The Battle of Civitate

Battle of Civitate

One of the most important and yet unheralded battles in world history, Civitate (1053) pitted Normans against Lombards, Swabians, Byzantines, and a host of others in Southern Italy. The Great Schism (1054), the Battle of Manzikert (1070), and the First Crusade (1096) came as a result.

By Stephen Harris


Many people know about the Norman Conquest of England. The Battle of Hastings is one of the most famous events in medieval history and possibly even world history. It transformed England, and by transforming England, changed the world. However, many do not know that during the Middle Ages, the Normans conquered other areas of Europe as well. First, they were given the region now known as Normandy by the king of France to keep them loyal to the crown. Later, they took Southern Italy.  Their control over Southern Italy was not brief either, as the Normans ruled Sicily for centuries. Norman control over what became the Kingdom of Sicily took decades, but the battle that enabled Norman control over Southern Italy was the Battle of Civitate, on June 18th, 1053.

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