Saturday, September 6, 2008

Relatively Royal

Sleuthing the family historical archives one uncovers interesting topics of conversation usually relegated to the dustbin of time (or things that should remain buried like great old Uncle Luigi's few 'goumada's on the side). So, beyond discovering I was really the long lost heir to the Ferrari fortune (hence speeding my trip across the pond to a reunion of tears of joy and long lost family members and of course, the obligatory shares of stock). Seems I will have to settle for dear old King Ruggero II. Not a bad line of ancestry considering the alternative. You see, no one brags that they can trace direct family lineage to Stalin, for obvious reasons.

So, I guess, Ruggy baby will have to do for now as a great, great, great something-or-other as I continue to see if there is a castle somewhere with my name on it.

And a little history lesson along the way: King of Sicily, the son of Ruggero I. He became count of Sicily in 1113 and began joining all the Norman territories in southern Italy under his rule. In 1127 he was made Duke of Puglia and Calabria, conquered Naples, Capua, and Bari, and in 1130 was crowned King of Sicily by antipope Anacleto II. After defeating a coalition comprising pope, emperor, Venice, Pisa, and the Byzantines, he was recognized king by Pope Innocent II. He expanded further, gaining Tripoli (1146) and Corf├╣ (1147). He strengthened central government and promoted religious tolerance, making his court a haven for scientists, writers, and artists.

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