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The campaigns of the Norman dukes of southern Italy against Byzantium, in the years between 1071 and 1108 AD

Theotokis, Georgios (2010) The campaigns of the Norman dukes of southern Italy against Byzantium, in the years between 1071 and 1108 AD. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The topic of my thesis is “The campaigns of the Norman dukes of southern Italy to Byzantium, in the years between 1071 and 1108 A.D.” As the title suggests, I am examining all the main campaigns conducted by the Normans against Byzantine provinces, in the period from the fall of Bari, the Byzantine capital of Apulia and the seat of the Byzantine governor (catepano) of Italy in 1071, to the Treaty of Devol that marked the end of Bohemond of Taranto’s Illyrian campaign in 1108. My thesis, however, aims to focus specifically on the military aspects of these confrontations, an area which for this period has been surprisingly neglected in the existing secondary literature. My intention is to give answers to a series of questions, of which only some of them are presented here: what was the Norman method of raising their armies and what was the connection of this particular system to that in Normandy and France in the same period (similarities, differences, if any)? Have the Normans been willing to adapt to the Mediterranean reality of warfare, meaning the adaptation of siege engines and the creation of a transport and fighting fleet? What was the composition of their armies, not only in numbers but also in the analogy of cavalry, infantry and supplementary units? While in the field of battle, what were the fighting tactics used by the Normans against the Byzantines and were they superior to their eastern opponents? However, as my study is in essence comparative, I will further compare the Norman and Byzantine military institutions, analyse the clash of these two different military cultures and distinguish any signs of adaptations in their practice of warfare. Also, I will attempt to set this enquiry in the light of new approaches to medieval military history visible in recent historiography by asking if any side had been familiar to the ideas of Vegetian strategy, and if so, whether we characterise any of these strategies as Vegetian?

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Robert Guiscard, Hauteville, Alexius Comnenus, Anna Comnena, Byzantine army, Norman army, Dyrrachium, Vegetius, Vegetian strategy, warfare, Norman duke, Normandy, southern Italy, Civitate, Bohemond of Taranto, Treaty of Devol, First Crusade
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Strickland, Prof. Matthew
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Dr. Georgios Theotokis
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1884
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:47
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1884

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