Runciman Sicilian Vespers

ISBN 13: 9780521286527

Sicilian Vespers

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9780521286527: Sicilian Vespers
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On 30 March 1282, as the bells of Palermo were ringing for Vespers, the Sicilian townsfolk, crying 'Death to the French', slaughtered the garrison and administration of their Angevin King. Seen in historical perspective it was not an especially big massacre: the revolt of the long-subjugated Sicilians might seem just another resistance movement. But the events of 1282 came at a crucial moment. Steven Runciman takes the Vespers as the climax of a great narrative sweep covering the whole of the Mediterranean in the thirteenth century. His sustained narrative power is displayed here with concentrated brilliance in the rise and fall of this fascinating episode. This is also an excellent guide to the historical background to Dante's Divine Comedy, forming almost a Who's Who of the political figures in it, and providing insight into their placement in Hell, Paradise or Purgatory.

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On March 30, 1282, as the church bells of Palermo were sounding vespers, a crowd of Sicilians fell on a party of French soldiers, the enforcers of Angevin rule over the island. Within minutes the French lay dead. The Palermo revolt spread quickly across Sicily, opposed by Frankish lords and the Italian clergy, and supported by Sicilian commoners, Aragonese infiltrators, and Byzantine spies. Against a complicated multinational backdrop, the noted medieval historian Steven Runciman deftly portrays the tangled world of Mediterranean politics in the 13th century, the apex of the Middle Ages.

Book Description:

On March 30, 1282, the Sicilian townsfolk of Palermo slaughtered the garrison and administration of their Angevin King. The massacre came at a climatic moment of thirteenth century Mediterranean history and its background is traced in this volume.

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Runciman
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