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the First Crusade

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Rachel Dearth
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« Reply #165 on: March 02, 2009, 05:36:24 am »

Apulian succession crisis

When Robert Guiscard died on 17 July 1085, Bohemond inherited his father's Adriatic possessions, which were soon lost to the Byzantines, while his younger half-brother Roger inherited Apulia and the Italian possessions. Happily for him, Bohemond was in Salerno at the time of the Guiscard's death while Roger was still in Greece. Roger and his mother Sichelgaita quickly returned to the peninsula. According to Orderic Vitalis, Bohemond fled to Capua in fear that Sichelgaita, who was rumoured to have poisoned Guiscard, would poison him. A better suggestion is that he wished to ally himself with Prince Jordan I of Capua in light of the alliance between Roger and his uncle, Count Roger I of Sicily, who had secured his nephew's recognition as duke in September. Bohemond, with Capuan support, rebelled against his brother and took Oria, Otranto, and Taranto. The brothers, however, made peace in March 1086 and acted as effective co-rulers. In late Summer 1087, Bohemond renewed the war with the support of some of his brother's vassals. He surprised and defeated Roger at Fragneto and retook Taranto.

The war was finally resolved by the mediation of Pope Urban II and the award of Taranto and other possessions to Bohemond. Though Bohemond received a small principality (an allodial possession) for himself in the heel of southern Italy, as compensation from Sichelgaita after renouncing his rights to the Duchy, he sought a greater status for himself. The chronicler Romoald of Salerno said of Bohemond that "he was always seeking the impossible."

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