Discussion:
Ailona of Aragon
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Peter Stewart
2021-05-24 11:55:28 UTC
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In *Les noces du comte* (1995) table I (p. 559) Martin Aurell placed
Ailona of Aragon with a question mark as the wife of Gisclafred, count
of Carcassonne. He did not explain this in the text and gave no
reference for her or the marriage.

Aznar Galindez had a daughter named Aylona who occurs in a charter dated
26 August 872 as having given to her nephew property she had received
from her father ("veniens homo nomine Witisclus et dicens: ... Qualiter
esset villa nomine Settereto, quod mihi dedit amita mea per scritura
donationis, et illi ei evenit de patre suo Asenari Galindonis comite").

Apart from this I can't find further documentation for Aylona, and this
does not provide reason to suppose she married Gisclafred. Does anyone
know more about her?

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2021-05-24 12:00:01 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
In *Les noces du comte* (1995) table I (p. 559) Martin Aurell placed
Ailona of Aragon with a question mark as the wife of Gisclafred, count
of Carcassonne.
Apologies for my typo, it is on p. 557. The same table was reprinted
here in 1997 (p. 374):

https://www.persee.fr/doc/anami_0003-4398_1997_num_109_219_2564

Peter Stewart
taf
2021-05-24 13:03:39 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
In *Les noces du comte* (1995) table I (p. 559) Martin Aurell placed
Ailona of Aragon with a question mark as the wife of Gisclafred, count
of Carcassonne.
Apologies for my typo, it is on p. 557. The same table was reprinted
https://www.persee.fr/doc/anami_0003-4398_1997_num_109_219_2564
This article had escaped my notice, thanks.

I had not come across this claimed marriage before. As I am sure you know, this Ailona does not appear in the Roda pedigrees, but this is two generations before their historical horizon, where they can be taken to be more complete, and they also omit an apparent daughter in the next generation, thought to have been paternal grandmother of Queen Toda.

Since we have been discussing ethnicity, I would think Ailona represents the Visigothic Egilona, but this should not be taken to imply a Visigothic origin, as there were already legends growing about the early 8th-century queen Egilona and such a naming could have been a representation of anti-Muslim sentiment rather than ethnicity.

taf
Peter Stewart
2021-05-24 22:22:43 UTC
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Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
In *Les noces du comte* (1995) table I (p. 559) Martin Aurell placed
Ailona of Aragon with a question mark as the wife of Gisclafred, count
of Carcassonne.
Apologies for my typo, it is on p. 557. The same table was reprinted
https://www.persee.fr/doc/anami_0003-4398_1997_num_109_219_2564
This article had escaped my notice, thanks.
I had not come across this claimed marriage before. As I am sure you know, this Ailona does not appear in the Roda pedigrees, but this is two generations before their historical horizon, where they can be taken to be more complete, and they also omit an apparent daughter in the next generation, thought to have been paternal grandmother of Queen Toda.
Confusions abound in the literature, apparently starting in a modest way
from the late-10th century but increasing dramatically from the mid-18th
to the early 21st.

I didn't help in this by misdating the charter in which Ailona's nephew
stated that property he had received from her to 26 August 872 when this
should be 862. His testimony was given before Salomon, count of
Cerdagne, who was dead by 870. Jaurgain in 1902 unhelpfully misdated
this to 920 by identifying the reigning king Charles as the Simple
rather than the Bald, and consequently placed Ailona in a later
generation of Aznar's family.

As for a link between Ailona and Gisclafred of Carcassonne, I wonder if
this marriage has been projected onto these individuals from some later
source regarding different people with similar names. I can't find
Ailona except for her nephew's statement in 862 and no document I can
find naming Gisclafred even establishes that he was married in the first
place. Aurell did not ascribe a wife to him in 'Jalons pour une enquête
sur les stratégies matrimoniales des comtes catalans' (1992).

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2021-05-24 22:30:23 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
In *Les noces du comte* (1995) table I (p. 559) Martin Aurell placed
Ailona of Aragon with a question mark as the wife of Gisclafred, count
of Carcassonne.
Apologies for my typo, it is on p. 557. The same table was reprinted
https://www.persee.fr/doc/anami_0003-4398_1997_num_109_219_2564
This article had escaped my notice, thanks.
I had not come across this claimed marriage before.  As I am sure you
know, this Ailona does not appear in the Roda pedigrees, but this is
two generations before their historical horizon, where they can be
taken to be more complete, and they also omit an apparent daughter in
the next generation, thought to have been paternal grandmother of
Queen Toda.
Confusions abound in the literature, apparently starting in a modest way
from the late-10th century but increasing dramatically from the mid-18th
to the early 21st.
On this aspect, a correspondent off-list pointed out to me that in
Medieval Lands here

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/TOULOUSE%20NOBILITY.htm#_Toc496685193

Gisclafred has been turned into two namesakes - one the son of Bello and
the other of an imaginary Dela, invented evidently from Vaissette's
misreading of the name Bello as Dello despite citing the revised edition
where Molinier noted this mistake.

Goodness knows where this will get to in the 22nd century if interested
people won't abandon Medieval Lands as a waste of everybody's time.

Peter Stewart
taf
2021-05-25 02:24:51 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
As for a link between Ailona and Gisclafred of Carcassonne, I wonder if
this marriage has been projected onto these individuals from some later
source regarding different people with similar names. I can't find
Ailona except for her nephew's statement in 862 and no document I can
find naming Gisclafred even establishes that he was married in the first
place.
I note that she is listed on Aznar's Wikipedia page, without source.

One other quick note on the Aurell charts. He shows an unnamed daughter of Sunyer of Barcelona marrying Garcia Sanchez of Pamplona. This marriage didn't actually take place. As reported by Ibn Hayyan, Garcia negotiated a marriage with Sunyer's daughter, but before the ceremony could be brought off, Abd al-Rahman III intervened militarily to reassert Garcia's vassalage and prevent the marriage. Apparently this alliance represented an unacceptable threat to he vulnerable Upper March, while the Caliph then allowed (or couldn't prevent) Garcia marrying a Leonese infanta instead.

taf
Peter Stewart
2021-05-25 04:01:33 UTC
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Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
As for a link between Ailona and Gisclafred of Carcassonne, I wonder if
this marriage has been projected onto these individuals from some later
source regarding different people with similar names. I can't find
Ailona except for her nephew's statement in 862 and no document I can
find naming Gisclafred even establishes that he was married in the first
place.
I note that she is listed on Aznar's Wikipedia page, without source.
The proposed marriage of Ailona to Gisclafred appears to be a serial
conjecture: her nephew Witisclo described her as daughter of Aznar
Galindez in 862, and a probably forged charter of Wifred I of Barcelona
ostensibly dated 20 April 888 mentioned his aunt of the same name
("amita sua, nomine Eilone"). This was printed as authentic by Devic &
Vaissette but considered false by Ferdinand Udina Martorell in 1951 (*El
Archivo condal de Barcelona en los siglos IX-X*, pp 107-108 no. 5*).

In order to make sense of two men calling Ailona/Eilona aunt (apparently
26 years apart, but assumed to be the same woman), and one naming her as
daughter of Aznar Galindez, it seems that someone has decided to
interpret "amita" in the earlier charter as paternal aunt and in the
later as aunt-by-marriage, making her by default into the wife of
Gisclafred the presumed uncle of Wifred and providing the latter with an
otherwise unknown cousin Witisclo.

Little wonder Aurell didn't bother to expound this flimsy speculation,
if it did come about as I've guessed.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2021-05-25 04:58:16 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
As for a link between Ailona and Gisclafred of Carcassonne, I wonder if
this marriage has been projected onto these individuals from some later
source regarding different people with similar names. I can't find
Ailona except for her nephew's statement in 862 and no document I can
find naming Gisclafred even establishes that he was married in the first
place.
I note that she is listed on Aznar's Wikipedia page, without source.
The proposed marriage of Ailona to Gisclafred appears to be a serial
conjecture: her nephew Witisclo described her as daughter of Aznar
Galindez in 862, and a probably forged charter of Wifred I of Barcelona
ostensibly dated 20 April 888 mentioned his aunt of the same name
("amita sua, nomine Eilone"). This was printed as authentic by Devic &
Vaissette but considered false by Ferdinand Udina Martorell in 1951 (*El
Archivo condal de Barcelona en los siglos IX-X*, pp 107-108 no. 5*).
The editor's name (with apologies if John Schmeeckle will kindly pass
these on) was Frederic Udina i Martorell.

Peter Stewart
taf
2021-05-25 08:06:05 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
As for a link between Ailona and Gisclafred of Carcassonne, I wonder if
this marriage has been projected onto these individuals from some later
source regarding different people with similar names. I can't find
Ailona except for her nephew's statement in 862 and no document I can
find naming Gisclafred even establishes that he was married in the first
place.
I note that she is listed on Aznar's Wikipedia page, without source.
The proposed marriage of Ailona to Gisclafred appears to be a serial
conjecture: her nephew Witisclo described her as daughter of Aznar
Galindez in 862, and a probably forged charter of Wifred I of Barcelona
ostensibly dated 20 April 888 mentioned his aunt of the same name
("amita sua, nomine Eilone"). This was printed as authentic by Devic &
Vaissette but considered false by Ferdinand Udina Martorell in 1951 (*El
Archivo condal de Barcelona en los siglos IX-X*, pp 107-108 no. 5*).
In order to make sense of two men calling Ailona/Eilona aunt (apparently
26 years apart, but assumed to be the same woman), and one naming her as
daughter of Aznar Galindez, it seems that someone has decided to
interpret "amita" in the earlier charter as paternal aunt and in the
later as aunt-by-marriage, making her by default into the wife of
Gisclafred the presumed uncle of Wifred and providing the latter with an
otherwise unknown cousin Witisclo.
It doesn't subtract from the 'otherwise unknown' part, but the Wikipedia text interprets the name Witisclo as being the same as Guntislo, a name that also appears several generations later in the Counts of Aragon (specifically an illegitimate son of Galindo Aznar II, generally agreed to be identical to the Guntislo Galindez who held Aragon under the Pamplona crown after the death of Galindo II).

Based on the same reasoning whereby Eilona need not have been a Visigoth, because the growing legend of her apparent namesake predecessor Queen Egilona would lead to the names usage independent of ethnicity, it could also be argued that not every instance of the name in the second half of the 9th century need refer to people related to each other, let alone to the exact same person.

taf
Peter Stewart
2021-05-25 08:51:42 UTC
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Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
As for a link between Ailona and Gisclafred of Carcassonne, I wonder if
this marriage has been projected onto these individuals from some later
source regarding different people with similar names. I can't find
Ailona except for her nephew's statement in 862 and no document I can
find naming Gisclafred even establishes that he was married in the first
place.
I note that she is listed on Aznar's Wikipedia page, without source.
The proposed marriage of Ailona to Gisclafred appears to be a serial
conjecture: her nephew Witisclo described her as daughter of Aznar
Galindez in 862, and a probably forged charter of Wifred I of Barcelona
ostensibly dated 20 April 888 mentioned his aunt of the same name
("amita sua, nomine Eilone"). This was printed as authentic by Devic &
Vaissette but considered false by Ferdinand Udina Martorell in 1951 (*El
Archivo condal de Barcelona en los siglos IX-X*, pp 107-108 no. 5*).
In order to make sense of two men calling Ailona/Eilona aunt (apparently
26 years apart, but assumed to be the same woman), and one naming her as
daughter of Aznar Galindez, it seems that someone has decided to
interpret "amita" in the earlier charter as paternal aunt and in the
later as aunt-by-marriage, making her by default into the wife of
Gisclafred the presumed uncle of Wifred and providing the latter with an
otherwise unknown cousin Witisclo.
It doesn't subtract from the 'otherwise unknown' part, but the Wikipedia text interprets the name Witisclo as being the same as Guntislo, a name that also appears several generations later in the Counts of Aragon (specifically an illegitimate son of Galindo Aznar II, generally agreed to be identical to the Guntislo Galindez who held Aragon under the Pamplona crown after the death of Galindo II).
Ubieto Arteta in *Historia de Aragón* gave the name as Gutisclo -
according to the testimony he gave in 862 his aunt Ailona held the
domain of Settereto for 30 years after her father had given it to her
before passing it on to him. This was in Cerdagne, where Aznar Galindez
was made count at an unknown date after his expulsion from Aragon at the
hands of his son-in-law. Higounet placed the grant of Cerdagne to him
after the fall of Bera in January 820, but this is just guesswork.
Post by taf
Based on the same reasoning whereby Eilona need not have been a Visigoth, because the growing legend of her apparent namesake predecessor Queen Egilona would lead to the names usage independent of ethnicity, it could also be argued that not every instance of the name in the second half of the 9th century need refer to people related to each other, let alone to the exact same person.
The aunt of Wifred was linked to possessions he had acquired in Berga,
that is immediately south of Cerdagne, and east of Urgell where Aznar
Galindez is also supposed to have been count - though Ubieto Arteta said
that nothing was known about his tenure there. Wifred's father Sunifred
became count in both Cerdagne and Berga after Aznar Galindez, and I
would have little trouble accepting that he had a sister named Eilona,
who in that case may have been a relative but not the daughter of Aznar
Galindez. The forged charter giving her as aunt of Wifred says nothing
about her father, but identifying her with the lady who held property in
Cerdagne over several decades before the 860s is not an implausible
alternative except that then "amita" could not mean paternal aunt.
Witisclo is unlikely to have been an otherwise unknown brother of
Wifred, as he did not have enough family clout behind him to regain his
holding in Cerdagne when dispossessed.

Whatever the solution to this, I can't see that marrying Ailona to
Gisclafred fits the evidence well enough to be at all persuasive.

Peter Stewart
keri CA
2021-05-25 09:53:29 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
As for a link between Ailona and Gisclafred of Carcassonne, I wonder if
this marriage has been projected onto these individuals from some later
source regarding different people with similar names. I can't find
Ailona except for her nephew's statement in 862 and no document I can
find naming Gisclafred even establishes that he was married in the first
place.
I note that she is listed on Aznar's Wikipedia page, without source.
The proposed marriage of Ailona to Gisclafred appears to be a serial
conjecture: her nephew Witisclo described her as daughter of Aznar
Galindez in 862, and a probably forged charter of Wifred I of Barcelona
ostensibly dated 20 April 888 mentioned his aunt of the same name
("amita sua, nomine Eilone"). This was printed as authentic by Devic &
Vaissette but considered false by Ferdinand Udina Martorell in 1951 (*El
Archivo condal de Barcelona en los siglos IX-X*, pp 107-108 no. 5*).
In order to make sense of two men calling Ailona/Eilona aunt (apparently
26 years apart, but assumed to be the same woman), and one naming her as
daughter of Aznar Galindez, it seems that someone has decided to
interpret "amita" in the earlier charter as paternal aunt and in the
later as aunt-by-marriage, making her by default into the wife of
Gisclafred the presumed uncle of Wifred and providing the latter with an
otherwise unknown cousin Witisclo.
It doesn't subtract from the 'otherwise unknown' part, but the Wikipedia text interprets the name Witisclo as being the same as Guntislo, a name that also appears several generations later in the Counts of Aragon (specifically an illegitimate son of Galindo Aznar II, generally agreed to be identical to the Guntislo Galindez who held Aragon under the Pamplona crown after the death of Galindo II).
Ubieto Arteta in *Historia de Aragón* gave the name as Gutisclo -
according to the testimony he gave in 862 his aunt Ailona held the
domain of Settereto for 30 years after her father had given it to her
before passing it on to him. This was in Cerdagne, where Aznar Galindez
was made count at an unknown date after his expulsion from Aragon at the
hands of his son-in-law. Higounet placed the grant of Cerdagne to him
after the fall of Bera in January 820, but this is just guesswork.
Post by taf
Based on the same reasoning whereby Eilona need not have been a Visigoth, because the growing legend of her apparent namesake predecessor Queen Egilona would lead to the names usage independent of ethnicity, it could also be argued that not every instance of the name in the second half of the 9th century need refer to people related to each other, let alone to the exact same person.
When you say legend, do you consider the details in the chronicles both christian and arab about Egilona [Roderics widow] to be
suspect? I think they say she married Abd al-Aziz governor of el Andalus at Seville, and encouraged him to act like a king
which led to his assasination. I notice that the name of another Visigothic queen Cixilo/Cixilona also appears in the Barcelona
family in the tenth century. She had a rather strange career; according to the chronicle of Alphonso III her father King Ervig was
the son of a man Ardabastus from Greece who married the niece of king Chindaswinth, and Cixilo was married to Egica who
repudiated her and sent her to a convent, but it seems later had to let her out again and restore her as queen.

What about the stories from arab sources which concern her children and descendants of Wittiza, like Sara the Goth found
in Ibn al-Qūṭiyya [d977] history of the conquest. Like him there seem a number of arab dynasties/families that in the 10th century
calimed descent from the visigoths, Banu Hajjaj Bani Qasi etc. Chronologically it seems a bit unlikely so did they just make it up?
But why would they claim a descent from an infidel in Islamic el Andalus when most of the time they were at war with the christian
states in the north? Surely that would be to their families disadvantage?

kerica
Post by Peter Stewart
The aunt of Wifred was linked to possessions he had acquired in Berga,
that is immediately south of Cerdagne, and east of Urgell where Aznar
Galindez is also supposed to have been count - though Ubieto Arteta said
that nothing was known about his tenure there. Wifred's father Sunifred
became count in both Cerdagne and Berga after Aznar Galindez, and I
would have little trouble accepting that he had a sister named Eilona,
who in that case may have been a relative but not the daughter of Aznar
Galindez. The forged charter giving her as aunt of Wifred says nothing
about her father, but identifying her with the lady who held property in
Cerdagne over several decades before the 860s is not an implausible
alternative except that then "amita" could not mean paternal aunt.
Witisclo is unlikely to have been an otherwise unknown brother of
Wifred, as he did not have enough family clout behind him to regain his
holding in Cerdagne when dispossessed.
Whatever the solution to this, I can't see that marrying Ailona to
Gisclafred fits the evidence well enough to be at all persuasive.
Peter Stewart
taf
2021-05-25 16:41:13 UTC
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When you say legend, do you consider the details in the chronicles
both christian and arab about Egilona [Roderics widow] to be suspect?
No, only that, just as with other historical figures, such as Inigo Arista, Fernan Gonzalez, El Cid or in a different context, Alfred the Great and Richard the Lionhearted, they sometimes develop disproportionate importance and an elaboration of the scant historical record.

That said, none of the chronicles you mention date from within centuries of the woman, and likely incorporated some of this growing legendary material, at least in terms of the motivations attributed to her historical actions.
I think they say she married Abd al-Aziz governor of el Andalus at
Seville, and encouraged him to act like a king which led to his
assasination.
In some tellings, 'led him to act like a Christian, which led to his assassination'.
What about the stories from arab sources which concern her
children and descendants of Wittiza, like Sara the Goth found
in Ibn al-Qūṭiyya [d977] history of the conquest. Like him there
seem a number of arab dynasties/families that in the 10th century
calimed descent from the visigoths, Banu Hajjaj Bani Qasi etc.
Chronologically it seems a bit unlikely so did they just make it up?
But why would they claim a descent from an infidel in Islamic el
Andalus when most of the time they were at war with the christian
states in the north? Surely that would be to their families disadvantage?
Disadvantage compared to whom? They couldn't 'pass' as Arabs - they were a small cultural elite, well known. In a culture where everyone else had a relatively recent family conversion story, being a Goth carried no less status than being a Berber, and probably more than being a Slav. The conflict with the north was religious, not ethnic, and the Arabs alone never had the manpower to control the peninsula without convert families. There was interethnic tension within the emirate, but the Goths were at no disadvantage in this given that most of the population was native.

One curious example was Ibn Hafsun, who appears to have intentionally highlighted his Gothic ancestry, and perhaps even invented Gothic ancestry, in order to cultivate a nativist rebellion against the central power. 'I am one of you' would have established a solidarity (even if it wasn't true) with the native population.

taf
Peter Stewart
2021-05-25 23:12:34 UTC
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Post by taf
One curious example was Ibn Hafsun, who appears to have intentionally highlighted his Gothic ancestry, and perhaps even invented Gothic ancestry, in order to cultivate a nativist rebellion against the central power. 'I am one of you' would have established a solidarity (even if it wasn't true) with the native population.
As happens today, when a native of Queens becomes a Florida resident and
plays at being a man of the people by showing himself more ignorant and
vicious than most yet more crafty than any.

Peter Stewart

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