AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The feudatories

by Vincenzo Falasca


After the destruction of Grumentum by the work of Saracens, at the end of the year 1000, in more stages, the bulk of the survivors found refuge on the opposite hill of Saponaria.

The resettlement of Grumentum people, feoffed by Normans around 1060, has as first Feudatory Robert d’Hauteville, Count of Montescaglioso. Confiscated from Robert’s son, William, due to the rebellion against the King Roger II, was assigned to the family of Fasanella.

In Swabian age (1246) Saponaria was under the control of Thomas of Fasanella which, in turn, having participated in the Conspiracy of Capaccio, saw his fief confiscated by the Emperor Frederick II.

Also Manfred ordered bands of Saracens to plunder the city because the Sanseverino family, who come into possession of the city in 1254, supported the House of Anjou.

Charles I of Anjou in 1267 gave back Saponaria to Roger Sanseverino, Count of Marsico and Saponaria. Under the Spanish Viceroyalty and the Crown of Aragon, Sigismund Sanseverino enjoyed the Conspiracy of the Barons in 1487 and saw confiscated the fief, than he had it back in 1496. By Hugh III Sanseverino happened the tragic episode of his three children, poisoned by their uncle Jerome to take possession of the fief.

Subsequently, Sanseverino of Saponaria knew periods of great splendor since 1622 when they became, by Louis, Princes of Bisignano, first Princedom in the Kingdom of Naples.

By Charles Marie Sanseverino Saponaria reached its peak. He became Dean of the Royal Audience of Basilicata and his daughter Aurora was a famous poet of Roman Arcadia. His successors, Luigi Seniore, Pietrantonio, Francesco Vincenzo and Tommaso, became real landmark for the feudality of the Kingdom. Tommaso was even appointed Minister of the Kingdom of Naples. His son Pietrantonio, using the Subversive Law of Feudalism, unloaded the remaining assets inherited. The last liege lord of Saponaria was Louis Sanseverino, Pietrantonio’s son, XVI Prince of Bisignano, who died in 1888.

In 1853 the Sanseverino sold all their belongings in Saponaria to the noble family of Giliberti, in the person of the Grand Prior of Bari Julius Caesar Giliberti.