The period of "Giudicati" and Eleonora d’Arborea

The Giudicati

Map of the four Giudicati of SardiniaThe Giudicati were four independent states that existed in Sardinia from the 9th to the 15th century. They were democratic, as decisions were taken by the population’s representatives assembled in a parliament (the "Corona de Logu"); they were sovereign, as they didn’t recognize any power above them, and they didn’t belong to the king, but to the population, who committed it to the "giudice" taking an oath. The giudice ruled the kingdom, and was chosen by the Parliament through an elective hereditary system, preferring men to women: women could just stand in for their husband or their sons. The giudicati were divided in electoral, administrative and judiciary districts, the "curatorìas", composed by several villages: this kind of districts was unique in Europe at that time. Each Giudicato had its boundaries, its castles to protect its political and commercial interests, its own laws, parliament, language and emblems. .
But the Sardinian autonomy was called into question by the maritime Republics of Pisa and Genova, and also by the pope. In fact, at the end of the 13th century, Pisa conquered the giudicati of Gallura and Cagliari, and Genova that of Torres. In 1297, the Pope Bonifacio VIII, to solve the conflict between the Angevins and the Aragonese about the control of Sicily, created the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica, promising to the king of Aragona that he would be supported if he wanted to conquer the Pisan Sardinia in exchange for Sicily. So, between 1324 and 1326, Alfonso of Aragona invaded the Pisan territories of Gallura, Sassari and Cagliari: It was the beginning of the Iberian domination of Sardinia.
From 1365 to 1409 the giudici of Arborea occupied a great part of the island, apart from Cagliari and Alghero, and ruled them with the "Carta de Logu", a collection of laws created by Eleonora of Arborea, a woman who ruled the giudicato when her brother died. In 1409 the king of Sicily and heir to the throne of Aragona Martino the Young defeated the Giudici of Arborea and conquered the whole island: so also the last giudicato had reached its end.

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