Rethinking Norman Italy

Studies in honour of Graham A. Loud

This collection honours and reflects the pioneering scholarship of Graham A. Loud in the field of Norman Italy (southern Italy and Sicily c. 1000–c. 1200). An international group of scholars, edited by Joanna H. Drell and Paul Oldfield, addresses a diverse range of subjects, reassessing and recasting the paradigm by which Norman Italy has been conventionally understood.

Norman Italy’s uniqueness has long rested on its geographic location on Latin Europe’s periphery, a circumstance that intermixed Latin Christians with Byzantine Greeks and Muslims and fostered a vibrant multiculturalism. While elements of this characterisation remain valid, continuing scholarly exploration is sparking a rising awareness of cross-pollination between Norman Italy and the wider medieval world in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The collection’s studies underscore that Norman Italy was not just a parochial Norman or Mediterranean entity but also an integral player in the medieval mainstream. This volume consequently endeavours to move the field’s emphasis beyond the frontier and to articulate both Norman Italy’s contribution to broader historical currents and the impact in turn of these currents upon Norman Italy, an instance of reciprocal influence perhaps surpassing the sum of its parts.

This focus leads the volume’s scholars to explore many broader realms within which Norman Italy was integrated, including the secular and monastic church, aristocratic networks, the papacy, crusading, urbanisation, Byzantium and Islam.

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