Giudicato of Logudoro

Giudicato of Logudoro

The "Giudicato" of Logudoro (also known as the "Giudicato" of Torres after Porto Torres) is a historical state which covered the northwest portion of Sardinia from the tenth through the thirteenth century. Logudoro was one of four "giudicati" into which the island was divided during the High Middle Ages. The others were: Gallura to the east, Arborea to the south, and Cagliari to the southeast.

Logudoro was the largest (and earliest known) of the "iudicati", but also the first to be swallowed up by a foreign power. It was divided into twenty "curatoriae" ruled by "curatores".


When the Arabs and Berbers became aggressive in expansion and piracy in the ninth century, the Byzantine Empire was unable to effectively defend Sardinia, so the Sardinian provincial "judges" assumed independent authority and provisin of local defence. The island became divided into four of these provinces ("giudicati"), though two — Logudoro and Arborea — were combined at the start of the eleventh century. By 900, these districts had become "de facto" independent states, their ruling princes usually titled as "iudices" or "judikes" (judges or "giudici"). The first capital city was the ancient Torres (now Porto Torres), but it was exposed to Arab attacks, and so the seat of the judgeship was transferred to Sassari.

Logudoro only began to emerge from the fog of history during the reign of Barisone I from about 1038 to 1073. He brought Western monasticism to the island by requesting monks from Abbot Desiderius of Montecassino and in this he was supported by both Pope Alexander II and Godfrey the Bearded, Margrave of Tuscany, though the archdiocese of Pisa, thitherto chief religious influence on the island, opposed it. One the death of Barisone I, Arborea chose its own judge in Marianus de Zori, while the Logudorese chose Andrew Tanca.

The giudicato of Logudoro came to an end in 1259, when the giudicessa Adelasia died without an heir. After this, Logudoro was effectively ruled by the Genoese families of Doria and Malaspina, and the ruling family of Arborea. Sassari meanwhile became an autonomous city-state. [Casula.]



*Casula, Francesco. "The History of Sardinia". Sardinia Tourist Board: 1989.

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