Date of Award

4-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Larry Simon

Second Advisor

Dr. James Palmitessa

Third Advisor

Dr. Luigi Andrea Berto

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Medieval Sicily was a region with a multi-ethnic past. There were significant Greek, Muslim, and Jewish populations living on the island in the twelfth and thir teenth centuries, but the population demographics had changed by the fourteenth century. Substantial Greek and Muslim minorities had disappeared from Palermo by this time, having been replaced by a population that was Latinzied. A new group of Greeks arrived in Palermo after 1300, which consisted of Byzantine slaves and immigrants.

This thesis uses four Palermitan notarial registers from the 1320s and 1330s, as well as royal and municipal legislation and city court records, to explore the Greek population over a variety of issues such as ethnic survival, slavery, labor, and cultural interaction. It presents a more complete history of this minority popula tion, and a better understanding of aspects of medieval Palermitan society.

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