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The Normans also had to consider the Greek Christians who inhabited their lands. While at first the Greeks were pleased that their Muslim overlords had been replaced with Christian rulers, their goodwill towards the Norman "crusaders" quickly wore out. The Normans were oppressive and strict in collecting taxes and demanding military service, they practiced a version of Christianity wholly unlike what the Greeks were accustomed to, and they had a reputation for disrespecting the local women. As a result, in winter of 1062/1063 the Greeks and Saracens of Troina together revolted and besieged Roger in the town's citadel. Roger eventually prevailed and hung the chief revolutionaries.65

The Normans recognized, however, that they would not succeed in establishing their hegemony using only force and such terror tactics, so they made it a point not to restrict their benevolence to Latin churches and monasteries, but instead to also favor Greek religious institutions. In fact, Roger proved to be more generous to Basilian (Greek) monasticism than he was to Benedictine monasticism. He made several Basilian monasteries exempt from episcopal jurisdiction. He also founded or made improvements to seventeen Basilian monasteries, including Saint Michael the Archangel of Brolo in 1084, Saint Elias of Embula in 1094, and St George of Triocala in 1098. Earlier, the Guiscard may also have been responsible for the founding or restoration of two other Basilian monasteries.

Lynn Townsend White, Jr., in his study on Latin Monasticism in Norman Sicily, suggests that the Normans had additional reasons for patronizing Greek monasteries besides placating the Greek population. Robert Guiscard may have wanted to acquire a reputation for benevolence to Greek Christians so that he could win over to his side the Greeks he encountered on his invasions of the Byzantine Empire. Roger I may have


65. Norwich 152-54.
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