Skip to main content

IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1639: Pushing the Boundaries: Normans across the Sea, II: Mediterranean Exchanges

Thursday 9 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Organisers:Philippa Byrne, St John's College, University of Oxford
Caitlin Ellis, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Philippa Byrne, St John's College, University of Oxford
Paper 1639-aThe Great Tower: Searching for Its Origins in the Norman Diaspora of the Medieval Roman East
(Language: English)
Andrew Blackler, Centre for Byzantine Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies University of Birmingham
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Architecture - Secular, Byzantine Studies, Military History
Paper 1639-bNorman Sicily and the Fatimid Royal Correspondence, 1137
(Language: English)
Maher Hasan, Department of History, University of Tobruk, Libya
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1639-cThe Normans and the Sea: From Viking Raiders to State Navies, 900-1200
(Language: English)
Matthew Bennett, Department of History, University of Winchester
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Maritime and Naval Studies, Military History

The three sessions in the 'Normans across the Sea' series examine how the sea can be used to define and/or deconstruct ideas of Norman borders and Norman identity. Session 2, 'Mediterranean Exchanges', examines how Norman power adapted itself as it moved into the Mediterranean, and how it borrowed from local cultures. All three of these papers seek to situate Norman exchange in the Mediterranean in the longue durée. Blackler examines the Byzantine origins of Norman coastal defences in the Eastern Mediterranean; Hasan works from a 14th-century Arabic text to consider the exchanges between 12th-century Norman Sicily and Fatimid North Africa; Bennett analyses how Norman seafaring success was the product of borrowed Greek maritime expertise, not, as long supposed, an atavistic 'Viking' inheritance.