ROBERT GUIS­CARD DE HAUTEVILLE 1015-85

THE NOR­MAN SCOURGE OF THE POPE AND BYZANTINE EM­PIRE

History of War - - THE NORMANS -

Born in Nor­mandy, Guis­card trav­elled to south­ern Italy, where his older brothers had carved out suc­cess­ful ca­reers as mer­ce­nar­ies and es­tab­lished them­selves as pow­er­ful war­lords. Be­cause of his early rep­u­ta­tion as a brig­and, he was nick­named ‘Guis­card’, which meant ‘Crafty One’.

Guis­card helped win a no­table vic­tory against a pa­pal army at the Bat­tle of Civitate in 1053 and as­sisted in con­quer­ing the re­main­ing Byzantine lands in Italy. He be­came an ally of the pope and was in­stru­men­tal in se­cur­ing the Nor­man con­quest of Si­cily in 1072. From 1080, Guis­card be­gan to at­tack the Byzantine Em­pire it­self and crossed the Aegean Sea with a huge fleet. He de­feated Em­peror Alex­ios I Kom­nenos at the Bat­tle of Dyrrhachium and then re­turned to Italy. Guis­card sacked Rome and res­cued Pope Gregory VII be­fore in­stalling him in a palace at Salerno.

Guis­card’s as­ton­ish­ing ca­reer ended when he cap­tured Corfu in 1085. While win­ter­ing in Greece, an epi­demic spread through the Nor­man army that killed many, in­clud­ing Guis­card.

LEFT: At var­i­ous times in his life Guis­card held the ti­tles of count and duke of Apu­lia and Cal­abria, duke of Si­cily and even the prince of Ben­evento

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.