Book Series Medieval Identities: Socio-Cultural Spaces, vol. 9

The Normans in the Mediterranean

Emily A. Winkler, Liam Fitzgerald (eds)

  • Pages: 268 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:11 b/w, 5 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2021

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59057-8
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59058-5
  • E-book
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“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)

“Durch die Fokussierung auf die eingangs erwähnten Schlüsselbegriffe ist der Band trotz des breiten Themenspektrums – Politik, Kultur, Religion, Gesellschaft, Geschichtsschreibung usw. auf persönlicher, lokaler und internationaler Ebene – in sich durchaus kohärent und bietet neue Erkenntnisse in einem nur scheinbar ausgeforschten Untersuchungsfeld.” (Marie Jaros, in Historische Zeitschrift, 315/1, 2022, p. 207)

“Because of the range of themes, variety of forms of evidence, and differing scholarly approaches, there will be a great deal of interest in this volume for readers across a wide range of topics in medieval studies. Yet the volume also maintains internal coherence and the editors have succeeded in crafting a collection which is at once diverse and yet closely focused on the social resonance of Norman activities in Italy and the Mediterranean region. ” (Lindsay Diggelmann, in Parergon, 39/2, 2022, p. 178)


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.


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.




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