Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Knight Templar to Pirate – Part I

Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Knight Templar to Pirate – Part I

Roger de Flor was a swashbuckling military adventurer and condottiere (mercenary) leader of the Catalan Company. He was born in the city of Brindisi, Italy, which at the time of his birth was a part of the Kingdom of Sicily. He was the youngest son of Richard von Blum (Blum in German means flower), a German falconer who served Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and an Italian mother who was the daughter of an honorable and wealthy man (possibly a patrician) from Brindisi. Roger also had an older brother by the name of Jacob.

Power Struggles

The Royal Coronation mantel 1133/34 (dyed silk, gold thread and pearls, precious stones) of the Kingdom of Sicily

The Royal Coronation mantel 1133/34 (dyed silk, gold thread and pearls, precious stones) of the Kingdom of Sicily (Public Domain)

Not long after Roger’s birth, the Kingdom of Sicily was embroiled in a war between Charles of Anjou, the youngest son of King Louis VIII of France, and King Conradin (Conrad) of Sicily in late summer of 1268. It was during this war that Roger’s father, Richard, joined to aid in the defense of Sicily. According to the Ramon Muntaner Chronicle, Richard was “a man expert in arms and wished to fight in the battle.” On 23 August 1268, the supporters of Conradin and the army of Charles of Anjou meet at Scurcola Marsicana province of L'Aquila, present-day Italy, in what is known as the Battle of Tagliacozzo.


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