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Geoffrey, Count of Conversano

Geoffrey, Count of Conversano

The basics
Quick Facts
Gender male
Death 1100 (Brindisi, Province of Brindisi, Apulia, Italy)
The details

Geoffrey the Elder (died September 1100) was an Italo-Norman nobleman. A nephew of Robert Guiscard through one of his sisters, he was the count of Conversano from 1072 and the lord of Brindisi and Nardò from 1070, until his death.

According to Goffredo Malaterra, Geoffrey conquered most of his lands with his own energy (sua strenuitate) and without the help of the Guiscard. Thus, when, in 1067, the Guiscard demanded homage for the castle of Montepeloso, Geoffrey refused. Robert brought him to heel in the subsequent war and Geoffrey did homage. Among the other lands Geoffrey had conquered from the Byzantines were Polignano and Monopoli.

Geoffrey joined his cousins Abelard and Herman, his brother Robert, and Henry, Count of Monte Sant'Angelo in the rebellion of 1079–1082, while the Guiscard was away fighting the Byzantine Empire in the Balkans. His brother died in July 1080 and Abelard a year later. While he was besieging Oria, a city on the Via Appia between Brindisi and Taranto, Robert returned at Otranto and began to march towards him. Geoffrey, though he had numerous troops, fled anyway.

By 1083, Geoffrey was reconciled to Robert Guiscard and accompanied him on his final Byzantine expedition. He was present at the synod held in Melfi in 1089. He was a patron of the local monasteries.

Geoffrey died, most likely in Brindisi, in 1100 or 1101. He left three sons and a daughter: Robert, Alexander, Tancred, and Sybilla, who married Robert Curthose, duke of Normandy.

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