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Hauteville Empire

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The strength of god will enable us, a small but faithful band, to overcome the multitude of the faithless

-Robert Guiscard de Hauteville


1105: Simon, Count of Sicily, does not die. Instead he marries a Greek noblewoman named Maria Doukaina. They have two girls (Helena and Irene).

1108: Maria dies of smallpox. Simon is devastated and turns to the church to help him.

1111: Simon abdicates the County and leaves it to his 16 year old brother Roger II to rule it. He waited until Roger reached his majority. Simon is ordained as a priest.

1115: Simon becomes the Archbishop of Messina

1118: Pope Paschal makes Simon a Cardinal, one of the last things he ever does. Simon proves to be very effective at Church Politics.

Bohemond II of Antioch marries his distant cousin Helena de Hauteville (daughter of Simon and Maria de Hauteville). This secures the relationship between the Italian and Outremer branches of the family. As part of the wedding ceremony, Bohemond gifts his title to the Principality of Taranto to his uncle Roger.

1119-1121: The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli wage the brutal War of the Brides (named for its cause) against the Hauteville Principality of Antioch. This was because of Bohemond taking the hand of someone else’s daughter, instead of that of King Baldwin (which Bohemond agreed to when he came to the Outremer from Italy). It end with Antioch occupying Tripoli. Only the Muslim invasion stopped the fighting, which would have embroiled all of the Crusader states.

1120-1127: Seeing the chaos and infighting between the Christian Crusader states, the Fatimids and Seljuk Turks launch a simultaneous invasion of the Outreamer Principalities. The fighting is bloody and intense. At several points the Crusader’s are close to losing everything, and Jerusalem is besieged in 1125. Only a fresh contingent of Siculo-Norman troops sent to protect Jerusalem and Antioch, the blockading of the Nile by High Admiral Christodulus, and the Surprise capture of Damascus, allows the Crusaders a victory. They, in fact, expanded ; down the Sinai and into Syria, by the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Principality of Antioch, respectively.

1126: William II, Duke of Apulia, dies childless. Roger claims all of the Hauteville family possessions in Italy (He faces no contention from the Outremer branch of the family, who are occupied with the Turks). Roger II crushes the last Lombard Principalities after they rebel against his suzerainty. He places his sons in charge of running them. All of the de Hauteville possessions on the mainland are run by direct family members in Roger's place.

1130: Papal Chancellor Haimeric concedes the election of Anacletus as the Canonical one. This is largely due to the influence of Cardinal Simon de Hauteville, who wishes to avoid a Papal schism. Gregorio Papareschi doesn't become the Pope. However, He still retains his position as Cardinal. Because of his brothers support in securing his election, Anacletus II grants Roger II of Sicily the title to the 'Kingdom of Sicily'. Emperor Lothair II refuses to acknowledge this, as the H.R.E. has claims to Southern Italy. He begins to marshal his vassal in preparation for an invasion of the Mezzogiorno. Knowing that a war between the two most powerful princes in Western Europe would be devastating to the Papacy (which happened to lie in the middle of their holdings), Anacletus works out a compromise. Roger's Kingship is recognized, while he swears to not expand into Lombardy (which Roger, not exactly the Norman Knight his ancestors were, is happy to agree to). Lothair's imperial rival Frederick Hohenstaufen is excommunicated.

1131: Lothair III returns to Germany from Italy to put his own house in order. The Hohenstaufens (his longtime imperial rivals) begin to lead a rebellion against his authority

1135-36: The crown Prince Tancred of Antioch wages a war with the Armenian Kingdom of Cicilia. He defeats the Armenians decisively at the Battle of Adana. This gains himland, wealth, prestige, and the title Count of Adana

1140: Upon Lothair’s death, the Imperial throne passes to his son-in-law, Henry of Bavaria. He is crowned Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor.

1138-1146:Henry breaks the power of the Houses Staufen and Welfs. He forces Frederick II, Duke of Swabia to give his ducal title to Henry’s second son Lothair, and kills Frederick’s son in battle. Henry turns on his family, and is fully adopted by the Supplinburger dynasty.

1139: Anacletus II dies. After a very close election, he is replaced by Cardinal Simon de Hautevile, who takes the name Constantine I. However, there are two other claimants to the throne of Saint Peter: Cardinal László the Pius of Hungary (Innocent II) and Cardinal Knut the Righteous of Denmark (Gregory VIII). Constantine requests his brother’s army to enter Rome, both to protect himself from the armed factions of the two Antipopes , and to cement his control over the city. This is eventually extended to the entire Papal realm as various cities take sides.

1142: Roger, Duke of Apulia, marries Anna Comnena, a relative of the Byzantine Emperor. This solidifies relations between the two powers.

1143: Emperor John Comnenos dies. His son Isaac claims the imperial title, but his brother Manuel says that their father wished for the throne to pass to him.

1144-1150: The succession crisis leads to a full blown civil war as Isaac’s and Manuel’s armies rage across Thessaly and Anatolia. The Byzantine lords in Trebizond break free when it is clear that neither brother can afford to protect them against the Turks. The devastation is great. Many intellectuals, craftsmen and bureaucrats flee to Sicily, which has a large Greek Orthodox minority. The was finally end when Isaac and Andronikos Comnenos capture Manuel outside of Ioannina. The two agree to rule as co-emperors.

1145: Richard Alphonso de Hauteville, Count of Trapini, conquers the Balearic island chain with the help of Admiral of Admirals (also Emir of Palermo, Archon of Archons) George of Antioch, from it’s Moorish Sheik. He established the Duchy of Majorca, under the suzerainty of his father, the King of Sicily.

1148-1158: Upset over the crushing of the two most powerful houses in Germany, the nobles of the Empire rebel against Henry. The fighting is intense and bloody. Henry, with very few allies, is forced to request the help of France. France gains much influence over the eastern half of the Holy Roman Empire and Burgundy. Most of the fighting died down by 1153, but resistence continued to 1158, when the last holdouts in the Alps are crushed.

1149: Constantine I dies. He is replaced by the Cardinal of Messina, Peter de Hauteville (b. 1122). He takes the name Constantine II out of respect for his uncle.

1150: Richard Alphonso, Duke of Majorica, marries Queen Isabella of Aragon, becoming King Richard Alphonso I of Aragon. Thus, the Hispano-Normans are born.

1152: Henry dies, and is replaced by his eldest son Albert, Duke of Bavaria, Saxony and Brandenburg (elevated from March to Duchy upon his coronation).

1153: Albert, Holy Roman Emperor, Duke of Bavaria, Saxony and Brandenburg, invades Italy to oust the Hauteville dynasty out of control of the Papacy and to crush the power of the Italian cities, which had gained de facto indepednance during the German Civil war. In response, the Lombard League of Italy forms. The Sicilians, Lombards and Byzantines form an Alliance to repel the attack.

1153-1157: The Nobles in Tuscany and Spoleto side with Albert. This doesn’t help him much, as he had the wealth of Sicily, Venice and Pisa set against him. The King of Sicily is seen as a just, egalitarian leader, fighting against the German Imperials. This give him the moral leadership of all of Italy. Since he is a smart man, he knows that moral leadership leads to political leadership. The fighting is brutal, but after a drawn out conflict, Albert is defeated and sent back to Germany

1154: Roger, Duke of Apulia, succeeds his father. He inherited his father tendency to be workaholic, as well as his appreciation for the arts and sciences. He continues to work on his father attempts to forge a Sicilian national identity, instead of Latin, Lombard, Norman, Greek, Jew, or Saracen.

Richard Alphonso starts the long and bloody Norman conquest of the peninsula with the toppling of the County of Barcelona, which is given to his infant son Peter.

1157: The war in Italy is finally won. The lands of Albert’s allies in Spoleto and Tuscany are annexed to Sicily, and a Protectorate is established over the devastated Lombard city-states.

1160's: Roger III’s Reign. He establishes a Sicilian hegemony over much of the peninsula. The autonomy of the Lombard League is slowly given over to Hauteville Barons. The reign of Roger is one of prosperity, innovation and invention. One of the first modern universities is founded in Messina. Gothic architecture from France becomes the rave, causing towering Cathedrals to sprout up all over the Kingdom. The blast furnace is introduced, and assembly lines, like those in Venice, are established to produce merchant ships. Many discoveries from the Muslim world, India and China make their way into the Kingdom.

1161: William, Duke of Apulia (heir to the throne) marries Maria Sfrondati of Milan. This solidifies the relationship between the Northern and Southern Italians. His sister Constance of Sicily marries Richard of England.

1162: A boy named Yesugei is born to Chiledu and Hoelun of the Merkit tribe. He is named after a warrior of the Borjigin clan that Chiledu killed to protect his new wife.

1164: Constantine II dies. His replacement is Cardinal Mario Sfrondati (brother to above Maria). He takes the name Innocent II.

1167: The Donation of Innocent. All Church lands outside Rome are given over to direct Sicilian control

1168: King Richard Alphonso moves against the Kingdom of Navarre, capturing Pamplona in a bloody year long siege.

1171: The King of Mide asks for the aid of the brothers Roger Serlo and Robert Pietro de Hauteville in attacking his rival, the King of Leinster.

1173-74: Roger and Robert arrive in Dub Lynn with a force of about 500 Norman knights under their command. The two brothers, with the military genius of their ancestor Robert Guiscard, agree to divide the island between them. They first take control of Dub Lynn, using it as a base of operations. Robert strikes into Mide and the Kingdom of Oriel, while Roger takes the Kingdom of Leinster.

1175: Robert is invested with the Duchy of Dub Lynn. He marries the daughter of the former Khttp://images.wikia.com/common/skins/common/images/button_bold.png Bold texting of Oriel.

1176: Roger takes the titles 'Duke of Munster' and 'Count of Leinster' even though he has no control over the former.

1177-1184: Roger wages war against Munster, eventually taking its capital at Cork during a bloody siege in 1183

1184: Yesugei take control over the Merkit tribe through charisma and determination. He hates the rigid class structure of the steppe tribes, and is his wish to destroy it.

Roger, who’s Italian wife died during the journey to Ireland, marries Brigit O Cearbhaill, a noblewoman in the former court of Munster. This political alliance allows the Normans to control Southern and Eastern Ireland.

1190's: Yesugei's power grows with his popularity among the common herders. The aristocrats of the steppe tribes fear his growing power. He introduces a new system for clan organization and new tactics for raiding and combat.

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