WPL01312D – Medieval Multiculturalism: Norman Sicily Between East and West
We are all familiar with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Less familiar perhaps is the Norman conquest of Sicily. There, in the 12th century, a dynasty only a few generations removed from their Viking pagan ancestors created, for a time, a Christian kingdom in Europe that deliberately fostered multiculturalism as a strategy for governance. Under Roger II and his successors, the Norman kingdom of Sicily not only tolerated, but actively embraced Western Latin and Orthodox Greek-speaking Christians as well as Muslims and even Jews. This presentation will show how Norman rulers drew on Byzantine, Latin and Islamic traditions to embody their vision of a multicultural society in a series of spectacular monuments.