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Les corses et la couronne d’Aragon fin XIIIe- milieu XVe siècle. Projets politiques et affrontement des légitimités

Abstract : The claims of the Crown of Aragon on Corsica go back to 1297, the year Pope Boniface VIII, eager to form an alliance with King James II of Aragon, bestowed on him the opportunely-created Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica. It was for the King to turn this theoretical allegiance into an effective domination. During the first half of the XIV Century, the Catalan-Aragonese concentrated their efforts on Sardinia but found it hard to impose their rule on Corsica, where the Commune of Genoa already had many strongholds. Corsicans, caught in the midst of this conflict opposing two great Mediterranean powers, were careful not to choose sides hastily. The lords of the island first made alliances with those rival suzerains, in an attempt to favour their own seigneuries. The situation changed radically after 1358, when the Corsican peoples rebelled against their lords and obtained the help of the Commune of Genoa, which then took the control of Northern Corsica, now “Terra del Commune”.Rejecting this popular – and Genovese- legitimacy, some “Cinarchesi” barons succeeded in reconquering their Southern seigneuries, with the help of the King of Aragon, the enemy of Genoa and lawful suzerain. This changed the very nature of the Aragonese alliance – initially meant as a diplomatic covenant between two foreign powers, it now became a major issue inside Corsican society. Corsican lords, such as Arrigo della Rocca or Vincentellod’Istria, emerged as leaders of a royalist party, opposed to Genoa and benefitting from the help of the Crown of Aragon. For them, the alliance was also an asset in their own plan to turn Corsica into one single seigneury. The island became the scene of many a clash between competitive political agendas, in which each player – both local and foreign, tried to assert its claim to rule Corsica.Studying the ties formed between Corsicans and the Crown of Aragon from the XIII Century to the XV Century amounts to analyzing the situation from two perspectives – a Mediterranean one, which comprehends Corsica in the vast conflict between Genoa and Aragon and aims to understand the nature of the political plan of the Crown of Aragon as regarded Corsica, and a local one, which focuses on the extent to which Corsicans absorbed the Aragonese reality. The latter perspective highlights the specificities and evolutions of Corsican political culture and, in particular, issues such as the legitimacy of power and its representation.My research is, for the most part, based on documents from theArchivo de la Corona de Aragón in Barcelona, so far hardly exploited as regards Corsica, and in particular on the registers of the Cancilleria Real. Aragonese sources are confronted with Corsican, Italian and Catalan chronicles, as well as with the documents from the Archivio di Stato di Genova, in order to present as many different perspectives and axes of study as possible.
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Philippe Colombani. Les corses et la couronne d’Aragon fin XIIIe- milieu XVe siècle. Projets politiques et affrontement des légitimités. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Pascal Paoli, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015CORT0012⟩. ⟨tel-01408890⟩

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