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The Normans in the Mediterranean

E. A. Winkler, L. Fitzgerald (eds.)
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268 p., 11 b/w ill. + 5 colour ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-59057-8
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 75,00 excl. tax
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In both popular memory and in their own histories, the Normans remain almost synonymous with conquest. In their relatively brief history, some of these Normans left a small duchy in northern France to fight with Empires, conquer kingdoms, and form new ruling dynasties. This book examines the explosive Norman encounters with the medieval Mediterranean, c. 1000–1250. It evaluates new evidence for conquest and communities, and offers new perspectives on the Normans’ many meetings and adventures in history and memory.

The contributions gathered here ask questions of politics, culture, society, and historical writing. How should we characterize the Normans’ many personal, local, and interregional interactions in the Mediterranean? How were they remembered in writing in the years and centuries that followed their incursions? The book questions the idea of conquest as replacement, examining instead how human interactions created new nodes and networks that transformed the medieval Mediterranean. Through studies of the Normans and the communities who encountered them — across Iberia, the eastern Roman Empire, Lombard Italy, Islamic Sicily, and the Great Sea — the book explores macro- and micro-histories of conquest, its strategies and technologies, and how medieval people revised, rewrote, and remembered conquest.

Dr Emily A. Winkler is Principal Investigator of an AHRC-funded research project on medieval historical writing. She is a Research Fellow at St Edmund Hall and the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford.

Liam Fitzgerald is a PhD candidate in History at King’s College London and the British Museum.

Table of Contents



Introduction: The Normans and Conquest in the Mediterranean — EMILY A. WINKLER AND ANDREW SMALL

Part I. Motivations and Strategies

Norman Conquests: Nature, Nurture, Normanitas — MATTHEW BENNETT

Marriage as a Strategy for Conquering Power: Norman Matrimonial Strategies in Lombard Southern Italy — AURÉLIE THOMAS

The Changing Priorities in the Norman Incursions into the Iberian Peninsula’s Muslim-Christian Frontiers, c. 1018–c. 1191 — LUCAS VILLEGAS-ARISTIZÁBAL

Part II. The Implications of Conquest in Sicily and Southern Italy

Norman Change, Lords and Rural Societies — SANDRO CAROCCI

The Nobility of Norman Italy, c. 1085–1127 — GRAHAM A. LOUD

Shaping the Urban Landscape: The Normans as New Patrons in Salerno — MADDALENA VACCARO

Palermo and the Norman Conquest of Sicily — THERESA JÄCKH

Community and Conquest on Medieval Monte Iato, Sicily — NICOLE MÖLK

Part III. Perceptions and Memories

Holy War in the Central Mediterranean: The Case of the Zirids and the Normans — MATT KING

Hagiography and the Politics of Memory in the Norman Conquest of the Italian South — KALINA YAMBOLIEV 


“The range of scholarly styles and varying methodological approaches from a strong group of scholars, some highly eminent in the field and some much earlier in their careers, ensure that the volume succeeds very well in continuing debate and furthering our knowledge on the ever-intriguing topic of those Normans who ventured south to create what John Julius Norwich once called “the Kingdom in the Sun.” (Lindsay Diggelmann, in The Medieval Review, 22.04.16)

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Political & institutional history
Social & economic history
Cultural & intellectual history
Medieval European history (400-1500) : auxiliary sciences
Demography & settlement studies
Medieval European history (400-1500) : genres & specific topics
Historiography (historical writings in the period)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
Italian Peninsula

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