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European Kingdoms

Italian Peninsula


Giudici of Logudoro (Sardinia)
AD c.1060 - 1258

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 (also known as Torres thanks to its early capital at Porto Torres), and their administration became increasingly independent during the ninth century. Logudoro was located in the north-western corner of the island, with a tendril reaching the island's centre. It was neighboured to the east by Gallura, to the south-west by Arborea, and to the south-east by Cagliari. All details about the giudici until the beginning of the twelfth century are hotly disputed by scholars.

(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).)

c.1015 - c.1038

Gonario I Comita

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


Gonario of Torres is the earliest-known of the giudici of both Logudoro and Arborea, although the giudici have presumably been in office since about 697, and independent since the mid-ninth century. Gonario's double office raises the suggestion 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.

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

Comita II

Comita I could be Gonario I, also known as Comita. Died.


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

c.1060 - c.1073

Barisone I / Barison I

Son of Gonario? Former giudice of Arborea. Died.


Upon the death of Comita II, Barisone hands Arborea to his relation, Marianus, and assumes control of Logudoro. Very quickly, in 1063, he asks Desiderius of Benevento, abbot of Monte Cassino, to send twelve monks to establish a Benedictine abbey on Sardinia. However, the archdiocese of Pisa is determined to retain its religious monopoly over the island, so the monks are attacked at sea off the coast of the island of Giglio. Four of them are killed and the others return to Monte Cassino. Pope Alexander II excommunicates the Pisans for the assault, and in 1065 two more monks are sent. Barisone gives them Santa Maria di Bonarcado and Sant'Elia di Montesanto.

c.1064 - c.1073

Andrew Tanca

Son or nephew, and selected successor around 1064.


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 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.1082

Marianus I de Zori

Son or nephew of Barisone. Former giudice of Arborea.

c.1082 - c.1127

Constantine I

c.1127 - 1153

Gonario II

1130 - 1133

Together with Comita of Gallura and Constantine of Arborea, Gonario 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.



Gonario's rival for power.

1127 - 1140

Ittocorre Gambella


1133 - 1145

There is a break in any records concerning Comita II of Arborea during this period. One theory for this is that he is usurped by his brother, Torbeno, during a war against Logudoro. His death soon after his apparent restoration in 1145 sees his son replace him, soon after which Barisone also gains control of Logudoro.

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

1153 - 1186

Barisone II / Barison II


Casting aside Pellegrina de Lacon, his wife of the Sardinian nobility, Barisone marries Agalbursa de Cervera, the niece of 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

Barisone II of Arborea claims Cagliari 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 Barisone II of Logudoro unite with the Pisans (their traditional allies) to recapture Cagliari and then invade Arborea, and Barisone of Arborea is forced to seek refuge in Cabras Castle.

1186 - 1198

Constantine II

1198 - 1218

Comita III


Before his death, Barisone III of Gallura had secured his daughter's right to succeed him by commending his office to Pope Innocent III. Once she becomes giudice, Elena is the subject of offers of marriage and considerable disruption is caused on Sardinia as the various powers involved jockey for position. However, the pope is true to his duty and issues several reprimands to giudici, especially William I of Cagliari and Comita III of Logudoro.

1218 - 1233

Marianus II

1233 - 1236

Barisone III / Barison III

Son. Died without a male heir.


Ubaldo II of Gallura extends his power over Sardinia still further. Thanks to his marriage to Adelasia, daughter of Barisone III, when her father dies, she inherits his office as giudicessa, and Ubaldo is perfectly placed to dominate both her and Logudoro.

Santa Maria del Regno
The church of Santa Maria del Regno in Ardara near Sassari existed by the thirteenth century, with the workforce behind its constriction being Pisans

1236 - 1259



1236 - 1238

Ubaldo II Visconti

Husband and dominant ruler. Giudice of Gallura & Cagliari.


Upon the death of Ubaldo, Adelasia quickly marries Enzo, the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Ubaldo's will specifies that his cousin, John, is to be his successor in Gallura and, although this occurs, John is nothing more that a titular giudice. True power is seized and held by Enzo, although perhaps only briefly before John asserts himself.

1238 - 1272

Enzio / Enzo

Second husband. Son of HRE Frederick II.


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.

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