Before the Normans : Southern Italy in the ninth and tenth centuries /
Barbara M. Kreutz.
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c1991.
xxxi, 228 p. --
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Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c1991.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-09:
Kreutz's work is a welcome addition to recent books on pre-Renaissance medieval Italian history, especially Chris Wickham's Early Medieval Italy (London, 1981) and Giovanni Tabacco's The Struggle for Power in Medieval Italy (1990). By concentrating on southern Italy alone, over a rather short time period, Kreutz takes readers closer to the sources and provides a more coherent picture of the south than has been available previously in English. In spite of Kreutz's argument to the contrary, however, the reader comes away from this book with an impression of constantly fluctuating boundaries, numerous coups d''etat, cruelty, and selfishness albeit combined with a remarkably tolerant attitude toward religious, linguistic, and ethnic differences. Because of the chance survival of documentation, Kreutz is forced to focus on Benevento, Capua, Salerno, Naples, and Amalfi. Within the area dominated by these states, she finds common sociocultural trends. She also finds well-established and centrally controlled local institutions that undoubtedly provided the basis for the well-organized Norman state that was to follow. Several maps, good bibliography. Upper-division undergraduates and above. K. F. Drew; Rice University
This item was reviewed in:
University Press Book News, June 1992
Choice, September 1992
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