31 Facts About Robert Guiscard

1.

Robert Guiscard was a Norman adventurer remembered for the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily.

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2.

Robert Guiscard was born into the Hauteville family in Normandy, went on to become count and then duke of Apulia and Calabria, Duke of Sicily, and briefly prince of Benevento before returning the title to the papacy.

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3.

Robert Guiscard was the sixth son of Tancred of Hauteville and eldest by his second wife Fressenda.

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4.

Robert Guiscard was a man of immense stature, surpassing even the biggest men; he had a ruddy complexion, fair hair, broad shoulders, eyes that all but shot out sparks of fire.

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5.

The next year Robert Guiscard left Pandulf, according to Amatus of Montecassino because Pandulf reneged on a promise of a castle and his daughter's hand.

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6.

Robert Guiscard returned to his brother Drogo and asked to be granted a fief.

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7.

Robert Guiscard's was the paternal aunt of Girard of Buonalbergo, who agreed to join Robert with 200 knights in exchange for Robert marrying her.

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8.

Robert Guiscard's army was defeated at the Battle of Civitate sul Fortore in 1053 by the Normans, united under Humphrey.

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9.

Robert Guiscard had come all the way from Calabria to command the left.

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10.

Robert Guiscard's troops were held in reserve until, seeing Humphrey's forces ineffectually charging the pope's centre, he called up his father-in-law's reinforcements and joined the fray, distinguishing himself personally, even being dismounted and remounting again three separate times, according to William of Apulia.

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11.

In company with Roger, his youngest brother, Robert Guiscard carried on the conquest of Apulia and Calabria, while Richard conquered the principality of Capua.

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12.

In return for giving him his sister's hand, Gisulf demanded that Robert Guiscard destroy two castles of his brother William, count of the Principate, which had encroached on Gisulf's territory.

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13.

The large invading force that could have been expected did not materialise, for Robert Guiscard was recalled by a new Byzantine army, sent by Constantine X Doukas, ravaging Apulia.

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14.

Robert Guiscard invaded Sicily with his brother Roger, capturing Messina in 1061 with comparable ease: they landed unsighted during the night and surprised the Saracen army.

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15.

Robert Guiscard immediately fortified Messina and allied himself with Ibn al-Timnah, one of the rival emirs of Sicily, against Ibn al-Hawas, another emir.

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16.

Robert Guiscard assaulted the town of Centuripe, but resistance was strong, and he moved on.

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17.

Robert Guiscard turned back, leaving a fortress at San Marco d'Alunzio, named after his first stronghold in Calabria.

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18.

Robert Guiscard returned in 1064, but bypassed Enna making straight for Palermo.

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19.

Robert Guiscard's campsite was infested with tarantulas and had to be abandoned.

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20.

Also in 1083, Robert Guiscard destroyed the town of Cannae, leaving only the cathedral and bishop's residence.

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21.

Robert Guiscard was ally to kingdom of Duklja and Constantine Bodin.

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22.

Robert Guiscard returned with 150 ships to restore them, and he occupied Corfu and Kefalonia with the help of Ragusa and the Dalmatian cities .

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23.

Robert Guiscard was buried in the Hauteville family mausoleum of the Abbey of the Santissima Trinita at Venosa.

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24.

Robert Guiscard was succeeded by Roger Borsa, his son by Sichelgaita, as Bohemund, his son by an earlier wife Alberada De Macon, was set aside.

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25.

At his death Robert Guiscard was duke of Apulia and Calabria, prince of Salerno, and suzerain of Sicily.

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26.

Robert Guiscard's successes had been due not only to his great qualities but to the "entente" with the Papal See.

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27.

Robert Guiscard created and enforced a strong ducal power, which was nevertheless met by many baronial revolts, including one in 1078, when he demanded from the Apulian vassals an "aid" on the betrothal of his daughter.

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28.

Robert Guiscard laid the foundation of the Salerno Cathedral and of a Norman monastery at Sant'Eufemia Lamezia in Calabria.

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29.

Robert Guiscard received his investment with Sicily at the hands of Pope Nicholas II, who feared the opposition of the Holy Roman Emperor to the Papal reforms more.

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30.

Robert Guiscard supported the reforms, coming to the rescue of a besieged Pope Gregory VII, who had once excommunicated him for encroaching on the territory of the Papal States.

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31.

Robert Guiscard is a character in Alfred Duggan's novel Count Bohemond.

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