|Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy|
|Emperor Peter I of Byzantium (Latin Empire)|
|King Charles I of Naples & Sicily|
The Kingdoms of Naples & Sicily – Naples and Sicily, consisting generally of everything south of Rome in Italy, have been culturally and socially linked for millenia. Normans conquered the region in the early 1100s and turned it into two linked yet rivaling states. It soon fell under the dominion of the powerful Hohenstaufen family of Germany, Holy Roman Emperors with a penchant for arguing with popes. Pope Clement IV didn't like the Hohenstaufen king Manfred and quite liked the Capetian duke of Anjou Charles. In 1265 Clement crowned Charles king of Sicily and Charles took off on a whirlwind tour that saw the death of Manfred and the rise of one of the most powerful Capetians in Medieval history. Charles conquered Albania proclaiming himself king, conquered Naples and incorporated it into Sicily and purchased the kingdom of Jerusalem, although it later reverted to its old masters. Naples, the Italian peninsular side of the two kingdoms, remained in Capetian hands for almost two hundred years before falling to the Aragonese. Both Naples and Sicily would later be reunited to the Capetian dynasty through the Spanish-Parma branch.
|King Louis I of Hungary & Poland|
|King & Saint Hedwig of Poland|
|Louis X of France & I of Navarre, receiving Jews at Court|
It must be emphasized that this list is not all-exhausting; rather, it is a summary of the most important domains once held by Capetians. Other smaller regions, especially in France, remained in Capetian hands for generations or were inherited in-and-out of the family over multiple generations. The expanse of the family during the High Middle Ages was extremely uncommon with no other royal family really experiencing this flux until the Early Modern Era. The unfortunate fact that the family failed to retain most of their empire hints at the instability of this expanse. While it may have been fairly easy for an aspiring Medieval royal family to expand its domains, it took a great deal of patience, cooperation, regional acceptance, and power to maintain that power. The major failing of the Capetians was that they generally failed to maintain their foothold once they got it. One by one regions broke away, were inherited away, or were conquered by rivals, leaving the Capetians at the start of the 17th century with a much smaller dynastic empire than they could have claimed three centuries prior. However, the size of the French, Spanish and Portuguese empires were at their height at that time.
Next week we will delve deeper into the mysterious circumstances of the Spanish Capetians and their forays into Italy and their acquisition of Luxembourg. To Portugal after that!