- Nov 2010
- Western Eurasia
The muslims had no lack of local christian allies in Italy either (like Euphemios in Sicily helping the initial invasion), but yes i think they could have problems recieving sufficient backup from Africa, and they were also too often busy playing civil war with each other.I think you need to ask yourself why they conquered Spain. They had a ready-made ally in Ceuta/Tangier, the ex-Bizantine governor now part of the Visigothic sphere. You had a fair number of disaffected Goths, probably an agreement with repressed jews. You then had a small stretch of water between Ceuta and Algeciras and the former imperial ships to ferry them over. You also had access to local berber/mauri troops requiring loot.
None of this applies to 'Italy' as far as I know so the 'Spanish' option was much much easier. What I have read is that they needed the old imperial ships in Ceuta because their own ships were tied up fighting in the central Med.
Not connected to the Sicilian muslims, rather to the Andalusians, but it was also quite interesting how could those guys (probably a small group) establish and maintain a base for almost a century in Fraxinetum and disturbing North Italy too from there.