Legend of the Rocca di Entella


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The legend of Rocca of Entella tells of the daughter of caliph Ibn Abbàd who preferred to die rather than surrender to the emperor.
Frederick II fought hard the last bastions of Muslim resistance in Sicily and the undisputed leader of the Arab rebellion was a certain Muḥammad ibn ʿAbbād who proclaimed himself "Prince of believers". According to historical sources Muhammad was defeated in the Islamic stronghold of Iato in 1223, captured and hanged in Palermo. According to the legendary story of the Arab writer Al-Himarŷ, the emir would have surrendered with the promise of having his life saved as long as he would get away from the island forever towards Tunisia, but during the crossing he would have been betrayed, stabbed and thrown into sea. The death of Muhammad unleashed his daughter's desire for revenge. Legend has it that the young woman placed herself at the head of the last rebels and perched on the fortress of Entella. The fortress was fortified and the warriors trained and two or two years later, the princess sent a letter to the Norman king writing that she was ready to surrender. According to the agreement, she would have secretly welcomed 300 Norman warriors who, at night, would have conquered the stronghold. Frederick II accepted and sent 300 of his best knights to the stronghold, but these were attacked and killed by the Arabs. When Frederick was about to take the stronghold the heads of his soldiers dangled from the towers of the castle. The emperor tried to retaliate in turn with cunning and made her a false offer of forgiveness, but the woman did not give in to flattery by remaining in her position. And only after a long siege was the fortress of Entella conquered and demolished, but only the body of the woman was found because she had preferred to kill herself.