Norman conquest of southern Italy  

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"Muslim forces under the Aghlabids conquered Sicily after a series of expeditions spanning 827–902, and had notably raided Rome in 846. The Emirate of Sicily was established in 965. Arabs held onto southern Italy until their expulsion by the Normans in 1072. By 1236, practically all that remained of Muslim Spain was the southern province of Granada." --Sholem Stein

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The Norman conquest of southern Italy lasted from 999 to 1139, involving many battles and independent conquerors. In 1130, the territories in southern Italy united as the Kingdom of Sicily, which included the island of Sicily, the southern third of the Italian Peninsula (except Benevento, which was briefly held twice), the archipelago of Malta, and parts of North Africa.

Itinerant Norman forces arrived in the Mezzogiorno as mercenaries in the service of Lombard and Byzantine factions, communicating news swiftly back home about opportunities in the Mediterranean. These groups gathered in several places, establishing fiefdoms and states of their own, uniting and elevating their status to de facto independence within fifty years of their arrival.

Unlike the Norman conquest of England (1066), which took a few years after one decisive battle, the conquest of southern Italy was the product of decades and a number of battles, few decisive. Many territories were conquered independently, and only later were unified into a single state. Compared to the conquest of England, it was unplanned and disorganised, but equally complete.

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