• 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...


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.


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.


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. 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.

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

    Philip's constant difficulty with finance prevented the Inquisition from having the resources to stop the flow of banned books into Spain, they were overworked and their duties too extensive. Castile had no policing installed so there was no way of apprehending law breakers, in fact Philips own library contained numerous illegal works.

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

    peasants were unwilling to sell their produce for paper money increasing the food shortages. In this time, it was decided by the Bolsheviks to revert back to a set of controls and rules known as War Communism, which was introduced in October 1918.

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

    Fuller wrote about this topic with a great passion as he recognized its widespread emotional implications for the soldiers of vast armies. The changes in the approach to leadership were perhaps an inevitable response to increased scale and mechanization,

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

    The concept of a united Malay nation was alien to them, and thus, the concept of an Indonesian-Malayan state further failed to excite feelings of belonging. In response to this, Ibrahim failed to modify his goals to suit the populace, unlike leaders in other countries such as Sukarno in Indonesia,

  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 ...

    participation was secured by the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, and Gandhi was invited to attend as the official representative. During the Conference, Gandhi proved divisive, claiming that the Untouchables were Hindus and should not be treated as a ?minority?, a claim which was rejected by all other Indian representatives.

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

    (Martin Luther: Saint and Sinner, 134) The German nobles adopted the new ideas of the Lutheran doctrine that enabled them to appropriate Church property, challenging the authority of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, thus challenging the right of ownership of land. The acquisition of land and church was synonymous.

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