We'll follow up with our review of Normans and their empire by developing a project and research paper.

Develop a thesis or main topic sentence and explore the theme throughout your  paper.

Suggested themes and topics: Choose no more than one or two!
1.  Compare the iconography or decorative scheme of the Monreale Cathedral in Sicily from the 12th century with that of the painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo in 1508-1512.  Why do both incorporate scenes of the tale of Adam and Eve, the expulsion from paradise, and the Noah and the Flood cycle?

2.  In what ways was Norman policy in Italy and Sicily a project of cooperation and religious tolerance?  In what ways were religious and ethnic identity acknowledged or disregarded by the Normans?  Are the arts a useful way to better understand conditions and cultural relations during or after the Norman occupation and rule over southern Italy and Sicily?

3.  What does the Bayeux Tapestry inform about the relations of power in the 11th century?  What evidence of everyday or ordinary life is also present in the Bayeux tapestry?

4.  Examine the decorative scheme of the Capella Palatina (Royal Chapel) at Palermo, Italy.  Use the website guide on the Capella Palatina found here.

5.  A reading and discussion of the Italian writer, Boccaccio (1313-1375 CE) and his collection of stories, The Decameron, and specifically the story of Gerbino, the son of King William II (Guglielmo in this excerpt) Day Four, Fourth Novel. Gerbino has fallen in love with a Muslim Princess, the daughter of the King of Tunis.  Write a short synopsis of the plot and explain how this tale is related to the historical relations between Normans and Arabs.

Look through this blog.

How we'll do this together!
1)  Computer lab session - we'll schedule one or more computer lab sessions.  We'll also practice using the sources on the Normans: the Bayeux Tapestry; primary sources and locating research articles from databases.
2)  Divide into groups of 3 or 4.  Help each other find sources and discuss what you find.
3)  Document your sources and avoid plagiarism.  Minimize use of quotations but provide a source when you do use them.
5)  Turn in a draft by the end of Week 4 (3-4 pages minimum).  I'll return comments and we'll discuss how we can develop your project further.
6)  Project and summary presentation will be due by 7th week of class.
7)  A short research paper (minimum of 6-8 pages double-spaced) that summarizes your research and findings must also be turned in by the 7th week.  Include citations in MLA style format with a Works Cited Page.

The Normans in Europe: an Introduction

The power of the Norman kingdoms and empire from the late 11th to 12th century reflects a greater concentration of land ownership by the ari...