Sicily

An Island at the Crossroads of History

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0812995198

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 4321

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Critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history. “Sicily,” said Goethe, “is the key to everything.” It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily’s strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties. Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. John Julius Norwich’s engrossing narrative is the first to knit together all of the colorful strands of Sicilian history into a single comprehensive study. Here is a vivid, erudite, page-turning chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Writing with his customary deftness and humor, Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history—the Romans’ fascination with Greek civilization dates back to their sack of Sicily—and tells the story of one of the world’s most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way. This volume has been a long time coming—Norwich began to explore Sicily’s colorful history during his first visit to the island in the early 1960s. The dean of popular historians leads his readers through the millennia with the steady narrative hand of a master teacher or the world’s most learned tour guide. Like the island itself, Sicily is a book brimming with bold flavors that begs to be revisited again and again. Praise for Sicily “Suavely readable . . . The very model of a popular historian, [Norwich] writes to give pleasure to the common reader. And what pleasure it is.”—The Wall Street Journal “Entertaining on every page . . . There is something ancient and sorrowful in Sicily, ‘some dark, brooding quality,’ just as captivating as its spellbinding history or its beautiful and varied landscapes, from beaches to lemon groves, pine forests to volcanoes. . . . The most amiable and freewheeling of guides, Norwich will always find time for the amusing anecdote.”—The Sunday Times “Utterly engrossing . . . written with passion about the art and architecture of this magical island, filled with gossipy tidbits and sweeping historical theories.”—The Daily Beast “Dazzling . . . Norwich is an elegantly graceful and entertaining storyteller.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch “Charming . . . richly nuanced history relayed with enormous fondness.”—Kirkus Reviews “A brisk and always-lively tour.”—Open Letters Monthly “Norwich is deeply in love with Sicily. [His] boundless affection has inspired a determined effort to understand its painful past. The result is impressionistic, as love often is.”—The Times “Norwich sketches personalities vividly. . . . He does the island and the reader a generous service in providing such an amiable introduction.”—The Sunday Telegraph “Norwich tells [Sicily’s] long, sad but fascinating story with sympathy and brio.”—Literary Review From the Hardcover edition.

Sicily

Three Thousand Years of Human History

Author: Sandra Benjamin

Publisher: Steerforth

ISBN: 1586421816

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 2752

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Tourists, armchair travelers, and historians will all delight in this fluid narrative that can be read straight through, dipped into over time, or used as a reference guide to each period in Sicily’s fascinating tale. Emigration of people from Sicily often overshadows the importance of the people who immigrated to the island through the centuries. These have included several who became Sicily’s rulers, along with Jews, Ligurians, and Albanians. Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Hohenstaufens, Spaniards, Bourbons, the Savoy Kingdom of Italy and the modern era have all held sway, and left lasting influences on the island’s culture and architecture. Sicily’s character has also been determined by what passed it by: events that affected Europe generally, namely the Crusades and Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, remarkably had little influence on Italy’s most famous island. Maps, biographical notes, suggestions for further reading, a glossary, pronunciation keys, and much more make this unique book as essential as it is enjoyable. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Seeking Sicily

A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean

Author: John Keahey

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1429990678

Category: Travel

Page: 336

View: 798

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"Keahey's exploration of this misunderstood island offers a much-needed look at a much-maligned land."—Paul Paolicelli, author of Under the Southern Sun Sicily is the Mediterranean's largest and most mysterious island. Its people, for three thousand years under the thumb of one invader after another, hold tightly onto a culture so unique that they remain emotionally and culturally distinct, viewing themselves first as Sicilians, not Italians. Many of these islanders, carrying considerable DNA from Arab and Muslim ancestors who ruled for 250 years and integrated vast numbers of settlers from the continent just ninety miles to the south, say proudly that Sicily is located north of Africa, not south of Italy. Seeking Sicily explores what lies behind the soul of the island's inhabitants. It touches on history, archaeology, food, the Mafia, and politics and looks to nineteenth- and twentieth-century Sicilian authors to plumb the islanders' so-called Sicilitudine. This "culture apart" is best exemplified by the writings of one of Sicily's greatest writers, Leonardo Sciascia. Seeking Sicily also looks to contemporary Sicilians who have never shaken off the influences of their forbearers, who believed in the ancient gods and goddesses. Author John Keahey is not content to let images from the island's overly touristed villages carry the story. Starting in Palermo, he journeyed to such places as Arab-founded Scopello on the west coast, the Greek ruins of Selinunte on the southwest, and Sciascia's ancestral village of Racalmuto in the south, where he experienced unique, local festivals. He spent Easter Week in Enna at the island's center, witnessing surreal processions that date back to Spanish rule. And he learned about Sicilian cuisine in Spanish Baroque Noto and Greek Siracusa in the southeast, and met elderly, retired fishermen in the tiny east-coast fishing village of Aci Trezza, home of the mythical Cyclops and immortalized by Luchino Visconti's mid-1940s film masterpiece, La terra trema. He walked near the summit of Etna, Europe's largest and most active volcano, studied the mountain's role in creating this island, and looked out over the expanse of the Ionian Sea, marveling at the three millennia of myths and history that forged Sicily into what it is today.

Midnight In Sicily

On Art, Feed, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra

Author: Peter Robb

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466861290

Category: Travel

Page: 480

View: 1688

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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year From the author of M and A Death in Brazil comes Midnight in Sicily. South of mainland Italy lies the island of Sicily, home to an ancient culture that--with its stark landscapes, glorious coastlines, and extraordinary treasure troves of art and archeology--has seduced travelers for centuries. But at the heart of the island's rare beauty is a network of violence and corruption that reaches into every corner of Sicilian life: Cosa Nostra, the Mafia. Peter Robb lived in southern Italy for over fourteen years and recounts its sensuous pleasures, its literature, politics, art, and crimes.

The Great Cities in History

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 0500773599

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 5447

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A portrait of world civilization told through the stories of the world's greatest cities from ancient times to the present. Today, for the first time in history, the majority of people in the world live in cities. The implications and challenges associated with this fact are enormous. But how did we get here? From the origins of urbanization in Mesopotamia to the global metropolises of today, great cities have marked the development of human civilization. The Great Cities in History tells their stories, starting with the earliest, from Uruk and Memphis to Jerusalem and Alexandria. Next come the fabulous cities of the first millennium: Damascus and Baghdad, Teotihuacan and Tikal, and Chang’an, capital of Tang Dynasty China. The medieval world saw the rise of powerful cities such as Palermo and Paris in Europe, Benin in Africa, and Angkor in southeast Asia. The last two sections bring us from the early modern world, with Isfahan, Agra, and Amsterdam, to the contemporary city: London and New York, Tokyo and Barcelona, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo. The distinguished contributors, including Jan Morris, Michael D. Coe, Simon Schama, Orlando Figes, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Misha Glenny, Susan Toby Evans, and A. N. Wilson, evoke the character of each place—people, art and architecture, government—and explain the reasons for its success.

The Kingdom of Sicily, 1100-1250

A Literary History

Author: Karla Mallette

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812204794

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 1316

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When Muslim invaders conquered Sicily in the ninth century, they took control of a weakened Greek state in cultural decadence. When, two centuries later, the Normans seized control of the island, they found a Muslim state just entering its cultural prime. Rather than replace the practices and idioms of the vanquished people with their own, the Normans in Sicily adopted and adapted the Greco-Arabic culture that had developed on the island. Yet less than a hundred years later, the cultural and linguistic mix had been reduced, a Romance tradition had come to dominate, and Sicilian poets composed the first body of love lyrics in an Italianate vernacular. Karla Mallette has written the first literary history of the Kingdom of Sicily in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Where other scholars have separated out the island's literature along linguistic grounds, Mallette surveys the literary production in Arabic, Latin, Greek, and Romance dialects, in addition to the architectural remains, numismatic inscriptions, and diplomatic records, to argue for a multilingual, multicultural, and coherent literary tradition. Drawing on postcolonial theory to consider institutional and intellectual power, the exchange of knowledge across cultural boundaries, and the containment and celebration of the other that accompanies cultural transition, the book includes an extensive selection of poems and documents translated from the Arabic, Latin, Old French, and Italian. The Kingdom of Sicily, 1100-1250 opens up new venues for understanding the complexity of a place and culture at the crossroads of East and West, Islam and Christianity, tradition and innovation.

The Middle Sea

A History of the Mediterranean

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307387720

Category: History

Page: 720

View: 5061

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This lively and dramatic book brings roaring to life the grand sweep of 5,000 years of history in the cradle of civilization. A wonderfully illustrated account of the civilizations that rose and fell on the lands bordering the Mediterranean, The Middle Sea represents the culmination of a great historian’s unparalleled art and scholarship. John Julius Norwich provides brilliant portraits of the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the French, the Venetians, the Popes, and the pirates of the Gulf. Above all, he deftly traces the intermingling of ancient conflicts and modern sensibilities that shapes life today on the shores of the Middle Sea.

Sicily

A Cultural History

Author: Joseph Farrell

Publisher: Interlink Books

ISBN: 9781566569521

Category: Art

Page: 293

View: 5391

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An engaging introduction to a cultural giant. Long before it became an Italian offshore island, Sicily was the land in the center of the Mediterranean where the great civilizations of Europe and Northern Africa met. Sicily today is familiar and unfamiliar, modernized and unchanging. Visitors will find in an out-of-the-way town an Aragonese castle, will stumble across a Norman church by the side of a lesser travelled road, will see red Muslim-styles domes over a Christian shrine, will find a Baroque church of breathtaking beauty in a village, will catch a glimpse from the motorway of a solitary Greek temple on the horizon and will happen on a the celebrations of the patron saint of a run-down district of a city, and will stop and wonder. There is more to Sicily than the Godfather and the mafia.

The Popes

A History

Author: Viscount John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 144646850X

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 6213

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John Julius Norwich examines the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter (traditionally - but by no means historically - the first Pope) to the present. Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unquestionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable iniquity. One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was exhumed, clothed in pontifical vestments, propped up on a throne and subjected to trial. From the glories of Byzantium to the decay of Rome, from the Albigensian Heresy to controversy within the Church today, The Popes is superbly written, witty and revealing.

The Peoples of Sicily

A Multicultural Legacy

Author: Louis Mendola,Jacqueline Alio

Publisher: Trinacria Editions Llc

ISBN: 9780615796949

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 2350

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Can the eclectic medieval history of the world's most conquered island be a lesson for our age? This book is about more than Sicily. The focus of this 368 page general history to 1500 is the diversity of civilizations during the island's multicultural medieval period from 1060 to 1260. The volume includes 29 chapters plus appendices. Introductory background chapters begin in the Neolithic, continuing to the history of the contested island under Punics and Greeks. Every civilization that populated the island is covered, including Goths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Germans, Angevins, Aragonese and Jews, with profiles of important historical figures. Religions, law, geography and cuisine are also covered. There is a detailed chronology, reading list, suggested places to visit and sources. Medieval Sicily is viewed as an example of a tolerant, multicultural society and an inspiration for our times. Meet the peoples!

Absolute Monarchs

A History of the Papacy

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Random House Incorporated

ISBN: 0812978846

Category: Religion

Page: 512

View: 1415

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A comprehensive history of the papacy by the legendary British historian and author of the three-volume Byzantium series describes the defining relevance of papal authority to the Church, chronicling the unexpectedly violent and colorful historical events that have indelibly shaped the Pope's authority and station. Reprint. A best-selling book.

Four Princes

Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802189466

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 2027

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John Julius Norwich—“the very model of a popular historian” (Wall Street Journal)—is acclaimed for his distinctive ability to weave together a fascinating narrative through vivid detail, colorful anecdotes, and captivating characters. Here, he has crafted a bold tapestry of Europe and the Middle East in the early sixteenth century, when four legendary rulers towered over the era. Francis I of France was the personification of the Renaissance, and a highly influential patron of the arts and education. Henry VIII, who was not expected to inherit the throne but embraced the role with gusto, broke with the Roman Catholic Church and appointed himself head of the Church of England. Charles V was the most powerful industrious man of the time, and was unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor. Suleiman the Magnificent—who stood apart as a Muslim—brought the Ottoman Empire to its apogee of political, military, and economic power. Against the vibrant background of the Renaissance, these four men collectively shaped the culture, religion, and politics of their respective domains. With remarkable erudition, John Julius Norwich delves into this entertaining and layered history, indelibly depicting four dynamic characters and how their incredible achievements—and obsessions with one another—changed European history.

Palermo, City of Kings

The Heart of Sicily

Author: Jeremy Dummett

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 1784530832

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 3211

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Palermo - the capital of Sicily - is a destination with a difference. The city is a treasure trove of original monuments and works of art, combined with architecture of grand proportions. Yet it also has a grittier side, shown by the continuing influence of the mafia. Jeremy Dummett here provides a concise overview of Palermo's eventful history, together with a survey of its most important monuments and sites. He looks at the influences of the city's various ancient rulers - the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Normans - as well as its more recent incarnation as part of the Italian state. In addition to being an essential companion for visitors to Palermo, this book can be equally enjoyed as a standalone history of the city and its place at the heart of Sicily.

A History of Venice

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141936789

Category: History

Page: 704

View: 7366

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John Julius Norwich's dazzling history of Venice from its origins to its eighteenth century fall. 'Lord Norwich has loved and understood Venice as well as any other Englishman has ever done. He has put readers of his generation more in his debt than any other English writer' Peter Levi, The Sunday Times.

The Normans in Sicily

The Normans in the South 1016-1130 And, The Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Penguin Global

ISBN: 9780140152128

Category: History

Page: 793

View: 2922

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This omnibus volume is made up of John Julius Norwich's first two works of history published 20 years ago - The Normans in the South and The Kingdom in the Sun. The books tell the story of the dazzling Norman kingdom of Sicily founded in the 11th century by an enterprising band of adventurers from Normandy under Robert Guiscard. The state they founded was outstanding in medieval civilization.

Lonely Planet Sicily

Author: Lonely Planet,Gregor Clark,Cristian Bonetto

Publisher: Lonely Planet

ISBN: 1786577321

Category: Travel

Page: N.A

View: 8986

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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Sicily is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Soak up history in charming Syracuse, hike Stromboli's lava-strewn crater, or visit crumbling castles in gorgeous hill towns; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Sicily and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Sicily: Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - cuisine, history, politics, customs/etiquette, literature, cinema, the mafia, art, architecture Over 60 maps Covers Palermo, Aeolian Islands, Western Sicily, Tyrrhenian Coast, Ionian Coast, Syracuse, Central Sicily, Mediterranean Coast and more eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones) Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews Add notes to personalise your guidebook experience Seamlessly flip between pages Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash Embedded links to recommendations' websites Zoom-in maps and images Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Sicily, our most comprehensive guide to Sicily, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled. Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet Southern Italy. About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, gift and lifestyle books and stationery, as well as an award-winning website, magazines, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in. TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Syracuse, City of Legends

A Glory of Sicily

Author: Jeremy Dummett

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857730614

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 4742

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Dubbed ‘the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all’ by Cicero, Syracuse also boasts the richest history of anywhere in Sicily. Syracuse, City of Legends - the first modern historical guide to the city - explores Syracuse’s place within the island and the wider Mediterranean and reveals why it continues to captivate visitors today, more than two and a half millennia after its foundation. For more than 1600 years, from its settlement by Greeks in 733 BC, Syracuse was the leading city in Sicily and at times one of the most powerful in the world. As a Greek city-state it competed with Athens and Carthage and was for a while an important ally of Rome. When Sicily became Rome’s first province, Syracuse was the island’s capital and was an important centre for early Christianity. Under Byzantine rule, the Emperor Constans II even moved his court to Syracuse for five years. Capture by the Arabs in 878 AD marked the end of ancient Syracuse but the city continued to evolve and during the Spanish era Caravaggio created one of his masterpieces, The Burial of Santa Lucia, in the city. After a devastating earthquake in 1693, a major rebuilding programme gave the city the characteristic Baroque appearance it retains today. Over its long and colourful life, Syracuse has been home to many creative figures, including Archimedes, the greatest mathematician of the ancient world, as well as host to Plato, Scipio Africanus, conqueror of Hannibal, and Caravaggio, who have all contributed to the rich history and atmosphere of this beguiling and distinctive Sicilian city. Generously illustrated, Syracuse, City of Legends also offers detailed descriptions of the principal monuments from each period in the city’s life, explaining their physical location as well as their historical context. This vivid and engaging history weaves together the history, architecture and archaeology of Syracuse and will be an invaluable companion for anyone visiting the city as well as a compelling introduction to its ancient and modern history.

France

A Short History: from Gaul to de Gaulle

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: John Murray

ISBN: 9781473679634

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 6196

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Mediterranean Island Landscapes

Natural and Cultural Approaches

Author: Ioannis N. Vogiatzakis,Gloria Pungetti,A.M. Mannion

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9781402050640

Category: Science

Page: 369

View: 5865

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Mediterranean islands exhibit many similarities in their biotic ecological, physical and environmental characteristics. There are also many differences in terms of their human colonization and current anthropogenic pressures. This book addresses in three sections these characteristics and examines the major environmental changes that the islands experienced during the Quaternary period. The first section provides details on natural and cultural factors which have shaped island landscapes. It describes the environmental and cultural changes of the Holocene and their effects on biota, as well as on the current human pressures that are now threats to the sustainability of the island communities. The second section focuses on the landscapes of the largest islands namely Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Cyprus, Crete, Malta and the Balearics. Each island chapter includes a special topic reflecting a particular characteristic of the island. Part three presents strategies for action towards sustainability in Mediterranean islands and concludes with a comparison between the largest islands. Despite several published books on Mediterranean ecosystems/landscapes there is no existing book dealing with Mediterranean islands in a collective manner. Students, researchers and university lecturers in environmental science, geography, biology and ecology will find this work invaluable as a cross-disciplinary text while planners and politicians will welcome the succinct summaries as background material to planning decisions.

The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130-1194

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 057134609X

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 5371

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When on Christmas Day, 1130, Roger de Hauteville was crowned first King of Sicily, the island entered a golden age. Norman and Italian, Greek and Arab, Lombard, Englishman and Jew all contributed to a culture that was fantastically cosmopolitan; and to an atmosphere of racial and religious toleration unparalleled in Europe. But sixty-four years later, to the day, when the bastard King Tancred was defeated, the sun set on the Sicilian Kingdom. In this second volume of John Julius Norwich's scintillating history of the Normans in Sicily, Norwich describes the 'happiest and most glorious chapter of the island's history.'