Constance of Sicily, Queen of Aragon

Constance II of Sicily (c. 1249(1302-04-09)9 April 1302) was Queen consort of Aragon as the wife of Peter III of Aragon and a pretender to the Kingdom of Sicily from 1268 to 1285.[1] She was the only daughter of Manfred of Sicily and his first wife, Beatrice of Savoy.[2]

Constance II of Sicily
Konstancie Sic.jpg
Constance II depicted in a miniature
Queen consort of Aragon and Valencia, Countess consort of Barcelona
Tenure27 July 1276 (1276-07-27) – November 1285 (1285-11)
Queen regnant of Sicily
Tenurec. 1268 – November 1285 (1285-11)
Bornc. 1249
Kingdom of Sicily
Died9 April 1302(1302-04-09) (aged 52–53)
Barcelona, Crown of Aragon
Burial
SpousePeter III of Aragon
IssueAlfonso III of Aragon
James II of Aragon
Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal
Frederick III of Sicily
Yolande, Duchess of Calabria
Peter of Aragon
HouseHohenstaufen
FatherManfred of Sicily
MotherBeatrice of Savoy
ReligionCatholicism
Arms of Constance II of Sicily

LifeEdit

Constance was largely raised by Bella d'Amichi, who remained her favorite and confidante as queen.[3] On 13 June 1262, Constance married Peter, eldest son of James I of Aragon. Her father was killed in the Battle of Benevento (26 February 1266) while fighting against his rival, Charles of Anjou. She inherited his claim to the Sicilian throne.

James I died on 27 July 1276 and Peter succeeded to the throne, with Constance as queen. During the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), Peter and then their sons claimed the throne of Sicily in her right. The war resulted in the partition of the Kingdom of Sicily and the creation of the Kingdom of Trinacria under her heirs and the Kingdom of Naples under the heirs of Charles of Anjou.

Peter III died on November 1285. Constance died as a nun in Barcelona.[4]

Role in Dante's Divine ComedyEdit

Though most historical sources may not be rife with information about her, Constance occupies a place in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Constance's appearance in Canto III of Purgatorio of the Divine Comedy is understated and shadow-like. The reader learns of Constance through the speech of her father, Manfred of Sicily, whom Dante meets in the space of Mount Purgatory reserved for excommunicated souls. Manfred begs the poet to bring the truth "if another tale is told [to his] fair daughter, mother of the pride of Sicily and Aragon."[5] Manfred proceeds to tell Dante of how he repented and confessed to God for his "horrible" sins shortly before his death, and was thus saved from an afterlife in Hell, contrary to what others may have thought. Manfred concludes his speech by telling Dante that his sentence in Purgatory may be lessened if those still alive on Earth pray for him, and subsequently by asking Dante to tell Constance of his current placement and of how her "holy prayers" can aid in his movement toward Paradise.[5]

ChildrenEdit

Constance and Peter III of Aragon had six children:

AncestryEdit

Constance's ancestors in three generations
Constance II of Sicily Father:
Manfred of Sicily
Paternal grandfather:
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Paternal great-grandfather:
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Paternal great-grandmother:
Constance of Sicily
Paternal grandmother:
Bianca Lancia
Paternal great-grandfather:
Unknown
Paternal great-grandmother:
Unknown
Mother:
Beatrice of Savoy
Maternal grandfather:
Amadeus IV of Savoy
Maternal great-grandfather:
Thomas I of Savoy
Maternal great-grandmother:
Margaret of Geneva
Maternal grandmother:
Marguerite of Burgundy
Maternal great-grandfather:
Hugh III of Burgundy
Maternal great-grandmother:
Béatrice of Albon

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Runciman 1958, p. 202.
  2. ^ George 1875, p. table XIII.
  3. ^ «Diccionari Biogràfic de Dones: Bella, d'Amichi»
  4. ^ "Constance Hohenstaufen Aragon (1249-1302) - Find..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  5. ^ a b Hollander, Jean and Robert (2003). Translation of Purgatorio. New York: Anchor Books. p. 111. ISBN 0-385-49700-8.

SourcesEdit

  • George, Hereford Brooke (1875). Genealogical Tables Illustrative of Modern History. Oxford at the Clarendon Press.
  • Runciman, Steven (1958). The Sicilian Vespers: A History of the Mediterranean World in the Later Thirteenth Century. Cambridge University Press.


Preceded by
Violant of Hungary
Queen consort of Aragon and Valencia
Countess consort of Barcelona

1276–1285
Succeeded by
Isabella of Castile
Preceded by
Margaret of Burgundy
Queen consort of Sicily
1282–1285
Succeeded by
Isabella of Castile
Preceded by
Conrad II
Queen regnant of Sicily
1268–1285
Succeeded by
James I