By Barbara M. Kreutz
Histories of medieval Europe have in most cases overlooked southern Italy, having a look south merely within the Norman interval. but Southern Italy within the 9th and 10th centuries used to be a posh and colourful international that merits to be higher understood. In Before the Normans, Barbara M. Kreutz writes the 1st sleek learn in English of the land, political buildings, and cultures of southern Italy within the centuries prior to the Norman conquests. This was once a pan-Meditteranean society, the place the Roman prior and Lombard-Germanic tradition met Byzantine and Islamic civilization, making a wealthy and weird mix.
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Extra resources for Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
Countless major figures in Roman history had come from that region or possessed estates there. Many of the most significant events in the Roman era had taken place in the south: the final defeat of Hannibal in Italy and the great slave revolt led by Spartacus, to name only two of the most dramatic. The Via Appia and the Via Appia-Traiana traversed the region to reach Rome's major ports on the Adriatic. On and around the Bay of Naples, Rome had its western naval port, at Misenum, and its favorite pleasure resorts.
51 And what of the composition of the population, overall? Plainly, the whole of southern Italy was still sparsely populated, as a result of three centuries of disaster, natural and man-made. Moreover, Greek-speaking Byzantines were, relatively few in number, and mainly restricted to two or three isolated areas. In Campania, of course, there were many inhabitants of Gaeta and Naples who could speak and read Greek; those cities had had a Byzantine connection for centuries, and indeed the population of Naples and Gaeta must have included a good many individuals who were Byzantine-Greek in ancestry.
Altogether, the pact strikes a modern reader as an ex:ceptionally sensible and practical document, resolving a variety ofdisputes and providing clear-cut mechanisms for addressing the most commonly encountered problems. The marked emphasis on mercantile concerns is a particularly interesting feature of the Pactum Sicardi. Moreover, although this is not yet the place to discuss Amalfi at length, it is important to note that one clause (of which only the title survives) apparently dealt specifically with the Amalfitans as traders.
Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries by Barbara M. Kreutz