News came to the rulers of the empire that the Normans, with Melus as their leader, were ravaging Apulia. On hearing this the court adjudged him to be an outlaw, and ordered that on capture he should be beheaded. The next year Basil, called Boiannes, was appointed Catepan, and sent out with a strong force of Greeks. He was a man valiant in war. We think that Catepan means, in Greek, 'before all'. Whoever holds that office among the Greeks acts as the people's governor, arranging everything and dealing 'before all' with each person as they deserve.
In 1053 a Norman army defeats the Papal army that was supported by German and Lombard troops and captures the German aristocratic Pope Leo IX at the Battle of Civitate. Pope Leo IX was held hostage nearly until his death the following year. It was during this period of house arrest, that he issued a famous letter to to Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in which Leo IX proclaimed the paramountcy of the Western Papacy or the Holy See based on what were faulty or forged documents known as The Donation of Constantine. This led to the Great Schism of 1054 and the split between the Eastern Patriarchate into the Greek rite Byzantine church from the Western Roman church.
The account of the Battle of Civitate and the Pope's capture is related here by William of Apulia.
The result of the battle filled the pope with grief, and greatly lamenting he took refuge in the city. But the citizens did not receive him as was proper for they were afraid to displease the victorious Normans. The latter humbled themselves on bended knee before him, begging pardon. The pope received those prostrate before him kindly, and they all kissed his feet. He admonished them piously and blessed them, and lamenting greatly that he had spurned their offers of peace he prayed tearfully for his dead brothers.
Victory greatly raised the spirits of the Normans. Now no Apulian city remained in rebellion against them. All submitted and paid tribute. Count Humphrey then took revenge for the murder of his brother. He savagely punished all those who had been involved; he mutilated some, put others to the sword, and hanged many. Remembering Drogo's death he refused to grant mercy to anyone. The deep and burning grief which had descended upon him with his brother's murder remained strong, to the detriment of all. He subdued many cities. ....
For much of the next century the papacy comes under control of the Normans, and we find popes and antipopes who either French, in favor of the Normans installed. It was during this period that we also find the only English pope in history, Adrian IV (1150-1159), who influenced the English king Henry II to invade Ireland. The subsequent invasion and partial conquest of Southern Italy by Norman invaders is related in the captivating account of The Deeds of Robert Guiscard by William of Apulia.
Post-invasion Settlement in Italy
Late 11th century Norman expansion into the Arab held areas of Southern Italy and Sicily afforded the Abbot Desiderius to begin new church building on a grand scale that later influenced cathedral building at Cluny in France. Among Desiderius' projects was the Cathedral at Salerno (Duomo di Salerno) that combined features of Arabic and Norman architecture. Desiderius is an important figure in Italy during this period, for represents a conciliatory figure between the clergy in Italy and the Normans. His election to the Papacy as Victor II reflected the need for a Southern Italian pope. His papacy only lasted a short time, 1086-1087.
|Fig. 2 Crypt at the Cathedral of Salerno|
|Fig. 1 Campanile at the Cathedral of Salerno|
Source: Wikipedia common public domain license
Cattedrale e Duomo di Salerno (Official Website) in Italian