Une cour à l'épreuve de la conquête : la société curiale et Naples, capitale d'Alphonse le Magnanime (1416-1458)

Abstract : This PhD dissertation focuses on institutional and social aspects of a 15th century court, the court of Alfonso the Magnanimous, king of Aragon and Naples, between 1416 and 1458. The household of Aragon's kings regulated by court ordinances, the last ones being promulgated in 1344. Since this date, a change of dynasty and the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples has deeply affected the institutional structure of the court and the government's practices chosen by King Alfonso. Moreover, there are no longer court ordinances, and consequently, its structure has been neglected by historical research. In order to fill this gap, this dissertation studies the royal household using documentation issued by the royal chancellery, which provides useful data, showing how the Aragonese household is also the beating heart of the royal administration. As Pietro Corrao described it, the Aragonese household is an efficient “household system of government”.After the conquest of southern Italy, their Italians contemporaries consider the royal officers who came with king Alphonso as a hole (they call them “the Catalans”), but an in-depth study shows that they come from different regions and social background. Their massive arrival in Naples after many years of war for the kingdom caused tensions and xenophobia among the Italians. The royal officers settled down in the harbour neighbourhood, under the royal jurisdiction, whereas the Neapolitan nobility and people lives in the upper city, under the city's jurisdiction. This social and political gap leave its mark upon the failed process of urban integration of the newcomers. However, Alfonso uses his capital city as his favourite stage in order to show himself as an up to date Renaissance king, and display many ceremonial events. His antiquity-inspired triumph is the most famous example of this practice.Career analysis applied to Aragonese officials underlines how they had poor futures prospects in the household hierarchy, but also real opportunities to obtain financial reward and above all a very protective legal status. Indeed every member of Alfonso's household enjoys the legal privilege of being under the seneschal's jurisdiction only. The king may choose to additionally grand this privilege to anyone, through the titles of “counsellors” and “familiars”, the later title being lesser than the first.Since the destruction of the medieval archives in Naples during World War II, many of the sources of this work are from Spanish archives that hold Aragonese royal documents, mainly in Barcelona and Valencia. The ancient humanistic historiography about king Alfonso and letters from diplomatic envoys sent in Naples also provided many information, that have been analysed using prosopographical methods. This data supplies many new facts and allows social analysis, which both contribute to deepen our understanding of the history of the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Naples.
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Roxane Chilà. Une cour à l'épreuve de la conquête : la société curiale et Naples, capitale d'Alphonse le Magnanime (1416-1458). Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014MON30074⟩. ⟨tel-01144965⟩

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