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Medieval Sicily

Since ancient times, Sicily has been a cultural melting pot, a junction of Africa and Europe, of West and East. The Byzantines even temporarily moved their capital there. All parts of the series you may find here.

Part 1: The Byzantines
Since ancient times, Sicily has been a cultural melting pot, a junction of Africa and Europe, of West and East. The Byzantines even temporarily moved their capital there. Read Part 1 here.

Part 2: The Arabs
Since ancient times, Sicily has been a cultural melting pot, a junction of Africa and Europe, of West and East. In the 9th century, Arabs conquered the wealthy island. Read Part 2 here.

Part 3: Arab influence
The Arabs didn’t just rule Sicily. They had such an impact on its art and culture that this influence continued to have an effect long after the expulsion of the Muslim masters. This episode tells of what Europe owes to them. Read Part 3 here.

Part 4: The Normans are coming
Around AD 1000, Sicily was ruled and shaped by the Arabs, Lower Italy by the Byzantines and the Lombards. Then the Normans came and created a new empire in the South ... Read Part 4 here.

Part 5: The Normans and the pope
As the strongest power in Lower Italy the Normans turned the scale in the conflicts between the pope, the antipope and the orthodox patriarch. Robert Guiscard skillfully used that to his advantage. Read Part 5 here.

Part 6: Sicily becomes Norman
Robert Guiscard planned on bringing all of Sicily under his control. Since his adversaries were Moslems, he fought a holy war – a concept that was prevalent at the time. It was his successor Roger who then turned Sicily into a model of religious tolerance. Read Part 6 here.

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