Biography of Conde de Saboya Amadeo IV (ca. 1195-1253)

Tenth count of Savoy, born about 1195 and died July 11, 1253 in the castle of Montmélian.

He was the eldest son of the Earl Tomás I, Duke of Savoy and his wife, Margaret, daughter of count Guillermo I of the Genevese. We lack reliable about their birth data, although this should happen after 1195, by the fact that his father reached the age of majority only a year earlier, which had to be also the year of his marriage. What is certain is that Amadeo was already of age in 1215, when it is mentioned in the Treaty of Piverone, between the count of Savoy and the commune of Vercelli, which took political and military endeavours.

Amadeo IV succeeded his father upon his death in March of 1233. Immediately, her brother Aimone answered Amadeo paternal succession and denying the existence of a Tomás I will in his favor, called for the partition of the County heritage. Aimone was supported in his claims by his brother Pedro; Amadeo had another brother, Thomas. By intervention of the major vassals of the country, which acted as peacemakers, 1234 reached an agreement in Chillon: the unity of the State would be assured, but Amadeo made concessions to Aimone and Pedro; the first died childless in 1237 and their domains returned to Amadeo; Pedro married Agnes of Faucigny and independence from Savoy. To reward shots for the assistance provided during the struggles against their brethren, Amadeo ceded as a fief domains of the brand of Turin (April 13, 1235); a few months later it gave the lugartenencia in case of his absence and declared him heir to the County and to mark if he/she died without heirs. This procedure responded to the need to preserve the dynastic legitimacy against the aspirations of its neighbors, the Marquis of Monferrato and Saluzzo. However, already in December 1235 the two Marquis protested the succession established by the count and Amadeo was forced to cede Susa, Avigliana, Cavour, Vigone and Miradolo, although it could reserves the Faculty of test in favour of one of his daughters, if they had male offspring. The count confirmed its Testament in 1238 and 1240, introducing also new that if Thomas died childless the condal throne would happen to another of his brothers, Pedro and Felipe. The two Marquis insisted on its claims and of Monferrato joined the attack, having to act Manfred of Saluzzo as mediator.

At the bottom of Savoy with Monferrato and Saluzzo clashes were ramifications of struggles between the papacy and the Empire. The House of Savoy saw as increased its prestige in the European policy once the two daughters of Raimundo Berenguer IV, count of Provence, Eleanor and Margaret, respectively become Queens of England and France; the first by her marriage with Henry III in 1235; the second by being married to Luis IX in 1234. The nearly contemporary marriage of Federico II with the sister of Enrique III strengthened the ties between the Emperor and the Princes of Savoy. In the diet of Turin April 1238 Amadeo promised military support to Emperor Federico to the siege of Brescia. But while the Marquis of Monferrato and Saluzzo remained loyal to the Emperor, Amadeo, under the influence of his brothers, he/she decided to move away from Federico II and when this was excommunicated in 1239, the count of Savoie swore fidelity to the Pope Gregory IX. In 1243 the Earl and his brother Thomas were passed back to the side of the Emperor and were excommunicated by the Papal legacy in Savoy.

Amadeo IV adopted a policy of prudence oscillating and after having achieved absolution from excommunication offered hospitality to Pope Innocent IV on his trip to Lyon and obtained the concessions; However, in 1245, together with the communes and Princes of Piedmont, it supported the Emperor, who promised to Amadeo assignment of Rivoli. In 1246 the count of Savoy was fully in favour of the Emperor and worked as a mediator between Federico II and the Pope. Change of side of the Marquis of Monferrato to the papal side made more precious Savoyard support for the Emperor, who instructed Amadeo to travel to Lyon to treat reconciliation with the Pope. The plan did not work but in 1248 Federico II invested by Ivrea and Turin of Amadeo, Tomas (known as Tomás II, while it did not become count of Savoy), brother and distinguished him with the imperial Vicariate. The death of Federico II count of Savoy received the request of Pope Innocent IV restored the Church of Turin all those lands that had received from the Emperor, but the rapid manoeuvre of Thomas, who married a niece of the Pope, attempted to Amadeo the acquittal of all excommunication (may 1252).

In the autumn of 1252 Amadeo became ill and began to think about succession. His first wife had died in 1241 and towards 1243 the count married second wife Cecilia di Baux. In 1244 was born a male, Bonifacio, which made it vanish the aspirations of succession in the marquises of Saluzzo and Monferrato County. In September 1252 Amadeo made Testament leaving Bonifacio inheritance and all domains in the County of Savoy and Turin brand and naming Regent to his brother Thomas, who would have received all the States where Bonifacio died without male heirs.

Bibliography

HAYWARD, F. Histoire de la Maison de Savoie, 1553-1796. Paris, 1943.

MONGIANO, e Ricerche sulla successione intestata nei secoli XVI-XVIII. Turin, 1998.

PRIEUR, J. The Savoie antique: recueil de documents. Grenoble, 1977.

TABACCO, G. Piemonte medievale: form the potere e della società. Turin, 1985.

JMMT