Battle of Giglio (1241)

Battle of Giglio
Part of Guelphs and Ghibellines
and Genoese-Pisan Wars
Seeschlacht Friedrichs II..jpg
Depiction in the Nuova Cronica (14th century)
Date3 May 1241
ResultImperial victory
Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg Frederick II
Kingdom of Sicily
Republic of Pisa
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg Gregory IX
Republic of Genoa
Commanders and leaders
Enzio of Sardinia
Ugolino Buzaccherini
Ansaldo de Mari
Giacobo Malocello
27 Sicilian galleys
40 Pisan galleys
27 Genoese galleys
Casualties and losses
2,000 killed [1][2]
1 Archbishop killed 
4,000 captured [1][2]
18 Prelates captured
3 galleys sunk [3][4]
22 galleys captured [3][4]

The naval Battle of Giglio was a military clash between a fleet of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and a fleet of the Republic of Genoa in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It took place on Friday, May 3, 1241 between the islands of Montecristo and Giglio in the Tuscan Archipelago and ended with the victory of the Imperial fleet.

The target of the Imperial fleet was to intercept a delegation of high-ranking prelates from France, Spain, England and northern Italy which were traveling with the Genoese fleet en route to Rome where Gregory IX had summoned a council.


After Frederick's victory at the Battle of Cortenuova in 1237 a conflict erupted in the spring of 1239 between the Pope and the Emperor concerning the question of the Imperial claim to rule over the cities of the Lombard League, an open conflict that culminated in the second excommunication of the Emperor on March 20, 1239.[5] From then on both sides not prepared to compromise carried the military conflict against each other, where the Emperor achieved a victory in the Papal States at the Siege of Faenza, which increasingly threatened the position of the Pope.[1]

In the fall of 1240 the Pope issued to the Church dignitaries of Italy, Sicily, Germany, France, Spain and Hungary, the invitation to a council which should be addressed at Easter 1241 in Rome consulting the next steps of the church against the Emperor.[4] In his capacity as King of Sicily Frederick II could easily suppress participation of the Sicilian prelates, but the clergy of the other countries gathered in the following months in order to travel on to Rome.