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Charles I of Sicily

(Redirected from Charles of Anjou)

Charles I (March 1227 - January 7, 1285) was the posthumous son of King Louis VIII of France, created Count of Anjou by his elder brother King Louis IX in 1246, thus founding the second Angevin dynasty.

In 1266 Charles was invested by Pope Clement IV with the kingship of Naples and Sicily, in return for expelling Manfred, son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. In 1261, Sicily alone had been entrusted to his rule.

Manfred's defeat and death in the Battle of Benevento on February 26, 1266 were followed by the defeat and execution of his nephew Conradin, ending the Hohenstaufen rule in Sicily. But in 1282, Sicilian Vespers rose against French officialdom and taxes intended to finance Charles's struggle to restore the Latin Empire at Constantinople.

The island was taken by King Peter III of Aragón, who became also Peter I of Sicily, but Charles remained in possession of mainland Naples until his death, acquiring in addition the now empty title of King of Jerusalem in 1277.

Charles's dynasty went on to rule Hungary and Poland for a time in the following century, but lost Naples in 1442. The main line in Anjou ended in 1481.

In the Divine Comedy Dante sees Charles "singing in concert" with Peter III outside the gate of Purgatory.

Preceded by:
King of Sicily Succeeded by:
Peter I
King of Naples Charles II
William II Prince of Achaea
Count of Anjou

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