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In: Urban Dynamics and Transcultural Communication in Medieval Sicily
Editors: Graham Loud and Alex Metcalfe
This book is a wide-ranging collection of essays about different aspects of the society of southern Italy and Sicily from the eleventh through to the thirteenth centuries. Of the eleven contributors, seven are from Continental Europe, most of whom have never before published in English. The volume devotes particular attention to the evolution of the social structure, to regional differences, the Church, and to the position of Greek and Arabic Christians and Muslims within the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. The authors, all acknowledged experts in this field, draw upon an unrivalled knowledge of the contemporary sources, both published and unpublished. This volume will therefore be a most important resource for both scholars and students of this fascinating area of medieval history, on which relatively little has hitherto been written in English.
This landmark volume combines classic and revisionist essays to explore the historiography of Sardinia’s exceptional transition from an island of the Byzantine empire to the rise of its own autonomous rulers, the iudikes, by the 1000s.
In addition to Sardinia’s contacts with the Byzantines, Muslim North Africa and Spain, Lombard Italy, Genoa, Pisa, and the papacy, recent and older evidence is analysed through Latin, Greek and Arabic sources, vernacular charters and cartularies, the testimony of coinage, seals, onomastics and epigraphy as well as the Sardinia’s early medieval churches, arts, architecture and archaeology. The result is an important new critique of state formation at the margins of Byzantium, Islam, and the Latin West with the creation of lasting cultural, political and linguistic frontiers in the western Mediterranean.

Contributors are Hervin Fernández-Aceves, Luciano Gallinari, Rossana Martorelli, Attilio Mastino, Alex Metcalfe, Marco Muresu, Michele Orrù, Andrea Pala, Giulio Paulis, Giovanni Strinna, Alberto Virdis, Maurizio Virdis, and Corrado Zedda.
At the heart of the Mediterranean, the island of Sicily has long been a place of encounter. Witness to conquests and cycles of migration, the island’s enviable position as a unique nexus of exchange has left it heir to a rich linguistic, religious, ethnic and cultural inheritance. As the island’s primary conduits of interaction, Sicily’s vibrant cities not only functioned as important hubs for the exchange of goods and knowledge, but also facilitated the transcultural contact of peoples and cultures. This volume offers multi-disciplinary approaches in endeavouring to investigate how such manifold influences shaped the cities of the island and were reflected in the urban dynamics and transcultural communication of medieval Sicily.