Between the decline of the Roman Empire and the cultural explosion of the Renaissance, Italy underwent a series of profound transformations. Many of these changes were the result of new influences: Lombards, Normans, Byzantines and Arabs, for example, each arrived with their own styles and had a profound effect on the art and culture of Italy. This short course explores the worlds of medieval Italy, from the fall of Rome to the rise of the empire of Charlemagne and the triumph of Mathilda of Canossa, and from the glory of Venice in the north to the magnificence of the Normans in southern Italy and Sicily.
Lecture 1 of 3 – Robert Veel
The eventual collapse of the Roman Empire brought turmoil to Italy, as different groups sought to control the Italian peninsula and its instrumental role in Mediterranean trade. Despite ideas we may have received of a ‘dark age’, Late Antique and early medieval Italy was often dynamic. In this session, Robert Veel discusses the history and culture of this period, from the Justinian reconquest and Byzantine Italy, to the rise of Venice and Amalfi as the Mediterranean’s new maritime powers.