ROGER II 1095-1154


History of War - - THE NORMANS -

The son of Roger I, Count of Si­cily, at Mileto, the young Roger was taught by Greek and Arab tu­tors and could speak sev­eral lan­guages. Knighted in 1112 in the Palazzo dei Nor­manni (Palace of the Nor­mans) at Palermo, Roger ad­min­is­tered his Si­cil­ian ter­ri­to­ries and be­came known for his di­plo­matic skills. Af­ter sup­port­ing An­tipope Ana­cle­tus II against Pope In­no­cent II, Roger was crowned king of Si­cily in De­cem­ber 1130. Af­ter de­feat­ing Pope In­no­cent in bat­tle, Roger forced the pope to recog­nise his king­dom, but was de­feated twice at the bat­tles of No­cera and Rig­nano.

Nev­er­the­less, Roger was able to con­sol­i­date his power and cre­ated a navy that briefly cap­tured much of Tu­nisia and sailed up the Bosporus to at­tack Con­stantino­ple. He also presided over an in­tel­lec­tual court that ad­min­is­tered tol­er­ance over the var­i­ous peo­ples and re­li­gions of Si­cily.

This Nor­man king was the first to en­gen­der a sense of uni­fied Si­cil­ian iden­tity among the is­lan­ders.

LEFT: Roger II’S Si­cil­ian court re­flected the mul­ti­cul­tural life of Si­cily, which was ruled by Nor­mans but in­flu­enced by Latin, Byzantine Greek and Arab cul­tures

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