|King of Sicily, duke of Apulia and Calabria|
The king against the pope, the emperor and the barons
In 1130, peace, necessary if the kingdom was to function correctly, was still far off. On the contrary the enemy front against Roger was powerful. Ten long years of war began, in which Roger fought against the barons (Robert of Capua, Jordan of Ariano, Rainulf of Alife, Tancred of Conversano etc.) and also against Pope Innocent II and the German Emperor Lothar III.
Roger continued, albeit with some difficulty, the conquest of the mainland of Mezzogiorno. In 1131, he annexed the town of Amalfi, and in 1134 he obtained the final subjugation of Capua, placing it under the control of his youngest son Alphonse.
Following the death of Honorius II in 1130, the conflict between the Roman faction of the Frangipane, (representing the pro-imperial nobility) and the Pierleoni, (financiers and merchants, opposed to the empire), led to the double election of Pope Innocent II and Anacletus II. The latter, supported by Roger, was recognised by Rome, while Innocent II had to flee to France. Because of this alliance Roger received the royal title, but aroused the anger and intervention of the German emperor, partisan of Innocent II, who was supported by France, wanted to be invested by ‘his pope’ in Rome. In the opinion of the emperor and the Pope, Roger was a usurper because only an emperor could claim this supreme title. The fight against the ‘Norman usurper’ was open.
In 1136, Lothar III arrived in Rome and invaded Mezzogiorno, but his success was temporary and he had to quickly leave the peninsula. In 1139 Rainulf of Alife, Roger’s most powerful enemy, died, while Innocent was imprisoned in San Germano by one of Roger’s sons. In the treaty of Mignano (25 July 1139), the Pope was forced to recognize the royal title bestowed on Roger by his enemy, Anacletus nine years earlier.