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of his followers in 1091, and Roger founded the house of Santa Maria at La Torre for them. These Latin monasteries were concentrated in areas of the South, especially Calabria, where the population was predominantly Greek. This was because the Greeks had proven themselves to be restless and disapproving of their new Norman overlords, and so the Normans needed to implant loyal allies throughout the Greek communities. The Latin monasteries were wealthy, they governed great amounts of land, and they owed their existence to the Normans. Thus they were bastions of Norman power in the South.55 The Normans could expect this system of controlling their lands to be fairly secure, since it stands to reason that the locals would not likely rebel against the peaceful monks they had for overseers.

In addition, the Norman conquest brought about the ecclesiastical reorganization of Sicily and Southern Italy. Roger combined the bishoprics of Tauriana and Vibona into the see of Mileto, where the Great Count centered the administration of his county. As mentioned above, the Normans restored the archbishop of Palermo to his seat and reconsecrated his church in 1072. They also affirmed their conquest of the island by founding the sees of Troina in 1081, as well as those of Agrigento, Mazzarra, Messina, Catania, and Syracuse from 1087 to 1088. The bishopric of Messina was then added to the bishopric of Troina in 1095.56

The Normans took care to ensure the appointments of their allies to these and other episcopal seats in the South. A certain Robert, whom Count Roger appointed bishop of Troina around 1081, and Stephen, bishop of Mazzarra in Western Sicily by 1088, were both Normans. Ansger, Britonem ("the Breton"), abbot of Sant' Agatha,


55. Lynn Townsend White, Jr., Latin Monasticism in Norman Sicily (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Mediaeval Academy of America, 1938), 47-49, 51f.
56. Douglas, The Norman Achievement, 138f.

 

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