The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily: Politics, Religion, and Economy in the Reign of Frederick III, 1296-1337 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $55.82
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 2%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (3) from $55.82   
  • New (3) from $55.82   


This is the first detailed study of Sicilian life in the reign of Frederick III (1296-1337), a period that marked Sicily's transition from a bustling and prosperous Mediterranean emporium to a poor backwater torn apart by violence. This book, by focusing on Frederick III's crucial reign, argues that there were many more things "wrong" with Sicilian life than just the shape of its overseas trade relations. Placing itself between those who blame the foreigners and those who blame the Sicilians themselves, it shows that an entire nexus of factors and influences were at work in unravelling Sicilian life. It also demonstrates that these forces can be seen best in the forty years that followed Sicily's liberation from foreign control in the bloody war of the "Sicilian Vespers."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book opens up a new subject in English for the first time." American Historical Review

"...a valuable and thought-provoking addition to this growing corpus of research....Clifford Backman guides his readers with authority through notoriously complex themes, and his lively prose style disguises an impressive depth of scholarship. He has written an admirable book...his study will be required reading in its field." The Catholic Historical Review

"Backman's new questions and fresh research challenge the conventional themes of Sicilian history....By rooting a familiar story into the political and cultural realities of the first decades of the fourteenth century, he has written a convincing account of how peace and prosperity eluded Sicilians, despite their best intentions." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Backman's monograph makes a substantial contribution toward comprehending the origins of Sicily's notorious poverty and pervasive lawlessness. A lively writing style sustains the reader through a great deal of detailed social. political, and economic analysis, and Backman provides fascinating vignettes of social customs, religious mores, and the condition of women." Choice

"Backman presents his material in a pleasing manner; his organization is goo....His familiarity with the topography of Sicily greatly assists the reader. The book includes a most useful map, three tables of justices and one of feudal dues, an extensive bibliography, and a brief index." Louise Buenger Robbert, Journal of Church and state

"...The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily: Politics, Religion, and Economy in the Reign of Frederick III, 1296-1337 is an excellent study of its subject and a magnificent contribution to our knowledge and understanding of Sicily's long, intricate, and often misunderstood history." William Granara, The Medieval Review

"...this is a welcome book that fills an important gap in the history of Sicily and the Mediterranean. It is also excellently produced with full and detailed footnotes, including ample quotation of the more important passages in the sources. It is nice to encounter a book at once scholarly and readable." Carola M. Small, Speculum

"Backman writes with great fluency and has produced a thoughtful, wide-ranging book that fills a gaping whole in the literature on the medieval Mediterranean." Journal of Economic History

"Backman writes with great fluency and has produced a thoughtful, wide-ranging book that fills a gaping whole in the literature on the medieval Mediterranean." David Abulafia, Jrnl of Eco Hist

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521521819
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2002
  • Edition description: FIRST/REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

1. The kingdom at risk; 2. The international scene: war without and within; 3. A divided society I: the urban demesnal world; 4. A divided society II: the rural baronial world; 5. The religious scene: piety and its problems; 6. In the margins: slaves, pirates, and women; Conclusion; Tables; Bibliography.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)