Frederick, Conrad and Manfred of Hohenstaufen, Kings of Sicily (Paperback)

Louis Mendola


This is the first English translation of a chronicle written in Latin during the thirteenth century at the traveling court of Manfred von Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily, son and heir of the great Frederick II, who ruled lands and peoples from Saxony to Sicily. Its publication in English is a milestone in the study of European medieval history. Following Frederick's untimely death in 1250, his sons Conrad and Manfred ruled Sicily and two-thirds of the Italian peninsula. This is their story told from their point of view.The fascinating 'Jamsilla Chronicle' takes its name not from its narrator but from the medieval owner of its oldest manuscript, a codex kept in Naples. The name 'Jamsilla' is a corruption of 'Joinville,' an Angevin family that flourished in Italy after 1270. However, it is clear the chronicler was somebody close to King Manfred, and he offers us much insight into the monarch's exploits; many candidates have been advanced by historians as 'Nicholas of Jamsilla.'Most of the news recounted here centers on the period from 1254 until Manfred's coronation in 1258. The chronicle was completed by around 1262, a few years before Manfred's death at the Battle of Benevento in 1266. This text, one of the most important sources for a brief but pivotal period, has been consulted by such giants as Steven Runciman and David Abulafia. Mendola, who previously translated the memoir of John of Procida (The Rebellion of Sicily against King Charles) from Middle Sicilian, is intimately familiar with the Italian regions that are the focus of the chronicle, as well as the history itself. This book includes dozens of pages presenting maps, photographs and genealogical tables, while featuring the lengthiest commentary ever published in English about this oft-overlooked chronicle.A clear introductory text considers the history of the Jamsilla Chronicle and its details. There are dozens of footnotes. The monolithic text has been divided into chapters for the reader's convenience. Additional narratives are dedicated to the periods before and after those considered by the chronicle, framing it with useful context. A number of sources, such as royal decrees, support Mendola's commentary. Very little has ever been written about the chronicle in English, most of the existing essays being in Italian and German.This book will appeal to serious scholars but also to anybody interested in this complex transitional period of Italy's medieval history, which led to the end of Hohenstaufen rule, the beginning of the Angevin reign and the War of the Vespers. A superb 'background' source, the chronicle offers us a glimpse into the personalities and conflicts mentioned by Dante and Boccaccio.In bringing the chronicle to a wider audience, including Italian and German descendants around the world, this translation preserves a special piece of heritage. It opens the door to a colorful and significant era of European and Mediterranean history.

Product Details

  • Product code: AWBWO
  • ISBN: 9781943639069
  • Publisher: Trinacria Editions
  • Format: Paperback
  • Dimensions: 13.4cm x 20.4cm
  • Pages: 300
  • Publish date: Tue Nov 15 00:00:00 GMT 2016
  • Book points: 20


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