||Ruggero II (Altavilla) di Altavilla was a member of aristocracy in Europe.|
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||Roger, King of Sicily
Guillaume I (1154-1166)
Ruggero or Roger of Sicily (b. 22 Dec 1095 - 26 Feb 1154 Palermo, bur Palermo Cathedral), was a young child when his father and brother Simon, Count of Sicily (b. 1093 - d. 28 Sep 1105) died. So he succeeded as Count of Sicily, under the regency of his mother Adelaide Vasto..
Raised in a cosmopolitan Palermo court with Greek and Muslim teachers, he was fluent in Latin, Greek, and Arabic (Italian / Sicilian did not exist at the time, being an unwritten dialect of the lower classes, which gradually formed from Latin) and therefore was able since young age to treat and discuss with other rulers in Sicily or abroad.
He started a policy to consolidate his position and to extend it to Malta and to the Muslim coast of Africa. Reaching majority in 1112, he took control of the government and showed political and administrative skill. He granted equal rights to all citizens, including Muslims, Catholics, Byzantine Greeks, Lombards, and northern Europeans.
In 1126 his cousin Guglielmo duke of Apulia died without heirs, so he had the opportunity of expanding to the continental part of the Altavilla domains without fighting and moved across the Messina straits to take possession of the south of Italy, merging all Norman possession and in the yars '28-'29 his domains were extended also to Naples, Bari, Capua that were still independent.
However Pope Onorio and his successor Innocenzo II did not want to be bordered by a large and well administered modern state, that was unwilling to fight non catholics religions as Greek Orthodox, Hebrew, Moslem and considered equal rights of all citizens. The same was true for some of more important Dukes and Counts,among them his son- in- law Rainulfo di Alife, not used to a central government. This caused some years of unrest, civil war and excommunication, but ended with Roberto being crowned King of Sicily at Palermo in 1134. This is considered the origin of the Kingdoms of Naples and of Sicily which merged in 1816 into the "Kingdom of two Sicilies". If Ruggero I and Roberto ilGuiscardo founded the Norman domain in the south of Italy, Ruggero II completed their task by founding a real state also from the political point of view.The court in Palermo was considered the richest in Europe. The arts and sciences were promoted until Ruggero II died.
<www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/ruggero-II-re-di-sicilia; www.Stupormundi.it/it/ruggero-ii-daltavilla; see also references in those two links />
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