chapter  9
24 Pages

The Kingdom of Sicily

Roger II, son of Count Roger I of Sicily, and grandson of Tancred of Hauteville-leGuichard, a minor noble from the region of Coutances in Normandy, was crowned King of Sicily, Calabria and Apulia in a grandiose ceremony at Palermo on Christmas Day, 1130. This, according to Roger’s diplomata, was not an innovation, but a restoration, for a monarchy had existed at Palermo in Antiquity (Houben 2002:50-7). Three months earlier Anacletus II, desperate for support in the schism which had developed after the disputed papal election in February, had granted the crown to Roger and his heirs in perpetuity, receiving from Roger the homage and fealty which previous popes had regarded as their legitimate right (Douglas 1976:45-7, 83-7).