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The Norman Kingdom of Sicily (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks)

by Matthew (Author) 5 customer reviews ISBN-13: 978-0521269117 ISBN-10: 0521269113 ISBN This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work. Scan an ISBN with your phone
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Editorial Reviews


"There is much of value about governmental administration, for example, that is not available elsewhere or is scattered through various books and articles. This volume will be useful to students." The International History Review

"Matthew's treatment of political life is gripping and dramatic...will be valued by scholars and graduate students who want to know more about southern Italy." History

Book Description

An introductory account of the kingdom of Sicily established in 1130 by Roger II, a "Norman" king, and ruled by him, his son and grandsons until 1194 when the kingdom was conquered by his son-in-law, Henry VI of Hohenstaufen.

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    R. Vosburg 5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent book March 28, 2009Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase This is an excellent book although the proofing of it may have left something to be desired - many spelling errors and some dropped words in the text. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the historyof Sicily, Southern Italy or the Europe in the late Middle Ages. 9 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse Paul M Conlin 5.0 out of 5 starsRise. Zenith. Fall. December 18, 2017Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase Frederick II uniting the crowns of Sicily and Germany strengthened his reign but doomed his legacy. Helpful Comment Report abuse Roman 5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars August 29, 2014Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase A thorough cover of an area that needs more attention. Helpful Comment Report abuse Janine Thomas 5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars October 7, 2014Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase THANK YOU Helpful Comment Report abuse L. A. Mendola 5.0 out of 5 starsUnsurpassed June 10, 2019Format: Paperback Donald Matthew has written a fine outline of the history of the Kingdom of Sicily from its inception to around 1200, the beginning of the Swabian era.

    This book presents work that is factually accurate and at times quite insightful. Professor Matthew was one of the first Anglophone scholars to write at any length or in much detail (in English) about southern Italy's Norman era. Relying on the same original sources, John Julius Norwich also wrote about it, and going into the 1990s there were not many books on the topic available in English except for those of these two historians. I should respond to two historiographical considerations.

    Firstly, despite what a few cynical critics may suggest, very little in this general (but never superficial) study first published in 1992 has been surpassed, negated or directly contradicted by subsequent research. It was not the purpose of this monograph to address every subtopic of the field. It is essentially a very good introduction and overview.

    Secondly, a number of subsequent volumes do expand on the themes of this one. The work of Hiroshi Takayama and Graham Loud has done much to advance our knowledge. Jeremy Johns and Leonard Chiarelli address the Islamic culture, and Karla Mallette the literary culture. Hubert Houben's biography of Roger II is useful, and Jacqueline Alio's compendium of biographies of Sicily's queens tells us the women's side of the story. My own book on the Kingdom of Sicily over the course of seven centuries places the Norman era into the context of a realm that survived, in some form, until 1860.

    In all of this, Donald Matthew's book is a suitable starting point. Read it before you read the others. Helpful Comment Report abuse See all 5 reviews Write a customer review

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