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History / History of Majorca





History of Majorca 
 
The earliest human remains found on the island of Mallorca are from 2350-2150 BC, coinciding with the beginning of the Bronze Age in the continental coasts. 
 

During the first centuries they were virtually cut off from the mainland, not existing record of exchange contacts until much later, possibly because of the absence of naval technology that allowed maritime trade. This phase of isolation of the initial settlers went through various phases that included new waves of colonization, dissemination of communities throughout the islands and the gradual evolution into a new culture, only present in Mallorca and Menorca: talayótica culture, which persisted until the arrival of Romans to the island and even beyond it. 

A thousand years later, in the 1200 B.C. the island was already inhabited by a large population with limited resources devoted to agriculture and livestock. These people built their houses and walls of large stones without foundation, and its most characteristic building still existing talayotes, megalithic character. The coastal location of some of their villages, even on small islands, and the presence of bronze objects of impossible development on the island due to the absence of tin, shows that in the First Millennium BC there was an active trade with sailors from other areas of the Mediterranean.

The archaeological findings show that they followed the rite of burial, laying modest outfits pottery, bones and some metas utensils next to the bodies. It seems to exist neither evidence of social hierarchy nor military elements in that culture and it has not been found any defensive structures and defensive or offensive weapons until the end of this period . The weapons found are mainly punches and daggers made of copper, usefull for agricultural activities, hunting and domestic chores. The bronze sword only appears at the end of this period and it should logically be imported from the mainland. 

 
Quinto Cecilio Metellus (who later receive the nickname Balearicus), conquered the island to the Roman Republic in 123 BC. Arguing alleged pirate raids with base on the islands, and the true purpose of establishing a wedge to Phoenician trade Rome decided to take over the archipelago. Legend tells that the Roman general had to protect their vessels with animal skins, because people, experts in handling slings, prevented them from disembarking. The Roman legions took two years to submit all the islands. After the conquest, the slingers of Majorca became part of the Roman auxiliary troops fighting prominently with Julius Caesar in the conquest of Gaul (defensive armor were not very effective against missiles of the slingers). 
 
Antiquity 
The great skill and courage in combating of these islanders warriors, turned them into famous soldiers throughout the Mediterranean. They participated in the Greek-Punic war as mercenaries for the Phoenicians, with decisive action in the war of Sicily against the Greeks. At the end of the Greco-Punic Sicily contentious called -The Sicilianas Wars- began the rivalry between Carthage and Rome. Relations between the two empires were cordial until Rome became a naval and trading power that extended its influence beyond the Italic Peninsula, because of that political and economic disputes between the two nations emerged leading to the First Punic War. The Balearic slingers fought as mercenaries in two of the first of the three Punic wars that took place (covering the period between 264 BC and 146 BC), with Hamilcar Barca, under the command of his son-in-law Hasdrubal and subsequently the feat of his son Hannibal at Cannae (216 BC in August). 
 
In 425 Mallorca suffered the invasion and plunder of the Vandals, Germanic people who settled on the island until the year 534, when the Byzantine general Belisarius ordered conquer the Balearic archipelago. 
 
Middle Ages 
In 707 the first recorded Muslim landing took place. They followed two centuries of constant anxiety until after the year 903, Mallorca was held by the Muslim Umayyad dynasty. The castle of Alaró resisted for eight years, according to the chronicles, and was the last refuge of the resistance of rumi (Christians) during the Muslim conquest. Then a blooming stage came, during which Mayurqa Madina, the current Palma was a great cultural center. 
 

In 1115 a Pisano-Catalan squadron attacked Mallorca on a punitive expedition in retaliation for pirate activities carried out from the island. Sacked and destroyed for the first time, Madina Mayurqa, and in the absence of Ramón Berenguer III, the Pisan fleet fled when they saw the Almoravid fleet sent from Africa. The island was in the hands of an Almoravid family, Ganiya Banu, who maintained good relations with the powers of the Mediterranean, even to sign a non-aggression treaty. Later, in 1203, the Almohads took over Mallorca, until some years later, in 1208, Abu Yahya  was appointed as governor,  who formed a semi-independent principality, with just a formal submission to the Almohad emir. 

 
The Aragonese troops of Jaume I the Conqueror, who arrived on the island in 1229, definitively conquered it for the Christians. After defeating the wali Muslim Abu Yahya in Portopí Battle and taking Madina Mayurqa (1230), resistance ceased in 1231. Muslim settlers, survivors of invasion, fled to Africa or were enslaved, while the island was repopulated by many of the men who supported king Jaume I (Count of Barcelona, King of Aragon, Count of Urgell and Lord of Montpellier) in the conquest. 
In his will, Jaume I created the the kingdom of Mallorca, comprising not only Mallorca, but the rest of the Balearic Islands, Menorca (still under the power of a Muslim ruler, although tributing taxes from 1231), Ibiza and Formentera. 
 
At his death (1276), his son Jaume II of Mallorca took the throne after the swearing of the called "Charter of the Franchises". The independence of the kingdom was short. In 1349 it was reinstated to the Crown of Aragon. The death of King Jaume III of Majorca in the Battle of Llucmajor was the end of the Kingdom of Mallorca. Although until his death in 1404 his daughter Elizabeth, established in the castle nearby Gallargues Montpellier, which was granted by the King of France,Charles VI, proclaimed herself Queen.
 
Reign of Jaume II 
Jaume II of Mallorca reigned over the islands for more than two decades and worked to ensure the viability of the kingdom. He promoted a vast agrarian colonization policy with the creation of villages; increased real incomes; favored the establishment of consulates in North Africa and in the kingdom of Granada; created a new monetary system for the kingdom; encouraged the creation of textile industries; proceeded to increase the real power of the nobility and the Church; and promoted the construction of palaces and castles as the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, St. Mary's Cathedral and Bellver Castle. The opening of the Templars process and subsequent suppression of the order allowed the seizure of their income on the islands. 
 
 In the time of Carlos I in 1521, was produced an uprising similar to one of the kingdom of Valencia germanías (insurrection forans), the rebels coming to besiege the town of Alcudia, where the nobility had fled the island. Throughout the sixteenth century, the island, like the rest of the Balearic Islands and the Spanish Levante suffered attacks and looting of the Turks and pirates. During the War of Spanish Succession, the island decided on the Archduke Charles of Austria, against Philip of Anjou.