THE NORMAN KINGDOM OF SICILY
than to judge him as a German king, for the centre and aim of his policy lay in the Mediterranean. In Frederick's sons, legitimate and illegitimate, the Norman strain is still further attenuated, and as they had no real opportunity to continue their father's work, it matters little whether we call them Normans or Hohenstaufen. The coming of Charles of Anjou ends this epoch, and his victory at Tagliacozzo in 1268 seals the fate of the dynasty. We may, if we choose, carry the Norman period to this point; for all real purposes it ends with the death of Frederick in 1250. The preceding one hundred and twenty years embrace the real life-history of the Norman kingdom. Brief as this is, it is too long for a single lecture, and we must limit ourselves to Roger and the two Williams, touching on the developments of the thirteenth century only in the most incidental fashion.
Throughout this period the territorial extent of the realm remained practically unchanged, comprising Sicily, with Malta, and the southern half of the Italian peninsula as far as Terracina on the western coast and the river Tronto on the eastern. There were of course times when the royal authority was disputed within and attacked from without,—feudal revolts, raids by the Pisans, expeditions of the German emperor, diplomatic contests with the Pope,—but it was not permanently limited or shorn of its territories. There were, on the other hand, moments of expansion, particularly by sea,