secular authority needed the approval and mediation of spiritual authority.24 The Normans were willing to subscribe to this philosophy of Papal theocracy in exchange for the elevated status the Papacy could offer. They saw, as had Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and their successors, that the promise of service and obedience was a fair trade for Papal endorsement, which could guarantee they would not have to resort to incessant warfare in order to stabilize their reign and keep their subjects obedient.
Richard indeed upheld his obligations by making sure that Nicholas' elected successor, Alexander II, was firmly established at Rome in 1061. William de Montreuil, another knight who traveled from Normandy to make his career in Italy, fought in Campania on behalf of Alexander.25 Consequently, Alexander was very supportive of the Normans throughout his reign. He blessed Robert Guiscard and his younger brother Roger and gave them a Papal banner for their campaign against the Muslims of Sicily in 1061-2.26 Most famously, he responded to William the Conqueror's appeal for Papal endorsement of his invasion of England by sending him, as William of Poitiers says, "the gift of a banner as a pledge of the support of St. Peter whereby he might the more confidently and safely attack his enemy."27 The Normans had become legitimate rulers, protectors of the Papacy, and holy warriors fighting under the aegis of St. Peter.
It is clear, however, that Robert Guiscard did not believe that the provisions of his oath to Nicholas II meant that he had to heed to the Papacy in every matter. He did not
24. Humbert on priesthood and kingship, Libri II Adversus Simoniacos (1054-1058), ed. F. Thaner, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libelli de Lite, I (Hanover, 1891), 225. Trans. in Tierney 41f. Also see The Dictatus Papae (March 1075), trans. S. Z. Ehler and J. B. Morrall, Church and State Through the Centuries (London, 1954), 43f. Reprinted in Tierney 49f.
25. Ordericus Vitalis 3.3. trans. Forester 1.413.
26. Douglas, The Norman Achievement, 102, 133.
27. William of Poitiers, "The Deeds of William, Duke of the Normans and King of the English" (c. 1071), trans. David C. Douglas and George W. Greenaway, English Historical Documents II, 1042-1189 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), 233. (Hereinafter cited as EHD.)