restricted access The Normans in Sicily: the Normans in the South 1016-1130 and The kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194 (review)
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Short notices 181 M a r e n b o n , John, Later medieval philosophy (1150-1350): an introduction, London and N e w York, Routledge, 1991; rpt; paper; pp. xiii, 237; R.R.P. AUS$32.95 [distributed in Australia by the Law Book Company]. The author of this bookrightiydescribes it as an introduction to, rather than a history of, later medieval philosophy. Thefirstof the two parts does indeed contain a good deal of history in providing an informative guide to the setting in which philosophy came to be practised in the latter Middle Ages: the growth and organisation of the universities of Paris and Oxford, the characteristic forms Of inquiry, teaching, and writing in philosophy which emerged, the development of logic, the main sources of medieval philosophical thought, the place of philosophy in the Arts Faculty and, not least its problematic relationship with theology over the period as a whole. The considerably longer second part, by contrast consists of the study of one specific but far-reaching topic in medieval philosophy, the nature of (intellectual) knowledge examined in relation to its sources in Greek and Arabic philosophy and its treatment in the works of major thinkers: Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham in particular. Marenbon describes his approach in the second part as 'historical analysis', in short, informed philosophical inquiry which is sensitive to historical context. This approach is less new than the author supposes in contemporary phUosophy as a whole, though it would be true to say that it has not been so common in analytic philosophy. In any case, the two parts of the book are complementary rather than opposed. The study as a whole is an excellent introductory guide, with an extended bibliography, for anyone who would wish to study philosophy in the later Middle Ages. The appearance of this paperback edition is very welcome. Paul Crittenden School of Philosophy University of Sydney Norwich, John Julius, The Normans in Sicily: the Normans in the South 1016-1130 and The kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194, London, Penguin, 1992; rpt; paper; pp. xix, 793; 36 plates, 4 genealogical tables, 5 maps; R.R.P. AUS$45.00. This is the second of the three massive companion volumes of the historical writings of Lord Norwich to be published by Penguin, the others being A 182 Short notices history of Venice (1983) and a history of Byzantium, currently in writing which two volumes, Byzantium: the early centuries and Byzantium: the apogee, have already been been published (1988 and 1991). Like A history of Venice, The Normans in Sicily is a combination of two separate volumes, The Normans in the South 1016-1130 (1967), also published as The other conquest in the U.S.A., and The kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194 (1970). Norwich neither pretends to be, nor is, an original or innovative scholar. But he is an extremely fine story-teller. With then emphasis on narrative, the influence of human personality on history, compendious inclusion of detail, and lack of critical analysis, his books most remind one of Stephen Runciman's History of the Crusades. Even at the time of then first publication the two books on the Normans in south Italy and Sicily did not break new ground and, in some ways, they are now quite dated. For example, the picture they present of the sucess of the Normans in establishing then rale over a heterogeneous population of Jews, Muslims, Greeks, and Italians, and in securing harmonious racialrelationships,needs to be severely modified in the light of the researches of Aziz Ahmad (A history of Islamic Sicily, 1973), Jeremy Johns (The Muslims of Norman Sicily c. 1060—c. 1194, 1983), and David Abulafia (The end of Muslim Sicily', in J. Powell, ed., Muslims under Latin rule 1100-1300, 1990), amongst many others. Likewise, Norwich severely underestimates the degree and rapidity of immigration of northern Italians to the South after its conquest by the Normans and the influence there of both the bourgeoisie of the northern republics and northern feudal nobility increasingly dominating the aristocracy of the Norman realm. Although they cannot compete in scholarship with the analytical precision of Donald Matthew's The...