Dear readers and colleagues!
One of the fundamental themes for our journal is the genesis and decline of empires-entities which (from the socio-political and military perspectives) guaranteed the interaction between various peoples, faiths and cultures. Previous thematic issues of The Historical Reporter were dedicated to such subjects as the governmental models of the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the expansion of the Mongols. The current issue — conceived a year ago and dedicated to the Norman factor in European history — seems to be a subject that, for a time, lay outside of the editorial board’s direct interests. Properly speaking, the Normans never created an empire, even though the impact of their expansion equates them to the endeavors of other peoples, who built or brought down great states of our oikumene. Never creating a centralized empire of their own, the Normans became the binding agent on which Europe was able to build, combining both Latin (Roman) and Byzantine traditions. After all, it was the Normans who spearheaded the Latin movement from North to South and from West to East. The Normans became a driving force behind the mass and diverse range of interactions between the Latin West and the East (both Islamic and Christian).
Yet another direction of Norman expansion developed in parallel and on its own; that being the route «From the Variags to the Greeks», a route that became a critical element in the genesis of the Russian Orthodox world. It is important to note that the theme is question is so vast, that the editorial board decided to divide it amongst several thematic issues. The given issue, compiled and edited by S.P. Brun, is comprised exclusively of the materials that are connected to the Norman expansion in the Mediterranean: namely, the Norman conquests of Southern Italy, Sicily, Syria, Cilicia and Galilee. The issue includes articles dedicated to a wide array of aspects, pertaining to Norman expansion and culture: their political and military history, religious life, numismatics. Our journal gives a lot of thought and effort to the publication of sources. In this issue, the reader will find the Latin original and Russian translation of the final 17 chapters of Gesta Tancredi by Ralph of Caen, one of the main sources on the Norman expansion in the East during the First Crusade. We hope that this new issue, the 40th Volume of The Historical Reporter will prove to be of interest and use to both — professional historians and a wide range of readers that are partial to history.
Alexey E. Titkov, Editor-in-Chief of the Historical Reporter
Editor’s Foreword. The Normans on the Frontline of Latin Expansion into the Orient
THE NORMANS — EASTWARD EXPANSION
Vitaly Prudnikov. The Normans and the Seljuk Turks: A Symmetry of Movement
THE NORMANS – EXPANSION AND MATERIAL CULTURE
Vladimir Khomutov. The Norman Coinage of Roger I the Great Count