Page:The Normans in European History.djvu/210

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tween pilgrim and adventurer was not easy to draw, and the Normans did not always draw it. Often "their penitent's garb covered a coat of mail," and they carried a great sword along with their pilgrim's staff and wallet.[1] We must remember that Normandy exported in this period a considerable supply of younger sons, bred to a life of warfare and fed upon the rich nourishment of the chansons de gestes, but turned loose upon the world to seek elsewhere the lands and booty and deeds of renown which they could no longer expect to find at home. The conquest of England gave an outlet to this movement in one direction; the conquest of southern Italy absorbed it in another.

In the eleventh century, as in the early nineteenth, Italy was merely a geographical expression. The unity of law and government which it had enjoyed under the Romans had been long since broken by the Lombard invasion and the Frankish conquest, which drew the centre and north of the peninsula into the currents of western politics, while the south continued to look upon Constantinople as its capital and Sicily passed under the dominion of the Prophet and the Fatimite caliphs of Cairo. Separated from the rest of Italy by the lofty barrier of the Abruzzi and the wedge of territory which the Papacy had driven through the lines of communication to the west, the southern half followed a

  1. Delarc, Les Normands en Italie, p. 35.