Borrell II, Count of Barcelona

Borrell II (died 993) was Count of Barcelona, Girona, and Ausona from 945 and Count of Urgell from 948.

Borrell was first seen acting as Count during the reign of his father Sunyer II in 945 at the consecration of the nunnery church of Sant Pere de les Puelles in Barcelona. In 947, Sunyer retired to monastic life and ceded the government of his realms jointly to his sons Borrell and Miró I. In 948, Borrell inherited Urgell from his uncle Sunifred II.[1] Sunyer died in 950, and Miró died in 966, leaving Borrell sole ruler of more than half of Old Catalonia, a status which led outsiders and flatterers to refer to him as dux Gothiae, "Duke of Gothia". His own documents almost all refer to him merely as comes et marchio, "Count and Marquis".[2]

Borrell II, Count of Barcelona
Borel II
Noble familyHouse of Barcelona
Eimeruda of Auvergne
FatherSunyer, Count of Barcelona
MotherRichilda of Rouergue


Borrell was the son of Sunyer. In 967 he married Letgarda, who is speculated to have been daughter of a Count of Toulouse or Rouergue based on the names given to her children. By her Borrell had two sons and two daughters: Ramon Borrell (972-1017), Ermengol (974–1010), Ermengarda and Richilda. After Letgarda's death circa 986, he married Eimeruda of Auvergne in 987.

Borrell's military career seems to have been undistinguished — he is recorded as fighting only two battles and seems to have lost both - and it was under his rule that Barcelona was sacked in 985 by the Muslim leader Almanzor.[3][4] On the other hand, he had far greater success as a diplomat. Before the attacks of the 980s, and discounting a single raid by the Caliph al-Hakam II soon after his succession in 961, he maintained cordial relations with the Muslim rulers of Córdoba and also sent emissaries to the kings of the Franks.[5] Furthermore, in 970, he voyaged to Rome to meet with both Pope John XIII and Emperor Otto I.[6]

Borrell was also a patron of learning and culture. In 967, Borrell visited the monastery of Aurillac and the Abbot asked the count to take Gerbert of Aurillac (the future Pope Sylvester II) with him so that the boy could study mathematics in Spain. In the following years, Gerbert studied under the direction of Bishop Atto of Vic, some 60 km north of Barcelona, and probably also at the nearby Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll.[7] He was also taken on the 970 embassy to Rome, during which the Pope persuaded Otto to employ Gerbert as a tutor for his young son, the future emperor Otto II.

In 985 the Hispanic March was attacked by the Muslim general Almanzor, who managed to take Barcelona, which was pillaged and sacked. Many citizens were taken prisoner by the Muslim forces.[8] Borrell sent a request for help to King Lothar III, the current King of the Western Franks,[9] but although documents of Borrell's refer to royal orders that must have come from this embassy,[10] actual military assistance was beyond Lothar's power. What appears to have been a similar plea to Hugh Capet resulted in a letter from Hugh to Borrell promising aid if the count preferred "to obey us rather than the Ishmaelites",[11] but in any event Hugh could not persuade his nobles to support a southern expedition.[12] No answer to Hugh's letter is known from Borrell, and the connection between the March and France was effectively broken. Catalan historians now consider this the point at which Catalonia became a sovereign power, and the millennium of their independence was celebrated in 1987 with conferences and numerous publications; however it appears that Catalan counties other than Borrell's retained links with the Frankish crown for a little longer.[13]

From 988, Borrell's sons Ramon Borrell and Ermengol appear as rulers in a divided territory, with Ramon Borrell being count of Barcelona, Girona, and Osona and Ermengol being count of Urgell.[14] Borrell II continued to issue documents and tour his domains, however, and when he was taken ill in 993 in Castellciutat near la Seu d'Urgell, the will that he made provided for him outliving his executors.[15] It was not to be, however, and his death followed soon afterwards.[16]


  1. ^ An old historiography confuses Borrell's father Sunyer with Sunifred I Count of Cerdanya (928-66). The correct succession to the Catalan counties was clarified by Prosper de Bofarull, Los Condes de Barcelona Vindicados, y Cronología y Genealogía de los Reyes de España considerados como Soberianos Independientes de su Marca. Tomo I: abraza los siete primeros, desde el año 874 al 1035. Barcelona 1836, reprinted 1990.
  2. ^ Jonathan Jarrett, Pathways of Power in late-Carolingian Catalonia. Ph. D. thesis, University of London, 2005, pp. 192–93.
  3. ^ Catalunya Carolíngia V: els comtats de Girona, Besalú, Empúries i Peralada. Editors Santiago Sobrequés i Vidal, S. Riera i Viader, Manuel Rovira i Solà, completed by Ramon Ordeig i Mata. Barcelona: Institut d'Estudis Catalans 2005. Doc. no. 457.
  4. ^ Pierre de Marca, Marca Hispanica sive Limes Hispanicus, hoc est geographica & historica descriptio cataloniae, ruscinonis, & circumiacentium populorum. Edited by Étienne Baluze. Paris 1688; reprinted Barcelona 1972 & 1989. Translated by J. Icart as Marca Hispànica, o País de la Frontera Hispanica: versió catalana. Barcelona 1965. Appendix no. CXXXIII.
  5. ^ Philippe Sénac, "Note sur les relations diplomatiques entre les comtes de Barcelone et le califat de Cordoue au Xe siècle". Histoire et Archéologie des Terres Catalanes au Moyen Âge. Edited by Philippe Sénac. Perpignan 1995, pp. 87–101.
  6. ^ Richer, Histories, cap. III.43. Edited as Richer von Sankt-Remi: Historiae'. Editor Harmut Hoffmann. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores 38. Hannover: Hahn 2000.
  7. ^ Mayfield, Betty (August 2010). "Gerbert d'Aurillac and the March of Spain: A Convergence of Cultures". Mathematical Association of America.
  8. ^ Gaspar Feliu i Montfort, La presa de Barcelona per Almansor. Història i mitificació Archived December 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Barcelona: Institut d'Estudis Catalans 2007.
  9. ^ The Letters of Gerbert with his Papal Privileges as Sylvester II, translated with an introduction. Translated by H. P. Lattin. Records of Civilisation: sources and studies 60. New York 1961. No. 77
  10. ^ Diplomatari de la vila de Cardona, anys 966–1276: Arxiu Parroquial de Sant Miquel i Sant Vicenç de Cardona, Arxiu Abacial de Cardona, Arxiu Históric de Cardona, Arxius Patrimonials de les masies Garriga de Bergus, Pala de Coma i Pinell. Edited by A. Galera i Pedrosa. Colleció Diplomataris 15. Barcelona: Fundació Noguera 1998. Doc. no. 7
  11. ^ Lattin, Letters, no. 120.
  12. ^ Richer, Historiae IV.12.
  13. ^ J. Dufour, "Obédience respective des Carolingiens et des Capétiens (fin Xe siècle–début XIe siècle)". Catalunya i França Meridional a l'entorn de l'any mil: la Catalogne et la France méridionale autour de l'an mil. Colloque International du D. N. R. S./Generalitat de Catalunya « Hugues Capet 987-1987 : la France de l'an mil », Barcelona 2-5 juliol 1987. Edited by Xavier Barral i Altet, Dominique Iogna-Prat, Anscari M. Mundó, Josep María Salrach & Michel Zimmermann. Col·lecció Actes de Congressos 2. Barcelona 1991, pp. 21–44.
  14. ^ Bofarull, Condes, I pp. 139–53.
  15. ^ "Els documents, dels anys 981–1010, de l'Arxiu Capitular de la Seu d'Urgell". Edited by Cebrià Baraut. Urgellia Vol. 3. Montserrat 1980. Pages 7–166. Doc. no 232.
  16. ^ Cebrià Baraut, "La data i el lloc de la mort del comte Borrell II de Barcelona-Urgell". Urgellia Vol. 10. Montserrat 1990, pp. 469–72.
Preceded by
Count of Barcelona
with Miro I (947–966)
Succeeded by
Ramon Borrell

The 940s decade ran from January 1, 940, to December 31, 949.

== Events ==

=== 940 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

The tribe of the Polans begin the construction of the fortified settlements: Giecz, Bnin, Ląd, Gniezno, Poznań, Grzybowo and Ostrów Lednicki in Greater Poland. The Piast Dynasty under Duke Siemomysł gains control over other groups of Polans along the Upper Vistula and establish their rule around Giecz (approximate date).

====== Japan ======

March 25 – Taira no Masakado, the self-proclaimed 'new emperor', is subdued by local rivals who revolt against his rule. His forces are defeated by his cousin, Taira no Sadamori, in Shimōsa Province. Masakado's head is brought back to Emperor Suzaku in Tokyo.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

Saadia Gaon, a Jewish rabbi and philosopher, compiles his Siddur (Jewish prayer book) in Arabic and synagogal poetry in modern-day Iraq (approximate date).

====== Religion ======

Narita-san ("New victory temple"), a Shingon Buddhist temple, is founded in Chiba (Japan).

=== 941 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

May–September – Rus'–Byzantine War: The Rus' and their allies, the Pechenegs, under the Varangian prince Igor I of Kiev, cross the Black Sea with an invasion fleet of 1,000 ships (40,000 men) and disembark on the northern coast of Asia Minor. While the Byzantine fleet is engaged against the Arabs in the Mediterranean, the Rus' forces reach the gates of Constantinople. Emperor Romanos I organizes the defense of the capital and assembles 15 old ships (equipped with throwers of Greek fire) under the chamberlain (protovestiarios) Theophanes. The Byzantines repel the Rus' fleet (nearly annihilating the entire fleet) but can not prevent the invaders from pillaging the hinterland of Constantinople, venturing as far south as Nicomedia (modern-day İzmit). In September, John Kourkouas and Bardas Phokas ("the Elder"), two leading generals, destroy the Rus' forces in Thrace. Igor manages, with only a handful of boats, to escape to the Caspian Sea.

====== Europe ======

Spring – Henry I, duke of Bavaria, plots to assassinate his brother, King Otto I, at the royal palace in Quedlinburg (modern Saxony-Anhalt), but the conspiracy is discovered and Henry is put in captivity in Ingelheim. He is released after doing penance at Christmas.

Fall – Hugh of Provence, king of Italy, leads a fourth expedition to Rome to dislodge Alberic II. He proceeds to Lazio, preparing a campaign to capture the papal capital. Again the attacks fail and Hugh retreats to Milan.

Olaf Guthfrithson, a Norse-Irish chieftain, is killed while raiding an ancient Anglian church at Tyninghame (Northern Northumbria). He is succeeded by his cousin Olaf Sigtryggsson as ruler of Jórvik (modern Yorkshire).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Oda ("the Good") is appointed archbishop of Canterbury in England after the death of Wulfhelm.

Kaminarimon, the eight-pillared gate to the Sensō-ji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Japan, is erected.

=== 942 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Summer – The Hungarians invade Al-Andalus (modern Spain) and besiege the fortress city of Lerida. They devastate Cerdanya and Huesca, and capture Yahya ibn Muhammad ibn al Tawil, Umayyad governor (wali) of the town of Barbastro. Lacking food stores and sufficient forage, the Hungarians retreat to the Gothic March.

Battle of Fraxinet: King Hugh of Provence launches an attack on Fraxinet, the Moorish fortress on the Côté d'Azur that had taken control of the Piedmontese valleys. With the assistance of a Byzantine fleet sent by Emperor Romanos I, Hugh lays siege to the Moorish fortress with the help of Hungarian auxiliary troops (Kabars).

Fall – Hugh of Provence makes a truce with the Moors of Fraxinet, after hearing the news that a Swabian army is about to descend on Italy. He allows the Moors to attack the Alpine passes for his own political ends in his struggle with Berengar of Ivrea. The Byzantines cry foul and end their alliance with Hugh.

December 17 – William I ("Longsword"), duke of Normandy, is ambushed and assassinated by supporters of Arnulf I ("the Great"), count of Flanders, while the two are at a peace conference at Picquigny (on an island on the Somme) to settle their differences. William is succeeded by his 9-year-old son Richard.

Winter – The Hungarians raid Friuli and descend into central Italy. Hugh of Provence grants them a large sum of tribute if they return to the Gothic March or Spain. The Hungarians refuse the offer and raid the countryside of Lazio, destroying the region of Sabina.

====== England ======

King Edmund I moves with his army north to reconquer the Five Boroughs (the five main towns of Danish Mercia) in modern-day East Midlands from the Norse-Irish king Olaf Sigtryggsson.

Idwal Foel, king of Gwynedd, openly rebels against the overlordship of Edmund I. He and Llywelyn ap Merfyn, king of Pows, are killed fighting the English forces.

Hywel Dda, king of Deheubarth, annexes Gwynedd and Powys, to become the sole ruler of most of Wales.

====== Asia ======

Mularaja, founder of the Chaulukya Dynasty, supplants the last Chavda ruler, Samanta-Simha, in Gujarat (modern India). He founds an independent kingdom with his capital in Anahilapataka (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Fall – Pope Stephen VIII tries to negotiate a peace that will end the feud between Alberic II, de facto ruler of Rome, and Hugh of Provence (his stepfather) but he dies after a 3-year reign. Stephen is succeeded by Marinus II as the 128th pope of the Catholic Church.

=== 943 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Spring – Allied with the Russians, a Hungarian army raids Moesia and Thrace. Emperor Romanos I buys peace, and accepts to pay a yearly tribute (protection money) to the Hungarians. His frontiers now 'protected' on the Balkan Peninsula, Romanos sends a Byzantine expeditionary force (80,000 men) led by general John Kourkouas (his commander-in-chief) to invade northern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

====== Europe ======

Caspian expeditions of the Rus': The Russians under the Varangian prince Igor I of Kiev sail up the Kura River, deep into the Caucasus, and defeat the forces of the Sallarid ruler Marzuban ibn Muhammad. They capture the fortress city of Barda (modern Azerbaijan).

Battle of Wels: A joint Bavarian–Carantanian army led by Bertold (duke of Bavaria) defeats the Hungarians near Wels (Upper Austria), who are attacked at a crossing of the Enns River at Ennsburg.

====== England ======

King Edmund I ravages Strathclyde and defeats the Scottish king Constantine II, who has reigned as king of Alba since 900. Constantine, ruler of the 'Picts and Scots', abdicates to enter a monastery and yields control of his realm to his cousin Malcolm I.

The Trinity Bridge at Crowland, Lincolnshire is described, in the 'Charter of Eadred'.

=== 944 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Arab–Byzantine War: Byzantine forces are defeated by Sayf al-Dawla. He captures the city of Aleppo and extends his control over the Al-Jazira–Upper Mesopotamia region. Al-Dawla's rule is recognized by the Ikhshidids.

August 15 – The "Holy Mandylion" (a cloth with the face of Jesus) is conveyed to Constantinople, where it arrives on the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. A triumphal entry is staged for the relic in the capital.

December 16 – Emperor Romanos I is arrested and deposed after a 14-year reign by his own sons, the co-emperors Stephen and Constantine. He is carried off to the Prince Islands and forced to become a monk.

====== Europe ======

King Hugh of Provence dispatches an embassy to King Otto I of the East Frankish Kingdom, offering a large sum of cash if he promises not to provide assistance to Berengar of Ivrea. Otto refuses this offer.

Raymond III (or Pons I), count of Toulouse, travels to Nevers (southeast of Paris) to declare his fidelity to king Louis IV ("d'Outremer"). He is granted the title 'prince of the Aquitanians' by the king.

====== England ======

King Edmund I regains (with the help of Danish settlers) the territory he ceded to Olaf Guthfrithson. He conquers Northumbria and cedes Cumberland to Malcolm I, king of the 'Picts and Scots'.

A great storm sweeps across Wessex and many houses are destroyed, 1,500 in London alone (a significant proportion of the town).

====== Africa ======

Abu Yazid, a Kharijite Berber leader, launches a rebellion in the Aurès Mountains (modern Algeria) against the Fatamids, seeking aid from the Caliphate of Córdoba in Al-Andalus.

The cities of Algiers and Miliana are re-founded by the Zirid ruler (emir) Buluggin ibn Ziri.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

The Al-Askari Mosque is built in Samarra (modern Iraq).

=== 945 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

January 27 – The co-emperors Stephen and Constantine are overthrown barely a month after deposing their father, Romanos I. With the help of his wife, Constantine VII becomes sole emperor of the Byzantine Empire. He appoints to the highest army commands four members of the Phokas family, which have been in disgrace under Romanos.

Constantine VII concludes a Rus'–Byzantine treaty in which Rus' merchants are to conduct their trade in Constantinople. While many Rus' make their fortunes in trade with the Arab Muslims, the Rurik Dynasty of Kiev grows rich from Byzantine commerce.

====== Europe ======

Spring – Berengar of Ivrea invades Italy with hired Lombard troops and takes up residence in Milan. Berengar proceeds to Verona, where he is joined by forces of Count Milo and other partisans.

King Hugh of Provence lays siege to Vignola to put an end to Berengar's advance. But to no avail, as Berengar of Ivrea is hailed throughout northern Italy as a liberator, and Hugh flees to Provence.

April 13 – Hugh of Provence abdicates the throne in favor of his son Lothair II (who has been co-ruler since 931) and is acclaimed as sole king of Lombardia. Hugh is allowed to retire in Pavia.

Igor I, ruler of the Kievan Rus', is killed while collecting tribute from the Drevlians and is succeeded by his three-year-old son Sviatoslav I. His mother Olga becomes regent and the official ruler.

Summer – King Louis IV ("d'Outremer") is captured by the Normans and handed over to Hugh the Great. In return for the release of Louis, Laon surrenders to him in compensation.

Caliph Abd-al-Rahman III occupies the palace of Medina Azahara (called "the shining city") as the new capital of the Caliphate of Córdoba (modern Spain).

====== England ======

King Edmund I conquers Strathclyde, forms an alliance with Malcolm I (king of the 'Picts and Scots') and cedes Cumberland and Westmorland to him.

King Hywel Dda ("the Good") convenes a conference at Whitland, which draws up a standardized code of laws in Wales (approximate date).

====== Arabian Empire ======

Summer – Sayf al-Dawla is defeated by Muslim forces under Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid near Qinnasrin. He is forced to abandon his Syrian domains and flees to Raqqa. In October the two men come to an agreement, which recognizes Hamdanid rule over northern Syria, founding the Emirate of Aleppo.

Winter – Muslim forces under Nasir al-Dawla capture Baghdad and restore Caliph Al-Muttaqi to power again. Al-Dawla establishes himself as amir al-umara, or de facto regent of the Abbasid Caliphate.

====== China ======

Autumn – The Min Kingdom is destroyed by the Southern Tang. Emperor Yuan Zong expands its domains beyond those of the former Wu Kingdom. He annexes Min territory into its own boundaries.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Dunstan becomes abbot of Glastonbury Abbey in England. He re-creates monastic life by establishing Benedictine monasticism in the monastery.

=== 946 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Summer – King Otto I invades the West Frankish Kingdom with an expeditionary force, but his armies are not strong enough to take the key cities of Laon, Reims and Paris. After three months, Otto ends his campaign without defeating his rival Hugh the Great. He manages to depose Hugh of Vermandois from his position as archbishop of Reims, restoring Artald of Reims to his former office.

====== England ======

May 26 – King Edmund I is murdered at age 25 by an outlawed robber while attending St. Augustine's Day mass in Pucklechurch (Gloucestershire). He is succeeded by his brother Eadred (or Edred) as king of England.

====== Arabian Empire ======

January 28 – Caliph Al-Mustakfi is blinded and deposed by Emir Mu'izz al-Dawla, ruler of the Buyid Empire. He is succeeded by Al-Muti and becomes only a figurehead (with the Buyid Dynasty as dominate rule) of the once-powerful Abbasid Caliphate while he tries to restore peace.

Battle of Baghdad: Along the banks of the Tigris, Buyid forces under Mu'izz al-Dawla defeat the Hamdanids for control of the city. They are forced to pay tax revenues and agree to recognize Al-Muti as the legitimate caliph.

====== Japan ======

May 16 – Emperor Suzaku abdicates the throne after a 16-year reign. He is succeeded by his brother Murakami, who becomes the 62nd emperor of Japan.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Summer – Pope Marinus II dies at Rome after a four-year reign. He is succeeded by Agapetus II and elected with the support of the Roman despot Alberic II. Agapetus is installed as the 129th pope of the Catholic Church.

====== Volcanology ======

Super-colossal (VEI-7) 946 AD Eruption of Paektu Mountain on the modern North Korea-China border.

=== 947 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Summer – A Hungarian army led by Grand Prince Taksony campaigns in Italy, heading southwards on the eastern shore of the peninsula. It besieges Larino and reaches Otranto, plundering Apulia for three months. Berengar of Ivrea negotiates a truce and offers them a massive tribute (for which he imposes a special tax).

Winter – King Otto I cedes the Duchy of Bavaria to his brother Henry I. To secure his rule, Henry is married to Judith, a daughter of Arnulf I ("the Bad"), and appoints a series of counts palatine.

====== England ======

Horsham, a market town on the upper reaches of the Aran River in West Sussex, is first mentioned in 'King Eadred's land charter' (see History of Horsham).

====== Arabian Empire ======

August 19 – Abu Yazid, a Kharijite Berber leader who has led a rebellion against the Fatimid Caliphate in Ifriqiya, is defeated in the Hodna Mountains (modern-day Algeria). Caliph Al-Mansur Billah sets about restoring the Fatimid dominion over North Africa and Sicily.

====== China ======

January 11 – Emperor Tai Zong of the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty invades the Later Jin (Five Dynasties), resulting in the destruction of the Later Jin. Khitan forces head southwards to the Yellow River, but must return to their base in present-day Beijing in May after Tai Zong dies of an illness.

March 10 – The Later Han is founded by Liu Zhiyuan, the military governor (jiedushi) of Bingzhou. He declares himself emperor (formally called Gaozu) and establishes the capital in Bian, present-day Kaifeng.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

Al-Masudi, an Arab historian and geographer, completes his large-scale work The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems, a historical book about the beginning of the world, starting with Adam and Eve.

=== 948 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Arab–Byzantine War: Hamdanid forces under Sayf al-Dawla raid into Asia Minor. The Byzantines respond with reprisals led by Leo Phokas the Younger, taking captives and razing the walls of Hadath (modern Turkey).

====== Europe ======

Two Hungarian armies invade Bavaria and Carinthia. One of them is defeated at Flozzun in the Nordgau by Henry I, duke of Bavaria.

King Otto I appoints his son Liudolf as duke of Swabia, consolidating Ottonian dominance in Southern Germany.

Sunifred II of Urgell dies without descendants and is succeeded by his nephew Borrell II, count of Barcelona.

====== England ======

King Eadred ravages Northumbria and burns down St. Wilfrid's church at Ripon. On his way home, he sustains heavy losses at Castleford. Eadred manages to check his rivals, and the Northumbrians are forced to pay him compensation.

St. Albans School founded.

====== Africa ======

Spring – Fatimid forces under Al-Hasan ibn Ali al-Kalbi suppress the rebellion in Palermo and swiftly seize the island. Caliph Al-Mansur Billah appoints Ali al-Kalbi as emir of Sicily, beginning the rule of the Kalbid Dynasty.

The Kingdom of Nri (modern Nigeria) is founded by the priest-king Eri (until 1041).

====== China ======

February 12 – King Qian Hongzong is deposed by general Hu Jinsi during a coup. He establishes his younger brother Qian Chu as ruler of Wuyue.

==== By topic ====

====== Literature ======

Minamoto no Kintada, a Japanese official and waka poet, dies. He is a respected nobleman at the imperial court and a member of the Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry.

====== Religion ======

Otto I establishes the missionary dioceses of Brandenburg and Havelberg in the territory of the Marca Geronis (Saxon Eastern March).

The Nallur Kandaswamy temple, one of the most significant Hindu temples in the Jaffna District (modern Sri Lanka), is built.

St Albans School in Hertfordshire is founded by Wulsin, an abbot of St Alban's Abbey, England.

=== 949 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Arab-Byzantine War: Hamdanid forces under Sayf al-Dawla raid into the theme of Lykandos, but are defeated. The Byzantines counter-attack and seize Germanikeia, defeating an army from Tarsus, and raiding as far south as Antioch. General (strategos) Theophilos Kourkouas captures Theodosiopolis (modern-day Erzurum) after a 7-month siege.

====== Europe ======

A Byzantine expeditionary force under Constantine Gongyles attempts to re-conquer the Emirate of Crete from the Saracens. The expedition ends in a disastrous failure, the Byzantine camp is destroyed in a surprise attack. Gongyles himself barely escapes on his flagship.

King Miroslav (or Miroslaus) is killed by Ban Pribina during a civil war started by his younger brother Michael Krešimir II, who succeeds him as ruler of Croatia.

Summer – The Hungarians defeat a Bavarian army at Laa (modern Austria).

====== Japan ======

September 14 – Fujiwara no Tadahira, a politician and chancellor (kampaku), dies at his native Kyoto. Having governed Japan as regent under Emperor Suzaku since 930. The Fujiwara clan will continue to hold the regency until 1180, controlling the imperial government.

==== By topic ====


Year 948 (CMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


The 980s decade ran from January 1, 980, to December 31, 989.


Year 988 (CMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 993 (CMXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Battle of Albesa

The Battle of Albesa was a follow-up to the Battle of Torà that took place 25 February 1003 at Al-Qaṣr al-Māša (Albesa), near Balagî (Balaguer), between the united Christian forces of the Catalan counties and the Islamic forces of the Caliphate of Córdoba. It was one of the border skirmishes associated with the interminable razzias of the Reconquista, described as "a simple encounter between local forces" and "a local action without overarching importance", though both these views are called into question by the assemblage of important Catalan nobles at the battle and the Muslim reprisal which followed.

Berengar, the Bishop of Elna, was killed in the battle. His death is recorded in the Chronicon Rivipullense. The brief notice in the Chronicon Rotense reads: 1003. Factum est proelium Albesae cum sarracenis ("the battle of Albesa is made with the Saracens"). In the Alterum chronicon Rotense, more detail is given: Anno MIII. Factum est proelium in Albesa cum sarracenis ubi Berengarius Episcopus Elensis perimitur ("Year 1003. battle is made in Albesa with the Saracens, where Berengar, Bishop of Elna, was killed").The date of 25 February 1003 comes from the only Arabic source to mention the battle, Ibn al-Faraḍī, who records that Sa‘īd bin Mūsā of Elvira "died in the battle of al-Māša near Balagî the Thursday ten days before the end of the month of Rabī’ al-Thānī in the year 393", that is of the Islamic calendar, being 25 February 1003 in the Anno Domini system. Évariste Lévi-Provençal, the French Orientalist, believed it took place on 27 February, since the Islamic day (20 Rabī’) began at sunset, though 27 February 1003 was not a Thursday.Félix Hernández Jiménez dated the battle of Albesa to the summer of 1003 because he connected it with the seizure of the castle of Castellolí—mentioned only in one Christian source—by Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar, the Córdoban hajib. The Bayān al-Mugrib of Ibn Iḍārī records how Abd al-Malik was marching through lightly populated country toward Barcelona on first of Shawwal (3 August), and that sometime after this date he camped at al-Baṭḥā (possibly Albesa). Abd al-Malik proceeded to invade Urgell and raze the castles of Montmagastre and Meià. He may also have ravaged the territory of Manresa. At the end of this campaign, when he sent his vassals home, Abd al-Malik had captured 5,570 Christians and six of their castles. He had also destroyed 85 fortified places.In this expedition, according to Ibn Khaldūn (in a part of his chronicle based on Ibn Ḥayyān), Ermengol I of Urgell, who had initially rebelled, surrendered and was taken captive:

His capture is connected sometimes with the battle of Albesa, and sometimes not. Ermengol was back in Urgell by 13 March 1004.A new bishop is recorded in Elna, in the records of the diocesan cartulary, on 11 October, a certain Frèdol. It is doubtful whether a new bishop could have been elected so fast if Berengar had died at the end of summer at a long distance from Elna, taking into account the time necessary for both news to travel and an election to be held and new bishop installed. The earlier date (February) coincides better with the timing of Berengar's death, which occurred at Albesa more certainly than Ermengol's capture.

The presence of Berengar at the battle suggest that of his brothers, Bernard I of Besalú and Wifred II of Cerdagne, also. According to the Crónica d'Alaó renovada, count Isarn I of Ribagorza died fighting the Moors at Monzón in 1003. This suggests an offensive action far into Muslim territory, making it possible that he died at the battle of Albesa. Geography lends support to his presence, and that of Sunyer of Pallars, at Albesa. Probably all these had gone to aid Ermengol and his brother, Raymond Borrel of Barcelona, in their revolt.

The marginality of al-Faraḍī's mention of the battle and the general accuracy of the history of Ibn Khaldūn (his source, Ibn Ḥayyān, was a contemporary), suggest that the battle of Albesa was a separate event from the capture of Ermengol, which took place on Abd al-Malik's punitive expedition against the Catalan counties. Mahmud Ali Makki, the modern editor and interpreter of the Arabic poet Ibn Darrāȳ al-Qasṭallī, suggests that his poem 122 treats the expedition of Abd al-Malik as a response to certain Catalan penetrations of caliphal territory after the death of Almanzor. This accords well with the date of 25 February and with the dating of Abd al-Malik's campaign to the summer. The battle of Albesa was one of the incursions which prompted the latter. According to Carl Erdmann, the Muslims, after their defeat at Torà, retreated into their own territory, where the Christians followed them. A second battle was fought near Albesa, which was the end of the brief war, and possibly the campaigning season. The result of the battle is uncertain, but unlike the first battle was not favourable to the Christians. Albesa was first considered a Christian victory by Gerónimo Zurita.

Counts of Urgell

This is a list of the counts of Urgell, a county of the Principality of Catalonia in the 10th through 13th centuries.

County of Cerdanya

The County of Cerdanya (Catalan: Comtat de Cerdanya, IPA: [kumˈtad də səɾˈðaɲə]; Latin: Comitatus Ceritaniae; Spanish: Condado de Cerdaña, French: Comté de Cerdagne) was one of the Catalan counties formed in the last decades of the 8th century by the Franks in the Marca Hispanica. The original Cerdanya consisted of the valley of the upper Segre. Today Cerdanya is a Catalan comarca.

County of Urgell

The County of Urgell (Catalan: Comtat d'Urgell, IPA: [kumˈtad duɾˈʒeʎ]; Latin: Comitatus Urgellensis) is one of the historical Catalan counties, bordering on the counties of Pallars and Cerdanya.

Ermengol I, Count of Urgell

Ermengol (or Armengol) I (974–1010), called el de Córdoba, was the Count of Urgell from 992 to his death. He was the second son of Borrell II of Barcelona and his first wife, Letgarda. He was the second of the counts of Urgel and famous mainly for his participation in the Reconquista.

A man of culture, Ermengol was open to influences from wider Europe and he made two voyages to Rome, in 998 and 1001. He was a stimulus to his nobles in making pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela or Le Puy. He also reformed the judiciary of his county to make justice more available to all. He also began to reassert his authority over the outlying castles of his realm, whose lords were acting independent of his power.He also maintained an intense war against the Caliphate of Córdoba. In 1003, Urgell was invaded by Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar. Aided by Raymond Borrel of Barcelona, Bernard I of Besalú, and Wifred II of Cerdagne, Ermengol defeated them at the Battle of Torà, followed by the tighter Battle of Albesa. He was captured by Abdelmelik, the Córdoban hajib, during reprisals in the summer, but was free by March 1004. In 1008, he led several successful expeditions against the Moors. In 1010, he participated in the expedition of his brother Raymond Borrel of Barcelona against Córdoba itself. He died nearby at Castell de Bacar, 37 years of age. His testament, dated around 1010, includes the first attested mention of chess in Western Europe.


Guissona is a town and municipality located in the North of the comarca (county) of Segarra, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. With 6,862 inhabitants (2015 census) Guissona (5,170 inhabitants in 2010) is the principal municipality in the Northern half of Segarra and the second most populated in the county after Cervera (9,328 inhabitants in 2009). In addition to the populated place of Guissona, the municipality integrates the smaller place of Guarda-si-venes (31 inhabitants in 2007). The municipality is split into two parts, the bigger eastern part containing almost all the population.

In the last half century the town has experienced an important economic development mainly due to meat production and the creation of a meat packing industry. Such development has run parallel to a fast demographic growth, especially intensified during the last decade (from 3,060 inhabitants in 1998 to 6,145 in 2010). As a consequence, the municipality accounts for the highest percentage of immigrant population registered in the whole province.

House of Barcelona

The House of Barcelona was a medieval dynasty that ruled the County of Barcelona continuously from 878 and the Crown of Aragon from 1137 (as kings from 1162) until 1410. They descend from the Bellonids, the descendants of Wifred the Hairy. They inherited most of the Catalan counties by the thirteenth century and established a territorial Principality of Catalonia, uniting it with the Kingdom of Aragon through marriage and conquering numerous other lands and kingdoms until the death of the last legitimate male of the main branch, Martin the Humanist, in 1410. Cadet branches of the house continued to rule Urgell (since 992) and Gandia. Cadet branches of the dynasty had also ruled Ausona intermittently from 878 until 1111, Provence from 1112 to 1245, and Sicily from 1282 to 1409. By the Compromise of Caspe of 1412 the Crown of Aragon passed to a branch of the House of Trastámara, descended from the infanta Eleanor of the house of Barcelona.

List of state leaders in 955

This is a list of heads of state, heads of governments, and other rulers in the year 955.

Miro, Count of Barcelona

Miro, Count of Barcelona (died Barcelona, 966) was count of Barcelona, Gerona and Osona from 947 to 966. He was son of Sunifred II, Count of Urgell (Sunyer II) and his second wife, Riquilda of Tolosa.

When his father stood down in 947 he became governor jointly with his brother Borrell II, Count of Barcelona. Borrell took charge of military and foreign affairs and Miro took charge of domestic affairs.

Miro made donations to the monasteries of San Cugat del Vallès, Sant Joan de las Abadeses i Ripoll, and during his reign it is believed that he began construction of the Rec Comtal, which took water to Barcelona.

Pope Sylvester II

Pope Sylvester II or Silvester II (c.  946 – 12 May 1003) was Pope from 2 April 999 to his death in 1003. Originally known as Gerbert of Aurillac (Latin: Gerbertus Aureliacensis or de Aurillac; French: Gerbert d'Aurillac), he was a prolific scholar and teacher. He endorsed and promoted study of Arab and Greco-Roman arithmetic, mathematics, and astronomy, reintroducing to Europe the abacus and armillary sphere, which had been lost to Latin (though not Byzantine) Europe since the end of the Greco-Roman era. He is said to be the first to introduce in Europe the decimal numeral system using Arabic numerals. He was the first French Pope.

Sant Benet de Bages

The Monastery of Sant Benet de Bages is a former Benedictine monastery, in the comarca of Bages, Catalonia, Spain. The Romanesque monastery was thoroughly restored at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Catalan architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

Santa Coloma de Queralt

Santa Coloma de Queralt is a municipality in the comarca of the Conca de Barberà in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated in the north-east of the comarca about 60 km (37 mi) from the city of Tarragona. The town is linked to the rest of the comarca and to Igualada by the C-241 road.

Sunyer, Count of Barcelona

Sunyer (c. 870 – 950) was count of Barcelona, Girona and Ausona from 911 to 947.

Timeline of Catalan history

The following is a timeline of Catalan history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Catalonia and its predecessor states and entities. To read about the background to these events, see History of Catalonia.

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