Roger I

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Roger I

(Roger Guiscard), c.1031–1101, Norman conqueror of Sicily; son of Tancred de Hauteville (see NormansNormans,
designation for the Northmen, or Norsemen, who conquered Normandy in the 10th cent. and adopted Christianity and the customs and language of France. Abandoning piracy and raiding, they adopted regular commerce and gave much impetus to European trade.
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). He went to Italy in 1058 to join his brother, Robert GuiscardRobert Guiscard
, c.1015–1085, Norman conqueror of S Italy, a son of Tancred de Hauteville (see Normans). Robert joined (c.1046) his brothers in S Italy and fought with them to expel the Byzantines.
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, in conquering Apulia and Calabria from the Byzantines. Between 1061 and 1091 he took Sicily from the Arabs. After the fall (1072) of Palermo he became count of Sicily under Robert's suzerainty. Robert's death (1085) left Roger the most powerful Norman lord in S Italy, and he ruled the various ethnic groups in his feudal domain justly and tolerantly. In 1098, Roger was made papal legate. His son succeeded him as Roger IIRoger II,
c.1095–1154, count (1101–30) and first king (1130–54) of Sicily, son and successor of Roger I. He conquered (1127) Apulia and Salerno and sided with the antipope Anacletus II against Pope Innocent II. In 1130, Anacletus crowned Roger king.
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.

Bibliography

See J. J. Norwich, The Other Conquest (1967).