Saturday, 13 February 2010

The Deeds of Robert Guiscard: Book V, commentary

In the final part of his work, William of Apulia deals with events around Durazzo during Guiscard’s absence in Italy: the pillage of Durazzo by the Venetians and the role of Adrian, Alexius’ brother in the campaign against Bohemond. He also gives details of the naval battle off Corfu in 1084 after Guiscard’s return. There are also details of the role played by Roger Borsa during the campaign: he remained in Italy supported by Gerald (probably Buonalbergo) during the first part of the campaign but his active involvement in the second part of the campaign between Guiscard’s return to Durazzo in 1084 and his death the following year. He also deals with the panic following Guiscard’s death and the number of desertions that followed it.

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