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Sicily, Islam and the Vikings

Reader comment on item: Italy's Apocalypse

Submitted by Dave (United States), Nov 2, 2017 at 09:55

Actually, Sicily only came under Islamic rule for a couple centuries: from the later ninth to the eleventh century when the Normans, who were Vikings, conquered it (I recommend any of Lars Brownsworth's excellent Viking histories). Sicily blossomed under Norman rule, mainly thanks to the wise leadership of the legendary Roger, who is still fondly remembered today as the "Good Count". The once ruthless and pagan Normans converted to Christianity, and Roger's rule was marked by a relatively gentle approach to opponents as he united the island. Under his rule, Sicily became a thriving trading center, the preeminent economic power in the Mediterranean region, retaining that position for many years.
The current situation with the migrants is a sign that Italy's best days may be behind her.

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