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Arabs and Normans in Sicily and the South of Italy

Arabs and Normans in Sicily and the South of Italy

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by Adele Cilento and Alessandro Vanoli

Sicily has been at the crossroads of the Mediterranean for thousands of years. As close to Africa as it is to many parts of Europe, and directly astride major sea routes, it has been a convenient landfall for both merchants and warriors. Its invasion in the year 827 A.D. by Muslim armies from North Africa set the stage for a fascinating interplay of cultures. As these Arab and Berber soldiers slowly conquered Sicily and extended their reach to parts of the Italian mainland, they came in contact with, and for some two hundred years ruled over, Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians loyal to the Byzantine emperor in Constantinople, Latin-speaking Christians obedient to the pope in Rome, and small but significant communities of Jews.

This book is written by two expert scholars. It tells a fascinating story about a period during the Middle Ages when cultures collided and made war on each other over issues of politics, religion, and wealth (much like the present day). With many views of the famous mosaics in Cefal, Monreale, and Palermo, its 275 color illustrations and four maps provide a beautiful visual complement to an authoritative text.

  • ISBN 978-1-878351-66-1
  •  309 pages, 10-1/2 x 12-1/2"
  •  hardcover with dust jacket
  •  271 illustrations in color, 4 in black-and-white, 4 maps
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