Roger II of Sicily: A Ruler between East and West

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This is a scholarly and up-to-date narrative of the epic reign of the "Norman" King Roger II, the founder of the kingdom of Sicily during the first half of the twelfth century. It is a thoughtful analysis of the kingdom's mixed east-west culture and the development of its royal government; the most advanced in twelfth-century Europe. Although many recent studies have addressed important aspects of medieval southern Italy, this is the first work in nearly ninety years to be devoted specifically to Roger's life and reign.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...considerable descriptive powers of Houben...I hope this text is read widely...This translation is another great contribution by Graham Loud...He and Diane Milburn are to be commended." Louis I. Hamilton, Rutgers University, Canadian Journal of History

"Thoroughly researched and worthwhile..." Catholic Library World

"The book's unique historiographical position and high quality should recommend it to medieval generalists and specialists alike." History

"Greene's valuable study is more than sufficient to demonstrate that looking at Mediterranean history primarily as a clash of two discrete and hostile civilizations is more helpful for the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries than it is for the twelfth." International History Review

"This short review does not do justice to the depth and substance of Houben's examination of this fascinating man and kingdom, which is at once learned, argumentative and readable. No small achievement." Journal of Church and State

This pithy volume provides a thorough treatment of the complexities of Norman Sicily under Roger II, relying on a comprehensive selection of scholarship through the year 2000. Houben (medieval history, Universit<'a> degli Studi di Lecce, Italy) provides background history on this unusual political state and a full chapter on art and architecture. The history of Roger's rule, which makes up the bulk of the volume, is set within the larger context of Mediterranean politics and culture. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521652087
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/4/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Medieval Textbooks Series
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Foreword to the German edition; Preface to the German edition; Preface to the English edition; List of abbreviations; Chronology; Maps; Genealogy tables; Introduction. Roger II: a controversial ruler; 1. The inheritance; 2. From count to king; 3. The new kingdom; 4. Between east and west; 5. Epilogue: the kingdom of Sicily after Roger II; 6. Conclusion. A multicultural ruler; Medieval authors; Bibliography; Index.
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