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2 Lands and Fortresses

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Chapter Summary

Possession of lands and fortresses was integral to the identity of the military nobility, to their own sense of who they were and to others' sense of who they were as well. Individuals could be accounted members of the military nobility while holding no lands or castles, but a man would struggle to maintain that status if all his family had lost theirs. Ownership of a landed estate, even one with fortifications, would not in itself qualify a family to be considered signori di castelli. King Ferrante of Naples argued that the estates of the Roman barons 'are generally freely theirs, and not like the lands and estates of our kingdom' and those of other temporal princes. Roman barons were 'lords, not fiefholders or vicars' seeking confirmation or investiture from the pope, he said.

Keywords: fortresses; King Ferrante; lands; Naples; Roman barons



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