What is Sicily? Part of Italy - right? A month ago I saw a movie that took place on Sicily and I noticed how the language sounded so different from the Italian I know. Now let us get back in history. The Middle Ages. A lot of the people who live on the island are Greeks, they are ruled by Arab Muslims and those have brought Berber troops to maintain order. The Arabs and the Berbers begin to compete for influence and some Italian lords from the main land also show interest. But then the Normans arrive.
This is but a rough and inaccurate way of describing, but it gives in a nut shell what I learned from Lars Brownworth's podcast Norman Centuries. Over the last episodes, the Normans have begun arriving in Italy and Sicily and expanded their influence. The last episode, #11 - The Great Count, tells the tale of the Norman Roger de Hauteville, who over the 11th century eventually wrestled Sicily from the Arabs and the Berbers and came to rule it by himself. (feed)
So what have we learned by now? We have learned how the Normans gained a foothold in Normandy and began to be a power in France. We knew of course of William the Conqueror, who crosses the Channel and established Norman reign in England. Now we have had a couple of shows about the sons of Tancred de Hauteville who tried their luck in Italy and Sicily and succeeded over there. Apart from William the Conqueror I had hardly any idea of the extent of Norman influence, until Lars came with his podcast.
More Norman Centuries:
6 more podcasts I listened to when I was away from the blog,
Norman Centuries - Lars Brownworth,
William the Conqueror,
Richard the Fearless.