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Old January 10th, 2017, 07:52 AM   #1

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Northern Italian and Milanese knights fighting for Kingdom of Sicily?


Hi, from what I've been reading recently, during the reign of Frederick II many Milanese nobles were given titles and lands in Sicily, why exactly were so many feudal lords brought to Sicily and what was their motivation for coming?

If anyone could provide any good books or articles related to this subject I would appreciate it.thanks.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 04:40 PM   #2

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I can't think of any extremely relevant books on the particular subject but I know several families in Lombardy and Milan were Imperialists as opposed to Papists and thus favored by Frederick who fought decades long campaigns against the Roman Popes. Despite Milan generally opposing Frederick's expansion and wars in Italy it wasn't universal among the leading families many of whom benefited not only by Frederick's patronage but in the rapidly shifting political landscapes of Italy there were many advantages to maintaining relations with both Pope and Emperor.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 12:12 AM   #3

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I would have thought Sicily was awash with Norman nobles? To stand any chance of keeping the newly gained island - gained by marching in an army - he would need to flood the place with sympathisers.

Their motivation was of course, lands, money, all that sort of thing.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 04:29 AM   #4

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Several known noble lords from Milan have left historical traces in Sicily, I can mention es example the Lofaso or Faso family, which is an ancient Sicilian noble family, but actually it came from Milan, since under Frederick Antonio del Faso became governor of Caltanissetta, a Sicilian town.

He obtained this thanks to an Imperial privilege on September 10th, 1243CE.

I tend to agree that the Emperor wanted vassals, governors and lords who he considered "friendly" in the Southern regions of the peninsula.

About books regarding this matter, you should enlarge the perspective and check works about the history of the Sicilian nobility.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 09:09 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
I would have thought Sicily was awash with Norman nobles? To stand any chance of keeping the newly gained island - gained by marching in an army - he would need to flood the place with sympathisers.

Their motivation was of course, lands, money, all that sort of thing.
There weren't enough Norman nobles especially a century after the conquest when the Normans had many choices and weren't all so 'Norman' anymore.

Especially relating to the conquest of southern Italy there were only a few Norman families which pretty quickly married into Italian families and weren't so Norman by the time of Frederick II.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 12:15 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ichon View Post
There weren't enough Norman nobles especially a century after the conquest when the Normans had many choices and weren't all so 'Norman' anymore.

Especially relating to the conquest of southern Italy there were only a few Norman families which pretty quickly married into Italian families and weren't so Norman by the time of Frederick II.
Possibly 'Norman' was the wrong term. i'm suggesting that he needed to populate Sicily with friendly nobles as he'd just taken over a country by force and didn't have much in the way of political allies of any kind.

Would that be fair? (You know more than me on this, it's just a suggestion)
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Old January 13th, 2017, 08:25 AM   #7

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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Several known noble lords from Milan have left historical traces in Sicily, I can mention es example the Lofaso or Faso family, which is an ancient Sicilian noble family, but actually it came from Milan, since under Frederick Antonio del Faso became governor of Caltanissetta, a Sicilian town.

He obtained this thanks to an Imperial privilege on September 10th, 1243CE.

I tend to agree that the Emperor wanted vassals, governors and lords who he considered "friendly" in the Southern regions of the peninsula.

About books regarding this matter, you should enlarge the perspective and check works about the history of the Sicilian nobility.
What about the surname Balsamo?

And what did these feudal lords manage to bring to the table, were they warriors and were capable of bringing knights into the fold to even the balance for Frederick II?

And I'm sorry, but what books should I read about this in regards to Sicilian nobility?
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Old January 16th, 2017, 09:10 AM   #8

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Also does anyone have any pictures or articles on the Milanese knights who came to Sicily and how their armament and tactics differed from the Sicilian nobility?
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Old January 16th, 2017, 07:56 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by Polynikes View Post
Also does anyone have any pictures or articles on the Milanese knights who came to Sicily and how their armament and tactics differed from the Sicilian nobility?
Milan had a good trade connection with Flanders and northern France starting around this time the passes thru the western Alps were maintained so Milan copied many of the northern European styles that Normans would have been using. This is before the peak of Milanese armor industry but Milan was already well established arms maker.

I don't have huge amount of resources to back this up so I am interested in your search but I'd guess that Sicilian knights would actually have more influence from more exotic places such as Africa, Byzantium, and Levant compared to Milan which would likely be heavily influenced by local styles and those from Flanders which were considered superior fashion at the time.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #10

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Milan had a good trade connection with Flanders and northern France starting around this time the passes thru the western Alps were maintained so Milan copied many of the northern European styles that Normans would have been using. This is before the peak of Milanese armor industry but Milan was already well established arms maker.

I don't have huge amount of resources to back this up so I am interested in your search but I'd guess that Sicilian knights would actually have more influence from more exotic places such as Africa, Byzantium, and Levant compared to Milan which would likely be heavily influenced by local styles and those from Flanders which were considered superior fashion at the time.
Hmm, that sounds interesting thanks for the info. Do you have any contemporary diagrams of how 'native' Sicilian knights would have looked like in comparison to the Milanese mercenaries that served Frederick II?

I'd also be interested in what AlpinLuke has to say about this as well.
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