Aragonese Conquest of Sardinia (1323–1326)
PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: Aragon vs. Pisa and Genoa
PRINCIPAL THEATER(S): Corsica and Sardinia
DECLARATION: None recorded
MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: The Aragonese were
embarked on nearly a century of maritime expansion
in the Mediterranean and sought to assert their control
over Corsica and Sardinia, granted years before under
the Treaty of Anagni.
OUTCOME: Aragon expelled the Pisans and Genoese from
Sardinia but failed to take Corsica, which came under the
full dominance of Genoa.
APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MEN UNDER ARMS:
During the 13th century, as expanding Christian powers
fought back the Moors on the Iberian Peninsula, Aragon
grew steadily in influence at the expense of the larger and
at first more glorious kingdom of Castile. King Pedro III
(1239–85) led Aragon on its march to become the most
powerful state in the Mediterranean, forming an alliance
with the Byzantine Empire and launching the War of the
SICILIAN VESPERS, a war that would last some 20 years,
during which he was excommunicated by the pope and
successfully defended his throne against Rome-backed
French pretenders. His son and successor, Alfonso III
(1265–91), and his successor, James II (c. 1260–1327),
inherited not only the Aragon Crown but also the ongoing
war. When it ended in 1295, James gave up Aragon’s
rights to Sicily in exchange for control of Sardinia and
Corsica under the Treaty of Anagni.
Pisa and Genoa also eyed Corsica and Sardinia.
Indeed, Sardinia already was dominated by Pisans in
Cagliari and Iglesias. James understood that the conquest
of Sardinia would require a substantial use of force. In
1323 he sent a fleet, under his son Alfonso (1299–1336),
later King Alfonso IV, to pacify Pisa and Genoa. Within
three years, both Iglesias and Cagliari had fallen to
Aragon. Nevertheless, neither the Pisans nor the Genoese
abandoned Sardinia. The struggle for control consumed
30 years and, even at the end of that period, a Pisan presence
remained. It was not purged until 1421. As for Corsica,
Aragon never dislodged the Genoese, who assumed
complete control of the island by 1434.
See also ARAGONESE-GENOESE WAR.
Further reading: Raymond Carr, Spain: A History
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); Bernard F.
Reilly, The Medieval Spains (New York: Cambridge University