Biography of Conde de Cerdaña y Besalú Oliba Cabreta I (923-990)

Count of Cerdanya, and Besalú born to 923 and died at Montecassino in 990. He was also Lord of Berga, Conflent, and Vallespir. He ruled together with his three brothers: Sunifred, count of Cerdanya; Lam, who was count of Besalú; and Miró, called Bonfill, who served as an ecclesiastical career. The four brothers developed a solidarity policy where they combined their respective spheres of power. During that time he was the most important family of Catalonia, together with the counts of Barcelona, whose lineage shared kinship.

It was the third male Miró II the young Earl and the Countess Ava. His father had provided a mode of succession which will govern the four children, but on his death in 927 were all minors and Doña Ava took over his guardianship and the administration of counties. The first time Oliba is mentioned in the documents is in 936, at the time of purchase, together with his mother, of some land in Vallespir.

He was of age to 938 and began collaborating with his brother Sunifredo in the Government of la Cerdanya. In 952 received jointly with his brothers a precept of Luis IV of France, which passed to his power of property expropriated to the Viscount Sunifred, accused of treason; that same year the four participated in the Foundation of the monastery of Sant Per de Camprodon. A year later he attended together with the count of Cerdanya the consecration of the Church of Sant German de Cuixà. In 957 Oliba and Sunifred took control following the murder of Wilfred IIof Besalú. Together made in 959 donations to the Viscount of Conflent Isarn and, together with Miró exchanging goods with the Abbess Fredeburga de Sant Joan de les Abadesses.

In 965 Oliba was at the forefront of the lineage after the death of Cerdagne Sunifred, died his mother Ava in 961. The Government of Besalú, commissioned Miro although in some documents he continued signing as count of Besalú, while Miro, who was Bishop of Girona, from 965 ruled under the authority of his brother. In 984 Oliba travelled to Rome together with the Abbot of Cuixà Gari for Pope Juan XIII's two bulls, one for the monastery of Arles and one for de Cuixà. In 974 he presided over the consecration of the Church of Sant Miquel de Cuixà, started to be built by Sunifred II along with the Bishop of Girona and other magnates. Oliba and Miró made donations to the monastery of Ripoll in 957. In 977, they founded the monastery of Sant Pere de Besalú, and that same year attended, along with Borrell II of Barcelona and other nobles, the consecration of the new basilica of Ripoll. Also in 977 founded the convent of Santa María i Sant Urbici of Serrateix. Four years later they made a new donation to Ripoll.

In 979 Oliba devastated and looted lands of Carcassonne, without which there could be documented why argued the count of Cerdagne to do so. The result of the military superiority of the conde Oliba was delivery by Roger I of Carcassonne in the region of Capcir along with the lands of Sault, Fenolheda, Donzan, and Parapetusa, which has since remained attached to the heritage of the House of Cerdagne. On those dates, Oliba was forced to quell an uprising against the Lords of the castles of Viver and Estela, in the area close to the mark from Solsona.

Oliba Cabreta was called by a physical difficulty that prevented him to express themselves, all of the counties since the death of Miró II Bonfil in 984 and ruled until 988. His marriage to Ermengarde, which took place around 966, had four sons and a daughter, Oliba, who took up the ecclesiastic career; Bernat, who inherited the County of Besalú; Wilfred II, count of Cerdanya; Berenguer and Adelaide. Also had an illegitimate daughter of Ingilberga, wife of Emenir, veguer of Besora, which received the same name as his mother and was the last Abbess of Sant Joan de les Abadesses.

The Oliba Earl led an eventful life, charged with crimes. At the end of his days he sought of Romualdo, a hermit with a reputation of Holy confession, finding no other way of salvation to abandon the world and take the monastic habits. In February 988, with a recua of fifteen mules laden with riches, took the path of Italy to enter the monastery of Monte Cassino, where he ordered monk and remained until his death. After his March to Italy his wife Ermengarde dealt with all counties during the minority of his sons. Even in its early years of widowhood, allowed to participate in the Government of their States.

Bibliography

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

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

PLA CARGOL, J. The province of Girona. Girona, 1945.

JMMT