Philippa of Catania
Philippa of Catania, also known Philippa the Catanian or Filippa Catanese (died in 1345), was a Sicilian woman of low birth who became an influential figure in the royal court of the Kingdom of Naples.
Born in Catania, Philippa was a local fisherman's daughter. Boccaccio, who met her when she was already an elderly woman, noticed that she was "attractive in manner and appearance". She worked as a washerwoman when Robert, Duke of Calabria—son of Charles II, King of Naples—invaded Catania in 1328. His wife, Violante of Aragon, accompanied him to the military campaign. After discovering her pregnancy, Violante had to hire local staff and she chose Philippa as wet nurse for her son, Charles. Philippa was a diligent servant and Violante brought her back to Naples after her husband had been forced to withdraw his troops from Sicily.
Career and fallEdit
Philippa was married off to Raymond de Campagne, a former slave of Ethiopian origin. Being Charles II's favorite and a successful military commander, Raymond had become one of the wealthiest landowners in the Kingdom of Naples.
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