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The Cult of St Nicholas of Myra in Norman Bari, c. 1071–c. 1111

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2016

Department of History, Montclair State University, Dickson Hall 426, 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA; e-mail:


This article explores the cult of St Nicholas in later eleventh-century Bari, focusing on its importance to the new Norman rulers in the region as well as to their subjects. While acknowledging the influence of earlier expressions of the cult in Normandy and in Byzantine southern Italy, it argues that for numerous reasons Nicholas was, for Bari, an especially important – and appropriate – intercessor. During these years, which witnessed the translation of the saint from Myra, economic developments, church politics and the demands of the First Crusade merged to render Nicholas an ideal patron for the city.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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1 Graham A. Loud, The age of Robert Guiscard: southern Italy and the Norman conquest, Harlow 2000, 31.

2 ‘Hunc habuere ducem sibi gens Normannica primum partibus Italiae’: William of Apulia, The deeds of Robert Guiscard, trans. Graham A. Loud, University of Leeds,, 4. Loud's translation is based on Guillaume de Pouille, La Geste de Robert Guiscard, ed. Marguerite Mathieu, Palermo 1963.

3 ‘Gens Normannorum navalis nescia belli hactenus, ut victrix rediit, spem principis auget. Sentit enim Danaos non tantum civibus Urbis praesidii ratibus vexisse, quod obsidionem impediat; multum simul et novitiate triumphi aequorei gaudet, securius unde subire iam cum Normannis navalia proelia sperat’: La Geste de Robert Guiscard, 170 (‘The Norman race had up to this point known nothing of naval warfare. But by thus returning victorious they very much enhanced their leader's confidence, for he knew that the Greeks had been unable to carry enough help to the citizens of the town to hinder the siege. At the same time he greatly rejoiced at the novelty of this naval victory, hoping in consequence that he and the Normans might in future engage in battle at sea with more hope of success’: William of Apulia, Deeds of Robert Guiscard, 32). See also The history of the Normans by Amatus of Montecassino, ed. Graham A. Loud, Rochester 2004, 143–6; the Anonymi barensis chronicon, ed. L. A. Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores v, 1724; and Stanton, Charles, ‘The use of naval power in the Norman conquest of southern Italy and Sicily’, Haskins Society Journal xix (2007), 120–36 at pp. 125–6Google Scholar.

4 ‘Nationalism … was never a part of N[icholas's] personality; perhaps that is one reason why his cult was more intense among Normans, who were wandering knights, than anywhere else’: Charles Williams Jones, Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bari and Manhattan: biography of a legend, Chicago 1978, 220.

5 ‘N[icholas] has been the most popular nonbiblical saint in Christendom, though Saint Martin might challenge that claim’: ibid. 3.

6 Wace, the hagiographical works: The Conception Nostre Dame and the Lives of St Margaret and St Nicholas, trans. with introduction and notes by Jean Blacker, Glyn S. Burgess and Amy V. Ogden, Leiden 2013, 252. See also Jones, Charles Williams, ‘The Norman cults of Sts Catherine and Nicholas, saec. xi’, Collection Latomus cxlv (1976), 216–30 at p. 222 n. 44Google Scholar.

7 It should be noted that although the cult of St Nicholas had been observed pre–1087, it received a boost once his relics were moved to Bari. This is particularly true of northern, central and eastern France: Karl Young, The drama of the medieval Church, Oxford 1962, 308–9.

8 Jones, ‘The Norman cults of Sts Catherine and Nicholas’, 223. See also Garipzanov, Ildar H., ‘The cult of St Nicholas in the early Christian North (c. 1000–1150)’, Scandinavian Journal of History xxxv (2010), 229–46 at pp. 230–2CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 Karl Meisen, Nikolauskult und Nikolausbrauch im Abendlande (1931), Dusseldorf 1981, 344ff.

10 Jean Fournée, Saint Nicolas en Normandie, Nogent-sur-Marne 1988, 48, 24ff., respectively. According to legend, the chapel was built by grateful sailors from Rouen who had been faced with shipwreck during a voyage to England. Nicholas protected them and descended from the sky to offer reassurance (p. 52).

11 Marjorie Chibnall, ‘The translation of the relics of Saint Nicholas and Norman historical tradition’, in Le relazioni religiose e chiesastico-giurisdizionali: atti del Congresso di Bari, 29–31 ottobre 1976, Rome 1979, 31–41 at p. 35.

12 Graham A. Loud, The Latin Church in Norman Italy, Cambridge 2007, 132.

13 David Charles Douglas, The Norman achievement, 1050–1100, Berkeley 1969, 118.

14 Bernard S Bachrach, Fulk Nerra, the neo-Roman consul, 987–1040: a political biography of the Angevin count, Berkeley 1993, 165. For the Latin text see Mailfert, Yvonne, ‘Fondation du monastère bénédictin de Saint-Nicolas d'Angers’, Bibliothèque d'Ecole de Chartes xcii (1931), 4361 at p. 55CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

15 Jonathan Shepard, ‘Adventus, arrivistes and rites of rulership in Byzantium and France in the tenth and eleventh century’, in Court ceremonies and rituals of power in Byzantium and the medieval Mediterranean: comparative perspectives, London 2013, 337–71 at p. 358.

16 Bachrach, Fulk Nerra, 165.

17 ‘Et ex malivolentia Anglorum cum nisu Danorum aliarumque barbararum gentium magnam cladem Normannis orituram intimabant’: The Ecclesiastical history of Orderic Vitalis, ed. Marjorie Chibnall, Oxford 1969–80, ii. 208–9. Versions ‘D’ and ‘E’ of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle also maintain that William returned to England on St Nicholas's Day 1067: David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror, Berkeley 1964, 213.

18 ‘Deinde sexta nocte decembris ad hostium amnis Deppæ ultra oppidum Archas accessit, primaque vigilia gelidæ noctis Austro vela dedit, et mane portum oppositi littoris quem Vincenesium vocitant prosperrimo cursu arripuit. Iam aura hiemalis mare sevissimum efficiebat sed sancti Nicholai Mirreorum præsulis solennitatem Æcclesia Dei celebrabat, et in Normannia pro devoto principe fideliter orabat. Omnipotentia ergo divina quæ omnes ubique et semper quos vult prospere gubernat benivolum regem inter hiemales tempestates ad portum salutis cum gaudio dirigebat’: Ecclesiastical history of Orderic Vitalis, ii. 208–11.

19 Roger ii, son of Roger i, would experience a similar challenge in the twelfth century.

20 Ecclesiastical history of Orderic Vitalis, iv. 70–3.

21 Ibid. iv. 72–3.

22 Chibnall, ‘Translation of the relics of Saint Nicholas’, 36.

23 Orderic accuses Stephen of attempting ‘to escape to France to enrich his own country’ (‘et in Gallias aufugere, patriamque suam, coenobiumque suum tanto thesauro ditate sategit’) with the relic: Ecclesiastical history of Orderic Vitalis, iv. 72–3.

24 See, for example, Guerrieri, F. Ferruccio, ‘Dell'antico culto di S. Nicola in Bari’, Rassegna pugliese xix (1902), 257–62Google Scholar; Meisen, Nikolauskult, 63–7; and Jones, Saint Nicholas of Myra, 166.

25 Codex diplomaticus cavensis, ed. Michaele Morcaldi, Mauro Schiani and Sylvano de Stephano, Milan 1884, vi. 115–17, no. 950 (1039). See also Antonio Gambacorta, ‘Culto e pellegrinaggi a San Nicola di Bari fino alla prima crociata’, in Giuseppe Ermini (ed.), Pellegrinaggi e culto dei santi in Europa fino alla I. Crociata, Todi 1963, 485–502 at pp. 490–2.

26 Codice diplomatico barese, I: Le pergamene del Duomo di Bari (952–1264), ed. Giambattista Nitto de Rossi and Francesco Nitti di Vito, Bari 1897, 38–9, no. 22.

27 Ibid. 51–2, no. 28.

28 ‘appare chiaro che a Bari e nelle sue vicinanze immediate esistettero ben cinque chiese dedicate a san Nicola di Mira molto prima del 1087, cioè assai prima della traslazione delle sue ossa da Mira a Bari, e alcune indubbiamente di uno o due secoli prima. Esse sono dedicate al Santo con questi titoli: 1) “da monte”; 2) “de pusterula Curtis”; 3) “in turre Musarra”; 4) “de lu porto”; 5) “supra portam veterem”’: Gambacorta, ‘Culto e pellegrinaggi’, 496–7.

29 ‘In huius autem cerei luminis corpore te, Omnipotens, postulamus ut supernae benedictionis munus accommodes, ut si quis hinc sumpserit adversus flabra ventorum, adversus spiritus procellarum, sit ei, Domine, singulare perfugium, sit murus ab hoste fidelibus’: Louis Duchesne, Christian worship: its origin and evolution: a study of the Latin liturgy up to the time of Charlemagne, trans. M. L. D. McClure, 5th edn, London 1919, 539.

30 Thomas Forrest Kelly, The exultet in southern Italy, Oxford 1996, 124.

31 ‘The varying character of the Exultet rolls reflects a mixture of tradition and innovation. The scribes – perhaps they were deacons – who made these rolls were aware of what an Exultet roll was like, but their creations are seldom versions of an older roll. The deacons, or whoever produced the rolls, deliberately sought distinction and varietas, perhaps to match local conditions, but probably above all to accord with the artistic and liturgical sensibilities of deacon and (especially) bishop. The individual for whom a roll is made may have a substantial influence on its formulation’: ibid. 211.

32 ‘Bari 1 has many names added, on front and back, including names of archbishops, popes, Byzantine emperors, local authorities, and Norman lords. The roll was altered, or portions added in margins or on the back, at least ten times between the making of the roll, sometime in the early years of the eleventh century, through the time of Archbishop Urso (1080–1089)’: ibid. 190.

33 ‘Memorare domine famulorum tuorum … lucidissimi ducis nostri domni Rubberti et domne Sikelgaite ac domni Rugerii et cunctum exercitum eorum et omnum circumastantium.’ A later reference, which Kelly thinks may date to well after 1071, reads ‘Memorare domine famulorum tuorum ducum nostrorum domni Robberti et domne Sikelgaite ac domni Roggerii cunctorumque exercituum eorum et omnium circumastantium’: ibid. 215.

34 The Alexiad of Anna Comnena, trans. Edgar Robert Ashton Sewter, London 1969, 132.

35 Guerrieri, ‘Dell'antico culto di S. Nicola in Bari’, 257; Meisen, Nikolauskult, 66. Jones appears to identify this object as an icon: Saint Nicholas of Myra, 166.

36 De rebus gestis Rogerii, Calabriae et Siciliae comitis, et Roberti Guiscardi ducis fratris eius, auctore Gaufredo Malaterra, ed. Ernesto Pontieri, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, 2nd edn, v. 1927–8, trans. Kenneth Baxter Wolf in The deeds of Count Roger of Calabria and Sicily and of his brother Duke Robert Guiscard, Ann Arbor 2005. Jones concluded that devotion to the saint in Norman Sicily ‘was moderate at best’: Saint Nicholas of Myra, 164–5, 412 n. 16. My argument here and in a forthcoming article on Roger ii is that this is not an accurate assessment.

37 ‘navali periculo sese committens’: De rebus gestis Rogerii, Calabriae et Siciliae comitis, 85. My translation. Wolf translates the Latin phrase as ‘taking up this maritime challenge’: Deeds of Count Roger, 177.

38 ‘Sicque ante Regium veniens, ecclesiam haud longe in honore beati Nicolai, et aliam in beati Georgii sitam depopulat, sacras imagines deturpando conculcat, sacras vestes vel vasa suorum usibus aptando asportat’: De rebus gestis Rogerii, Calabriae et Siciliae comitis, 85 (‘Making their way to Reggio, they plundered the nearby church built in honor of St Nicholas and another dedicated to St George, trampling and defiling sacred images and carrying off holy vestments and vessels to be adapted for their own use’: Deeds of Count Roger, 177).

39 ‘Eodem anno idem comes, sumptibus pluribus apparatis, undecumque terrarum artificiosis caementariis conductis, fundamenta castelli, turresque apud Messanam jacens, aedificare coepit; cui operi studiosos magistratus, qui operariis praeessent, statuit. Interdum ipse visum veniens, ipsos per semetipsum cohortando festinantiores reddens, brevi tempore turrim et propugnaculum immensae altitudinis mirifico opere consummavit. Et, quia hanc, quasi clavem Siciliae, aestimabat prae caeteris urbibus quas habebat, fidelibus tutoribus deputatis, arctiori custodia observabat’: De rebus gestis Rogerii, Calabriae et Siciliae comitis, 77 (‘In that same year, the count having accumulated a great deal of revenue, brought in skilled masons from all around and began to lay the foundations for a fortress and a tower in Messina. He appointed for this task zealous contractors who were expert in carrying out such projects. Meanwhile he himself came to observe, making them work even faster with his own encouragement. In a short time they completed the high ramparts and a tower of wonderful workmanship. He valued this city over the rest of the cities that he held, as if it were the key to Sicily. So after appointing faithful men to guard it, he observed its care very closely’: Deeds of Count Roger, 162).

40 ‘Ecclesiam etiam in honore sancti Nicolai in eadem urbe cum summa honorificentia construens, turribus et diversis possessionibus augendo dotans, clericis ad serviendum deputatis, pontificali sede aptavit; sed eam cum Traynensi cathedra univit’: De rebus gestis Rogerii, Calabriae et Siciliae comitis, 77 (‘He also constructed a church in the same city in honor of St Nicholas, endowing it with towers and various possessions to provide revenues for it. After appointing priests to administer the church, he prepared it to serve as an episcopal see, though it was to be tied to the cathedral of Troina’: Deeds of Count Roger, 163). The see of Troina was transferred to Messina in 1096. See Loud, Latin Church in Norman Italy, 194.

41 ‘Comes itaque, funus decenter ordinans, Traynam corpus, ad porticum sancti Nicolai, solemniter humandum deducit, multa beneficia eidem ecclesiae, sed ed aliis, pro redemptione animae eius conferens: anno Domini incarnationis MXCII’: De rebus gestis Rogerii, Calabriae et Siciliae comitis, 98 (‘The count, organising the funeral in an honorable manner, solemnly brought the body to Troina for burial in the portico of the church of S. Niccolo. He conferred many benefits on the same church and on others for the redemption of his son's soul, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1092’: Deeds of Count Roger, 197).

42 Lynn Townsend White, Jr, Latin monasticism in Norman Sicily, Cambridge 1938, 43. Raccuia (previously Racuja) is located in the modern province of Messina. The question of whether Roger founded the monastery cannot be answered with certainty, as the charter on which the claim is based is an early modern Latin forgery of a now missing Greek source. There is some speculation as to whether Roger actually founded the monastery or if the document was created simply to increase the house's stature and age. See Documenti latini e greci del conte Ruggero I di Calabria e di Sicilia, ed. Julia Becker, Rome 2013, 264–8, no. 170, at p. 265.

During the eleventh and twelfth centuries there were numerous monastic and secular dedications to Nicholas in Sicily and on the mainland whose origins are unknown. In addition, images of him appear in southern Italian churches dedicated to other saints. A late eleventh-century Nicholas fresco was discovered in the church of San Donato al Pantano (San Donato di Ninea, Calabria) in 2003–4, so others may still be found: Riccardi, Lorenzo, ‘Le pitture murali della chiesa di S. Donato al Pantano di San Donato di Ninea (Cs)’, Calabria Letteraria lxix (2011), 5060Google Scholar.

43 White, Latin monasticism in Norman Sicily, 43.

44 ‘Domnique Alexandri strenui militia filii eius [Rocce]. Cuius corpus iuxta sancti Nicolai basilicam in civitate Bari deo opitulante hedificatam ubi sancte eius reliquie requiescunt’: Codice diplomatico barese, V: Le pergamene di S. Nicola di Bari, periodo normanno (1075–1194), ed. Giambattista Nitto de Rossi and Francesco Nitti di Vito, Bari 1897, 91–3, no. 50, at p. 92.

45 ‘domnique Alexandri strenui militis filii eius cuius corpus iuxta sancti Nicolay basilicam in civitate Bari deo opitulante edificatam ubi sancte reliquie requiescunt, digne et onorifice tumulatur’: ibid. 102–3, no. 57.

46 Patrick Geary, Furta sacra: thefts of relics in the central Middle Ages, rev. edn, Princeton 1990, 95, 101–2.

47 Jean-Marie Martin, La Pouille du VIe au XIIe siècle, Rome 1993, esp. pp. 362–6.

48 Ibid. 477–85.

49 Ibid. 477.

50 Ibid. 439.

51 Paul Oldfield, City and community in Norman Italy, Cambridge 2009, 254. In n. 64 the author notes that the word comes from naukleros (ναύκληρος), a Greek term that in the classical period could mean ‘shipowner,’ ‘merchant,’ ‘sailor,’ or ‘skipper’. For specific references to these men see also Martin, La Pouille, 439.

52 Oldfield, City and community, 254–5.

53 Geary, Furta sacra, 95.

54 Ibid. 98–100. There are three versions of the translation. One was written during the first half of the twelfth century by a Barese monk named Nicephorus and today may be found in Cod. Vat. Lat. 5074, fos 5v–10v. Another version, contained in Cod. Vat. Lat. 477, fos 29–38, was purportedly written in the late eleventh century by John of Bari, an archdeacon who worked under Archbishop Ursone of Bari. These two accounts contain many of the same details and their differences are mainly in the authors' discussions of the final location of Nicholas's relics. Francesco Nitti di Vito (1872–1944), palaeographer, secretary of the Commissione Provinciale di Storia Patria, and later archdeacon of the basilica of St Nicholas, believed that both accounts were suspect and were probably altered in the twelfth century to support the competing claims of various parties as they fought over the jurisdiction of the basilica. Nitti di Vito thought that the original account of the saint's translation had been captured in a fourteenth-century Russian manuscript, though Geary notes that this cannot be known with certainty. All three versions of the translation may be found in di Vito, Nitti, ‘La traslazione delle reliquie di San Nicola’, Iapigia viii (1937), 295411 at pp. 336–56Google Scholar, 357–66, 388–92 (transliterations from fourteenth- and sixteenth-century codices, offered side-by-side, followed by an Italian translation, respectively).

55 Ibid. 102–3.

56 By the early twelfth century, however, Bari's commercial relationship with Venice – as well as with northern Italy as a whole – had changed: Oldfield, City and community, 248–9.

57 Geary, Furta sacra, 102.

58 Ibid. Another factor that may have made the acquisition of Nicholas's relics attractive to the people of Bari was that the Venetians might have been planning to steal the saint's body.

59 That the Seljuk Turks had diminished the status of Nicholas's shrine when they destabilised Byzantine rule in the region should be kept in mind when the role of the saint in Norman Italy and Sicily is considered. Jones notes that before the arrival of the Turks, Nicholas's tomb was a popular pilgrimage shrine as the myrrh and other of the saint's relics circulated throughout Christian Europe: Saint Nicholas of Myra, 173. There was also a belief that Nicholas's tomb enjoyed divine protection from Muslim threats. Given the earlier history of the saint's cult and the wider context in which it became energised in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, it is not surprising that Nicholas would be seen as an ally of these rulers, many of whom were now locked in their own struggles to the south and east against Muslim armies.

60 Chibnall, ‘Translation of the relics of Saint Nicholas’, 38.

61 Codice diplomatico barese, v. 73–5, no. 42 as well as Codice diplomatico barese, VI: Le pergamene di S. Nicola di Bari, periodo svevo (1195–1266), ed. Francesco Nitti di Vito, Bari 1906, 34–5, no. 20. See also Loud, Latin Church in Norman Italy, 376. The first of these documents (June 1105) suggests that by the early twelfth century the Gregorian Reform movement may have encouraged church leaders to revoke one of the sailors' privileges as they strove to limit participation in church affairs. Leo Pillius, one of the Baresi sailors who participated in the saint's translation but later renounced his privileges in the Church, stated that ‘Concessit etiam michi habere partem meam in oblatione que offertur omnibus annis in festivitate translationis corporis sancti Nycolai secundum scriptum quod communiter factum est pro omnibus sociis. Modo vero intellexi per sapientes ecclesiasticos viros quod peccatum esse et contra legem ecclesiasticam atque canones ut laica persona haberet aliquid dominium in ecclesia vel rebus ecclesie excepto concessum communem introitum ad orandum et officium audiendum.’ For a full list of the sailors see Codice diplomatico barese, v. 280–1, no. 164.

62 Geary, Furta sacra, 103.

63 Loud, Latin Church in Norman Italy, 212. ‘Cum magna itaque undique confluentis populi frequentia letitiaque beati Nicolai in locum parati aditi transferentes contra morem nostre romane et [apostolice] ecclesie te dilectissime frater in sede propria consecravimus’: Codice diplomatico barese, I: Le pergamene del duomo di Bari (952–1264), ed. Francesco Nitti di Vito, Bari 1902, 62, no. 33.

64 Codice diplomatico barese, v. 61–3, no. 33. See also P. Gerardo Cioffari, Storia della basilica di S. Nicola di Bari, I: L'epoca normanno sveva, Bari 1984, 80.

65 Cioffari, Storia della basilica di S. Nicola, i. 80.

66 Codice diplomatico barese, v. 251–2, no. 146; Loud, Latin Church in Norman Italy, 377.

67 Geary, Furta sacra, 103. The author notes that Benevento would make a similar claim by 1090.

68 See, for example, Nicephorus' account, which is available in English translation in Gerardo Cioffari, Saint Nicholas, his life, the translation of his relics and his basilica in Bari, Bari 1994, 53–68 at pp. 64–5. The longevity of these camps has been questioned recently by Paul Oldfield, but they appear to have been existed – at least for a time. See his Sanctity and pilgrimage in medieval southern Italy, 1000–1200, Cambridge–New York 2014, 224.

69 The position of Nitti di Vito that this tension was the result of infighting between an aristocratic, Grecophile camp, led by Archbishop Urso and associated with Bari's cathedral, on the one hand, and the common population, supportive of the Normans and led by Abbot Elias on the other, cannot be sustained: La ripresa gregoriana di Bari (1087–1105): e i suoi riflessi nel mondo contemporaneo politico e religioso, Trani 1942. Urso was a staunch supporter of Robert Guiscard. The archbishop was also backed by Rome, having been translated from the see of Rapolla to Bari by Gregory vii in about 1080. See Babudri, Francesco, ‘Le note autobiografiche di Giovanni arcidiacono Barese e la cronologia dell'arcivescovado di Ursone a Bari’, Archivio storico pugliese ii (1949), 134–46Google Scholar.

70 Jones, Saint Nicholas of Myra, 210–11.

71 Ibid. 211.

72 Graham A. Loud, ‘Norman Italy and the Holy Land’, in B. Z. Kedar (ed.) The Horns of Hattin, Jerusalem 1992, 49–62 at p. 50, repr. in Graham A. Loud (ed.), Conquerors and churchmen in Norman Italy, Aldershot 1999.

73 ‘et fecit Curbanae tentorium per mare conduci Barim ad Sanctum Nicolaum, ut laetaretur omnis Christiana plebs de triumpho quem dedit populo suo Dominus super paganorum gentem’: Peter Tudebode, Historia peregrinorum euntium Jerusolymam ad liberandum Sanctum Sepulcrum de potestate ethnicorum in Recueil des historiens des Croisades: historiens occidentaux, Paris 1866, iii. 206 (‘and [Bohemund] arranged for the tent of Kerbogha to be transported by sea to [the basilica of] St Nicholas of Bari, so that all Christian people might rejoice in the victory which God gave to his people over the race of pagans’: my translation). See also Cioffari, Storia della basilica di S. Nicola, i. 92. The tent probably arrived in late July or August 1098.

74 Loud, ‘Norman Italy and the Holy Land’, 53.

75 Jones, Saint Nicholas of Myra, 218–19. See also Charles Wendell Davis, Robert Curthose, duke of Normandy (1920), New York 1982, 98 n. 47.

76 The First Crusade: The chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and other source materials, ed. Edward Peters, 2nd edn, Philadelphia 1998, 60; ‘Nos autem per mediam Campaniam euntes, venimus Barum, quae civitas optima in maris margine sita est. Ibi in ecclesia beati Nicolai fusis ad Deum precibus oravimus; deinde portum adeuntes transfretare tunc putavimus. Sed obsistentibus nautis et praevaricante fortuna, tempore tunc etiam hiemali inminente, quod nobis nocuum obiecerunt, oportuit Robertum comitem Normanniae in Calabriam secedere et toto tempore brumali illic hiemare. Tunc tamen Robertus, comes Flandriae, cum cohort sua transfretavit. Tunc vero plurimi de plebe desolate, inopiam etiam futuram metuentes, arcubus suis ibi venditis et baculis peregrinationis resumptis, ad domos suas ignavi regressi sunt. Qua de re tam Deo quam hominibus viles effecti sunt et versum est eis in opprobrium’: Fulcher of Chartres, Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia hierosolymitana (1095–1127), ed. Heinrich Hagenmeyer, Heidelberg 1913, 166–8.

77 The First Crusade, 61; ‘De reliquis autem iam cum morte luctantibus vix pauci vitam sibi retinuerunt. Equi vero et muli sub undis exstincti sunt, pecunia quoque multa perdita est. Quod infortunium cum videremus, pavore grandi confusi sumus, in tantum ut plerique corde debiles, nondum naves ingressi, ad domos suas repedarent, peregrinatione dimissa, dicentes nunquam amplius in aquam sic deceptricem se infigere’: Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia hierosolymitana, 170–1.

78 The First Crusade, 61; ‘Tunc quidem iter siccum laetabundi resumpsimus’: Fulcheri Carnotensis Historia hierosolymitana, 171–2.

79 ‘O beate Nicholae!/nos ad maris portum trahe/de mortis angustia!’: Édélestand du Méril, Poésies populaires latines antérieures au douzième siècle (1843), Bologna 1969, 172. See also Franke, Gertrude, ‘Der Einfluss des Nikolauskultes auf die Namengebung im französischen Sprachgebiet’, Romanische Forschungen xlviii (1934), 1134 at p. 9Google Scholar, and Jones, Saint Nicholas of Myra, 218–19. The song is apparently an adaptation of an earlier hymn.

80 PL clxiii.178; Johannes arcidiaconus Barensis, Historia inventionis s. Sabini espisopi Canusini, in Acta Sanctorum, February 9, ii, 331; Codice diplomatico barese, i. 61–3, no. 33; 64–5, no. 34; Niccolò Putignani, Vindiciae vitae et gestorum Sancti Thaumaturgi Nicolai archiespiscopi Myrensis, Naples 1757, ii. 312, 341; Giulio Petroni, Della storia di Bari: dagli antichi tempi sino all'anno 1856, Naples 1858, i. 224. See also Jones, Saint Nicholas of Myra, 218, and Ralph Yewdale, Bohemond I: prince of Antioch, Princeton 1924, esp. pp. 31–2, 107, 133.

81 ‘Dilectissimorum filiorum romane ecclesie Rogerii ducis et fratris eius Boamundi atque vestris deprecationibus invitati [civitatem] vestram pro beati confessoris Nicolai dilectione precipua visitavimus’: Codice diplomatico barese, i. 61–3, no. 33. Graham Loud has noted that since bishops were often important to the spiritual lives of their parishioners, the Norman rulers of southern Italy were frequently interested in the political leanings of these prelates: Latin Church in Norman Italy, 119.

82 Cioffari, Storia della basilica di S. Nicola, i. 185–6.

83 Ibid. 120.

84 Ibid. 122. See also Loud, Latin Church in Norman Italy, 81.

85 The history of the tyrants of Sicily by ‘Hugo Falcandus’, 1154–69, trans. Graham A. Loud and Thomas Wiedemann, Manchester 1998, 74; ‘Ita prepotens Apulie civitas, fama celebris, opibus pollens, nobilissimis superba civibus, edificiorum structura mirabilis, iacet nunc in acervos lapidum transformata’: La historia o Liber de Regno Sicilie e la epistola ad Petrum Panormitane ecclesie thesaurium di Ugo Falcando, ed. G. B. Siragusa, Rome 1897, 21.

86 Cioffari, Storia della basilica di S. Nicola, i. 186.

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