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glorify the Normans for their faith--she may, however, be foreshadowing the First Crusade, which Pope Urban II declared only fourteen years later and in which Norman warriors played a prominent part. Her testimony thus confirms that the Normans were motivated not by the desire for conquest alone, but also by a sincere belief that they were on God's side.

The Ecclesiastical Policies of the Normans in the South

Throughout their careers in Italy and Sicily in the eleventh century, the Normans underwent a progression from pirates to Christian rulers. Without ever really losing their military prowess or relinquishing their reputation as Europe's fiercest knights, they took on the image and responsibility of protectors and servants of the Church. They completed the first step in this process by transforming themselves from the enemies of Christendom, against whom the Pope had declared a Holy War, to the protectors of the Papacy, who looked after the Pope's temporal possessions and defended canonically elected Popes against usurpers. They subsequently became "crusaders" fighting against the Muslim infidels of Sicily and the heretical Byzantines. In these two steps, they both demonstrated their piety as faithful and obedient Christians, and used the honor and prestige they acquired as faithful Christian warriors to augment their power and the loyalty of their followers. The Church for its part fostered this transformation by cultivating the notion of chivalry in the Normans: it convinced them to redirect their warrior energy towards the more Christian goals of defending the reform Papacy and regaining lands for Western Christendom. To complete the third step in this process, they showed off their continuing devoutness and solidified their power in the wake of their

 

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