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Cecilia of Provence

Title social-status: 
Countess of Beziers
Biography: 

Cecilia of Provence was the daughter of Bertrand II of Provence and Alemburg (mentioned in documents but not otherwise identified).  In 1083, Cecilia married Bernard Ato IV, of Béziers, Carcassone, Nîmes, son of Raymond Bernard of Nîmes and Ermengard of Carcassonne.  The dower Bertrand was to pay to Ermengard was 5000 solidos, 2000 in silver, 1000 in steer and cows, 2000 in horses and mules in five years from the feast of St. Michael and at the time of the marriage, ten hostages (ostaticos)  of her choice (5.682-83, #356).  Cecilia and Bernard had three sons, Roger I, Raymond Trencavel, and Bernard Ato V, and several daughters, Ermengard (also called Trencavel), who married Gausfred or Gauzbert of Roussillon, Ermessind, who married Rostaing of Posquières, Matheline, who married Guillaume Alfaric of Béziers, Pagane,  mentioned in her father’s last will in which he asks his son Roger to arrange her marriage with the advice of Cecilia and the barons.  Cecilia participates in many of her husband’s charters of donations, legal settlements, peace treaties, during his life.  In a will made in 1118 when he went to fight in Spain, he leaves her  all his possessions for as long as she lives or wishes to hold them (dono atque concedo uxori meae Caeciliae totum honorem meum ubicumque illum habeo, quamdiu ipsa vixerit vel quamdiu tenere voluerit, ut teneat & possideat illum, HGL 5.866, #462), afterwards to be divided between her two older sons (a later will included the third son); if she preferred to live separate from them, she would hold Béziers, Agde, Nîmes, Termenois, the chateau of Cessenon, everything between the rivers of Agout and Tore and the village of Burlas.  Bernard Ato died in 1130, and Cecilia established her residence in Cessenon from which she administered her domains, and apparently her sons’,  as established by the will of 1118.  She and her sons participate in various charters and acts:  oaths of fidelity were taken to her and to them, hommage was paid; together they made various arrangements with bishops, and viscounts, confirmed and made donations, made alliances.  The last mention of her is in 1147, permission she and her sons grant to canons of the cathedral of Béziers.  She was dead by 1150, when her son Roger made a donation for the souls of his father and mother.1

Biographical notes: 

1 The material for this biography comes from the Histoire Générale de Languedoc, v.3 and from texts in v.5.