World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Geoffrey Malaterra

Article Id: WHEBN0003608132
Reproduction Date:

Title: Geoffrey Malaterra  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bohemond I of Antioch, Roger I of Sicily, Battle of Civitate, Roussel de Bailleul, Geoffrey, Count of Ragusa, Hauteville family, Ingelmarius, Norman conquest of southern Italy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Geoffrey Malaterra

Gaufredo (or Geoffrey, or Goffredo) Malaterra was an eleventh-century Benedictine monk and historian, possibly of Norman origin.[1] He travelled to the southern Italian peninsula, passing some time in Apulia before entering the monastery of Sant'Agata at Catania, on the isle of Sicily. Malaterra indicates that, prior to his arrival in Catania, he had spent an undefined period away from monastic life, in the worldly service of "Martha".[2]

Malaterra wrote an historical text in Latin, the De Rebus Gestis Rogerii Calabriae et Siciliae Comitis et Roberti Guiscardi Ducis fratris eius[3] detailing the eleventh century exploits of the "De Hauteville" family in the southern Italian peninsula, Sicily and the Balkans, with particular attention to the figures of Roger I of Sicily and Robert Guiscard, his brother. It is one of three surviving major Latin historical works that specifically describe the Norman conquest of southern Italy and Sicily, the others being Amatus of Montecassino's Ystoire de li Normant[4] and William of Apulia's Gesta Roberti Wiscardi.[5] Malaterra's work ends at a later date and has a different angle to these two other works. It primarily describes the exploits of Roger I of Sicily, whom he personally knew. Unlike other medieval historians, such as Dudo of Saint-Quentin, Malaterra does not directly identify his sources, and alludes briefly to a number of informants, or relatoribus. These may have included Roger I of Sicily, himself.

The work ends in 1099 and provides many valuable details, especially of the conquest of Sicily, which are unattested elsewhere. It is unclear precisely when Malaterra started and finished work on the text. All of the events therein are recorded in the past tense and the author does not indicate any knowledge of the death of Roger I of Sicily in 1101. At present, the consensus is that it was started after the majority of the events related in the text had come to pass, and finished before Roger I of Sicily's death. A passing reference to the work in Orderic Vitalis's Historia Ecclesiastica confirms that the work had been completed and was in circulation, albeit across a small geographical area, by the 1130s.[6]



  • Geoffrey Malaterra. The Deeds of Count Roger of Calabria and Sicily and of Duke Robert Guiscard, his brother, trans. Graham Loud (unpub). Books 1–4.
  • Gaufredo Malaterra, , ed. Ernesto Pontieri, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores V pt.1 (Bologna, 1927-8).
  • Storia de’ Normanni di Amato di Montecassino, ed. V de Bartholomeis, Fonti per la storia d’Italia 76 (Rome, 1935).
  • Guillermus Apuliensis, Gesta Roberti Wiscardi, ed. M Mathieu (Palermo, 1961).
  • Orderic Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History, ed. and trans. by Marjorie Chibnall, vol. 2 (Oxford, 1969).
  • E. Johnson, 'Normandy and Norman Identity in Southern Italian Chronicles', Anglo Norman Studies, 27 (2005), pp. 85–100.
  • Kenneth Baxter Wolf, Making History: the Normans and their historians in eleventh-century Italy (Philadelphia, 1995).
  • Graham Loud, 'The Gens Normannorum: Myth or Reality?', Proceedings of the Fourth Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies 1981, ed. R Allen Brown (Woodbridge, 1982), pp. 104–119, 205-209, (repr. in Graham Loud, Conquerors and Churchmen in Norman Italy (Great Yarmouth, 1999) pp. 104–116, 205-209).

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.