Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth by Barbara M. Kreutz

By Barbara M. Kreutz

Histories of medieval Europe have usually neglected southern Italy, taking a look south simply within the Norman interval. but Southern Italy within the 9th and 10th centuries used to be a posh and colourful global that merits to be greater understood. In Before the Normans, Barbara M. Kreutz writes the 1st smooth learn in English of the land, political buildings, and cultures of southern Italy within the centuries ahead of the Norman conquests. This was once a pan-Meditteranean society, the place the Roman previous and Lombard-Germanic tradition met Byzantine and Islamic civilization, making a wealthy and strange mix.

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By Barbara M. Kreutz

Histories of medieval Europe have usually neglected southern Italy, taking a look south simply within the Norman interval. but Southern Italy within the 9th and 10th centuries used to be a posh and colourful global that merits to be greater understood. In Before the Normans, Barbara M. Kreutz writes the 1st smooth learn in English of the land, political buildings, and cultures of southern Italy within the centuries ahead of the Norman conquests. This was once a pan-Meditteranean society, the place the Roman previous and Lombard-Germanic tradition met Byzantine and Islamic civilization, making a wealthy and strange mix.

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Sample text

And shortly thereafter he abandoned his campaign entirely when Benevento also proved impossible to storm. 10 It is instructive to note what happened subsequently with Constans and his army. After giving up his attempt to crush the southern Lombards, Constans had gone on to Rome (where he stripped off the Pantheon's copper roof as booty) and then, heading south again, he had called at Naples, that Byzantine outpost. He was warmly welcomed there, as one might expect, but what is interesting is that, next, he and his army apparently proceeded overland, without interference, all the way down the Tyrrhenian coast to Reggio before crossing over to Sicily.

We can then consider the scene at the end ofthe eighth and the beginning of the ninth century. AS JULES GAY NOTED LONG AGO, The Sixth to Eighth Centuries Southern Italy had been devastated by the troubles of the sixth century, when Justinian's armies battled the Ostrogoths for control ofItaly and then plague and the invading Lombards ravaged the survivors. Grim times leave 2 Chapter 1 few records, but we know a bit about the fate ofNaples, which can serve as a symbol of the whole. The entire area around the Bay of Naples had signified prosperity and pleasure in the Roman era.

Yet even ifthere were comparatively few Byzantine Greeks, and even if 12 Chapter 1 few iconodule monks had actually come, nonetheless later in the ninth century, in the more sparsely populated regions oflower Italy, there began to be one notable Byzantine-Greek presence: small, isolated clusters of Greek-speaking ascetics or hermits. Many were refugees from Arab-dominated Sicily, and so more will be said about them in subsequent chapters. The phenomenon is particularly characteristic of the tenth century, the period of St.

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