The Medieval Mediterranean

Islamic and Norman Sicily (800–1200)

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This website offers a unique framework of study through the provision of teaching, reference and research materials relating to the history of medieval Sicily. The site is designed to reach a wide audience - including undergraduates at universities as well as a general audience of the interested public. The webpages may also be of interest to course convenors and tutors for use in conjunction with lecture and seminar teaching.

As much material as possible has been made available in an open-access format in order to inform readers, stimulate learning and to transfer knowledge about a relatively obscure period of history to as wide an audience as possible.

The site also has the capacity of being extended to provide a medium for higher level debate and research. Indeed, new materials will continue to be added in the coming months and years. We actively encourage those researching in this field to make known new findings and publication, and to donate suitable materials for the benefit of the wider subject area.

Regional coverage

Broadly, the central Mediterranean including the south Italian Peninsula, Sicily and Ifrīqiya (between modern eastern Algeria, Tunisia, and western Libya). Also included are important, but more peripheral, areas such as the Ligurian maritime states of Pisa and Genoa as well as the islands of Sardinia, Malta and the Balearics. The primary focus of attention is the island of Sicily.

Chronological span

At its very widest, from 535–1302 AD; that is to say, from the beginning of the Byzantine period in Sicily until the end of the Sicilian Vespers. However, the main focus of attention is between the Islamic and Normans periods in Sicily, i.e. from 827 to c. 1194

Contributions and mailing list

We welcome academic contributions which can be posted to the Discussion Board. These might include publications, images, charter transcriptions, translations, notifications of recent publications, calls for papers, forthcoming conferences, shorter notices or research questions and answers. Please contact us via email with your contributions.

If you wish to be added to our mailing list, simply send an email to with the word 'subscribe' in the 'Subject' field. To be removed from the list, send an email with 'unsubscribe' in the 'Subject' field.


List of topic areas

1. Early history of the central Mediterranean

2. Sources for medieval Mediterranean history

3. Introduction to Mediterranean historiography

4. Geography of Sicily and the central Mediterranean

5. Arab-Muslim North Africa (647–827)

6. Late Byzantine Sicily and the Muslim conquest

7. Christians under Muslim rule

8. The Amirate of Bari

9. Law and learning in Muslim Sicily

10. Rebellions in the Fatimid period

11. Taxation, land tenure, the army and administration

12. Ibn Hawqal In Sicily

13. The Muslim Civil War (c.1030–60)

14. South Italy before the Normans

15. Al-Mujāhid's attack on Sardinia

16. The rise of the Normans in south Italy

17. The Hilalian ‘invasion' of Zirid Ifrīqiya

18. The Norman conquest of Sicily (1061–72)

19. The Norman conquest of Sicily and Malta (1072–91)

20. Muslim responses to the Norman conquest

21. Ecclesiastical lordships

22. The rise of new administrators

23. The early Norman administration of lands and men in Sicily

24. Rebellious lords and the incastellamento question

25. The regency of Adelaide

26. Christodoulos and George of Antioch

27. Roger II as Count of Sicily

28. Sicily and the Mediterranean (1118–28)

29. Formation of the new kingdom

30. Consolidation and development of the kingdom

31. Law, authority and kingship

32. Art and architecture of the royal palaces

33. The royal fiscal administration of lands and men

34. The trial of Philip of Mahdiyya

35. The Norman conquest and loss of Africa

36. William I and the crises of 1155–6

37. The History of Hugo Falcandus

38. The revolts of 1161–2

39. Stephen of Perche and the French contingents

40. Science, translation and patronage

41. The familiares regis

42. External relations and overseas diplomacy

43. The foundation of Monreale

44. The Monreale census lists of lands and men

45. Ibn Jubayr in Sicily

46. Abū l-Qāsim and the Muslims

47. The reign of Tancred

48. Markward and the 'amirate in the mountains'

49. The Norman legacy

50. Frederick II and the Staufen dynasty

51. The Sicilian Vespers


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