Norman Kings of Sicily and the Rise of the Anti-Islamic Critique

Baptized Sultans

  • Joshua C. Birk

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Joshua C. Birk
    Pages 1-32
  3. Joshua C. Birk
    Pages 81-138
  4. Joshua C. Birk
    Pages 207-263
  5. Joshua C. Birk
    Pages 265-301
  6. Joshua C. Birk
    Pages 303-324
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 325-371

About this book


This book is an investigative study of Christian and Islamic relations in the kingdom of Sicily during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It has three objectives. First, it establishes how and why the Norman rulers of Sicily, all of whom were Christians, incorporated Muslim soldiers, farmers, scholars, and bureaucrats into the formation of their own royal identities and came to depend on their Muslim subjects to project and enforce their political power. Second, it examines how the Islamic influence within the Sicilian court drew little scrutiny, and even less criticism, from intellectuals in the wider world of Latin Christendom during the time period. Finally, it contextualizes and explains the eventual emergence of Christian popular violence against Muslims in Sicily in the latter half of the twelfth century and the evolution of a wider discourse of anti-Islamic sentiment throughout Western Europe.


Anti-Islamic thought in medieval Europe Christianity and Islam Roger I Islamic influence within the Sicilian court Christian violence against Muslims

Authors and affiliations

  • Joshua C. Birk
    • 1
  1. 1.Smith CollegeNorthamptonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-47041-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-47042-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site