Maria, Queen of Sicily

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Maria of Sicily
Maria I regina di sicilia.jpg
Queen of Sicily
Reign 27 July 1377 – 25 May 1401
Coronation 1377, Palermo
Predecessor Frederick the Simple
Successor Martin the Younger
Co-ruler Martin the Younger
Born 2 July 1363
Catania, Kingdom of Sicily
Died 25 May 1401(1401-05-25) (aged 37)
Lentini, Kingdom of Sicily
Spouse Martin the Younger
Issue Peter of Sicily
House Aragón
Father Frederick the Simple
Mother Constance of Aragon
Religion Roman Catholicism

Maria (2 July 1363 – 25 May 1401) was Queen of Sicily and Duchess of Athens and Neopatria from 1377 until her death.


Born in Catania, she was the daughter and heir of Frederick the Simple by his first wife Constance of Aragon. As she was thirteen years old at the time of her father's death in 1377, her government was effectively taken over by four baronial families who styled themselves "vicars".


The regent named by Maria's father, Artale Alagona, was initially forced to form a government with three other Vicars, including Francesco II count of Ventimiglia, Manfredi III Chiaramonte, count of Modica, and Guglielmo Peralta, count of Caltabellotta, a parity of exponents of the "Sicilian" and "Aragonese" parties. However, the four men ruled in their separate baronial lands alone. In 1379 she was kidnapped by count William Raymond of Montcada, Sicilian nobleman and member of the Aragonese House of Montcada, to prevent her marriage with Giangaleazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, and imprisoned for two years at Licata. Montcada's move had been approved by her grandfather King Peter IV of Aragon. In 1382 Maria was rescued by an Aragonese fleet; she was taken first to Sardinia, then, in 1384, to Aragon, where she was married to Martin the Younger, the grandson of Peter IV (1389).


In 1392 Maria and Martin returned with a military force and defeated the opposing barons, ruling jointly until Maria's death in 1401. At that time, Martin repudiated the Treaty of Villeneuve (1372) and ruled Sicily alone. She also survived their only son, Peter (1398–1400). The kingdom remained without a crown prince and this caused a succession crisis for Martin, who ruled by right of his wife. Frederick the Simple had named his illegitimate son, William, Count of Malta, as heir presumptive in the case of the extinction of his daughter's line. William had died in c. 1380, but he had a daughter, Joan, wife of the Sicilian nobleman Pietro di Gioeni. She, however, cannot have contested her uncle's claim since Martin continued to rule unopposed until his death.

Maria of Sicily died at Lentini in 1401.



  • Lo Forte Scirpo, Maria Rita (2003). C'era una volta una regina...: due donne per un regno: Maria d'Aragona e Bianca di Navarra. Naples: Liguori. ISBN 88-207-3527-X.

External links

  • Cawley, Charles, SICILY, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy
Maria, Queen of Sicily
Cadet branch of the House of Barcelona
Born: 2 July 1363 Died: 25 May 1401
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Frederick the Simple
Queen of Sicily
With: Martin the Younger
Succeeded by
Martin the Younger
Duchess of
and Neopatria

With: Peter IV of Aragon
Succeeded by
Nerio I Acciaioli
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