The ‘Other’, Identity, and Memory in Early Medieval Italy
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The political fragmentation of Italy—created by Charlemagne’s conquest of a part of the Lombard kingdom in 774 and the weakening of the Byzantine Empire in the eighth and ninth centuries—, the conquest of Sicily by the Muslims in the ninth century, and the Norman ‘conquest’ of southern Italy in the second half of the eleventh century favored the creation of areas inhabited by persons with different ethnic, religious, and cultural background. Moreover, this period witnessed the increase in production of historical writing in different parts of Italy. Taking advantage of these features, this volume presents some case studies about the manner in which ‘others’ were perceived, what was known about them, the role of identity, and the use of the past in early medieval Italy (ninth – eleventh centuries) focusing in particular on how early medieval Italian authors portrayed that period and were, sometimes, influenced by their own ‘present’ in their reconstruction of the past.
The book will appeal to scholars and students of otherness, identity, and memory in early medieval Italy, as well as all those interested in medieval Europe.
Table of Contents
1. The Muslims in the historical works of early medieval southern Italy
2. The Image of the Byzantines in the chronicles of early medieval southern Italy
3. Among two empires and dangerous neighbors: Byzantines, Franks, Lombards, and Muslims in ninth-century Naples
4. Invaders, dangerous allies, and hated neighbors: Ninth-century Southern Lombard views of the Franks and the Neapolitans
5. The Venetians and the others in the early Middle Ages: definitions and perceptions
6. History and Ethnic Pride in Southern Italy at the End of the Ninth Century
7. A Difficult Memory to Manage: Narrating the Relationships between Bishops and Dukes in Early Medieval Naples
8. Oblivion, Memory and Irony in ninth-century Montecassino
9. Old and new invaders: Lombards and Franks in Italian Carolingian Memory.
Luigi Andrea Berto is professor of Medieval History at Western Michigan University, USA. His research focuses on Medieval Italy and the Mediterranean, with a special interest in the use of the past in the medieval and modern periods, and the relationships between Christians and Muslims.