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27 Jul

War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282 – 1302)

Sicilian Vespers, Francesco Hayez

Sicilian Vespers, Francesco Hayez

The War of the Sicilian Vespers broke out at the church at Palermo at evening prayer – vespers on Easter Monday (March 30), 1282. A Frenchman harassed a Sicilian woman which provoked the crowd that was on the way to the evening prayer and resulted in revolt and massacre of nearly all French in Sicily. The Sicilians turned to Peter III of Aragon for military assistance against the Angevin ruler of Naples and Sicily, Charles I of Naples and offered him the Sicilian throne. Peter III of Aragon accepted the offer, invaded Sicily and defeated Charles I of Anjou who withdrew in Southern Italy and established the Kingdom of Naples in 1282. The struggle between the Angevin kings of Naples and the Aragonese kings of Sicily over Sicilian throne continued for two decades until 1302 when the Peace of Caltabellotta divided the old Kingdom of Sicily into an island and a peninsular kingdom with Aragon dynasty keeping Sicily and Angevin dynasty retaining the Southern Italy as the Kingdom of Naples.

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