Sicily and Naples Timeline
- 652 First invasion of Sicily by Moors from Morocco. It was shortlived. Trading agreements were arranged with Constantinople, and Arab merchants were allowed to trade goods at the Sicilian ports. Attacks continue however, and in 740 they took Syracuse, but then a Berber revolt forced them to withdraw. A peace treaty in 812 between the Byzantine Empire and the Western Emperor Charlemagne, reaffirmed Constantinople's rule over Sicily.
- 826 Euphemius a local military commander rebelled against the imperial governor, and invited the Arabs to aid him, thus beginning the Muslim conquest of Sicily. In 828 Euphemius was killed, and in 831 an Arab invasion saw the Emirate of Sicily established in Palermo.
- 878 Syracuse, the earlier Byzantine capital fell to the Arabs. Most of the conflict ended by 902, although Rometta in the far northeast of the island held out until 965. An Arab-Christian culture developed, producing a multiconfessional and multilingual state.
- 1038 George Maniakes, a Byzantine general together with Norman mercenaries (from Norway) defeated the Emir at Syracuse. However Maniakes was recalled to Constantinople shortly after, and the Arabs retook the island.
- 1071 The Norman mercenaries returned led by Roger I from Normandy in France. They captured Palermo in 1072, Syracuse in 1086. The last Arab city in the island, Noto, was conquered in 1091.
- 1137 Roger I's son, Roger II took Naples.
Note, from 603-840 the dukes who ruled over Naples had been appointed by Constantinople. From 840, Naples was then ruled by local dukes (independently of Constantinople, and somewhat independent of the papacy). Now Naples and Sicily became a single kingdom.
- 1194 Henry VI (Hohenstaufen), Holy Roman Emperor, who had married Constance, a posthumous daughter of Roger II, became king over Naples and Sicily.
- 1266 Charles I (Anjou), the son of King Louis VIII of France, at the invitation of the Pope, defeated Manfred, son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, taking the Kingdom of Sicily and Naples. However, his reign over Sicily was brief.
- 1282 Peter III of Aragon (Spain), husband of Constance (who was Manfred's daughter), at the invitation of Sicily forced Charles out of Sicily, splitting the kingdom in two.
- 1442 Alfonso V of Aragon (Spain), following his adoption in 1421 by the childless Queen Joanna II of Naples, besieged and conquered the Kingdom of Naples, reunifying it with Sicily. Spain ruled mostly from then, right up until 1860 (although with occasional defeats by France). France abandoned its claim to the Kingdom of Sicily in 1559.
- 1700 Philip V, grandson of Louis XIV (Bourbon) of France, became King of Spain, a linking together of two monarchies that was opposed by most of Europe. In 1701, it was followed by war. Following the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Naples was ceded briefly to the Holy Roman Empire (based in Austria). Sicily was ceded briefly to Victor Amadeus of Savoy (a tiny region in the Western Alps) also in 1713, before coming under the Holy Roman Empire in 1720.
- 1734 Philip's son Charles III (Bourbon) of Spain conquered the Austrians, retaking the throne.
The House of Bourbon subsequently ruled Naples and Sicily until 1860 when Garibaldi unified all of Italy.
Except for two interruptions by Napoleon's troops
- In Naples in 1799 for five months (January-June) until Naples was relieved by English, Russian and Turkish troops and
- In Naples again in 1806 when Napoleon appointed his brother Joseph to be king for two years, followed by Napoleon's brother-in-law Joachim Murat, from 1808 to 1815.
The last Bourbon King of the Two Sicilies (its name from 1816 - 1860), was Francis II
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