Robert Guiscard

(c.1016-1085) Founder of the Norman state of the Two Sicilies, died Cephalonia, Greece. He was the son of Tancred, seigneur of Hauteville-la-Guichard, Normandy. Entering the Lombard service, he took part in the defeat of Pope Leo IX at Civitella, and in 1057 became leader of the Normans in their conquest of southern Italy. Two years later he became a vassal of the Holy See, as duke of the lands conquered in Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily. He was excommunicated by Gregory VII for attacking papal territory, but was subsequently pardoned. Having set out to conquer the Byzantine Empire, he was recalled to save Italy from Henry IV, and he rescued Gregory VII in Rome. He died shortly after resuming his eastern campaign.

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