This book explores the contribution of southern Italy and Sicily to the crusades and crusader states. By adopting the theme of identity as a tool of analysis, it argues that a far more nuanced picture emerges about the relationship than the dismissive portrayal by William of Tyre in his Chronicon, which has largely been accepted by later historians. Building upon previous scholarship in relation to Norman identity, it widens the discussion to evaluate the role of more fluid and evolving Italo-Norman and Italo-Sicilian identities, and how these shaped events. In so-doing, this book also argues that the relationship between the territories needs to be considered in different dimensions: direct involvement of leaders and rulers versus indirect engagement through the geography of southern Italy and Sicily. Over time, and as identities change, these two dimensions converge, making the kingdom itself a leading participant in crusading.
1. The Italo-Norman Crusaders - identities and influences
2: Conscious construction of identity
3: Eclectic identities and shifting alignments in the kingdom of Sicily, c. 1130-54
4: Assuming a crusader identity - the kingdom if not the king
5: A conduit of communication reflecting continuous commitment
Advances in Crusades Research provides a forum for specialist scholars working on crusading and its ideology wherever crusading had an historical impact. The chronological scope of the series is broad, extending into the twenty-first century, but the focus remains on crusade as an historical field of enquiry rather than a political one relating explicitly to the modern day. The series welcomes and actively seeks monograph proposals from scholars in all fields and disciplines related to crusade historiography, history and areas of conflict/settlement from differing social, economic, ideological, military, cultural and material perspectives. Contributions from Islamic, Jewish, Eastern Christian or any other relevant perspectives are welcomed, as are cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches. Preference will be given to proposals employing new methodologies and exploring new subject areas.