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Thread: The House of Attoni

  1. #1
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    The House of Attoni

    "The House of Attoni", an AAR following the fortunes of the Canossa family, starting with the duchess Mathilda.

    Latest beta, 1066 scenario. Normal/normal. Goal is to recreate kingdoms of Burgundy, Italy, and Lotharingia, creating a Canossa-ruled feudatory separating the Empire and France, running from the Channel to the Med. Expansion into southern Italy, Sicily, and Africa possible.

    Update shall follow.
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

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    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Chapter 1: La Gran Contessa

    Chapter One: La Gran Contessa

    Matilda, la Gran Contessa, knelt down in prayer in her splendid chapel at Canossa. Silently she mouthed the Lord’s prayer, and stood up. She felt as if the weight of the world was upon her shoulders, and it was with a deep sigh that she made her way out of the chapel.

    The fortunes of the house of Canossa were founded by Atto Adalbert (died 988), son of Siegfried, baron of Lucca. Having received the fief of Canossa from the bishop of Reggio, he rescued the Queen Adelaide, widow of Lothaire II of Italy, from her imprisonment, and allowed her to take refuge at Canossa. Adelaide duly married the Emperor Otto I, who recognised Atto Adalbert as lord of Canossa, and marquis of Attoniana, or Canossiana, a region stretching from the Apennines near Modena to beyond the Po near Mantua. As such, he was also sovereign over Modena, Reggio, and Ferrara. Atto Adalbert’s grandson, Boniface, married Beatrice of Bar, eldest daughter and rightful heiress of Frederick, duke of Upper Lorraine, and niece of the Empress Gisela. In 1052 Boniface was assassinated, and his many lands passed to his minor son by Beatrice, who ruled those lands as regent.

    In 1054 Beatrice of Bar married her kinsman Godfrey, duke of Lower Lorraine, uniting their joint claims to Lotharingia, in open defiance of the Emperor Henry III (first cousin of Beatrice). In 1055 Beatrice’s young son by Boniface died, and the vast Canossa lands passed to her daughter Mathilda, who was then aged ten years old; that same year the Emperor seized Beatrice and Mathilda, and took them to Germany, but the following year he was reconciled with Godfrey and released them a few months before his own death.

    By 1066, Matilda of Canossa was by far one of the richest and most powerful women of her time. A close friend of many important clergymen, she resented the Emperor’s interference in Italian affairs, especially in Tuscany. Aware of her own value as the greatest heiress of her time, she was also deeply interested in the affairs of Lotharingia, to which she was also heiress de jure. Guided by her mother, she had now resolved herself to marry, and two potential consorts had already been identified: Magnus, duke of the Saxons, and Hermann, the young Margrave of Verona. Magnus sought to marry Mathilda, and exchange Tuscany for Lower Lorraine, and then press her claims to Upper Lorraine, making him ruler of the greatest feudatories that Western Europe had ever seen. Berthold, duke of Carinthia, sought to marry his eldest son and heir, Hermann, to Mathilda, and thereby unite the Canossa lands in Tuscany with the Zahringer march of Verona, and the duchy of Carinthia. It had been agreed that, following the Christmas celebrations of 1066, Mathilda would decide which of the two the better suitor was, and marry him in secret (it was highly dubious that Imperial support would be obtained for either marriage).

    On the 23rd of December, 1066, Mathilda rode off alone into a nearby forest, to which she had been accustomed to go since her childhood. She soon came to her resting place, and consequently stopped her horse, and was at once overcome with the sense of being watched. As she was dismounting her horse, she felt cold metal, and turned to face three cloaked figures. She did not recognise the first two, but she knew the third well. He was Hugo, castellan of Canossa, called “Il Saggio”, the Wise. Of unknown paternity, he was rumoured in turn to be the son of the Popes Sergius IV and Benedict VIII; his mother was the rather unholy sister of the abbot of the convent of St Mary on the Aventine, and aunt of Hildebrand (Ildebrando) bishop of Orbetello. Raised in Rome, he befriended the Popes Leo IX, Victor II, and Stephen X (died 1058); the latter was the brother of Godfrey the Bearded, and thus had been able to secure for Hugo the patronage of Beatrice of Bar, regent of Tuscany, who made him castellan of Canossa. As Beatrice’s right hand man, he ruled Tuscany with an iron fist, and proved himself a capable administrator and warrior.

    Mathilda knew resistance would be futile, and she did not have to ask what it was that Hugo wanted. Abduction and subsequent marriage was a common fate for great heiresses such as Mathilda, yet she had never thought it possible of the hitherto loyal Hugo. His renowned personal army, which had served as mercenaries many times throughout France and the Empire, had long ago been dispersed at strategic locations throughout the realm, in place to quell any rebellion. Hugo, as castellan of Canossa, had long ago established dominance over all of the Tuscan nobles, and had the support of the cities of Modena, Spoleto, Ferrara, Mantua, and Brescia, of the bishops of Lucca, Firenze, and Siena, and of the count Ubaldo of Cremona. Despite his humble origins, his strength of character and leadership qualities made him the perfect consort for Mathilda, although such a union would never have been consented to had it been proposed by conventional methods.

    Hugo and his men escorted Mathilda to a nearby monastery, where a compliant priest was found, and the two were married that same day with little pomp or ceremony. The future of the House of Canossa was, at best, uncertain: yet Mathilda was certain about one thing, the last laugh would be hers.



    Mathilda, la Gran Contessa



    Her formidable mother Beatrice, through whom she derived a claim on Lotharingia



    The Canossa patrimony
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

  3. #3
    Successfully Pacified Rebel Joohoo's Avatar
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    Wow, nice start Keep it coming

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    The Closer Supermoderator Veldmaarschalk's Avatar
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    Oohh, I just love a story with powerfull women

  5. #5
    The crazy little mushroom billy bob's Avatar
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    Keep it up.
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  6. #6
    Successfully Pacified Rebel Joohoo's Avatar
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    yeah she is a interesting woman.
    Do you know where the power lies?
    It starts and it ends with you!

  7. #7
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Am having trouble adding Hugo, he comes up called "Hugo" (with the speech marks?!) born in 0, aged 1065. Argh modding!

    Update will come hopefully tomorrow evening (sorry...i have school) as soon as i have sorted my modding out!

    Joohoo, Veldmaarschalk, and Billy Bob: Thanks!
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

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    Europa Barbarorum Team Member Alhazen's Avatar
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    sounds great ! Looking forward to it. She may not be a looker...but she's got money !

  9. #9
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Presenting Hugo...

    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

  10. #10
    Cool stuff, keep it coming!

  11. #11
    Major A trooper's Avatar

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    Excellent old chap, very interesting. Keep it up!
    'Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.' -William Shakespeare, King Henry V.'

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  12. #12
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Chapter 2: Of Lowborn Husbands, Many Children, and the start of Medieval Feminism

    Mathilda and her mother Beatrice sat in an uncomfortable silence high up in the cold fortress of Canossa, both deep in thought. Finally Beatrice ventured to break the eerie stillness.

    “How do you find Hugo as a husband?” she asked, with some hesitation, for although she was indomitable, she had long ago resigned herself to a position inferior to that of her surviving daughter.

    “He is….the same as he was before. I admire his wisdom and modesty, yet I cannot forgive him for forcing me into such a humiliating union,” came the ice-cold reply from Mathilda.

    “As soon as I was informed, I sent word to Hermann of Verona, and his father Berthold of Carinthia, to come to our aid. What are your plans, Mathilda?”

    “Any invasion from Berthold and Hermann will be easily repelled by Hugo, merely strengthening his hold on the duchy, and enhancing his reputation elsewhere. In any case, an annulment would never be granted; the Pope depends upon the support of the Bishop Hildebrand, who as you know is a kinsman of Hugo.”

    Meanwhile, Hugo was busy at work. Having been easily accepted by the lords of Tuscany, he was also assured of papal support. In a stroke of diplomatic brilliance, Hugo had applied to the Pope for a dispensation for his union with Mathilda on the grounds of consanguinity, to the shock of all who heard of this: how could the lowborn Hugo claim kinship to the lovely Mathilda? It was then that Hugo gave out that he was the descendant of a brother of Azzo Adalberto, great-grandfather of Mathilda and founder of the House of Attoni, or Canossa; thus, Hugo claimed that he was merely of a junior branch of the Canossa house. As such, he was more than a suitable consort for Mathilda. His illegitimacy and dubious paternity were forgotten, whilst his descent from Swabian lords back to Charlemagne, and through Lombard princes back to the Roman Emperors was confirmed time and time again, in various (often conflicting) family trees. Mathilda said nothing, and boded her time.

    On March 12th 1067 the Norman Richard of Aversa, who had been in Tuscany for a few weeks, did homage to Mathilda for his fief of Capua. Richard (perhaps at Mathilda’s behest) refused to pay allegiance to Hugo, but Hugo did not dispute this and the incident went by unnoted by most contemporary chroniclers and spectators.

    On March 17th, the day of count Richard’s departure, Mathilda announced that she was with child, and began preparing for her confinement at her castle at Nogara, south of Verona. There, she gave birthed a healthy male child. The boy was given the Germanic name Frederick, after Mathilda’s brother Frederick, the infant marquis of Tuscany, and her grandfather duke Frederick II of Lorraine, and was referred to as such in foreign chronicles. However, in Tuscan chronicles, such as the biography of Mathilda, the history of Tuscany and its rulers, and of the house of Canossa (all by Mathilda’s personal chaplain), he is referred to as “Abelino, sometimes called Frederick”. The child was raised by Italian nurses, and spoke the local Tuscan dialect, and as such used his Italianate name Abelino, the Germanic Frederick being reserved for the charters in which he appeared from birth alongside his mother as titular co-ruler of Tuscany. All of Mathilda’s children were given Germanic names, and all of them were also known by local Italianate nicknames.

    The next few years passed by quickly. On February 2nd 1069, Mathilda bore a second son, who was given the name Guglielmo (Wilhelm); by this time the duchy had grown even richer and more prosperous, and yielded a monthly income of 16©, or 16,000 marks, a princely sum in those days. In August the boy Abelino suffered a debilitating accident, stunting his growth, and leaving him a weak and frail boy.



    Look at those stats!

    In 1070, Mathilda bore two daughters, Gisella (February 1st) and Ermengarde (December 22nd). The dowager duchess Beatrice, who had since gone to live in her native Lorraine, died in early 1070, and her widower Godfrey remarried with unsavoury haste, to the young Ute von Salm.

    In September 1071, Otto von Nordheim, duke of Bavaria, died, after the tragic deaths of his two younger sons, Kuno and Siegfried. At Mathilda’s instigation, his eldest son Heinrich, count of Innsbruck, was excommunicated, thus giving the Emperor an excuse to give the duchy to the loyal Welf, although the dukedom nominally passed to Welf’s two year old son Arsenio, whose mother was a daughter of Otto von Nordheim.

    Mathilda bore more children over the next years: Rodolfo, called Rudolf (February 15th 1072), Sofia, also called Mathilde (November 30th 1072), Catone, or Adalberto (September 22nd 1073), Salinguerra, or Hermann (February 18th 1075), and Severo, called Otto (March 2nd 1076).



    Like mother, like daughter?
    On May 3rd, Vratislav, duke of Bohemia, proclaimed himself King and rejected Imperial supremacy, sending shockwaves throughout the Empire when the Emperor decided, or was unable to, take action against Vratislav and check the growing power of the eastern monarchies, in Hungary, Poland, and now Bohemia.

    On January 29th, 1077, Hugo, aged 65 years, died, leaving Mathilda four months pregnant. He was beatified, at the instigation of his kinsman Hildebrand. Finally Mathilda, aged 31, was her own woman: no mother, no father, no husband to rule her, only herself to rule others. The future was bright, the future was Canossa.
    Last edited by Velasco; 01-07-2005 at 21:55.
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

  13. #13
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Thanks for all the interest!
    Sorry for all the confusing naming patterns, but it just doesn't make sense to me that Mathilda of Canossa would be naming her children Salinguerra, Eleonora, Abelino, Benilde, Catone, etc etc. So will edit the savegame files to give them more appropriate names, perhaps keeping their italian names in brackets ie. "Frederick (Abelino) of Canossa, 1067-"
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

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    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Chapter 3: Mathilda, Regina

    The death of Hugo had not taken Mathilda by surprise, as he was an old man at the time of his death. It seems she had already anticipated his death, as she remarried with undue haste. Although she valued her freedom, she knew that while she remained single she would be at the mercy of every robber baron and foot soldier; therefore she needed a husband, a weak, easily dominated one, yet a husband nonetheless she must have. Her choice was Roger Borsa, heir of Robert Guiscard, duke of Apulia. He was 16, she 31. Her choice proved wise; he was young, impressionable, and succumbed to her will, yet he brought with him the military might and the diplomatic support of his father and the Apulian Normans.

    In March Mathilda was rejoined by the boy Frederick-Abelino, who had been sent by his father to a monastery. The boy had long suffered from pneumonia, but on March 14th he was healed by the bishop Anselm.

    On July 25th, 1077, Mathilda was delivered of the stillborn posthumous child of Hugo, her tenth. Thus delivered of her burden, she turned to more important matters.

    Over the last few years the tension between the Emperor and Pope had been escalating. The Emperor sought to expand imperial control over Italy, thereby threatening the power of the Papal States, which had in turn turned for support to the Normans. The Emperor was weary of the power of his Italian subjects, chief of whom were Mathilda, her former betrothed Hermann, now duke of Carinthia and Verona, and the mighty Guelph, duke of Milano, and also ruler of Bavaria on behalf of his son Arsenio, and had alienated them by trying to curb their power. Mathilda, who had long harboured Papist tendencies, had over time become the Pope’s chief supporter; now the Pope, in a bid to break Imperial might, sought to make Mathilda Queen of Italy, with the support of the dukes Guelph of Milano, Hermann of Carinthia, and Robert of Apulia.

    On July 30th, 1077, Mathilda declared war on her cousin, the Emperor Heinrich IV. She found an unexpected ally in Philippe I, King of France, whose megalomaniac tendencies led him to seize the chance to crush the Emperor, and thus enhance his own reputation. A huge Tuscan army was already assembled, and marched north through Milano to Burgundy and the Tirol, where they were met by the armies of several counts loyal to the Emperor.

    On August 22nd 1077 the Pope preached the First Crusade, to liberate Jerusalem. The lords of France and Germany, preoccupied with this war of Canossa, could not come to his aid; nor could the King of Bohemia, for he then waged war on the Byzantine Emperor, or the duke of Barcelona, who was carving out for himself a large Iberian feudatory. Only the King of Denmark responded, sailing to Syria with a large army of Viking berserkers, with which to take back the Holy Land.

    In October 1077 news reached Mathilda that Leopold, duke of Osterreich, had rebelled against the Emperor, and was marching with a large army into Franconia, the Emperor’s personal power base. By February 1080 Mathilda had been joined by the duke of Swabia, the republic of Bologna (whose leading magistrate, a certain Matteo, paid allegiance to Mathilda in March, 1080), count Aimond of Geneve (an important noble in Burgundy) and the counts of Arborea and Cagliari on Sardinia, all eager to crush the Emperor’s power. Nevertheless, the Tuscan army was beaten back, and the Emperor carried out a successful campaign in northern Italy, leaving him in control of much of Tuscany; Mathilda was only saved by the well-timed arrival of a large French army, which wrested back Tuscany from the Germans.

    Finally the war could be fought on German, not Tuscan, soil. Two armies, led by the count of Capua and the magistrate of Bologna, were at once assembled, and joined those of the duke of Swabia, subduing Leiningen, Nassau, and Franken. Meanwhile, more and more French nobles poured into the Empire, whilst more and more German counts began to dispute the Emperor’s rule. Finally, on September 21st, the Emperor made peace with Mathilda at her castle at Nogara.

    Mathilda agreed to never again make war on the Emperor, and renounce her claims within Germany to him, particularly on the Imperial and Burgundian crowns. In return, she was given the city of Bologna (which the Emperor had taken) and the kingdom of Italy, as a nominal fief of the Empire. The Emperor departed, and Mathilda held a great feast, where she received the homage of all the Italian lords.



    Mathilda, Queen of Italy, Duchess of Tuscany and Spoleto, sat in state at the Castello Canossa in Ferrara. Three years, and thousands of lives later, her she was: Queen, by her own merit, and noone else’s. Under her rule, her lands had become even richer and continued to prosper, bringing her an annual income of some 30,000 marks (30©). Her kingdom was further expanded when the boy Arsenio died in early October, and the vast and rich lands of Bavaria were at once occupied by his father Guelph, her most loyal vassal.


    The Kingdom of Italy, also includes the county of Tirgoviste in Hungary, owned by the duke of Carinthia

    She did not know what the future held, but what she did know, was that it certainly had something to do with the House of Canossa, the ancient lineage of Attoni, chosen by God himself to rule over all other houses and kingdoms.
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

  15. #15
    Poster of the Decade LordScod's Avatar

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    Very interesting.
    10 more years!

  16. #16
    Europa Barbarorum Team Member Alhazen's Avatar
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    Yes, very interesting indeed. How did her prestige get to -3000 though?

    I feel your pain modding.. It took me forever to get the characters I wanted working right without having an annoying CTD every few months.

  17. #17
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    I have no idea! I've only realised now that you've pointed it out as I have not played any further. I had a positive warscore and negative peacescore (minus a few thousand) from recognising Heinrich as King of Burgundy and Germany, count of Franken, Nassau and Leiningen...so I don't know!
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

  18. #18
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Mathilda, Regina, 1080-1092

    In October, 1080 Mathilda made a visit to Ancona, and rewarded the loyal count Werner by making him duke of the Marches.

    Mathilda spent the next few years restructuring the infrastructure of her realm, raising and lowering taxes, yet overall increasing her own personal income to 50© by January, 1083.

    On January 16th, 1084, Mathilda’s eldest son Frederick Abelino married the Emperor’s niece Laura, heiress of Pietro, count of Savoie and Piemonte. Pietro was one of the most prestigious men in the Empire; he was the brother of Berta, wife of the Emperor Heinrich IV, and Adelaide, wife of Duke Rudolph of Swabia. Mathilda made Frederick duke of Spoleto and give him that city to rule. Mathilda had originally sought to disinherit Frederick, during his illness, but by the early 1080’s he had grown into a healthy young man, although he was never the man his brother Guglielmo was. The evidence suggests that Mathilda was never particularly close to Frederick Abelino, who, although energetic and modest, was also deceitful and reckless, and arbitrary in his judgements. The marriage was a success, and by late August the duchess Laura was with child. The child turned out to be a daughter, who was named Joscella, born around May 2nd 1085.



    Later that year, Mathilda was once again in Ancona, for a marriage she herself had arranged. Friedrich, count in Urbino, and heir of Werner, duke of the Marches, married Mathilda of Zähringen, daughter of Hermann, duke of Carinthia; the union having originally been devised to maintain the duchies of Carinthia and Verona within Mathilda’s realm, although Hermann eventually remarried and fathered a son (also Hermann) in 1082. Queen Mathilda was also the godmother of the couple’s first child, Ludwig, born in February 1085.

    In May, 1085, Mathilda arranged for the marriage of her second son Guglielmo and Bozena, sister of Bretislav king of Bohemia. However, Guglielmo found Bozena to be repulsive, and duly kidnapped and married Alberade, the young daughter of Ulrich count of Bern (who was more than happy to allow Guglielmo to have his daughter). The ensuing scandal was further heightened when Guglielmo took to cohabiting with both women; on May 21st Bozena announced she was with child, promptly followed by Alberade on the 25th.




    Meanwhile, Mathilda had committed herself to acquiring a fief for Guglielmo; yet, in light of such scandalous behaviour, he would have to conquer it himself. Early in May (perhaps before the announcements of his two wives’ pregnancies) Guglielmo departed from Genoa with a large fleet, for Sicily.

    With her realm stripped of all men of fighting age, Mathilda was more than eager to form an alliance with Dietrich, duke of Upper Lorraine, despite the fact she resented him, as she felt his lands formed part of her rightful inheritance.

    In September, Mathilda was horrified to learn that her father-in-law, Duke Robert of Apulia, had attacked the count of Capua, her vassal. Mathilda, not willing to jeopardise her reputation by not fulfilling her duty as liege, at once jumped to the aid of Capua, and dispatched her son Frederick Abelino with a sizeable army, drawn from Spoleto, and also Siena, Livorno, Piombino, Firenze, and Romagna. Unfortunately, Capua was lost on November 28th, and the count fled, leaving the Normans in possession of his lands. Frederick of Spoleto defeated the Normans at Benevento, and moved into Capua, but on the 1st March 1086 peace was made with Robert Guiscard, so that all of Italy’s resources could be poured into the invasion of Sicily, and protecting the homeland.

    The duke Frederick Abelino had greatly enhanced his reputation in this, his first, campaign, although he murmured that he had not been allowed to assist his brother in the conquest of Sicily. On February 19th, the duchess Laura bore him a son, to whom was given the name Abelino, in honour of his father. Mathilda is recorded, in the Annals of the Monks of the Abbey of St Mary of Nogara, to have been greatly displeased with this, as she greatly hated the name of Abelino (it having been conferred upon Frederick by his father), and was angered that the boy was not given some other, more appropriate, name. Nevertheless, the name remained, and the child was raised in Spoleto by his mother.

    Meanwhile, Guglielmo had taken Trapani, in early February 1086. He then captured Palermo (April 27th), Siracusa, whose sheik had been at war with the Apulian Normans (May 13th) and Agrigento (July 15th). His fervour in fighting against the Moslems was further accentuated when he heard of the birth of a healthy baby boy, who was given the somewhat dubious name Fabrizio, on February 22nd, to his wife Alberade; the chronicles give us no insight into his reaction to the death, in labour, of his other wife Bodeza, on the 25th.



    Guglielmo was welcomed back in Bologna by his mother with open arms, and was given the rich prize of Sicily, with the exception of Messina (which belonged to the Apulian Normans). Strong, tall, and handsome, he was renowned for his energetic and zealous personality, and would come to be known for his justice and modesty, and as a more than capable diplomat, weaving webs between the new Christian nobles of Sicily and the ruling Moorish and Greek aristocratic families, in his deep, gruff Tuscan accent.

    The conquest of Sicily had not been merely to provide Guglielmo with a fief. Sicily was rich, and strategically centred in the middle of the Med, allowing its ruler to control almost entirely the Mediterranean trade. Mathilda had greatly encouraged the mercantile tendencies of her vassals, and jealously guarded the growing might of the merchant republics of Pisa and Genoa, her vassals, whose scutage went a long way towards increasing her income. The chief competitor of the Genoese and Pisans were the Venetians, whose small, yet excessively wealthy republic had so far resisted all of Mathilda’s friendly overtures. In late 1086 the Venetians attacked the Apulian Normans, but Mathilda was temporarily unable to take advantage of the situation.

    In November 15th, 1086, Mathilda’s daughter Gisella was married, in Ferrara (which served as her mother’s capital) to the 66 year old Petar Kresimir, King of Croatia. The marriage was intended to secure the friendship of the Croats, whose kingdom lay on the eastern bank of the Adriatic Sea, and who were accustomed to assist the Venetians. Gisella was energetic and merciful, and her trusting ways soon won over her new husband. In time she came to rule over Croatia on his behalf, and became famed for her just rule, in the mold of her mother.



    On January 16th, 1087, Mathilda was presented with another grandson, who was named Lazzaro (Lazarus); the child of Frederick Abelino of Spoleto and Laura of Savoie. Unfortunately the child died soon afterward, before the year was out.

    In February 20th, 1087, at Verona, Mathilda’s second daughter Ermengarda was married to the Emperor Heinrich IV, 20 years her senior. Ermengarda, generous, merciful, yet ill (none could fully comprehend the meaning of her symptoms) was at once enamoured with Heinrich, a just and merciful ruler. Her love enhanced his selfishness, and the two found a common cause against the Pope in their scepticism of holy matters. Heinrich was a second cousin of Mathilda, and thus related to Ermengarda within the forbidden degrees, yet neither applied to the Pope for dispensation (Mathilda eventually stepped in and secured the necessary Papal dispensation).



    On April 1st, 1088, Mathilda’s son Rodolfo was married to Adelheid d’Ardennes. Adelheid was the only surviving child of Duke Godfried of Lower Lorraine, Mathilda’s stepbrother, who had been deprived of her rightful inheritance at a young age. The Emperor, not wishing to allow the then infant child inherit such vast and unruly lands, had granted the duchy to Godfried’s nephew, Eustace of Boulogne. The girl Adelheid was sent to a monastery, but her aunt took pity upon her and took her back, raising her at court, without the Emperor’s knowledge. Furthermore, she had once been a close companion of the duchess Beatrice, and so Mathilda had little trouble securing possession of the girl Adelheid.

    Mathilda did not like the girl Adelheid, who was selfish and cruel, but her dynastic worth outweighed any difference her personality could make. By marrying one of her sons to Adelheid, she united the claims of her own mother Beatrice and Adelheid’s father and grandfather (both Godfried), which by all accounts were much superior to those of the House of Boulogne.



    In 1087 Eustache, count of Boulogne and duke of Lower Lorraine, had died and been succeeded by his son Guillaume, who was yet a child. The boy’s lands were ruled by his mother, who was renowned for her hate of the Emperor, and by 1088 she was called Disloyalty Incarnate, and there were rumours of rebellion. Therefore, on April 8th 1088, when Mathilda formally proclaimed war on the young duke Guillaume, she expected to have the support of the Emperor; instead, the Emperor, together with her former ally Dietrich of Upper Lorraine and the bishop of Mainz hurried to Guillaume of Boulogne’s aid.

    During the last few years the Emperor had strengthened and centralized his rule within the Empire, regaining Franconia and defeating the Swabian revolt. He proceeded to add Geneve, Lyon, Nordgau, Besancon, Brandenburg, the Steiermark and Arborea (the northern part of Sardinia) to his lands, and crushed all rebellions against his rule. Despite his marriage to her daughter Ermengarda, Heinrich could not pass up the chance of defeating Mathilda in battle, thus clearing up the way for the reincorporation of Italy to the Empire.

    Mathilda, together with her sons Guglielmo and Rodolfo, at once marched north at the head of a large army, defeating a smaller force lead by the duke Dietrich, who soon afterward delivered 82© up to Mathilda in return for peace, and for a promise that her soldiers would not ravage his lands whilst marching through them. Meanwhile, Mathilda’s other son Frederick Abelino had subdued the Steiermark (August 30th), and this was followed by the conquest of Besancon (September 14th) by the loyal Hermann of Zaringen.

    News soon came of the capture of Brescia by the Emperor (October 30th), followed by the reconquest of Besancon by the Emperor’s armies. Mathilda did not turn back her army, and pressed into Lower Lorraine, taking the chief ducal seats of Andernach (January 1089), and Breda (March 5th). The young duke fled, and Mathilda at once presented herself as the new duchess of Lower Lorraine and Brabant. However, she was not finished. Moving east, she swept through the Emperor’s lands, taking Nassau (June 8th), Franken (September 7th), Wurttemberg (November 5th), Ulm (December 13th) and Fürstenberg (February 2nd 1090), and defeating several imperial armies.

    Finally on March 22nd, 1090, Mathilda and her three eldest sons met with the Emperor, and their daughter and sister Ermengarda, who had grown cold and distant (according to the chronicler Eustace of Brescia). Mathilda demanded, and received, the duchies of Styria (the Steiermark) and Swabia (the counties of Ulm and Fürstenberg, and the fealty of many of the Emperor’s former vassals), together with Lyon, Besancon, Nordgau, and Nassau (Brescia had been taken back some time before).

    Triumphant, she went to Besancon, where she was met by her husband Roger Borsa, and her fourth son Adalberto Catone, together with a host of her nobles. She then went to Lyon, where on April 3rd 1090 Adalberto Catone married Mathilda, the only daughter of King Philippe I of France. The next day, Mathilda bestowed upon Adalberto the duchy of Swabia, and formally acknowledged Rodolfo as duke of Lower Lorraine. Furthermore the loyal Wilhelm Hohenstaufen, whose service during the last war had been indispensable to Mathilda, was confirmed in his county of St Gallen and made duke of the Tirol.




    Mathilda then went back to Italy, and entertained Barnard de Forez, count of Cagliari (the southern part of Sardinia) who pledged allegiance to her. With her was her daughter Sofia Mathilde, for whom marriage negotiations with King Philippe I of France had recently came to nothing. On April 29th, Mathilda made her most beloved and talented daughter, Sofia Mathilde, the duchy of Styria, and betrothed her to her nephew Abelino, the son of her brother Frederick Abelino of Spoleto, so that Sofia might one day rule as Queen (Consort) of Italy.



    On March 1st, 1091, at Ferrara, Mathilda’s fifth son Hermann Salinguerra married Adelheid von Zähringen, the second daughter of Berthold, count of Breisgau, brother of Hermann duke of Carinthia and Verona. Mathilda made Hermann duke of Brabant and of the Frisians, of the Friesland, although it seems he ruled somewhat subordinately to his brother Rodolfo. Hermann, forgiving, generous, just, and a flamboyant schemer, was the apple of his mother’s eye, and as such she supported him against the territorial greed of his brother Rodolfo (who sought to add Frisia and Brabant to Lower Lorraine).




    Also in March 1091 Mathilda granted Besancon and the Nordgau to Gerhard, count of the Sundgau, a powerful and loyal vassal.

    Almost a year later, on March 17th, 1092, either at Ferrara or Nogara, Mathilda’s youngest son Otto Severo married Agathe de Lorraine, the eldest daughter and heiress of Dietrich, duke of Upper Lorraine. Mathilda hoped to one day secure Agathe’s inheritance, and bestow it to her son Rodolfo, and compensate Otto Severo with further lands in Italy; for now he was given Livorno and the duchy of Toscana.


    Last edited by Velasco; 05-07-2005 at 20:33.
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

  19. #19
    Second Lieutenant Jackbob's Avatar
    Europa Universalis 3

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    I'll like this AAR indeed.

  20. #20
    Meddler Sublime RPG Leader Velasco's Avatar

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    Thank you! Update today or tomorrow, have tons of work to get thru first...
    War is sometimes a tool we must be ready to use to enforce upon the World the Will of God;
    We are his instruments of Divine Justice, and we shall not fear to do the Lord's work.

    Won WWMIV [as Seer] & Werewolf Lite CXCVI: Grammatical Mayhem [as villager]

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