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 Simon of Taranto

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Melisende
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PostSubject: Simon of Taranto   Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:18 am

Simon

Prince of Taranto
Illegitimate son of Roger II, King of Sicily; and half-brother of William I, King of Sicily.

Simon bore King William a grudge since he was refused to be allowed to retain the Principality of Taranto, which their father Roger II, had bestowed upon him (1144). William deemed the Principality too important a fief to remain in the hands of a bastard.

Simon did not conceal his hatred for his brother - and this was duly noted by other malcontents. Simon was approached by Matthew Bonnellus to support his plan to remove King William abd place the young Prince Roger on the throne (1161). Tancred of Lecce, bastard son of Roger, Duke of Apulia (William's legitimate brother) also gave his support to the plan.

In Palermo, Simon and Tancred led rebels into and through the palace - the King was captured as were the Queen and princes (9/3/1161). Prince Roger was acclaimed through the city streets - the conspirators favoured Simon for the succession. Sicily soon rose against the conspirators in favour of their legal King. Simon and Tancred rode off to Bonnellus at Mistretta. In their absence, the King was released.

Simon and Tancred then moved to Caccamo with Bonnellus and made one last ditch attack on Favara and the outlying area. They would soon be outnumbered by William's army and fleet. They retreated to Caccamo and William offered generous terms for their surrender. Simon and Tancred agreed to go into exile - they were given passage to Terracena. It is thought that Simon may have undertaken a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Following the death of King William I (7/5/1166) and the succession of the young William II, there were growing fears that the ever unreliable aristocracy would move to place Simon on the throne. But this did not eventuate. And nothing more is heard of Simon.


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