Janus' Home


the eyes of the people whom they conquered. In addition, the political, ethnic, and religious situation in the South before the consolidation of that region under the Normans was totally chaotic. If the Normans wanted to place the lands there under their own administration, they would have to tame and combine a very diverse population that at various times was under the control of several separate political entities.

Ever since Justinian's short-lived campaign to reclaim the West in the sixth century, the extent of the Byzantine Empire's jurisdiction in Southern Italy was restricted to the regions of Calabria and Apulia. The Byzantine emperors governed the extreme toe and heel of the Italian boot from their regional capital of Bari. The Duchy of Naples, of which the maritime cities of Amalfi, Sorrento, and Gaeta were more or less a part, was only nominally subject to the rule of the Byzantine Empire. The Lombards had been entrenched in mainland Southern Italy since the late sixth century. By the eleventh century they had divided themselves into the principalities of Capua, Benevento, and Salerno, and these fiercely independent states were almost always at war with each other. A large number of Greeks still inhabited Sicily, even though the island had been under the complete control of Muslim emirs since the ninth century.

This politically and religiously fragmented region was also racked by wars. Sicilian and North African Muslims made periodic raids on the mainland. The Lombard princes squabbled amongst themselves constantly. Both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires viewed Italy as part of their patrimony, so both powers refused to recognize each other's rights there and the Lombards' sovereignty. The Patriarch of Constantinople and the Roman Pontiff, moreover, both claimed that Southern Italy fell within the jurisdiction of their respective sees. Constantinople, then, sent occasional expeditions in attempting

Table of Contents | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 |28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36