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This was a particularly prosperous period for Ragusa and Sicily, economically, culturally and socially. The Normans landed in Sicily in 1081, and reached Ragusa about 10 years later. They took over from the Arabs in ruling the city. After a short period under Swabian rule, Ragusa then fell to the French. After the Sicilian Vespers revolt (1282), Ragusa and Modica freed themselves of the French Anjous and fell under the Spanish Aragon dynasty.
They thus became "counties". Just four years later, in 1286, the two counties joined together and became the County of Modica, that was run for almost a century by the powerful Chiaramonte family, with a certain degree of autonomy.