Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth by Barbara M. Kreutz

By Barbara M. Kreutz

Histories of medieval Europe have in general neglected southern Italy, taking a look south merely within the Norman interval. but Southern Italy within the 9th and 10th centuries used to be a fancy and colourful global that merits to be greater understood. In Before the Normans, Barbara M. Kreutz writes the 1st smooth examine in English of the land, political constructions, and cultures of southern Italy within the centuries ahead of the Norman conquests. This used to be a pan-Meditteranean society, the place the Roman earlier and Lombard-Germanic tradition met Byzantine and Islamic civilization, making a wealthy and strange mix.

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By Barbara M. Kreutz

Histories of medieval Europe have in general neglected southern Italy, taking a look south merely within the Norman interval. but Southern Italy within the 9th and 10th centuries used to be a fancy and colourful global that merits to be greater understood. In Before the Normans, Barbara M. Kreutz writes the 1st smooth examine in English of the land, political constructions, and cultures of southern Italy within the centuries ahead of the Norman conquests. This used to be a pan-Meditteranean society, the place the Roman earlier and Lombard-Germanic tradition met Byzantine and Islamic civilization, making a wealthy and strange mix.

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Yet it seems wrong to suspect every charter ofdissimulation. In this period, at least in the regions from which most ofthe documentation comes, most contracts were drafted by rather unsophisticated scribes or notaries; as with embellishments in chronicles, there are usually inadvertent but unmistakable clues when a charter is masking something. Local charters involving land conveyance demonstrate this lack of sophistication. In these south Italian contracts, by and large we do not encounter the terminology apparently by then in common use in the north of Italy.

Thus, early in the ninth century, southern Italy found itself, once again, more or less on its own. The Carolingian and papal threats had receded. Byzantium now held only what Jules Gay described as small bits ("des morceaux epars") of south Italian territory; Constantinople's interests were centered elsewhere. 32 The Lombards, with their double capitals at Benevento and Salerno, were unquestionably the dominant force on the scene. Southern Italy in the Early Ninth Century Keeping this background in mind, we can now consider the general characteristics ofsouthern Italy and its population at the start ofthe ninth century.

Fringe territory constantly changed hands (just as jurisdictional power grew weaker the further Introduction XXXI one got from the center). Thus, in relation to the political divisions, Map 2 can give only proximate indications, based on fragmentary evidence and applicable only to one point in time, and it also shows only the modern outlines of the various regioni. Finally, something must be said about the notes and the Bibliography. Citations in the notes are limited to author, title, and date.

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