Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries

University of Pennsylvania Press
Free sample

Histories of medieval Europe have typically ignored southern Italy, looking south only in the Norman period. Yet Southern Italy in the ninth and tenth centuries was a complex and vibrant world that deserves to be better understood. In Before the Normans, Barbara M. Kreutz writes the first modern study in English of the land, political structures, and cultures of southern Italy in the two centuries before the Norman conquests. This was a pan-Meditteranean society, where the Roman past and Lombard-Germanic culture met Byzantine and Islamic civilization, creating a rich and unusual mix.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Barbara M. Kreutz was Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Bryn Mawr College.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jun 7, 2011
Read more
Collapse
Pages
268
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780812205435
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
History / Europe / Medieval
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
By the early fourteenth century, the city of Florence had emerged as an economic power in Tuscany, surpassing even Siena, which had previously been the banking center of the region. In the space of fifty years, during the lifetime of Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321, Florence had transformed itself from a political and economic backwater—scarcely keeping pace with its Tuscan neighbors—to one of the richest and most influential places on the continent. While many historians have focused on the role of the city's bankers and merchants in achieving these rapid transformations, in Florence and Its Church in the Age of Dante, George W. Dameron emphasizes the place of ecclesiastical institutions, communities, and religious traditions. While by no means the only factors to explain Florentine ascension, no account of this period is complete without considering the contributions of the institutional church.

In Florence, economic realities and spiritual yearnings intersected in mysterious ways. A busy grain market on a site where a church once stood, for instance, remained a sacred place where many gathered to sing and pray before a painted image of the Virgin Mary, as well as to conduct business. At the same time, religious communities contributed directly to the economic development of the diocese in the areas of food production, fiscal affairs, and urban development, while they also provided institutional leadership and spiritual guidance during a time of profound uncertainty. Addressing such issues as systems of patronage and jurisdictional rights, Dameron portrays the working of the rural and urban church in all of its complexity. Florence and Its Church in the Age of Dante fills a major gap in scholarship and will be of particular interest to medievalists, church historians, and Italianists.

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the Normans had a formative influence on the development of states and societies in the British Isles, southern Italy and the Levant. Their achievements still resonate powerfully today, and represent a vital field of historical study. But how far did colonial elites define themselves as Norman, and to what extent were they categorized as such by others? What were the defining attributes of the supremacies achieved by the Normans, and by other incomers associated with them, and how decisive and diverse was the impact of their influence on local power-structures and native societies? How readily did they reach accommodations with those societies, and how might their own identities be renegotiated within the context of cross-cultural encounters? And, in terms of the progress and practices of state-formation, what was the balance between ’old’ and ’new’? These are some of the key questions addressed in this collection of essays, which also treats the Normans as a genuinely European phenomenon. Norman activity in the British Isles and in the Mediterranean lands receives equal coverage; and the topics explored include identities and identification, marriage policies, acculturation, the pre-existing landscapes of power and how far they were transformed, castle-building strategies, the nature of frontiers, urban government, and law and legislation. This volume therefore serves both to illustrate and to open up for fresh debate many of the salient themes concerning the Norman experience of diaspora and settlement. At the same time, it seeks to underscore how the dynamics, character and consequences of Norman expansion - and the connections, continuities and contrasts - can better be appreciated by taking the wider Norman world, or worlds, as the focus for collective study.
Barbara W. Tuchman—the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic The Guns of August—once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.
 
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
 
Praise for A Distant Mirror
 
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”—The New York Review of Books
 
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary

NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.