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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]

Ramon Berenguer I the Old (née in French: Ramond Berenger LeVieux, in Catalan: el Vell) was Count of Barcelona in 1035–1076. He promulgated the earliest versions of a written code of Catalan law, the Usages of Barcelona.

Born in 1024, he succeeded his father, Berenguer Ramon the Crooked in 1035. It is during his reign that the dominant position of Barcelona among other Catalan counties became evident.

Ramon Berenguer campaigned against the Moors, extending his dominions as far west as Barbastro and imposing heavy tributes (parias) on other Moorish cities. Historians claim that those tributes helped create the first wave of prosperity in Catalan history. During his reign Catalan maritime power started to be felt in Western Mediterranean. Ramon Berenguer the Old was also the first count of Catalonia to acquire lands (counties of Carcassonne and Razés) and influence north of the Pyrenees.

Another major achievement of his was beginning of codification of Catalan law in the written Usatges or Usatici of Barcelona which was to become the first full compilation of feudal law in Western Europe. Legal codification was part of the count's efforts to forward and somehow control the process of feudalization which started during the reign of his weak father, Berenger Ramon. Another major contributor was the Church acting through the institution of the Peace and Truce of God. This established a general truce among warring factions and lords in a given region for a given time. The earliest extant date for introducing the Truce of God in Western Europe is 1027 in Catalonia, during the reign of Ramon Berenguer the Old.

Ramon Berenguer I together with his third wife Almodis also founded the Romanesque cathedral of Barcelona, to replace the older basilica presumably destroyed by Almanzor. Their velvet and brass bound wooden coffins are still shown in the Gothic cathedral which replaced Ramon Berenguer's building.

He was succeeded by his twin sons Ramon Berenguer II and Berenguer Ramon II. It has been speculated that the obscure wife of Henry of Burgundy, the grandmother of Alfonso Henriques, first king of Portugal, was his sister.

Ramon Berenguers's marriages and descendants

Sepulchers of Ramon Berenguer I and Almodis de la Marche.
Cathedral of Barcelona.

References

  1. ^ Charles Julian Bishko (1968–9), "Fernando I and the Origins of the Leonese-Castilian Alliance with Cluny," Studies in Medieval Spanish Frontier History (Variorum Reprints), 40.
Preceded by
Berenguer Ramon I
Count of Barcelona
1035 – 1076
Succeeded by
Ramon Berenguer II
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