It is an amazing thing how in Norman history the geographic focus switches. Somehow you expect it to be Scandinavia, but the podcast Norman Centuries kicked off in Normandy, made an excursion to England and over the last chapters has moved to Italy. (feed)
Normans got to Sicily and the peninsula as fortune seekers and worked their way up starting as mercenaries to the Byzantines. William Iron Arm (episode 8) thus made it to count and Robert Guiscard (episode 9) started as a knight and while making a name as a general, he succeeded in playing the latin power politics. Although he saw himself mostly pitted against the Roman Catholic Church and the Pontiff, but his ability to move into a position of power, made the Papacy sway and eventually ally with the Normans.
Robert Guiscard is a contemporary of William the Conqueror and so, by the time of 1066, when William attempts to invade England, Robert tries his luck with Sicily. Both succeed and what lies next for the Normans is the real prize of the time: Byzantium. We await the next episode to find out how such a grand ambition pans out.
More Norman Centuries:
William the Conqueror,
Richard the Fearless,
Norman Centuries - Lars is back!.