The medieval history of Sicily

Course Dates: 22/09/22 - 08/12/22
Time: 19:30 - 21:00
Location: Online
This course explores the extraordinary medieval history of Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, a bridge between Italy and Africa. We meet Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs, all-conquering sophisticated Normans, and the brutal, Empire-hungry Henry VI whose son Frederick promoted himself as the ideal king of an ideal kingdom….
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00

Course Code: HEH77

Thu, eve, 22 Sep - 08 Dec '22

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Lines open Monday-Friday 12:00-18:00

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course investigates the peoples and personalities who conquered and settled Sicily, from the Byzantines and the Arabs in the earlier Middle Ages to the coming and crowning of Charles, Duke of Anjou, with his French forces, in 1268. The glittering cultured court of Roger II in the earlier 12th century, or that of Frederick II in the 13th, were lost in the maelstrom of a long and grievous decline for Sicily.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

The course begins with the early historical geography of Sicily, with sessions covering Byzantine, Arab, and Norman life and culture in both town and countryside, Special emphasis is placed on the cultural achievements of the Normans under Roger II, and the bizarre contrast between the Hohenstaufen rulers Henry VI and Frederick II, their imperial ideologies and cultural aspirations. The arrival of the Angevin king Charles and his imperial dream brought high taxation, repression, and rebellion. The course also covers Sicilian society in town and country.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Explain what was most important about the cultural changes studied and discussed in our course, whether under the Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Germans, or French;
Evaluate the varied sources used in our study of medieval Sicily;
Compile a ‘bucket list’ of places you would like to visit in Sicily, whether or not we have covered them in our course, and explain why.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous knowledge is required, although there will be some recommended reading. Books should be available from a library, although you might wish to buy a particular text if you wish to explore a topic further.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The sessions include oral and visual presentations. Discussion is an integral part of each session, and questioning is welcomed. As the course progresses you may wish to contribute a brief account of an aspect of our series of studies to the group, but this is not a requirement. Detailed notes and bibliographies, with suggested topics for reflection and research are provided for each of the sessions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You may well wish to buy a recommended book or two. Visits may recommended, involving travel and entrance fees, but these are not part of the course.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HEH68 Medieval pilgrims and pilgrimages.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.