History Files

Please help the History Files

Contributed: 175

Target: 400

Totals slider

The History Files still needs your help. As a non-profit site, it is only able to support such a vast and ever-growing collection of information with your help, and this year your help is needed more than ever. Please make a donation so that we can continue to provide highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. Your help really is appreciated.

European Kingdoms

Italian Peninsula



Throughout its history the island of Sardinia has usually been accounted as part of Italy. It sits on the western edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the west of Italy itself. The island is highly mountainous, with long stretches of straight coastline, and was first occupied on a permanent bases in the late Neolithic period, about 6000 BC.

Further waves of settlement probably came from Italy, and perhaps Iberia, and these early peoples eventually merged into a single group known as the Sardi. They were dominated early on by a series of more powerful external states, starting with the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, and then the Romans. Towards the end of the Western Empire, Sardinia was taken by the Vandali and then recaptured by the Eastern Roman empire. Domination by Spain and Austria in the medieval and modern periods preceded Italian unification in 1861. Since then, Sardinia has remained part of modern Italy.

Sardi (Italics)

The Sardi were an Indo-European Italic people who settled on the island of Sardinia, in ancient Italy. Their Iron Age home was neighboured to the immediate north by the island of Corsica, while to the south was the North African coastline, dominated by the Phoenician colony of Carthage, while to the south-east was the island of Sicily, which was dominated early on by the Sicani.

The early people of Sardinia probably migrated onto the island from Italy via Corsica. Other settlers reached the island's centre, probably from Iberia. They, or perhaps their immediate predecessors were present by 1600 BC, by which time they were trading with Eastern Mediterranean peoples such as the Phoenicians and the Minoans. The various ethnic groups eventually melded into a single group, this being the Sardi, although they never unified politically.

The Ligurians are often held to be the ancestors of many of the western Mediterranean's early populations - such as the Sardinians and Corsicans - in much the same way as the Pelasgians were held by the ancient Greeks to be the original inhabitants of Greece. While one recent DNA survey has supported a Corsican-Sardinian link, the other has formed quite the opposite view, suggesting that the Corsicans and Sardinians were of different origins. It proposed that the people of Tuscany (and therefore Ligurians) bear the closest affiliation to Corsicans, judged to be a Neolithic connection which introduced the first permanent settlements. More work in this field is needed to produce a definitive result.

The island very quickly came to be dominated by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, at least along the coastline. Perhaps the Sardi came to learn a few things from their visits, because from about 1500 BC they started building their settlements around nuraghi, round tower fortresses which sat inside additional fortifications. Around the margins of the settlements, on vantage points, minor nuraghi were built to act as forward posts. It is these fortress-building people who are often identified as the Shardana of the thirteenth century.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information by Edward Dawson, from The Roman History: From Romulus and the Foundation of Rome to the Reign of the Emperor Tiberius, Velleius Paterculus, J C Yardley, & Anthony A Barrett, and from External Links: Indo-European Chronology - Countries and Peoples, and Indo-European Etymological Dictionary, J Pokorny.)

c.1200 BC

MapThe Shardana are bold sea pirates who appear briefly in fragmentary records from the Bronze Age collapse in the eastern Mediterranean but about whom very little is known. They are the earliest of the Sea Peoples to be mentioned, and their name and archaeological finds have long linked them to Sardinian migrants who head east to Greece. Their compatriots, the Tyrsennoi could also have an origin around the Tyrrhenian Sea, quite possibly related to the Elymi on Sicily.

Sherden bronze mask
Bronze mask dated between 1400-1150 BC probably depicting a Sherden warrior, although the horns are missing from the holes at the top of the head

1104 BC

This is the traditional date at which the Phoenician colony of Gadir is founded in southern Iberia. Another is founded at Utica, both probably as temporary posts at first. Further colonies are founded around the western Mediterranean, including on Sardinia. The Phoenicians eventually form permanent trading posts on the island which include Bithia, Bosa, Caralis (modern Cagliari), Nora (whose ruins survive), Olbia, Sulcis (modern Sant'Antioco), and Tharros (now an archaeological site). All the colonies are located along the coastline, with the Sardi occupying the inland areas, and relations appear to be peaceful.

c.650 BC

MapThe Phoenician settlers on the island begin to move farther inland in their hunt for important natural resources such as lead and silver mines. Around this time they establish a fort on Monte Sirai, the oldest-known Phoenician military building in the west, presumably to protect their acquisitions from an increasingly hostile Sardi people.

580 BC

Some Greek settlements on Sicily, such as Syracuse, attempt to drive the Carthaginian settlers from the west of that island. The Carthaginians fear that if the Greeks win the whole of Sicily they will next move onto Sardinia and beyond, isolating them in North Africa. Their successful defence of Sicily is followed by attempts to strengthen limited footholds on Sardinia. The fortress at Monte Sirai remains in use.

509 BC

A century and-a-half of exploitation by the Phoenicians now results in an uprising by the Sardi. The mount a series of attacks against Phoenician settlements, forcing the colonists to call upon Carthage for help. A military force arrives which puts down the uprising and secures most of the island under Carthaginian control.

Stone carving of Phoenician ship
This first century AD stone carving reflects Phoenician ship design from an earlier age, although by the time it was created the Phoenicians had long since been subsumed within later states

264 - 241 BC

The First Punic War erupts between Rome and Carthage. It starts in Sicily and develops into a naval war in which the Romans learn how to fight at sea and eventually gain overall victory. As a result, Carthage loses Sardinia and the western section of Sicily. Sardinia becomes a Roman province, with the former Phoenician cities being extended and improved. New colonies are founded at Feronia (Latin Pheronia, modern Posada) and Turris Lybissonis (modern Porto Torres, which is perhaps founded in the first century BC by Julius Caesar). The native culture is effectively wiped out by this sudden expansion in colonial settlement, although this is certainly not an overnight occurrence.

During the Roman period, Sardinia remains an important supplier of grain, but the integration of the Sardi into Roman Latin culture is a slow process. The Sardi frequently resist Roman attempts to Latinise them, remaining steadfastly attached to their mountainous strongholds deep inland. This resistance gradually fades over time, with full Romanisation probably becoming apparent by the first century AD, as with many other Italic peoples who also resist integration. Sardinia remains a Roman possession until AD 455.

Vandali Governors of Sardinia
AD 456 - 533

The Vandali, or Vandals, invaded a section of the rich North African coast in AD 429, and proceeded to conquer much of the rest of it piecemeal. While paying lip service to Roman suzerainty, in 439 they still conquered Carthage itself, the capital of the province of Africa Proconsularis, and any pretence of Roman control was abandoned. Rome assembled an expeditionary force to retake the rich province, but this was redirected to deal with the much greater threat posed by the Huns in Europe, and the Vandali were recognised as the rulers of much of North Africa.

An independent autocracy was formed by Genseric which governed in what is now Tunisia and north-eastern Algeria, and extended into areas of modern western Libya. Eventually, the Vandali also annexed Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily, and controlled the western Mediterranean. Of the eighty or so years of Vandali occupation there is very little historical record, but it is clear that they retained much of the existing Roman structure of governance. A Roman-style praeses or governor was retained, to control military, judicial, and civil functions, but the only one about whom anything is known is the last, one Goddas.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from La Storia di Sardegna, Francesco Cesare Casula (Sassari, 1994, in Italian), from The Vandals, Andrew Merrills & Richard Miles (John Wiley & Sons, 2010), from Vandal Africa, 429-533, Roger Collins (The Cambridge Ancient History. Late Antiquity: Empire and Successors, AD 425-600, Cambridge University Press), and from External Link: History of the Later Roman Empire, John Bagnall Bury.)

455 - 456

The murder of Roman Emperor Valentinian III by Maximus while the former had been negotiating to bring the Vandali more securely within the empire causes a breakdown in relations between the two powers. Maximus rules for only 77 days before being stoned to death by a mob while fleeing Genseric's Vandali on 24 May, after which the Vandali spend fourteen days sacking Rome. Returning to North Africa afterwards, Genseric's troops occupy key cities on Sardinia, claiming the island and incorporating it into the Vandali kingdom.

Genseric's sack of Rome
An interpretation of Genseric's sack of Rome in AD 455 by the Russian artist, Karl Briullov, painted between about 1833-1836, perhaps the key moment in the city's fifth century decline


Vandali-occupied Sardinia is liberated by Marcellin, newly arrived from Constantinople. After freeing Sardinia, Sicily comes next before Marcellin joins up with the forces of Flavius Basilisk, later Eastern Roman emperor. Thanks to the latter's ineptitude the expedition ultimately fails and Marcellin is assassinated by one of his captains. Upon his death, Sardinia is retaken by the Vandali.


The Roman Catholic King Hilderic of the Vandali is removed from the throne in a coup organised by his cousin Gelimer, a practitioner of Arianism. A new praeses is sent to govern the Roman Catholics of Sardinia in the form of Goddas. Almost immediately he declares the island's independence from Carthage and begins negotiating with the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian, who has expressed his support of the deposed Hilderic.

530 - 533


Vandali praeses (governor) of Sardinia. Declared independence.


Hilderic had been a close friend of Emperor Justinian, so in response to Gelimer's usurpation, General Belisarius is sent to North Africa with an army. Gelimer has already sent the bulk of his forces to Sardinia to recapture the island, so the invasion by Belisarius begins with an immediate victory at the Battle of Ad Decimum. In one campaigning season the Vandali are conquered, and Sardinia becomes a possession of the Eastern Roman empire, governed from its Italian capital at Ravenna.

Byzantine Sardinia
AD 533 - c.850?

The Eastern Roman empire conquered Sardinia in AD 533, capturing it at the same time as the Vandali kingdom of North Africa was destroyed. Despite the Lombard invasion of mainland Italy later in the sixth century, from Ravenna the Byzantines managed to retain control of the extreme south of the peninsula, below Benevento, along with the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily, and a wide strip of territory between Rome and Lombardic northern Italy.

Sardinia was divided into districts called merèie, each governed by a judge who resided in Caralis (modern Cagliari). A military garrison was maintained at Forum Traiani (modern Fordongianus) under the command of a dux. Despite over two centuries of Roman Catholic Christianity on the island, practiced by many Romans and Vandali, the native Sardi still seem to have been pagans. The Byzantines attempted to convert them, and monasticism also became popular. However, while most regions were largely converted, the Barbagia ('barbarian') area remained stubbornly pagan, and even had pretensions towards political independence.

Records of Sardinian history remain vague for this period. Although Byzantine control is known to have been maintained for approximately three centuries, the date at which it was lost is unknown. The beginning of the end would appear to coincide with the fall of the exarchate of Africa in 697. The loss of Africa left the southern Mediterranean firmly in Islamic hands, resulting in increasingly frequent Berber and Moorish raids on Sardinia. The loss of Sicily cut off Sardinia and forced the local legates to become increasingly independent, with the island falling completely out of Constantinople's control by the tenth century.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Byzantine Sardinia between West and East - Features of a Regional Culture, Salvatore Cosentino (via Academia.edu), and from Overview of Sardinia History (500-1500), Laura Galoppini (A Companion to Sardinian History, 500-1500, Michalle Hobart (Ed), Leiden: Brill, 2017).)

late 6th century

The Sardi of the Barbagia region on Sardinia establish a short-lived independent pagan principality. The region is even named for its steadfast refusal to give up its barbarian origins. It discards Roman traditions and the Roman Catholic form of worship and re-establishes its espousal of traditional Sardinian religions. The principality is ruled by a number of princes, the last of whom is Ospitone, who conducts raids into the neighbouring Christian communities which are under the protection of the Eastern Roman Dux Zabarda.

fl 594


Independent prince of the Barbagia region of Sardinia.


Ospitone is reprimanded for his attacks on Christian Sardinians by Pope Gregory I in a letter entitled Dum enim Barbaricini omnes ut insensata animalia vivant, deum verum nesciant, ligna autem et lapides adorent ('Living, all like irrational animals, ignorant of the true God and worshiping wood and stone' - a clear comment on the pagan status of the Barbagian Sardi). The prince is soon convinced by Gregory to convert to Christianity, perhaps due in part to the situation regarding his ongoing conflict with Zabarda. His followers are not so easily convinced. The prince is ostracised for a short period before his people accept conversion under the Christian missionaries, Felix and Ciriaco.

Pope Gregory I
A good telling off by Pope Gregory I was all it took to convert the Barbagians of Sardinia, that and some solid politicking behind the scenes, no doubt

641 - 648

The Eastern Roman exarchate of Africa is declared an independent state by Gregory the Patrician, as he throws off the authority of Emperor Constans II. In 647 Gregory's troops are severely defeated by the invading troops of the Islamic empire, and Gregory himself is killed in 648. Byzantium is able to regain some level of control there for two decades, but the incident prompts changes elsewhere in the Byzantine hierarchy. Direct control of Sardinia is exchanged for a more localised form of government in which legates are appointed to control the regions, rather than leaving power concentrated in the hands of a lone individual.

695 - 698

The Islamic Wali of Ifriqiyya and the Maghreb, Hasan ibn al-Nu'man, captures Carthage and the Eastern Roman administration retreats, possibly to Caralis on Sardinia. Despite the arrival of a Byzantine fleet to retake Carthage in 697, it is permanently lost following defeat at the Battle of Carthage.


One of many Berber or Moorish raids is documented for the first time. The raids are forcing the island's legates to become increasingly self-reliant as it becomes clear that the Eastern Roman empire is unable to protect them.


Map Eastern Roman Sicily is occupied by the Aghlabids as part of the Islamic empire. This loss virtually severs communications between Sardinia and Constantinople, creating the circumstances in which the island is able to drift towards complete independence from central control. The Byzantine legates evolve into the ruling judges, or giudici.

Giudici of Arborea (Sardinia)
AD c.850 - 1478

Records of Sardinian history are vague during the preceding Eastern Roman period. Imperial control was already weakening in the eighth century, but the loss of Sicily in 827 seems to have cut Sardinia adrift from central control altogether. The imperial legates evolved into independent governors, with the title 'legate' being replaced by princepes ('princes') in the late ninth century and the less grand 'judges' in the tenth century. In its Latin form, 'iudices' was pronounced in the Sardinian dialect as 'giudici', and the position was essentially the same as that of a petty king.

The system of legates governing the island seems to have been established as a direct result of the Byzantine loss of Carthage in 697. Constantinople was determined not to allow one man to control an entire province in the way that the fairly hapless Gregory the Patrician had with Carthage. Four legates were established, at Arborea, Cagliari, Gallura, and Logudoro, and their administration became increasingly independent during the ninth century. Arborea was the longest lasting of them, surviving until the beginning of the fifteenth century. It consisted of a deep slice of western central Sardinia, and was neighboured to the north and east by Logudoro, and to the south by Cagliari. All details about the giudici until the beginning of the twelfth century are hotly disputed by scholars.

A fifth giudicato briefly existed on the east of the island. Named Agugliastra, it was a small territory squeezed between Gallura and Cagliari, with a capital at Ogliastra. It seems to have existed in the tenth century, a period in which no records survive from Sardinia, and may have persisted into the eleventh century before being absorbed into Cagliari. Today it forms the modern province of Ogliastra.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Byzantine Sardinia between West and East - Features of a Regional Culture, Salvatore Cosentino (via Academia.edu), from Overview of Sardinia History (500-1500), Laura Galoppini, and A Revision of Sardinian History between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, Corrado Zedda (both from A Companion to Sardinian History, 500-1500, Michalle Hobart (Ed), Leiden: Brill, 2017), and from La storia di Sardegna, F C Casula (Sassari, 1994, in Italian).)


A letter by Pope Nicholas I as early as this point in Sardinia's post-Eastern Roman history mentions the 'Sardinian judges', without reference to the Byzantine empire itself.

872 - 882

A letter written by Pope John VIII refers to the giudici of Sardinia as principes ('princes').


By the time of De Administrando Imperio, which is completed in this year, the Eastern Roman authorities no longer list Sardinia as an imperial province, suggesting that they already consider it to be lost to them. By now the transformation from imperial governor to independent petty ruler is probably well under way, and may already be complete, but nothing is known of this process until the early eleventh century, when it is already over.

c.1015 - c.1038

Gonario I Comita / Gunnar / Gunther

First giudice of the House of Lacon Gunale. Also in Logudoro.


Gonario of Torres is the earliest-known of the giudici of Arborea, although they have presumably been in office in one form or another since about 697, and independent since the mid-ninth century. Gonario is also giudice of Logudoro, suggesting that the two positions have been united under a single ruler for a certain period. The giudici of Gallura emerge just a few years afterwards. Gonario makes his capital at the Phoenician-founded town of Tharros, although it is unclear whether he is the first to do so. A short-lived Islamic invasion of southern sections of the island takes place, possibly taking Cagliari.

Map of Sardinia AD 1000
This map shows the approximate boundaries of each of the four giudicati of Sardinia at the time at which they first appeared into history, circa AD 1000

c.1038 - c.1060

Barisone I / Barison I

Son of Gonario? Later giudice of Logudoro.


The earliest-known giudice of Cagliari emerges into history, approximately a generation after Arborea.


Upon the death of Comita II of Logudoro, Barisone hands Arborea to his relation, Marianus, and assumes control of Logudoro.

c.1060 - c.1070

Marianus I / Mariano de Zori

Son or nephew. Later giudice of Logudoro.


Although Andrew Tanca has been the selected successor of Barisone I since about 1064, and has been associated with him in the governance of Logudoro, it is Marianus of Arborea who succeeds Barisone in Logudoro upon his death. This constant exchange of Arborea for Logudoro would seem to mark out the latter as the post of higher prestige on the island.

c.1070 - c.1100

Orzocorre I / Onroco


The capital, Thorros, is destroyed in warfare, so Orzocorre moves to Aurestanni (modern Oristano) and makes this the new capital (which it remains for the next three centuries). The seat of the Ecclesia Arborensis (the Arborean Church) is moved at the same time, as evidenced by a charter which names the archbishop of Arborea as the archbishop of Oristano.


Torbeno / Turbino

Son. Died.


Torbeno and Orzocorre II sign a charter which permits Nivata, Torbeno's mother, to dispose of her castles of Massone de Capras and Nuraghe Nigellu as she wishes. She donates them in perpetuity to Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, whom she refers to as Torbeno's overlord, making this the first acknowledgement in writing that Arborea at least is subject to the Holy Roman empire, along with much of northern Italy at this time. It is entirely possible that the rest of Sardinia also acknowledges this position.

c.1100 - c.1122

Orzocorre II

Brother or son.

Comita I (II)

Son. Otherwise unknown.

fl c.1116

Gonario II / Gonnario II

First giudice of the House of Lacon Serra. m heiress of Comita I.

? - 1131

Constantine I



Constantine strengthens Arborea's alliance with the republic of Pisa, which in this century is one of the most prominent trading cities in the Mediterranean.

A coin of Pisa's republic
Two sides of a silver coin issued by the republic of Pisa bearing the name of Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman emperor, struck between the mid-twelfth century and the early fourteenth

1130 - 1133

Together with Comita of Gallura and Gonario II of Logudoro, Constantine swears fealty to the archbishop of Pisa. Three years later Pope Innocent II divides Sardinia between the two sees of Genoa (newly created) and Pisa. Naturally this creates a further excuse for warfare between the two great rivals, but on the island, only Comita of Gallura supports the Genoese.

1131 - 1147

Comita II (III)

Son or brother.

1131 - 1147

Orzocorre III / Onroco

Brother and co-ruler.

1133 - 1145

There is a break in any records concerning Comita II during this period. One theory for this is that he is usurped by his brother, Torbeno, during a war against Logudoro. If usurpation is the reason, Comita is able to restore himself by 1145, when he is excommunicated by Archbishop Baldwin of Pisa, who is on the island as a papal legate. His death soon after sees his son replace him, soon after which Barisone also gains control of Logudoro. Comita's daughter, Elena de Lacon, marries Constantine III of Gallura.

1147 - 1185

Barisone II / Barison II

Son of Comita II. 'King of Sardinia' (1164-1165).


Casting aside Pellegrina de Lacon, his wife of the Sardinian nobility, Barisone marries Agalbursa de Cervera, the niece Count Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona. The marriage is the seal on an alliance with Barcelona, which also represents the first Iberian influence on the island. Barisone fights the Balearic Almoravids on behalf of Barcelona and Raymond Berengar supports his attempts to unite Sardinia under his rule.

1163 - 1164

The death of Constantine II of Cagliari gives Barisone the opportunity to claim that giudicati as his own, probably through his mother, Elena de Orrubu, who would seem to be Constantine's daughter. He seizes Cagliari from Constantine's successor, Peter, and holds onto it for about a year. In 1164, Peter and the giudice of Logudoro unite with the Pisans on the island to recapture Cagliari and then invade Arborea, and Barisone is forced to seek refuge in Cabras Castle.

1164 - 1165

Still trapped in his castle, Barisone contacts Genoa and through that gains the support of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Barbarossa proclaims him king of all of Sardinia, but in return he is under an obligation to pay the huge amount of four thousand silver marks and recognise the emperor's sovereignty over the entire island. Barisone gives the Genoans the port of Oristano along with two castles as surety of his payment. When the payment has not been made by the end of 1165, Barbarossa removes the grant and hands it to the archbishop of Pisa as lord over the island. It takes Barisone until 1171 to make the payment and clear up the related problems.

1185 - 1214

Peter I

Son. 'King of Sardinia'.

1185 - 1192

Barisone's successor is his eldest son, Peter, but Hugh, son of Hugh I of Bas (a viscounty on the island), brother of Barisone's second wife, and also Barisone's son-in-law, contests Peter's succession until 1192. However, Peter is crowned king of Sardinia, continuing the title gained by his father, and is supported by the majority of Arborea's nobility along with the republic of Pisa. Hugh has Genoa on his side. Hugh and his successor are shown in green to clarify the opposition. Hugh is only seven years old, so he gains a regent in Ramon de Torroja, son-in-law of Ponce de Cervera, viscount of Bas.

The bay of Arborea on Sardinia
The island of Sardinia has always been a mixture of paradise-like beaches and tough mountainous inland country, and the living can be poor and hardy

1185 - 1211

Hugh I / Ugone I

Brother-in-law. In opposition. Ruled half of Arborea (1192).

1185 - c.1194?

Ramon de Torroja



The two claimants, Peter and Hugh, agree the Treaty of Oristano, and Arborea is divided in two for each of them to rule for the remainder of their lives. Peter's supporter and early protector, William I of Cagliari, subsequently invades Arborea several times, grabbing territory and generally disrupting the rule of both Peter and Hugh.

1211 - 1241

Peter II

Successor to Hugh. Sole ruler from 1217. Also Peter IV of Bas.

1214 - 1217

Torchitorio (IV)

Regent, and giudice of Cagliari.


Peter I dies a prisoner in Pisa, having been captured by William I of Cagliari in 1198 after being forced to flee his domain to seek refuge with Hugh. Peter's son, Barisone III inherits his half of Arborea, and actually gets to rule it once he is freed from his own imprisonment to marry William's heiress, Benedetta.

1214 - 1217

Barisone III / Barison III

Son of Peter I. Ruled half of Arborea, and co-ruler of Cagliari.


Upon the death of Benedetta of Cagliari, her infant son William inherits her title, but not her power. Cagliari is partitioned between Arborea, Gallura, the Gherardeschi family of Pisa, and Pisa itself, and William is giudice in name only.

1241 - 1297

Marianus II

Son of Peter II. First House of Bas Serra / Baux Serra giudici.

1241 - 1264

William of Capraia

Regent, and distant relative. Died.


William of Cagliari has been following his predecessor's policy of favouring Genoa over Pisa. Pisa's allies in the region now invade. The Gherardeschi of Pisa, William of Capraia, regent of Arborea, and John Visconti, giudice of Gallura conquer Castro Castle and destroy Santa Igia. William is deposed and Cagliari is permanently divided between the victors.

1264 - 1274

Nicholas of Capraia

Son, and acknowledged co-ruler with Marianus II.

1270 - 1274

Marianus II has Nicholas of Capraia imprisoned, thereby removing this upstart imposition on his complete rule of Arborea. In 1274, Marianus has Nicholas killed, but almost immediately finds himself opposed by Anselm of Capraia, son of Berthold and nephew of William (who himself had been Berthold's brother). Anselm holds the city of Cagliari, former capital of the now-defunct giudicato of the same name.


Effectively partitioned in 1259, Logudoro does not re-emerge into independence. Instead, part of its territory is ruled by the Genoese families of Doria and Malaspina, while the rest is absorbed into Arborea. The city of Sassari, Logudoro's last capital, becomes an autonomous city-state.

1274 - 1287

Anselm of Capraia

Rival claimant. Defeated and killed by Marianus.


Early in the year, Genoa attempts the conquest of Porto Torres and Sassari on Sardinia (part of the recently fallen giudicato of Logudoro). Part of Genoa's large merchant fleet defeats a Pisan force while heading into the eastern Mediterranean. Then Genoa blockades Porto Pisano, Pisa's own harbour, and attacks Pisan vessels across the Mediterranean. The final act is the Battle of Meloria on 5-6 August 1284, close to Livorno on Italy's upper western coast. The Pisan fleet is decimated by Genoese galleys at the same time as Pisa itself is attacked by Florence and Lucca, destroying any hope of a Pisan restoration. The defeat marks the end of Pisa as a major power, sending the city into a decline that ends with its eventual conquest by Florence.

Medieval Italy
Medieval Italy was a cauldron of competing city states, with unceasing competition between them that sparked the Renaissance and a blossoming of culture and advancement

1297 - 1304

John 'Chiano'

Son of Marianus II. Murdered by his own people.

1297 - ?

Tosorat Uberti

Pisan regent and tutor.


Shortly after taking office, Pope Boniface VIII sweeps all existing agreements and treaties aside with his proclamation of a 'Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica' that will, naturally, be a fief of the papacy itself. Boniface offers the fief to James II of Aragon along with papal support should he wish to abandon his territory on Sicily in exchange for invading Pisan-supported Sardinia. James does not immediately take up the offer.


In preparation for a possible Aragonese invasion of Sardinia, John has already rid himself of the third of Cagliari's territory that he had held, with Pisa benefiting in 1300. John also sells off his silver mines and possibly even part of his own domains. His subjects are pushed into revolt by this last action, and they capture John, quickly executing him and removing his tongue.

1304 - 1308


Son of John. Died.

1304 - 1308

Marianus III

Brother, and junior co-ruler.

1308 - 1321

Marianus III

Now sole ruler.


To illustrate the convoluted nature of Sardinian politics after generations of interference from Genoese, Pisans, the Papacy, and the Aragonese, Marianus III is constrained by Pisa to purchase his own right of succession from Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII.

1321 - 1336

Hugh II / Ugone II

Son. Joint 'King of Sardinia & Corsica' with Aragon.


James II of Aragon forms an alliance with Hugh II. The two conduct a campaign to take the Pisan-occupied territories of Cagliari and Gallura, the former giudicati. This they do, also capturing the city of Sassari, which lies immediately south-east of Porto Torres in the former giudicato of Logudoro. The territory is claimed as the 'Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica', with Hugh and James ruling jointly, although Hugh still commands an enlargened Arborea under his own authority (about a third of the island) while a viceroy governs the captured territories for Aragon. It takes until 1326 for the declining Pisa to officially cede Sardinia in its entirety.

1336 - 1347

Peter III

Son. Joint 'King of Sardinia & Corsica' with Aragon.

1347 - 1376

Marianus IV 'the Great'

Brother. Joint 'King of Sardinia & Corsica' with Aragon.


Peter IV of Aragon invades the island, attempting to attack Arborea and remove the independence of Marianus, or destroy him entirely and claim the whole island. Marianus ends the alliance with Aragon and instead sides with Aragon's enemy, Genoa, which also infuriates the Pisans, but Marianus remains undefeated. The so-called 'Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica' retains its status as a crown territory, rather than being incorporated directly within the kingdom of Aragon, although Corsica has not even been conquered.

1376 - 1383

Hugh III / Ugone III

Son. Assassinated.



Dau. Assassinated and never ruled.


Despite continuing his father's beneficial policies regarding the enlightened rule of Arborea, Hugh III makes enemies amongst the nobility. They incite the populace to rebel, and on 3 March Hugh and Benedetta are assassinated in Oristano. Hugh's nephew, the infant Frederick, succeeds him, and he and his mother and regent, Eleanor, restore peace and the rule of law.

1383 - 1387

Frederick Doria

Nephew. First giudice of the House of Doria Bas / Doria Baux.

1383 - 1404


Mother, dau of Marianus IV and regent.

1383 - 1387

Fighting continues against Aragon, but Eleanor's effective governance of the war sees Aragon lose almost all of its Sardinian holdings. Arborea now controls much of the island and Eleanor is able to negotiate a treaty that is very favourable. She also continues her father's alliance with Genoa, which secures the independence of Arborea for the time being. In 1388, Eleanor signs a pact with Aragon which finally delivers peace.

Eleanor of Arborea on Sardinia
Eleanor was one of the last independent giudici on Sardinia, and one of the greatest, holding the island's independence together in the face of great pressure from Aragon

1387 - 1407

Marianus V Doria

Son, with Eleanor still regent.


Marianus dies of bubonic plague without having secured an heir. His sudden death precipitates a successional crisis. William III of Narbonne is the grandson of the late Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Marianus IV, so he inherits her claim. However, although be becomes giudice in name, the real power on Sardinia is Leonard Cubell, operating as giudice in all but name as the grandnephew of Hugh II of Arborea, and margrave of Oristano and count of Goceano.

1407 - 1410

William / Guglielmo

First giudice of the House of Narbonne. Died 1424.

1407 - 1408

Leonard Cubell

Regent. Margrave of Oristano & count of Goceano.

1408 - 1409

William III of Narbonne lands on Sardinia on 8 December 1408 to be crowned 'King of Arborea, Count of Goceano, and Viscount of Bas', but Martin I of Sicily (Martin the Younger) has already landed a force of his own (on 6 October), and the two meet at the Battle of Sanluri in 1409. The battle is a disaster for William, and he is forced to flee to France for assistance. Martin of Sicily dies of malaria a few days after the battle, and Leonard Cubell is able to successfully defend Oristano.

1408 - 1409

Brancaleone Doria

Husband of Eleanor. Regent in William's absence.

1409 - 1410

Leonard Cubell

Regent for the second time.


William returns to Sardinia, taking command and placing his capital at Sassari. On 9 August he recaptures Longosardo, but an attempt to take Oristano and Alghero prove less successful. Upon entering Alghero, he is driven off by its citizens. Realising that his mission is a failure, William withdraws. While he remains nominal giudice, the real power is exercised by Leonard Cubell.

1410 - 1427

Leonard Cubell

Now giudice following William's withdrawal.


The titular giudice of Arborea, William III of Narbonne, sells his title to Alfonso V the Magnanimous of Aragon, although differing sources also claim that Brancaleone Doria sells the position of giudice to Aragon in 1409. Either way, the remaining giudici of Arborea are titular only, with little real power. The true power rests with the Aragonese Viceroy.

1427 - 1463

Antonio Cubell

Margrave of Oristano & count of Goceano.

1463 - 1470

Salvador Cubell

Margrave of Oristano & count of Goceano.

1470 - 1478

Leonard de Alagona

Claimant to margrave of Oristano & count of Goceano.


Sardinia under the native noble, Leonard de Alagona, claimant marquess of Oristano, experiences a brief resurgence in its vitality, especially when he manages to defeat the army of the Aragonese Viceroy a year or two later.

Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain
The marriage in 1469 of royal cousins Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile eventually brought stability to both kingdoms but also presaged an era of Spanish dominance in world affairs


The native forces of Leonard de Alagona are crushed at the Battle of Macomer. Sardinia's independence is similarly crushed, and is soon weighed down by the yoke of Aragonese feudalism. The rights to the title of giudice of Arborea pass to the House of Alagona, the lords of Sastago and Pina, but they are deposed by Aragon as a result of Leonard de Algona's revolt. The Aragonese Viceroys who have been governing parts of the island since 1418 now control the entire island.

Viceroys of Aragonese Sardinia
AD 1418 - 1516

Following the withdrawal of William III of Narbonne in 1410, his former regent, Leonard Cubell, became undisputed giudice of Arborea. This made him the last upholder of native Sardinian power in the face of continued attempts by the Aragonese throne to capture and control the entire island from their sole bases in Cagliari and Alghero. Cubell's position was greatly weakened when, in 1420, William of Narbonne sold his title to Alfonso V of Aragon. Now Aragon had the upper hand, and the position of giudice became titular only. The final hurrah for Arboria came in 1478, when the forces of Leonard de Alagona, the last giudici, were crushed at the Battle of Macomer. Sardinia's independence was similarly crushed and the Aragonese viceroys who have been governing parts of the island since 1418 now controlled the entire island.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Byzantine Sardinia between West and East - Features of a Regional Culture, Salvatore Cosentino (via Academia.edu), from Overview of Sardinia History (500-1500), Laura Galoppini, and A Revision of Sardinian History between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, Corrado Zedda (both from A Companion to Sardinian History, 500-1500, Michalle Hobart (Ed), Leiden: Brill, 2017), and from La storia di Sardegna, F C Casula (Sassari, 1994, in Italian).)

1418 - 1419

Luis de Pontos

First Aragonese viceroy. Controlled only parts of Sardinia.

1419 - 1420

Juan de Corbera


The titular giudice of Arborea, William II of Narbonne, sells his title to Alfonso V the Magnanimous of Aragon, although differing sources also claim that Brancaleone Doria sells the position of giudice to Aragon in 1409. Either way, the remaining giudici of Arborea are titular only, with little real power. The true power rests with the Aragonese viceroy.

San Michele Castle, Cagliari
The castle of San Michelle in Cagliari was originally built in the tenth century, during the emergence of the giudici, but the Aragonese soon re-equipped it for a more modern age of warfare, to ensure that their toe-hold on Sardinia could not be dislodged

1420 - 1421


1421 - 1437

Bernardo de Centelles

1437 - 1448

Francisco de Eril

1448 - 1460

There is a gap in the list of Aragonese viceroys that for the moment cannot be filled. The reason is unknown, but there is some uncertainty for a later viceroy, too. The next known viceroy would appear to be a Sardinian native.

1460 - 1479

Nicolás Carroz de Arborea

Largely pegged back during second half of his term of office.


Sardinia under the native noble, Leonard de Alagona, claimant marquess of Oristano and giudice of Arborea, experiences a brief resurgence in its vitality, especially when he manages to defeat the army of Nicolás Carroz de Arborea a year or two later.


The native forces of Leonard de Alagona are crushed at the Battle of Macomer, and Sardinia's independence is similarly crushed. The rights to the title of giudice of Arborea pass to the House of Alagona, the lords of Sastago and Pina, but they are deposed by Aragon as a result of Leonard de Alagona's revolt. The Aragonese viceroys who have been governing parts of the island since 1418 now control the entire island. This means that Sardinia is quickly settled under the Aragonese feudal yoke at a time in which the rest of Europe is abandoning feudalism, and its decline begins.


Pedro Maza de Linaza

1479 - 1483

Ximén Pérez Escrivá de Romaní

1483 - 1484

Guillermo de Peralta

1484 - 1487

Ximén Pérez Escrivá de Romaní

Second term of office.

1487? - 1491?

Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza y Quiñones

Dates uncertain.

1491 - 1501

Juan Dusay

1501 - 1502

Benito Gualbes

Acting viceroy.

1502 - 1507

Juan Dusay

Second term of office.

1507 - 1508

Jaime Amat

1508 - 1515

Fernando Girón de Rebolledo

1515 - 1517

Ángel de Vilanova

Viceroy of a united Spain from 1517.

1516 - 1517

With the death of Ferdinand II of Aragon, his kingdom is inherited by Charles I of Castile and Aragon is merged permanently with it, unifying Spain.

Viceroys of Spanish Sardinia
AD 1516 - 1720

The death of Ferdinand II of Aragon meant that his kingdom was inherited by Charles I of Castile. Castile and Aragon were merged together permanently, creating a unified Spain for the first time since it had been part of the Roman empire. The viceroy of Sardinia, formerly of Aragon, remained in office, and Corsica, which had never been conquered, was dropped from the formal title claimed by Spain. Unfortunately, direct rule of Sardinia by Spain meant neglect. The sterile feudalism it introduced, and the country's focus on the newly-discovered Americas, resulted in an unstoppable decline in the kingdom of Sardinia, even while the island was absorbing elements of Spanish culture.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Byzantine Sardinia between West and East - Features of a Regional Culture, Salvatore Cosentino (via Academia.edu), from Overview of Sardinia History (500-1500), Laura Galoppini, and A Revision of Sardinian History between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, Corrado Zedda (both from A Companion to Sardinian History, 500-1500, Michalle Hobart (Ed), Leiden: Brill, 2017), and from La storia di Sardegna, F C Casula (Sassari, 1994, in Italian).)

1517 - 1529

Ángel de Vilanova

Former Aragonese viceroy of Sardinia.

1529 - 1532

Martín de Cabrera

First viceroy of Sardinia appointed by a unified Spain.


Jaime de Aragall

Interim viceroy.


Francisco de Serra

Interim viceroy.

1534 - 1549

Antonio Folc de Cardona y Enriquez

Died 1555.

1535 - 1541

The military ventures of King Charles of Spain against the Hafsids of Ifriqiyya and the Zayyanids of western Algiers (1535 and 1541 respectively) are failures. Subsequently, he is forced to defend Spanish territories in the Mediterranean from raids by the piratical Barbary Corsairs. Part of this effort means that the Sardinian coast is fortified with a chain of defensive lookout towers.

University of Cagliari
Despite generally neglecting Sardinia, the Spanish were responsible for founding the University of Cagliari, based on similar establishments in Lerida, Salamanca, and Valladolid

1542 - 1545

Pedro Veguer

Deputy viceroy during a period of absence. Bishop of Alghero.

1549 - 1550

Jerónimo Aragall

Interim viceroy.

1550 - 1556

Lorenzo Fernández de Heredia


Jerónimo Aragall

Interim viceroy for the second time.

1556 - 1569

Álvaro de Madrigal


The Italian War of 1551-1559 ends with the signing of the Peace of Cateau Cambrésis between England, France and Spain. Emmanuel Philibert regains his duchy of Piedmont and Savoy in full as part of the war's ending and he departs his post in the Spanish Netherlands to take up his duties. Corsica is restored to Genoa, while Spain is confirmed in its direct control of Milan, Naples, Presidi, Sardinia, and Sicily.


Jerónimo Aragall

Deputy viceroy during a period of absence.

1570 - 1577

Juan Coloma y Cardona

Son of Antonio Folc.

1577 - 1578

Jerónimo Aragall

Interim viceroy.

1578 - 1584

Miguel de Gurrea y Moncada

Former viceroy of Majorca (1575-1578).


Serious plague hits the island.

1584 - 1586

Gaspar Vicente Novella

Interim viceroy. Archbishop of Cagliari.

1586 - 1590

Miguel de Gurrea y Moncada

Second term in office.

1590 - 1595

Gastón de Moncada

Viceroy of Aragon (1604-1610).

1595 - 1603

Antonio Coloma y Saa

Son of Juan Coloma.

1597 - 1599

Alfonso Lasso y Sedeño

Deputy viceroy in Coloma's stead. Archbishop of Cagliari.

1601 - 1602

Juan de Zapata

Deputy viceroy in Coloma's stead.

1603 - 1604

Jaime Aragall

Interim viceroy.

1604 - 1610

Pedro Sánchez de Calatayud

1610 - 1611

Jaime Aragall

Interim viceroy.

1611 - 1617

Carlos de Borja

Duke of Gandia.

1617 - 1623

Alonso de Eril


Luis de Tena

Interim viceroy.

1623 - 1625

Juan Vives de Canyamás


Diego de Aragall

Interim viceroy.

1625 - 1626

Pedro Ramón Zaforteza


1626 - 1631

Jerónimo Pimentel


Diego de Aragall

Interim viceroy for the second time.

1631 - 1632

Gaspar Prieto

Interim viceroy. Archbishop of Alghero.

1632 - 1637

Antonio de Urrea

1637 - 1638

Diego de Aragall

Interim viceroy for the third time.

1638 - 1639

Gianadrea Doria

Prince of Melfi.

1639 - 1640

Diego de Aragall

Interim viceroy for the fourth time.

1640 - 1644

Fabrizio Doria

Duke of Arellano.

1644 - 1649

Luis Guillermo de Moncada

Duke of Montalto. Became a priest c.1662 after 2nd wife died.


Bernardo Matías de Cervelló

Interim viceroy.

1649 - 1651

Cardinal Gian Giacomo Teodoro Trivulzio

Viceroy of Aragon (1642), & Sicily (1647). Gov of Milan (1656).


Duarte Álvarez de Toledo

1651 - 1652

Beltrán Vélez de Guevara

1652 - 1653

Pedro Martínez Rubio

Archbishop of Palermo.

1652 - 1655

Serious plague hits the island in 1652. Three years later a fresh plague arrives.

Plague victims
During the seventeenth century, Sardinia's population seemed to be doomed to suffer, first with two plagues and then a serious famine

1653 - 1657

Francisco Fernández de Castro Andrade


Bernardo Matías de Cervelló

Interim viceroy for the second time.

1657 - 1661

Francisco de Moura

Governor of the Spanish Netherlands (1664-1668).

1661 - 1662

Pedro Vico

Interim viceroy. Archbishop of Cagliari.

1662 - 1664

Niccolò Ludovisi

Prince of Piombino. Duke of Fiano. Viceroy of Aragon (1660-62).

1664 - 1665

Bernardo Matías de Cervelló

Interim viceroy for the third time.

1665 - 1668

Manuel de los Cobos

Viceroy of Valencia (1659-1663).


Manuel de los Cobos, viceroy of Sardinia, is assassinated on 21 June 1668 while on the island.

1668 - 1672

Francisco de Tutavila y del Rufo

Duke of San Germán.

1673 - 1675

Fernando J Fajardo de Zúñiga Requesens


Melchor Cisternes de Oblite

Interim viceroy.

1675 - 1677

Francisco de Benavides de la Cueva

Viceroy of Sicily (1678-1687) & Naples (1687-1696).

1679 - 1680

Melchor Cisternes de Oblite

Interim viceroy for the second time.


Barely recovered from the plague of 1655, a disastrous famine now strikes Sardinia, killing perhaps as many as 80,000 people out of a total population of 250,000. Entire villages are left devastated by the losses suffered.


José de Funes y Villalpando

1680 - 1682

Philip of Egmont


Diego Ventura

Interim viceroy. Archbishop of Cagliari.

1682 - 1686

Antonio López de Ayala Velasco

Viceroy of Navarre. Governor of Galicia, & Milan (1686).

1686 - 1687

José Delitala y Castelví

Interim viceroy.

1687 - 1690

Niccolò Pignatelli

Duke of Monteleone.


Carlos Homo Dei Moura y Pacheco

Interim viceroy.

1690 - 1696

Luis Moscoso Ossorio


The second cousin of Victor Amadeus II of Savoy is Prince Eugene. He becomes supreme commander of the Imperial armies, a promotion that eventually gains Sardinia for Savoy, in 1720.

1697 - 1699

José de Solís Valderrábano Dávila

1699 - 1703

Fernando de Moncada

Duke of San Juan.

1702 - 1715

Spain is involved in the War of Succession as Austria, Britain, and Portugal dispute the Bourbon accession. The conclusion of the war sees Spain giving up Milan, Naples, Sardinia, and the Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium) to Austria, and Sicily to the duchy of Savoy. The Papal States are forced to hand over the territories of Parma and Piacenza to Austria, a definite blow to the papacy's prestige. Philip, duke of Anjou, is recognised as the Bourbon King Philip V of Spain, but only on the condition that the Bourbon crowns of Spain and France can never be united under a single ruler.

War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought to avoid a shift in the balance of power in Europe with the proposed unification of the Bourbon kingdoms of Spain and France

1703 - 1704

Francisco Ginés Ruiz de Castro

1704 - 1706

Baltasar de Zúñiga y Guzmán

Duke of Arión. Viceroy of New Spain (1716-1722).

1706 - 1709

Pedro Manuel Colón de Portugal

Duke of Veragua. Viceroy of Valencia (1679) & Sicily (1696).

1709 - 1710

Fernando de Silva y Meneses

1710 - 1711

Jorge de Heredia

1711 - 1713

Andrés Roger de Eril

1713 - 1717

Pedro Manuel

Viceroy in name only from 1715.


José Antonio de Rubí y Boxadors

Viceroy in name only.

1717 - 1718

King Philip V of Spain is unhappy with the arrangements set at the end of the War of Succession and occupies Sardinia and Sicily (the former under the leadership of Juan Francisco de Bette), triggering the War of the Quadruple Alliance. The war begins with Philip's first actions of 1717, and is formally declared in 1718.

The Battle of Glenshiel in 1719
The Battle of Glenshiel in 1719 was the second and final defeat of a doomed small-scale Spanish-supported invasion of Scotland, part of the War of the Quadruple Alliance

1717 - 1718

Juan Francisco de Bette

A Belgian of the Spanish Netherlands. Viceroy of Sicily (1717).

1718 - 1720

With the war now declared, Austria, Britain, France, and Holland unite to defeat Spain, and peace is again declared with the Treaty of The Hague.

1718 - 1720

Gonzalo Chacón


The signing of the Treaty of The Hague in 1720 finally settles Sardinia's situation. As part of the treaty, the duchy of Savoy trades the important island of Sicily for the far less important Sardinia, which is closer to its own territory. So as not to lose out on the trade, the former dukes are promoted, and Savoy is merged with Sardinia to form a single kingdom of Sardinia.

Viceroys of the Kingdom of Sardinia (Savoy)
AD 1720 - 1861

The island of Sardinia (or Sardegna) provides the western border for Italy's Tyrrhenian Sea. It is located immediately to the south of the island of Corsica, north of modern Tunisia, and north-west of Sicily. A possible source of origin of the Shardana mercenaries of the fourteenth century BC, the island was successively a possession of the Sardi natives, Carthage, the Romans, the Vandali, the Eastern Roman empire based at Ravenna, and then, after a period of independence under the Giudici, to Spain.

The War of the Spanish Succession saw Spain lose control of Sardinia to Austria in 1713. Unhappy with this, the Bourbon king of Spain invaded Sardinia in 1717, only to be defeated by Austria, Britain, France, and Holland the following year. In 1720, Austria and the duchy of Savoy traded territories, so that Savoy gave up Sicily and gained the poorer territory of Sardinia, not that Savoy had much of a choice in the matter. In compensation, the Savoyards found themselves raised in rank. They were now the successors to the title of king of Sardinia which had been granted in 1164, and were able to merge Savoy and Sardinia into a single kingdom. The focus of the kingdom remained in Savoy, while Sardinia was administered by viceroys. Unfortunately, there seems to be little information about them, even down to their full names.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Byzantine Sardinia between West and East - Features of a Regional Culture, Salvatore Cosentino (via Academia.edu), from Overview of Sardinia History (500-1500), Laura Galoppini, and A Revision of Sardinian History between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, Corrado Zedda (both from A Companion to Sardinian History, 500-1500, Michalle Hobart (Ed), Leiden: Brill, 2017), and from La storia di Sardegna, F C Casula (Sassari, 1994, in Italian).)

1720 - 1724

Filippo-Guglielmo Pallavicini

First Savoyard viceroy of Sardinia.

1724 - 1726

Doria Del Marco

1726 - 1728

Filippo-Guglielmo Pallavicini

Baron St Rémy. Second term of office.

1728 - 1730


1730 - 1735

Girolamo Galletti

1735 - 1739

Carlo-Amadeo San-Martino

1739 - 1741

Conte d'Allinge d'Apremont

1740 - 1748

The War of the Austrian Succession is a wide-ranging conflict that encompasses the North American King George's War, two Silesian Wars, the War of Jenkins' Ear, and involves most of the crowned heads of Europe in deciding the question of whether Maria Theresa can succeed as archduke of Austria and, perhaps even more importantly, as Holy Roman Emperor. Austria is supported by Britain, the Netherlands, the Savoyard kingdom of Sardinia, and Saxony (after an early switchover), but opposed by an opportunistic Prussia and France, who had raised the question in the first place to disrupt Habsburg control of Central Europe, backed up by Bavaria and Sweden (briefly). Spain joins the war in an unsuccessful attempt to restore possessions lost to Austria in 1715.

Charles Emanuel III of Savoy
Charles Emanuel III enjoyed a long reign as duke of Savoy and king of Sardinia, confirming his control over the island in the face of Spain's reluctance to let go of its lost possessions

1741 - 1745

Barone di Blonay

1745 - 1748


1748 - 1751


Prince of Valguarnera.

1751 - 1755

Giamnattista Cacherano

Conte di Brischerasio.

1755 - 1763


Conte della Trinitá.


Giambattisa Alfieri


Solaro De Govone

1763 - 1767

Lodovico Costa Della Trinitá

1767 - 1769

Charles Emanuel captures the Maddalena archipelago in the Strait of Bonifacio, taking it from Genoa, which had governed it along with Corsica. From this point forwards, the archipelago remains part of Sardinia, under the Savoyard kings.

1767 - 1771

Vittorio-Lodovico d'Hallot

Conte des Hayes.

1771 - 1773


Conte di Roubion.

1773 - 1777

Filippo Ferrero

1777 - 1781

Francesco-Maria Lascaris

1781 - 1783

Carlo-Francesco De Valperga

Conte di Masino.

1783 - 1787

Solaro de Maretta

1787 - 1790

Conte Thaon de Sant 'Andrea

1790 - 1794

Carlo Balbiano

1792 - 1796

Sardinia and Savoy join the First Coalition against the French First Republic, but this is defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte and the Savoyards are forced to sign the Treaty of Paris in 1796. The French are given free passage through Piedmont so that they can invade Italy.

1794 - 1799


1797 - 1798

Republican France begins the conquest of Austria's Italian territories, creating a client republic there. In 1798, the French General Joubert occupies Savoy's capital at Turin and forces Charles Emanuel to abdicate his Savoyard duchy and retire to Sardinia. Piedmont is united to France, but Sardinia remains untroubled by the remainder of the war.

Napoleon at the Battle of Rivoli
Napoleon commands at the Battle of Rivoli, 14-15 January 1797, the first French campaign in Italy against Austria, and the start of Bonaparte's highly successful command of the French forces in Italy

1799 - 1802

Duke Charles Felix of Savoy

Brother of King Charles Emanuel III of Savoy.

1802 - 1814

No viceroy is appointed to Sardinia during this period. Instead, the island is administered directly by the king during his exile from Savoy. In 1814, the kingdom is fully restored following the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. It also gains Genoa, which has been transformed into a duchy. The changes are ratified during the Congress of Vienna.

1814 - 1817

Duke Charles Felix of Savoy

Second term of office.

1817 - 1820

Ignazio Thaon De Revel

Conte di Pratolungo.

1820 - 1822

Ettore Veuillet


King Victor Emanuel's oppression leads to the outbreak of a liberal revolution which forces him to abdicate. While he has four daughters, he has no sons, and the application of Salic Law prevents the girls from succeeding him. Instead, his younger brother, Charles Felix, twice former viceroy of Sardinia, becomes duke of Savoy and king of Sardinia, along with his other titles, duke of Piedmont and Aosta.

1822 - 1823

Giuseppe-Maria Galleani

Conte di d'Agliano.

1823 - 1824

Gennaro Roero

Conte di Monticelli.

1824 - 1829

Giuseppe Tornielli

Conte di Vergano.

1829 - 1831

Giuseppe-Maria Robert

Conte di Castelvero.

1831 - 1840

Giuseppe-Maria Montiglio d'Ottiglio

1840 - 1843


Conte d'Asarta.

1843 - 1848

Claudio Gabriele de Launay

Last viceroy. Became prime minister.


Inspired by the 1848 French revolution and popular uprisings in Milan and Venice (twin capitals of the kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia), King Charles Albert of Savoy briefly goes to war against Austria in what is a short-lived encounter. He is defeated. In the following year he tries again and is similarly defeated in quick fashion, but the two attempts become known as the First War of Independence. Charles Albert abdicates the throne in favour of his son, while Claudio Gabriele de Launay, the last viceroy of Sardinia, becomes its seventh prime minister (until 7 May 1849).


Count Camillo Benso di Cavour is installed as the island's new, liberal minister. Together, Sardinia and Savoy quickly become a torchbearer for Italian unification. He is also the ninth prime minister in an office that had only been inaugurated in 1848, with most holders of the office being installed for just a couple of months. Benso bucks the trend, managing eight years over three terms, with the last ending with Italian unification in 1861.

Count Camillo Benso di Cavour
Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, Sardinia's new, liberal minister from 1852, was a leading figure in the move towards Italian unification, an aim which was achieved in 1861 after two years of war against Austria

1859 - 1861

The divided states and regions of Italy are forged by nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi into a single kingdom during the War of Unification. This mostly involves freeing the country from Austrian control. Once achieved, the Savoyard king of Sardinia becomes the first native king of Italy (a title previously held by the Holy Roman Emperors), gaining Parma, Sicily & Naples, and Spoleto, but at the same time losing Savoy to France.

Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original king list page for the History Files.