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became the bishop of Catania in 1092. Gerland, natione Allobrogum ("from the nation of the Allobroges," that is, from France), was the bishop of Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily by 1093. Palermo received a Latin archbishop, Alcher, in 1083.57 That the Normans so actively reorganized the Sicilian Church and placed it under the jurisdiction of their supporters shows that they were very concerned with both revitalizing and controlling it. Bishops and archbishops, like abbots, possessed a great amount of territory over which they commanded a great amount of power. They were secular administrators as well as prelates, and if the Normans strengthened them and maintained their loyalty, the Normans had an efficient and inviolable means of securing their own power over the area.

The Normans were the prime movers in this reorganization of the ecclesiastical institutions of the South, and Roger especially took credit in his charters for establishing the Sicilian episcopates and appointing their bishops.58 The Popes, however, still issued bulls confirming each of the Great Count's ecclesiastical decisions.59 Even though the Papacy in the second half of the eleventh century fought tooth and nail with the German Emperors against lay investiture, it apparently could make an exception for the Normans in the South. This was because their conquests expanded the area over which the Apostolic See could wield its authority, since Sicily had been part of the Muslim world and the Byzantine Empire had held the toe and heel of the Italian boot before the

 

 


57. Ibid. 119, 145. Gaufredus Malaterra 4.7.
58. R. Starrabba, Contributo allo Studio della diplomatica Siciliana dei tempi normanni: Diplomi di fundazione delle chiese episcopali di Sicilia (Archivio Storico Siciliano, Nuove Serie, XVIII, Palermo, 1893). Cited in Douglas, The Norman Achievement, 143.
59. J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologia Latina Cursus Completus (Paris 1844-1865); 151, col. 339, no. 59; 151, col. 370, no. 83; 151, col. 510, no. 242; 163, col. 45. Cited in Douglas, The Norman Achievement, 143.
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