“For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings.” - William Shakespeare: Richard II, Act III, Scene 2, 1595.
The next chapter in the Norman history of Southern Italy deals with the life of a remarkable individual by the name of Robert Guiscard (lit: “Robert the Crafty One”). Born in Normandy around the year 1015 to a petty noble family, he was, according to one account, one of 12 brothers. He left for Southern Italy with only five mounted riders and 30 followers on foot to seek his fortune, arriving in the lands of Langobardia Minor (Central-Southern Italy) in 1047. Beginning his career there as a brigand, he eventually (but briefly) found employ as a mercenary in the service of Pandulf IV of Capua. He left the following year, to seek service with his brother Drogo in Apulia, who granted him a fief.
Roger I of Sicily at the Battle of Cerami in 1063 Painted by Prosper Lafaye
Roger II was also inclined to surround himself with some of the most learned and able men of his time at his court. These men came from as far north as England and as far east as Antioch.