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lines of Latin Christendom and according to the directions of the Papacy. They had a justification for appointing their allies as bishops and abbots of the sees and monasteries which held lands and commanded authority there.

The Normans pleased the Papacy by making wise appointments and expanding the limits of Papal jurisdiction by extending the borders of Latin Christendom. In the Normans, the Popes gained powerful allies against the Germans. They needed the protection of the Normans, who promised to secure Papal elections and prevent the German Emperors from installing their own appointees to the See of St. Peter.10 The Normans throughout all their adventures in the eleventh century proved to be very successful in forging an alliance with the Papacy that was beneficial to both sides.

From Enemies of Christendom to Papally-Sanctioned Rulers

Church sanction made legitimate the Norman conquests of Sicily and Southern Italy. Even before Roger II created the Norman Kingdom of Sicily in 1130, Norman leaders in the South made use of ecclesiastical support. Once the adventurers started in the eleventh century to carve out smaller lordships for themselves in the region, they inevitably sought to affirm their power over their territory and its inhabitants by winning approval and legitimate titles of office from the Church. Without this legitimization, the Normans would have seemed on a par with barbarian invaders, such as their Viking ancestors who raided northern France before King Charles the Simple enfeoffed Rollo with the Duchy of Normandy in 911.11


10. Douglas, The Norman Achievement, 53-56.
11. Dudo of St. Quentin 2.25.165-2.29.169, trans. Christiansen 46-50.

 

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