William II, Duke of Apulia
William II was the duke of Apulia and Calabria from 1111 to 1127. He was the son and successor of Roger Borsa
Roger Borsa
Roger Borsa was the Norman Duke of Apulia and effective ruler of southern Italy from 1085 until his death. He was the son of Robert Guiscard, the conqueror of southern Italy and Sicily; Roger was not as adept as his father, and most of his reign was spent in feudal anarchy.-Biography:Roger was the...

. His mother, Adela of Flanders
Adela of Flanders
Adela of Flanders , also known as Ailanda, was a mediaeval Danish Queen and Italian Duchess and regent, Queen Consort of King Canute IV of Denmark, and Duchess consort of Duke Roger Borsa of Apulia, and then minor regent of Apulia in 1111–1115 as mother and guardian of William II of Apulia...

, had previously been queen of Denmark, and he was a half-brother of Charles the Good
Charles I, Count of Flanders
Blessed Charles the Good was Count of Flanders from 1119 to 1127. He is most remembered for his murder and its aftermath.-History:...


He succeeded his father as duke in 1111, though Adela served as regent until William was of age. Like father, like son: he proved utterly inept at governing his Italian possessions. He could not avoid conflict with his cousin Roger II of Sicily
Roger II of Sicily
Roger II 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 , then King of Sicily...

, and in 1121 Pope Calixtus II personally intervened to make peace between the warring cousins. William and Roger came to an agreement, whereby Roger provided knights to help William quash a revolt of the minor baron Jordan of Ariano
Jordan of Ariano
Jordan , count of Ariano , was a petty baron in Apulia during the reign of the Duke William II. He was the son and successor of Count Eribert and Altrude of Buonalbergo....

, and in exchange, William abandoned his Sicilian and Calabrian lands.

In 1114, William married a daughter of Count Robert of Carazzo, but they had no children. He died without legitimate posterity in July 1127, leaving the entire of the Norman Mezzogiorno
The Midday is a wide definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the southern half of the Italian state, encompassing the southern section of the continental Italian Peninsula and the two major islands of Sicily and Sardinia, in addition to a large number of minor islands...

to his first cousin once removed, Roger of Sicily, his erstwhile ally.

Generally considered an insignificant ruler by modern historians, William was respected by his contemporaries, popular with his barons and subjects, and praised for his martial prowess.


  • Houben, Hubert. Roger II of Sicily: A Ruler between East and West, 2002
  • Matthew, Donald. The Norman Kingdom of Sicily, 1992
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