6000 mercenary heavy infantry. He successfully avoided conflict in Northern Italy, and his army was well-paid and disciplined. King Louis forbade plundering, and all supplies were bought from locals and paid for with gold. The Hungarian king marched on the land, announcing he was not going to fight any Italian city and states, and thus being welcomed by most of them. Joanna in the meantime had married her cousin Louis of Taranto
Louis of Taranto
Louis I of Naples , of the House of Anjou, was the Prince of Taranto from 1346 and King of Naples from 1352. He was a son of Philip I of Taranto and Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea. His paternal grandparents were Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary...

 and had signed a peace with Naples' traditional enemy, the Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

. The army of Naples, 2700 knights and 5000 infantrymen, was led by Louis of Taranto. At Foligno
Foligno is an ancient town of Italy in the province of Perugia in east central Umbria, on the Topino river where it leaves the Apennines and enters the wide plain of the Clitunno river system...

 a papal legate asked him to renounce to his enterprise, as the assassins had been already punished and also considering Naples's status of Papal fief. He did not relent however, and, before the end of the year, he crossed the Neapolitan border without meeting any resistance.

On January 11, 1348 in the Battle of Capua
Battle of Capua (1348)
The Battle of Capua was fought on January 10 1348 between the troops of Louis I of Hungary and those of the Kingdom of Naples, in the course of the former's invasion of Naples....

 he defeated the army of Louis of Taranto. Four days later the queen took repair in Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

, while her husband followed her soon afterwards. All the kingdom's barons swore loyalty to the new ruler as he marched to Naples from Benevento
Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 m above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and Sabato...

. While visiting Aversa, where his brother had been murdered, Louis had Charles of Durazzo assassinated in revenge by his condottiero Malatesta Ungaro
Malatesta Ungaro
Ungaro Malatesta , born Galeotto Malatesta, was an Italian condottiero and lord of Jesi.He was the son of Malatesta Guastafamiglia, lord of Pesaro and Rimini...

 and others. Once in Naples, Louis released most of his mercenaries and their commander, Werner von Urslingen.

Here, Louis and his men were struck by the arrival of the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

. He therefore decided to leave the Kingdom of Naples. The Neapolitans, who had quickly grown unsatisfied of the severe Hungarian rule, called back Joan, who paid her return expedition (including the services of Urslingen's mercenaries) by selling her rights on Avignon to the Popes. He landed near Naples and easily captured it, but the Hungarian commander Ulrich von Wolfart opposed a strong resistance in Apulia
Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy. The region comprises , and...


When Urslingen deserted back to the Hungarians, she asked help to the Pope. The latter sent a legate who, after offering a great sum to Urslingen and the Wolfart brothers, a truce was signed. Joanna and Louis would leave the Kingdom to wait the end of a new trial on Andrew's assassination to be held in Avignon. The verdict was her acquittal from any charge in January 1352, and a peace was signed with Hungary on March 23, 1352.


In 1380 a civil war broke out in the Kingdom, with Joan siding with the Avignonese Pope Clement VII, whereof Pope Urban VI
Pope Urban VI
Pope Urban VI , born Bartolomeo Prignano, was Pope from 1378 to 1389.-Biography:Born in Itri, he was a devout monk and learned casuist, trained at Avignon. On March 21, 1364, he was consecrated Archbishop of Acerenza in the Kingdom of Naples...

 offered the throne to Charles III
Charles III of Naples
Charles the Short or Charles of Durazzo was King of Naples and titular King of Jerusalem from 1382 to 1386 as Charles III, and King of Hungary from 1385 to 1386 as Charles II. In 1382 Charles created the order of Argonauts of Saint Nicholas...

. Louis of Hungary sent money and Hungarian armies in aid of Charles, who was able to enter Naples in 1381. On May 22, 1382, at San Fele
San Fele
San Felè is a town and comune in the province of Potenza in the Basilicata region of Italy.-Geography:It is bounded by the comuni of Atella, Bella, Castelgrande, Filiano, Muro Lucano, Rapone and Ruvo del Monte.-History:...

, four Hungarian mercenaries choked the queen.
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