Aragón, house of

Aragón, house of,

family that ruled in Aragón, Catalonia, Majorca, Sicily, Naples, Sardinia, Athens, and other territories in the Middle Ages. It was descended from Ramiro IRamiro I
, d. 1063, first king of Aragón (1035–63), illegitimate son of Sancho III of Navarre, from whom he inherited Aragón. After the death of his half-brother Gonzalo he annexed Sobrarbe and Ribagorza and fought unsuccessfully against the Moorish king of
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 of Aragón (1035–63), natural son of Sancho IIISancho III
or Sancho the Great,
c.970–1035, king of Navarre (1000–1035). Having inherited the kingdom of Navarre, which included Aragón, he launched an annexation campaign that made him the leading power in Christian Spain. After conquering (c.
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 of Navarre. Under Ramiro's successors—Sancho ISancho I
(Sancho Ramírez) , 1045?–1094, king of Aragón (1063–94) and, as Sancho V, king of Navarre (1076–94); son and successor of Ramiro I.
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, Peter IPeter I,
d. 1104, king of Aragón and Navarre (1094–1104), son and successor of Sancho I. He continued the fight against the Moors, taking (1096) Huesca and recapturing (1100) Barbastro. His brother Alfonso I succeeded him.
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, and Alfonso IAlfonso I
(Alfonso the Battler) , d. 1134, king of Aragón and Navarre (1104–34), brother and successor of Peter I. The husband of Urraca, queen of Castile, he fought unsuccessfully to extend his authority over her kingdom.
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—Navarre was temporarily (1076–1134) united with Aragón. During that period considerable territory was wrested from the Moors. Ramiro II (1134–37) was succeeded by his daughter, Petronilla, and her husband, Raymond Berengar IVRaymond Berengar IV
, d. 1162, count of Barcelona (1131–62). He married Petronilla, daughter and heir of King Ramiro II of Aragón, after whose abdication (1137) Raymond also ruled Aragón. Catalonia and Aragón remained united under Raymond's descendants.
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, count of Barcelona. Aragón and CataloniaCatalonia
, Catalan Catalunya, Span. Cataluña, autonomous region (1990 pop. 6,165,638), NE Spain, stretching from the Pyrenees at the French border southward along the Mediterranean Sea.
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 (see also BarcelonaBarcelona
, city (1990 pop. 4,738,354), capital of Barcelona prov. and chief city of Catalonia, NE Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. Economy

Situated on a plain between the Llobregat and Besós rivers and lying between mountains and the sea, Barcelona is the
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) remained united under their descendants—Alfonso IIAlfonso II,
1152–96, king of Aragón (1162–96) and, as Raymond Berengar V, count of Barcelona (1162–96); son and successor of Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona and Petronilla of Aragón.
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, Peter IIPeter II,
1174–1213, king of Aragón (1196–1213) and count of Barcelona, son and successor of Alfonso II. He had himself crowned (1204) at Rome by Pope Innocent III, whom he accepted as overlord of Aragón and Catalonia.
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, James IJames I
(James the Conqueror), 1208–76, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1213–76), son and successor of Peter II. After a minority was disturbed by private wars among the nobles, James soon consolidated royal power and tried to create a new nobility
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, Peter IIIPeter III
(Peter the Great), 1239?–1285, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1276–85) and king of Sicily (1282–85); son and successor of James I. In 1280 he established Aragonese influence on the northern shores of Africa.
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, Alfonso IIIAlfonso III,
1265–91, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1285–91), son and successor of Peter III. He was forced to grant wide privileges to the cortes of the Aragonese nobles.
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, James IIJames II,
c.1260–1327, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1291–1327), king of Sicily (1285–95). He succeeded his father, Peter III, in Sicily and his brother, Alfonso III, in Aragón.
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, Alfonso IVAlfonso IV,
1299–1336, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1327–36), son and successor of James II. Before his accession he conquered (1323–24) Sardinia, where later a revolt involved him in war with Genoa and Pisa. He was succeeded by his son, Peter IV.
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, Peter IVPeter IV
(Peter the Ceremonious), 1319?–1387, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1336–87); son and successor of Alfonso IV. He supported Alfonso XI of Castile at the battle of Tarifa (1340), recovered (1343–44) the kingdom of Majorca, and engaged in
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, John IJohn I,
1350–95, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (1387–95), son and successor of Peter IV. During his reign Aragón lost (1388) the duchy of Athens.
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, and MartinMartin,
1356–1410, king of Aragón and count of Barcelona (c.1395–1410) and, as Martin II, king of Sicily (1409–10). He succeeded his brother, John I, in Aragón and became king of Sicily on the death of his son, Martin I of Sicily, who had married
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; after a brief interregnum (1410–12) they passed to Martin's nephew, Ferdinand IFerdinand I,
1379?–1416, king of Aragón and Sicily and count of Barcelona (1412–16), second son of John I of Castile; nephew and successor of Martin of Aragón. In 1406, Ferdinand became regent of Castile during the minority of his nephew, John II.
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, and from him to Alfonso VAlfonso V
(Alfonso the Magnanimous), 1396–1458, king of Aragón and Sicily (1416–58) and of Naples (1443–58), count of Barcelona. He was the son of Ferdinand I, whom he succeeded in Aragón and Sicily.
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, John IIJohn II,
1397–1479, king of Aragón and Sicily (1458–79), king of Navarre (1425–79), count of Barcelona. He succeeded his brother, Alfonso V, in Aragón, Catalonia, and Sicily and became king of Navarre through his marriage with Blanche, heiress of
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, and Ferdinand IIFerdinand II
or Ferdinand the Catholic,
1452–1516, king of Aragón (1479–1516), king of Castile and León (as Ferdinand V, 1474–1504), king of Sicily (1468–1516), and king of Naples (1504–16).
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, who after his marriage with Isabella of Castile became joint king of Castile as Ferdinand V or Ferdinand the Catholic. His grandson, Charles I (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles VCharles V,
1500–1558, Holy Roman emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, king of Spain (1516–56); son of Philip I and Joanna of Castile, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragón, Isabella of Castile, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Mary of Burgundy.
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) succeeded him and merged the houses of Aragón and Castile with that of HapsburgHapsburg
or Habsburg
, ruling house of Austria (1282–1918). Rise to Power

The family, which can be traced to the 10th cent., originally held lands in Alsace and in NW Switzerland. Otto (d.
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.

Through its merger of 1137 with the house of Barcelona, the house of Aragón had acquired various fiefs in S France, notably Roussillon, Provence, and Montpellier, and suzerainty over others. It lost most of these between 1213 and 1246, mainly because Peter II intervened in the Albigensian Crusade (see under AlbigensesAlbigenses
[Lat.,=people of Albi, one of their centers], religious sect of S France in the Middle Ages. Beliefs and Practices

Officially known as heretics, they were actually Cathari, Provençal adherents of a doctrine similar to the Manichaean dualistic
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) and was defeated (1213) at Muret. In the same period (1229–38), however, James I won the Balearic IslandsBalearic Islands
, Span. Baleares , archipelago, off Spain, in the W Mediterranean, forming Baleares prov. (1990 pop. 767,918) of Spain; also an autonomous region since 1983. Palma is the capital. The chief islands are Majorca, Minorca, and Ibiza.
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 and the region of ValenciaValencia
, autonomous region (1990 pop. 3,902,429) and former kingdom, E Spain, on the Mediterranean. It now comprises the provinces of Alicante, Castellón, and Valencia. It was established as an autonomous region in 1982 by the statute of autonomy.
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 from the Moors. In 1282, Peter III became king of SicilySicily
, Ital. Sicilia, region (1991 pop. 4,966,386), 9,925 sq mi (25,706 sq km), S Italy, mainly situated on the island of Sicily, which is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west and south, by the Ionian Sea on the east, and by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the north, and
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, and in the 14 cent., after a long struggle, Alfonso IV conquered SardiniaSardinia
, Ital. Sardegna, region (1991 pop. 1,648,248), 9,302 sq mi (24,092 sq km), W Italy, mostly on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, which is separated in the north from Corsica by the Strait of Bonifacio.
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. The duchies of AthensAthens
, Gr. Athínai, city (1991 pop. 2,907,179; 1991 urban agglomeration pop. 3,072,922), capital of Greece, E central Greece, on the plain of Attica, between the Kifisós and Ilissus rivers, near the Saronic Gulf. Mt. Aigáleos (1,534 ft/468 m), Mt.
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 and Neopatras were under the nominal rule of the family in the 14th cent., and in 1442 the kingdom of Naples (see Naples, kingdom ofNaples, kingdom of,
former state, occupying the Italian peninsula south of the former Papal States. It comprised roughly the present regions of Campania, Abruzzi, Molise, Basilicata, Apulia, and Calabria. Naples was the capital.

In the 11th and 12th cent.
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) was conquered by Alfonso V.

Only rarely were these possessions united under a single ruler; for the most part they were held by various branches of the house, often at war with each other as well as with other rulers in Spain. The kingdom of MajorcaMajorca
, Span. Mallorca , island (1991 pop. 602,074), 1,405 sq mi (3,639 sq km), Spain, largest of the Balearic Islands, in the W Mediterranean. Palma is the chief city.
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, with RoussillonRoussillon
, small region and former province, S France, bordering on Spain along the Pyrenees and on the Mediterranean. It is now roughly coextensive with Pyrénées-Orientales dept. Perpignan is the historical capital.
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 and Cerdagne, was separate from 1276 to 1343; that of Sicily, from 1296 to 1409; and that of Naples, from 1458 to 1501. Even when united under one ruler as they were under Alfonso V, the various possessions retained their distinct institutions, which continued to be important in diminished and varying degrees after the union of the crowns of Aragón and Castile. See NavarreNavarre
, Span. Navarra , province (1990 pop. 527,318), N Spain, bordering on France, between the W Pyrenees and the Ebro River. Pamplona is the capital. Land and Economy

Navarre province forms the autonomous region of Navarra.
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.

Bibliography

See study by J. L. Shneidman (2 vol., 1971).