The Rise of the Aragonese-Catalan Empire, 1200-1350 - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Aragonese-Catalan Empire, 1200-1350 - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Aragonese-Catalan Empire, 1200-1350 - Vol. 1

The Rise of the Aragonese-Catalan Empire, 1200-1350 - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The death of Pedro II, king of Aragon, count of Barcelona, and lord of Montpellier, on the field of Muret in 1213 ended one period of Aragonese history and began another. It could not be foreseen at the time, but the death of that highly volatile monarch ended the Catalan-Aragonese dream of a mighty feudal empire that would reach from the banks of the Ebro, through Languedoc and Provence, to the Italian Alps. With the realization that an empire in southern France was impossible, the Aragonese, or to be more exact, the Catalans, replaced their old dream with a new one: the creation of a Mediterranean empire based on commerce and conquest. By the time the Black Death struck in 1348, that dream had become a reality: the new Aragonese-Catalan empire had become the leading power in the western Mediterranean. Among the aims of this present study is to examine the reasons why, and the means by which, Aragon emerged as a great power and the effects its altered status had on its internal development.

"Aragon" as a "state" did not exist in the Middle Ages. The "Kingdom of Aragon" had two meanings: specifically, the small, wedge-shaped, landlocked kingdom straddling the middle Ebro; in general terms, the complex of independent and quasi-independent states stretching across the length of the Mediterranean to Athens. To avoid confusion in this work, "Aragon" will be used in its specific meaning, while the terms "Aragonese confederation," "Aragonese empire," "the Crowns," "the Crowns of Aragon," or "the Catalan-Aragonese state" will indicate the complex of states, united only in the person of the monarch.

The simplest analogy to the Crowns of Aragon is the present United Kingdom, wherein England has a specific meaning. However, the term frequently is misused to indicate not only the kingdom of England but also those of Scotland and Ireland (Northern Ireland), and the principality of Wales. Just as James Stewart was king of Scotland, of England, and of Ireland, prince of Wales, and so on, with each title representing an independent entity, the individual who ruled the Crowns of Aragon had various titles: king of Aragon, of Valencia, of Mallorca, of Sicily, of Sardinia; count of Barcelona, of Urgel, of Provence, of Roussillon, of Besalu; duke . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.