Category Archives: Normans in Italy

Governing Norman Lands

  How far was there an administrative policy peculiar to Norman rule in Normandy, England, southern Italy and Sicily and Antioch, the crusading kingdom established in the early twelfth century?  In 1969, D.C. Douglas stated the case as follows[1]: “Before … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: A Holy War?

  The evidence clearly indicates that the Normans who made their careers in the central Mediterranean, especially Duke Robert Guiscard of Apulia and his brother Count Roger I of Sicily, fostered their image as proto-crusaders throughout their campaigns against the … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: A Christian mission?

  The Normans, who were Latin Christians, found that the peoples of Sicily and Southern Italy were just as divided religiously as they were politically. Sizable Jewish communities were scattered throughout the region.[1] The Sicilian emirates, especially the thriving metropolis … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: The Normans and the Church

  In southern Italy, the Normans had to cope with a very varied ethno-cultural and religious situation due to the coexistence in the region of Latins, Lombards, Greeks, Arabs and Jews. In the first place (under Robert Guiscard and Roger … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: Cultural developments

  Much of the culture of southern Italy in the Norman period was of monastic origin. The courts of the Norman lords were centres of artistic production, first and foremost the royal court of Palermo. Montecassino, Salerno and Palermo formed … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: Cultural developments

  Much of the culture of southern Italy in the Norman period was of monastic origin. The courts of the Norman lords were centres of artistic production, first and foremost the royal court of Palermo. Montecassino, Salerno and Palermo formed … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: Urban Life

  During the Norman period the growth of the urban areas was modest, in no way comparable to what was going on in northern Italy. This was due, above all, to the fact that the Norman lords preferred to reside … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: the rural world

  In early Middle Ages, and then in the Norman period, agriculture was the most important economic activity in southern Italy. The living conditions of the peasants were no different from the rest of Europe: although they were fairly satisfactory … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: Lordship and Feudalism

  An important aspect of the Norman domination of southern Italy was the strengthening of the military or banal lordship (both lay and ecclesiastic): in other words, those forms of possession of land that also included public duties, such as … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: The Normans and the Papacy — Victor II and Urban II

Victor III (1086-1087) Of noble birth, Dauferi entered the Benedictine monastery of Montecassino[1], where he changed his name to Desiderius and where in 1058 he succeeded Pope Stephen IX (X) as abbot. His rule at Montecassino marks the monastery’s golden … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: The Normans and the Papacy: Gregory VII

  Hildebrand was born c. 1020, near Soana in Italy and died on 25th May 1085, Salerno. Mainly a spiritual rather than a political leader, he attacked various abuses in the church. From 1075 onward he was engrossed in a … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: The Normans and the Papacy — Nicholas II and Alexander II

  Nicholas II (1058-1061) Gerald of Burgundy was born in Lorraine and died on 27th August 1061 in Florence[1]. He became bishop of Florence in 1046. As soon as the news of the death of Stephen X at Florence reached … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: The Normans and the Papacy — Reforming Popes

  The 11th century was a time of revolutionary change in European society. The church underwent profound reform and redefined itself and its relation with the secular order. By 1049, the papacy caught up with the broader reform movement in … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: The Normans and the Papacy

  The Imperial Dimension under Henry IV The Emperor Henry IV was born November 11th 1050 in Saxony; died August 7th 1106, Liege; duke of Bavaria (as Henry VIII, 1055-61), German king (from 1054), and Holy Roman emperor (1084-1105/06)[1].  Henry’s … Continue reading

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The Normans in Southern Italy: The Normans and the Papacy

  The mid- to late-eleventh century saw major changes in the position of the Papacy. These changes were both political and spiritual and historians have called them, perhaps rather extravagantly the ‘Gregorian revolution’.   The political dimension to this ‘revolution’ … Continue reading

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