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Norman conquest of southern Italy

Norman conquest of southern Italy

Overview

The Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 conquest of southern Italy
spanned the late eleventh and much of the twelfth centuries, involving many battles and many independent players conquering territories of their own. Only later were these united as the Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

, which included not only the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, but also the entire southern third of the Italian Peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

 (save Benevento
Benevento
Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 m above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and Sabato...

, which they did briefly hold on two occasions) as well as the archipelago of Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 and parts of North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

.

Immigrant Norman brigands acclimatised themselves to the Mezzogiorno
Mezzogiorno
The Midday is a wide definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the southern half of the Italian state, encompassing the southern section of the continental Italian Peninsula and the two major islands of Sicily and Sardinia, in addition to a large number of minor islands...

 as mercenaries in the service of various Lombard
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 and Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 factions, communicating news swiftly back home about the opportunities that lay in the Mediterranean.
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The Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 conquest of southern Italy
spanned the late eleventh and much of the twelfth centuries, involving many battles and many independent players conquering territories of their own. Only later were these united as the Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

, which included not only the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, but also the entire southern third of the Italian Peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

 (save Benevento
Benevento
Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 m above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and Sabato...

, which they did briefly hold on two occasions) as well as the archipelago of Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 and parts of North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

.

Immigrant Norman brigands acclimatised themselves to the Mezzogiorno
Mezzogiorno
The Midday is a wide definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the southern half of the Italian state, encompassing the southern section of the continental Italian Peninsula and the two major islands of Sicily and Sardinia, in addition to a large number of minor islands...

 as mercenaries in the service of various Lombard
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 and Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 factions, communicating news swiftly back home about the opportunities that lay in the Mediterranean. These aggressive groups aggregated in various places, eventually establishing fiefdoms and states of their own; they succeeded in unifying themselves and raising their status to one of de facto independence within fifty years of their arrival.

Unlike the Norman conquest of England
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

 (1066), which took place over the course of a few years after one decisive battle
Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II...

, the conquest of Southern Italy was the product of decades and many battles, few decisive. Many territories were conquered independently, and only later were all unified into one state. Compared to the conquest of England, it was unplanned and unorganised, but just as permanent.

Arrival of the Normans in Italy, 999–1017



The earliest purported date for the arrival of Norman knights in southern Italy is 999. In that year, according to several sources, Norman pilgrims (of which there were, it is presumed, many before and after that date) returning from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by way of Apulia stopped at Salerno
Salerno
Salerno is a city and comune in Campania and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea....

, where they were enjoying the hospitality of Prince Guaimar III
Guaimar III of Salerno
Guaimar III was duke of Salerno from around 994 to his death. His date of death is sometimes given as 1030 or 1031, but the most reliable sources consistently indicate 1027. Under his reign, Salerno entered an era of great splendour...

 when the city and its environs were attacked by Saracens from Africa demanding the late payment of an annual tribute. While Guaimar began to collect the tribute, the Normans upbraided the Lombards for their lack of bravery and immediately assaulted their besiegers. The Saracens fled, much booty was taken, and a thankful Guaimar pleaded with the Normans to stay. They refused, but promised to bring his rich gifts to their compatriots in Normandy and to tell them of the offer of reward in return for military service in Salerno. Some sources even have Guaimar sending emissaries to Normandy to bring back knights. This account of the arrival of the Normans is sometimes called the "Salerno tradition" (or "Salernitan tradition").

The Salerno tradition was first recorded by Amatus of Montecassino
Amatus of Montecassino
Amatus of Montecassino , a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Montecassino is one of three Italo-Norman chroniclers, the others being William of Apulia and Goffredo Malaterra...

 in his Ystoire de li Normant between 1071 and 1086. Much information concerning it was borrowed from Amatus by Peter the Deacon
Peter the Deacon
Peter the Deacon was the librarian of the abbey of Montecassino and continuator of the Chronicon Monasterii Casinensis, usually called the Montecassino Chronicle in English. The chronicle was originally written by Leo of Ostia...

 for his continuation of the Chronicon Monasterii Casinensis of Leo of Ostia
Leo of Ostia
Leo Marsicanus or Ostiensis , also known as Leone dei Conti di Marsi , was a nobleman and monk of Monte Cassino around 1061 and Italian cardinal from the twelfth century.In Monte Cassino, he became a friend of Desiderius of Benevento, later Pope Victor III, and it was to him that Leo dedicated...

, written in the early twelfth century. Beginning with Baronius' Annales Ecclesiastici
Annales ecclesiastici
Annales Ecclesiastici , consisting of twelve folio volumes, is a history of the first 12 centuries of the Christian Church, written by Cardinal Caesar Baronius...

in the seventeenth century, the Salernitan story became the accepted history. Its factual accuracy was questioned periodically in the following centuries, but it has been accepted with modification by most scholars since.

Another historical account concerning the arrival of the first Normans in Italy appears in primary chronicles without reference to any prior Norman presence. This story has been called the "Gargano tradition." Norman pilgrims to the shrine of Michael the Archangel at Monte Gargano
Monte Gargano
Gargano is a historical and geographical Italian sub-region situated in Apulia, consisting of a wide isolated mountain massif made of highland and several peaks and forming the backbone of the Gargano Promontory projecting into the Adriatic Sea. The high point is Monte Calvo at . Most of the upland...

 met the Lombard Melus of Bari
Melus of Bari
Melus was a Lombard nobleman from the Apulian town of Bari, whose ambition to carve for himself an autonomous territory from the Byzantine catapanate of Italy in the early 11th century inadvertently sparked the Norman presence in southern Italy.Melus and his brother-in-law Dattus rebelled in 1009...

 there and were convinced to join him in an attack on the Byzantine government of Apulia. This occurred in 1016.

As with the Salerno tradition, there are two primary sources for the Gargano story: the Gesta Roberti Wiscardi of William of Apulia
William of Apulia
William of Apulia was a chronicler of the Normans, writing in the 1090s. His Latin epic, Gesta Roberti Wiscardi , written in hexameters, is one of the principal contemporary sources for the Norman conquest of southern Italy, especially the career of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia . It was composed...

, dated 1088–1110, and the Chronica monasterii S. Bartholomaei de Carpineto of a monk named Alexander, written about a century later and based on William's work. Some scholars have combined the Salerno and Gargano tales, Lord Norwich
John Julius Norwich
John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich CVO — known as John Julius Norwich — is an English historian, travel writer and television personality.-Early life:...

 even suggesting that the meeting between Melus and the Normans had been arranged prior by Guaimar. Melus had been in Salerno just prior to his being at Monte Gargano.

Another story involves the voluntary exile of a group of brothers of the Drengot family
Drengot family
The Drengots were a Norman family of mercenaries, one of the first to head to the Mezzogiorno of Italy to fight in the service of the Lombards. They became the most prominent family after the Hautevilles.-Origins:...

. One of the brothers, Osmund
Osmond Drengot
Osmond Drengot was one of the first Norman adventurers in the Mezzogiorno. He was the son of a petty, but rich, lord of Carreaux, near Avesnes-en-Bray in the region of Rouen. Carreaux gives his family the alternate name of de Quarrel.In 1016, Osmond took part in a hunt with Duke Richard II of...

 according to Orderic Vitalis
Orderic Vitalis
Orderic Vitalis was an English chronicler of Norman ancestry who wrote one of the great contemporary chronicles of 11th and 12th century Normandy and Anglo-Norman England. The modern biographer of Henry I of England, C...

 and Gilbert
Gilbert Buatère
Gilbert Buatère was one of the first Norman adventurers in the Mezzogiorno. He was the eldest son of a petty, but rich, lord of Carreaux, near Avesnes-en-Bray in the region of Rouen...

 according to Amatus and Peter the Deacon, murdered one William Repostel (Repostellus) in the presence of the Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy
The Duke of Normandy is the title of the reigning monarch of the British Crown Dependancies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. The title traces its roots to the Duchy of Normandy . Whether the reigning sovereign is a male or female, they are always titled as the "Duke of...

, usually cited as Robert the Magnificent. It is alleged that Repostel bragged about dishonouring the daughter of his murderer and, as a consequence, was killed. Threatened with death himself, the Drengot brother fled the country with his siblings to Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, where one of the brothers had an audience with the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, before moving on to join Melus of Bari. Amatus dates the story to after 1027 and does not involve a pope. According to him, Gilbert's brothers were Osmund, Ranulf, Asclettin
Asclettin of Acerenza
Asclettin was the first count of Acerenza, one of the twelve leaders of the Norman mercenaries of Guaimar IV of Salerno who conquered much of Apulia between 1038 and 1042. In the latter year, the division of the conquests twelvefold was made and Asclettin received his portion.Asclettin arrived in...

, and Ludolf
Ralph Drengot
Rudolph Drengot was one of the Drengot family of Norman adventureres who came to Southern Italy with his brothers, Gilbert, Asclettin, Osmond, and Ranulf....

 (Rudolf according to Peter).

The murder of Repostel is dated by all the chronicles to the reign of Robert the Magnificent and thus after 1027, though some scholars believe Robert to be a scribal error for Richard, indicating Richard II of Normandy, who was duke in 1017. The earlier date is necessary if the emigration of the first Normans is to have any connection with the Drengots and the murder of William Repostel. In the Histories of Ralph Glaber, one "Rodulfus" leaves Normandy after displeasing Count Richard (i.e. Richard II). Sources diverge as to just who among the brothers was leader on the trip to the south. Orderic and William of Jumièges
William of Jumièges
William of Jumièges was a contemporary of the events of 1066, and one of our earliest writers on the subject of the Norman Conquest. He is himself a "shadowy figure", only known by his dedicatory letter to King William as a monk of Jumièges...

 in his Gesta Normannorum Ducum
Gesta Normannorum Ducum
Gesta Normannorum Ducum is a chronicle originally created by the monk William of Jumièges just before 1060. In 1070 William I had William of Jumièges extend the work to detail his rights to the throne of England. In later times, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni Gesta Normannorum Ducum (Deeds...

name Osmund. Glaber names Rudolph. Leo, Amatus, and Adhemar of Chabannes name Gilbert. According to most south Italian sources, the leader of the Norman contingent at the Battle of Cannae
Battle of Cannae (1018)
The second Battle of Cannae took place in 1018 between the Byzantines under the Catepan of Italy Basil Boioannes and the Lombards under Melus of Bari. The Lombards had also hired some Norman mercenaries under their leader Gilbert Buatère...

 in 1018 was Gilbert. If Rudolf is identified with the Rudolf of Amatus' history as a Drengot brother, then perhaps Rudolf was the leader at Cannae.

Yet another, modern, hypothesis concerning the Norman advent in the Mezzogiorno concerns the chronicles of Glaber, Adhemar, and Leo (not Peter's continuation). All three chronicles indicate that Normans (either forty or a multitude circa 250), under "Rodulfus" (Rudolf), fleeing the rage of Richard II, came to Pope Benedict VIII
Pope Benedict VIII
Pope Benedict VIII , born Theophylactus, Pope from 1012 to 1024, of the noble family of the counts of Tusculum , descended from Theophylact, Count of Tusculum like his predecessor Pope Benedict VI .Benedict VIII was opposed by an antipope, Gregory...

 of Rome, who sent them on to Salerno
Salerno
Salerno is a city and comune in Campania and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea....

 or Capua
Capua
Capua is a city and comune in the province of Caserta, Campania, southern Italy, situated 25 km north of Naples, on the northeastern edge of the Campanian plain. Ancient Capua was situated where Santa Maria Capua Vetere is now...

 to seek employment of their military capacities against the Byzantines, at whom Benedict was then angered for their invasion of Beneventan territory (then under papal suzerainty). There they met the Beneventan primates (leading men): Landulf V of Benevento
Landulf V of Benevento
Landulf V was the prince of Benevento from May 987, when he was first associated with his father Pandulf II, to his death. He was chief prince from his father's death in 1014....

, Pandulf IV of Capua
Pandulf IV of Capua
Pandulf IV was the Prince of Capua on three separate occasions.From February 1016 to 1022 he ruled in association with his cousin Pandulf II. In 1018, the Byzantine catapan Boiannes destroyed the Lombard army of Melus of Bari and his Norman allies at Cannae...

, possibly the aforementiond Guaimar III of Salerno, and Melus of Bari. On the basis of Leo's chronicle, Rudolf is supposed to have been the same person as Ralph of Tosni.

If the first confirmed Norman military actions in the south involved mercenaries in the employ of Melus in battle against the Byzantines in May 1017, then the Normans probably left Normandy between January and April.

Lombard revolt, 1009–1022



On 9 May 1009, an insurrection erupted in Bari
Bari
Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas...

 against the Catapanate of Italy
Catapanate of Italy
The Catepanate of Italy was a province of the Byzantine Empire, comprising mainland Italy south of a line drawn from Monte Gargano to the Gulf of Salerno. Amalfi and Naples, although north of that line, maintained allegiance to Constantinople through the catepan...

, the regional Byzantine authority, which was based at Bari. Led by one Melus
Melus of Bari
Melus was a Lombard nobleman from the Apulian town of Bari, whose ambition to carve for himself an autonomous territory from the Byzantine catapanate of Italy in the early 11th century inadvertently sparked the Norman presence in southern Italy.Melus and his brother-in-law Dattus rebelled in 1009...

, a local Lombard of high standing, it quickly spread to other cities. Late that year or early the next (1010), the catapan, John Curcuas
John Curcuas (catepan)
John Kourkouas was the Byzantine catepan of Italy from 1008 to his death. He was of Armenian descent. He saw the first revolt of the Lombards in Greek Apulia. Formerly the strategos of Samos, Kourkouas arrived at Bari in May 1008 as a replacement for Alexios Xiphias, who had been killed in...

, was killed in battle. In March 1010, his successor, Basil Mesardonites
Basil Mesardonites
Basil Mesardonites was the Catapan of Italy, representing the Byzantine Emperor there, from 1010 to 1016 or 1017. He succeeded the catapan Curcuas, who died fighting the Lombards, then in rebellion under Melus, early in 1010. In March, Basil disembarked with reinforcements from Constantinople and...

, disembarked with reinforcements and immediately besieged the rebels in the city. The Byzantine citizens of the city negotiated with Basil and forced the Lombard leaders, Melus and his brother-in-law Dattus
Dattus
Dattus was a Lombard leader from Bari, the brother-in-law of Melus of Bari. He joined his brother-in-law in a 1009 revolt against Byzantine authority in southern Italy.In 1010, the rebels took Ascoli and Troina...

, to flee. Basil entered the city on 11 June 1011 and reestablished Byzantine authority. He did not follow his victory up with any severe reactions. He simply sent the family of Melus, including his son Argyrus, to Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

. Basil died in 1016 after years of peace in southern Italy.

Leo Tornikios Kontoleon
Leo Tornikios Kontoleon
Kontoleon Tornikios was the Catapan of Italy from May to September 1017. He was originally the strategos of Cephallenia. As strategos, he accompanied the catapan Basil Mesardonites to Apulia in 1011. Basil died in 1016 and Leo was nominated to replace him, arriving in May. At the time, Melus of...

 arrived as Basil's successor in May that year. On Basil's death, Melus had revolted again, but this time he employed a newly-arrived band of Normans, either which had been sent to him by Pope Benedict or which he had met, with or without Guaimar's assistance, at Monte Gargano. Leo sent Leo Passianos
Leo Passianos
Leo Passianos was the Byzantine general sent by the Catapan of Italy Leo Tornikios Kontoleon to fight the Lombard rebel Melus of Bari in 1017. He is not to be confused with the other Passianos killed in Melus' first rebellion while fighting the Saracens under Ishmael of Montepeloso.Passianos met...

 with an army against the Lombard-Norman assemblage. Passianos and Melus met on the Fortore
Fortore
The Fortore is a river which flows through the provinces of Benevento, Campobasso and Foggia in southern Italy. It has a length of 110 km....

 at Arenula. The battle was either indecisive (William of Apulia
William of Apulia
William of Apulia was a chronicler of the Normans, writing in the 1090s. His Latin epic, Gesta Roberti Wiscardi , written in hexameters, is one of the principal contemporary sources for the Norman conquest of southern Italy, especially the career of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia . It was composed...

) or a victory for Melus (Leo of Ostia
Leo of Ostia
Leo Marsicanus or Ostiensis , also known as Leone dei Conti di Marsi , was a nobleman and monk of Monte Cassino around 1061 and Italian cardinal from the twelfth century.In Monte Cassino, he became a friend of Desiderius of Benevento, later Pope Victor III, and it was to him that Leo dedicated...

). Tornikios then took command himself and led them into a second encounter near Civita
San Paolo di Civitate
San Paolo di Civitate is a town and comune in the province of Foggia in the Apulia region of southeast Italy.-History:San Paolo was founded in the mid-15th century, mostly as a colony of Albanians...

. This second battle was a victory for Melus, though Lupus Protospatharius
Lupus Protospatharius
Lupus Protospatharius Barensis was the reputed author of the Chronicon rerum in regno Neapolitano gestarum , a precise history of the Mezzogiorno from 805 to 1102. He has only been named as the author since the seventeenth century...

 and the anonymous chronicler of Bari record a defeat. A third battle, a decisive victory for Melus, occurred at Vaccaricia. The entire region from the Fortore to Trani
Trani
Trani is a seaport of Apulia, southern Italy, on the Adriatic Sea, in the new Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani , and 40 km by railway West-Northwest of Bari.- History :...

 had fallen to Melus and in September, Tornikios was relieved of his duties in favour of Basil Boiannes, who arrived in December.

At Boiannes' request, a detachment of the elite Varangian Guard
Varangian Guard
The Varangian Guard was an elite unit of the Byzantine Army in 10th to the 14th centuries, whose members served as personal bodyguards of the Byzantine Emperors....

 was sent to Italy to combat the Normans. The two forces met on the river Ofanto
Ofanto
The Ofanto, known in ancient times as Aufidus, from the Greek Ophidus, Ωφιδους, meaning snake, is a 170 km river in southern Italy...

 near Cannae
Cannae
Cannae is an ancient village of the Apulia region of south east Italy. It is a frazione of the comune of Barletta.-Geography:It is situated near the river Aufidus , on a hill on the right Cannae (mod. Canne della Battaglia) is an ancient village of the Apulia region of south east Italy. It is a...

, the site of Hannibal's victory over the Romans in 216 BC. The result was a decisive Byzantine victory. Boioannes protected his gains by immediately building a great fortress at the Apennine
Apennine mountains
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains or Greek oros but just as often used alone as a noun. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically but not always used "mountain" in the singular to mean one or a range; thus, "the Apennine mountain" refers to the entire chain and is translated "the Apennine...

 pass guarding the entrance to the Apulian plain. In 1019, Troia, as it was called, was garrisoned by Boioannes' own contingent of Norman troops, a sign of the true mercenary tendencies of the Normans.

Frightened by the shift in momentum in the south, Pope Benedict, who, as noted above, may have given the initial impetus to Norman involvement in the war, went north in 1020 to Bamberg
Bamberg
Bamberg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main. Bamberg is one of the few cities in Germany that was not destroyed by World War II bombings because of a nearby Artillery Factory that prevented planes from...

 to confer with the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

, then Henry II
Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry II , also referred to as Saint Henry, Obl.S.B., was the fifth and last Holy Roman Emperor of the Ottonian dynasty, from his coronation in Rome in 1014 until his death a decade later. He was crowned King of the Germans in 1002 and King of Italy in 1004...

. The Emperor took no immediate action, but events of the next year convinced him to intervene. Boioannes had allied with Pandulf of Capua and marched on Dattus, who was then garrisoning a tower in territory of the Duchy of Gaeta
Duchy of Gaeta
The Duchy of Gaeta was an early medieval state centred on the coastal South Italian city of Gaeta. It began in the early ninth century as the local community began to grow autonomous as Byzantine power lagged in the Mediterranean and the peninsula thanks to Lombard and Saracen incursions.Our...

 with papal troops. He was captured, and, on 15 June 1021, was tied up in a sack with a monkey, a rooster, and a snake and thrown into the sea. In 1022, a large imperial army marched south in three detachments under Henry II, Pilgrim of Cologne
Pilgrim, Archbishop of Cologne
Pilgrim was the archbishop of Cologne and archchancellor of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire, a dignity he obtained for all his successors....

, and Poppo of Aquileia
Poppo, Patriarch of Aquileia
Poppo of Treffen was the fifty-seventh patriarch of Aquileia from 1019 to 1045.In 1020, Poppo commanded the smallest of three armies which Emperor Henry II led through Italy. Poppo followed the Apennines and joined the other divisions to besiege Troia, the new fortress of the Byzantine catepan...

, to attack Troia. While Troia did not fall, all the Lombard princes were brought over to the Empire and Pandulf was carted off to a German prison. The period of the Lombard revolt was closed.

Mercenary service, 1022–1046


In 1024, Norman mercenaries (perhaps under Ranulf Drengot) were in the pay of Guaimar III when he and Pandulf IV besieged Pandulf V
Pandulf V of Capua
Pandulf V was the count of Teano and prince of Capua . That he was related to the ruling dynasty of Capua seems likely, but is uncertain. He was installed at Capua by Pilgrim, Archbishop of Cologne, who besieged Capua and deposed the current prince, Pandulf IV was imprisoned in Germany...

 in Capua. In 1026, after an 18-month siege, Capua surrendered and Pandulf IV was reinstated. In the following years, Ranulf would attach himself to Pandulf, but in 1029, he abandoned the prince and joined Sergius IV of Naples
Sergius IV of Naples
Sergius IV was Duke of Naples from 1002 to 1036. He was one of the prime catalysts in the growth of Norman power in the Mezzogiorno in the first half of the eleventh century...

, whom Pandulf had expelled from Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 in 1027, probably with Ranulf's assistance.

In 1029, Ranulf and Sergius recaptured Naples. Early in 1030, Sergius gave Ranulf the County of Aversa as a fief, the first Norman principality in the region. Sergius also gave his sister in marriage to the new count. In 1034, however, Sergius' sister died and Ranulf returned to Pandulf. According to Amatus:

For the Normans never desired any of the Lombards to win a decisive victory, in case this should be to their disadvantage. But now supporting the one and then aiding the other, they prevented anyone being completely ruined.

Norman reinforcements and local miscreants, who found a welcome in Ranulf's encampment with no questions asked, swelled the numbers at Ranulf's command. There, Norman language
Old Norman
Old Norman, also called Old Northern French or Old Norman French, was one of many langues d'oïl dialects. It was spoken throughout the region of what is now called Normandy and spread into England, Southern Italy, Sicily, and the Levant. It is the ancestor of modern Norman, including the insular...

 and Norman customs welded a disparate group into the semblance of a nation, as Amatus also observed.

In 1037, the Normans were further entrenched when the Emperor Conrad II deposed Pandulf and recognised Ranulf as "Count of Aversa" holding directly from the emperor. In 1038, Ranulf invaded Capua and expanded his polity into one of the largest in southern Italy.

Between 1038 and 1040, another band of Normans were sent along with a Lombard contingent by Guaimar IV of Salerno
Guaimar IV of Salerno
Guaimar IV was Prince of Salerno , Duke of Amalfi , Duke of Gaeta , and Prince of Capua in Southern Italy over the period from 1027 to 1052. He was an important figure in the final phase of Byzantine authority in the Mezzogiorno and the commencement of Norman power...

 to fight in Sicily for the Byzantines against the Saracens. The first members of the Hauteville family
Hauteville family
The family of the Hauteville was a petty baronial Norman family from the Cotentin which rose to prominence in Europe, Asia, and Africa through its conquests in the Mediterranean, especially Southern Italy and Sicily...

 won renown in Sicily fighting under George Maniaches. William of Hauteville
William Iron Arm
William Iron Arm was a Norman adventurer, founder of the fortunes of the Hauteville family. One of twelve sons of Tancred of Hauteville, he journeyed to the Mezzogiorno with his younger brother Drogo in the first half of the eleventh century , in response to requests for help made by fellow...

 won his nickname "Iron Arm" at the siege of Syracuse.

After the assassination of the Catapan Nicephorus Doukeianos
Nicephorus Doukeianos
Nikephoros II Doukeianos was the catepan of Italy from 1039 until 1041. He saw the early rebellion of Arduin the Lombard, but not is completion. He was killed at Ascoli Satriano early in 1040. With his death, the insurrection accelerated.-Source:*Chalandon, Ferdinand. Histoire de la domination...

 at Ascoli
Ascoli Satriano
Ascoli Satriano is a town and comune in the province of Foggia in the Apulia region of southeast Italy.-History:Ascoli was a city of the Dauni. It was the seat of two early Roman battles . Later Sulla build a military colony here.In the mid-9th century it was set on fire by the Saracens...

 in 1040, the Normans planned to elect a leader from amongst their own, but were instead bribed by Atenulf, Prince of Benevento
Atenulf, Prince of Benevento
Atenulf was the son of Pandulf III of Benevento. In 1040, Benevento still had the prestige of being the first of the independent Lombard principalities of the Mezzogiorno...

, to elect him their leader. On 16 March 1041, near Venosa
Venosa
Venosa is a town and comune in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata, in the Vulture area. It is bounded by the comuni of Barile, Ginestra, Lavello, Maschito, Montemilone, Palazzo San Gervasio, Rapolla and Spinazzola....

, on the Olivento, the Norman army tried to negotiate with the new catapan, Michael Doukeianos
Michael Doukeianos
Michael III Doukeianos , called the Young, was the catepan of Italy from 1040 to 1041. He replaced Nikephoros Doukeianos. His first major act was to offer the rule of Melfi to the Greek-speaking Lombard Arduin with the title topoterites. However, Arduin soon betrayed him and led his Norman...

, but failed and battle was joined at Montemaggiore, near Cannae. Though the catapan had called up a large Varangian force from Bari, the battle was a rout and many of Michael's soldiers drowned in the Ofanto
Ofanto
The Ofanto, known in ancient times as Aufidus, from the Greek Ophidus, Ωφιδους, meaning snake, is a 170 km river in southern Italy...

 on retreat.

On 3 September 1041, the Normans, nominally under the Lombard leadership of Arduin and Atenulf, defeated the new Byzantine catepan, Exaugustus Boioannes
Exaugustus Boioannes
Exaugustus Boiοannes , son of the famous Basil Boioannes, was also a catepan of Italy, from 1041 to 1042. He replaced Michael Doukeianos after the latter's disgrace in defeat at Montemaggiore on May 4. Boioannes did not have the levies and reinforcements that Doukeianos had had at his command. He...

, and took him captive to Benevento
Benevento
Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 m above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and Sabato...

, significant of the remaining Lombard influence over the conquests. Also about that time, Guaimar IV of Salerno began to draw the Normans under his banner with various promises. In February 1042, probably feeling abandoned, and perhaps bribed by the Byzantines, Atenulf negotiated the ransom of Exaugustus and then fled with the ransom money to Byzantine territory. He was replaced by Argyrus, who won some early victories but then too was bribed to defect to the Byzatines.

In September 1042, the Normans finally elected a leader from among their own. The revolt, originally Lombard, had become Norman in character and leadership. William Iron Arm was elected with the title of "count." He and the other leaders petitioned Guaimar for recognition of their conquests. They received the lands around Melfi
Melfi
Melfi is a town and comune in the Vulture area of the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata.-Geography:On a hill at the foot of Mount Vulture, Melfi is the most important town in Basilicata's Vulture, both as a tourist resort and economic centre.-Early history:Inhabited...

 as a fief and proclaimed Guaimar "Duke of Apulia and Calabria." At Melfi in 1043, Guaimar divided the region (except for Melfi itself, which was to be ruled on a republican model) into twelve baronies for the benefit of the Norman leaders: William himself received Ascoli
Ascoli Satriano
Ascoli Satriano is a town and comune in the province of Foggia in the Apulia region of southeast Italy.-History:Ascoli was a city of the Dauni. It was the seat of two early Roman battles . Later Sulla build a military colony here.In the mid-9th century it was set on fire by the Saracens...

, Asclettin
Asclettin of Acerenza
Asclettin was the first count of Acerenza, one of the twelve leaders of the Norman mercenaries of Guaimar IV of Salerno who conquered much of Apulia between 1038 and 1042. In the latter year, the division of the conquests twelvefold was made and Asclettin received his portion.Asclettin arrived in...

 received Acerenza
Acerenza
Acerenza is a town and comune in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata.-History:With its strategic position 800 m above sea-level, Acerenza has been sacked by a series of invaders....

, Tristan
Tristan of Montepeloso
Tristan was the first lord of Montepeloso from 1042. Unlike his fellow Norman mercenaries, Tristan was a Breton. He was one of the twelve leading barons of the Hauteville following as indicated by his inclusion in the parition which divided the conquered regions of Apulia.Tristan probably arrived...

 received Montepeloso, Hugh Tubœuf
Hugh Tubœuf
Hugh Tubœuf or Tudebusis was a Norman adventurer who went to Southern Italy around 1030 in search of glory and riches.Hugh took part in the Sicilian expedition of George Maniaches in 1038...

 received Monopoli
Monopoli
Monopoli is a town and comune in Italy, in the province of Bari, region of Apulia. The town is roughly in area and lies about 40 km southeast from Bari. It has about 50,000 inhabitants....

, Peter
Peter I of Trani
Peter I , also known as Petronius , was the first Norman count of Trani. He was one of the most prominent of the twelve leaders of the Norman mercenaries serving Guaimar IV of Salerno. Though it had not yet been conquered from the Byzantine Empire, Peter received Trani in the Normans' division of...

 received Trani
Trani
Trani is a seaport of Apulia, southern Italy, on the Adriatic Sea, in the new Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani , and 40 km by railway West-Northwest of Bari.- History :...

, Drogo of Hauteville
Drogo of Hauteville
Drogo of Hauteville succeeded his brother, William Iron Arm, with whom he arrived in southern Italy c. 1035, as the leader of the Normans of Apulia....

 received Venosa
Venosa
Venosa is a town and comune in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata, in the Vulture area. It is bounded by the comuni of Barile, Ginestra, Lavello, Maschito, Montemilone, Palazzo San Gervasio, Rapolla and Spinazzola....

, and Ranulf Drengot, now independent, received Monte Gargano
Monte Gargano
Gargano is a historical and geographical Italian sub-region situated in Apulia, consisting of a wide isolated mountain massif made of highland and several peaks and forming the backbone of the Gargano Promontory projecting into the Adriatic Sea. The high point is Monte Calvo at . Most of the upland...

. William in turn was married to Guida, daughter of Guy
Guy, Duke of Sorrento
Guy was the duke of Sorrento from 1035, the brother of Guaimar IV of Salerno, father-in-law of William Iron Arm and William of the Principate, and brother-in-law of Humphrey of Hauteville. He was the son of Guaimar III and Gaitelgrima. Guy's place in history is secured primarily through his...

, Duke of Sorrento, and niece of Guaimar. The alliance between the Normans and Guaimar was strong.

During his reign, William and Guaimar began the conquest of Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

 in 1044 and built the great castle of Stridula, probably near Squillace
Squillace
Squillace is an ancient seaside town and comune, in the Province of Catanzaro, part of Calabria, southern Italy, facing the Gulf of Squillace....

. William was less successful in Apulia, where, in 1045, he was defeated near Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 by Argyrus, though his brother, Drogo, conquered Bovino
Bovino
Bovino is a comune and hilltop town at the foot of the Irpinia mountains in the province of Foggia, in the region of Apulia/Puglia.Bovino is currently a member of the Italy's Most Beautiful Villages Club.- History :...

. With William's death, however, the period of Norman mercenary service would come completely to an end and witness the rise of two great Norman principalities, both owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire: the County of Aversa, later the Principality of Capua
Principality of Capua
The Principality of Capua was a Lombard state in Southern Italy, usually de facto independent, but under the varying suzerainty of Western and Eastern Roman Empires. It was originally a gastaldate, then a county, within the principality of Salerno....

, and the County of Apulia, later the Duchy of Apulia.


County of Melfi, 1046–1059


In 1046, Drogo entered Apulia and defeated the catepan, Eustathios Palatinos
Eustathios Palatinos
Eustathios Palatinos was the catepan of Italy from the autumn of 1045 to September 1046. The primary source for his term of office is the chronicle of Lupus, a fellow protospatharius....

, near Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

. His brother Humphrey
Humphrey of Hauteville
Humphrey of Hauteville , surnamed Abagelard, was the Count of Apulia and Calabria from 1051 to his death.Humphrey was probably the youngest son of Tancred of Hauteville by his first wife Muriel. Some sources make Geoffrey and Serlo his younger brothers...

 meanwhile forced Bari
Bari
Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas...

 to conclude a treaty with the Normans. In 1047, Guaimar, who had auspiciously supported his succession and thus the establishment of a Norman dynasty in the south, gave Drogo his daughter Gaitelgrima
Gaitelgrima, daughter of Guaimar IV
Gaitelgrima was the daughter of Guaimar IV of Salerno and Gemma. She was married off by her brother Gisulf II of Salerno to Jordan I of Capua as was her sister, Sichelgaita, to Robert Guiscard....

 in marriage. Then the Emperor Henry III came down and confirmed the county of Aversa in its fidelity to him and made Drogo his direct vassal too, granting him the title dux et magister Italiae comesque Normannorum totius Apuliae et Calabriae, the first legitimate title for the Normans of Melfi. Henry, whose wife Agnes had been mistreated by the Beneventans, then authorised Drogo to conquer Benevento
Benevento
Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 m above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and Sabato...

 and hold it from the imperial crown. The Normans did not capture it until 1053, however.

In 1048, Drogo commanded an expedition into Calabria via the valley of Crati, near Cosenza
Cosenza
Cosenza is a city in southern Italy, located at the confluence of two historic rivers: the Busento and the Crathis. The municipal population is of around 70,000; the urban area, however, counts over 260,000 inhabitants...

. He distributed the conquered territories in Calabria and granted his brother Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily...

 a castle at Scribla to guard the entrances. In 1051, Drogo was assassinated in a Byzantine conspiracy. He was succeeded by Humphrey after a brief interregnum. The rebelliousness of the Norman knights under Drogo had angered Pope Leo IX
Pope Leo IX
Pope Saint Leo IX , born Bruno of Eguisheim-Dagsburg, was Pope from February 12, 1049 to his death. He was a German aristocrat and as well as being Pope was a powerful secular ruler of central Italy. He is regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, with the feast day of April 19...

 and its papal opposition with which Humphrey first had to deal.


On 18 June 1053, Humphrey led the armies of the Normans against the combined forces of Pope and Empire. At the Battle of Civitate
Battle of Civitate
The Battle of Civitate was fought on 18 June 1053 in Southern Italy, between the Normans, led by the Count of Apulia Humphrey of Hauteville, and a Swabian-Italian-Lombard army, organised by Pope Leo IX and led on the battlefield by Gerard, Duke of Lorraine, and Rudolf, Prince of Benevento...

, the Normans destroyed the papal army and captured Leo IX, whom they imprisoned in Benevento, which had readily submitted to them. The remainder of Humphrey's reign consisted of the conquest of Oria, Nardò
Nardò
Nardò is a town and comune of 31,185 inhabitants and comune in the southern Italian region of Apulia, in the province of Lecce.-History:...

, and Lecce
Lecce
Lecce is a historic city of 95,200 inhabitants in southern Italy, the capital of the province of Lecce, the second province in the region by population, as well as one of the most important cities of Puglia...

 (all by the end of 1055). In 1054 Peter II
Peter II of Trani
Peter II was the third Italo-Norman count of Trani. He was the youngest of three sons of Peter I; his elder brothers were Amico and Geoffrey....

, who had succeeded Peter I in the territory around Trani
Trani
Trani is a seaport of Apulia, southern Italy, on the Adriatic Sea, in the new Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani , and 40 km by railway West-Northwest of Bari.- History :...

, finally captured that city from the Byzantines. Humphrey died in 1057 and was succeeded by Guiscard, who soon quit himself of loyalty to the Empire and made himself a vassal of the papacy in return for the higher title of duke.

County of Aversa, 1049–1098


In the 1050s and 1060s, there were two centres of Norman power in southern Italy: one at Melfi under the Hautevilles and another at Aversa under the Drengots. Richard Drengot
Richard I of Capua
Richard I Drengot was a count of Aversa and prince of Capua .He was the son of Asclettin, count of Acerenza, younger brother of Asclettin, count of Aversa, and nephew of Rainulf Drengot, the Norman adventurer who had first travelled to southern Italy in 1017 and progressed to set up the first...

 succeeded, probably through violence, to the County of Aversa in 1049 and immediately began a policy of territorial aggrandisement in competition with his Hauteville rivals.

At first, he warred incessantly with his Lombard neighbours, such as Pandulf VI of Capua
Pandulf VI of Capua
Pandulf VI was the successor of Pandulf IV as Prince of Capua from his death in 1050 to his own seven years later. He was the son of Pandulf IV and Maria. He co-ruled with his father in the Duchy of Gaeta as early as 1032–1038.He was a weak ruler under whom the principality declined in...

, Atenulf I of Gaeta
Atenulf I of Gaeta
Atenulf I was the Lombard count of Aquino who rose to become Duke of Gaeta in Southern Italy during the chaotic middle of the eleventh century....

, and Gisulf II of Salerno
Gisulf II of Salerno
Gisulf II was the last Lombard prince of Salerno ....

. He pushed back the borders of the latter until there was little left of the once great principality but the city of Salerno
Salerno
Salerno is a city and comune in Campania and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea....

 itself. He aimed to extend his influence peacefully when he betrothed his daughter to the eldest son of Atenulf of Gaeta; but when the boy died before the marriage took place, he demanded the Lombard morgengab from the boy's parent's anyway. The duke refused and Richard besieged and took Aquino
Aquino
Aquino is a town and comune in the province of Frosinone, in the Lazio region of Italy, 12 km northwest of Cassino.-History:The ancient Aquinum was a municipium in the time of Cicero, and made a colony by the Triumviri...

, one of the few feudatories of Gaeta remaining (1058). The chronology of his conquest of Gaeta is confusing. Documents from 1058 and 1060 refer to Jordan
Jordan I of Capua
Jordan I , count of Aversa and prince of Capua from 1078 to his death, was the eldest son and successor of Prince Richard I of Capua and Fressenda, a daughter of Tancred of Hauteville and his second wife, also named Fressenda, and the nephew of Robert Guiscard, duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily...

, Richard's eldest son, as Duke of Gaeta, but these have been disputed as forgeries, since Atenulf was still Duke when he died in 1062. After Atenulf's death, Richard and Jordan took over the rule of the duchy, but allowed Atenulf's heir, Atenulf II
Atenulf II of Gaeta
Atenulf II was the duke of Gaeta for a brief two years under the regency of his mother, Maria. He was the son and successor of Atenulf I, who had been forced to recognise the suzerainty of the prince of Capua, Richard I, and his son Jordan in 1058.Atenulf I died on 2 February and on 1 June, Maria...

, to rule as their subject until 1064, when Gaeta was fully incorporated into the Drengot principality. Richard and Jordan appointed puppet dukes of usually Norman extraction.

When the weak prince of Capua died in 1057, Richard immediately besieged Capua
Capua
Capua is a city and comune in the province of Caserta, Campania, southern Italy, situated 25 km north of Naples, on the northeastern edge of the Campanian plain. Ancient Capua was situated where Santa Maria Capua Vetere is now...

. As with Gaeta, the chronology of his conquest of Capua is confusing. Pandulf was succeeded at Capua by his brother, Landulf VIII
Landulf VIII of Capua
Landulf VIII was the last Lombard prince of Capua from 1057, when his brother Pandulf VI died, to the conquest of the city in 1058 by Count Richard of Aversa. Landulf was first associated with the rule along with his brother in 1047, when their father, the infamous Pandulf IV, was reinstated as...

, who is recorded as prince until 12 May 1062. Richard and Jordan took the princely title in 1058, but apparently allowed Landulf to continue ruling, probably beneath them, and to hold the keys to the city for at least four years more. In 1059, Pope Nicholas II
Pope Nicholas II
Pope Nicholas II , born Gérard de Bourgogne, Pope from 1059 to July 1061, was at the time of his election the Bishop of Florence.-Antipope Benedict X:...

 convened a synod at Melfi whereat he confirmed Richard as Count of Aversa and Prince of Capua. Richard subsequently swore allegiance to the Papacy for his holdings. After that, the Drengots made Capua their headquarters and ruled Aversa and Gaeta from there.

Richard and Jordan expanded their new Gaetan and Capuan territories northwards in Latium
Latium
Lazio is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy, situated in the central peninsular section of the country. With about 5.7 million residents and a GDP of more than 170 billion euros, Lazio is the third most populated and the second richest region of Italy...

 towards and into the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

. In 1066, Richard marched on Rome itself, but was easily forced back. Jordan's tenure as Richard's successor, however, marked a period of alliance with the papacy (which Richard had tried off and on) and the conquests of Capua stopped. In 1090, however, Jordan died and his young son, Richard II
Richard II of Capua
Richard II , called the Bald, was the count of Aversa and the prince of Capua from 1090 or 1091.The eldest son and successor of Jordan I of Capua and Gaitelgrima, daughter of Prince Guaimar IV of Salerno, he was named after his grandfather, Richard I of Capua...

, and his regents were unable to hold Capua itself. They were forced to flee the city by a Lombard named Lando
Lando IV of Capua
Lando IV was the last independent Lombard ruler in Italy. He was the prince of Capua after leading a local rebellion of the citizens of the city against the Norman prince Richard II, then a minor, in 1091...

, who then ruled it with the support of the citizens until he was forced out by the combined Hauteville forces at the siege of Capua
Siege of Capua
The Siege of Capua was a military operation involving the states of medieval southern Italy, beginning in May 1098 and lasting forty days. It was an interesting siege historically for the assemblage of great persons it saw and militarily for the cooperation of Norman and Saracen forces which it...

 in 1098. It was the absolute end of Lombard rule in Italy.

Conquest of the Abruzzo, 1053–1105


In 1077, the last Lombard prince of Benevento died. The Pope appointed Robert Guiscard to succeed him in 1078. In 1081, however, the Guiscard relinquished the principality, which by then comprised little more than Benevento itself and its neighbourhood, having been reduced by the Normans through conquest in the previous decades, especially after Civitate, and even after 1078. At Ceprano in June 1080, the Pope reinvested Robert in Benevento in an attempt to put a halt to Norman infractions on its territory and also on that which was technically tied to Benevento in the Abruzzi, which Robert' relatives were conquering for their own.

In the immediate aftermath of Civitate, the Normans began the conquest of the Adriatic littoral of the Beneventan principality. Geoffrey of Hauteville
Geoffrey of Hauteville
Geoffrey of Hauteville was a Norman military leader, the second youngest son of Tancred of Hauteville by his first wife Muriella. He joined his brothers in the Mezzogiorno around 1053, arriving with his half-brothers Mauger and William...

, a brother to the Hauteville counts of Melfi, conquered the Lombard county of Larino
Larino
Larino is a town and comune of approximately 8,200 inhabitants in Molise, province of Campobasso, southern Italy. It is located in the fertile valley of the Biferno River....

 and by force of arms the castle Morrone
Morrone
Morrone is a Scottish hill immediately southwest of the village of Braemar in Aberdeenshire.- Geography and topography :The hill reaches a height of 859 metres and qualifies as a Corbett and a Marilyn, although with a topographic prominence of 155 metres, it only just meets the prominence...

 in the region of Samnium-Guillamatum
Samnium
Samnium is a Latin exonym for a region of south or south and central Italy in Roman times. The name survives in Italian today, but today's territory comprising it is only a small portion of what it once was. The populations of Samnium were called Samnites by the Romans...

. Geoffrey's son Robert
Robert I of Loritello
Robert I was an Italo-Norman nobleman, the eldest son of Geoffrey of Hauteville, one of the elder sons of Tancred of Hauteville. He was the first count of Loritello in 1061....

 converted these conquests into a unified county, that of Loritello
Loritello
Loritello was an Italo-Norman county along the Adriatic north of the Gargano. It was carved out of the eastern seaboard of the Principality of Benevento following the Battle of Civitate in 1053 by members of the Hauteville family...

, in 1061. He continued nevertheless to expand his territory into Lombard Abruzzo. He conquered the Lombard county of Teate (modern Chieti
Chieti
Chieti is a city and comune in Central Italy, 200 km northeast of Rome. It is the capital of the Province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region...

) and besieged Ortona
Ortona
Ortona is a coastal town and municipality of the Province of Chieti in the Italian region of Abruzzo, with some 23,000 inhabitants.Ortona was the site of fierce fighting between German and Canadian forces during the Italian campaign in World War II...

, which became the goal of Norman efforts in that quarter. Soon Loritello reached as far north as the Pescara
Pescara
Pescara is the capital city of the Province of Pescara, in the Abruzzo region of Italy. As of January 1, 2007 it was the most populated city within Abruzzo at 123,059 residents, 400,000 with the surrounding metropolitan area...

 and the Papal States. In 1078, Robert allied with Jordan of Capua and ravaged the Papal Abruzzo. By a treaty with Pope Gregory VII
Pope Gregory VII
Pope St. Gregory VII , born Hildebrand of Sovana , was Pope from April 22, 1073, until his death. One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal...

 of 1080 they were constrained to respect Papal territory. In 1100, Robert of Loritello extended his growing principality across the Fortore
Fortore
The Fortore is a river which flows through the provinces of Benevento, Campobasso and Foggia in southern Italy. It has a length of 110 km....

 and took Bovino
Bovino
Bovino is a comune and hilltop town at the foot of the Irpinia mountains in the province of Foggia, in the region of Apulia/Puglia.Bovino is currently a member of the Italy's Most Beautiful Villages Club.- History :...

 and Dragonara.

The conquest of the Molise
Molise
Molise is a region of Southern Italy, the second smallest of the regions. It was formerly part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise and now a separate entity...

 is shrouded in obscurity. Boiano, the chief town, may have been conquered in the year prior to the Battle of Civitate, perhaps under the leadership of Robert Guiscard, who had encirlced the Matese
Matese
The Matese is a chain of mountains in central Italy, central-southern Apennines.-Geography:...

 massif. The county of Boiano was bestowed on Rudolf of Moulins. His grandson, Hugh, expanded it eastwards, occupying Toro and San Giovanni in Galdo
San Giovanni in Galdo
San Giovanni in Galdo is a comune in the Province of Campobasso in the Italian region of Molise, located about 7 km east of Campobasso....

, and also westwards, where he annexed the Capuan counties of Venafro
Venafro
Venafro is a comune in the province of Isernia, region of Molise, Italy. It has a population of around 12,000, having expanded quickly in the post-war period.-Geography:...

, Pietrabbondante
Pietrabbondante
Pietrabbondante is a comune in the Province of Isernia in the Italian region Molise, located about 30 km northwest of Campobasso and about 20 km northeast of Isernia....

 (1105), and Trivento
Trivento
Trivento is a comune in the Province of Campobasso in the Italian region Molise, located about 25 km northwest of Campobasso...

 (1105).

Conquest of Sicily, 1061–1091




Sicily, mostly inhabited by Greek Christians, was under Arab control at the time of its conquest by the Normans. It had originally been under rule of the Aghlabids and then the Fatimids, but in 948 the Kalbids
Kalbids
The Kalbids were a Shia Muslim dynasty in Sicily, which ruled from 948 to 1053 .In 827, in the midst of internal Byzantine conflict, the Aghlabids arrived at Marsala in Sicily, with a fleet of 10,000 men under the command of Asad ibn al-Furat. Palermo was conquered in 831 and became the new capital...

 wrested control of the island from the Fatimids and held it until 1053. In the 1010s and 1020s a series of succession crises opened up the way for the interference of the Zirids of Ifriqiya
Ifriqiya
In medieval history, Ifriqiya or Ifriqiyah was the area comprising the coastal regions of what are today western Libya, Tunisia, and eastern Algeria. This area included what had been the Roman province of Africa, whose name it inherited....

. Sicily fell into turmoil as petty fiefdoms battled each other for supremacy. Into this mess the Normans, under Robert Guiscard and his younger brother Roger Bosso
Roger I of Sicily
Roger I , called Bosso and the Great Count, was the Norman Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. He was the last great leader of the Norman conquest of southern Italy.-Conquest of Calabria and Sicily:...

, came with the intent to conquer, for back when the pope had invested Robert with the ducal title, he had also conferred on him the empty title of "Duke of Sicily", thus urging him to undertake a campaign to wrest Sicily from the Saracens.

Robert and Roger first invaded Sicily in May 1061, crossing from Reggio di Calabria and besieging Messina for control of the strategically vital Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

. Roger crossed the strait first, landing unseen during the night and surprising the Saracen army in the morning. When the Guiscard's troops landed later that day, they found themselves unopposed and Messina abandoned. Robert immediately fortified the city and allied himself with the emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

 Ibn at-Timnah against his rival Ibn al-Hawas.

Robert, Roger, and at-Timnah then marched into the centre of the island by way of Rometta
Rometta
Rometta is a comune in the Province of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, located about 180 km east of Palermo and about 12 km west of Messina...

, which had remained loyal to at-Timnah. They passed through Frazzanò
Frazzanò
Frazzanò is a comune in the Province of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, located about 120 km east of Palermo and about 70 km west of Messina...

 and the Pianura di Maniace (Plain of Maniakes). They assaulted the town of Centuripe
Centuripe
Centuripe is a town and comune in the province of Enna . The city is located 61 km from Enna, in the hill country between the Rivers Dittaìno and Salso.The economy is mostly based on agriculture...

, but there resistance was strong, and they moved on. Paternò
Paternò
Paternò is a town and comune in the Province of Catania, Sicily, southern Italy.-History:The site of Paternò was settled before 3500 BCE. Its inhabitants were probably the Sicani, although it was located in mainly Sicel territory; its initial name was Inessa. The modern name derives form the Greek...

 fell quickly and Robert brought his army before Castrogiovanni
Enna
Enna is a city and comune located roughly at the center of Sicily, southern Italy, in the province of Enna, towering above the surrounding countryside...

 (modern Enna), the most formidable fortress in central Sicily. While the garrison was defeated in a sally, the citadel itself did not fall and winter compelled Robert return to Apulia. Before leaving he constructed a fortress at San Marco d'Alunzio
San Marco d'Alunzio
San Marco d'Alunzio is a city and comune in the Province of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, near the north coast of the island, located about 120 km east of Palermo and about 80 km west of Messina...

: the first Norman castle in Sicily.


Robert returned in 1064, but bypassing Castrogiovanni, went straight for the metropolis of Palermo
Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

. His camp, however, had to be abandoned because of tarantula
Tarantula
Tarantulas comprise a group of often hairy and often very large arachnids belonging to the family Theraphosidae, of which approximately 900 species have been identified. Some members of the same Suborder may also be called "tarantulas" in the common parlance. This article will restrict itself to...

s and the entire campaign was called off. He reinvested Palermo in 1071, but only the city and not its citadel fell. He invested Roger as Count of Sicily underneath the suzerainty of the Duke of Apulia. The citadel fell in January 1072. In a partition of the island with his brother, Robert retained Palermo, half of Messina, and the Val Demone, leaving the rest, included what was not yet conquered, to Roger.

In 1077 Roger besieged Trapani
Trapani
Trapani is a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani. Founded by Elymians, the city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands.-History:...

, one of two Saracen strongholds remaining in the west of the island. His son Jordan
Jordan of Hauteville
Jordan of Hauteville was the eldest son and bastard of Roger I of Sicily. A fighter, he took part, from an early age, in the conquests of his father in Sicily....

 led a sortie that surprised the guards of the garrison's grazing animals. With its food supply cut off, the city soon surrendered. In 1079 Taormina
Taormina
Taormina is a comune and small town on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy, in the Province of Messina, about midway between Messina and Catania. Taormina has been a very popular tourist destination since the 19th century...

 was besiegd and in 1081 Jordan, with Robert de Sourval and Elias Cartomi, conquered Catania
Catania
Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

, a holding of the emir of Syracuse, in another surprise attack.


Roger himself left Sicily behind in the summer of 1083 to assist his brother on the mainland, but Jordan, whom he had left in charge, revolted and he was forced to return to Sicily, where he reduced his son to submission. In 1085, he was finally able to undertake a systematic campaign. On 22 May 1085 Roger approached Syracuse by sea while Jordan led a small cavalry detachment fifteen miles north of the city. On 25 May the navies of the count and the emir engaged in the harbour—where the latter was killed—while the forces under Jordan began the siege of the city. The siege lasted throughout the summer, but when the city capitulated in March 1086, only Noto
Noto
Noto is a city and comune in the Province of Syracuse, Sicily . Its located 32 km southwest of the city of Syracuse at the foot of the Iblean Mountains and gives its name to the surrounding valley, Val di Noto...

 was still under Saracen dominion. In February 1091, after a short effort, Noto yielded as well and the conquest of Sicily was complete.

Because the conquest of Sicily was undertaken under the direction of a unified command, the authority of Roger was not challenged by other conquerors and he maintained a strong power over his Greek, Arab, Lombard, and Norman vassals and subjects. The Roman Catholic Church was introduced to the island and its ecclesiastical organisation overseen by Roger with papal approval. Sees
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 were established at Palermo (with metropolitan authority), Syracuse, and Agrigento
Agrigento
Agrigento , is a city on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, and capital of the province of Agrigento. It is renowned as the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas , one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden...

. After its elevation to a Kingdom in 1130, Sicily became the centre of Norman power.

In 1091, Roger landed at Malta and subdued the walled city of Mdina
Mdina
Mdina, Città Vecchia, or Città Notabile, is the old capital of Malta. Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of the island. Punic remains uncovered beyond the city’s walls suggest the importance of the general region to Malta’s Phoenician settlers. Mdina is commonly...

. He imposed taxes on the islands, but allowed the Arab governors to continue functioning. In 1127, Roger II removed the Muslim government and replaced it with Norman officials. Under Norman rule, the Arabic that the Greek Christian islanders had adopted under centuries of Muslim domination was transformed into a distinct language: Maltese
Maltese language
Maltese is the national language of Malta, and a co-official language of the country alongside English,while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic...

.

Conquest of Amalfi and Salerno, 1073–1077


The fall of Amalfi and Salerno to Robert Guiscard both happened through the influence of his wife, Sichelgaita. Amalfi probably surrendered through her negotiations, while Salerno fell after the moment when she ceased to petition her husband on her brother the Prince of Salerno's behalf. The Amalfitans, too, briefly put themselves under Prince Gisulf in an attempt to avoid Norman suzerainty, but this failed and the two states whose histories had been so closely tied since the ninth century were both put under Norman control permanently.

By Summer 1076, Gisulf II of Salerno, through piracy and raids, had caused the Normans enough trouble to incite them to destroy him; that season the Normans of Richard of Capua and Robert Guiscard united to besiege Salerno. Though Gisulf had ordered his citizens to store up two years worth of food, he confiscated enough of it to continue his life of luxury that the citizens were soon starving. On 13 December 1076, the city submitted and the prince and his retainers retreated to the citadel, which fell in May 1077. Gisulf's lands were confiscated, his relics taken, but he went free. The Principality of Salerno had long been reduced by wars with William of the Principate
William of the Principate
William of Hauteville was one of the younger sons of Tancred of Hauteville by his second wife Fressenda. He is usually called Willermus instead of Wilelmus in Latin annals and so is often called Guillerm instead of Guillaume in French...

, Roger of Sicily, and Robert Guiscard to little more than the capital city and its environs. However, the city was the most important in southern Italy and its capture was essential to the creation of a kingdom fifty years later.

In 1073, Sergius III of Amalfi
Sergius III of Amalfi
Sergius III was the duke of Amalfi from 1069, when he succeeded his father John II, until his death. He was first appointed co-regent by his father in 1031...

 died, leaving only an infant, John III
John III of Amalfi
John III or John IV was the duke of Amalfi briefly in 1073 by right of succession following the death of his father, Sergius III, in November. John was only an infant when his father died, The Amalfitans, who required a ruler who could defend them, quickly deposed and exiled him...

, as his successor. Requiring a strong hand to protect them in those unstable times, the Amalfitans exiled the infant duke and called in Robert Guiscard that same year. Amalfi, however, remained restless under Norman control. Robert's successor, the aforementioned Roger Borsa, was only able to take control of Amalfi in 1089, after expelling Gisulf, the deposed Prince of Salerno, whom the citizens had installed with papal aid against the pretensions of Robert's heirs. From 1092 to 1097, Amalfi did not recognise its Norman suzerain and appears to have sought Byzantine help. They installed a Marinus Sebaste in 1096.

Robert's son Bohemond and his brother Roger of Sicily attacked Amalfi in 1097, but were repulsed. It was at this siege that the first Normans were drawn away by the First Crusade
First Crusade
The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

. Marinus was only defeated after some Amalfitan noblemen went over to the Norman side and betrayed him in 1101. Amalfi revolted again in 1130 when Roger II of Sicily
Roger II of Sicily
Roger II was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, later became Duke of Apulia and Calabria , then King of Sicily...

 demanded its loyalty. It was finally subdued in 1131, when the Emir John
John (Sicilian admiral)
John was the amiratus or emir of Roger II of Sicily. John was born to the Admiral Eugenius in Palermo, where his family had moved from Troina. His brothers were the logothete Philip and the amiratus Nicholas. His uncle was the notary Basil. All his family members were closely connected to the royal...

 marched on it by land and George of Antioch
George of Antioch
George of Antioch was the first true ammiratus ammiratorum, successor of the great Christodulus. George was a Greek Melchite, born in Antioch, whence he moved with his father, Michael, and mother to Tunisia. His parents found employment under the Zirid Sultan, Tamim ibn Muizz...

 blockaded it by sea and set up a base on Capri
Capri
Capri is an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples, in the Campania region of Southern Italy...

.

Byzantine-Norman wars, 1059–1085



While most of Apulia save the far south and Bari had capitulated to the Normans during the campaigns of the brothers Counts William, Drogo, and Humphrey, much of Calabria remained in the hands of the Byzantines at the time of Robert Guiscard succession in 1057. Calabria had first been breached by William and Guaimar in the early 1040s and Drogo had installed the ambitious Guiscard there in the early 1050s. Robert's early career in Calabria, however, had been spent in feudal infighting and robber baronage and not in any organised subjugation of the Greek population.

Robert began his countship with an immediate campaign in Calabria. Briefly interrupted by his attendance at the Council of Melfi on 23 August 1059, whereat he was invested as Duke, he returned to Calabria later that year, where his army was besieging Cariati
Cariati
Cariati is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy.-Notes and references:...

. The town submitted on the duke's arrival and, before the end of the season, Rossano
Rossano
Rossano is a town and comune in Southern Italy, in the province of Cosenza . The city is situated on an eminence c. 3. km from the Gulf of Taranto. The town is known for its marble and alabaster quarries....

 and Gerace
Gerace
Gerace is a town and comune in the province of Reggio Calabria, Calabria, Italy.Gerace is located some 10 km inland from Locri, yet the latter town and the Sea can be seen from Gerace's perch atop a 500 m vertical rock...

 also. Of the significant cities of the peninsula, only Reggio remained in Byzantine hands when Robert returned to Apulia in winter. In Apulia, he removed the Byzantine garrison from Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 (albeit temporarily) and Brindisi
Brindisi
Brindisi is a city in the Apulia region of Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea.Historically, the city has played an important role in commerce and culture, due to its position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city...

. When he returned to Calabria in 1060, it was largely to launch a Sicilian expedition. The fall of Reggio required a long and arduous siege. Robert's brother Roger, however, had prepared siege engine
Siege engine
A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some have been operated close to the fortifications, while others have been used to attack from a distance. From antiquity, siege engines were constructed largely of wood and...

s in the interim.

After the fall of Reggio, the Byzantine garrison fled to Scilla, the island citadel of Reggio, where they were easily defeated. Roger's small assault on Messina, across the strait, was repulsed, and Robert was called away by the presence of a large Byzantine force in Apulia, sent by Constantine X
Constantine X
Constantine X Doukas was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 1059 to 1067.-Reign:Constantine Doukas was the son of Andronikos Doukas, a Paphlagonian nobleman who may have served as governor of the theme of Moesia...

 late in 1060. Under the Catapan Miriarch
Miriarch
Miriarch was the title of a Byzantine personage known only for commanding the troops of the new emperor Constantine X Ducas in 1060 and 1061 in the Catapanate of Italy. Miriarch may have been a name....

, the Byzantine had retaken Taranto, Brindisi, Oria, and Otranto
Otranto
Otranto is a town and comune in the province of Lecce , in a fertile region once famous for its breed of horses.It is located on the east coast of the Salento peninsula. The Strait of Otranto, to which the city gives its name, connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and Italy with Albania...

. In January 1061, the Norman capital of Melfi was under siege. By May, however, the two brothers had expelled the Byzantines and pacified Apulia.

Geoffrey
Geoffrey of Taranto
Geoffrey, Godfrey, or Goffredo , called Lofredus in Latin, was an Italo-Norman military leader and the first Count of Taranto. He was the second son of Peter I of Trani, though of his elder brother, Amicus, nothing is known...

, son of Peter I of Trani, conquered Otranto
Otranto
Otranto is a town and comune in the province of Lecce , in a fertile region once famous for its breed of horses.It is located on the east coast of the Salento peninsula. The Strait of Otranto, to which the city gives its name, connects the Adriatic Sea with the Ionian Sea and Italy with Albania...

 in 1063 and Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 (which he made the seat of his county) in 1064. In 1066 he organised an army to cross the sea and attack "Romania" (the Byzantine Balkans), but he was halted near Bari by an army of Varangian auxiliaries that had recently landed under the leadership of a catapan named Mabrica
Mabrica
Maurex or Maurikas was a Byzantine naval commander active in the latter half of the 11th century, chiefly in the Byzantine–Norman Wars. His identity is not certain, as several different people are habitually identified as the same person: a "Maurex" who was a wealthy sailor and magnate from...

. This catapan retook Brindisi and Taranto (briefly) and established a garrison at the former under Nikephoros Karantenos
Nikephoros Karantenos
Nikephoros Karantenos, latinized as Nicephorus Carantenus , was a Byzantine general known for fighting against the Bulgarians in the Balkans and the Normans in Italy...

, an experienced Byzantine soldier from the wars with the Bulgars
Bulgars
The Bulgars were a semi-nomadic who flourished in the Pontic Steppe and the Volga basin in the 7th century.The Bulgars emerge after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire in the 5th century....

. The catapan experienced a series of successes against the Normans in Italy, but it was the last significant threat the Byzantines imposed in that quarter. Bari, the capital of the Byzantine catapanate, was besieged by the Normans from August 1068. In April 1071, the city fell
Siege of Bari
The siege of Bari took place 1068–71, during the Middle Ages, when Norman forces, under the command of Robert Guiscard, laid siege to the city of Bari, a major stronghold of the Byzantines in Italy and the capital of the Catepanate of Italy, starting from August 5, 1068...

 and the last outpost of Byzantine government in Western Europe disappeared.

After expelling the Byzantines from Apulia and Calabria (their theme
Themata
Themata is the debut full-length album by the Australian progressive rock band Karnivool. The album was released independently on 7 February 2005, and was distributed via MGM Distribution. The album was released in the United States on 10 April 2007 via Bieler Bros...

 of Langobardia), Robert Guiscard eyed an attack on Byzantine possessions in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, in Greece itself; for the Byzantines had happily supporter Abelard
Abelard of Hauteville
Abelard of Hauteville was the eldest son of Humphrey, count of Apulia and Calabria , and his Lombard wife, Gaitelgrima of Salerno, also known as Altrude...

 and Herman
Herman of Hauteville
Herman of Hauteville was the younger son of Humphrey, count of Apulia and Calabria , and his Lombard wife, Gaitelgrima of Salerno, also known as Altrude...

, the dispossessed son of Count Humphrey and Robert's nephews, in their insurrection against Robert's authority and they had supported Henry, Count of Monte Sant'Angelo
Henry, Count of Monte Sant'Angelo
Henry was the Count of Monte Sant'Angelo, with his seat at Foggia, from November 1081.He was the second son of Robert, Count of Lucera, and Gaitelgrima, daughter of Guaimar IV of Salerno. The identity of his father is disputable...

, who recognised Byzantine suzerainty in his county
County of Monte Sant'Angelo
The County of Monte Sant'Angelo or Gargano was a large Norman county in southern Italy, covering the Gargano Peninsula and much of the later Province of Foggia. Its comital seat was Monte Sant'Angelo.The ruling family was a cadet branch of the Drengots...

, against Robert as well.

Robert undertook his first Balkan expedition in May 1081, when he left from Brindisi with some 16,000 men and by February 1082 had captured Corfu
Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

 and Durazzo, even defeating the Emperor Alexius I at the Battle of Dyrrhachium
Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081)
The Battle of Dyrrhachium took place on October 18, 1081 between the Byzantine Empire, led by the Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, and the Normans of southern Italy under Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria...

 in October (1081). Robert's son, Mark Bohemond, for a time mastered Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 and, in Robert's absence, tried to hold the conquests of 1081–1082, but in this he ultimately failed. Robert returned in 1084 to restore them, occupying Corfu and Kephalonia, where he died of a fever on 15 July 1085. The small town of Fiskardo
Fiskardo
Fiskardo , lately, more commonly Fiscardo, is a village located about 54 km north of Argostoli and a district of the city of Erisos....

 on Kephalonia is named after him. Bohemond did not continue to pursue conquest in Greece, instead returning to Italy, there to dispute the succession to Robert with his half-brother Roger Borsa
Roger Borsa
Roger Borsa was the Norman Duke of Apulia and effective ruler of southern Italy from 1085 until his death. He was the son of Robert Guiscard, the conqueror of southern Italy and Sicily; Roger was not as adept as his father, and most of his reign was spent in feudal anarchy.-Biography:Roger was the...

.

Conquest of Naples, 1077–1139


The Duchy of Naples
Duchy of Naples
The Duchy of Naples began as a Byzantine province that was constituted in the seventh century, in the reduced coastal lands that the Lombards had not conquered during their invasion of Italy in the sixth century...

, nominally a Byzantine possession, was one of the last south Italian states to come under the fire of the Normans. The dukes of Naples, ever since Sergius IV had called in the help of Ranulf Drengot in the 1020s, had been allied with the Normans of Aversa and Capua with only brief exceptions. The incorporation of Naples into the Hauteville state took sixty years to complete, starting in 1077.

In Summer 1074, hostilities flared up between Richard of Capua and Robert Guiscard. Sergius V of Naples
Sergius V of Naples
Sergius V was the son and successor of John V as Duke of Naples from 1042 to 1082.In Summer 1074, hostilities flared up between Richard I of Capua and Robert Guiscard. Sergius allied with the latter and made his city a supply centre for Guiscard's troops. This pitted him against Aversa and Capua,...

 allied with the latter and made his city a supply centre for Guiscard's troops. This pitted him against Richard, who was supported by Gregory VII. In June, Richard besieged Naples, but only briefly. Richard, Robert, and Sergius soon opened negotiations with Gregory through the mediation provided by the Desiderius of Montecassino
Pope Victor III
Pope Blessed Victor III , born Daufer , Latinised Dauferius, was the Pope as the successor of Pope Gregory VII, yet his pontificate is far less impressive in history than his time as Desiderius, the great Abbot of Monte Cassino.-Early life and abbacy:He was born in 1026 or 1027 of a non-regnant...

.

In 1077, Naples was besieged by Richard of Capua, with a naval blockade by Robert Guiscard. After Richard died during the siege in 1078, having only been relieved of excommunication on his deathbed, the siege was lifted by his successor, Jordan, in order to right himself with the Papacy, which had made peace with Duke Sergius, lifted the siege and Robert Guiscard's forces dispersed.

In 1130, the Antipope Anacletus II
Antipope Anacletus II
Anacletus II , born Pietro Pierleoni, was an Antipope who ruled from 1130 to his death, in a schism against the contested, hasty election of Pope Innocent II....

 crowned Roger II of Sicily as King and declared the honour of Naples to be a part of his kingdom. In 1131, Roger demanded from the citizens of Amalfi the defences of their city and the keys to their castle. When the citizens refused, Sergius VII of Naples
Sergius VII of Naples
Sergius VII was the thirty-ninth and last duke of Naples. He succeeded his father John VI on the Neapolitan throne in 1120 or 1123 at a time when Roger II of Sicily was rising rapidly in power...

 initially prepared to aid them with a fleet, but the George of Antioch blockaded Naples' port with a larger armada and Sergius, cowed too by the suppression of the Amalfitans, submitted to Roger. According to the chronicler Alexander of Telese
Alexander of Telese
Alexander of Telese was an Italian chronicler and historian, and the abbot of San Salvatore, near Telese, in southern Italy from before 1127 to before November 1143....

, Naples, "which, since Roman times, had hardly ever been conquered by the sword now submitted to Roger on the strength of a mere report [ie, that of Amalfi's fall]."

In 1134, Sergius supported the rebellion of Robert II of Capua
Robert II of Capua
Robert II was the count of Aversa and the prince of Capua from 1127 until his death .He was the only son and successor of Jordan II of Capua...

 and Ranulf II of Alife, but avoided any direct confrontation with Roger. After the fall of Capua, he did homage to the king. On 24 April 1135, a Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

n fleet captained by Robert of Capua laid anchor in Naples carrying 8,000 reinforcements. Naples served as the centre of the revolt against Roger II for the next two years. Sergius, Robert, and Ranulf were besieged in Naples until Spring 1136. By then, many people were dying of starvation. Yet according to the historian and rebel sympathiser Falco of Benevento
Falco of Benevento
Falco of Benevento was an Italian twelfth-century historian, notary and scribe in the papal palace in Benevento, his native city, where he was born to high-standing parents.He is an important chronicler for the years between 1102 and 1139 in the Mezzogiorno...

, Sergius and the Neapolitans did not relent, "preferring to die of hunger than to bare their necks to the power of an evil king." The failure, too, of the naval blockade of Naples to prevent Sergius and Robert, on two separate occasions, from going to Pisa to retrieve more supplies marked the inadequacy of Roger's efforts. When a relief army, commanded the Emperor Lothair II, marched to Naples' rescue, the siege was lifted. When the emperor left hurried the next year, however, Sergius, in return for a complete pardon, re-submitted to Roger and did feudal homage in the Norman fashion. On 30 October 1137, the last Duke of Naples died serving alongside the king at the Battle of Rignano
Battle of Rignano
The Battle of Rignano was the second great defeat of the career of Roger II of Sicily and, like the first, the Battle of Nocera, it too came at the hands of Ranulf II, Count of Alife...

.

The defeat at Rignano, however, opened up the Norman conquest of Naples, since Sergius died without heir and the Neapolitan nobility could not reach an agreement as to who should succeed as duke. Nevertheless, there were an intervening two years between the death of Sergius and the incorporation of Naples into Sicily. The nobility seems to have exercised authority in the interim; it has often been assumed that the interim marked the final period of Neapolitan independence from Norman rule. During this period, Norman landowners first appear in Naples, though the Pisans, enemies of Roger II, retained their alliance with Naples. Perhaps Pisa sustained Naples' independence until 1139. In that year, Roger finally absorbed the duchy into his kingdom. Pope Innocent II
Pope Innocent II
Pope Innocent II , born Gregorio Papareschi, was pope from 1130 to 1143, and was probably one of the clergy in personal attendance on the antipope Clement III .-Early years:...

 and the Neapolitan nobility acknowledged the Roger's young son, Alfonso of Hauteville
Alfonso of Hauteville
Alfonso of Hauteville , third son of Roger II of Sicily and Elvira of Castile, was the prince of Capua from 1135 to his death.He was named after his maternal grandfather, Alfonso VI of Castile...

, as duke.

Encastellation



The Norman conquest of southern Italy saw an infusion of Romanesque
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

 and specifically Norman architectural
Norman architecture
About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

 forms. Castles were expanded — on Lombard, Byzantine, and Arab structures — and constructed anew. These castles drew on local craftsmanship and retain distinctive elements of their non-Norman origins. Latin cathedrals were built in the lands newly conquered from Greek Orthodoxy or Islam, mostly in the Romanesque style with obvious influence based on Byzantine
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

 and Islamic
Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

 designs. Finally, the Norman administration was centralised, complex, and bureaucratic in comparison to other western European systems of the time. Public buildings, such as palaces, were common in the important cities, most notably Palermo. These buildings more than any others show the influence of Siculo-Arab culture.

The Normans rapidly began the construction, expansion, and renovation of castles in southern Italy. Most of their castles seem to have been original or based on pre-existing Lombard structures, though some were built on Byzantine or, in Sicily, Arab foundations. By the end of the Norman period, most previously wooden castles
Motte-and-bailey
A motte-and-bailey is a form of castle, with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade...

 had been converted into stone.

After the Lombard castle at Melfi, which was conquered by the Normans early on and augmented with a surviving rectangular donjon late in the 11th century, Calabria was the first province to be changed radically by Norman encastellation
Encastellation
Encastellation is the process whereby the feudal kingdoms of Europe became dotted with castles, from which local lords could dominate the countryside of their fiefs and their neighbours', and from which kings could command even the far-off corners of their realms...

. In 1046, William Iron Arm began construction on "Stridula", a large castle near Squillace
Squillace
Squillace is an ancient seaside town and comune, in the Province of Catanzaro, part of Calabria, southern Italy, facing the Gulf of Squillace....

 and by 1055 Robert Guiscard had already built three castles: at Rossano
Rossano
Rossano is a town and comune in Southern Italy, in the province of Cosenza . The city is situated on an eminence c. 3. km from the Gulf of Taranto. The town is known for its marble and alabaster quarries....

, site of a Byzantine fortress; "Scribla", the seat of his honor guarding the pass of the Val di Crati; and San Marco Argentano
San Marco Argentano
San Marco Argentano is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy.Main sights include the Norman tower, several churches and an abbey....

 (donjon 1051) near Cosenza
Cosenza
Cosenza is a city in southern Italy, located at the confluence of two historic rivers: the Busento and the Crathis. The municipal population is of around 70,000; the urban area, however, counts over 260,000 inhabitants...

. In 1058, Scalea
Scalea
Scalea is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy.The town takes its name from its terraced lay-out on the hillside, at the bottom of the Capo Scalea promontory...

 was built on a seaside cliff.

Guiscard was a major castle-builder after his accession to the Apulian countship. He built the castle at Gargano
Gargano
Gargano is a historical and geographical Italian sub-region situated in Apulia, consisting of a wide isolated mountain massif made of highland and several peaks and forming the backbone of the Gargano Promontory projecting into the Adriatic Sea. The high point is Monte Calvo at . Most of the upland...

 with pentagonal towers called the "Towers of Giants." Later Henry, Count of Monte Sant'Angelo
Henry, Count of Monte Sant'Angelo
Henry was the Count of Monte Sant'Angelo, with his seat at Foggia, from November 1081.He was the second son of Robert, Count of Lucera, and Gaitelgrima, daughter of Guaimar IV of Salerno. The identity of his father is disputable...

, built a castle at Castelpagano
Castelpagano
Castelpagano is a comune in the Province of Benevento in the Italian region Campania, located about 80 km northeast of Naples and about 30 km north of Benevento...

 not far away. In the Molise
Molise
Molise is a region of Southern Italy, the second smallest of the regions. It was formerly part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise and now a separate entity...

, the Normans built many fortresses into the naturally defensible terrain, such as Santa Croce
Santa Croce
Santa Croce is one of the six sestieri of Venice, northern Italy.-Geography:It occupies the north west part of the main islands, and can be divided into two areas: the eastern area being largely mediaeval, and the western - including the main port and the Tronchetto - mostly lying on land reclaimed...

 and Ferrante. The region around a rough line from Terracina
Terracina
Terracina is a town and comune of the province of Latina - , Italy, 76 km SE of Rome by rail .-Ancient times:...

 to Termoli
Termoli
Termoli is a town and comune on the Adriatic coast of Italy, in the province of Campobasso, region of Molise. It has a population of around 32,000, having expanded quickly after World War II, and it is a local resort town known for its beaches and old fortifications...

 has the greatest density of Norman castles in Italy. Many of the sites chosen were originally Samnite
Samnium
Samnium is a Latin exonym for a region of south or south and central Italy in Roman times. The name survives in Italian today, but today's territory comprising it is only a small portion of what it once was. The populations of Samnium were called Samnites by the Romans...

 strongholds reused by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and their successors; the Normans called such a fortress a castellum vetus, meaning "old castle." Many Molisian castles have walls integrated into the stone faces of the mountains and ridges, and much quickly erected masonry shows that the Normans introduced the practice of the opus gallicum
Opus gallicum
The opus gallicum was a technique of construction whereby precise holes were created in stone masonry for the insertion of wooden beams to create a wooden infrastructure...

into at least the Molise.

The encastellation of Sicily was begun at the behest of the native Greek inhabitants. In 1060, they asked Guiscard to construct a castle at Aluntium to defend them: the first Norman building on Sicily, San Marco d'Alunzio, named after the Guiscard's first castle at Argentano in Calabria, was erected. Its ruins survive. Petralia Soprana was built near Cefalù
Cefalù
Cefalù is a city and comune in the province of Palermo, located on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea about 70 km east from the provincial capital and 185 km west of Messina...

 next, then a castle at Troina
Troina
Troina is a town and comune in the province of Enna, Sicily, Italy. It is located in the Nebrodi Park.-History:...

 in 1071; in 1073 one was raised at Mazara (the ruins still exist) and another at Paternò
Paternò
Paternò is a town and comune in the Province of Catania, Sicily, southern Italy.-History:The site of Paternò was settled before 3500 BCE. Its inhabitants were probably the Sicani, although it was located in mainly Sicel territory; its initial name was Inessa. The modern name derives form the Greek...

 (the ruins are restored). At Adrano
Adrano
Adrano is a town and comune in the province of Catania on the east coast of Sicily.It is situated around 41 km northwest of Catania, which is also the capital of the province to which Adrano belongs. It lies near the foot of Mount Etna, at the confluence of the Simeto and Salso rivers. It is...

 (or Aderno) the Normans built a plain rectangular tower whose floorplan gives an indication of 11th century Norman design. An outside stairway leads to the first storey entrance and the interior is divided lengthwise down the middle into a great hall
Great hall
A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, nobleman's castle or a large manor house in the Middle Ages, and in the country houses of the 16th and early 17th centuries. At that time the word great simply meant big, and had not acquired its modern connotations of excellence...

 on one side and a further two rooms on the other, the chapel and chamber. Other fortifications in Sicily were taken over from the Arabs and the palatial and cathedral architecture of the major cities, like Palermo, has distinctive and obvious Arab markers. Arab artistic influence in Sicily mirrors Lombard influence in the Mezzogiorno.

Sources


Primary sources

Secondary sources
  • Bachrach, Bernard S.
    Bernard Bachrach
    Bernard S. Bachrach is an American historian and a professor of history at the University of Minnesota. He specialises in the Early Middle Ages, mainly on the topics of Medieval warfare, Medieval Jewry, and early Angevin history...

     "On the Origins of William the Conqueror's Horse Transports." Technology and Culture, Vol. 26, No. 3. (Jul., 1985), pp. 505–531.
  • Chalandon, Ferdinand
    Ferdinand Chalandon
    Ferdinand Chalandon was a French medievalist and Byzantinist.Chalandon’s work remains the most substantial study of the Normans in Italy and though the details of what he wrote a hundred years ago have in places been modified, it remains the single most important work available to historians.Being...

    . Histoire de la domination normande en Italie et en Sicilie. Paris: 1907.
  • Loud, Graham Alexander. "How 'Norman' was the Norman Conquest of Southern Italy?" Nottingham Medieval Studies, Vol. 25 (1981), pp. 13–34.
  • Loud, Graham Alexander. "Continuity and change in Norman Italy: the Campania during the eleventh and twelfth centuries." Journal of Medieval History
    Journal of Medieval History
    The Journal of Medieval History is a major international academic journal devoted to all aspects of the history of Europe in the Middle Ages....

    , Vol. 22, No. 4 (December, 1996), pp. 313–343.
  • Loud, Graham Alexander. "Coinage, Wealth and Plunder in the Age of Robert Guiscard." English Historical Review, Vol. 114, No. 458. (Sep., 1999), pp. 815–843.
  • France, John. "The Occasion of the Coming of the Normans to Italy." Journal of Medieval History
    Journal of Medieval History
    The Journal of Medieval History is a major international academic journal devoted to all aspects of the history of Europe in the Middle Ages....

    , Vol. 17 (1991), pp. 185–205.
  • Gay, Jules. L'Italie méridionale et l'empire Byzantin: Livre II. Burt Franklin: New York, 1904.
  • Gravett, Christopher, and Nicolle, David. The Normans: Warrior Knights and their Castles. Osprey Publishing: Oxford, 2006.
  • Houben, Hubert (translated by Graham A. Loud and Diane Milburn). Roger II of Sicily: Ruler between East and West. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Jamison, Evelyn. "The Norman Administration of Apulia and Capua, more especially under Roger II and William I". Papers of the British School at Rome, VI (1917), pp. 265-270.
  • Joranson, Einar. "The Inception of the Career of the Normans in Italy: Legend and History." Speculum
    Speculum (journal)
    Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies is a quarterly academic journal published by the Medieval Academy of America. It was established in 1926. The journal's primary focus is on the time period from 500-1500 in Western Europe, but also on related subjects such as Byzantine, Hebrew, Arabic, and...

    , Vol. 23, No. 3. (Jul., 1948), pp. 353–396.
  • Matthew, Donald. The Norman Kingdom of Sicily. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Norwich, John Julius
    John Julius Norwich
    John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich CVO — known as John Julius Norwich — is an English historian, travel writer and television personality.-Early life:...

    . The Normans in the South 1016-1130. London: Longman, 1967.
  • Norwich, John Julius. The Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194. London: Longman, 1970.
  • Skinner, Patricia. Family Power in Southern Italy: The Duchy of Gaeta and its Neighbours, 850-1139. Cambridge University Press: 1995.


External links

  • The Normans, a European People, by the European Commission
    European Commission
    The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....