Almodis de la Marche

Almodis de la Marche (c. 1020 – 16 October 1071) was a French noble. She was famed for her marriage career, in particularly for her third marriage to Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona, with whom she committed double bigamy in 1053, for which the Pope had them excommunicated.

Almodis de la Marche
Ramon Berenguer I and his wife, Almodis de la Marche, counting out 2,000 ounces of gold coins as payment to William Raymond and Adelaide, count and countess of Cerdagne, in return for their rights over Carcassonne in 1067.[1]
Bornc. 1020
Died1071 (aged 5051)
Noble familyHouse of Marche
Spouse(s)Hugh V of Lusignan
Pons of Toulouse
Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona
FatherBernard I, Count of Marche


Almodis was the daughter of Bernard I, Count of Marche and wife Amélie.[2] She married Hugh V of Lusignan around 1038 and they had two sons and one daughter. Almodis and Hugh of Lusignan divorced due to consanguinity.[3] She later, with Hugh's assistance, married Count Pons of Toulouse in 1040.[4] Almodis was still Pons' wife in April 1053, when she was abducted by Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona.[5] He kidnapped her from Narbonne with the aid of a fleet sent north by his ally, the Muslim emir of Tortosa.[5] They married immediately (despite the fact both of her previous husbands were still alive) and they appear with their twin sons in a charter the next year. Pope Victor II excommunicated Almodis and Ramon for this illegal marriage until 1056.[6]

Almodis maintained contact with her former husbands and many children, and in 1066/1067 she traveled to Toulouse for her daughter's wedding. A few years before, in 1060, Hugh V of Lusignan had revolted against his lord, Duke William VIII of Aquitaine, in support of Almodis' son William IV of Toulouse.[4] Her sons supported one another in military campaigns; Hugh VI of Lusignan, Raymond IV of Toulouse, and Berenguer Ramon all took the Cross.

Her third husband Ramon was married to her niece, Isabela Trencavel, the daughter of Rangearde de la Marche. Their son, Peter Raymundi, was Ramon's original heir. Peter Raymundi resented Almodis' influence and was concerned she was trying to replace him with her own two sons, his consanguinous nephews, both who had claims through their father, Count La Marche. He murdered her in October 1071.[7] William of Malmesbury reflected that she was, "sad, [of] unbridled lewdness".[5]

Pere-Ramon was disinherited and exiled for his crime and fled the country. When his father died in 1076, Barcelona was split between Almodis' sons, Berenguer Ramon and Ramon Berenguer. The family history of murder did not end with Pere-Ramon, as Berenguer Ramon earned his nickname "The Fratricide" when he killed his own twin brother.


She married Hugh V of Lusignan[5] around 1038 and they had two sons and one daughter:

  • Hugh VI of Lusignan (c. 1039–1101)[2]
  • Jordan de Lusignan
  • Mélisende de Lusignan (b. bef. 1055), married before 1074 to Simon I "l'Archevêque", Vidame de Parthenay

Almodis and Hugh of Lusignan divorced due to consanguinity, and Hugh arranged for her to marry Count Pons of Toulouse in 1040.[5] Together they produced several children, including:

In 1053, she married Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona.[5] Together they produced four children:


  1. Bishko 1968, p. 40.
  2. Aurell 1995, p. 258.
  3. Kagay 1993, p. 38.
  4. Riley-Smith 1997, p. 46.
  5. Cheyette 1988, p. 839.
  6. Aurell 1995, p. 231.
  7. Peña 1991, p. 47.


  • Aurell, Martin (1995). Les noces du comte: mariage et pouvoir en Catalogne (785-1213). Publications de la Sorbonne.
  • Bishko, Charles Julian (1968). "Fernando I and the Origins of the Leonese-Castilian Alliance with Cluny". Studies in Medieval Spanish Frontier History. Variorum.
  • Cheyette, Fredric L. (1988). "The "Sale" of Carcassonne to the Counts of Barcelona (1067-1070) and the Rise of the Trencavels". Speculum. The University of Chicago Press. Vol. 63, No. 4 Oct.
  • Kagay, Donald J. (1993). "Countess Almodis of Barcelona: "Illustrious and Distinguished Queen" or "Woman of Sad, Unbridled Lewdness"". In Vann, Theresa M. (ed.). Queens, Regents and Potentates. Academia Press.
  • Peña (1991). The Chronicle of San Juan de la Peña: A Fourteenth-century Official History of the Crown of Aragon. Translated by Nelson, Lynn H. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Riley-Smith, Jonathan (1997). The First Crusaders, 1095-1131. Cambridge University Press.46

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