Gualtiero di Caltagirone

The Sicilian Vespers was a successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out at Easter 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, approximately 13,000 French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of Charles lost control of the island. This began the War of the Sicilian Vespers. The brief flirtation with Sicilian independence and selfrule ended with the involvement of Peter III of Aragon whose help had been sought by the revolutionaries. Seeking the help of Peter of Aragon was a colossal blunder on the part of the Sicilians and resulted in 572 years of Spanish domination. The execution by decapitation of il Gualtiero di Caltagirone in 1283 signaled the Triumph of Aragon and the end of any lingering aspirations for Sicilian independence born with the Vespers.

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