Sicilies, Kingdom of the Two , a former kingdom consisting of the island of Sicily and southern Italy. In the 11th century, Norman adventurers conquered territory in southern Italy, holding their lands as vassals of the pope. The Norman knights, led by Roger de Hauteville (also called Roger Guiscard), then invaded Sicily, and Roger became its ruler. His son Roger II combined Sicily with the Norman conquests in Italy, and in 1130, with papal approval, a kingdom was created and named the Two Sicilies. Norman expansion on the mainland continued until the kingdom consisted of everything south of the Papal States. Islamic culture, prevalent in Sicily, continued to flourish under the Normans and penetrated into Europe.
In 1194 the kingdom passed to the German Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, through marriage. Frederick II, his son, made Sicily his home and ruled the empire from his capital at Palermo.
In 1266–68 the Two Sicilies were conquered by Charles, count of Anjou, brother of King Louis IX of France. An uprising against the French (an event known as the Sicilian Vespers) broke out in 1282. The revolt, aided by the Spanish house of Aragon, was successful in Sicily, but the Angevins continued to hold southern Italy, renamed the Kingdom of Naples. Naples was reunited with Sicily under Spanish rule in the 1440's.
In the Peace of Utrecht (1713) ending the War of the Spanish Succession, Austria received Naples; it later acquired Sicily. Spanish control over the Two Sicilies was restored in the 1730's by the Bourbons. In the mid-19th century, insurrections against Bourbon rule broke out in Sicily. In 1860 Garibaldi helped drive the Spanish rulers out of the kingdom, which became part of a united Italy.