Historical figure Brancaleone Doria

Born in: 1337  - Died in: 1409
Brancaleone Doria, was an illegitimate son, born in 1337 from a relationship of Brancaleone father, son of Barnabò Doria and Eleonora Fieschi, with Giacomina, a concubine of an unknown family. The great-grandson of Branca Doria, a scion of the Genoese family, obtained on 16 March 1357 from Pietro IV of Aragon the legitimation papers conferred upon him by the lands and castles of northern Sardinia: the Lordship of Castelgenovese (the present Castelsardo), of Monteleone and of Castel Doria and the incontcunities of Nurcara, Cabuabbas, Anglona and Bisarcio.

Brancaleone politically allied with the Bas-Serra family, marrying the death of Mariano IV d'Arborea, in 1376, his daughter, the famous Eleonora (36). He had already had two illegitimate children, Giannettino and Nicolò, from a woman who remained anonymous.

The residences of Brancaleone were three: the castle of Chiaramonti (1357), the fortress of the Dorias in Castelsardo (then Castelgenovese) and Monteleone Rocca Doria. When, in 1376, the thirty-nine Doria married Eleonora d'Arborea (perhaps in San Pantaleo a Sorso), they resided for six years (with a brief parenthesis in Genoa), until 1382, in the fortress of Castelgenovese. Here their two sons were born: Federico (1377) and Mariano (1379) who will become judges of Arborea. Following the death of Eleonora and his sons, Brancaleone will retire to this castle, where he will be captured by the Aragonese or perhaps by the viscount of Narbonne.

The Doria also lived in the village castle of Monteleone Rocca Doria - 13 km², 100 inhabitants -, located in the hinterland of Alghero. The Count of Monteleone convened frequent meetings with his most trusted men to plan military activity. The village was a free Municipality of Cabuabbas, with its own laws, status and currency. Returned from Spanish captivity, Brancaleone lived briefly with Eleonora also in the Judicial palace of Oristano or in the summer residence of Monreale. With the assassination in 1383 of Ugone III, son of Mariano IV and brother of Eleonora, together with his daughter and heir Benedetta, he succeeded, to the throne of the Judgment of Arborea the son Federico.

Brancaleone Doria had gone to Barcelona, ​​as consort of the regent, to start peace negotiations, but after resisting an attempt at corruption (he was credited with the title of Count of Monteleone, who not by chance remembered the place where he had defeated Mariano IV), he was arrested and taken to captivity in Cagliari.

Eleonora ruled the righteous in the name of her son Frederick, and after the death of these still at a young age, in the name of the second son Mariano.

On 24 January 1388, after long negotiations, a peace was signed between the Catalan-Aragonese and Arborea. According to the agreements, the cities, villas and places occupied by the previous judges of Arborea were returned to the Aragonese Crown. Brancaleone was however released only on 1 January 1390.

Definitively converted to the Arborea, Doria resumed the war against the Aragonese; on the first of April 1391 he marched against Castel di Cagliari; on 16 August, with his son Mariano at his side, he occupied Sassari and Osilo. In September he conquered the castle of Fava, Galtellì, Bonvehì and Pedreso, leaving only Alghero and Longosardo to their adversaries. On October 3 he entered Villa di Chiesa. In a letter written to Sanluri on February 3, 1392 Brancaleone announced that he had resumed all the territories owned in 1388.

Eleonora, meanwhile, was dedicated to the updating of the Carta de Logu, written by Mariano IV and Ugone III: around 1404 the charismatic judge (who still overshadows the figure of the consort) died, perhaps of plague. Brancaleone made the mistake of posing as a judge, he went on alone, and this caused disagreements with his son Mariano.

In 1407, while besieging Castel di Castro, the sudden death of his son Mariano V forced him to renounce and retire to Castelgenovese (probably due to conflicts of succession with his nephew of the sister-in-law Beatrice, William III of Narbonne), where he was captured and killed by the Catalan-Aragonese, before the battle of Sanluri, in January 1409.

The causes and the place of Doria's death do not know each other and some do not exclude the hypothesis of murder. The only authentic portrait of Brancaleone Doria, together with those of Eleonora and Ugone III, can be seen in the church of San Gavino Martire (San Gavino Monreale).

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