Constance of Aragon (1179-1222)

Article

July 1, 2022

Constance of Aragon (1179-Catania, Sicily, June 23, 1222)[1] was princess of Aragon, queen consort of Hungary (1196-1204) and of Sicily (1209-1222), and empress consort of the Holy Roman Empire Germanicus (1212-1222).

Biography

She was the eldest of the daughters of Alfonso II el Casto, King of Aragon, and his wife, Sancha de Castilla. She was the sister of King Pedro II the Catholic.[2] On her mother's side she was the granddaughter of Alfonso VII the Emperor, King of León and Castile. Her father died in 1196 and Constance's fate was decided by her brother, the new King Pedro II. Peter arranged her marriage to King Emeric I of Hungary, a nineteen-year-old Constance leaves Aragon for Hungary, where she celebrates her marriage to Emeric in 1198. The following year (1199), she gives birth to a son, Ladislaus. On August 26, 1204, Emeric, sensing death near, crowns his son as king on August 26, 1204. The king wanted to ensure his succession and made his brother Andrew promise to protect the child and help him rule the kingdom. from Hungary until he reached adulthood. Emeric died three months later, on November 30, 1204. He was succeeded by the newborn Ladislaus, who was named Ladislaus III; as regent, remains, by express order of the king, his younger brother Andrés. However, he soon begins to make life difficult for the boy-king and his mother, he assumed all royal authority, while Ladislaus and Constance remained practically prisoners. The widow Constance is imprisoned by Andrew II, and her enormous treasures worth 30,000 marks were taken to the headquarters of the Stephanite Knights Hospitaller in Szentkirály. Shortly after, Constance managed to flee to Vienna with Ladislaus. The two found refuge in the court of Leopold VI of Austria, but unexpectedly, little Ladislaus III died the following year, on May 7, 1205, at the age of six. The former regent and now the new king, Andrew II, claims the body of his nephew, which is entombed in the royal crypt at Székesfehérvár in Hungary. Duke Leopold sent Constance back to Aragon. Upon her arrival, she takes up residence at the Abbey of Our Lady in Sigena, where her mother, the queen-dowager Sancha, was Abbess.[3] Her position as eldest daughter of the king and dowager-queen of Hungary, as well as her illustrious lineage, once again made her a key player in the intricate political environment of that time. Her brother Peter II, interested in an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, betrothed her to King Frederick II of Germany, several years her junior.[3] As for Frederick, he was pressured into this marriage by his tutor, Pope Innocent III, according to him, because Constance was very Catholic. Constanza leaves her homeland again, this time never to return. She travels to the Sicilian city of Messina, where she celebrates her wedding with Federico in 1209. The following year, in 1211, she gives birth to her second son —but the firstborn of her second marriage—, Enrique, who is invested Duke of Swabia by his father and would have a tragic end in 1244. In 1212 she is crowned together with her husband Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. She died in Catania on June 23, 1222. Her remains are in the Cathedral of Palermo, in a Roman sarcophagus, with a precious tiara of oriental bill.

Popular Culture

Constanza de Aragón is one of the protagonists of the novel Imperator (2010) by the writer Isabel San Sebastián.

References

External Links

Wikimedia Commons hosts a media category for Constanza de Aragón.