Children of Robert Guiscard and Sikelgaita

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Nichol...@yahoo.com

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Aug 26, 2005, 12:27:42 AM8/26/05
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I'm trying to compile a decent listing of the children of Robert
Guiscard, the Norman conqueror of Sicily, by his second wife,
Sikelgaita of Salerno (his famous son Bohemond was by an earlier
marriage). So far I have:

1. Roger, called "borsa", or purse, for his habit of counting and
recounting his money. [1]

2. Emma, described by Anna Comnena as "an intelligent and level-headed
woman" who helped save Otranto from a Byzantine siege by feigning
surrender, and thusly buying time for reinforcements to arrive. Emma
became the mother of Tancred, who accompanied his uncle Bohemond on the
First Crusade. [2]

In addition, I've seen two more daughters, Maud and Mabel, cited in
various places, the former being the wife of Ramon Berenguer II of
Barcelona and the latter the wife of William de Grandmesnil. If anyone
has any information or data concerning these daughters or any other
children, I would certainly appreciate it being shared. Corrections and
additions are always welcome.

[1] Norwich, John Julius. The Normans in Sicily, 1970
[2] Peterson-Gouma, Thalia. Anna Komnene and Her Times, 2000

Peter Stewart

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Aug 26, 2005, 12:48:18 AM8/26/05
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<Nichol...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1125030462.5...@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> I'm trying to compile a decent listing of the children of Robert
> Guiscard, the Norman conqueror of Sicily, by his second wife,
> Sikelgaita of Salerno (his famous son Bohemond was by an earlier
> marriage). So far I have:
>
> 1. Roger, called "borsa", or purse, for his habit of counting and
> recounting his money. [1]
>
> 2. Emma, described by Anna Comnena as "an intelligent and level-headed
> woman" who helped save Otranto from a Byzantine siege by feigning
> surrender, and thusly buying time for reinforcements to arrive. Emma
> became the mother of Tancred, who accompanied his uncle Bohemond on the
> First Crusade. [2]
>
> In addition, I've seen two more daughters, Maud and Mabel, cited in
> various places, the former being the wife of Ramon Berenguer II of
> Barcelona and the latter the wife of William de Grandmesnil. If anyone
> has any information or data concerning these daughters or any other
> children, I would certainly appreciate it being shared. Corrections and
> additions are always welcome.

The children of Roger Guiscard and Sikelgaita were:

1. Maud (Mafalda, aka Maaltis), born 1059/60, regent of Narbonne from 1105,
died as a nun, probably at Gerona on 19 September 1108, married first
(before 13 July 1078) Ramón Berenguer II, called 'Cabeza de Estopa', count
of Barcelona (born before 25 March 1054, murdered at Perxa del Astor 5
December 1082); and secondly in 1085 Aymeric I, viscount of Narbonne (died
on crusade in Palestine 1105). She left descendants by both husbands.

2. Roger Borsa, born 1060/1, duke of Apulia, died 22 February 1111, married
in 1090/2 (as her second husband) Adela (Ala) of Flanders, regent of Apulia
1111-1115 (born ca 1064, died 1115), widow of St Knut II, king of Denmark,
dau of Robert I Friso, count of Flanders & Gertrud of Saxony.

3. Sibilla, married at Salerno before 1082 Ebles II, count of Roucy (died
May 1103), by whom she left descendants.

4. Guido, duke of Amalfi, died 1107

another possible child, but whose maternity is not certain as far as I know,
was:

5. Mabilia, married to Guillaume de Grandmesnil.

There may be some further and/or corrective details in Patricia Skinner's "'Halt!
Be Men!': Sikelgaita of Salerno, Gender and the Norman Conquest of Southern
Italy', Gender & History 12 (2000), but I don't have time to check this at
present.

Peter Stewart


Nichol...@yahoo.com

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Aug 26, 2005, 1:04:16 AM8/26/05
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Thanks, Mr. Stewart. Another reference to check would be the Gesta
Tancredi by Ralph of Caen; an English language version is supposed to
be published this year by David Bachrach. Perhaps it would shed some
light on Tancred's origins.

Nichol...@yahoo.com

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Aug 26, 2005, 5:46:58 PM8/26/05
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In Lynda Garland's "Byzantine Empresses" (1999) mention is made of
another daughter for Robert Guiscard. She was Olympias, betrothed to
Constantine, the son of Michael VII Doukas and Maria of Alania, in
August 1074. This betrothal was broken when Michael VII abdicated.

Gary Smith

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Aug 26, 2005, 6:39:45 PM8/26/05
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That looks to me like a decent listing. I like decent newsgroups.


<Nichol...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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Peter Stewart

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Aug 26, 2005, 7:27:32 PM8/26/05
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I overlooked Tancred's mother Emma in my earlier reply - her maternity is
not certain, although chronologically she could have been Sikelgaita's
daughter, since Tancred was born around 18 years after the marriage of
Robert Guiscard to the Salernitan princess in 1058.

Peter Stewart

"Gary Smith" <garym...@comcast.net> wrote in message
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Peter Stewart

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Aug 27, 2005, 12:33:57 AM8/27/05
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<Nichol...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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'Gesta Tancredi' only says that Tancred's parents were the marquis, not
naming Odo, and Emma ("parentes eximios marchisum habuit et Emmam").

In Graham Loud's _The Age of Robert Guiscard: Southern Italy and the Norman
Conquest_ (Harlow, 2000), Table 2, the following children are listed by
Sikelgaita:

1. Roger Borsa (died 1111)
2. Guy (died 1108)
3. Robert (died 1110)
4. Olympias (Helena), shown as married to Michael VII's son Constantine
5. Mabilia, married to WIlliam de Grandmesnil
6. 5 other daughters, unnamed

NB #3 is Robert Scalio, who was living in 1104 & whose maternity is not
recorded.

Peter Stewart


Thierry Stasser

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Aug 31, 2005, 4:38:41 PM8/31/05
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Les chroniqueurs donnent trois fils et cinq filles au couple Robert
Guiscard-Sichelgaita de Salerne (Will APUL, II, 440-443, p 156 : Nam proavis
et avis subiectam coniugis huius noverat Italiam gens Longobarda fuisse.
Edidit haec pueros sibi tres et quinque puellas egregiam sobolem sexus
utriusque futuram. Gesta Norm. Duc., 43, p 190 : Šgenuit autem Robertus
Wiscardus ex Sichelgaita filios tres et filias quinque. Filie vero adeo
excellentissime maritate sunt ut una earum matrimonio copulata sit
imperatori ConstantinopolitaniŠ). L¹aîné fut Roger, mort à 50 ans le 21
février 1111 âgé de cinquante ans (Rom. SAL, p 205 ; Necrol. Casin.,
GATTOLA, 1733b, p 802)). Il naquit donc entre mars 1060 et février 1061. Il
hérita de son père en juillet 1085 de toutes les possessions en Pouilles, en
Calabre et en Sicile (Will APUL, IV, 185-189 ; V 343-349 ; MALATERRA, III,
41). Il s¹intitule divina favente clementia dux dès mai 1086 (MENAGER,
1981a, n° 49), et Deo favente Calabriae dux et Apulie et Sicilie en août
1088 (HOUBEN, 1995, n° 54). Il épousa en 1092, avant le mois de mai, Adèle
ou Alaina, fille aînée de Robert I, comte de Flandre (Rom. SAL, p 200 ;
RNAM, V, n° 455 ; CHALANDON, 1907, t 1, p 298-299). Robert,
vraisemblablement le second fils, intervient pour la première fois en
février 1076 dans une donation de son père à la cathédrale Ste-Marie de
Melfi (MENAGER, 1981a, n° 23). Il était sans doute âgé de 12 à 14 ans. Sa
dernière intervention est de mai 1103 (HOUBEN, 1985, n° 81). D¹après P.
SKINNER, 2000, p 627, Guy, le troisième fils, naquit également avant 1065.
Il n¹est documenté qu¹à partir de janvier 1082 dans un acte de ses parents
en faveur de St-Orenzo de Tarente (MENAGER, 1981a, n° 40, III, p 128). Il
mourut le 5 juillet 1108 (GARUFI, 1922, p 92 : III N. I. AD millesimo C.
VIII. Indictione prima depositio Guidonis f. Roberti ducis).

L¹aînée des filles fut vraisemblablement l¹épouse d¹Hugues d¹Este. Au début
de 1078, Robert Guiscard exigea de ses vassaux l¹aide féodale accordée lors
du mariage de la fille aînée, ce qu¹il n¹avait pas fait en 1076 lorsqu¹il
avait envoyé une autre de ses filles à Constantinople pour épouser le fils
de l¹empereur. La fille mariée à Hugues, fils d¹Azzo d¹Este, devait donc
être l¹aînée. Le mariage ne dura que quelques années et la jeune femme fut
répudiée (Ord. VITAL., t 4, p 194-195) . Les sources ne donnent pas son nom,
mais elle est sans doute identique à Cécilia, fille de Guiscard, mentionnée
en septembre 1089 dans un document de Bari (CDB V, n° 10, p 20 : anno ab
incarnatione domini nostri Iesu christi millesimo octogesimo nono mense
septembris duodecima indictioneŠet posuit nobis exinde pignum due nuscite
bone de auro una maiore et alia minore que fuerunt domine Cecilie f. domini
nostri Roberti ducisŠ. Cette fille de Guiscard est autrement inconnue. Les
chroniqueurs attribuent on l¹a vu cinq filles à Guiscard : l¹épouse anonyme
d¹Hugues d¹Este, Mathilda, femme de Raymond Bérenger III de Barcelone ;
Sibillia, épouse d¹Ebles de Roucy ; Mabilia, mariée à Guillaume de
Grandmesnil et Olympias/Hélène, fiancée au prince byzantin Constantin
Doukas. La seule en recherche de nom est l¹aînée et à moins que Cécilia ne
soit une sixième fille du duc, on peut l¹identifier à l¹épouse d¹Hugues
d¹Este.).
Guillaume des Pouilles et Anne Comnène mentionnent à Salerne le double
mariage de deux filles de Guiscard et de Sichelgaita, et le datent tous deux
des environs de l¹époque de l¹entrevue du duc avec le pape Grégoire VII
(Will APUL IV,7-30 ; Alex., I, 12, 11. ) . Cette rencontre eut lieu en juin
1080, entre Salerne et Bénévent, de toute évidence à Ceprano . L¹aînée des
deux épousa Raymond Bérenger II, comte de Barcelone . Guiscard avait négocié
cette alliance via Ursus, futur archevêque de Bari, qui lui avait souvent
servi d¹intermédiaire avec le pape. Ursus alla en personne en Catalogne
chercher le jeune comte et l¹amena à Salerne où les noces eurent lieu (Will.
APUL IV, 7-11 : Šurbibus et castris sibi circumquaque subactis Appula
dimittens loca dux parat ire Salernum. Partibus Hesperie quem Barcilona
tremebat venerat insignis comes hanc Raimondus ad urbem ut nuptura ducis
detur sibi filia poscens. Huic maior natu nubtum daturŠ. Hist. S. Sab. :
Šnam et frequenter ad predictum papam legaverat. Et in Hispaniam illum
miserat quando filiam suam comiti Barzellonensi nuptui dederat. Quem de suae
provinciae regno pro numtiis confirmandis usque in terram istam quae sub
eius ducis erat dominio cum multo comitatu et apparatu conduxerat Š.) . La
jeune épousée se nommait Mathilda (ACA Ramon Berenguer II, n° 67 : Šhec est
donatio quam faciunt domnus Raimundus comes Barchinonensis et Maheltis Dei
nutu comitissaŠ. AURELL, 1991, p 330-331. Mathilda se remaria vers 1085 à
Aymeri I, vicomte de Narbonne, décédé en 1105 en Terre Sainte, et dont elle
eut plusieurs enfants (VAJAY, 1971, p 144-145 ; AURELL, 1991, p 331 ;
AURELL, 1995, p 182-183). Elle mourut un 19 septembre, au plus tôt en 1112
(AURELL, 1991, p 330-331 ; 1995, p 183).) . Sa s¦ur cadette Sibillia, quant
à elle, épousa Ebles de Roucy (Will. APUL. IV, 11-15 : Šaltera nubsit
egregio comiti Francorum stemmate claro Ebalus hic dictus subcombere nescius
hosti belligeras acies ad proelia ducere doctusŠ. Alex. I, 12, 11. Le nom de
l¹épouse d¹Ebles de Roucy est donné par une charte de 1082 par laquelle
Ebles de Roucy, son frère André comte de Ramerupt et leur cousin Hugues de
Dammartin, avec leurs épouses Sibillia, Adelaïde et Roaïda, donnèrent à
l¹abbaye de Marmoutier le prieuré de la Celle sur Morin (du PLESSIS, t 2, PJ
n° 17 et 18). Ebles de Roucy était le fils d¹Hilduin III, comte de Ramerupt,
et d¹Adélaïde de Roucy (Gen. Fusn., p 254 : Šsecunda filia predicti Ebali de
Roceio soror prefate Hadevidis de Ruminiaco nupsit Helduino comiti de
Ramerut cuius fratres extiterunt comes Suessiionis et comes de
DonmartinŠMemoratus comes Helduinus de Adelaide coniuge sua filia scilicet
Ebali de Roceio genuit Ebalum comitem eiusdem loci et Andream comitem de
Ramerut et filias. De Ebalo comite de Roceio ortus est Wischardus et Thomas
et Hugo cognomento cholez et filieŠ). En 1073, il partit en Aragon à la tête
d¹une armée pour aider le roi Sanche Ramirez lors de la reconquista (SUGER,
p 26-27). Sur cette lignée, voir MORANVILLE, 1925 ; BUR, 1977, p 253-257) .
Il se pourrait toutefois que cet événement ait eu lieu deux ans plus tôt, en
tout cas en ce qui concerne Mathilda, car une charte du 13 juillet 1078
prouve que Raymond Bérenger II l¹avait déjà épousée à cette date (ACA Ramon
Berenguer II, n° 31 : Ego Raimundus gratia Dei Barchinonensis comes et
marchio et Maaltis nutu dei comitissa pariter in unum damusŠ). A moins de
supposer que le comte de Barcelone ait eu deux épouses nommées Mathilda,
l¹une avant juillet 1078 et décédée avant le printemps 1080, force est de
reconnaître que les noces de la seconde fille de Guiscard et Sichelgaita
furent célébrée en juin 1078 et non en juin 1080. Si il y eut effectivement
un double mariage, alors celui de Sibillia eut également lieu en 1078. Une
autre solution est que Guillaume des Pouilles et Anne Comnène ont confondu
deux évènements. Le mariage de Sibillia avec Ebles de Roucy, un des chefs
des croisés français en péninsule ibérique, et soutien du St-Siège, dut
intervenir après la réconciliation du duc Robert et du souverain pontife en
juin 1080 . Celui de Mathilda fut célébré avant juillet 1078, peut-être en
même temps que celui de sa s¦ur aînée avec Hugues d¹Este. Le mariage de
Sibillia avec un champion de la reconquista avait été commandité par le
pape, et celui de sa s¦ur Mathilda avec un barcelonnais semblait avoir le
même but ; tous deux intervenaient dans un contexte où la papauté entendait
pousser les Normands à appuyer la reconquista . Guillaume des Pouilles et
Anne Comnène avaient vraisemblablement entendu parler d¹un double mariage et
en ont conclu qu¹ils s¹agissait de ceux de Mathilda et Sibillia, organisés
sous l¹égide de Grégoire VII en 1080.
En 1076, Guiscard avait envoyé à Constantinople une de ses filles, Olympias,
qui était promise depuis août 1074 à Constantin, fils héritier du basileus
Michel VII Doukas . Elle prit le nom d¹Hélène et fut considérée comme la
future basilissa. En mars 1078, Michel X fut renversé par Nicéphore
Botaneiates et envoyé au cloitre. Hélène fut quant à elle séparée de son
fiancé et emprisonnée (Sur Olympias, voir FALKENHAUSEN, 1982. Son nom est
connu par le Rotulus d¹Exultet de Bari, publié par CAVALLO, 1973, tav. 11 :
Memorare Domine famulorum tuorum imperatorum nostrorum domni Michahil et
domni Constantini atque domne Olimpiade. Simulque lucidissimi ducis nostri
domni Rubberti et domne Sikelgaita ac domni RuggeriŠ. Chron. Troj., p 344 :
Šanno 1081ŠAlexius factus est imperator et Robertus dux transivit mare et
cepit eum impugnare ob Olimpiadem filiam suam quam expulerat de palatio
suoŠ. Elle reçut à Byzance le nom d¹Hélène (ZONARAS, p 714 ; SKYL. Cont., p
167) . Constantin Doukas était né dans les premiers mois de 1074 . Il est
vraisemblable que Guiscard ait choisi parmi ses filles celle dont l¹âge
était le plus proche de celui du garçonnet. Bien qu¹elle fut la première à
avoir été mariée, on sait que ce n¹était pas l¹aînée car c¹est à l¹occasion
des noces d¹Hugues d¹Este que le duc demanda à ses vassaux l¹aide accordée
lors du mariage de la fille aînée du suzerain.
En 1081, Robert Guiscard reçut une ambassade de l¹empereur Henri IV, en
conflit avec la papauté, et qui proposait une union entre son fils Conrad,
futur roi des Romains, et une fille du duc (Le projet de mariage est révélé
par une lettre datée de mai 1081 de Grégoire VII à l¹abbé Didier du Mont
Cassin, par laquelle il se plaint que le duc ne lui envoie pas l¹aide
promise contre l¹empereur (Reg. Greg. VII, IX, 11, p 588-589 ). CHALANDON,
1907, t 1, p 247 ;COWDREY, 1983, p 147-148 ; LOUD, 2000b, p 214-215). Il ne
pouvait s¹agir que de Mabilia, car les trois aînées étaient déjà mariées et
la quatrième prisonnière à Constantinople. Guiscard toutefois déclina
l¹offre . Peu après, il maria Mabilia à Guillaume de Grandmesnil, neveu de
l¹abbé Robert de Ste-Marie de Sant¹Eufemia, et lui donna en dot quinze
châteaux en Calabre. Second fils de Hugues de Grandmesnil et d¹Adélaïde de
Beaumont sur Oise, Guillaume fit d¹abord partie de l¹entourage de Guillaume
le Conquérant, lequel le fiança à une des filles de son frère utérin Robert
de Mortain (Ord. VITAL, t 4, p 230 et 338 ). Entre 1075 et 1080 il émigra en
Italie du Sud et participa à l¹expédition de Robert Guiscard contre Durazzo
en juillet 1081 (Ord. VITAL , t 4, p 16 et 338). Son mariage avec Mabilia,
la dernière fille non mariée de Robert et Sichelgaita, le rendit maître de
quinze châteaux en Calabre, notamment dans la vallée du Crati, et les
domaines de Crotone et Oriolo. Orderic Vital place le mariage après la mort
de Guiscard, en 1088 (Ord. VITAL t 4, p 338; JAMISON, 1939, p 199 ;
MENAGER, 1975, p 316-317 ; DECAENS, 1994, p 136-137). Guillaume participa à
plusieurs expéditions de son beau-père et se trouvait à son chevet lorsqu¹il
mourut en juillet 1085 . En 1093, il se révolta contre son beau-frère Roger
et dut s¹enfuir à Constantinople . Il participa ensuite à la première
croisade avec ses frères Yves et Alberic . Il revint en Calabre où il mourut
avant janvier 1114 . Sa veuve lui survécut jusqu¹en 1132 .


dans l'article 1125030462.5...@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com,
Nichol...@yahoo.com à Nichol...@yahoo.com a écrit le 26/08/05 6:27 :

WJho...@aol.com

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Aug 31, 2005, 5:08:03 PM8/31/05
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In a message dated 8/31/05 1:48:49 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
thierry...@tiscali.be writes:

<< Il épousa en 1092, avant le mois de mai, Adèle
ou Alaina, fille aînée de Robert I, comte de Flandre (Rom. SAL, p 200 ;
RNAM, V, n° 455 ; CHALANDON, 1907, t 1, p 298-299). >>

Is this the same Adela who married first to Canute IV, King of Denmark 1080-.
He died in 1086 after they had Charles, later Count of Flanders

Do I have this correct?
Will

Nichol...@yahoo.com

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Aug 31, 2005, 9:39:52 PM8/31/05
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So to summarize, for those on the list who don't understand French (and
I confess my knowledge of the language is limited)...

The chroniclers give Robert Guiscard and Sikelgaita three sons and five
daughters.

1) Roger, called "Borsa", was born between March 1060 and February
1061, and died on February 21, 1111, aged 50.
2) Robert, probably the second son, appears for the first time in
February 1076, and is found for the last time in May 1103. He was born
circa 1062.
3) Guy, the third son, was born before 1065. He appears for the first
time in January 1082, and died on July 5, 1108.
4) Cecilia, probably the eldest daughter, first appeared in September
1089, and was married to Ugo d'Este in 1078. She was later repudiated.
5) Mathilda, married possibly June 1078 to Ramon Berenguer II, Count of
Barcelona. About 1085 she remarried, as a widow, to Aymeric I, Count of
Narbonne. She died September 19, possibly in 1112.
6) Sibilla, married to Ebles de Roucy.
7) Olympias, sent to Constantinople in 1076 to marry Constantine, son
of Michael VII. She was renamed Helena, but the betrothal was called
off and Olympias-Helena was imprisoned.
8) Mabilia, sought as a bride for Conrad, the son of the emperor Henry
IV, in 1081. She was instead married to William de Grandmesnil, and
survived until 1132.

This is interesting information, but I find myself with a few
questions: where does Emma fit into all this? Was she a daughter of
Sikelgaita? Or a daughter of Robert Guiscard's first wife, Alberada? If
the latter, then that might explain the connection of her son Tancred
to his uncle Bohemond, himself the son of Alberada. Also, is there any
information on what happened to Olympias? She was imprisoned in
Constantinople but was she ever released, or did she die there?

Peter Stewart

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Sep 1, 2005, 4:51:32 AM9/1/05
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"Thierry Stasser" <thierry...@tiscali.be> wrote in message
news:BF3BE1F1.349%thierry...@tiscali.be...

<snip>

> Ląaînée des filles fut vraisemblablement ląépouse dąHugues dąEste. Au
> début
> de 1078, Robert Guiscard exigea de ses vassaux ląaide féodale accordée
> lors
> du mariage de la fille aînée, ce quąil nąavait pas fait en 1076 lorsquąil
> avait envoyé une autre de ses filles ŕ Constantinople pour épouser le fils
> de ląempereur. La fille mariée ŕ Hugues, fils dąAzzo dąEste, devait donc
> ętre ląaînée.

Why couldn't Robert have been referring to the marriage of his elder
daughter Emma, Tancred's mother, to the marquis Odo ca 1075 or perhaps a few
years earlier?

Peter Stewart


Mississ...@gmail.com

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Sep 1, 2005, 11:48:07 PM9/1/05
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Also, is there any
> information on what happened to Olympias? She was imprisoned in
> Constantinople but was she ever released, or did she die there?

The relevent text from Geoffrey of Malaterra:

In that same year a Greek came to the duke in Apulia, claiming to be
Michael, the Emperor of Constantinople, and seeking his help to recover
the palace from which, so he said, he had been driven out on Good
Friday through the disloyalty of his men and forced by violence to
become a monk. The only reason for this had been because he had agreed
to the marriage of the duke's daughter to his son. To prevent his son
from having any hope either of regaining the palace or of begetting
offspring from the wife he had married, the boy had shamefully been
made a eunuch and sent into lifelong exile. Another man had been
installed in the palace in his place, but he had not been selected from
one or other of the families descended from the ancient emperors, to
whom the dignity belonged by hereditary right. The Greeks however were
afraid that if heirs who were born from a wife from our race were to
grow up in the palace, then an opportunity would be created for our
people to come there freely; and a people who were customarily devoted
to luxuries and self-indulgence rather than to warlike exercises would
be trampled under foot by the valour [strenuitas] of our men and made
their subjects. They were careful to keep the duke's daughter shut up
under strict guard to prevent her marrying any powerful man. Since she
had once been married to the hereditary emperor and had worn a crown in
the palace, some hereditary right to that palace might be claimed by
the person to whom she was married.

WJho...@aol.com

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Sep 2, 2005, 1:58:15 PM9/2/05
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In a message dated 9/1/05 8:48:55 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
Mississ...@gmail.com writes:

<< The relevent text from Geoffrey of Malaterra:

In that same year a Greek came to the duke in Apulia, claiming to be
Michael, the Emperor of Constantinople, >>

Can this passage be given a date? I note you say "In that same year"
which year?
Thanks
Will Johnson

Nichol...@yahoo.com

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Sep 2, 2005, 7:04:46 PM9/2/05
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It must've been after 1078, the year the real Emperor Michael VII was
desposed (Malaterra reports that the Greek who met Robert Guiscard was
an imposter). You can read the chronicle of Malaterra on the Medieval
History Texts in Translation website:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/history/weblearning/MedievalHistoryTextCentre/medievalTexts.htm

Btw, the "Mississippienne" above is me, unwittingly signed in under
another account.

Peter Stewart

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Sep 3, 2005, 12:15:46 AM9/3/05
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<WJho...@aol.com> wrote in message news:1a1.3b3ab7...@aol.com...

1078 - Michael had been deposed in March. He abdicated at the end of the
month and became titular metropolitan of Ephesus in the same year. An
impostor would have needed to act quickly after 31 March in order to be
convincing before the emperor's wherabouts were known.

Peter Stewart


Nichol...@yahoo.com

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Sep 4, 2005, 7:47:57 PM9/4/05
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Here's what John Julian Norwich has to say in his "Short History of
Byzantium", p. 250-251:

"In 1074 Michael VII had suggested his own son Constantine as the
prospective bridegroom for the most beautiful -- he had been careful to
specify -- of Robert [Guiscard]'s daughters. The Guiscard had not
hesitated: the opportunity of becoming father-in-law to the Emperor of
Byzantium was too good to miss. He had accepted the proposal, and
shortly afterwards had bundled his daughter Helena [i.e., Olympias] off
to Constantinople, there to pursue her studies in the imperial
gynaeceum until her infant fiance should be of marriageable age.
"The overthrown of Michael VII in 1078 put paid to all Helena's chances
of attaining the imperial throne. The hapless princess found herself
immured in a convent, with which she was doubtless far from pleased."

Norwich then goes on to relate that Olympias/Helena's imprisonment gave
her father the perfect pretext to invade Byzantium. He doesn't mention
the girl's ultimate fate, if she were ever returned to her father or if
she remained in Byzantium.

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