Nef Annliese, A companion to medieval Palermo: the history of a Mediterranean city from 600 to 1500

Nef Annliese, A companion to medieval Palermo: the history of a Mediterranean city from 600 to 1500, Leiden, Brill, 2013, 576 p. ISBN: 978-90-04-22392-9

Compte rendu par/Review by : Paul Oldfield

H-Net

Date : Mar 2014

In recent decades research on the medieval city has increasingly produced ever more holistic analyses informed by methodologies from across multiple disciplines. As an endeavour it has proved both enriching and hugely demanding. There are, arguably, few medieval cities more open to such inter-disciplinary and synthetic examination than the Sicilian city of Palermo; and there are, equally, few cities which offer up more challenges in doing so. Between 600 and 1500, Palermo felt the full effects of its location in a frontier zone where the worlds of Greek Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Latin Christianity all intersected. The city moved in and out of the orbit of different political hegemonies, its constantly fluctuating urban topography (street-plans, quarters, architecture) testament to that process. The city also experienced significant demographic shifts, economic up-turns and down-turns, and socio-cultural transformation as the linguistic, ethnic and religious make-up of the city was seemingly in a constant flux.

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