• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Enlightened and tolerant of religious difference.' How far does this statement accurately describe Sicily under Roger II and his successors up to 1189?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked 'Enlightened and tolerant of religious difference.' How far does this statement accurately describe Sicily under Roger II and his successors up to 1189? Sicily during this time period was generally a quite accepting place, with Roger II and his successors seeming encouraging increased multiculturalism and acceptance of Greeks, Muslims and Jews. This can be seen in the contrasts of art and culture to Northern Europe and the new laws and administration that were introduced, especially by Roger II. Although Roger was in fact a Norman Christian this did greatly influence the way in which he governed, under this new type of leadership, tolerant of difference, Sicily thrived becoming a modern-like state. It may be argued that the title statement is accurate of Sicily as at this time even though Roger was a Christian and thus Christianity dominated the island, the art and culture present shows a great tolerance and even reliance on other religions and cultures. As with most middle age Christian kings, many churches were built across the island, however the difference lies within the styling of the churches. ...read more.

Middle

The tolerance of different religions can also be seen from statistics presented by historian David Abulafia, whom suggests that Sicily?s population was 55% Muslim, 5% Jewish and 40% Christian of which remained similar throughout his reign. If Roger had little tolerance this would not be so. Many thrived under Roger?s multiculturalist ideologies, such as the Arabic cotton manufacturing industry. Roger the II, is one of the first kings to properly establish new laws and writing them down. These laws may seem lacking in tolerance. The Assizes of Ariano contains a law of Apostasy, punishing those whom abandon the Catholic faith, with little exception. This can be seen as Phillip of Mahdia renounces the Christian faith and as such is burnt at the stake, this is surprising as he was very high up in Roger?s court. However this law was not applicable to those who stayed with their religions and as such many members of the Kings court who kept their religion such as George of Antioch who managed to rise high in the Kings court. ...read more.

Conclusion

Nevertheless his thirst for knowledge is still clear and his interest in different cultures clear. His thirst goes to such an extent that he even hired a famous diver to explore the depth of the Straits of Messina in order to discover whether the Greek myths of Scylla and Charydbis, even if this is not true it still acts as a representation for his endeavour of enlightenment. His tolerance for religious difference can also be seen as he is taught by Greek and Arabic monks whom he did not dismiss from his court as many kings would?ve done before him. Historians also suggest that Roger may?ve been quad-lingual, speaking French, Latin, Greek and Arabic, although this is unclear and hard to confirm. In conclusion, ?Enlightened and tolerant of religious difference? is highly representative of Sicily under Roger II and his successors. Sicily was populated by a diverse range of people of which the ratio did not change through this time period. The laws he passed were modern and worthy of even today?s society. Roger?s thirst for knowledge built also built bridges to enlightenment. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. How has the nature of leadership changed over the period 1790-1945?

    fight, the less mechanical must be the spirit which controls them," displays a real sympathy for the soldiers but is ultimately an unrealistic ideal to uphold because the breakdown of personal relationships between general and soldier and an effective mechanization of mind was an essentially unconscious and "natural" response to a world changed by the pervasive force of technological advance.

  2. Lenins Economic Policies lacked consistency in the period 1918-1924. How far would you ...

    most of these people lived so it was basically just a paper measure. However, these policies were not able to be sustained. After the treaty of Breast-Litovsk and the spread of the civil war, the Bolsheviks had a shortage of industrial plant, arable land and raw materials.

  1. How effective was the leadership provided by prominent individual nationalists in Malaya?

    the peasants, Ibrahim did not make a conscious effort to engage the peasantry in his ideals. Thus, he failed in gaining popular support, and was ineffective as a leader in this aspect. Ibrahim also lacked the organisational skills to expand and maintain a large scale political organisation.

  2. Tudor Exam

    He was Edward V's enforcer so killed his own brother to help him he also stabbed Henry VI to get his brother in power. He then felt he deserved the crown when his brother died. b) Henry had foreign support at Bosworth which helped him defeat Richard.

  1. How successful was Philip II in implementing his religious policies?

    He supported the decrees enthusiastically, a series of energetic and active bishops were appointed, but however the Church was surprisingly unsupportive; the Pope being against too much change to the Catholic religion, fearing he would lose power. Relations with the Papacy would prove to be difficult for Philip throughout his

  2. Alexander II is sometimes called the Tsar Liberator. Is this an accurate interpretation of ...

    Moreover the serf owners would exploit serf labour to produce cheap grain for the market. However due the lack of transportation in Russia, serf owners were forced to sell produce at local markets instead of the bigger markets causing prices for produce to be very low which in affect effecting the economical growth of Russia.

  1. In the context of India in the 1840s to 1947, how far can independence ...

    arrested in 1942, for condemning Indian involvement in the war, Churchill felt Gandhi should be treated like anyone else and let to die if he went on hunger strike. This contempt hampered any progress which the nationalist movement could have made with the government, as ?the personal qualities, political capacity and national cause of Gandhi were (all)

  2. Discuss the impact of religious change on European society.

    All former Holy Roman church property, and all of the subjects, were gained as property of the Nobility, thus increasing their wealth and power. ( http://members.aol.com/RAToepfer/webdoc7x.htm) Meanwhile in the science community during 1564-1642, Galileo had found out that many previously held beliefs about nature to be false.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work