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
Charles II of Naples
Charles II, known as "the Lame" was King of Naples, King of Albania, Prince of Salerno, Prince of Achaea and Count of Anjou.-Biography:...

 the Lame and Maria of Hungary
Maria Arpad of Hungary
Mary of Hungary , of the Árpád dynasty, was Queen consort of the Kingdom of Naples. She was a daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and his wife Elizabeth the Cuman.-Family:Mary's mother followed the Shamanist religion, like other Cumans...

. During his father's lifetime he was styled 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....



During the Sicilian Vespers
Sicilian Vespers
The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French/Angevin king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks three thousand French men and women were slain by...

 (1282), the child Robert was the hostage of Peter III of Aragon
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

. After the death of his elder brother, Charles Martel of Anjou
Charles Martel of Anjou
Charles Martel of the Angevin dynasty, also known as Charles I Martel, was the eldest son of king Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary, the daughter of King Stephen V of Hungary....

, he became heir to the crown of Naples; to obtain the crown of neighbouring Sicily, he married King James of Sicily
James II of Aragon
James II , called the Just was the King of Sicily from 1285 to 1296 and King of Aragon and Valencia and Count of Barcelona from 1291 to 1327. In 1297 he was granted the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica...

's daughter Yolanda, in exchange for James's renouncing of Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. However, the Sicilian barons refused him and elected James' brother, Frederick II
Frederick III of Sicily
Frederick II was the regent and subsequently King of Sicily from 1295 until his death. He was the third son of Peter III of Aragon and served in the War of the Sicilian Vespers on behalf of his father and brothers, Alfonso and James...

. The war continued, and with the Peace of Caltabellotta
Peace of Caltabellotta
The Peace of Caltabellotta, signed on 31 August, 1302, was the last of a series of treaties, including those of Tarascon and Anagni, designed to end the conflict between the Houses of Anjou and Barcelona for ascendancy in the Mediterranean and especially Sicily and the Mezzogiorno.The peace divided...

 (1302) Robert and the Angevin dynasty lost Sicily forever, their rule limited to the south of peninsular Italy.

Robert inherited the position of papal champion in Italy; his reign being blessed from the papal enclave within Robert's Provence, by the French Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

, who made him papal vicar in Romagna
Romagna is an Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennines to the south-west, the Adriatic to the east, and the rivers Reno and Sillaro to the north and west...

 and Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

, where Robert intervened in the war of factions in Florence, accepted the offered signiory of that city, but had to abandon it due to Clement's opposition.

The leader of the Guelph
Guelphs and Ghibellines
The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, respectively, in central and northern Italy. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the split between these two parties was a particularly important aspect of the internal policy of the Italian city-states...

 party in Italy, Robert opposed the sojourn of Emperor Henry VII in Italy (1311–13) and his occupation of Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in 1312. After Henry's death, the Guelf reaction against the Ghibelline leaders in northern Italy, Matteo Visconti and Cangrande della Scala
Cangrande I della Scala
Cangrande della Scala was an Italian nobleman, the most celebrated of the della Scala family which ruled Verona from 1277 until 1387. Now perhaps best known as the leading patron of the poet Dante Alighieri, Cangrande was in his own day chiefly acclaimed as a successful warrior and autocrat...

, made it seem for a time that Robert would become the arbiter of Italy. Already ruler of wide possessions in Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

, Robert's prestige increased further when in 1317 the pope named him Senator of Rome, and when he became Lord of Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 (1318–34) and Brescia
Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 197,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan...

 (1319) and from 1317 onwards held the resounding papal title of vicar general of all Italy, during the absence in Italy of the Holy Roman Emperor, vacante imperio.

In 1328 he fought another emperor who had ventured into Italy, Louis IV of Bavaria
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

, and in 1330 forced John of Bohemia to quit northern Italy. Robert's hegemony in Italy was diminished only by the constant menace of Aragonese Sicily.
When the succession to the margraviate of Saluzzo was disputed between Manfred V
Manfred V of Saluzzo
Manfred V was marquess of Saluzzo from 1330 and 1332, and later usurper from 1341-1342.He was the second son of Manfred IV of Saluzzo and first by his second wife, Isabella Doria. The influence of his mother at court caused his father to appoint him to succeed him as sixth marquess of Saluzzo...

 and his nephew Thomas II
Thomas II of Saluzzo
Thomas II was Marquess of Saluzzo from 1336 to his death. He succeeded his father, Frederick I.His mother Margarete de La Tour du Pin, a daughter of Humbert I de La Tour du Pin, Dauphin de Viennois....

 in 1336, Robert intervened on behalf of Manfred, for Thomas had married into the Ghibelline Visconti
House of Visconti
Visconti is the family name of two important Italian noble dynasties of the Middle Ages. There are two distinct Visconti families: The first one in the Republic of Pisa in the mid twelfth century who achieved prominence first in Pisa, then in Sardinia where they became rulers of Gallura...

 family. Robert advanced on Saluzzo
Saluzzo is a town and former principality in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont region, Italy.The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated plain. Iron, lead, silver, marble, slate etc...

 and besieged it. He succeeded in taking it and sacking it, setting the city on fire and imprisoning Thomas, who had to pay a ransom. The whole dramatic incident is recorded by Silvio Pellico
Silvio Pellico
Silvio Pellico was an Italian writer, poet, dramatist and patriot.-Biography:Silvio Pellico was born at Saluzzo . He spent the earlier portion of his life at Pinerolo and Turin, under the tuition of a priest named Manavella. At the age of ten he composed a tragedy inspired by a translation of the...

. However, when his viceroy Reforza d'Angoult was defeated in the Battle of Gamenario
Battle of Gamenario
The Battle of Gamenario, fought on 22 April 1345, was a decisive battle of the wars between the Guelphs and Ghibellines...

 (22 April 1345), Angevin power in Piedmont began to crumble.

At Robert's death in 1343, he was succeeded by his 16-year-old granddaughter Joanna
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....

, his son Charles having predeceased him; Joanna was already betrothed to her cousin, the 15-year-old Andrew of Hungary
Andrew, Duke of Calabria
Andrew, Duke of Calabria was the second surviving son of Charles I of Hungary and Elizabeth of Poland...

, son of the Angevin king of Hungary, Charles Robert
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...

. However, in his will, Robert recognized the rights of Andrew to Naples as son of Charles Robert and ordained that he be crowned king in his own right. This provision was to result in a fatal struggle between Joan and Andrew, and eventually led to the end of Angevin rule in Naples.


King Robert was nicknamed "the peace-maker of Italy" due to the years of significant changes he made to Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

. The city and nation's economy lay in the hands of Tuscan
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 merchants, who erected superb buildings, monuments and statues that drastically changed King Robert's capital from a dirty seaport to a city of elegance and medieval splendor. Robert commissioned Tino di Camaino
Tino di Camaino
thumb|300px|Tomb of Antonio d'Orso, in [[Santa Maria del Fiore]], [[Florence]].Tino di Camaino was an Italian sculptor....

 to produce a tomb for his son, who should have been his heir, and Giotto painted several works for him. The University of Naples flourished under the patronage of the king dismissed by Dante
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

 as a re di sermone, "king of words", attracting students from all parts of Italy. There was virtually no middle class in the South to balance the local interests and centripetal power of the entrenched aristocracy, who retained the feudal independence that had been their bargain with the Angevins' Norman predecessors.

He was remembered by Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

 and Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular...

 as a cultured man and a generous patron of the arts, "unique among the kings of our day," Boccaccio claimed after Robert's death, "a friend of knowledge and virtue." Petrarch asked to be examined by Robert before being crowned as poet in the Campidoglio in Rome (1341); his Latin epic
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

Africa (Petrarch)
Africa is an epic poem in Latin hexameters by the 14th century Italian poet Petrarch . It tells the story of the Second Punic War, in which the Carthaginian general Hannibal invaded Italy, but Roman forces were eventually victorious after an invasion of north Africa led by Publius Cornelius Scipio...

is dedicated to Robert, though it was not made available to readers until 1397, long after both Petrarch and Robert were dead.


  • First wife, Yolanda of Aragon
    Yolanda of Aragon
    Yolanda of Aragon was the daughter of Peter III of Aragon and Constance of Sicily. She married Robert of Naples but was never Queen of Naples since she died before her husband inherited the throne.- Family :...

    , daughter of King Peter III of Aragon
    Peter III of Aragon
    Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

     and Constance of Sicily.
    • Charles
      Charles, Duke of Calabria
      Charles, Duke of Calabria was the son of King Robert of Naples and Yolanda of Aragon.-Biography:Born in Naples, he became Duke of Calabria in 1309 on his father's accession, and was created Vicar-General of the Kingdom of Sicily...

       (1298–1328), Duke of Calabria (1309), Viceroy of Naples (1318), who was the father of Queen Joan I of Naples
      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....

    • Louis (1301–10)
  • Second wife, Sancha of Majorca
    Sancha of Majorca
    Sancha of Majorca was the second wife but only Queen consort of Robert of Naples.-Family:She was a daughter of James II of Majorca and his Queen consort Esclaramunda of Foix....

    , daughter of King James II of Majorca
    James II of Majorca
    James II was King of Majorca and Lord of Montpellier from 1276 until his death. He was the second son of James I of Aragon and his wife Violant, daughter of Andrew II of Hungary...

  • Unknown mistress, possibly Sibilla Sabran, wife of count Tommaso IV di Aquino
    • Maria d'Aquino (Boccaccio's Fiammetta
      Fiammetta, Fiametta — pseudonym of Giovanni Boccaccio's beloved and muse, her real name may have been Maria d’Aquino.-Boccaccio's works with her name:* The Filocolo* Teseida* Il Filostrato* Ninfale d'Ameto...

  • Unknown mistress
    • Fiammetta, who married Andrea Thopia, Lord of Matija


Other sources

  • Coat of arms of the House of Anjou-Sicily
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