Biography of Conde de Barcelona Ramón Berenguer II (ca. 1053-1082)

Count of Barcelona born about 1053 and dead killed in the Perxa de l'Astor, in Vallès Oriental, halfway between Barcelona and Girona, December 5, 1082. It was also known with the nickname of head of bast, by her blonde hair and his large and heavy head.

He was the son of Ramon Berenguer I the old and Doña Almodis brand and, probably twin brother, Berenguer Ramon II the fratricide. In 1076, the death of his father, along with his brother inherited the counties of Barcelona, Girona, and Osona. Although the paternal Testament expressed the desire that the two brothers afraid with equal powers, the situation in practice at the beginning of his reign was a certain pre-eminence of Ramón Berenguer II. In 1078 his sole heir, married with dona Mafalda of Pulla-Calabria, who was born, shortly before the death of the count, Ramón Berenguer III.

Towards 1078 Berenguer Ramon, not content with the highest authority that his brother, had acquired made that Estopa head solemnly jurase equitable partition, in a meeting chaired by the Bishops of Barcelona and Girona and in which they were the Viscounts of Cardona and those counties. By these dates Ramón Berenguer II lent his support to the King of Seville, facing the kingdoms of Valencia, Toledo, Granada and Malaga, which Alfonso VI of Castile and Leon had joined. Defeated, the count returned to Barcelona and in 1078 delivered to his brother as a guarantee of partition the pariahs of Lleida. In that realm the colonization reached already Sidamon and Torregosa and restocking spread in 1079 Barberà basin. However, the Muslim danger returned to Lleida when the King of Zaragoza, al-Muqtadir, attacked his lands as a response to the offensive unleashed against him by the counts of Barcelona and Urgel and the taifa of Lleida (1078).

Despite the solemn oath and the assurances given to Berenguer Ramón II, from 1079 Ramón Berenguer tried to exert the Government of counties alone, which caused the rebellion of his brother, who asked the Papal discretion to resolve the problem. In the paterno will both brothers had been entrusted to the Pope and in 1079 Gregory VII ordered the Bishop of Girona that put end to discord and this Assembly invited the Abbots of Ripoll, Sant Cugat and Sant Ponç de Tomeres. The details of the negotiations are unknown with the count, but from them was a compromise solution. Ramón Berenguer II divided the city of Barcelona with their lands and castles, Castellvell and its brands, Plerdola, Vilafranca del Penedès, Eramprunyà, Benviure, Gavà, Vallmoll and their allods, Pallejà, Franqueses del Llobregat, Garrosa and other territories with his brother. He/She also accepted live for six months a year in the condal Palace and the other six in the Palace of Bernat Ramon reside. Agreed the indivisibility of sovereignty and the magazine responsibilities judicial, tax and coining of currency. But this did not seem enough to Count Berenguer, who continued with their demands. In 1080 Ramón Berenguer II gave his brother, in addition to the foregoing, the partition of the castle of Barberà and the counties of Carcassonne and Bruns, along with the promise of sharing future acquisitions, including vessels that were built or are buying. Finally the count gave as hostages 10 of his best men, among which were the Viscounts of Barcelona, Girona and Cardona. It seems that the dispute was resolved and both brothers agreed to then jointly lead the planned expedition next year, which would be carried out by land and sea.

The campaign scheduled for 1081 not materialized as a result of changes in the taifa kingdoms. During its preparation, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar offered his services to the count of Barcelona, which rejected them. When he/she left the city, el Cid fought against a nephew of the counts, he/she wounded. In the campaign of 1082 Ramón Berenguer II fought against the taifa Kingdom of Zaragoza, with the help of Sancho Ramírez of Navarre and the taifa King Lleida, which had been annexed to Zaragoza by Yusuf al-Mutamin. The latter had as an ally to the Cid, who, after being rejected, offered his services to the enemy of the count. The Vivar defeated the allies and captured Berenguer Ramón II during the siege of Almenara. After his release both sibling relationships worsened, which was probably the cause of the terrible events that were going to produce soon after.

On December 5 of that year head of bast, while traveling from Barcelona to Girona, was attacked and killed, possibly by his own men. His corpse was thrown to what was later known as the throat of the count or the Perxa d'Astor. Found the body thanks to the Falcon (astor) that the victim, who appeared to guide those who were looking for the body. It was moved to Girona and buried in its Cathedral. Happened in the County his brother, who, accused of participating in the murder of the Earl, was called since then the fratricide. This was in charge of the Regency of his nephew, the future Ramón Berenguer III el Grande, that when he/she reached the age of majority managed to bring to trial to his uncle, who was convicted of the murder of his brother (1097).

Bibliography

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

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

JMMT