Constance II of Sicily (c. 1249 – 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. She was the only daughter of Manfred of Sicily and his first wife, Beatrice of Savoy.
|Constance II of Sicily|
|Queen consort of Aragon|
|Tenure||27 July 1276 – November 1285|
|Queen regnant of Sicily|
|Reign||1282 – November 1285|
Kingdom of Sicily
|Died||9 April 1302 (aged 52–53)|
Barcelona, Crown of Aragon
|Spouse||Peter III of Aragon|
|Issue||Alfonso III of Aragon|
James II of Aragon
Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal
Frederick III of Sicily
Yolande, Duchess of Calabria
Peter of Aragon
|Father||Manfred of Sicily|
|Mother||Beatrice of Savoy|
Constance was largely raised by Bella d'Amichi, who remained her favorite and confidante as queen. On 13 June 1262, Constance married Peter, eldest son of King 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.
Role in Dante's Divine ComedyEdit
Though most historical sources have little 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." 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.
Constance and Peter III of Aragon had six children:
- Alfonso III of Aragon ( 4 November 1265 – 18 June 1291).
- James II of Aragon ( 10 August 1267 – 2 November 1327).
- Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal (c. 1271 – 4 July 1336). Married Denis of Portugal.
- Frederick III of Sicily ( 13 December 1272 – 25 June 1337).
- Yolande, Duchess of Calabria (c. 1273 – August 1302). Married Robert of Naples.
- Peter of Aragon (c. 1275 – 25 August 1296). Married Guillemette of Béarn, daughter of Gaston VII, Viscount of Béarn.
|Constance II of Sicily||Father:
Manfred of Sicily
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Constance of Sicily
Beatrice of Savoy
Amadeus IV of Savoy
Thomas I of Savoy
Margaret of Geneva
Marguerite of Burgundy
Hugh III of Burgundy
Béatrice of Albon
- Runciman 1958, p. 202.
- George 1875, p. table XIII.
- «Diccionari Biogràfic de Dones: Bella, d'Amichi»
- "Constance Hohenstaufen Aragon (1249-1302) - Find..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
- Hollander, Jean and Robert (2003). Translation of Purgatorio. New York: Anchor Books. p. 111. ISBN 0-385-49700-8.
- 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.