Sicily and the German Empire essays
• Roger de Hauteville (1061-1091)
i) Powerful Norman Lords sought control of Sicily. Pope Leo IX sent an army to prevent them form gaining power, but the attempt failed.In 1059 Pope Nicholas made the best of a bad situation by crowning Roger de Hauteville ruler of Sicily in exchange for nominal vows of allegiance.By 1071 Roger defeated the occupying Muslims and Greeks and took complete control of Sicily.
i) Roger issued scattered "island" fiefs to his vassals, thus ensuring that no other lord would have a centralized base of power.
ii) He further discouraged rebellion by outlawing private warfare.Without squabbles among his own vassals he was free to concentrate on improving the economy.
iii) He adopted the diwan, a sophisticated financial record keeping system previously used by the Muslims.
i) Organized the economy to benefit the state via monopolies.Increased state revenues allowed for increased military funding.
ii) Established a fair judicial system that was open to community appeals.
• Frederick II Hohenstaufen (1212-1250)
i) In order to gain the crown of the German Empire, Frederick promised the Pope that he would relinquish control of Sicily to the Papacy.However, he reversed that decision once he was crowned.
ii) Placed all castles and towns under royal administration.
iii) In 1231 he instituted the Constitutions of Melphi, which made all courts subordinate to the royal court.
iv) With these two reforms, Frederick had complete control over the nobility, townspeople, and the judiciary.
v) In 1224 founded the University of Naples to train the growing bureaucracy.This gave him more capable rulers.
vi) Because he ruled so well and so fairly, he gained the peoples consent to regular taxation- very rare and hard to achieve in these times as taxes were customarily levied only during emergencies.