The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out at Easter, 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, three thousand French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of King Charles lost control of the island. It was the beginning of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.
The rising had its origin in the struggle of investiture between the Pope and the Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperors for control over Italy, especially the Church's private demesne known as the Papal States. These lay between Hohenstaufen lands in northern Italy and the Hohenstaufen Kingdom of Sicily in the south; the Hohenstaufen also at the time ruled Germany.
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