Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aragonese-Genoese War (1352–1354)

Aragonese-Genoese War (1352–1354)

PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: Aragon (with Venice and
Catalonia) vs. Genoa and Sardinian rebels

PRINCIPAL THEATER(S): Sardinia and Corsica


MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: Sardinia, taking advantage
of troubles in Aragon, rebelled against Aragonese rule
over the island; Genoa moved onto Sardinia to reclaim its
former hegemony; Aragon fought to suppress the
rebellion and reconquer Sardinia from Genoa.

OUTCOME: Aragon defeated the rebels, expelled the
Genoese, and established a troubled hegemony over




During the 13th century Europe’s efforts to reconquer the
Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim Moors had led to the
birth of a number of virtually autonomous principalities
and kingdoms in present-day Spain. Among them was
Aragon, which by the beginning of the 13th century was
on its way to becoming a major power in the Mediterranean.
After taking Sicily in the War of the SICILIAN VESPERS
Aragon went on to capture Sardinia from Genoa and
Under King Pedro IV (1319–87) long-lasting trouble with
the Aragonese nobles culminated in a violent civil war (see
ARAGONESE CIVILWAR). The Sardinians took the opportunity
at that point to rise up against their local Aragonese
rulers, and the Genoese, who had formerly run the island
state, moved in to recapture their lost lands. Pedro secured
an alliance with Venice and Catalonia to aid in suppressing
the revolt in Sardinia. To neutralize the Genoese, who
had taken advantage of the internal disorders to recover
Sardinia, Pedro prevailed on his allies to do battle at sea.
The Genoese were defeated in a naval battle in 1352, but a
storm dispersed the Venetian and Catalan attacking fleet,
giving the Genoese an opportunity to regroup. Thus reformed,
a Genoese naval force attacked positions on the
Sardinian and Corsican coasts. Pedro’s forces pulled back,
and Genoa installed Mariano de Arborea (d. 1368) as king
of Sardinia.
Undaunted, the allies mounted a new naval offensive
and in 1353 defeated the Genoese off the coast of Sardinia
at Alghero. This time, after so hard won a victory, Pedro
personally led troops when, in 1354, renewed rebellion
erupted in Sardinia. He had no intention of giving the
Genoese a fresh opening. Although the rebellion was not
entirely crushed, an advantageous, albeit informal, peace
was established. Nevertheless, while Aragonese rule had
been more than nominally restored, rebellion persisted
sporadically into the next century.

Further reading: A. Hyde, Society and Politics in
Medieval Italy (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1973);
Anthony Molho and Kurt Raaflaub, City States in Classical
Antiquity and Medieval Italy (Ann Arbor: University of
Michigan Press, 1992); Bernard F. Reilly, The Medieval
Spains (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

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