The essay analyses the rise and fall of Chiaromonte family in the fourteenth century Sicily, characterized by political instability and factional struggles. Their power was based on strategic marriage alliances, on the managements of public offices, and on a territorial control in the counties of Caccamo and Modica and in the urban lordships of Palermo and Agrigento. Manfred [I], Giovanni the Elder, and Federico [II], sons of Federico [I] Chiaromonte and Marchisia Prefolio, got a lot of power in various areas of Sicily, increased the family assets and created political alliances with important ghibelline families. Manfredi [I] became first Earl of Caccamo, then Earl of Modica thanks to the marriage with Isabella Musca. Giovanni the Elder settled in Palermo where he built a new family palace, called Steri (from hosterium). Federico [II] married Giovanna, daughter of Cacciaguida de Camerario, a ghibelline knight of Messina, and lived in Agrigento, where the importance of Chiaromonte grew. After the death of Marchisia’s sons, the children of Giovanni the Elder, Manfredi [II], Enrico [I] and Federico [III], were an extraordinarily effective triad capable of controlling a large part of Sicily. During the last two decades the history of Chiaromonte family was marked by three illegitimate children, Manfredi [III], Andrea, and Enrico [II]. The family reached maximum power thanks to Manfredi [III], admiral, vicar of the Kingdom of Sicily and duke of Gerbe. After his death the family suffered a sudden collapse, Andrea was beheaded in Palermo in 1392 by order of Martin the Elder, duke of Montblanc; Enrico [II] had to give up, after a long but vain resistance, and in 1397 he left Sicily forever.
|Title of host publication||Chiaromonte. Lusso, politica, guerra e devozione nella Sicilia del Trecento. Un restauro verso il futuro.|
|Number of pages||32|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
Sardina, P. (2020). I Chiaromonte nella Sicilia del Trecento: storia e geografia di una famiglia feudale. In Chiaromonte. Lusso, politica, guerra e devozione nella Sicilia del Trecento. Un restauro verso il futuro. (pp. 33-64). (ARTES).