The few documents concerning the origins of the House of Savoy are subject to various interpretations and from the time of Amedeo VIII (fifteenth century), until the nineteenth century criteria of justification of a political type were always devised, with the approval of complacent genealogists. At first it was necessary to justify the ducal title obtained by Amedeo VIII in 1416: a writer was found - the medieval chronicler Jean d'Ormeville, who lived in the fifteenth century - who brought the house of Savoy down from the emperor Otto II of Saxony.
In the following century, however, the political interests of the dynasty were linked to its position within the empire and were found other scholars (G. Botero, G. Monod and especially Guichenon) who, while maintaining the Saxon tradition, traced the origins of the family even to Vitichindo, the staunch defender of the Saxons' independence against Charlemagne.
Later, when the Savoy policy was oriented towards Italy, there was an interest in demonstrating the Italian origin of the Savoy house; for this reason several scholars (GF Napione in the eighteenth century, L. Cibrario in the nineteenth century and others) turned their attention to the last sovereign of the Italic kingdom of the early Middle Ages and, albeit with solutions varying in details, they found the progenitor in Berengario II of Ivrea. He had been deposed by Otto I in 961, therefore he was the victim of that family from which the Savoy once believed or wanted to descend. A local, Burgundian solution, devised by D. Carutti in the nineteenth century and founded on the existence of a pair of Amedeo and Umberto, is equally hypothetical.
In the twentieth century the origin was instead sought or in the Provencal dynasty connected to a Carolingian (CW Previté Orton, Baudi di Vesme, F. Gabotto and others) or to a family of Viennese descendant, by female line, Lothair II of Lotaringia, also he is a Carolingian (G. de Manteyer).
Counts of Savoy.
These presumed origins have now been rejected by the most important scholars (F. Cognasso, Maria José of Belgium, consort of Umberto II) as well as conjecture. The only sure point of departure of the dynasty is the count Umberto I Biancamano (m 1048), that, already lord of the counties of Savoia (103?), Of Belley, Sion and Aosta, to the disintegration of the kingdom of Burgundy (1032) he sided with Corrado II, obtaining as a reward the county of Moriana in Val d'Isère and Chiablese (about 1034).
His sons Amedeo I, known as Coda (about 1051) and Oddone (1060 m), succeeded him and, finally, married Adelaide, daughter and heir of Olderico Manfredi, lord of Turin, Susa, Ivrea, Pinerolo and Caraglio. notably its domains in Piedmont. From him came Berta (1051-1087) and Adelaide (1079 m), future wives of Henry IV and Rudolf of Sweden, and successors Peter I (about 1048-1078) and Amedeo II (1080 m) who exercised, however a power more than anything nominal, since the effective government of the State remained in Adelaide's firm hands until his death.
The crown then passed in a direct male line to Umberto II the Reinforced (m 1103) who saw usurp many of the Piedmontese territories from rebels and pretenders to the legacy of Adelaide, to Amadeus III (c. 1094 - 1148), whose sister Adelaide (1092 - 1154) married the king of France Louis the Great in 1115 and whose daughter Matilde (or Mafalda, 1158) was married to Alfonso I of Portugal (about 1146), then to Umberto III the Blessed ( 1136 - 1189), fiercely opposed to Barbarossa and therefore banned by the Empire, and finally to Thomas I (1178 - 1233) who, appointed imperial vicar from Frederick II (1225), began to re-establish the dominions of the family in Piedmont and expanded the possessions beyond the Alps.
At the death of Thomas I the long-standing antagonisms between the members of the family led (1233) to the division of possessions between Amedeo IV (about 1197 - 1253), which maintained beyond the direct dominion over the assets of France the feudal superiority and the title of Count of Savoy, and his brother Thomas II, who received from the first the lands of Italy from Avigliana down and assumed the title of Prince of Piedmont.
To Amedeo IV, whose first-born daughter Beatrice (before 1259) had married in 1247 Manfredi di Hohenstaufen then king of Sicily, succeeded Bonifacio (1244 - 1263), under the regency of the mother Cecilia del Balzo until 1259; at his death he took over (against the will of his father who had established him succeeded Thomas II, firstborn son of Thomas I) first his uncle Peter II called the Little Charlemagne (1203 - 1268) and then Philip I (1207 - 1285), brother of the previous one.
After him he ascended the throne in 1285 Amedeo V the Great, (1252/53 - 1323), second son of Thomas II, but the oppositions of relatives opposed to him were only subsided following an arbitration decision of 1285 which led to a further division of the assets of the house. According to it, Amedeo V and his male descendants were in fact recognized the county of Savoia and the feudal superiority over each branch of the family; the country of Vaud was assigned to the brother of Amedeo, Ludovico I (1250 - 1302), which gave rise to the Savoy-Vaud line - then died in 1359 when Catherine (m 1373), daughter of Ludwig II (ca. 1269- 1348), he ceded his possessions for money to Amedeo VI - and a part of Piedmont (the other two thirds remained nominally to Amedeo V) was confirmed to the nephew of Thomas II, Philip I (1274 - 1334), initiator of the line that was called of the Savoia-Achaia following his marriage (1301) with Isabella di Villehardouin, heir of the Principality of Achaia.
Amedeo V succeeded the two sons: first Edward the Liberal (1284 - 1329) and then Aimone the Pacific (1291 - 1343), while one of their sisters, Anna, in 1326 went as a wife to Andronico III Paleologo Byzantine emperor.
After Aimone, whose second daughter Bianca in 1350 married Galeazzo II Visconti, Amadeo VI, known as Conte Verde (1334 - 1383), husband of Bona di Borbone and a skilled politician who in 1359 succeeded in re-establishing the land of Vaud.
He was succeeded in direct line by Amedeo VII called the Red Count (1360 - 1391), whose tragic death caused violent struggles between his mother and his wife Bona di Berry; Amedeo VIII known as the Pacific (1383 - 1451), who definitively united Piedmont to the ancestral domains after the extinction of the branch of Achaia (1418) and assumed first the title of Duke of Savoy (1416); Ludovico (1413 - 1465), lieutenant on behalf of his father since 1434 and vain pretender to the succession of Filippo Maria Visconti who in 1428 had married his sister Maria (1411 - 1469); Amedeo IX the Blessed (1435 - 1472), a sister of whom, Carlotta (1445 - 1483), married in 1451 the dolphin of France, the future king Louis XI; and finally Filiberto I the Hunter (1465 - 1482) under the regency of the mother Iolanda of France, sister of Louis XI; he was continually threatened by relatives who took possession of his lands several times.
Filiberto took over his brother Charles I the Warrior (1468 - 1490) who in 1485 also assumed the title of King of Cyprus and Jerusalem ceded to him by Carlotta di Lusignano, wife of the brother of Amedeo IX, Ludovico di Savoia.
He was succeeded by Carlo Giovanni Amedeo (1489 - 1496) who, still a child, left the duchy to the great-uncle, Count of Bresse, Philip II il Senza Terra (1443 - 1497), followed by his sons Filiberto II il Bello (1480 - 1504 ) who left the administration of the state to his half-brother Renato called the Grand Bastard and Charles II the Good (1486 - 1553) who lost almost all his possessions during the wars between France and Spain.
One of the brothers of the latter, Philip (1490 - 1533), was invested by Francis I of the Duchy of Nemours (1528) and began the branch of the Savoy-Nemours, which was made famous by James and Henry and that became extinct in 1659 with his nephew Enrico (1625 - 1659).
Carlo II was succeeded by his son Emanuele Filiberto known as Testa di Ferro (1528 - 1580), husband of Margherita di Valois and restorer of the State of Savoy. After his death, his son Carlo Emanuele I (1562 - 1630) had the duchy from 1580, from which, among others, Emanuele Filippo (1586 - 1605), who died prematurely, was born; Vittorio Amedeo I (1587 - 1637), his successor from 1630; Filiberto (1588-1624), valiant general at the service of Spain, who in 1614 thwarted the attempt to disembark in Sicily of the Turks; Maurizio, cardinal; and Tommaso Francesco, initiator of the Savoia-Carignano and Savoia-Soissons lines.
On the death of Vittorio Amedeo I, who left the State practically vassal of Louis XIII, the widow Christine of France called Madame Reale held the regency, who had to fight fiercely with Maurizio and Tommaso Francesco to preserve the crown to his sons Francesco Giacinto (1632 - 1638 ) and Carlo Emanuele II (1634 - 1675).
In 1875 Carlo Emanuele II succeeded his son Vittorio Amedeo II (1666 - 1732), who strengthened his dominions and in 1713 obtained the crown of Sicily (at the end of the Spanish succession war) then commuted in 1720 with that of Sardinia. It will be Vittorio Amedeo II who will adopt the FERT motto for the House of Savoy.
After his abdication (1730) he was succeeded by Carlo Emanuele III (1701 - 1773), king of Sardinia from 1730, who brought the boundaries of the state up to Ticino and whose sisters Adelaide (1685 - 1712) and Maria Luisa Gabriella (1688 - 1714) respectively married Louis, Duke of Burgundy (1697) and Philip V King of Spain (1701).
The new king, from 1773 Vittorio Amedeo III (1726 - 1796), who was beaten by Napoleon and had to submit to the humiliating Treaty of Cherasco, then took over one after the other the sons Carlo Emanuele IV (1751 - 1819), deprived of all the possessions of Piedmont, Vittorio Emanuele I (1759 - 1824), forced to abdicate from the liberal revolutionary uprisings in 1821, and Carlo Felice (1756 - 1831) King of Sardinia from 1821, last heir of the direct branch.
The princesses of this period, however, were noted for illustrious marriages. Among the daughters of Vittorio Amedeo III, in fact, Maria Giuseppina (1753 - 1810) married (1771) the Count of Provence, then King of France with the name of Louis XVIII, and Maria Teresa (1756 - 1805) went as a wife (1773) to the count of Artois then Charles X; while the daughters of Vittorio Emanuele I, Maria Beatrice Vittoria (1792 - 1840), Maria Anna (1803 - 1884) and Maria Cristina (1812 - 1836) respectively married Francesco IV, duke of Modena (1812), Ferdinando I emperor of Austria ( 1831) and Ferdinand II of Bourbon king of the Two Sicilies (1832). The newest daughter, Maria Teresa, married Charles II, Duke of Lucca and then of Parma.
After the death of Carlo Felice who, as has been mentioned, did not leave descendants, the succession to the throne passed to the next closest line, that is to that of the Carignano represented by Carlo Alberto (1798-1849) who abdicated after the First World War. independence against Austria, while his sister Maria Elisabetta (1800-1856) had married in 1820 Archduke Ranieri of Hapsburg viceroy of Lombardy-Veneto.
Carlo Alberto followed in direct line: Vittorio Emanuele II (1820-1878), married to Princess Maria Adelaide of Austria, king of Sardinia until 1861 and from that year first king of Italy united; from which he was born: Umberto I (1844-1900), whose sister Clotilde, Countess of Moncalieri, married (1859) Napoleon Girolamo Bonaparte and whose brother Amedeo Ferdinando Maria (1845-1890), taking wife Maria Vittoria from the Well of the Cisterna (1867), gave rise to the branch of the Savoia-Aosta and was also king of Spain (1870-1873), the other sister Maria Pia married the king of Portugal Louis I; married to Princess Margherita di Savoia-Genoa; from which he was born: Vittorio Emanuele III (1869-1947), King of Italy (1900-1946), Emperor of Ethiopia (1936-1946) and King of Albania (1939-1946), married to Princess Elena of Montenegro , from which they were born: Iolanda (1901-1988), married to Count Carlo Calvi of Bergolo, Mafalda (1902-1944), married to Prince Filippo d'Assia, Giovanna (1907-2000), married to the tsar of Bulgaria Boris III , Maria (1914-2001), married to Prince Luigi di Borbone-Parma, Umberto (1904-1983).
Umberto II (1904-1983), lieutenant of the kingdom from 5 June 1944 to 9 May 1946, King of Italy from 9 May to 2 June 1946, married to Maria José of Belgium.