Bellum civile
Urban strife and conflict management in early twelfth-century Benevento
in Rethinking Norman Italy
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Since the beginning of papal rule in Benevento in the mid-eleventh century, local conflicts within the urban community posed a challenge to the Pope’s authority. A good example of this is the bellum civile of 1114, which, despite being unusually well documented, has been little studied.

This chapter investigates the circumstances leading to the bellum civile, using the downfall of Archbishop Landulf II as a case study in the dynamics of conflict management in southern Italy. The main source for the event is Falco’s Chronicon Beneventanum, but Falco’s account has never been comprehensively examined, only retold and more often than not misunderstood. One reason for this is that Falco recounts the bellum civile in a nonlinear narrative. Another is that his depiction of the archbishop’s dealings is not neutral but instead paints a black-and-white picture intended to inculpate the archbishop in the escalation of violence. Despite this, Falco reports many details and offers clear insights into the conflict’s development, and a careful reading can help to shed light on the events.

The chapter concludes by arguing that the conflict leading to the ‘civil war’ in Benevento did not originate from poor relations between Pope Paschal II and Archbishop Landulf II, but rather in the context of local rivalry between papal constable Landulf of Greca and the Norman nobility.

Rethinking Norman Italy

Studies in honour of Graham A. Loud

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