Sicily and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sicily and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages

1st Edition

By Hiroshi Takayama


394 pages

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This book is a collection of milestone articles of a leading scholar in the study of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily, a crossroads of Latin-Christian, Greek-Byzantine, and Arab-Islamic cultures and one of the most fascinating but also one of the most neglected kingdoms in the medieval world. Some of his articles were published in influential journals such as English Historical Review, Viator, Mediterranean Historical Review, and Papers of the British School at Rome, while others appeared in hard-to-obtain festschrifts, proceedings of international conferences, and so on. The articles included here, based on analysis of Latin, Greek, and Arabic documents as well as multi-lingual parchments, explore subjects of interest in medieval Mediterranean world such as Norman administrations, multi-cultural courts, Christian-Muslim diplomacy, conquests and migrations, religious tolerance and conflicts, cross-cultural contacts, and so forth. Some of them dig deep into curious specific topics, while others settle disputes among scholars and correct our antiquated interpretations. His attention to the administrative structure of the kingdom of Sicily, whose bureaucracy was staffed by Greeks, Muslims and Latins, has been a particularly important part of his work, where he has engaged in major debates with other scholars in the field.

Table of Contents

List of Figures




Transliteration System

Part I Administrative Organizations and Officials

  1. The Financial and Administrative Organization of the Norman Kingdom

of Sicily

2 Familiares Regis and the Royal Inner Council in Twelfth-Century Sicily

3 The Great Administrative Officials of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily

4 Amiratus in the Norman Kingdom of Sicily: A Leading Office of Arabic

Origin in the Royal Administration

5 The Administrative Organization of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily

Part II Power and Governance

6 The Administration of Roger I: Foundation of the Norman

Administrative System

7 Central Power and Multi-Cultural Elements at the Norman Court of Sicily

8 Confrontation of Powers in the Norman Kingdom of Sicily: Kings, Nobles, Bureaucrats, and Cities

9 Law and Monarchy in the South

Part III Religions and Cross-Cultural Contacts

10 Religious Tolerance in Norman Sicily? The Case of Muslims

11 Frederick II’s Crusade: An Example of Christian-Muslim Diplomacy

12 Migrations in the Mediterranean Area and the Far East: Medieval Sicily

and Japan

13 Classification of Villeins in Medieval Sicily


Appendix I Islamic Sicily

1 The Aghlabid Governors in Sicily: 827-909

2 The Fatimid and Kalbite Governors in Sicily: 909-1044

Appendix II Medieval France

1 Kingdom and States in Medieval France

2 The Local Administrative System of France under Philip IV (1285-1314),

Baillis and Seneschals

Appendix III Book Reviews

  1. Graham A. Loud, Church and Society of the Principality of Capua 1058-

1197 (Oxford, 1985)

2 Joanna H. Drell, Kinship and Conquest. Family Strategies in the Principality

of Salerno during the Norman Period, 1077-1194 (Ithaca, NY, 2002)

3 Alex Metcalfe, The Muslims of Medieval Italy (Edinburgh, 2009)



About the Author

Hiroshi Takayama, professor of history at the University of Tokyo, received his Ph.D. from Yale University with the R. Lopez Memorial Prize in 1990. While comparing medieval polities in Europe, he has been studying cross-cultural contacts in the Mediterranean area, focusing on medieval Sicily, a crossroads of Latin, Greek, and Islamic cultures. He has sole-authored ten books, co-edited eight books, and published about forty articles. He has received the Suntory Award, Collegium Mediterranistarum Award, Premio Marco Polo, and Medal with Purple Ribbon. He has served as an editorial board member of scholarly journals and book series in the UK, US, Italy, Netherlands, and Japan. He is President of the Historical Society of Japan (2016-) and President of the Japan Society for Medieval European Studies (2015-).

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General