Biography of Conde de Barcelona Berenguer Ramón II (ca. 1053-ca. 1099)

Count of Barcelona, Girona, and Osona, known as the fratricide, born about 1053 and died in Jerusalem to 1099. During his Government carried out the repopulation of the territories conquered by his predecessors, and he/she developed an important work of reconquest and expansion.

Son of Ramón Berenguer I of Barcelona and Doña Almodis brand, inherited the County along with his brother, probably twin, Ramón Berenguer II, called head of bast, on the death of his father in 1076, although this remained a pre-eminent position on his brother in the distribution of powers. This situation Ramón Berenguer II was forced, at the beginning of his reign, to promise the partition with his brother, in a meeting in which the Bishops of Girona and Barcelona and the Viscounts of Barcelona, Girona and Cardona met. In 1078 Berenguer Ramon received his brother shared government guarantees based on the outcasts of Lleida. Taifa King Lleida, Yusuf - al - Muzaffar, on continuous fight against his brother, the King of Zaragoza, Ahmed al-Muqtadir, allowed the County of Barcelona to extend across the plain of Urgell to Sidamon and Torregossa (1079). That same year the colonization through Barberà basin had already reached L'Espluga de Francolí.

Despite the Pact of 1078, Ramón Berenguer tried the following year to exercise sovereignty over the County alone; This Act caused the rebellion of Berenguer Ramon, who claimed the Papal arbitration to resolve the confrontation between two brothers; February 2 Gregory VII ordered the Bishop of Barcelona, Berenguer Wifredo, that he/she act as a mediator and the following year the crisis seemed to have been solved.

From 1082 Berenguer Ramón II continued the war against Muslims on their own. Allied with Sancho Ramírez of Aragon and with the King of the taifa of LLeida, that had been incorporated into the Zaragoza by Yusuf al-Mutamin and refused the help offered by Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, who traveled to Barcelona to offer its services to Berenguer Ramon II and, being rejected, went to fight for the King of Zaragoza. The count of Barcelona was defeated and taken prisoner by the Cid during the siege of Almenara (1082). After being released must have felt frustrated and is possible that it was the object of ridicule; This soured his character and can it determine the subsequent events.

December 5, 1082 was killed Ramón Berenguer II by his own men in a lonely place known as the Perxa of Astor, between Girona and Barcelona. Berenguer Ramon, whose relations with his brother had returned to worsen after the defeat of Almenara, was accused of organizing the murder, but, in the absence of evidence, given the compliance to the testament of his father and went on to rule the County of Barcelona, which prevented his nephew Ramon Berenguer III the great future participate in the administration of the County. During the first years of its Barcelona Office alone its sovereignty was respected by all the Catalan counts except for the Carcassonne and Bruns, Bernat Ato of Béziers where adopted the title of Viscount of Carcassonne in 1085.

In may 1085 the count of Barcelona was charged with organizing the murder of Ramón Berenguer II by a notable Assembly presided over by the Bishop Berenguer Sunifred de Vic. It was entrusted the custody of the son of the murdered Bishop Earl and was the Organization of the fight against Berenguer Ramon II Guifré Ramon, count of Cerdanya. It was decided to also offer the tutelage of the orphan and the domain of the County of Barcelona, Alfonso VI of Castile and Leon. However this solution was not well received in the County and in June 1086 a new Assembly met this time directed by the lineage of Cabrera, which was reached a satisfactory solution: Berenguer Ramon II would be guardian of his nephew during eleven years, after which they join the throne Ramón Berenguer III.

In 1086, the count of Barcelona continued the war against Zaragoza, now ruled by Ahmed al - Mutasin, who, like his predecessor, was allied with the Cid. Berenguer Ramon II was again with the Alliance from Sancho Ramírez of Aragon, al - Mundhir of Lleida and Tortosa and with the new support of Armengol IV of Urgell. Berenguer Ramon planned take Valencia; the King of Valencia, Utman to the Qadi, protected by Alfonso VI of Castile, laid siege to Xàtiva, but was defeated by the Catalan troops, who immediately took the road of the city of the Turia. However the immediate attack of Lleida by the Cid and Ahmed al - Mutasin made the allies to lift the siege of the city and returning to Catalonia. After the defeat of Alfonso VI at Sagrajas (1086) and the emergence of the Almoravids in the Iberian peninsula, the situation returned to be advantageous for Berenguer Ramón II, with the same support it before, returned to attempt the conquest of Valencia (1088). Once more the opposition of the Cid and the King of Zaragoza made them to desist. The count of Barcelona managed to then negotiate the inhibition of Ahmed al - Mutasin and again rushed the site of Valencia. And again the Cid, this time with the help of the King of Castile, defeated forces joint ventures, which Berenguer Ramon had to retire at Requena (1089). Since that time the count lost the Alliance of Aragon and Urgell and, after the failure of negotiations with Alfonso VI, saw limited its help to the taifa of Lleida.

When in 1090 Berenguer Ramón II had an encounter with his enemy, the Cid, in the pinar de Tevar, near the mountainous passage of Beseit, the Earl was captured by de Vivar, along with some of his knights, among which highlighted Gerau Alemany de Cervelló. Requested a ransom for them of 80,000 Valencia gold frames. The count got their freedom after reaching an agreement with the Cid in Daroca (1090), by which Berenguer Ramon would stop its expansive policy toward Lleida, Tortosa and Valencia; the Cantar de Mio Cid relates the event and indicates that the prison of the count lasted three days in which it was submitted to a hunger strike and was released, although the veracity of this information is dubious, given the literary nature of singing. Relations between the count and the Cid are normalized to such an extent that the count of Barcelona negotiated the marriage of his nephew Ramón Berenguer III with Doña María, daughter of don Rodrigo, once this achieved sovereignty over Valencia (1094); the marriage was held in 1098.

From 1088 1089 Count Berenguer obtained from Rome, the establishment of Barcelona as a metropolitan see, which meant the independence of the Catalan Church. In those years he/she began to act Ramón Berenguer III along with his uncle and in October 1091 Pope Urban II called on both counts and decreed the coming of age of Ramón Berenguer III, which thereafter acted without the supervision of his uncle. In 1091 the Bishop of Vic, Berenguer Sunifredo, got the Pope's confirmation of the establishment of the archiepiscopal see of Barcelona and on these dates the Earl tried to appropriating the Royal title. Although the Daroca Pact limiting the expansionism of the Count Berenguer, this planned the occupation of Tarragona and in 1092, helped by Sancho Ramírez of Aragon, attacked Tortosa.

Following be decreed the coming of age of Ramón Berenguer III the noble opposition towards the count it was reactivated and accusations of fratricide led him to undergo judicial combat with the Court of Alfonso VI; defeated, he/she was declared guilty and stripped of the Barcelona title, which went to his nephew.

Although the count goes away documentation of March 3, 1097, the Gesta Comitum mentioned that he/she became silent and died during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem June 20, although the year is not indicated. 1078 / 1079 he/she married Doña Matilda Apulia and it has not been evidence that had children. At the beginning of his reign were coined in Barcelona a few coins known as anonymous, which maintained a fixed value during the reign of his successors, Ramón Berenguer III and Ramón Berenguer IV.

Bibliography

D'ABADAL, R. Els primers comtes catalans. Barcelona, Teide, 1958.

D'ABADAL, R. The formation of the Catalonia independent. Barcelona, 1970.

JMMT.