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wanted to trick the Pope into granting him concessions by cultivating Greek Christianity and threatening to turn the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Sicily over to the Patriarch of Constantinople.66 All of these are likely possibilities, and they all demonstrate that the Normans' ability to manipulate the Church was key to their success.

Conclusion

In the eleventh century, the Normans made a highly significant impact on the history of Europe. Just two centuries prior they had been destructive pagan barbarians from the North and outsiders to Latin Christendom. In the meantime they had settled in Northern France, and adopted Christianity and the French language. Thus when in 1091 Roger de Hauteville finally subdued the last Muslim stronghold in Sicily, completing the unification of Sicily and Southern Italy under Norman rule, he decisively tore that region away from the worlds of Byzantium and Islam, and brought it permanently into the fold of the Latin West. Integral to this achievement was a secure, multifaceted, and mutually beneficial alliance between the Church and the Normans.

In Italy and Sicily, the Normans agreed to become vassals of the Papacy and protect its endeavors at freeing the Holy Roman Church from the control of the German Emperors. The Papacy fostered in the Normans the ideals of chivalry: it made them soldiers of Christ and directed their warrior culture towards the valiant goal of fighting on behalf of God and St. Peter. The Papacy confirmed their Italian and Sicilian conquests and recognized the Normans as legitimate rulers rather than mere barbarian marauders. The Popes blessed the remainder of the Normans' campaigns against the Sicilian Muslims and the Byzantine Empire: in the century leading up to the great Crusades to


66. White 38-44.
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