Joan I of Naples (1326–1382)

views updated

Joan I of Naples (13261382)

Queen of Naples, the daughter of Duke Charles of Calabria and the niece of King Philip VI of France. She was engaged to Prince Andrew of Anjou, but when Prince Andrew inherited the throne of Hungary on the death of Robert, the king of Naples (Joan's grandfather) she claimed the title of sole monarch. Pope Clement VI took advantage of the struggle over the succession to make his own claim as the lord of Naples. Clement's envoy Cardinal Americ crowned Joan Queen of Naples in 1344; in the next year Prince Andrew died at the hands of an assassin, who may have been acting on Joan's orders. The death of Andrew prompted Louis I, the king of Hungary, to invade. When the western Christian church split into French and Italian factions, Joan allied with the king of France and supported the French popes who resided at Avignon. Angered by this alliance, which countered his power in Italy, Pope Urban VI denounced Joan's title to Naples and donated the kingdom to Charles of Durazzo. Charles marched on Naples at the head of a Hungarian army and took Joan a prisoner in 1381. In the next year, while imprisoned at the Castle of San Fele, she was strangled by her prison guards. Charles then succeeded to the throne of Naples.

About this article

Joan I of Naples (1326–1382)

Updated About content Print Article