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The Sicilian Vespers: A History of the Mediterranean World in the Later Thirteenth Century (Canto) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. Juli 1992

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  • Taschenbuch: 368 Seiten
  • Verlag: Cambridge University Press; Auflage: Reprint (31. Juli 1992)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0521437741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521437745
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,8 x 2,8 x 21,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 476.767 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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On March 30, 1282, as the church bells of Palermo were sounding vespers, a crowd of Sicilians fell on a party of French soldiers, the enforcers of Angevin rule over the island. Within minutes the French lay dead. The Palermo revolt spread quickly across Sicily, opposed by Frankish lords and the Italian clergy, and supported by Sicilian commoners, Aragonese infiltrators, and Byzantine spies. Against a complicated multinational backdrop, the noted medieval historian Steven Runciman deftly portrays the tangled world of Mediterranean politics in the 13th century, the apex of the Middle Ages.


'History in the grand manner, though always with a light touch.' The Observer

'Runciman wrote with wonderful eloquence, but he never overwrote. His narrative flows uncluttered by needless reference notes - there are some, but they nearly all refer to primary sources. His is the supreme example of a well-stocked mind not needing to show off all his wares, nor does he empede the central story by tedious allusion to secondary sources.' Daily Telegraph

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Von Thorsten Heitzmann am 18. Januar 2012
Format: Taschenbuch
Steven Runciman's book are among the best you can find if you are interested in history. They are not always easy to read, but they are full of information, of anecdotes - and full of literature references. Before going to Sicily (or if you're interested in the Hohenstaufen emperors), read this book. Before going to Istanbul, read "The Fall of Constantinople in 1453" and before you start living in the modern world you should have read Runciman's "History of the Crusades".
Your life will be different afterwards.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 28. März 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
A study of Sicily in the 12th and 13th century, when the island was at the center of Mediterranean (and European) politics. Very entertaining, the best book on the subject.
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51 von 52 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Sicilian History Expertly Done 22. Oktober 2003
Von Peter McGivney - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
In the early spring of 1282 a great fleet lay at anchor in the harbor of Palermo, Sicily. The commander of the fleet, Charles of Anjou, brother of King (and later Saint) Louis of France, and by the blessing of the Pope and his own political machinations, King of the Two Sicilies, planned to attack the Byzantine capital of Constantinople and re-establish the Latin Empire, with himself as Emperor. For Charles, a man of formidable military and administrative talent, and considerable political ruthlessness, the possibility of being an emperor, of dominating the Mediterranean world, must have seemed so close that he could not fail to grasp the opportunity. And then everything changed.
The Sicilian Vespers, by the late Sir Steven Runciman, is the story of the late 13th century European world that created Charles of Anjou. Runciman describes in considerable, and very interesting detail, the interplay of politics and religion at that time, especially the bare knuckle politicking of the Popes, whose attempts at creating a universal Christendom ruled by the papacy eventually lessened respect not only for the individual popes involved, but for the papacy as an institution as well. The interweaving lines of narrative come together on the evening of March 29th, Easter Monday, of 1282, when a group of drunken Frenchmen arrived outside the Church of the Holy Spirit in Palermo just as the crowd of worshippers was going in for the Vespers service. One of the Frenchmen made advances, or actually tried to rape, a young Sicilian woman. Her outraged husband killed the Frenchman, and when the Frenchmen's friends drew their swords, the crowd jumped them and killed them as well. The oppressed Sicilians then went on a rampage through the streets of Palermo, screaming Moranu il Franchkisi [Death to the French!] and slaughtering every Frenchman they could find, including French priests, nuns, and monks, as well as Sicilian women who had married Frenchmen. The rebellion rapidly spread to other cities across Sicily.
Runciman expertly weaves together the story of what happened and why it happened and what the consequences of the great rebellion were for Charles and the Sicilians and for a papacy more interested in politics than religion. There might be a better book on this subject somewhere, but I tend to doubt it; Runciman writes in clear and understandable English, a talent not usually cultivated by academic historians in the United States, and he knows his subject backwards and forwards. I would recommend this book highly to anyone interested in the Middle Ages, and to anyone interested in how history ought to be written.
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Byzantine diplomacy was the best in the world... 15. Februar 2002
Von M. A Newman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Sir Steven Runciman was one of the leading scholars of the Middle Ages. He also had a profound understanding of diplomacy and warfare. He is not only the author of this book, but also several books on the Crusades and Byzantium. However, this I feel is his best book. First of all it is a wonderful story. This is how the Byzantine empire managed with no army, no navy, very little money, but with a great deal of diplomacy and intelligence to prevent a planned invasion from the mightiest power in 100 years. This book should be required reading for all statesmen, would be statesmen, and military planners. Runciman describes here how things can go wrong regardless of ability, manpower, and money when one is faced with a very clever foe.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Well researched, well written piece of scholastic history 19. September 2001
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I was pleasantly surprised to find this a well-informed piece of modern historical anayalsis of the later thirteenth Mediterranean history. The book focuses primarily on the careers of both Manfred and Charles and their struggle to maintain an outdated concept of ancient imperialism. More than anything this book clearly shows the final transistions from an autocratical imperial Europe to a papal-dominated fractured set of European vassal states.
It is interesting for its succinct prose and deliberate factual outlay. Rather than seeking to impress upon his own ideas, Runciman deliberately tells us the history from a Latin perspective without impression of telling a story with all its propagandistic baggage. Don't be fooled by the usual publisher gumph on the back. The incident in Palermo in 1282 is used as a focal point for the history rather than being the main point of discussion and the work succeeds all the more for it.
A hugely impressive piece of scholastic history and, I would think, a vital book for any serious student of thirteenth century Mediterranean history.
11 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very good narrative of the origins of the uprising 17. September 2002
Von Juan Alberto Diaz Wiechers - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I am a fan of Sir Steven Runciman's books. This one must rank together with the same author's account on the "Fall of Constantinople" and the "History of the Crusades". In this case, Sir Steven provides an ample spectrum of separate developments, along the whole Mediterranean, from Spain to Constantinople, that drove, first to Charles of Anjou's accesion to the Sicilian throne, and later on to his downfall, with the due assistence of the Eastern Roman emperor. The origins of the now famous uprising are not simple, and are extremely well explained by Sir Steven, in an easy to understand language. But, considering the very good comments provided by other readers, there is not so much I can add on the great virtues of this work.
If you are interested in the historical background of Sicily, together with this wonderful book I also recomend the very interesting book "The Normans in Sicily", by Lord Norwich, that itself is a two volume book with the narrative of the settlement of French Normans in Southern Italy, their reconquest of Sicily, and the establishment of a Sicilian-based multicultural kingdom. The end of that mighty kingdom, and the coming resentment of all Sicilians against foreign intruders, provoked the Sicilian Vespers.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Political narrative at its best 10. April 2005
Von Stephen Balbach - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is a political narrative history in the Med during the second half of the 13th century, during Dantes lifetime. If you've read "Comedy" this provides ample background for many of the souls Dante encounters. This book is helpful not only in the historical details, but the pace of life in the Middle Ages: how long things took to unfold with slow communications and transport, and how quickly and often fortunes change. One can see the rise of early nationalism, and the beginning of the end of the Medieval Church. Overall an excellent window in to the medieval world. The majority of the book is background leading up to the Vespers (occuring on page 214 of 290), of which he calls the central element of the book. Yet, Runciman speaks only briefly of the Vespers as a popular social rising, %99 of book is the narrartion of the actions of aristocratic individuals, not a social history, so for that inconsistency I give it a 4 instead of 5 stars. In my opinion this is really a book about Charles of Anjou and the Angevin expansion in the Med., with the Vespers as a theme to give it a more popular appeal, but this does not take away from the value and enjoyability of the work, if this period interests you it is highly readable and real page turner.
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