St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines, it has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus's Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the high altar of the Basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter's since the Early Christian period, there has been a church on this site since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.
Construction of the present basilica, which would replace Old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626. St. Peter's is famous for its liturgical functions; the Pope presides at a number of liturgies throughout the year, drawing audiences of 15,000 to over 80,000 people, either within the Basilica or the adjoining St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's has many historical associations, with the Early Christian Church, the Papacy, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-reformation and numerous artists Michelangelo; as a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. St. Peter's is one of the four churches in the world that hold the rank of Major Basilica, all four of which are in Rome. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not a cathedral. St. Peter's is a church built in the Renaissance style located in the Vatican City west of the River Tiber and near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian's Mausoleum, its central dome dominates the skyline of Rome.
The basilica is approached via St. Peter's Square, a forecourt in two sections, both surrounded by tall colonnades; the first space is the second trapezoid. The façade of the basilica, with a giant order of columns, stretches across the end of the square and is approached by steps on which stand two 5.55 metres statues of the 1st-century apostles to Rome, Saints Peter and Paul. The basilica is cruciform in shape, with an elongated nave in the Latin cross form but the early designs were for a centrally planned structure and this is still in evidence in the architecture; the central space is dominated both externally and internally by one of the largest domes in the world. The entrance is through entrance hall, which stretches across the building. One of the decorated bronze doors leading from the narthex is the Holy Door, only opened during jubilees; the interior is of vast dimensions. One author wrote: "Only does it dawn upon us – as we watch people draw near to this or that monument, strangely they appear to shrink.
This in its turn overwhelms us."The nave which leads to the central dome is in three bays, with piers supporting a barrel-vault, the highest of any church. The nave is framed by wide aisles. There are chapels surrounding the dome. Moving around the basilica in a clockwise direction they are: The Baptistery, the Chapel of the Presentation of the Virgin, the larger Choir Chapel, the altar of the Transfiguration, the Clementine Chapel with the altar of Saint Gregory, the Sacristy Entrance, the Altar of the Lie, the left transept with altars to the Crucifixion of Saint Peter, Saint Joseph and Saint Thomas, the altar of the Sacred Heart, the Chapel of the Madonna of Column, the altar of Saint Peter and the Paralytic, the apse with the Chair of Saint Peter, the altar of Saint Peter raising Tabitha, the altar of St. Petronilla, the altar of the Archangel Michael, the altar of the Navicella, the right transept with altars of Saint Erasmus, Saints Processo and Martiniano, Saint Wenceslas, the altar of St. Jerome, the altar of Saint Basil, the Gregorian Chapel with the altar of the Madonna of Succour, the larger Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, the Chapel of Saint Sebastian and the Chapel of the Pietà.
At the heart of the basilica, beneath the high altar, is the Confessio or Chapel of the Confession, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led to his martyrdom. Two curving marble staircases lead to this underground chapel at the level of the Constantinian church and above the purported burial place of Saint Peter; the entire interior of St. Peter's is lavishly decorated with marble, architectural sculpture and gilding; the basilica contains a large number of tombs of popes and other notable people, many of which are considered outstanding artworks. There are a number of sculptures in niches and chapels, including Michelangelo's Pietà; the central feature is a baldachin, or canopy over the Papal Altar, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The apse culminates in a sculptural ensemble by Bernini, containing the symbolic Chair of Saint Peter. One observer wrote: "St Peter's Basilica is the reason why Rome is still the center of the civilized world. For religious and architectural reasons it by itself justifies a journey to Rome, its interior offers a palimpsest of artistic styles at the
Emirate of Sicily
The Emirate of Sicily was an emirate on the island of Sicily which existed from 831 to 1091. Its capital was Palermo. Muslim Moors, who first invaded in 652, seized control of the entire island from the Byzantine Empire in a prolonged series of conflicts from 827 to 902, although Rometta in the far northeast of the island held out until 965. An Arab-Byzantine culture developed, producing a multilingual state; the Emirate was conquered by Christian Norman mercenaries under Roger I of Sicily, who founded the County of Sicily in 1071. The last Muslim city in the island, was conquered in 1091. Sicilian Muslims remained citizens of the multi-ethnic County and subsequent Kingdom of Sicily, until those who had not converted were expelled in the 1240s; until the late 12th century, as late as the 1220s, Muslims formed a majority of the island's population, except in the northeast region of Val Demone which remained predominantly Byzantine Greek and Christian during Islamic rule. The Islamic and Arabic influence remains in some elements of the Sicilian language, as well as in architecture and place names.
In 535, Emperor Justinian I returned Sicily to the Roman Empire ruled from Constantinople exclusively. As the power of what is now known as the Byzantine Empire waned in the West, Sicily was invaded by the Rashidun Caliphate during the reign of Caliph Uthman in the year 652. However, this first invasion was short-lived, the Muslims left soon after. By the end of the 7th century, with the Umayyad conquest of North Africa, the Muslims had captured the nearby port city of Carthage, allowing them to build shipyards and a permanent base from which to launch more sustained attacks. Around 700, the island of Pantelleria was captured by Muslims, it was only discord among the Muslims that prevented an attempted invasion of Sicily at that time. Instead, trading agreements were arranged with the Byzantines, Muslims merchants were allowed to trade goods at the Sicilian ports; the first true conquest expedition was launched in 740. Ready to conquer the whole island, they were however forced to return to Tunisia by a Berber revolt.
A second attack in 752 aimed only to sack the same city. In 826 Euphemius, the commander of the Byzantine fleet of Sicily, forced a nun to marry him. Emperor Michael II caught wind of the matter and ordered that General Constantine end the marriage and cut off Euphemius' nose. Euphemius rose up, killed Constantine and occupied Syracuse, he offered rule of Sicily over to Ziyadat Allah the Aghlabid Emir of Tunisia in return for a place as a general and safety. The latter agreed to conquer Sicily, promising to give it to Euphemius in exchange for a yearly tribute, entrusted its conquest to the 70-year-old qadi Asad ibn al-Furat; the Muslim force counted 10,000 infantry, 700 cavalry and 100 ships, reinforced by Euphemius' ships and, after the landing at Mazara del Vallo. A first battle against the loyal Byzantine troops occurred on July 15, 827, near Mazara, resulting in an Aghlabid victory. Asad subsequently laid siege to Syracuse. After a year of siege, an attempted mutiny, his troops were however able to defeat a large army sent from Palermo backed by a Venetian fleet led by Doge Giustiniano Participazio.
But when a plague killed many of the Muslim troops, as well as Asad himself, the Muslims retreated to the castle of Mineo. They returned to the offensive, but failed to conquer Castrogiovanni and retreated back to Mazara. In 830 they received a strong reinforcement of 30,000 Andalusian troops; the Iberian Muslims defeated the Byzantine commander Teodotus in July–August of that year, but again a plague forced them to return to Mazara and to Ifriqiya. The Ifriqiyan units sent to besiege Palermo managed to capture it after a year long siege in September 831. Palermo became the Muslim capital of Sicily, renamed al-Madinah; the conquest was a see-saw affair. Syracuse held out for a long time but fell in 878, Taormina fell in 902, the last Byzantine outpost was taken in 965. In succession, Sicily was ruled by the Sunni Aghlabid dynasty in Tunisia and the Shiite Fatimids in Egypt. However, throughout this period, Sunni Muslims formed the majority of the Muslim community in Sicily, with most of the people of Palermo being Sunni, leading to their hostility to the Shia Kalbids.
The Sunni population of the island was replenished following sectarian rebellions across north Africa from 943–47 against the Fatimids' harsh religious policies, leading to several waves of refugees fleeing to Sicily in an attempt to escape Fatimid retaliation. The Byzantines took advantage of temporary discord to occupy the eastern end of the island for several years. After suppressing a revolt the Fatimid caliph Ismail al-Mansur appointed al-Hasan al-Kalbi as Emir of Sicily, he managed to control the continuously revolting Byzantines and founded the Kalbid dynasty. Raids into Southern Italy continued under the Kalbids into the 11th century, in 982 a German army under Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor was defeated near Crotone in Calabria. With Emir Yusuf al-Kalbi a period of steady decline began. Under al-Akhal the dynastic conflict intensified, with factions within the ruling family allying themselves variously with the Byzantine Empire and the Zirids. After this period, Al-Mu'izz ibn B
Louis the German
Louis "the German" known as Louis II, was the first king of East Francia, ruled from 843-876 AD. Grandson of emperor Charlemagne and the third son of emperor of Francia, Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye, he received the appellation Germanicus shortly after his death in recognition of Magna Germania of the Roman Empire, reflecting the Carolingian's assertions that they were the rightful descendants of the Roman Empire After protracted clashes with his father and his brothers, Ludwig received the East Frankish Empire in the 843 Treaty of Verdun, his attempts to conquer the West Frankish Empire of his half-brother Charles the Bald in 858-59 were unsuccessful. The 860s were marked by a severe crisis, with the East Frankish rebellions of the sons, as well as struggles to maintain supremacy over his realm. In the Treaty of Meerssen he acquired Lotharingia for the East Frankish Empire in 870. On the other hand, he failed to claim both the title of Emperor and Italy. In the East, Ludwig was able to reach a longer-term peace agreement in 874 after decades of conflict with the Moravians.
Due to a decline in the written form in administration and government, Ludwig's reign predates Ottonian times. His early years were spent at the court of his grandfather, whose special affection he is said to have won; when the emperor Louis the Pious divided his dominions between his sons in 817, Louis was made the ruler of Duchy of Bavaria, following the practice of emperor Charlemagne of bestowing a local kingdom to a close family member who would serve as his lieutenant and local governor. Louis ruled from the old capital of the Bavarii. In 825 he became involved in wars with the Sorbs on his eastern frontier. In 827 he married Hemma, sister of his stepmother Judith of Bavaria, both daughters of Welf, whose possessions ranged from Alsace to Bavaria, it was not until 826. In 827 he married the Welf Hemma, a sister of the Empress Judith - his stepmother who had married his father in his second marriage. In 828 and 829 he undertook two campaigns against the Bulgarians who wanted to penetrate into Pannonia without great success.
During his time as Unterkönig, he tried to extend his rule to the Rhine-Main area. His involvement in the first civil war against his father's reign was limited, but in the second his elder brothers, Lothair I King of Italy, Pepin I, Duke of Aquitaine, persuaded him to invade Alamannia which their father had given to their young half-brother Charles the Bald. In 832 he was driven back by his father. Louis the Pious to no effect. Upon his swift reinstatement, the emperor Louis made peace with his son Louis and restored Bavaria to him in 836. Louis was the instigator of the third civil war, which began in 839. A strip of his land having been given to the young half-brother Charles, Louis invaded Alamannia again; this time emperor Louis responded and soon the younger Louis was forced into the far southeastern corner of his realm, the March of Pannonia. Peace was made by force of arms. After the civil war which followed the death of emperor Louis the Pious, the empire was divided in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun in three parts, with Louis becoming the King of East Francia, a region that spanned the Elbe drainage basin from Jutland southeasterly through the Thuringian Forest into modern Bavaria.
When the emperor Louis died in 840, Lothair I claimed the whole Empire, Louis allied with Charles the Bald, defeated Lothair I and their nephew Pepin II of Aquitaine, son of Pepin I of Aquitaine, at the Battle of Fontenoy in June 841. In June 842 the three brothers met on an island in the river Saône to negotiate a peace, each appointed forty representatives to arrange the boundaries of their respective kingdoms; this developed into the Treaty of Verdun, concluded in August 843, by which Louis received the bulk of the lands lying east of the Rhine, together with a district around Speyer and Mainz, on the left bank of the river. His territories included Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony. Louis may be called the founder of the German kingdom, though his attempts to maintain the unity of the Empire proved futile. Having in 842 crushed the Stellinga rising in Saxony, in 844 he compelled the Obotrites to accept his authority and put their prince, Gozzmovil, to death. Thachulf, Duke of Thuringia undertook campaigns against the Bohemians and other tribes, but was not successful in resisting the ravaging Vikings.
After the death of Emperor Louis the Pious, Lothar laid claim to all the imperial rights established in the Ordinatio of 817. As a result, Louis the German and Charles the Bald forged an alliance. Lothar I offered his nephew Pippin II, the son of 838 deceased Pippin I. an alliance. At the Battle of Fontenoy, Ludwig the German and Charles the Bald fought against Lothar I and Pippin II in June 841. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. According to the Annals of Fulda, it was the biggest bloodbath the Franks had experienced since time immemorial. At the same time, it was Louis's last battle in the struggle for the unification of the kingdom. In 852 Louis sent his son Louis the Younger to Aquitaine, where nobles had grown resentful of Charles the Bald's rule; the younger Louis did not set out until 854, returned the following year. Starting from 853 Louis made repeated attempts to gain the t
Saracen was a term used among Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ages to refer to Arabs and Muslims. The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the Common Era and Latin writings used this term to refer to the people who lived in desert areas in and near the Roman province of Arabia Petraea, in Arabia Deserta. In Europe during the Early Middle Ages, the term came to be associated with tribes of Arabia; the oldest source mentioning the term Saracen dates back to the 7th century. It was found in Doctrina Jacobi, a commentary that discussed the event of the Arab conquests on Palestine. By the 12th century, "Saracen" had become synonymous with "Muslim" in Medieval Latin literature; such expansion in the meaning of the term had begun centuries earlier among the Byzantine Greeks, as evidenced in documents from the 8th century. In the Western languages before the 16th century, "Saracen" was used to refer to Muslim Arabs, the words "Muslim" and "Islam" were not used.
The term became obsolete following the Age of Discovery. The Latin term Saraceni is of unknown original meaning. There are claims of it being derived from the Semitic triliteral root srq "to steal, plunder", more from the noun sāriq, pl. sariqīn, which means "thief, plunderer". Other possible Semitic roots are šrq "east" and šrkt "tribe, confederation". In his Levantine Diary, covering the years 1699-1740, the Damascene writer ibn Kanan used the term sarkan to mean "travel on a military mission" from the Near East to parts of Southern Europe which were under Ottoman Empire rule Cyprus and Rhodes. Ptolemy's 2nd-century work, describes Sarakēnḗ as a region in the northern Sinai Peninsula. Ptolemy mentions a people called the Sarakēnoí living in the northwestern Arabian Peninsula. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history narrates an account wherein Pope Dionysius of Alexandria mentions Saracens in a letter while describing the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius: "Many were, in the Arabian mountain, enslaved by the barbarous'sarkenoi'."
The Augustan History refers to an attack by "Saraceni" on Pescennius Niger's army in Egypt in 193, but provides little information as to identifying them. Both Hippolytus of Rome and Uranius mention three distinct peoples in Arabia during the first half of the third century: the "Taeni", the "Saraceni" and the "Arabes"; the "Taeni" identified with the Arab people called "Tayy", were located around Khaybar and in an area stretching up to the Euphrates. The "Saraceni" were placed north of them; these Saracens, located in the northern Hejaz, were described as people with a certain military ability who were opponents of the Roman Empire and who were classified by the Romans as barbarians. The Saracens are described as forming the "equites" from Thamud. In one document the defeated enemies of Diocletian's campaign in the Syrian Desert are described as Saracens. Other 4th-century military reports make no mention of Arabs but refer to as'Saracens' groups ranging as far east as Mesopotamia that were involved in battles on both the Sasanian and Roman sides.
The Saracens were named in the Roman administrative document Notitia Dignitatum—dating from the time of Theodosius I in the 4th century—as comprising distinctive units in the Roman army. They were distinguished in the document from Arabs. Beginning no than the early fifth century, Christian writers began to equate Saracens with Arabs. Saracens were associated with Ishmaelites in some strands of Jewish and Islamic genealogical thinking; the writings of Jerome are the earliest known version of the claim that Ishmaelites chose to be called Saracens in order to identify with Abraham's "free" wife Sarah, rather than as Hagarenes, which would have highlighted their association with Abraham's "slave woman" Hagar. This claim was popular during the Middle Ages, but derives more from Paul’s allegory in the New Testament letter to the Galatians than from historical data; the name "Saracen" was not indigenous among the populations so described but was applied to them by Greco-Roman historians based on Greek place names.
As the Middle Ages progressed, usage of the term in the Latin West changed, but its connotation remained negative, associated with opponents of Christianity, its exact definition is unclear. In an 8th-century polemical work, John of Damascus criticized the Saracens as followers of a false prophet and "forerunner to the Antichrist."By the 12th century, Medieval Europeans had more specific conceptions of Islam and used the term "Saracen" as an ethnic and religious marker. In some Medieval literature, Saracens—that is, Muslims—were described as black-skinned, while Christians were lighter-skinned. An example is in The King of a medieval romance; the Song of Roland, an Old French 11th-century heroic poem, refers to the black skin of Saracens as their only exotic feature. The 15th-century Mishnah commentator, Rabbi Ovadiah of Bertinora, wrote that the word Saracen among Arabs had the connotation of "thieves"; the term "Saracen" remained in widespread use in the West as a term for "Muslim" until the 18th century when the Age of Discovery led to it becoming obsolete.
Arabs Arab–Byzantine wars Medieval Christian views on Muhammad Mohammedan Moors Orientalism Serkland Tatars
Duchy of Croatia
The Duchy of Croatia, was a medieval Croatian duchy, established in the former Roman province of Dalmatia. Throughout its time it had several seats – namely, Solin, Bijaći and Nin, it comprised the whole of the littoral – the coastal part of today's Croatia – and included a large part of the mountainous hinterland, as well. The Duchy was in the center of competition between the Carolingian Empire and the Byzantine Empire for rule over the area. Rivalry with Venice emerged in the first decades of the 9th century and was to continue for the following centuries. Croatia waged battles with the Bulgarian Empire, with whom the relations improved afterwards, the Arabs and sought to extend its control over important coastal cities under the rule of Byzantium. Croatia experienced periods of vassalage to the Franks or Byzantines and de facto independence until 879, when Croatian Duke Branimir received recognition from Pope John VIII as an independent realm; the ruling dynasty of Croatia was the House of Trpimirović, with interruptions by the House of Domagojević.
The Duchy existed until around 925. "Dalmatian Croatia" and "Littoral Croatia" are modern appellations amongst historians for the territory of the Duchy. The state is sometimes called a principality, i.e. the "Principality of Croatia". The first recorded name for the Duchy was "Land of the Croats". Croatia was not yet a kingdom at the time and the term regnum is used in terms of a country in general. In Byzantine sources the entity was called just "Croatia"; the first known duke, was named "Duke of Dalmatia" and "Duke of Dalmatia and Liburnia" in the Annales regni Francorum. The Croatian name is recorded in contemporary charters of Croatian dukes from the second half of the 9th century. Trpimir I was named "Duke of the Croats" in a Latin charter issued in 852, while Branimir was defined as "Duke of the Croats" on a preserved inscription from Šopot near Benkovac. Within the area of the Roman province of Dalmatia, various tribal groupings, which were called sclaviniae by the Byzantines, were settled along the Adriatic coast.
Croatia in the early Middle Ages was an area bounded by the Eastern Adriatic hinterland on one side extended to a part of western Herzegovina and central Bosnia into Lika and Krbava, North-West to Vinodol and Labin in the Croatian Littoral area. Several coastal Dalmatian cities were under the rule of the Byzantines, including Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik, as well as islands of Hvar and Krk. To the south Croatia bordered with the land of the Narentines, which stretched from the rivers Cetina to Neretva, had the islands of Brač, Korčula, Mljet and Lastovo in its possession. In the southern part of Dalmatia, there was Zahumlje and Dioclea. North of Croatia there was the Duchy of Pannonia. Croatia, as well as other early medieval states, didn't have a permanent capital and Croatian dukes resided in various places on their courts; the first important center of Croatia was Klis near Split. Other dukes ruled from the towns of Solin, Biaći and Nin. Most of Dalmatia in the 7th century was under the Avar Khaganate, a nomadic confederacy led by the Avars who subjugated surrounding Slavic tribes.
In 614 the Avars and Slavs sacked and destroyed the capital of the province of Dalmatia and retained direct control of the region for a few decades until they were driven out by the Croats. The earliest recorded Croatian leader, referred to by the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, was Porga. After their participation in Samo and Kubrat's 632 defeat of the Avars, White Croats were either invited into Dalmatia by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius and allowed to settle there, or prevailing the Avars after that lengthy war the Croats migrated across the Sava from Pannonia Savia and settled Dalmatia on their own. In either case, a new wave of Avars retook Pannonia in 677 but only as far as the Danube. By the early 9th century, Croatia emerged as a political entity with a duke as head of the state, territorially in the basins of the rivers Cetina and Zrmanja, it was administered in 11 counties. According to De Administrando Imperio, the Croats in Pannonia were subject to the Franks for several years,"as they had been in their own country", until they rebelled and defeated the Franks after a seven-year war, but it is not known on which specific war and time span this refers to.
From that point on, they were independent, demanded to be baptised from the bishop of Rome, was sent to them to be baptised in the time of Porinos their prince. Their land was divided in eleven zupanias, which are: Hlebiana, Emota, Pesenta, Brebere, Tnena, Sidraga and their ban has Kribasan, Goutzeska. Although the Christianization of Croats began right after their arrival to Dalmatia, in the early 9th century a part of the Croats were still pagan; the Franks gained control of Pannonia and Dalmatia in the 790s and the first decade of the ninth century. In 788 Charlemagne, after conquering Lombardy, turned further east and subjugated Istria. In the 790s Duke Vojnomir of Pannonia accepted the Frankish overlordship, whose land the Franks placed under the March of Friuli and tried to extend their rule over the Croatians of Dalmatia. In 799 the Franks under the leader
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery; the town of Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic known as the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200. In the 1920s and 1930s, Amalfi was a popular holiday destination for the British upper class and aristocracy. Amalfi is the main town of the coast on which it is located, named Costiera Amalfitana, is today an important tourist destination together with other towns on the same coast, such as Positano and others. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A patron saint of Amalfi is Saint Andrew, the Apostle, whose relics are kept here at Amalfi Cathedral. See Duchy of Amalfi Amalfi held importance as a maritime power, trading grain from its neighbours, salt from Sardinia and slaves from the interior, timber, in exchange for the gold dinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the Byzantine silks that it resold in the West.
Grain-bearing Amalfi traders enjoyed privileged positions in the Islamic ports, Fernand Braudel notes. The Amalfi tables provided a maritime code, used by the Christian port cities. Merchants of Amalfi were using gold coins to purchase land in the 9th century, while most of Italy worked in a barter economy. In the 8th and 9th century, when Mediterranean trade revived it shared with Gaeta the Italian trade with the East, while Venice was in its infancy, in 848 its fleet went to the assistance of Pope Leo IV against the Saracens. An independent republic from the 7th century until 1075, Amalfi extracted itself from Byzantine vassalage in 839 and first elected a duke in 958. In spite of some devastating setbacks it had a population of some 70,000 to 80,000 reaching a peak about the turn of the millennium, during the reign of Duke Manso. Under his line of dukes, Amalfi remained independent, except for a brief period of Salernitan dependency under Guaimar IV. In 1073 the republic was granted many rights.
A prey to the Normans who encamped in the south of Italy, it became one of their principal posts. However, in 1131, it was reduced by King Roger II of Sicily, refused the keys to its citadel; the Holy Roman Emperor Lothair, fighting in favour of Pope Innocent II against Roger, who sided with the Antipope Anacletus, took him prisoner in 1133, assisted by forty-six Pisan ships. The Pisans, commercial rivals of the Amalfitani, sacked the city. In 1135 and 1137, it was taken by the Pisans and declined in importance, though its maritime code, known as the Tavole amalfitane, was recognized in the Mediterranean until 1570. A tsunami in 1343 destroyed the port and lower town, Amalfi never recovered to anything more than local importance. In medieval culture Amalfi was famous for its flourishing schools of mathematics. Flavio Gioia, traditionally considered the first to introduce the mariner's compass to Europe, is said to have been a native of Amalfi. Amalfi has a long history of catering for visitors, with two former monasteries being converted to hotels at a early date, the Luna Convento in the second decade of the 19th century and the Cappuccini Convento in the 1880s.
Celebrated visitors to Amalfi included the composer Richard Wagner and the playwright Henrik Ibsen, both of whom completed works whilst staying in Amalfi. Author Gore Vidal was a long time resident. Amalfi occupied a high position in medieval architecture. At the top of a staircase, Saint Andrew's Cathedral overlooks the heart of Amalfi; the cathedral dates back to the 11th century. The façade of the cathedral is Byzantine in style and is adorned with various paintings of saints, including a large fresco of Saint Andrew; the gold caisson ceiling has four large paintings by Andrea dell'Asta. They depict the flagellation of Saint Andrew, the miracle of Manna, the crucifixion of Saint Andrew and the Saint on the cross. From the left hand nave there is a flight of stairs; these stairs were built in 1203 for Cardinal Pietro Capuano, who, on 18 May 1208, brought Saint Andrew's remains to the cathedral from Constantinople. The bronze statue of Saint Andrew in the cathedral was sculpted by Michelangelo Naccherino, a pupil of Michelangelo.
In 1206, Saint Andrew's relics were brought to Amalfi from Constantinople by the Pietro Capuano following the Sack of Constantinople after the completion of the town's cathedral. The cathedral contains a tomb in its crypt that it maintains still holds a portion of the relics of the apostle. A golden reliquary which housed his skull and another one used for processions through Amalfi on holy days can be seen; the Chiostro del Paradiso was built by Filippo Augusta
Capua is a city and comune in the province of Caserta, in the region of Campania, southern Italy, situated 25 km north of Naples, on the northeastern edge of the Campanian plain. The name of Capua comes from the Etruscan Capeva; the meaning is'City of Marshes'. Its foundation is attributed by Cato the Elder to the Etruscans, the date given as about 260 years before it was "taken" by Rome. If this is true it refers not to its capture in the Second Punic War but to its submission to Rome in 338 BC, placing the date of foundation at about 600 BC, while Etruscan power was at its highest. In the area several settlements of the Villanovian civilization were present in prehistoric times, these were enlarged by the Oscans and subsequently by the Etruscans. Etruscan supremacy in Campania came to an end with the Samnite invasion in the latter half of the 5th century BC. About 424 BC it was captured by the Samnites and in 343 BC besought Roman help against its conquerors. Capua entered into alliance with Rome for protection against the Samnite mountain tribes, along with its dependent communities Casilinum, Atella, so that the greater part of Campania now fell under Roman supremacy.
The citizens of Capua received the civitas sine suffragio. In the second Samnite War with Rome, Capua proved an untrustworthy Roman ally, so that after the defeat of the Samnites, the Ager Falernus on the right bank of the Volturnus was confiscated. In 318 BC the powers of the native officials were limited by the appointment of officials with the title praefecti Capuam Cumas, it was the capital of Campania Felix. In 312 BC, Capua was connected with Rome by the construction of the Via Appia, the most important of the military highways of Italy; the gate by which it left the Servian walls of Rome bore the name Porta Capena. At what time the Via Latina was stretched to Casilinum is doubtful; the importance of Capua increased during the 3rd century BC, at the beginning of the Second Punic War it was considered to be only behind Rome and Carthage themselves, was able to furnish 30,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry. Until after the defeat of Cannae it remained faithful to Rome, after a vain demand that one of the consuls should always be selected from it or in order to secure regional supremacy in the event of a Carthaginian victory, it defected to Hannibal, who made it his winter quarters: he and his army were voluntarily received by Capua.
Livy and others have suggested that the luxurious conditions were Hannibal's "Cannae" because his troops became soft and demoralized by luxurious living. Historians from Bosworth Smith onwards have been skeptical of this, observing that his troops gave as good an account of themselves in battle after that winter as before. After a long siege, it was taken by the Romans in 211 BC and punished. Parts of it were sold in 205 BC and 199 BC, another part was divided among the citizens of the new colonies of Volturnum and Liternum, established near the coast in 194 BC, but the greater portion of it was reserved to be let by the state. Considerable difficulties occurred in preventing illegal encroachments by private persons, it became necessary to buy a number of them out in 162 BC, it was, after that period, not to large but to small proprietors. Frequent attempts were made by the democratic leaders to divide the land among new settlers. Brutus in 83 BC succeeded in establishing a colony, but it was soon dissolved.
In the meantime the necessary organization of the inhabitants of this thickly populated district was in a measure supplied by grouping them round important shrines that of Diana Tifatina, in connection with which a pagus Dianae existed, as we learn from many inscriptions. The town of Capua belonged to none of these organizations, was dependent on the praefecti, it enjoyed great prosperity, due to their growing of spelt, a grain, put into groats, roses, unguents etc. and owing to its manufacture of bronze objects, of which both the elder Cato and the elder Pliny speak in the highest terms. Its luxury remained proverbial. From the gladiatorial schools of Campania came Spartacus and his followers in 73 BC. Julius Caesar as consul in 59 BC succeeded in carrying out the establishment of a Roman colony under the name Julia Felix in connection with his agrarian law, 20,000 Roman citizens were settled in this territory; the number of colonists was increased by Mark Antony and Nero. In the war of 69 it took the side