Download e-book for kindle: The Normans In The South by John Julius Norwich

By John Julius Norwich

ISBN-10: 0582107512

ISBN-13: 9780582107519

This e-book is set the 'other' Norman Conquest. it's the tale of Robert Guiscard, possibly the main outstanding ecu adventurer among Caesar and Napoleon. in a single yr, 1084, he had either the japanese and Western Emperors chickening out sooner than him and probably the most bold of medieval Popes in his energy. it's also the tale of his brother Roger, due to whom he conquered Sicily from the Saracens; and of Roger's descendants, particularly his son Roger II, who switched over his father's fulfillment right into a cosmopolitan and cultivated state whose surviving monuments nonetheless dazzle us this present day. The Normans within the South is the 1st of 2 volumes that recount the miraculous tale of the Norman country of Sicily. the second one quantity the dominion of the solar can be being reissued in Faber reveals. "Diligence, narrative ability, and a scholarship fired by way of enthusiasm". (Lord Kinross, Sunday Telegraph). "I stumbled on the booklet very relaxing certainly. it's fantastically written." (Nancy Mitford).

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Meanwhile, an important Byzantine official had been assassinated. Then, in 1009, Melus had taken up arms. With his brother-in-law Dattus and a sizable following he had quickly gained possession of Bari, followed in 1010 by Ascoli and Trani; but in the spring of 1011 the newly-appointed Catapan gathered all available forces to besiege Bari and managed to bribe certain of the Greek inhabitants to open the city gates to his men. On ii June Bari fell; Melus escaped and fled to Salerno. His wife and children were less fortunate.

Already in 912 a considerable number of them, led by Rollo himself, received Christian baptism. Some indeed, according to Gibbon, received it 'ten or twelve times, for the sake of the white garment usually given at this ceremony', while the fact that 'at the funeral of Rollo, the gifts to monasteries for the repose of his soul were accompanied by a sacrifice of one hundred captives' suggests that in these early years political expediency may have been no less strong a motive for conversion than was spiritual enlightenment, and that Thor and Odin did not give way without a struggle before the feathery onslaught of the Holy Ghost.

Unfortunately his original Latin text has been lost; all we possess is a translation into an Italianate Old French made in the fourteenth century and now surviving as an endearingly illustrated manuscript at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. For scholars, since Amatus is unquestionably the most reliable source for the subject and period he covers, this loss must be a sad blow; but for the rest of us it means that his work, of which no modern English translation exists, has been delivered from the heartbreaking convolutions of mediaeval Latin and is not only for the most part comprehensible but also, with its liveliness, naivete and unending orthographical charm, a joy to read.

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The Normans In The South by John Julius Norwich


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