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ARAGON, King Pedro

ARAGON, King Pedro

Male Abt 1250 - 1285  (~ 35 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document

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  • Name ARAGON, Pedro 
    Prefix King 
    Born Abt 1250  Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _TAG Reviewed on FS 
    Died 11 Nov 1285  Villafranca del Panadés, Vilafranca del Penedès, Barcelona, Catalunya, Espagne Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 11 Nov 1285  Monasterio De Santa Cruz, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I47293  Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith | Joseph Sr., Lucy Mack
    Last Modified 16 Jan 2020 

    Father ARAGON, Count Jaime Pedrez I ,   b. 1 Feb 1208, Montpellier, Hérault, Languedoc, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jul 1271, Valencia, Valencia, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Mother HUNGARY, Princess Jolan ,   b. 19 Dec 1213, Esztergom, Komárom-Esztergom, Hungary Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Oct 1251, Huesca, Huesca, Aragon, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 37 years) 
    Married 8 Sep 1235  Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F18942  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 SICILY, Princess Constance ,   b. Abt 1250, Catania, Sicily, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Apr 1302, Barcelona, Aragon, Catalonia, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 52 years) 
    Children 
     1. SICILY, King Fredrico III ,   b. 1271, Aragon, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jun 1337, Palermo, Sicily, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
    Last Modified 6 Oct 2020 
    Family ID F19952  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 ZAPATA, Ines  
    Last Modified 6 Oct 2020 
    Family ID F19953  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 NICOLAU, Maria  
    Last Modified 6 Oct 2020 
    Family ID F19954  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1250 - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    dist.png?ctx=ArtCtxPublic
    dist.png?ctx=ArtCtxPublic
    From Ancestory.com
    AMBROSE SHURTZ
    dist.jpg?ctx=ArtCtxPublic
    As a young man

  • Notes 
    • Sources: Plantagenet Ancestry Moriarty, Magna Charta Barons, Funk & Wagnalls, A History of Sicily, Dictionary of the Middle Ages.

      Spanish Life Sketch (English sketch follows)

      Pedro III de Aragón (Valencia, 1240 – Villafranca del Penedés, 2 de noviembre de 1285), llamado el Grande, fue hijo de Jaime I el Conquistador y su segunda esposa Violante de Hungría. Sucedió a su padre en 1276 en los títulos de rey de Aragón, rey de Valencia (como Pedro I) y conde de Barcelona (como Pedro II).

      Índice [ocultar]
      1 Biografía
      2 Sepultura
      3 Descendencia
      3.1 Árbol genealógico
      4 Véase también
      5 Notas
      6 Bibliografía
      7 Enlaces externos
      Biografía[editar]
      Casado el 13 de junio de 1262 en la catedral de Montpellier con Constanza de Hohenstaufen, hija y heredera de Manfredo I de Sicilia, fueron coronados en Zaragoza, probablemente el 17 de noviembre,1 en una ceremonia en la que Pedro canceló el vasallaje que con el papado había concertado su abuelo Pedro II.

      Todo su reinado se centró en la expansión de la Corona de Aragón por el Mediterráneo y para ello aprovechó su matrimonio con Constanza para reivindicar la corona siciliana. Sicilia se encontraba desde 1266 bajo la soberanía de Carlos de Anjou quien, con el apoyo del Papa Clemente IV, que no deseaba a ningún Hohenstaufen en el sur de Italia, había sido investido rey tras derrotar en Benevento a Manfredo, quien falleció en la batalla.

      El monarca angevino hizo cegar a los tres hijos varones de Manfredo y, en 1268, capturó e hizo decapitar a Conradino que -como nieto de Federico II- era el último heredero varón de la casa Hohenstaufen. La línea sucesoria pasó entonces a Constanza, quien ofreció refugio en Aragón a las familias partidarias de su padre, los Lanza, los Lauria y los Prócidas.


      Pere Rey, Pedro III de Aragón, representado en la Genealogía de la Casa de Aragón redactada por orden el rey Martín I de Aragón.
      Una flota de la corona aragonesa, al mando de Conrado Lanza, recorre en 1279 las costas africanas para restablecer la soberanía feudal de Aragón sobre Túnez, que la muerte del emir Muhammad I al-Mustansir había debilitado. Posteriormente, en 1281, Pedro III armó una flota para invadir Túnez y solicitó al recién elegido papa Martín IV una bula que declarara la operación militar como cruzada; pero el papa, de origen francés y partidario de Carlos de Anjou, se la negó.

      Cuando la flota se disponía a zarpar, tuvieron lugar en Sicilia los acontecimientos conocidos como las Vísperas sicilianas que provocaron la expulsión de la isla, tras una gran matanza, de los franceses. Los sicilianos enviaron entonces una embajada a Pedro III ofreciéndole la corona siciliana, a la que tenía derecho gracias a su matrimonio. El rey aragonés puso entonces su flota rumbo a Sicilia, donde arribó el 30 de agosto de 1282 y donde fue coronado rey en la ciudad de Palermo.

      Inmediatamente envió una embajada a Carlos de Anjou, que se encontraba en Mesina, instándole a reconocerle como rey de Sicilia y a abandonar la isla. La derrota de la flota angevina en Nicoreta, a manos del almirante Roger de Lauria, obligó a Carlos a dejar Mesina y refugiarse en su reino de Nápoles.

      El papa Martín IV respondió a la coronación siciliana de Pedro III con su excomunión (9 de noviembre de 1282) y su deposición como rey de Aragón (21 de diciembre de 1283), ofreciendo la corona al segundo hijo del rey de Francia, Carlos de Valois, a quien invistió el 27 de febrero de 1284, y declarando una cruzada contra Aragón.

      La situación en la que se encontró Pedro III era totalmente inestable, ya que no sólo tenía que enfrentarse a la invasión francesa que se preparaba al norte de los Pirineos, sino que tuvo que hacer frente a graves problemas en el interior de sus reinos surgidos ante las necesidades económicas que provocó la conquista de Sicilia.


      Pedro III el Grande en el collado de las Panizas. Óleo sobre lienzo de Mariano Barbasán. 1889.
      Pedro III soluciona los problemas internos concediendo, en las Cortes de Tarazona (1283-84), la formación de la Unión aragonesa y prestando juramento al Privilegio General que defendía los privilegios de la nobleza; asimismo concedió al Condado de Barcelona la constitución “Una vegada l´any” en las cortes celebradas en Barcelona entre 1283 y 1284.

      Solucionados los problemas interiores, pudo centrar su atención en la invasión francesa, que al mando del propio rey francés Felipe III tomó en 1285 la ciudad de Gerona, para inmediatamente tener que retirarse cuando la flota aragonesa retornó de Sicilia al mando de Roger de Lauria e infligió a la escuadra francesa una derrota total en las islas Formigues y a continuación una derrota en tierra en el barranco de las Panizas, cuando las tropas francesas se retiraban.

      Tras su gran victoria, Pedro III se dispuso a enfrentarse a su hermano Jaime II de Mallorca y a su sobrino el rey Sancho IV de Castilla, que no le habían prestado apoyo durante su conflicto con los franceses, pero su prematura muerte, el 11 de noviembre de 1285, lo impidió.

      Sepultura[editar]
      En su testamento, Pedro III dispuso que su cadáver recibiera sepultura en el Monasterio de Santes Creus, de la orden cisterciense. Las exequias del monarca se celebraron con gran solemnidad y el cuerpo del rey fue colocado en una urna de pórfido rojo, que el almirante Roger de Lauria trajo desde Sicilia. Él fue el primer monarca aragonés en recibir sepultura en el Monasterio de Santes Creus.

      El rey Jaime II el Justo de Aragón, ordenó la erección de las tumbas del rey Pedro III el Grande, su padre, al mismo tiempo que disponía la creación de su propia tumba y la de su segunda esposa, Blanca de Nápoles. Se dispuso que los sepulcros se hallaran cobijados, como así se hizo, bajo baldaquinos labrados en mármol blanco procedente de las canteras de San Felíu, cerca de Gerona. Cuando el rey Jaime II dispuso la creación de su propio sepulcro, tomó como modelo el sepulcro de su padre.

      El sepulcro del rey Pedro III fue realizado entre los años 1291 y 1307 por Bartomeu de Gerona y es más rico que el de su hijo Jaime II y su esposa. Un gran templete de caladas tracerías alberga el sepulcro del rey, consistente en una urna de pórfido rojo, antes una pila de baño romana, traída a España por el almirante Roger de Lauria. La urna de pórfido se encuentra rodeada por imágenes de santos.

      English life sketch

      Peter the Great (Catalan: Pere el Gran, Aragonese: Pero lo Gran; 1239 – 11 November 1285)[1] was the King of Aragon (as Peter III) of Valencia (as Peter I), and Count of Barcelona (as Peter II) from 1276 to his death, (this union of kingdoms was called the Crown of Aragon). At the invitation of some rebels, he conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282, pressing the claim of his wife, Constance of Hohenstaufen, uniting the kingdom to the crown. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.

      Youth and succession

      Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife Violant of Hungary. Among (opportunistic) betrothals of his youth, he was betrothed to Eudoxia Laskarina, the youngest daughter of Emperor Theodoros II of Nicaea, in or before 1260. This contract was dissolved, however, after Eudoxia's brother lost the imperial throne in 1261, and Eudoxia was instead married to the Count of Tenda. On 13 June 1262, Peter married Constance, daughter and heiress of Manfred of Sicily. During his youth and early adulthood, Peter gained a great deal of military experience in his father's wars of the Reconquista against the Moors.[2]

      On James I's death in 1276, the lands of the Crown of Aragon were divided amongst his two sons. The Kingdom of Aragon, the Kingdom of Valencia and the Catalan counties went to Peter III as being the eldest son; while the Kingdom of Majorca (actual Balearic Islands) and the Catalan counties beyond the Pyrenees of Rousillon-Vallespir, Conflent and Capcir and the lordship of Montpellier (all his territories in the Languedoc), went to the second son, who became James II of Majorca. Peter the Great and Constance of Sicily were crowned in Zaragoza (capital of the Crown of Aragon) in November 1276 by the archbishop of Tarragona.





      BIO: King of Aragon, 1276-85.

      ** from http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ARAGON%20&%20CATALONIA.htm#Isabeldied1336MDiniz, as of 11/9/2014
      Infante don PEDRO de Aragón, son of JAIME I "el Conquistador" King of Aragon & his second wife Iolanda of Hungary (1239-Villafranca del Penedés 2 or 11 Nov 1285, bur Monasterio de Santa Cruz). Under the testament of "Jacobus…Rex Aragoniæ, Majoricarum et Valenciæ, Comes Barchinonæ et Urgelli, et Dominus Montispessulani", dated 26 Aug 1272, the king made bequests to "…filium nostrum primogenitum Infantem P…"[427]. He was promised the succession of the Balearic Islands, Valencia and Montpellier 1241, and received Roussillon and Cerdaña after the death of Nuño Sancho de Aragón in 1242. A new projected partition was agreed 1244, under which Pedro would receive Catalonia on the death of his father. Appointed procurator of Catalonia 1257. Under a further projected partition 1262, Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia were destined for Pedro. He succeeded his father in 1276 as PEDRO III "el Grande" King of Aragon, Conde de Barcelona and King of Valencia, crowned at Zaragoza Nov 1276. He suppressed the revolt in Valencia, ending with the capture of Montesa in 1277. He confirmed his protectorate over Tunis. He landed at Trapani in Sicily 31 Aug 1282, after the Sicilian revolt against the Angevins, and declared himself PIETRO I King of Sicily. He was excommunicated by Pope Martin IV, who supported the Angevins, in Nov 1282. In the course of the escalating dispute, Philippe III King of France was persuaded to accept the Kingdom of Aragon for his second son Charles in Feb 1284. In Sep 1284, Pedro crushed the rebellion of Juan Núñez de Lara who attempted to establish an independent lordship of Albarracín. King Philippe III invaded Aragon in early 1285 and briefly captured Girona 7 Sep 1285. The French retreated to Perpignan (where King Philippe III died 5 Oct) after their fleet was destroyed in the Bay of Roses 3-4 Sep by admiral Ruggiero di Loria. On his deathbed, Pedro renounced Sicily as the price of his peace with the church. The Crónica de San Juan de la Peña records the death "III Id Nov" in 1285 of King Pedro and his burial "en el monasterio de Santas Cruçs del Orden de Cistells"[428]. The Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner records the death "le jour de Saint-Martin" in 1285 of "le roi Pierre" and his burial "au monastère de Sainte-Croix"[429]. A manuscript chronicle records the death "circa festum S. Martini" in 1285 of "Petrus rex Aragonum" and his burial "in ecclesia beatæ Mariæ sanctarum Crucum ordinis Cisterciensis"[430].

      m (Montpellier 15 Jul 1262) CONSTANZA of Sicily, daughter of MANFREDO [von Hohenstaufen] King of Sicily & his first wife Béatrice de Savoie (1249-Barcelona 1302). The Historia Sicula of Bartolomeo di Neocastro names "Constancia" as the daughter of "Manfredus" and his wife "dominam Beatricem", adding that she married "Petro regi Aragonum"[431]. The Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner records the marriage of "le seigneur infant Pierre" and "la fille de Mainfroi roi de Sicile…Constance", adding that the bride was aged 14[432]. "Infans Petrus filius…Jacobi…Regis Aragonum, Majoricarum et Valentiæ, Comitis Barchinonæ et Urgelli, et domini Montispessulani" granted dowry to "dominæ Constantiæ filiæ…Manfredi Regis Siciliæ…uxori nostræ" by charter dated 13 Jun 1262, which names "domino Bonifacio de Anglano…Comite Montisalbani…avunculo dicti domini Regis Siciliæ", countersigned 13 Nov 1264[433].

      Mistress (1): MARÍA Nicolau, daughter of ---. The primary source which confirms her parentage and relationship with King Pedro has not yet been identified.

      Mistress (2): INÉS Zapata, daughter of ---. The Nobiliario of Pedro Conde de Barcelos names "D. Ines Zapata" as the mother of "D. Pedro de Aragon", son of "el Rey D. Pedro"[434].

      King Pedro III & his wife had six children:
      1. Infante don ALFONSO de Aragón (Valencia 4 Nov 1265-Barcelona 18 Jun 1291, bur Barcelona Franciscan Monastery). He succeeded his father in 1285 as ALFONSO III "el Liberal" King of Aragon and Valencia, Count of Barcelona. m (Betrothed [1286], by proxy Westminster Abbey 15 Aug 1290, not consummated) as her first husband, ELEANOR of England, daughter of EDWARD I King of England & his first wife Infanta doña Leonor de Castilla (Windsor Castle before 17 Jun 1269-Ghent 12 Oct 1297, bur Westminster Abbey). The marriage contract between “Edwardus...rex Angliæ...filiam suam majorem” and “infans Petrus...regis Aragonum primogenitus” is dated 8 Oct 1272[440]. Despite the error of name, it is likely that this betrothal relates to the king´s known eldest son Alfonso, whom Eleanor later married, rather than an otherwise unrecorded older son named Pedro: no case has been found in the family of the kings of Aragon where the oldest son of the king was named after his father.
      2. Infante don JAIME de Aragón (Valencia 10 Aug 1267-Barcelona 5 Nov 1327, bur Barcelona church of San Francisco, transferred to Monastery of Santa Cruz, prov Tarragona). He succeeded his father in 1285 as GIACOPO King of Sicily. He succeeded his brother in 1291 as JAIME II King of Aragon and Valencia, Conde de Barcelona.
      3. Infanta doña ISABEL de Aragón (Zaragoza 4 Jan 1271-Estremos 4 Jul 1336, bur Coimbra). m (by proxy Barcelona 2 Feb 1282, in person Trancosa 24 Jun 1282) DINIZ King of Portugal, son of AFONSO III "o Restaurador" King of Portugal & his second wife Beatriz de Castilla (Lisbon 9 Oct 1261-Santarem 7 Jan 1325, bur Odivelas).
      4. Infante don FADRIQUE de Aragón (1272-near Pamplona 25 Jun 1337). Betrothed ([Jun] 1295) to CATHERINE de Courtenay, daughter of PHILIPPE de Courtenay titular Emperor of Constantinople & his wife Beatrice of Sicily (1274-Paris 11 Oct 1307 or 2 Jan 1308, bur Paris). She later married Charles de France Comte de Valois. m (Messina May 1303) as her second husband, ELEONORE of Sicily, former wife of PHILIPPE de Toucy titular Prince of Antioch, daughter of CHARLES II King of Sicily [Anjou-Capet] & his wife Maria of Hungary (1289-Monastery of San Nicolo di Arena 9 Aug 1341, bur Catania, Franciscan monastery).
      5. Infanta doña VIOLANTE de Aragon (1273-Termini 19 Aug 1302, bur Marseille église des Frères mineurs). m (Rome Mar 1297) as his first wife, ROBERT of Sicily, son of CHARLES II King of Naples & Sicily [Anjou-Capet] & his wife Maria of Hungary (Royal Palace of the Torre de San Erasmo, near Capua 1278-Château-Neuf, Naples 16/20 Jan 1343/4, bur Naples Santa Chiara). Principe di Salerno 5 May 1304. Comte de Piémont 17 Feb 1309. He succeeded his father in 1309 as ROBERT I "le Bon" King of Sicily.
      6. Infante don PEDRO de Aragón ([1275]-Tordehumos 30 Aug 1296). m (28 Aug 1291) GUILLELMA de Béarn, daughter of GASTON [VII] de Moncada Vicomte de Béarn & his first wife Mathe [Amata] de Marsan [Mastas] Ctss de Bigorre ([1245/55]-1309).

      King Pedro III had three illegitimate children by Mistress (1):
      7. JAIME de Aragón (-after 22 May 1285). Señor de Segorbe. m (Nov 1279) SANCHA Fernández, daughter of FERNANDO Díaz & his wife ---.
      8. JUAN de Aragón.
      9. BEATRIZ de Aragón. m RAMÓN de Cardona Señor de Torá, son of --- (-after 1340).

      King Pedro III had four illegitimate children by Mistress (2):
      10. FERNANDO de Aragón. Señor de Albarracín.
      11. PEDRO de Aragón. m (Portugal) CONSTANZA Mendez Pelita de Silva, daughter of SUERO Mendez de Silva & his wife María Annes Brochardo.
      12. SANCHO de Aragón (-1341). Castellán de Amposta.
      13. TERESA de Aragón. m firstly GARCÍA Romeu [III], son of GARCÍA Romeu [II] & his first wife ---. Ricohombre de Aragón. m secondly ARTAL de Alagón Señor de Sástago y Pina. m thirdly PEDRO López de Oteiza.

      ** from The World of the Middle Ages (John L. LaMonte) p 435--
      The aggrandisement of the Neapolitan king (Charles of Anjou?) had not taken place without raising serious opposition: Don Pedro of Aragon, who was married to Constance, the daughter of Manfred, allied with Michael Palaeologus of Constantinople to oppose Charles, and prepared a fleet, under the grat admiral Roger de Loria, which set out for Tunis with the ostensible purpose of a crusade there, but actually to be within closer striking distance of Sicily.

      John of Procida, an astute agent of the Aragonese prince, fomented revolt in Sicily, playing upon the anti-French feelings of the native Sicilians. On Easter Monday, 1282, a riot broke out in Palermo which rapidly spread over all Sicily. This rising, known as the Sicilian Vespers, was carefully worked up on the Aragonese...

      ** from The World of the Middle Ages, p 438--
      ...Pedro III breathed his last in November 1285. The inheritance of Pedro was divided between his two eldest sons, Alfonso III receiving Aragon and James, Sicily. This division of the Aragonese realms was to bring endless complications, for the king of Aragon showed himself repeatedly willing to sacrifice Sicily to gain peace with France and the papacy, whle the Sicilians stoutly refused to be sacrificed.

      ** from the World of the Middle Ages, p 519--
      Pedro III the Great (1287-85), is the king of Aragon whom we have already encountered as profiting from the Sicilian Vespers and conquering Sicily by virgue of the claims of his wife. By the conquest of Sicily, Pedro brought Aragon into the forefront of the Mediterranean powers and greatly enhanced the reputation and position of his state. But internally he was forced to pay for his conquests by concessions, which were exacted from him by the nobles of Aragon who had no interst in this expansion and who resented the heavy costs of it. In the Aragonese Cortes of 1283 thenobles and towns formed a union to oppose the king and were successful in forcing him to grant the General privilege, promising that the ancient custom laws and privileges of the realm were to be respected; no one was to be convicted without proper trial; ricos hombres could not be distrained for military service outside the limits of the kingdom; and all classes of society were to be included in the royal councils. This Privilege has been called the Aragonese Magna Carta, but it really went far beyong the Charter in the rights guaranteed to the townsmen.

      ** from Wikipedia listing Peter III of Aragon, as of 11/9/2014
      Peter the Great (Catalan: Pere el Gran, Aragonese: Pero lo Gran; 1239, in Valencia – 2 November 1285) was the King of Aragon (as Peter III) of Valencia (as Peter I), and Count of Barcelona (as Peter II) from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282, pressing the claim of his wife, Constance. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.

      Youth and succession
      Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife Violant of Hungary. Among (opportunistic) betrothals of his youth, in or before 1260 he was betrothed with the youngest daughter of Emperor Theodoros II of Nicaea, named Eudokia Laskaraina (c1248-c1311) which contract however dissolved after Eudokia's brother lost the imperial throne (in 1261) and Eudokia was instead married to the Count of Tenda. On 13 June 1262, he married Constance, daughter and heiress of Manfred of Sicily. During his youth and early adulthood, Peter gained a great deal of military experience in his father's wars of the Reconquista against the Moors.[1]

      On James' death, the lands of the Crown of Aragon were divided, with Aragon and Valencia, along with the most of the Catalan counties, going to the eldest son, Peter, while the Balearic Islands (constituted as the Kingdom of Majorca), the Catalan counties of Rousillon-Vallespir, Conflent and Capcir alongside the territories in the Languedoc (lordship of Montpellier), went to the second son, James. Peter and Constance were crowned in Zaragoza (the capital of the Aragonese Kingdom) in November by the archbishop of Tarragona. At this ceremony, Peter renounced all feudal obligations to the papacy which his grandfather Peter II had incurred.

      Early rebellions
      Peter's first act as king was to complete the pacification of his Valencian territory, an action which had been underway on his father's death.

      However, a revolt soon broke out in Catalonia, led by the viscount of Cardona and abetted by Roger-Bernard III of Foix, Arnold Roger I of Pallars Sobirà, and Ermengol X of Urgell.[1] The rebels had grown a hatred for Peter in response to the severity of his dealings with them in the days of his father. Now, as king, they opposed him for not summoning the Catalan corts, or assembly, and confirming its privileges.

      At the same time, a succession crisis continued in the County of Urgell. When Count Álvaro died in 1268, the families of his two wives, Constance, a daughter of Pedro Moncada of Béarn, and Cecilia, a daughter of Roger-Bernard II of Foix, began a long fight over the inheritance of his county. Meanwhile, a good portion of the county had been repossessed by James and thus inherited by Peter. In 1278, Armengol X, Álvaro's eldest son, succeeded in recovering most of his lost patrimony and came to an agreement with Peter whereby he recognised the latter as his suzerain.[1]

      In 1280, Peter defeated the stewing rebellion led by Roger-Berengar III after besieging the rebels in Balaguer for a month. Most of the rebel leaders were imprisoned in Lleida until 1281, while Roger-Bernard was imprisoned until 1284.

      Wars abroad
      Africa
      When the Hafsid Emir of Tunisia, Muhammad I al-Mustansir, who had put himself under James the Conqueror, died in 1277, Tunisia threw off the yoke of Aragonese suzerainty.[2] Peter first sent an expedition to Tunis in 1280 under Conrad de Llansa designed to re-establish his suzerainty.[1] In 1281, he himself prepared to lead a fleet of 140 ships with 15,000 men to invade Tunisia on behalf of the governor of Constantine.[3] The fleet landed at Alcoyll in 1282 and the troops began to fortify themselves in. It was these Aragonese troops that received a Sicilian embassy after the Vespers of 30 March asking Peter to take their throne from Charles of Anjou.

      Italy
      Peter was the direct descendant and the heir-general of the Mafalda, daughter of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia, the Norman conqueror, and his official wife Sigelgaita, daughter of a Lombard prince, Guaimar IV of Salerno. Thus, he stood at the end of the Hauteville succession to Sicily. After the ducal family of Apulia became extinct with William II in 1127, Mafalda's heirs (then counts of Barcelona) apparently became de jure heirs of Guiscard and Sigelgaita: thus Peter was dormantly a claimant to the Norman succession of southern Italy. More directly, he was the heir of Manfred in right of his wife. The Two Sicilies were to be a tenaciously-pursued inheritance for the Aragonese royal house and its heirs for the next five centuries.

      The Italian physician John of Procida acted on behalf of Peter in Sicily. John had fled to Aragon after Charles' success at Tagliacozzo. John travelled to Sicily to stir up the discontents in favour of Peter and thence to Constantinople to procure the support of Michael VIII Palaeologus.[4] Michael refused to aid the Aragonese king without papal approval and so John voyaged to Rome and there gained the consent of Pope Nicholas III, who feared the ascent of Charles in the Mezzogiorno.[4] John then returned to Barcelona and the pope promptly died, to be replaced by Simon de Brie, a Frenchman and a staunch ally of Charles. The stage, however, had been set for a conflict.

      After receiving an embassy from the people of Palermo at Alcoyll, Peter landed at Trapani on 30 August 1282.[4] He was proclaimed King in Palermo on 4 September. Charles was forced to flee across the Straits of Messina and be content with his "Kingdom of Naples". Simon de Brie as the new Pope Martin IV excommunicated both Peter and the Byzantine emperor for providing Peter III with 60,000 gold pieces to invade Sicily (18 November).[5]

      Peter nevertheless pressed his advantage and by February 1283 had taken most of the Calabrian coastline. Charles, perhaps feeling desperate, sent letters to Peter demanding they resolve the conflict by personal combat. The invader accepted and Charles returned to France to arrange the duel. Both kings chose six knights to settle matters of places and dates. A duel was scheduled for 1 June at Bordeaux. A hundred knights would accompany each side and Edward I of England would adjudge the contest; the English king, heeding the pope, however, refused to take part. Peter left John of Procida in charge of Sicily and returned via his own kingdom to Bordeaux, which, evading a suspected French ambush, he entered in disguise. Needless to say, no combat ever took place and Peter returned to find very turbulent Aragon.[6]

      While Peter was back, his admiral, Roger of Lauria, was wreaking havoc in Italy. He routed Charles' fleets on the high seas several times and conquered Malta for Aragon.

      Later domestic unrest
      Peter was dealing with domestic unrest at the time when the French were preparing an invasion. He took Albarracín from the rebellious noble Juan Núñez de Lara, and he renewed the alliance with Sancho IV of Castile and attacked Tudela in an attempt to prevent the king of Navarre, Philip I, the son of the French king, from invading on that front.

      Peter held meetings of the cortes at Tarragona and Zaragoza in 1283. He was forced to grant the Privilegio General to the newly formed Union of Aragon.[6] Also in that year, Peter's brother James joined the French and recognised their suzerainty over Montpellier, giving them free passage through the Balearic Islands and Roussillon. In October, Peter began preparing the defences of Catalonia.

      In 1284, Pope Martin IV granted the kingdom of Aragon to Charles, Count of Valois, the son of the French king, Philip III the Bold, and great nephew of Charles. Papal sanction was given to a war — crusade — to conquer Aragon on behalf of Charles of Valois.

      Aragonese Crusade
      In 1284, the first French armies under King Philip and Count Charles entered Roussillon. They included 16,000 cavalry, 17,000 crossbowmen, and 100,000 infantry, along with 100 ships in south French ports.[7] Though the French had James's support, the local populace rose against them. The city of Elne was valiantly defended by the so-called bâtard de Roussillon ("bastard of Roussillon"), the illegitimate son of Nuño Sánchez, late count of Roussillon (1212–1242). Eventually he was overcome and the cathedral was burnt; the royal forces progressed.

      In 1285, Philip entrenched himself before Girona in an attempt to besiege it. The resistance was strong, but the city was taken. Charles was crowned there, but without an actual crown. The French soon experienced a reversal, however, at the hands of Roger de Lauria, back from the Italian theatre of the drawn-out conflict. The French fleet was defeated and destroyed at the Battle of Les Formigues. As well, the French camp was hit hard by an epidemic of dysentery.

      Philip himself was afflicted. The heir to the French throne, Philip the Fair, opened negotiations with Peter for free passage for the royal family through the Pyrenees. But the troops were not offered such passage and were decimated at the Battle of the Col de Panissars. The king of France himself died at Perpignan, the capital of James of Majorca, who had fled in fear after being confronted by Peter, and was buried in Narbonne. James was declared a vassal of Peter.

      Troubadour works
      Peter matched his father in patronage of the arts and literature, but unlike him he was a lover of verse, not prose. He favoured the troubadours, of which he himself was one, and wrote two sirventesos.

      The first is in the form of an exchange between Peter and one Peironet, a jongleur. The second forms part of a compilation of five compositions from Bernat d'Auriac, Peter the Great, Pere Salvatge (perhaps the same as Peironet), Roger-Bernard III of Foix, and an anonymous contributor.

      As well, the wars with Philip of France and James of Majorca furnished material for new sirventesos and during this period the sirventes was converted into a convenient tool of political propaganda in which each side could, directly or allegorically, present its case and procure sympathy propitious to its cause.

      Death and legacy
      Peter died by unknown causes at Vilafranca del Penedès on 2 November 1285, in the same year as his royal foe Philip, and was buried in the monastery of Santes Creus.[8] His deathbed absolution occurred after he declared that his conquests had been in the name of his familial claims and never against the claims of the church. His remains are entombed in a porphyrysarcophagus at Santes Creus Monastery.

      Peter left Aragon to his eldest son Alfonso III and Sicily to his second son James II. Peter's third son, Frederick III, in succession to his brother James, became regent of Sicily and in due course its king. Peter did not provide for his youngest and bastard son and namesake, Peter (1275 – 25 August 1296), who married Constança Mendes da Silva, daughter of Soeiro Mendes Petite, governor of Santarém in Portugal. This Peter left Spain for Portugal with his sister Elizabeth.

      Peter also had two daughters, Elisabeth, who married Denis of Portugal, and Yolanda (1273 – August 1302), who married Robert of Naples.

      In the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri sees Peter "singing in accord" (d'ogni valor portó cinta la corda) with his former rival, Charles I of Sicily, outside the gates of Purgatory.

      Notes
      Chaytor, 97.
      Chaytor, 101.
      Chaytor, 102.
      Chaytor, 103.
      J. Harris, Byzantium and The Crusades, 180
      Harris, 104.
      Harris, 106.
      El País, news on discovery of mummy of Peter III at Monastery of Santes Creus

      Bibliography
      Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peter III of Aragon.
      Runciman, Steven. The Sicilian Vespers. 1958. ISBN 0-521-43774-1
      Chaytor, H. J. A History of Aragon and Catalonia. London: Methuen, 1933.