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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    The Inheritance of Canossa

    The Inheritance of Canossa

    Introduction

    Matilda of Canossa, as the entire world knows, sits atop the pyramid of powerful women rulers along with Hatshepsut, Pharaoh of Egypt; Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt; Zenobia of Palmyra; Theodora, Empress of Byzanitium; and Suiko, Empress of Japan. However, unlike Hatshepsut, she was not succeeded by a bitter son who attempted to remove all traces of her from history. Unlike Cleopatra, she was not forced to kill herself to avoid the humiliation of defeat at the hands of her lover’s son. Unlike Zenobia, she did not suffer defeat and the humiliation of being led in golden chain in the triumphal parade of the general who defeated her. Unlike Theodora, she ruled in her own name, not through the power of a husband. And unlike Suiko, she is definitely more than a mythical ruler from the distant past.

    Matilda was very much a flesh and blood woman who, over the course of a 40 year reign, 1) inherited a powerful realm in two duchies in and around the Po Valley of northern Italy and the spine of the Apennines, 2) an ancestry that gave her visions of being much more, 3) the charisma to make her way in a world of powerful and forceful men, and 4) the intelligence to become the most powerful sovereign in the Holy Roman Empire other than the Emperor himself.

    How she did managed to accomplish this while birthing and raising five children, attracting some of the best minds of her time to her court, and keeping her eye always on the final prize, is the topic of the first chapter of this history. Subsequent chapters will discuss the various generations of the Canossa dynasty that she so successfully launched.

    *****


    Chapter 1:
    Matilda of Canossa


    The Beginning

    To understand Matilda, you have to first understand her family and its history.

    Her father was the Duke of Toscana (Tuscany) and Spoleto. She had one older brother, Federigo. In 1052, When she was a young girl of just 6, her father died. Her brother inherited the titles, lands and vassals while still a minor. Three years later, her brother died of a terrible wasting disease - doctors believe some sort of pox that carried him away quickly and painfully. Thus, at the age of 9 she became the Duchess of Toscano and Spoleto, the most powerful vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor south of the Alps.

    Although she was surrounded by powerful men, most were prelates who served her faithfully and minimized what might have been a disastrous struggle for power in the vacuum that arose with the death of the Dukes, her father and brother. She also had, for many years, her mother as an informal, but powerful advisor. I believe this was one of the most critical factors in really understanding Matilda as she grows into her adulthood.

    The chart below summarizes the reasons why: Matilda could trace in the matrilineal line through her Great-Grandmother (Gerberga Welf) descent from two Kings of Burgundy, a King of Italy, two Kings of France, and the Ludolfinger line of Holy Roman Emperors. Through her Great-Grandfather, she had additional linkages to the Ludolfinger line. All of these lines were extinct in the lines of the sons - some died of old age with no sons to inherit, but many died in wars against rebellious vassals or mysteriously (which, in those days, meant the hands of unseen assassins.) The last Karling King of France (Louis V) died at age 19; the last Ludolfinger HRE died at the age of 22.



    Matilda’s mother would have been well aware of this line of royal and imperial descent flowing in her veins, and would have been aware that the ruling Emperor from the Salian dynasty was the son of the man who overthrew the Ludolfingers. In other words, while Matilda was the most powerful vassal of the Emperor south of the Alps, she also had a strong dynastic link to the throne itself. This would influence many of the actions of Matilda over the years, as she took an independent line in Italy for almost all of her years.

    As you can see, Matilda grew up both controlled and pampered by her mother and the tales of the greatness of her family, and by the bishops and prelates who ran her counties, cities and castles, as well as the major offices of state. She came into her majority in 1062, we don’t know much about the early years of her reign as sovereign Duchess, but is seems that she kept her Council in place, and worked to establish herself firmly on ducal seat.

    At age 20, all that changed, and she burst upon the Italian scene with a dramatic entrance.

    That year (1066), the Emit of Cadiz sent a party of merchants and diplomats throughout the French and Italian courts in an attempt to establish diplomatic relations the counts and dukes, as well as the Italian trading cities of Pisa and Genoa. The Emir was attempting to maintain his independence from the Emir of Sevilla (and in fact, failed to do so, and within a few shorts years lost his holdings to the Emir.) One of the members of the party was a minor nobleman, or perhaps just a wealthy merchant names Abu-Bakr bin Hijar. He was one of the “golden men” of the age - tall, dashing and by all accounts irresistible to the women of every court he visited. He was superb with finances, and seemed, in later years, to be another Midas. He was with the delegation when they arrived at the court of Duchess Matilda in Brescia; he did not leave the court when the delegation moved on. Somehow Matilda managed to overcome what must have been loud and perhaps violent objections, and she married Abu-Bakr, 10 years her senior.

    The benefits to Abu-Bakr are obvious - he rose from a place of relative obscurity to become the Duke Consort over vast domains. But he was a Muslim, something he did not give up immediately. So he was reliant on Matilda for support and protection, and this is something she readiliy gave. What did Matilda get in return? First and foremost, Abu-Bakr agreed to a matrilineal marriage, where his children would carry the family name of his wife - so Matilda in one fell swoop satisfied her need to carry on the dynasty, escaped the potential control a marriage to duke or a count from the Empire would undoubtedly bring, gained a handsome, dashing and talented husband, and could rule in security knowing her husband, as a foreigner would not, could not, attempt to overthrown or overpower her.



    Matilda and Abi-Bakr had 6 children - clearly a marriage of great love. Their five sons and 1 daughter were all accomplished in their own rights. Below is their family tree, showing the children as adults.




    The Politics of Matilda’s Reign

    Given the location of Matilda’s realm, and the precarious nature of her claim to the Duchy of Spoleto (the Pope in Rome had in his possession two of the three counties of the Duchy, and could easily have made a de facto claim on the title), one of Matilda’s over-riding objectives throughout her reign was to maintain positive relations with the Holy Father. The fact that many of her best and closest advisors certainly helped.



    And the fact that in 1069 a new Holy Father was elected to the office at the age of just 24 also helped.



    Matilda was charismatic, a born negotiator, and brought a spirit of zeal to her discussions with her spiritual and temporal advisors. The Pope remained steadfast in his support for Matilda throughout his pontificate. The only moment of tension came early, when he pointed out that she was married to a Muslim - he demanded that she renounce him. She replied that she ruled in Tuscany, and sent the Pope’s herald speedily back to Rome. But fast on the heels of that herald came one from her household, announcing the joyous news of Abu-Bakr’s conversion to Catholicism - a clever way to assert her power while defusing the challenge that could easily have risen from the Pope.



    For a few years, Matilda and Abu-Bakr settled into their lives as rulers of the Duchy and parents. Their first three children were born quickly, and Abu Bakr took an active hand in raising the first two - a fact that will lead to unexpected implications in the life of his second son much later. But more on that in future chapters. In short, they were were happy couple, sitting at the pinnacle of the political world of Italy. They built up their domains and presided over a period of peace and prosperity.

    In 1072, Matilda began the aggressively pursue her political objectives. Her very effective chancellery discovered the first of many ducal claims to castles and towns through the Italian peninsula. The first of these claim was directed against the wealthy trading city of Venice. Matilda’s forces easily overcame the merchants, and by 1073 she was able to add to her domain the Duchy of Venice.

    In 1073, Matilda also basically “took up the cross” of the Crusades. She declared war of the Emir of Tunis, who had broken from his liege the Sultan of Tunis. Her husband, Abu-Bakr must have violently disagreed with this - we know that he was sent by Matilda to Venice as governor of the city at that time; he took the older two boys with him. Within the year, the lands of the Emit of Tunis were added to Matilda’s domains, and within another, the lands of the Sultan of Africa’s coastal holdings were also added.



    In 1075. the powerful Norman Duke of Apulia died while attempting to unite his lands with territories in Sicily. His realm split in two - the Dukedoms of Apulia and Calabria, both led by minors.



    With her effective chancellery working non-stop, Matilda received document after document that established her rights to rule over territories throughout the Italian peninsula. First, she saw her chance to take advantage of the power vacuum by moving against the rich county of Capua. She quickly subdued the Count and annexed lands and title. This was quickly followed by the acquisition from the Duke of Lombardy of the lordship of Cremona - the Duke’s father died in an aborted rebellion against the Holy Roman Emperor, and the minor duke was unable to effectively resist. Padua, briefly independent of the powerful Duke of Baden, was brought by the force of arms into her demesne, although a brief war followed with the Duke of Baden, in which he suffered defeat.



    Finally, the Count of Napoli was brought into her realm.

    By 1086, Mathilda had established control over lands reaching from the Alps to the southern reaches to the Italian peninsula, and stretching across the peninsula from the costs of Lucca to the shores of the Adriatic Sea. In fact, it is at this time that the secular and religious documents begin referring to her as Matilda the Great. She was the Duchess of Toscana and Spoleto from inheritance, and was through the force of arms the Duchess of Tunis, Modena, Capua and Venice.



    Marcellus II rose to the Papal throne at the age of 34 in this year - and Matilda established warm relations with the Holy Father through the combination of her native charisma, the loyalty of her loyal bishops, and Crusade. In the years since the splintering of the Norman Duchy of Apulia, the Emirs of Palermo and Cyrenacia had actively been eating away at the remains of the Norman lands. The Duke of Palermo had absorbed most of the lands in Sicily and even Salerno (ruled by the uncle of the young Dukes Roger and Guy). The Emir of Cyrenacia had completely conquered the lands of Duke Guy, and ruled from Messina to Apulia.

    Matilda declared a Crusade against the Emir of Cyrenacia for the lands of Calabria. Within the year the Emir’s lands were under the control of the Duchess, and they were added to her growing estate. In that same year, the Prince-Bishops of Ravenna surrendered their castles to the Duchess - balancing out her zealousness for the Catholic cause and her eagerness to expand her holdings in Italy.

    Three years later, Matilda took her Crusade to the shores of Africa again, and brought down the arms of the Crusaders on the lands of the Emir of Cyrenacia. The Emir, faced with complete defeat at home, removed himself to the arch or Italy, and gave up his African lands to Matilda.



    However, the Sultan of Palermo, from the power-base of his rich cities of Sicily, took most of Apulia from Duke Roger, and declared himself the Sultan of Sicily - with lands stretching from Sicily, through Salerno and to the Apulian coasts of the Adriatic. The Norman Dukes were reduced to just two provinces, wedged between the lands of the Duchess and the Sultan.



    It’s clear that at around the turn of the century that Matilda’s chancellery alerted her to a potential royal claim. Sicily was taken by the Sultan, and her Italian possessions were not significant enough to claim one of the titles that she surely was pursuing - that of the King of Italy, like her distant ancestor King Rudolf I. They pointed out that with the addition of the county of Syrte, wedged between her holding the Cyrenacia and those of HRE Henirich in Tripolitania, she would be able to declare herself Queen of Africa.

    The crusade was called, and within the year, Matilda had assumed the royal title, and moved her capital to Capua.



    The years after her Accession were filled with excitement and drama, both within and beyond the borders of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Pavia was acquired by Matilda from the Duke of Lombardy in 1103. This would be the last of the Italian acquisitions of Matilda.

    In 1104, the Duke of Bohemia came to Matilda, and playing upon her new found status as the only Royal vassal of the Emperor, convinced her to join him in an effort to lower the crown authority of the Emperor (which would allow her greater freedom of action within the Empire.) She agreed. Matilda also went to the Pope, and convinced him to issue a judgement of excommunication against the Emperor - thereafter called Henirich the Cruel. Shortly after that, the Duke of Bohemia rise in rebellion against the Emperor, and Matilda joined him.



    Matilda’s forces quickly overran the territories of the Emperor south of the Alps - Bologna and the lands south of Pisa quickly fell, as did the Tripolitanian territories held by the Emperor. But corresponding victories were elusive in the north, and Matilda’s court heard only rumors of defeats and the loss of castles and towns to the Emperor’s forces in Bohemia.



    It was at this point, after a reign of exactly 40 years, that Matilda, Queen of Africa, died.

    *****


    State of the World at the death of Matilda

    France had been pushing down the Mediterranean coasts of Spain; Castille was making progress in the interior. Against the Christian progress, the Kingdom of Maurentania had consolidated the central Muslim powers, and the Emir of Beja was holding the middle Atlantic territories against the King of Galicia.



    Pope Marcellus, desiring to leave a glorious monument for his everlasting fame and the glory of God, called upon all Christendom to undertake a crusade to capture Acre from the Muslims Caliphate of Egypt. In response, the Caliph, al-Mustansir of Egypt called of the armies of Islam to recover Tyre from the Byzantine Emperor.



    Europe



    ***
    Marco Oliverio

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    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    This is awesome stuff! I particularly like the use of screenshots to keep things clear. What version of CK II are you using? Is the marriage between Matilda and Abu Bakr matrilineal?
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    Very lively. Keep it up
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    great stuff and a superb gripping opening paragraph.

    love the Kingdom of Africa in Italy ...

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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    This is awesome stuff! I particularly like the use of screenshots to keep things clear. What version of CK II are you using? Is the marriage between Matilda and Abu Bakr matrilineal?
    Hey Avindian!

    Yes, the marriage is matrilineal. it took me a while to figure out how that worked (I don't always read the fine print), but then I realized it was as easy as pie! None of the rulers or heirs or children up there in the inheritance ranking would do it, but a handsome, upwardly mobile and lustful Andalusian was more than willing to give up his name. And you'll see that a couple of his sons take on the Muslim naming convention to honor Abu-Bakr (although I don't have any idea why!)

    I'm using 1.02 - I'm on a Mac and I found this great site from Paul the Tall (http://www.paulthetall.com/files/ea2...6e2d1-991.html) that basically has it working for me. But I don't know how to apply the patches inside the wrapper that I'm using from his site, so I'm just merrily rolling along I suppose once the game is really ready for the Mac (there's a beta on now I think), I'll buy it again and roll up the latest version.

    Thanks for checking it out!
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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Thanks throne and Loki100!

    I've actually played to right here, so I guess we'll see what happens. :-)
    Marco Oliverio

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    Naturally as soon as I post up my own Tuscan AAR, I see you've done one as well. And with a better post to boot!

    Still, it'll be fun to see what you do differently and how things turn out because of it.

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    Matilda had a great reign, I'm looking forward to this!
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    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Off to a great start, the heirs will have a tough time to be as great as Mathilda!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Oliverio View Post
    I'm on a Mac and I found this great site from Paul the Tall (http://www.paulthetall.com/files/ea2...6e2d1-991.html) that basically has it working for me. But I don't know how to apply the patches inside the wrapper that I'm using from his site, so I'm just merrily rolling along I suppose once the game is really ready for the Mac (there's a beta on now I think), I'll buy it again and roll up the latest version.
    The last news is that it'll be released this Thursday. Finally I'll be able to get my hands on it
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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldriq View Post
    The last news is that it'll be released this Thursday. Finally I'll be able to get my hands on it
    Hi Alriq, and THAT'S TOTALLY GREAT NEWS! It's like it's Christmas and my Birthday and a few other holidays thrown in together! I'll definitely keep this one going. I have an update I'll put up tonight - just working on some screen shots after work. It's sort of interesting, so I don't want to let it fall by the wayside. I'm not clever enough to port the PC game to the Mac game, I think.....
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    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Oliverio View Post
    I'm not clever enough to port the PC game to the Mac game, I think.....
    I believe the port will come already as 1.05f, so it would probably be quite tricky to preserve the save game without trouble.
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    A very successful first reign. I am curious how things will go under the King of Africa. You never mentioned if the Husband died, so, I guess he outlived his much younger wife.
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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machiavellian View Post
    A very successful first reign. I am curious how things will go under the King of Africa. You never mentioned if the Husband died, so, I guess he outlived his much younger wife.
    Hi Machiavellian - and oops.....Duke Abu-Bakr dies in 1089, before he had a chance to be a King Consort. Sorry about that. I guess it slipped my authorial mind. I'll do better on the next reign. :-)
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    Chapter 2

    Gianlucca ibn Abu-Bakr di Canossa
    Settling the Realm


    In 1107, Matilda, Queen of Africa died suddenly in her palace at Capua. She set out to restore her family’s royal status, and while she failed to obtain the crown of Italy, Burgundy, France, or the Empire, she achieved and assumed a royal title that catapulted her from the upper reaches to the very top of the power structure under the Emperor.

    Although she began her reign in an unexpected fashion after the death of father and brother, she proved to be a force to be reckoned with south of the Alps - in her 40 hears on the throne, she acquired the Dukedoms of Venice, Modena, Tunis, Capua, Calabria and Cyrenacia. She added and gave away many more counties, cities, churches and baronies, and proved herself an aggressive Crusader. Her matrilineal marriage to Abu-Bakr of Cadiz established her dynasty on a firm foundation, and was one of the great love stories of the day. No female ruler, and not many male rulers can be said to have made such an impact on the history of their times.

    Prince Gianlucca ibn Abi-Bakr, the second son of Matilda and Abu-Bakr, rose to the throne of the Kingdom of Africa at his mother’s death.

    He immediately attacked three sets of problems:
    • On the international from, the war with the Holy Roman Emperor, Heinrich the Cruel;
    • On the domestic front, the allocation of his mother’s personal lands and titles among his brothers as well as beginning the reformation of the governing structures and finances of the realm;
    • On the religious front, the need for accommodation between Catholic, Orthodox and Sunni throughout the realm without imperiling the all-important relationship with the Holy Father.
    *****

    The International Resolution

    Soon after his coronation at his ducal residence in Tunis, Gianlucca and this court received news of the complete annihilation of the condottieri force of 1,500 men at arms sent by his mother to assault the county of Anhault which was a possession of the Emperor. This force was met by over 10,000 men at arms under the Emperor himself, and wiped out to a man. Gianlucca sent messengers to watch the passes over the Alps with instructions to send word immediately to the temporary court in Tunis if the Emperor appeared with his army.



    Gianlucca took two additional steps - first, he sent notice to the Imperial Chancellery of his claim (in actuality, his seizure) of two important ducal titles south of the Alps - the Duchy of Ferrara from the Duke of Brandenburg, and the Duchy of Lombardy from Duke Alberto Azzo. Nominally at war with the Emperor, Gianlucca was able to leverage the laws of the Empire in his favor.



    He simultaneously sent formal submission to the Emperor. He disbanded all the troops of Africa and instructed his commanders to cease the sieges they were pursuing in Piombino and Triploitania. He told the Emperor that his mother had been deceived by the Duke of Bohemia into a course of action that she had neither anticipated or wanted. He claimed that shock of the reality of war had driven her to her death, and hoped that news of her vigorous pursuit of the Emperor’s lands in Italy would not give the lie to this story. He asked the Emperor to receive him back into the fold of the Empire, and sent a proxy to take the Oath of Allegiance due from all vassals as was required of him upon his accession. Having sent the two sets of messengers (one for titles, the other for forgiveness), Gianlucca and the court in Tunis watched the horizon for messengers of the Emperor and the brotherly embrace of forgiveness, while fearing what they would see would be the fleets and armies of the Emperor coming in anger.

    After many months, word reached the court that the Emperor had subdued the rebellious Duke of Bohemia, and the court breathed its first sigh of relief, while still waiting for new of the Emperor's intentions.



    Finally, news arrived. After conquering all the lands of the Duke, the Emperor detached some of the Duke’s demesne. No such penalty was required from the King of Africa. The Emperor was satisfied with the fiction Gianlucca presented, and accepted the homage of Gianlucca and Africa. Peace accomplished, Gianlucca was restored to his status as the pre-eminent vassal of the Emperor.


    The Domestic Resolution

    The death of Matilda, although not unexpected given her age, had happened quickly in the midst of her active pursuit of the war with the Emperor. Although the Queen had begun to allocate her personal estates to Gianlucca, and it seems very clear from her earlier actions that her intention was to pass most of her demesne to him in order to keep the bulk of the land, wealth and titles in the hands of her heir, her sudden death stopped this process in its tracks.

    At her death, her estates and titles we split between her three living sons and her grandson: Gianlucca, Gianabbad and Gianmustali, and Adone the son of Marco.
    Gianlucca received the royal appellation, and thus the larger realm remained intact. However, only the counties of Firenza and Siena came to him (although his earlier gifts of land and his preference gained him the Dukedoms of Toscana, Modena and Venice.)

    Gianabbad received the County of Padua, far from his central holdings of Messina and Calabria.

    Adone, the son of Marco, already the Duke and Lord of Spoleto, received the Dukedom and County of Capua, and thus receiving by far the richest province held by Matilda. He also received the County of Pavia in the north.

    Finally, Gianmustali, the Count of Syrte and Duke of Cyrenacia received the County of Ferrara.

    With this distribution, Gianlucca actually gained two problems - he lost significant sources of revenue to his brothers and nephew, and the increase in the number of Dukedoms he held immediately caused his vassals unease.

    The County of Capua had received most of the investments his mother made, and he most certainly was planning to add those revenue to his existing ones to remake the finances of the realm. This was a huge blow to his long-term plans to restore the finances of the realm. He would wait to solve the issues of finances - he took immediate steps in the days leading to his formal coronation to distribute lordships and ducal titles to bring the vassals to his side. Rather than give additional titles to his already strong brothers, Gianlucca called his two adult sons, Abu-Bakr and Ma’n,to Court, and distributed lands and titles to them.

    To his oldest son, Prince Abu-Bakr, he distributed the County of Modena, and the Dukedoms of Modena and Venice.



    To his second son, Prince Ma’n, he gave the County of Brescia (the ancestral home) and the newly acquired Dukedom of Lombardy, along with the attendant claims to the Counties of Lombardy and Giron.



    He awarded his brother Gianmustali the additional Dukedom of Ferrara, which carried no land, but a claim to the Bishopric of Bologna.



    These distributions established a peaceful transition form mother to son, and gained Gianlucca the support of his most important vassals, his brothers and sons.

    There was one exception to this, however - his brother, Gianabbad, the Duke of Calabria.



    Gianabbad had long considered himself the natural heir of his mother. Unlike his older brothers, he claimed a cultural allegiance to Italy, rather than Andalusia. He had his mother’s pale northern eyes and skin and dark hair. He long held himself up as the logical successor to the main counties and duchies of his mother, and in his ambition aspired to even be acclaimed King of Africa. When not only did the acclimation fail to materialize, but he realized that unlike his brothers and nephew no large new grant of land or titles would be coming to him at the death of his mother, he became enraged and full of hatred toward Gianlucca.

    Gianlucca, knowing and seeing the hatred, attempted to assure the loyalty of Gianabbad by naming him Spy Master to the Court of Africa - a great honor. This, however, had no effect other than to put Gianabbad in the perfect position to act against the King. Being prevailed upon by his ministers, brother and sons to act more wisely, Gianlucca sent Gianabbad to Alexandria to attempt to infiltrate the Caliph's court and obtain information and knowledge. Ill and depressed, Gianabbad departed for Egypt in the guise of an Italian merchant looking for silk and other exotic goods. Within 3 months, Gianabbad was dead, killed perhaps by his illness, perhaps the heat and swelter of Egypt, or perhaps at the hand of an assassin of the Caliph. Gianabbad’s daughter, Filippa, became the Duchess Calabria and inherited the County of Messina; Gianlucca received the County of Padua.

    With this, the court settled into it’s initial configuration around the king - the major vassals all members of the Canossa family and approving of the king; the minor vassals aligned with him.



    The Revolution in Governing Principles

    Having finished the distribution of lands and titles, having neutralized the one significant point of opposition to his reign, and having stabilized the situation with the Emperor, Gianlucca ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Africa. And he did it in a way that sent shock waves through the entire Mediterranean world. We'll talk about the reaction and impact of his actions in the Holy Roman Empire, Muslim lands and even the court in distanst Constantinople in the next chapter, but needless to say, Gianlucca's mode of accession upended expectations in courts and humble hearths everywhere.

    We know from the fragments of information about his youth that we have that he was incredibly close to his father, Abu-Bakr of Cadiz. In fact,he adopted many aspects of the Andalucian culture brought to the court by his father - including the way he identified himself as Gianlucca ibn Abu-Bakr di Canossa - honoring both father and mother. He surely studied with and under many of this father’s aides in Venice when his father was the governor there. He was to look to Muslim courts for inspiration in art, science, finance and even love - his own wife, as well as those of his sons and many courtiers, all came from the courts of Andalusia, Egypt, Persia and the steppes of the Cuman Kingdom.

    So what did Gianlucca do at this point?



    He ascended the throne as Gianlucca ibn Abu-Bakr di Canossa, Sultan of Africa, Emir of Toscano and Tunis, and the Sheikh and Lord of holdings in Africa and Italy. He demanded that his vassals adopt similar nomenclature - they adopted the titles of Emirs and Sheikhs (although Bishops were allowed to remain such - Gianlucca was not unaware of the importance of the Holy Father's opinion.) He stopped active conversion activities in his personal lands, and redirected his spiritual advisors to preach tolerance and acceptance of different religions.

    As we’ll see as we look at his reign, while he will not lose sight of Italian affairs or his mother’s quest to revive and restore the ancient rights of to the thrones of Italy, Burgundy, France and the Empire, Gianlucca will turn his eyes to the Muslim lands around him, including the lands of far-off Andalusia. And unlike his mother, who looked at the Muslim lands as opportunities for glory, land and wealth, Gianlucca saw also the opportunity to add the temporal salvation of people he considered his own to the list of glory, land and wealth. And, it must be said, the opportunity to save them from spiritual massacre at the hands of his fellow Crusaders.

    Thus his coronation day, surrounded by Emirs and Sheikhs, Mayors and Bishops and the adulation of his Muslim subjects in Tunis and throughout Africa marked a turning point in the focus of the House of di Canossa.

    Marco Oliverio

    I've got a new Crusader Kings AAR - This is cancelled due to update incompatibility... The Inheritance of Canossa

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  16. #16
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    nice update, and yep, I wouldn't trust Giannabad a millimeter .. I mean just look at those staring eyes & very dodgy moustache

  17. #17
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    Well that was an unexpected outcome for a matrilineal marriage – I guess the culture is the deciding factor here, was Gianlucca brought up by his father?
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  18. #18
    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldriq View Post
    Well that was an unexpected outcome for a matrilineal marriage – I guess the culture is the deciding factor here, was Gianlucca brought up by his father?
    I figured it was one of two things - raised by his father OR his personal demesne is based in a Muslim county? I don't know, but it was interesting!
    Marco Oliverio

    I've got a new Crusader Kings AAR - This is cancelled due to update incompatibility... The Inheritance of Canossa

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  19. #19
    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    nice update, and yep, I wouldn't trust Giannabad a millimeter .. I mean just look at those staring eyes & very dodgy moustache
    Super Dodgy! He must have endured hours and years of teasing by his brothers - totally unlike them, no wonder he was ambitious, depressed, ill, angry, etc...
    Marco Oliverio

    I've got a new Crusader Kings AAR - This is cancelled due to update incompatibility... The Inheritance of Canossa

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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Author's Update & AAR Reboot:

    Hi everyone. I've been thinking about this AAR, and I think I made a mistake attempting a History Book style. For me, Crusader Kings lends itself to a more personalized style. So, given where I am inplaying the game, and thinking about how I want to proceed, I'm going to change to a personalized style that will draw in thoughts from many of the key characters - in some cases large sections, in others just small. But hopefully all illuminating about what's going on in the time, in the heads of the characters, and we'll see what we get. Thanks!


    **********************

    Gianlucca IV ibn Abu-Bakr di Canossa



    I am Gianlucca ibn Abu Bakr di Canossa, King of Sicily, Italy and Africa.

    Adelmio, Prince of Spoleto and Bishop of Rome, one of my most important vassals, sent me a “gift” in recent days:

    “My Lord, the man bearing this note arrived in Rome some few months ago. He claimed to have traveled from the far East to meet your father, King Gianlucca III, may God rest his soul. He claims that the study of history is itself a way of understanding the future - what we have done lights the way to the possibilities of the future. He said your father, a man he called ‘The Builder and Destroyer of Empires” most surely would have understood this.

    I have kept him here in Rome, questioning and challenging him, trying to catch him in his clever words; I hesitate to send mere claimants to the foot of the royal throne, your throne. But he seems a man well-learned in many arts, and has in his mind a great many facts with which he illuminates his many conversations.

    Judging, as best I am able, that he is an honest man who truly desires to be of benefit to your royal self and your throne, I send him to you for you to challenge, judge and decide his fate. You have often said you desire to have the world’s curiosities; this man is surely of these.”

    Adelmio was right - this man intrigued me. And his theory that by the past we can know the future also intrigued me. At first, it made no sense - how can we even truly know the past as we cannot travel to that land to see it of ourselves. But as he spoke, I began to understand. We are men, much different in our particulars, but much alike in our more general parts - all men want fame, riches, glory and (to a lesser degree among some men) honor. These basic needs of the noble man transcend all our particular differences, and by understanding what has happened in the past, we can judge the present to understand the possible, or perhaps probable, ways in which the future will unfold.

    And so, having been convinced of the worth of this thing, I sit down with aides and scribes, librarians and bards to discover and record the events and thoughts of my great ancestors, who brought the throne and the realm, and therefore myself, to this current state. And I will see what I will see about the future God has for me.



    Five generations have passed since my great ancestress Matilda started us on our royal adventure, as the bards like to call it. She married my Andalusian grandfather Abu Bakr, picking him up like a beautiful jewel God dropped in her path. The most powerful woman in the German Empire in her day, she ruled as a man, and was, like that ancient King Charles, called “the Great”. She competed with the Emperor for power in Italy and along the African shore - and indeed, she bested him! I am told she was decsended from a line of Kings and Emperors - surely this is true given her repeating of that history! For us, she restored the honor of the family by restoring to us the Royal Diadem.

    She also began the tradition followed by many of her female descendants - that of bringing her husband to live in her world, take her name, and give her descendants. While some of my ancestresses have been married to powerful Emirs and Caliphs (as we shall see, and as do inform even our present day), many others brought talented men from across the Mediterranean world to add to the mix of life in the royal courts - we shall see this reality play itself out in this day, too.

    Four generations have passed since Queen Matilda’s son, and my great great grandfather, Gianlucca rose to the throne. He is called “the Wise”, although to my mind he should also be known as “the Great”. He took a single kingdom and, like an alchemist, turned it into three - gaining Italy by unifying the Christian lords of the peninsula against the German Emperor in the north, and turning back the momentarily triumphant Muslim lords of Tripilotania and Sicily as they consumed the carcass of the Norman duchies and counties in the south. Driving them from the Italian peninsula was not enough for him - he followed the Sultan of Sicily and wrested the island and its riches from him. Although he started as King of Africa, he eventually had himself crowned with the Triple Crown of Sicily, Africa and Italy, the crown I wear myself.



    Perhaps he is called “the Wise” because he bested the German Emperor by gaining control of Italy, and the Roman Emperor by gaining control of Sicily (although he pushed the Muslims from southern Italy and Sicily, he was drawn into that conflict because of the efforts of the Roman Emperor to consume the carcass of the Norman dukes of Italy. The Emperor still contests with us to this day the Duchy of Salerno - this is not something I will yield.) Perhaps it was because he was known to his many subjects as the Sultan rather than the King, and so diffused any disloyal sentiments among the many subjects of Africa and Sicily. This wisdom we also see even in this day. He gained power, riches and prestige from him exploits, and was seen by all his subjects as their father and protector.

    My great grandfather, Abu-Bakr, and two generations of Gianluccas fall between me and that first, wise Gianlucca. I will write more about them as I look to understand their designs and plans for this hybrid kingdom of Christian and Muslim, Italy and Africa and glittering Sicily.

    My father, Gianlucca III, King of Sicily, Italy and Africa died while only 45. I think of him as “the Shaper of Empires” - although my philosophical advisor like the phrase “the Builder and Destroyer of Empires” - and I have to admit that does have a certain ring to it, one that plays to the heart what the reality is.

    Why do I say this? For this simple reason - growing tired of the German Emperor’s constant demands for troops and treasure to fight the constant rebellions beyond the Alps and in the African holdings of the heirs of the Staden dynasty (long pushed from the Imperial throne), my father chose to cease bowing his knee to the North, and chose instead to bow to the East towards Sestos, the seat of the Roman Emperor. In one fell swoop, the German Emperor was banished from the shores of the great Inner Sea, and the Roman Emperor could claim to be a modern Justinian (which he promptly did.)





    Then this great Destroyer and Creator died - too young, surely, but perhaps, having accomplished more than one man could be expected to do in one life, he elected to join the holy royal court on high. The Triple Crown fell to me and my small family. And upon my shoulders and the thin thread of one son and one daughter rests the on-going success of my family, the House of ibn Abu-Bakr di Canossa.



    This is the beginning of te story of my family's past. If our past can truly illuminate our future in this world of chaos and uncertainty, we must pursue this path of understanding in order to see clearly where we must go!
    Marco Oliverio

    I've got a new Crusader Kings AAR - This is cancelled due to update incompatibility... The Inheritance of Canossa

    My Aydin AAR is on hold One Hundred Years and a Year: Tales of Aydin
    My Granada AAR is Complete Histories of the Islamic Countries: Granada from 1400 to the Early Industrial Period

    I received the following from King Richard XI: "the 4th ever Irish Shamrock Cookie! {}"
    I was Fan of the Week 09 Mar 2010 & WritAAR of the Week 12 Jul 2010
    I received the following from Lord Strange: the Lord Strange Cookie of British Awesomeness

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