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The Royal Palace in Palermo - The medieval Palace

by Ruggero Longo

Christmas Day 1130 was a great day for Palermo, and is a
memorable one for the history of southern Italy: it was the day of the
coronation of Roger II. The Hauteville family, Normans who arrived in the
south of Italy in the earlier eleventh century, extended their control over
the entire southern part of the peninsula. Islamic Sicily was conquered by
Robert Guiscard and his brother the count Roger, in a remarkable
undertaking that unified the entire south under a single crown. This crown
was placed on the head of Roger II, son of the first count of Sicily, in the
archiepiscopal church of Palermo. The praises heaped on the new king still
echo today in the inscriptions and diplomas composed in Latin, Greek and
Arabic; pages and pages of history were written, exalting his fame.
Alexander of Telese wrote at this time: “After the duke Roger in
accordance with royal ceremonial had proceeded to the archiepiscopal
church and after receiving the sacred anointings assumed the dignity of
sovereignty, it cannot be expressed in writing and indeed it cannot be
imagined how great was his glory and how imposing and marvellous was
the new kingdom for its prestige and for its profusion of riches. All
observers received the impression that it had concentrated into itself all the
magnificence and honours of this world. The entire city was incomparably
glorified and within its boundaries spread rejoicing and splendour.”
In the following chapter, book II chapter V, of the Ystoria Rogerii regis
Sicilie Calabrie atque Apulie, entitled “The splendour of the royal Palace
the equipage of the knightly procession”, the chronicler describes the
Palace in enthusiastic terms: “Also the royal Palace, whose walls inside
were all decorated, shone brilliantly. The floors, covered with
multicoloured carpets, gave a most agreeable impression.”
The description of the ceremonies continues in chapter VI: “For those
invited to the royal banquet a most rich assortment of dishes and drinks
was provided, served in plates and cups of gold and silver. All the servants
were dressed in silk […] Such was the splendour and ostentation inside the
Palace that to everybody’s eyes it appeared something prodigious and
stupefying, to the extent that it aroused genuine dismay in those who had
come from afar to assist at the event. This is because the spectators were
presented with many more things than they had even heard about”.1

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The chronicler, so well informed as to be able to describe the saddles
and bridles of the horses, does not however describe the things that were
presented; so it is not easy to imagine what Roger’s Palace looked like on
that festive occasion. Undoubtedly it would have had the appearance of a
fortress, girdled with walls and towers, being called in the earliest sources
of the Guiscard period castra, castle, fortress,2 built by the duke Robert
after his conquest of Palermo in 10ι1, “in a special part of the city”, “a
very high place”, according to the monk Amatus of Montecassino.3 On the
day of the coronation that castrum, already called palatium in the Ystoria
of the monk of Telese, as well as being a fortress must also have been a
luxurious residence. A diploma of 11324 informs us that the king’s Chapel,
founded in the castellum superius, possessed jurisdiction over totum
castellum panormitanum cum universo regali palatio; thus, a distinction
was made between the palace and the castle in which it was located.
So it was a palace, but had a very different appearance from the present
one, which is the result of a great many transformations undergone by the
monumental complex from the sixteenth century until our own times.5
However much still remains of that palace, which in places can clearly be
seen, while in others it is hidden by superimposed layers, in still others it is
concealed or obliterated. So we need in imagination to strip away a few
historical layers from the royal Palace, in order to be able to read its
medieval facies. In this journey backwards through time, in addition to the
faint material traces we have at our disposal the old sources, which taken
together are capable of providing a concrete and tangible impression of the
Norman Palace.
First of all, looking at the Palace, we have to remove in our
imaginations all those later buildings that have been added to the original
ones (Fig. 1). The seventeenth-century east façade, the Parliament
Chamber or Hall of Hercules with its west wall, the monumental staircase
named after Charles III, the Maqueda courtyard with its loggia, the
courtyard of the Fontana, the astronomical observatory built on top of the
Pisan Tower and the modern re-arrangement of the Greek Tower must all
be discarded in favour of the medieval structures, so that what we have is a
complex of walls and towers that better corresponds to the notion of a
fortress-palace. This comprised the north Pisan Tower, the adjacent
Joharia, the Greek Tower to the south-east, the massive polygonal bulk of
the so-called Political Prisons to the south-west, and the Palatine Chapel in
the centre (Fig. 2). Between the Chapel and the Joharia, at the level of the

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so-called crypt of the Palatine Chapel and thus above the courtyard of the
Fontana, some rooms wrongly referred to as hypogea and called “Segrete”
may derive from the now vanished rooms which the historian Tommaso
Fazello called Tirimbi.6
To help us imagine this configuration now masked by superimposed
layers, there is a very useful representation of the royal Palace in the well
known map of Palermo that was published by Georg Braun and Franz
Hogenberg in 1581 (Fig. 3), having been prepared between 1569 and
1570.7 This representation does not however show the rooms of the
Tirimbi or Chirimbi which were probably adjacent to the Chapel, towards
the north, in the place where in these very years the west loggia of the
Fontana courtyard was built,8 the loggia being very clearly shown. This is
not the only omission. According to Fazello, there were two other
important elements that were part of the complex until shortly before the
making of the Hogenberg map: a Red Tower, which he says was built for
the count Roger († 1101) and was demolished in 1553,9 and the Aula
Verde, an open space between loggias in the area in front of the Palace,
facing the city, which was also destroyed in the sixteenth century.10
Unfortunately these two elements are not shown either in the ideal
reconstruction of the Norman Palace devised by Francesco Valenti, an
engineer who was Superintendent of antiquities and fine arts in Palermo
and who carried out some important restorations at the Palace between
1921 and 1938. The drawing that illustrates this hypothetical
reconstruction (Fig. 4), made in 1925 by the architect Pietro Loiacono,
does however give a clear and reliable idea of the Palace’s appearance in
the Norman period. With this image in front of our eyes, we can now pay
attention to the words of contemporaries, in order to return in imagination
to the ceremony of the coronation and to recover what has been lost,
beginning with the Aula Verde.
Valuable information is provided by two Arab poets of the time of
Roger II: Abd Rahman of Butera and Ibn Basrun, who in a sort of literary
contest challenge each other with verses devoted to the same subject: the
Norman Palace.11 Abd Rahman writes:
There is no serene life, except in the shade of sweet Sicily,
under a dynasty that surpasses the Caesarean dynasties of the kings.
Behold the royal palace, where joy has taken up its abode;
marvellous dwelling, on which God has bestowed perfect beauty!
Behold the theatre shining on every structure of architecture,

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an ensemble of loggias opening onto a vast atrium that in various documents is called Aula Verde. or Pissotus. says that one of them began ab Aula Regia. with its notably built castle. he the king of the Caesars. between the towers known as Greca and Pisana and the Torre Rossa. and the [erudite] coteries that are his delight. with high loggias. elegant in form. This latter. describing the streets of the Norman city. and in addition they are full of useful indications for an ideal reconstruction of Roger’s splendid building. with its beasts and it copious waters and its fountains [worthy] of Paradise! Behold the orchards. Spring has clothed her lands with the splendid garments. covered by vegetation with most elegant robes. The chronicler Hugo Falcandus. mentions that William I “went down into the room that is attached to the palace and assembled as many people as the greatness of the space was able to contain”. she has perfumed the breezes. built by the count Roger. that shining theatre. the Red Tower). built “in brick” (whence its name. was first reduced in 44 . she has crowned their face with many-coloured jewelled clothing. in which the world has come into flower.13 No lovelier lines were ever written in praise of the triumphant beauty of the Norman Palace.15 The vanished Aula must therefore have occupied the area in front of the Palace towards the city. that pour forth waters of Paradise. narrating the events in Palermo between 1154 and 1169. qui Palatio subest. the view of the palace from the city must have offered. enriched with luxuriating vegetation and with a fountain in the centre. the superb gardens. as the qualifying element representative of the sovereign’s bounty. From the outside. chattering after their fashion from morn til eve! Here Roger plans [always] great things. shining with enchanting beauty. covering the fragrant soil with silks from Sinai! [Feel] the breeze that [wafts].14 In his Epistola ad Petrum Panormitanae ecclesie thesaurarium de calamitate Siciliae the same author.12 To which Ibn Basrun relies: Hurrah for the triumphant [palace]. from morning to evening. and brings you the scent of amber. Listen to the birds. the lions of its fountain. among the sweetnesses of a life that may [Heaven] prolong. now no more. [See] the trees laden with exquisite fruits.

giving prominence to the ensemble of loggias that formed a sort of diaphragm between the fortress-palace and the city itself. we might look at some of the miniatures in the celebrated Liber ad Honorem Augusti by Peter of Eboli. composed between 1195 and 1197. 25 In particular. All around are the said porticoes and the offices where sit the magistrates.19 The Andalusian traveller Ibn Jubayr gave a careful description of it around the year 1184: “Among other things we noticed a hall in a large courtyard surrounded by a garden. by which the civic administration of Palermo requests Peter II of Aragon for help in restoring a portion of the Aula that was in ruins. 5) seems to evoke the view of the Palace from the city. of the fact that in that area the citizens sometimes found marble slabs. who in his work dedicated to the sovereign leaves a careful description of the entire Norman city: “The city is divided into two parts: the Qasr and the borgo. attested in various later documents21 and thus referred to in an act of 1340. moreover it must have been open towards the city and to have been large enough to accommodate a multitude of people. in imaginative but basically in figurative terms. and flanked by porticoes. the miniature showing the death of William I (Fig.16 It must until then have stood on the front side of the Palace. We learned that this is the place where the king is accustomed to eat with his entourage.23 informs us of its recent demolition (1549).17 The royal Aula must have been surrounded by loggias that linked the towers to each other18 and gave access to the various rooms and offices of the Palace. so that we were astonished by its extension and by the height of its look-outs. writing in 1558. The hall occupies the entire length of this courtyard.20 The presence of gardens and orchards must be the reason for the name Sala Viridis (or Pissotus). the court geographer al-Idrisi. the vanished structure. more or less where there is now the marble baroque monument to Philip V.26 For a glimpse of the inside of the Norman Palace we need to consult a frequenter of royal palaces.24 To form an idea of the Aula Verde and of its impact on the city in the Middle Ages. of the re-use of its stones to make new fortifications. and that in 1554 the area was sanded and levelled with a roller. which are believed to represent. 55 .22 Fazello. sorrowfully calls to mind its still vivid memory. the public officials and the financial agents”.height and then completely demolished in 1553 by the viceroy Giovanni Vega “so that he could have a better view of the city”.

is on one side battered by frequent assaults of the sea. on the other side of the city. notable for the architectural decoration. in the remaining space. is occupied by the New Palace. in which the image of the royal Palace acquires a certain precision: “This city. opposes its walls fortified by a great number of towers. artfully designed. It embraces three wards. artfully designed. to repel the waves of which the Old Palace. situated on a plain. on the other the Greek Tower which overlooks the part of the city known as Kemonia. surrounded on the outside was a great circuit of walls and astonishing on the inside for the abundance and splendour of the gems and the gold. he also gave structural and technical details: well constructed apartments and rooms. well protected with look-outs. which is known as Castello a Mare. [comfortable] with well built rooms and apartments. contained in the Epistola of the Pseudo Hugo Falcandus written around 1190. and what aroused his admiration: notable architectural decoration. supplied with high towers. the king is accustomed to frequent it when he wishes to devote himself to leisure and tranquillity.The Qasr is that ancient fortress so well known in every land and every region. of which the central one is filled with towering buildings and tall and noble hostels. elegant images (painted or sculpted). there are various rooms intended for the matrons. for the wonderful and rare calligraphy and for the elegant images in all styles that are collected there. built in opus quadratum with marvellous diligence and admirable workmanship. baths and shops of great merchants […] In this same [Qasr] stands the gâmi mosque (cathedral) which at one time was a Christian church and has now returned [to the worship] to which the ancients dedicated it […] In the most elevated part of this Qasr. The opposite part. wonderful calligraphy. the damsels and the eunuchs who are in the service of the king 66 . a Muslim pilgrim who saw only the outside of the Palace. Idrisi provided precise information about what the Palace contained. made with great pieces of cut stone and covered with mosaics. made with hard mosaic stones and large pieces of dressed stone. which has the greatest quantity of ornaments and is resplendent for the magnificence of its varied decorations. the dreaded king Roger has a new citadel. Before matching the individual references to the material reality that still survives. mosques. warehouses. on one side there is the Pisan Tower which guards the treasure.”27 Unlike Ibn Jubayr. In this same area. The intermediate area is adorned by that part of the palace called Joharia. let us take a look at another description.

gems and gold filigree. to which Falcandus devotes so much attention and which is covertly alluded to also by the two court poets.28 Falcandus describes the Palace knowledgably from top to bottom. its walls decorated in the lower part with slabs of precious marble and in the upper part with mosaic. is conveyed to us also by dozens of precious objects – jewels. And there are other apartments as well. situated right in the heart of the monumental complex. for he wanted the very best for 77 . Nor should one fail to mention the noble workshops adjacent to the palace. made in 1133-34 by the Muslim weavers of the Tiraz. which he says are adherentes29 to the Palace.”33 For the decoration of the Palatine Chapel. One of the best preserved medieval monuments in the world. has however survived intact. those who enter the palace from the part that overlooks the city come first to the Royal Chapel.and the queen.31 whereas the actual place where they were produced. with marvellous variety of painting and with a splendour of gold that sends forth rays everywhere. The very high wooden ceiling is adorned with elegant carving. which show scenes from the Old and New Testament. producing wonderful woven fabrics such as the celebrated coronation mantle of Roger II (now in the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna). in a well protected location suitably close to the treasury. and is capable of revealing to us a medieval universe charged with messages. both open and secret. where the silk cocoons are spun into threads of various colours and are used for different kinds of woven fabrics”. partly in gold and partly in various colours. possibly to the north of the Pisan Tower. calling each part by its proper name. Roger II recruited the best craftsmen in the Mediterranean world.30 The fame of the royal workshops and of the working of pearls. truly splendid for the abundance of their decoration. its floor covered with magnificent work. woven fabrics. or else receives notables to talk about the public affairs of the kingdom. where the king either discusses affairs of state with his intimates in great secrecy. in its walls of marble and gold. and especially the presence of the workshops called Nobiles Officinae.32 has now disappeared. glass. the Palatine Chapel is filled with the most courtly art of the Mediterranean Middle Ages: “Moreover. ivories – made during and after the Norman rule. expert Greek craftsmen worked in them. Another part of the Palace that is described with care and admiration by Falcandus. and revealing important particulars such as the location of the royal treasures.

capable of giving the city an appearance worthy of a Mediterranean capital. we learn that Roger II founded “this splendid temple of the Apostles. as though the whole building orbited around a sacred space which amounts to a political manifesto for the sovereign. glimmering with light. Thus he set in motion a sophisticated decorative programme lasting several years.himself. It was not by chance that the first new construction ordered by Roger II in his capacity as king should have been the Palatine Chapel (fig. 37 If we now look at the famous description of the Palatine which the monk Philagathus of Cerami gave when the building was already finished and marvellously decorated. which he built in his palace as a foundation and bulwark. the foundation of the Norman kingdom meant the start of a new and intense building campaign.35 that spread outwards from the Chapel to the Palace.36 so the marvellous configuration of the Palace already described by Idrisi and fully documented by Hugo Falcandus undoubtedly represents the apotheosis of an architectural development that must have taken several years. graceful with pictures”. resplendent with mosaics. as though Roger II meant to surpass the glory of his fathers from the very pulpit they themselves had raised. there was a profound symbolic value in this. very large and most beautiful. artisans from Ifriqiya. for his palace and for his kingdom. built above the so-called ‘Crypt’. Having obtained the recognition first of an antipope (“Anacletus II”) in 1130 and then by Pope Innocent II. Muslim craftsmen from Fatimid Egypt.38 So the Chapel is the foundation and bulwark of the Norman Palace. from the city to the whole of Southern Italy and even beyond the shores of the Mediterranean. For Roger II.40 and which provided the foundations. which seems in fact to have been the original royal chapel founded by the duke Robert himself. This campaign must necessarily have begun with the Palace. The descriptions we have seen so far have all been from the last years of Roger II’s reign or later. marble and porphyry from Rome. while yet preserving its everlasting memory. 88 . refulgent with gold. distinguished by a new loveliness. 6).34 he wanted to affirm his magnificence and to manifest his glory by summoning Byzantine mosaic-workers from Constantinople. stonecutters and masons from Campania.39 Thus the transformations and additions of Roger’s palace to the castle of Robert Guiscard and the count Roger must have begun with Roger’s Chapel.

the only non- contemporary writer to attribute the individual parts of the complex to different Norman patrons: “Robert Guiscard and the count Roger. built that part which is called Tirimbi. the Islamic painted wooden muqarnas ceiling.46 Another inscription brings together the three languages of Latin. because it was distinguished especially for the intense splendour of its precious stones and its gold.41 The Palatine Chapel was the driving force behind this process of gemmation by which the castle blossomed into a noble royal palace. fortified it even more by building in their style very high walls as well as towers and bulwarks. the floor of opus sectile.42 Philagathus of Cerami’s description of the Palatine Chapel would alone be sufficient to express the astonishment and wonder that it aroused in the medieval world and still arouses.It is easier now to interpret the words of Tommaso Fazello. so that it remained unfinished. The king William. the first of that name. so that Guy de Maupassant called it “the most surprising religious jewel dreamed up by human thought and executed by artists’ hands”. Idrisi says they are adorned with calligraphy.45 The same mingling of artistic traditions and cultural elements pervades each part and artefact. and another one to the north. 99 . such as the monumental inscriptions that came from the palace and are now in the Regional Museum in Palazzo Abatellis. it records the installation in 1142 of clock. tolerance and plurality.43 Idrisi and Falcandus had already touched all the arguments worthily exalted and minutely described by Philagathus: the Byzantine mosaics. His premature death interrupted this work. having become masters of Palermo.44 the marble-sheathed walls. Arabic and Greek in the name of universality. capable of expressing with vigour the king’s magnificence and generating the new forms of Mediterranean art. to protect his treasures. and which surpasses in constructional technique and in beauty those parts built by his father Roger. The count Roger added also a red tower built of brick […] After this the king Roger built a Greek tower on the southern side. and at the same time was the crucible where the acquired knowledge and skills of different cultures were blended together to create a new syncretic language. using Islamic designs in accordance with Byzantine tradition. and he carried out building work also inside the area of the fortress. this last made by artisans from Campania as well as Muslim craftsmen. which was called Joharia. but his son William II brought it to completion”. but it is an Islamic calligraphy executed on stone using a Byzantine technique that is foreign to Muslim craftsmanship.

which at one time was perhaps open to the sky but is now covered with a wooden roof made at the time of Victor Amadeus of Savoy (1713-1720). The mosaic in the Norman Palace. a machine that represented the ne plus ultra of technology. implied by the formation of a Mediterranean koine. probably made in the time of William I. lintels and wooden doors. its sculptural decoration and the marble revetment of its walls.apparently similar to the one made by an Arab mechanic of Malta which was described by a celebrated thirteenth-century Persian writer. Qazwini. He states that it was worked by water. The room below. marking the happy hours in a fabulous kingdom and once again manifesting the power and magnificence of the patron.48 the room known as the Room of Roger conserves one of the most important twelfth-century mosaic decorations of the entire Mediterranean area. Despite the creation of a new doorway. is similar in structure. Roger II.49 Byzantine mosaics with secular subjects in the East have mostly been lost. mythological figures and animal creatures represented – all symbols of regality – have iconographical and stylistic reminiscences of Persian and Mesopotamian art.47 In other words it was an automaton. is one of the most refined and best preserved rooms in the Palace.50 and respond to a rigid specular symmetry (for which a special technique was used)51 that appears to allude to the concealed “doubleness” of all things. the remaking of the floor (last replaced in the time of the Superintendent Francesco Valenti). supporting pointed arches and delimiting an ambulatory around the central space. it also marked the signs of the Zodiac. can be seen also in mosaics. like the one in the Hall of the Fountain in the Zisa of Palermo. and despite the fact that some restoration work has been done on the mosaics. the addition of neo-gothic jambs. enriched with opus sectile inlay that is for the most part original. square in plan. and by the Ottomans after the fall of Constantinople. destroyed by the Seljuq Turks before. offers an exceptional document in which the hunting scenes. especially in secular ones. the Hall of the Armigers. In the Joharia. the Room of Roger with its corner columns. The cosmopolitan character of the Norman Palace can also be perceived in its architecture: the Room of Roger is reached through a room in the Joharia. The development of a new artistic language. and indicated the hours by causing metal balls to fall from the statue of a young girl onto bronze cymbals. called the Hall of the Winds and characterised by the presence of columns at the four corners. but here 110 0 .

and which bears the unmistakeable stamp of Fatimid architecture. Qasr al- Ablaq. now used as the private office of the President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly.53 The lower register was probably covered with marble panels. here on two levels. Qa’a of Malik Salih. which animates its walls with the interplay of niches. Qasr al-Manar. separated by thick walls from an ambulatory than runs around it. also surrounded by ambulatories. tenth to eleventh century). The upper register of the central room was covered with mosaics. such as the Zirid palace of Ashir (947) or the palaces of al-Qal’a of Beni Hammad (Dar al-Bahr. found in some Fatimid buildings in Cairo (Qa’a of Bechtak. mouldings and surrounds that form blind arches around the single-light windows. in particular Zirid and Fatimid ones.the central vault and the ceilings of the lateral ambulatories are supported by piers that help to bear the floor above. or T-shaped rooms). and in particular it is surprising to find that the ground-plan of the Pisan Tower is the same as that of the Qasr al-Manar at Beni Hammad. mostly original. now the Hall of the President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly. ca 1007). consists of a well protected central room. These two rooms are very similar to the raised atrium of the Zisa or the one in the Cuba of Palermo. both in present-day Algeria. the upper storey has a central room 15 metres high. Structurally it is divided into two storeys: the lower one. which in their architectural form recall palaces of Ifriqiya. probably the one where according to Falcandus the treasure was kept. Of evident Islamic character are the muqarnas that decorate one room in the upper part of the tower. suggesting either a hunting scene or possibly the capture of Palermo by the d’Hauteville brothers. with single-lighted windows looking onto the city.52 Next to the Joharia. of which unfortunately there now remain only a few fragments showing horses’ hooves. 111 1 . recalling typical features of Ifriqiya architecture such as the durqa’a (a central space with a roof supported by four columns. surrounded on opposite sides by rooms with niches on the three closed sides known as iwan. called the Hall of the Treasure. The volumetric concept once again recalls Zirid architecture. except for the decoration. a fortified structure that from the outside might seem to resemble the typical Norman donjon. the Pisan Tower is a square-planned parallelepiped.

59 The name Chiri may derive from the Greek.e. it probably indicates the apartments of the government or governor. which was called Chiri.57 On the other hand almost nothing remains of the Tirimbi. it would not seem that the prison could have been here. eamque partem. located in ipso enim palatio circa campanarium. for each of the three levels of galleries with pointed arches. Another original portion of the Norman fortress is the massive structure to the south-west. which might well be suitable for the purpose proposed. i. In fact what is now called the Political Prison.In the central room on the lower storey there were at one time four large jars set into the floor. quae Turris Graeca vocabatur. 4).58 while in a vernacular document of 1359 we read “It is known that the son of the first king Roger was crowned […] and he made the second part of the Palace. where the king 112 2 . 1. unless it was inside the tower itself. and locating these structures where the original Greek Tower once stood. explicitly mentioned by Fazello.54 recalling the presence of the royal treasury. 2). identifying what remains of the bell tower (adjacent to the south-east apse of the Palatine Chapel). presents on two sides a succession of rooms with cross vaulting and very thick walls. known as the Political Prison since it was ‘discovered’ in 1922 by Francesco Valenti who recuperated its medieval facies and named it after its presumed use.60 In this connection there is a surprising correspondence between Fazello’s Tirimbi. The earlier name Chirimbi appears in the chronicle written by Claudio Mario Aretino in 1537. in the area between the apses of the Palatine Chapel and the Greek Tower (Fig. that is to say of the Palace of Palermo”.56 Observing the ground- plan of the Palace (Figs. whereas Falcandus’s statement becomes significant if we take into account the viewpoint of an observer looking at the Palace from the city. and apparently also alluded to by Falcandus in his description of the middle portion of the Palace near the Joharia. From that perspective the prison would have been exactly where it is today. but rather than the heart of the palace. which “surpasses in constructional technique and in beauty” the portions built by Roger.55 Falcandus does in fact refer in his Historia to a gaol. and possibly also of the mint where coins were struck. and those other apartments mentioned by Falcandus as being “truly splendid for the abundance of their decoration. The old wooden lintels found in some of the posterns have been thought to imply the original presence of very robust imposts. as some have suggested.

though they have in the meanwhile provided us with a document sui generis that arouses much curiosity. nothing remains except a few rooms beneath the courtyard.62 Very little remains. after further alterations. and to rediscover the old door of the tower. and where channels for a portcullis have been discovered on the side walls. also of the Greek Tower.64 On the basis of these observations. Of these apartments. the latter not only presided over the city but must also have functioned as the ‘pillar’ of support for the walls and diaphragms consisting of the loggias that surrounded at least two sides of the Aula Verde. which was first reduced in height in 1537 and then entirely restructured in 1567 to create royal apartments which. or else receives notables to talk about the public affairs of the kingdom”. if we can rely on Falcandus. were used by Victor Amadeus of Savoy (1713) and by Charles III of Bourbon (1735). What this consists of is the graffiti on the plastered walls of the main room. by a fleet of ships. Rediscovered in 1946 during restoration work on the Palatine Chapel carried out under the direction of the architect Mario Guiotto. the barrel-vaulted entrance. We have not yet spoken of how the palace was originally entered. unfortunately.61 these rooms have not yet been studied with due attention. the complex was completed to the east by the Aula Verde and the Red Tower. which at one time gave access to what Rosario La Duca called “the barrel-vaulted entrance to the Norman courtyard”. which in their original structure present walls similar to those of the Political Prison. which stood between the Joharia and the Palatine Chapel and were demolished to make way first for the Parliament Chamber (1569-1571) and then for the Fountain courtyard (1571-1600).63 As we have seen. defended with towers. it has been suggested that the old entrance to the palace was on the south façade of the Greek Tower itself. probably dating from the Norman period. One of the entrances must have been that Norman fornix. medieval in shape and apparently Norman. However. called for this reason hypogea. it would 113 3 . restructuring work carried out in the 1980s and 1990s has made it possible to recover some traces of the medieval walls. and in particular from which side. the interpretation of this scene allows scope for the imagination. a portion of the present passageway through which we now reach the Maqueda courtyard from Piazza del Parlamento. linking together the three towers on the eastern side.65 And yet.either discusses affairs of state with his intimates in great secrecy. showing what is thought to be the besieging of an unidentified city.

next to the emporium of the Saracens. where it meets Via Marmorea. The second goes from the Pisan Tower through the Covered Way as far as the Archiepiscopal Palace.”69 Falcandus says: “[The city] is intersected by three principal streets that run its entire length. deriving from classical and Eastern tradition. who provides us with valuable information on the layout of the Norman city.68 was a preferential street covered with vaulting. having described the Aula Verde. which is called Via Marmorea and is reserved for merchandise. This. a space completely transformed by the construction of Maqueda courtyard (1599).70 Unfortunately nothing remains of all this.66 On the other hand Fazello writes: “the inner path towards the fortress was not straight and wide but oblique and narrow”.. walking for a considerable distance before arriving at an immense church. we need to consider another urban feature that distinguished the entire Cassaro and gave the Palace an additional value in terms of royal display and of the political administration of the kingdom: the Via Coperta or covered way.71 except for the words of Jubayr and of Falcandus. immediately after the Porta Sant’Agata. of these the central one.seem that this was a secondary or service entrance. and then skirts the houses of the admiral Maione and reaches as far as the market of the Saracens. Ibn Jubayr. runs straight from the upper part of the Covered Way as far as the Arab Palace [the Calza]. Falcandus writes: “those who enter the palace from the part that overlooks the city come first to the Royal Chapel”. The only place from which we find the Chapel in from of our eyes as we enter the Palace is between the Greek Tower and the Political Prison. continues: “Emerging from the said palace we passed through a continuous covered portico. next to the Cathedral. perhaps reserved for the functionaries or for the royal court. the cathedral.”. To complete our full and reliable reconstruction of the Norman facies of the royal Palace. A ramp beneath the south side of the Greek Tower would have provided a tortuous and easily defended access to an entrance dominated by the same tower to the east and by the tall and robust structure of the Prison to the west. intended to link the residence of the sovereign with the principal religious building. It is clear however that to the palace and the entire city 114 4 .. The third one [begins] at the royal Aula . We were told that the king makes use this portico when he visits the said church. and beyond to the Porta Inferiore. and known in Islamic cities as sabat. through this entrance one would have seen the Palatine Chapel straight ahead67.

a force first centripetal and then centrifugal. the wooden muqarnas ceilings are unique in the panorama of Islamic art of the Middle Ages.72 One of the most remarkable objects is a casket made of ivory. dating from the twelfth century. ebony and mastic. they demonstrate the intense artistic activity and the cultural influence of the Palace in the medieval period. extraordinary for the presence of the largest cycle of medieval Islamic painting that has come down to us. including some ivory caskets.74 other examples of wood carving in the Regional Museum of Palazzo Abatellis and the wooden doors still to be seen at the church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio.73 The treasures are now kept in a barrel-vaulted room between the narthex of the Chapel and the present sacristy. so we cannot say with certainty where the royal workshops were. the carvings and the marble inlay. Just as we cannot be certain about the presence of a mint. are all rare examples of Fatimid woodcarving. exceptional for their excellent state of conservation. which has its epicentre in the heart of the Mediterranean. the marbles and the floors are outstanding examples of the opus sectile production of central and southern Italy. the twelfth- century wooden succielo. but their existence leaves no doubt as to the importance and centrality of the Norman Palace in the kingdom of Sicily and in the entire political. The mosaics are a pure product of Comnenus art and constitute an exceptional document of twelfth-century Byzantine art. A few objects from the treasury are still however to be found in the Palace. the ivory shaft of a crosier decorated with gems.belongs a high place among the cosmopolitan capitals of the medieval Mediterranean. but this theory is difficult to test. together with the royal workshops. and other liturgical objects. and like the mosaics. This room now used as a treasury may have been part of the original medieval nucleus. now in the Treasury of the Palatine Chapel. 115 5 . it is a place of concentration and irradiation. economic and cultural framework of the Mediterranean area. a Fatimid artefact that is unique both for its construction and for its state of preservation. are a clear and tangible sign of the power of the Norman sovereigns. the decoration on the intrados of an architrave in the upper apartments of the Pisan Tower. as it is not shown on any of the existing plans of the Palace! The king’s treasures. The entire Norman Palace is the fruit of the Mediterranean koine and at the same time the crucible of new artistic styles.

which could only be reached by crossing a sacred space. with its extraordinary capacity for display. an open diaphragm between the Palace and the city. constituted a half-open interface between the seat of government and the city itself. far from the general run of Norman towers. as in the symmetries of the mosaics in the Room of Roger. It has been observed that the asymmetrical and polygonal forms of the royal Palace were probably derived from the substructures and pre-existing structures that must necessarily have conditioned the physiognomy of the complex. the terrestrial and the celestial. the emblem of Roger’s novel and farsighted policies. with its complex of loggias and porticoes. it became in fact a place for the display of power. which today we are able to imagine thanks to Valenti’s hypothetical reconstruction (Fig. long before the reign of Roger II. should have been compared in structure and function with the Vatican and with the imperial Palace of Constantinople.81 116 6 . a space entirely conditioned by the astonishing impact made by the Palatine Chapel. the forms of which are generally crystal-clear. the temporal one of the sovereign and the spiritual one of Christ.77 To this was added the Palace’s official aspect.78 a kind of magic box. private and secret area. fortresses and palaces. the preferred stage of the theatre of power. geometrically symmetrical and ordered? What role did the pre-existing Norman or Islamic structures play? To answer these questions we need to go back some way in time. in an interplay of specular allusions that would seem to duplicate the vision of the world. castles. donjons. In the panorama of medieval castles. a theatre for the exhibition of magnificence. or rather double it. So it is not surprising that the Palace of Palermo. The Aula. It divided the institutional and public area from the residential.75 Transformed from a fortress into a residential palace and seat of government. between the sovereign and the citizens. we naturally ask the question: where do these forms come from? How is it that the Norman Palace is so different from castles of the same period. 6). the internal courtyard.79 in which were juxtaposed parallel worlds. the Palace of Palermo is a special case.76 From this point of view the Aula Verde. which were generally closed in on themselves by their high walls. must have been a genuine novelty in the panorama of medieval castles. rational.80 But once we have understood the functions of the forms in the reconstruction of their original arrangements.

together with a gateway flanked by two towers.45 m beneath the floor of the crypt and 8. which is why the history of the royal Palace of Palermo “must begin with the Norman conquest”. and one by the Superindendency for the Cultural and Environmental Patrimony of Palermo in 1984-90.84 It is curious that Guiotto in 1947 should have emphasised that the presence of pre-existing structures of the Roman period. providing further confirmation of the very ancient and constant stratification that took place in the area of the Palace over many centuries. a number of rooms from Roman times were discovered. a postern and a backing wall. documented by Polybius and supposed by historians.86 Today. an entire section of Punic wall would be unearthed. dating from the fifth century B.. well squared and without the use of mortar. with perimetral walls and floors. Once the excavation had been made.C. in the room beneath the Montaldo Hall it is possible to examine these structures: the Punic walls and gateway are built of isodomic ashlar. So as not to compromise the statics of the chapels. this last dating from the third century B. 9. He could not have known that forty years later. during functional restoration work on the Montalto Hall a chance discovery was made of the walls of the Punic paleapolis.83 To verify the presence of pre-existing structures we need to look at the archaeological as well as the documentary evidence. at a site adjacent to the building’s south- east flank.85 was effectively verified. For at the same level as Guiotto’s finds. some 40 m to the west. the Hellenistic walls are built 117 7 .C.82 On the other hand it has often been pointed out that no source more reliable than the mysterious lettering seen by Fazello has ever been discovered to prove the existence of a fortress or palace in the Islamic period. who thus begins his description of the Palace of Palermo: “There is a very famous fortress called the royal Palace built with magnificently squared stones […] Letters cut in them indicate that it was built over the ruins of an old fortress of the Saracens as soon as Palermo was conquered”.25 m beneath the Maqueda courtyard. the excavation was filled in again once it had been fully documented. The only archaeological excavations in the area of the Palace of Palermo were carried out by chance in the last century: one by Guiotto in 1946. The first dig took place in the area of the lower church of the Palatine. The thorny problem of the pre-existing structures seems first to have been addressed by Fazello. to verify the condition of the foundations of the Chapel above.

87 the gate mentioned by Ibn Hauqal in the travel diary he wrote after visiting Palermo around the year 973. It has recently been observed that the possibilities of discovering new and hitherto unknown levels depend on the old sources and on excavations. So. It is also true that the section of medieval wall discovered near the Punic wall lies at the same level as the latter. described as a “thick pall of collapses and buryings”. Ibn Hauqal himself records that in the area of the Bab al-Ryad “there was a gate called Ibn Qurhub.89 It has then been asserted that since the former cannot be multiplied.90 As regards the sources. It seems that the gateway was used until the Islamic period.91 and in fact the level of the Punic wall is 3 m below that of Piazza Indipendenza or of Piazza della Vittoria (fig. The gateway was initially identified as the Bab al-abna’. but they do give us an idea of what might lie concealed beneath the royal Palace.of large blocks and mortar. this supposition has luckily turned out to be incorrect. and that the emir Abu’l-Husayn Ahmad ibn Asan “closed it up and forbade its use”.92 lie the secrets of the most ancient part of the city of Palermo. it should be noted that the su pposed rock on which first the paleapolis and then the fortress are said to have stood. and in Norman times was closed by a wall built slightly to the west. never existed. while as regards the excavations. but on the other hand it is surprising that the lower storey of the Pisan Tower stands at the level of the Fontana courtyard. composed of small blocks of calcaranite with abundant use of mortar. reducing the dimensions of the gateway and eliminating the postern. it may be that in the 8 m difference between the Punic remains and the Norman foundations. later called the porta palatii and located between the royal Palace and the church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti. it is to the latter that we must turn in order to shed light on those 8 m of darkness that lie between the Roman and the medieval layers. situated in a poorly fortified area”. Certainly 15 m can easily contain a thousand years of history. while the Bab al-abna’ [gate of the buildings] should probably be identified with the Norman porta aedificiorum. higher than the lower church and about 15 m above the Punic-Roman remains.88 Two excavations are not of course enough. and this orographic configuration of anthropic origin evidently persuaded Robert Guiscard to build his castle-fortress on it. 7). but it is more likely to be the Bab al Ryad [gate of the gardens]. a 118 8 . The mound of Cassaro must have formed over the course of centuries.

So let us confront this material vacuum with the documentary sources of the Islamic period.97 119 9 . Is autem ad solarium superbe in solio considens […] His responsis attonitus extemplo nos in carcerem retrudi iubet: ducti incedebamus media Urbis platea in popularium conspectu. Earlier information on the founding of the Halisa can however be found in a Greek source. the letter of the monk Theodosius. yet this very period has left us with a vacuum in which the royal Palace arose. so filled with the refinement of every sort of pleasure. Amatus of Montecassino called it. al-Muqaddasi. The monk. brought before the Emir in Palermo.94 Within this thick pall there may lie concealed traces of the fortified citadel that existed during the occupation by the Goths.place already privileged in itself. but which never emerges in its consistency to support the Norman foundations with pre-existing substructures. The Aghlabids of Ifriqiya began the occupation of Sicily in 827 and conquered Palermo in 831. so adorned. called Balarm in the Arabic transliteration.96 The old Panormus. It is impossible to determine whether Qasr applied to the whole city (Cassaro). The population of Balarm. wrote: […] post die quintum ad majorem Amiram introducimur. The Muslim occupation of Palermo lasted 240 years. consisting of Arabs. that is to say the fortress. who describes his capture after the conquest of Syracuse by the Aghlabids in 878. “A very high place”. Andalusians and Persians. called the city Qasr. nor is the royal Palace ever mentioned as being in the place where it now stands. thus became Qasr al-Siqilliyya. and they apply the name al-Qasr al-qadim (the old or ancient citadel) to the old city surrounded by a wall and provided according to Hauqal with nine gates. the fortified citadel. and was conquered by the Byzantine general Belisarius in 535. the Palace surveys the whole city. like a head surveying the rest of the body”. Berbers. For this reason the Arabic sources never speak of the Emir’s residence being inside the Qasr. On the other hand the Arabic sources we possess (the Cambridge Chronicle. in the reign of Theoderic. built in 937 and known as al-Halisa (the elect).95 After Byzantium it was the turn of Islam. now Calza. Ibn al-Athir) describe the city in a period later than the foundation of the new external emiral citadel.93 and later Falcandus concluded his description of the Palace with these words: “So arranged. Ibn Hauqal. or just to some fortress that must have been in the area of the ancient paleapolis. a vacuum that people have been trying to fill ever since the time of Fazello.

we might suppose that the Emir’s palace in the Aghlabid period stood where now stands the royal Palace. Roger and William. and that Robert “had the castles fortified with strong walls so that his troops could be sheltered from the Sicilians and had them supplied with wells and with the necessary victuals”. [Roger and Robert] firent faire chasteaux moult fors. was indeed built by Robert. by the Gesta Roberti Wiscardi by William of Apulia (ca 1095).100 In the Chronicle of Robert Guiscard we read: “Et à ce que li citadin non avissent hardement de rompre les covenances et faire bataille. and lastly by the Historia Sicula by the Anonymus Vaticanus (1266-1285). which provided the name for this part of the city in the Norman period and which suggests the presence of an Islamic fortress. one near the sea. by the De rebus gestis Rogerii Calabriae et Siciliae Comitis et Roberti Guiscardi Ducis fratris eius by Gaufredo Malaterra (1099). and that Robert merely reinforced them.103 In these chronicles we find the earliest references to the halqa. whereas William of Apulia seems to imply that they already existed. corresponding to the ancient paleapolis. et la fist molt bien garder. which we may subdivide into the periods of Guiscard.104 located in the highest part of the Cassaro. l’un après de la mere. et l’autre en un lieu qui se clame Galga. or the closed place. was first conquered (Urbe nova capta veteri clauduntur in urbe) after a siege lasting six months. understood as the circuit of walls. The first is represented in particular by the Ystoria Normannorum by Amatus of Montecassino (ca 1080).102 From William of Apulia we learn that the Halisa. the citadel of the Emir. Amatus writes: “Lo Duc […] il fist une forte roche. However for Amatus and the Anonymus Vaticanus the castles were built from scratch. or in any case to a loggia later transformed into the Aula Verde. pour lonc temps et à grant abondance”.101 The information about the building of the castrum maris and the castle of the Galga is reinforced by the Anonymus Vaticanus.99 The silence of the Arabic sources is answered by many voices from the Latin side.98 and the solarium might be taken to refer to an ancient Roman basilica. who states that the two brothers “built in a short time two very strong castles. et la forni de choses de vivre. to avert possible threats”. and that Amatus and the 220 0 . et les firent faire en brief temps”. the other in a place called Galea. an Arabic term that indicates the circle.If the media urbis platea was in fact the present Piazza della Vittoria. In this case we might presume that the Galka.

Gaufredo Malaterra and Amatus of Montecassino describe the moment of the conquest of the city. is important also for other reasons. whereas for foundations ex-novo. the seizure of the new citadel. and in any case takes its name from the Arabic appellation Jannath-al-hard (paradise on earth). The Latin verb firmare is used very often by the chronicler. such as the one in Messina. were referring to this very Galka. is not attested in the earlier period. in speaking about new fortifications. one near the sea and one in the area called Galea. The information about the founding of two castles. found in 2002 in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. so the Genoardo of Palermo. there comes a recent lucky find: a manuscript of the thirteenth or fourteenth century copied from an original dating from around 1025.106 or for Geraci fortissima turrim fecit apud Geraci. already existed in the pre- Norman period. Lastly. the simultaneous attack by the two brothers on the city walls with the help of scaling ladders.108 This circumspection regarding the sources is all the more necessary when we come to the sources of Roger’s period. Malaterra adds that Robert. as though Guiscard’s castrum had never existed. if the covered way or sabat mentioned by Ibn Jubayr.105 continued the conquest of Sicily. In fact Hauqal mentions that this place was at one time “poorly fortified”. and rather than build it may mean reinforce. the surrender of the old city. castello firmato et urbe pro velle suo disposita. for whom the royal Palace seems founded ex nihilo.109 It is an Arabic geographical 221 1 . with its particular function and its Islamic tradition. the paradise garden of Islamic tradition made by the Norman sovereigns.107 and so on for Agrigento and for other places as well. he writes aedificare coepit fondamenta castelli e turres apud Messanam. It should be noted that the word halqa or galqa does not appear in any of the Arabic sources. The same might be said about the castrum maris: according to the sources it would seem impossible that there existed an Islamic qasr or hisn (fortress) where today remain the few ruins of Castello a Mare.Anonymus. The new Castello a Mare for example will later be called vetus palatium in contradistinction to the palatium novum or castrum superius of the time of Roger. once the mosque had been re-converted into the Cathedral. it would help to confirm the existence of an Aghlabid emiral palace inside the Galka. To disprove the impossibility of discovering new data from written sources. Above all it introduces the necessity of treating the sources with circumspection. suggesting that the castles already existed.

and is thus the earliest testimony for a castle on the sea. and the arrival of the Muslims in 831. or even more of 222 2 . which he covered with a gilded ceiling and enriched and decorated with various ornaments”. so it is only a matter of re- configuration by means of additions. having reassured himself of the peace and tranquillity of his kingdom. decided to build in Palermo a most beautiful palace. the ancient paleapolis of Palermo was transformed into the Qasr. who in time of peace or of war was never idle. We can thus be certain that the castrum maris arose on a pre-existing structure. of the Qal’a of Beni Hammad (1007). new walls to the Islamic city.112 which at this point may be regarded as dating from the Aghlabid or Kalbid period. and it contains a map of Sicily with a representation of Palermo. A similar source may one day revolutionise our understanding of the royal Palace. in which he built a chapel covered with splendid mosaics.111 but especially it clearly shows two towers for the protection of the port. It is interesting to note how the sources of the king Roger’s time all tend to downplay the efforts of the duke Robert and the count Roger. might in fact refer to the royal Palace.treatise entitled Kitb ar’ib al-funwa-mulah al-‘uyn (Book of the curiosities of the sciences and of marvels for the eyes). and probably still contains it in what little remains. which many have identified with the Zisa. as may have been be the case with the castle of Caronia which Idrisi describes as a new hisn within the qal’a qadima (fortress inside the old citadel).115 In these cases however the structures pre-existing the phase of Roger are certain and well documented.116 At this point we are in a position to hazard a hypothetical reconstruction of the history of the medieval facies: after the Goth and Byzantine occupations.110 This new source adds three gates to the nine seen by Ibn Hauqal. In addition to the ones we have already listed there is the important testimony of Romuald Guarna of Salerno: “Meanwhile the king Roger. on the model of the Almohad Alcàzar in Seville (twelfth century).113 Benjamin of Tudela even seems to attribute the paternity of the Palace to Roger II’s successor: indeed his vague reference to a “royal Palace sumptuously built by the king William”114 in the city of Palermo. but until that day comes we can only speculate and advance hypotheses that are more or less plausible. the city-fortress and Aghlabid emiral palace. attributing all merit to the sovereign. This is confirmed also by the Islamic- type graves that have been found there.

This understanding of the medieval and post-medieval facies is possible only through the instruments we now possess – surveys. the future king. since they all form a palimpsest of the city’s history. the Red Tower. the Halisa. mother of Roger II. Palermo was chosen as the seat of the countship. mapping – which are capable of providing a deep knowledge of the stratifications of the Palace and a new way of studying the monument. we now know that the Norman facies of the royal Palace of Palermo cannot be studied in isolation. In this phase the old west gate of the palace was closed up. Through this knowledge. and especially built new walls. now firmly concealed within its entrails. and through an understanding of the pre-Norman past. the covered way – all these were monuments forming part of the citadel-fortress. but especially the Fatimid conquest in 916 and the consequent conversion of Sunnis to Shi’ites provoked a wave of dissidence and reaction that culminated in the siege of 937 and the foundation by Alil ibn Ishaq of a new emiral citadel. and then captured the old one. The Aula Verde.117 A series of internal struggles. new data. we may perhaps one day uncover the real treasure of the Palace. whereas it was the count Roger who raised the Red Tower. In 1071 the Normans besieged first the new citadel. and the study of each individual phase must not exclude consideration of the others. and the Qasr acquired the attribute al-qadim (old).the Madinat al-Zahra (936). presumably destroying it. the first one. either making or remaking the Galka. the church of Santa Maria della Pinta that stood on the area outside the Palace until it was demolished in 1648-1649 by Cardinal Trivulzio. Ummayad citadel near Cordoba. identifiable as the Bab al-Ryad. when her son. such as La Duca said were easy to do and Valenti planned but never carried out. 8. scientific analyses.118 The rest we already know. 9). At this point Robert Guiscard founded a new castle. During the regency of Adelasia. but only now can we understand the Palace as a building inside the castle and imagine its Norman configuration (figs. This may have been in 1112. possible only through small soundings and genuine archaeological excavations. He also built a chapel. 223 3 . The emir’s residence was moved to the new citadel. Above all. Each phase must be seen in its context. was dubbed knight in the castle superius in Palermo. an important component in the history of the Mediterranean.

2) Planimetria del Palazzo Reale di Palermo con indicazione delle strutture medievali (da Giuseppe Bellafiore. Novecento. 142. Palermo 1991). testi di Roberto Calandra …[et al]. 224 4 . p. Palermo 1990. Architettura in Sicilia nelle età islamica e normanna (827-1194).1) Planimetria del secondo livello del Palazzo Reale di Palermo (da Il Palazzo dei Normanni. Arnaldo Lombardi Editore.

pp. 512-528. in «Bollettino d’arte». (nella collana Le città nella storia d’Italia) La Terza. figg. Milano 1925. eseguita da Paolo Loiacono sotto la direzione di Francesco Valenti (da Francesco Valenti. 13) 225 5 . Il palazzo reale di Palermo. Leonardo Di Mauro.3) Il Palazzo Reale di Palermo in un particolare della pianta di Palermo incisa nel 1581 da Franz Hogemberg (da Cesare De Seta. Bari 1981. Palermo. fig. 18) 4) Ricostruzione ideale del Palazzo dei Normanni di Palermo.

Liber ad honorem Augusti di Pietro da Eboli. a cura di Maria Andaloro. 2) 226 6 .5) Malattia e morte di Guglielmo II. Berna. 120. (da Federico e la Sicilia dalla terra alla corona. fig. cod. Napoli 2000. Biblioteca Civica. arti figurative e arti suntuarie. 97r. Arnaldo Lombardi Editore. c.

46) 7) Sezione del Palazzo Reale di Palermo (da Il Palazzo dei Normanni. Flaccovio. fig. Novecento. eseguita da Paolo Loiacono sotto la direzione di Francesco Valenti nel 1931 (da Lucio Trizzino. 227 7 . Palermo 1991). dal ripristino alla tutela.6) Veduta prospettica ideale della corte del Palazzo dei Normanni con la Cappella Palatina. dalle opere funzionali al restauro. La Palatina di Palermo. testi di Roberto Calandra …[et al]. Palermo 1989.

8) Planimetria stratigrafica del Palazzo Reale di Palermo elaborata a partire dalle planimetrie già pubblicate. con indicazione delle strutture medievali esistenti e di quelle desunte sulla base delle fonti e dei saggi archeologici effettuati fino ad oggi (Ruggero Longo) 228 8 .

E. 36-37. vol. 512-528. Ruggero II re di Sicilia. 3 See AMATO DI MONTECASSINO. pp. introduction. VI. pp. in particular p. who more emphatically renders the dismay as “such as to arouse no little fear in those who had come from far away”. XXIII. ed. 9) Ricostruzione ideale della reggia normanna elaborata a partire dal disegno pubblicato da Francesco Valenti (inchiostro di china. 14-19. preserved in the Valenti archive in the Biblioteca Comunale of Palermo. 2 See below. De Rebus Siculis decades duae. 229 9 . pp. Cassino 1999. vol. Roma 1935. Palazzo dei Normanni. Italian translation and notes by ANTONINO DE ROSALIA and GIANFRANCO NUZZO. 141. III. diploma 1132. from this comes the short but useful overview of the constructional history of the Palace published by ROSARIO LA DUCA. Historia Normannorum. 24-25. See the Italian translation by GIUSEPPE SPERDUTI. Palermo 1835. TOMMASO FAZELLO. 5Qq. coll. 73. Italian translation by VITO LO CURTO. 370. pp. p. pp. by VINCENZO DE BARTHOLOMAEIS. I. p. Il Palazzo dei Normanni. ed. 6 Infra. 4 See LUIGI GAROFALO. in Bollettino d’arte. 15. Palermo 1997. See FERDINANDO MAURICI. Palermo. regni utriusque Siciliae regis. Ruggero Longo) Notes 1 These passages are taken from ALESSANDRO DI TELESE. del 1920. by ROSARIO LA DUCA. later published in part with the title “Il palazzo reale di Palermo”. p. ed. Milan 1925. 64-67. Palermo 1990. pp. 5 The various transformations of the royal Palace of Palermo were synthetically reconstructed for the first time by the Superintendent Francesco Valenti in an essay entitled Il Palazzo Reale e la Villa della Favorita in Palermo. 18 November-15 December 1994.146 n°13°. Palermo 1558. Tabularium regiae ac imperialis Cappellae collegiatae divi Petri in regio Panormitano Palatio Ferdinandi 2. Cassino 2003. Palermo 2003. “I castelli normanni”. L'età normanna e sveva in Sicilia: mostra storico-documentaria e bibliografica. Storia de’ Normanni di Amato di Montecassino. 11-17. in Storia di Palermo. volgarizzata in antico francese. 527. p. consulted: Storia di Sicilia. A slightly different translation is given by Ferdinando Maurici.

13-14. Il Palazzo Reale e la Villa cit. at the ringing of the bell they gathered 330 0 . It is interesting that the traveller says he was astonished by the size of the aula. the poems must have been written prior to 1154. 139. p. p. 10 The Aula Verde was finally demolished at the time of the construction of the new loggia. VIII-XL.. p. Il Palazzo dei Normanni cit. Il Palazzo Reale e la Villa cit. 1580. Bari 1981. composed in 1327. written around 1190. 108. Perle. BAS. Sala Gialla and Sala Verde). Turin 1880.. 5. 92. 81- 89). 18 Francesco Valenti states that he found the foundations of a loggia with seven arches between the Torre Greca and the Torre Pisana (VALENTI. L’arte della Sicilia normanna nelle fonti medievali. it corresponds to the present Sala Rossa. II. 120-125. I. Very useful for the same purpose is the contemporary map by Matteo Florimi (ca. Rome 1897. fig.. 47. vol. 16 See FAZELLO. Palermo 1980. See also VINCENZO DI GIOVANNI. as he found unacceptable the excessive adulation of an infidel (Roger II). p. La lettera dello pseudo Ugo Falcando: una lettura filologica. See VALENTI.. in Nobiles Officinae. Biblioteca Arabo Sicula (henceforth BAS). who made alterations and cuts. LEONARDO DI MAURO. Palermo 1889. See BENEDETTO PATERA. 31). 438. II. Lettera ad un tesoriere di Palermo sulla conquista sveva in Sicilia. 371-420. Palermo 1988. 31). La topografia antica di Palermo dal secolo X al XV. p. also wrote the Historia. 13 Taken from AMARI. and all were in Palermo. p. 14 See GIOVANNI BATTISTA SIRAGUSA. p.. The Aula Verde is also dealt with in DI GIOVANNI. 107. La Duca. catalogue of the exhibition curated by MARIA ANDALORO. II. 437-438. L’arte della Sicilia cit. pp. see LA DUCA. and its consequent closure towards the city. 527.. Palermo 2001. later transformed into the Grande Galleria del Palazzo (vide supra. De Rebus Siculis cit. vol. in which we read: “and when the appointed day came.. pp. pp. 515). The book of Hugo Falcandus was written after 1181. 20 Translation by Celestino Schiapparelli. See also LA DUCA. located between the Greek Tower and the Joharia (never finished.. Il Palazzo cit. SALVATORE TRAMONTANA. 15-16. after the construction of the Grande Galleria del Palazzo (this latter replaced a loggia begun by the viceroy Don Garcia di Toledo in 1567 and was completed in the second decade of the 17th century. built in 1567 by the viceroy Don Garcia di Toledo.. p. Considering the references to the king. figs. pp. from PATERA. so some scholars attribute it to pseudo-Falcando (See SIRAGUSA. IDEM. Palermo (in the series Le città nella storia d’Italia). La Historia cit.. MICHELE AMARI. LA DUCA. and that Falcandus in the same period mentions a space located in front of the palace capable of holding a great multitude of people. 120- 125. p. 15 See SALVATORE TRAMONTANA. and that the viceroy Don Garcia di Toledo used these foundations to build his loggia in 1567 (ibid. 38-43. pp. Il Palazzo cit.. p. 18. 370. Il Palazzo cit. 35.. by CARLO RUTA. 12 Taken from Poeti arabi di Sicilia. p. 33). 19 For the Aula Verde. 371-390. pp. pp.. partially completed in 1581-1584 and finished in 1600. La topografia cit. We cannot be certain that the author of the Epistola. Il palazzo reale cit.. vol.7 See CESARE DE SETA. The stones of the Red Tower were used in 1567 to build the Toledo Loggia. 8 Begun in 1571. 9 Vide infra. 17 See LA DUCA. and of the demolition of the Red Tower in 1553. pp. Il Palazzo cit. La Historia o Liber de Regno Sicilie e la Epistola ad Petrum Panormitane Ecclesie Thesaurarium / di Ugo Falcando. p. 11 The poems have come down to us in a collection compiled in the later 12th century by the Persian Imad ‘ad din al Isfahani. 10. 21 Among these is the Cronica of Ramon Muntaner. VALENTI. and replaced in the 17th century by the Grande Galleria del Palazzo). p. p. 62. notes 8. ibid. ed. filigrane e trame di seta dal Palazzo Reale di Palermo.. Il Palazzo reale cit. Palermo 2006. used by Braun and Hogenberg to update their engravings based on the reliefs executed ten years previously. pp.

121-122. 35 For the chronology of the decorative scheme of the Palatine Chapel. rather than being comfortable. p. pp. 18 November-15 December 1994. 373. et muro circumseptus: FAZELLO. in particular pp. According to the interesting Italian translation by Umberto Rizzitano. in the sense of an appurtenance. p. p. in Nobiles Officinae cit. 384). 26 See LA DUCA. 124-125. Il manto di Ruggero II e le vesti regie. 28 Italian translation by PATERA.together in the great green hall where a throne had been set up for the queen and others for the princes. see ROTRAUD BAUER. the caption of which reads: teatrum imperialis palacii. and in the centre a fountain in the form of a human face. voll. Italian translation by FILIPPO MOISÈ. PIERRE AUBÈ. L’arte della Sicilia cit. The mosaics of Norman Sicily. or contiguo. in particular pp. whereas the Glossarium mediæ et infimæ latinitatis (DU CANGE et al. p. 34 See MARIO CARAVALE. Palermo. Il palazzo cit. 31. 125. 23 Ante arcem ipsam atrium erat. that they might use the stones of the Aula Verde (DI GIOVANNI. and WILLIAM TRONZO. p. 59-62. 97-98. Il Palazzo cit. ac Regis conciones ad populum habendas theatri usum praebebat. 25 For the attribution and dating of this illuminated manuscript. in Nobiles Officinae cit. Ein Bilderbuch aus dem Königreich Sizilien: kunsthistorische Studien zum “Liber ad honorem Augusti” des Petrus von Eboli (Codex 120 II der Burgerbibliothek Bern).. 125. 240-241). locus et pario lapide constratus. amplum. pp. vol. London 1949. See also L’età normanna e sveva in Sicilia: mostra storico-documentaria e bibliografica. not necessarily attached. 22 See DI GIOVANNI. Parma.. La topografia cit.. pp. Ruggero II Re di Sicilia. BAS. vol. translates esemplari opifici annessi. ed. but also as an appendice. L' arte della Sicilia cit.. L' arte della Sicilia cit.. pp. vol. pp. see the catalogue of the exhibition Nobiles Officinae cit. Firenze 1844. For the various comparisons... Il manto di Ruggero II. sed aetate mea Sala viridis dictum. magnates and knights. Palazzo dei Normanni. II. 142r of the Liber. 27 AMARI... Il regno normanno di Sicilia. 86-88. I castelli normanni cit. I. where we see a scene of tribute inserted into series of arches. which would explain the abundance of ingentium saxorum and of pario lapide constratus. 33 Da PATERA. spatiosum. pp. 1883-1887) has: aderente. ERNST KITZINGER. 32 See WILLIAM TRONZO. 25-29. in Medioevo: le officine. La topografia antica cit. the citadel was made recently for the exalted king Roger. Calabria e Puglia. Il palazzo cit. “Incognitae officinae. 96-98. p. LA DUCA. 30 For the mantle of Roger II. See PATERA. pp. Il Palazzo cit. 29 Salvatore Tramontana (Lettera cit. pp.. il problema degli scriptoria di età sveva in Italia meridionale”. 45. indicated as fons Arethuse (See MAURICI. pp. 468-480. spectaculaque edenda. Le parti e il tutto. 171-182 and pp. 121-216. Milano 1966. 24 Ibidem. De Rebus Siculis cit. In 1444-1445 and 1454 records were made at the Conservatoria della Real Casa of concessions to private individuals. 75). II. pp. 374-377. vernacule Sala olim. La topografia antica cit. 137-138).. “Il Palazzo dei Normanni di Palermo come esibizione”. 78-82. see SIBYL KRAFT. by ARTURO CARLO QUINTAVALLE. 31 For the objects produced in the officine of the royal Palace of Palermo.. Roma 2002. pp. Weimar-Jena 2006. were constructed perfectly. see MAURICI.. 66-82. 25-31. Parma 2010. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi. 257-266. in particular p. ‘The mosaics of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo: an Essay on the choice and arrangement of subjects’. pp. all the others without distinction sat on the ground. LA DUCA. 476-477. quod ad ludos. 73-77. GIULIA OROFINO. 377- 378.. I castelli cit. pp. LA DUCA. pp. 22-27 September 2009. I e II.. An interesting hypothesis is that the Aula was originally the ancient Roman basilica (DI GIOVANNI.. p... in Art Bulletin 331 1 . the rooms and apartments. pp. Another image that might recall or at any rate evoke the Aula Verde is the miniature c. see: OTTO DEMUS. pp. where tapestries had been laid down” (from the Cronache catalane del secolo XIII e XIV.

269-292. 179-189. “Arx praeclara quam Palatium Regale appellant. IDEM. i mosaici del presbiterio. Roma 1950. GRUBE. Le sue origini e la prima Cappella della corte normanna”. 58. EADEM. in Schede medievali 34-35. Ibn Jubayr spends a week in Palermo between 1183 and 1184. Palermo 1992. IDEM. in Medioevo: i modelli. 125-144. I mosaici del periodo normanno in Sicilia: La Cappella Palatina di Palermo. pp. p. Parma 2007. The cultures cit. p. ed. and in particular of the “genetic syncretism”. De rebus siculis cit. ERNST J. pp. 184-211. in Medioevo: le officine cit. p. in particular pp. 499. p. see UGO MONNERET DE VILLARD. Italian translation by Phierre Thomas (Viaggio in Sicilia (La Sicile). 30. L’eta normanna e sveva in Sicilia cit. 504-519. Le pitture musulmane al soffitto della Cappella Palatina in Palermo. 36 In particular. MARIA ANDALORo. 43 GUY DE MAUPASSANT. in the International Symposium Overlay of Plans. pp.Nuovi materiali per nuove ricerche”. 47-68. Palermo 1992. in particular p.s. UMBERTO SCERRATO. “Mirabilia Italiae” 1ι. 370. 508.. and especially TRONZO. 186-190. 27 Septeber-1 October 1999.. c. 40 VLADIMIR ZORIČ. Palermo la splendida. pp. pp. 92-119. in Storia di Palermo cit. in Nobiles Officinae cit. pp. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi. ibid. “L’opus sectile nei cantieri normanni: una squadra di marmorari tra Salerno e Palermo”. in particular p. in particular p.. translates: “quasi a fondamento e baluardo…”. LA DUCA. “Le arti nel teatro del potere”. pp. by PHIERRE THOMAS. 37 Vide supra. The mosaics of Norman cit. “Le decorazioni in opus sectile della Cappella Palatina di Palermo . I. Roger II and the Cappella Palatina in Palermo. 47 See FRANCESCO GABRIELI. The Palace Chapel of the Norman Kings in Sicily. pp. Ruggero II e l’antico visitatore della reggia di Palermo”. vol. by BEAT BRENK. 31-139. FRANCESCO INDOVINA. 332 2 . by ARTURO CARLO QUINTAVALLE. note 4. “Le iscrizioni e le epigrafi arabo. 9-12.. ed.. Milan 2002. Roma 1998.. Idrisi ends his Kitāb nuzhat al-mushtāq fī ikhtirāq al-āfāq (The amusement for those who delight in travelling the world) shortly before the death of Roger II in 1154. 9. BLOOM. Il palazzo cit. III. pp. ed. January-December 1998. 39 For the particular functional concept of the Palatine Chapel. 41 See FAZELLO. Paris 1890. 46 JEREMY JOHNS. in Medioevo: la Chiesa e il Palazzo. 57-62. Una rilettura”. Genoa-New York 2005. I mosaici e altra pittura. “‘Islamic’ design in the mosaic pavement of the Cappella Palatina”. by GIOVANNI PUGLIESE CARRATELLI. 44 For the ceiling of the Palatine Chapel. 20-24 September 2005. in Dumbarton Oaks Papers XLI. 42 The notion of syncretism in the arts of Norman Palermo. 3-16 and especially the four volumes of La Cappella Palatina a Palermo. in particular p. Profilo di Filigato da Cerami con traduzione dell’Omelia XXVII pronunziata dal pulpito della Cappella Palatina in Palermo. Gli arabi in Italia. Milano 1979. 267-275. 1987. From the passage on the Palatine Chapel (pp. Parma. 267. The painted ceilings of the Cappella Palatina. 52. “‘Baciane l’angolo … e contempla le bellezze che contiene’. 499-502. La vie errante. “L’ekphrasis di Filgato da Cerami sulla Cappella Palatina e il suo modello”. WILLIAM TRONZO. Arabi e normanni in una città mediterranea. in MARIA ANDALORO. by ARTURO CARLO QUINTAVALLE. is formulated by MARIA ANDALORO. pp. Falcandus writes the Epistola shortly after the death of William II in 1189.31 (1949). and JONATHAN M. Palermo 1977). pp. Palermo and Tübingen. “Some Palatine Aspects of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo”. Tre lastre frammentarie con iscrizioni arabe in lode di Ruggero II dal palazzo di Palermo. Princeton 1997. BRUNO LAVAGNINI. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi. SLOBODAN ĆURČIĆ. Parma. The cultures of his Kingdom. Modena 2010. ed. 7-9 February 2009. JEREMY JOHNS. pp. pp. “an active principle also for the ideation and making of individual works”. IDEM. II. see KITZINGER. 38 See MARIA LUIGIA FOBELLI. 45 See RUGGERO LONGO. ed. 27-33)...

184-211. La Historia cit. On the other hand Chiri may derive from the word υ ία. 65 See LA DUCA. p.. ον.. II. 41-42. Bologna 1865. pp. La Cattedrale di Cefalu.. B. Milano 2004. 171-202. meaning power. in particular pp. 53. Le Magrib Central a l’époque des Zirides. Commissione pe’ testi di lingua nelle provincie dell’Emilia. Palermo 1947. Paris 1957.. α . power. 190-192.E. London 2002-2003. 64 VALENTI. as was proposed by DI GIOVANNI. Recenti restauri e ritrovamenti. 77-114. 51 In particular. 144. in Studies in late antique. LUCIEN GOLVIN. lettere e arti di Palermo. p. 59 Cronichi di quistu Regno di Sichiliad dall’anno MLXVIII al MCCCLIX. in particular pp. Accademia nazionale di scienze. So this may be the etymon of Chiri. 61 MARIO GUIOTTO. used of the Lord by Christians. 128. vol. 190. p. 174-175. 58 See CLAUDII MARII ARETII. note 5. 191. ου . p. in J.. Architettura cit.. See also ZORIČ. ANDALORO. η ί. 52 See GIUSEPPE BELLAFIORE. pp. Palermo 2000. 191. 63 See LA DUCA. in particular p. The mosaics cit. 13. 49 See DEMUS. pp. CARUSO. cognomento malus (facienda curavit).. 19-21. p. powerfulness. 516 and p. control. “precious”. MAURICI. 72). Il Palazzo cit. 44. 60 The word Chiri may derive from the Byzantine Greek υ ο . in particular p. heart (as in the heart of the palace). “De situ Insulae Siciliae”. Mosaici profani. “Graffiti di navi normanne nei sotterranei del Palazzo Reale di Palermo”. I mosaici e altra pittura cit. 62 See GIANFRANCO PURPURA... 1099-1113. p. Palermo 1990. “Lavori eseguiti dalla Soprintendenza dei Monumenti nel Palazzo Reale di Palermo dal Novembre 1921 a tutt’oggi”. The earliest (1187) attests to the sale to Caitus Joannes. p. al-gawhariyyah. 118 and 119. 57 See FRANCESCO VALENTI. pp. which has the variant υ . Architettura in Sicilia nelle età islamica e normanna (827- 1194). pp. Vilielmus rex. et ad dexteram 333 3 . 5-30. la Cattedrale di Palermo e il Museo diocesano. note 4. Arx praeclara cit. Palazzo ex reale di Palermo. III. typescript in the Valenti archive. 520. 55-68. tome I. mentioned in certain documents. coll. 25-36. 43-54. by a monk of the church of Sant’Andrea in Kemonia (which at one time stood between San Giovanni degli Eremiti and the royal Palace) of a piece of land for the construction of a stabulo (situm est) in regione ad ingressum Civitatis Panormi. n. Biblioteca Historica Regni Siciliae.. chamberlain to the king. Panormi 1723. pp. Cronache siciliane cit. one who has power. rather than η . 56 SIRAGUSA. L’arte siculo-normanna: la cultura islamica nella Sicilia medievale. pp.. 55 See VALENTI. pp. a preliminary study”. in Sicilia Archeologica. 180-195. α. 516. I castelli cit. in particular pp. vol. pp. IDEM. “Palermo araba”. anno XIII (1981). who for stylistic reasons ascribes the mosaics to the period of William I (1154-1166). Il palazzo reale cit. in Collezione di opere inedite o rare dei primi tre secoli della lingua pubblicati per cura della R. The presence of the letter h is due to the need to preserve the hard sound of the Greek κ. lord. “Cronache siciliane dei secoli XIII XIX XV”. “The mosaic fragments in the Torre Pisana of the Royal Palace in Palermo. and derived from the root υ from υ ο . I mosaici e altra pittura cit. Biblioteca Comunale di Palermo. 53 ERNST KITZINGER. p. 50 See ANDALORO. 7: Alteram Chirimbrim nomine. Byzantine and medieval Western art. p.. 54 See BELLAFIORE. master.. authority.146 n 131. in VINCENZO DI GIOVANNI. 109. 85. pp.48 From the Arabic gawhariyya. it seems likely that in order to execute the perfectly symmetrical figures the craftsmen rotated the same cartoon through 180°. 5Qq. Il palazzo reale cit. “adorns it with precious stones” (See ADALGISA DE SIMONE. p. in Storia di Palermo cit. government. pp. Il Palazzo cit. 66 The existence of a doorway in that part of the Palace can be seen in relation to an old entrance to the city.

356-359. notes 8. see also ZORIČ. p. Roma 1938..ingressus. La cassetta incrostata della Cappella Palatina di Palermo. and Di Giovanni specifies that the Arabic text reads alabna. “L’incastellamento in Sicilia”.. Venice 1994.. and not of the young men. 67 The recollections of Ibn Jubayr would appear to confirm the existence of an entrance to the Palace near the gate of the city: “[. In fact other documents from the 13th century onwards attest to the existence near the fortress of a Porta Palatii (ibidem). 169-178. Il Palazzo Reale di Palermo come esibizione cit. 98. 87. 78 The presence of a gallery linking the Chapel to the residential apartments. For the location of the original entrances. p. p. L’arte della Sicilia cit. The Porta Palatii must have been next to the Palace. Topografia cit. 41-46. Andrea S. reprint Catania 1981. rediscovered by Guiotto in 1946 (GUIOTTO. in I normanni popolo d’Europa 1030-1200. p. 69 Taken from PATERA. 57). p. Descrizione di Palermo antico. See GIOVAN FRANCESCO PUGNATORE. So this gate. 55 e p. Palermo araba cit. 76 See TRONZO. might correspond to the Islamic Bab al-Abna. 75 See HENRY BRESC. ex porta Aedificiorum. later destroyed and replaced by the Porta di Castro... Il Palazzo cit. L’antichita della felice città di Palermo [Palermo 1583]. an extension of the narthex of the Palatine which he himself rediscovered (VALENTI. pp. pp. and probably near to its well protected entrance. 20. he then entered the Palace.. and HANS RUDOLF MEIER.] they led us to the gate joined to the Palaces of the Frankish king […] they led us in front of his mustahlaf [administrator] so that we could be questioned […] we passed through piazzas. 519).. in which the church of Sant’Andrea is ceded to the Palatine Chapel. 72 For the caskets. with an entrance in the outer wall of the north ambulatory of the Chapel. La tecnica. 217-228. p. at least as regards the lower levels. p. DI GIOVANNI.. “I palazzi residenziali di Palermo”. the former is named (by Garofolo) S. It was then closed off by the great Gallery. 79 The concept of the magic box was formulated by William Tronzo in the course of a conversation which the present writer was delighted to have with that distinguished scholar. L’arte della Sicilia cit. p.. SALVATORE MORSO. DI GIOVANNI. le botteghe”. 70 Da PATERA. la classificazione.. Topografia di Palermo cit.. pp. built from 1600 onwards (Vide supra. vol. doorways. “Avori ‘arabo-siculi’ nel Tesoro della Cappella Palatina di Palermo. Palermo 1881. pp. 73 UGO MONNERET DE VILLARD.. which according to Falcandus began at the Pisan Tower (Vide infra). 10). as is stated by Amari. as a palace loggia overlooking the city. 71 Pugnatore saw the last surviving portion in 1583 before it too was demolished. II. 74 See LA DUCA. pp. Palermo araba cit. Valenti on the other hand supposed that a gallery linking the upper Chapel with the royal apartments existed where now stands the lower western loggia of the Fontana courtyard. has been supposed with regard to the so-called hypogea. 401-402. 77 The Fontana courtyard was probably created in memory of the Aula Verde. L’arte della Sicilia normanna cit. Il palazzo reale cit. passing through the internal courtyard of the Aula Verde and the emerging towards the Covered Way. pp. see SILVIA ARMANDO. 68 See DE SIMONE. which Morso translates as Aedificiorum. 92). 62. royal courtyards […] among other things we noticed an aula [the Aula verde] where the king is accustomed to eat with his entourage […] Leaving the said palace we passed through a portico” (quoted in PATERA. catalogue of the exhibition curated by MARIO D’ONOFRIO. pp. 85-87. See DE SIMONE. Andrea de Bekbene. in Medioevo: le officine cit... 334 4 . 92. 25-36). Palazzo cit. So it would seem that this Andalusian traveller entered the city gate near the Palace and was immediately received by the royal administrator. the translation of which according to Adalgisa De Simone would be Gate of the Buildings. Arx Praeclara cit. Palermo 1827. In this and in another document of the same year.

69. pp. CARMELA ANGELA DI STEFANO. 95 PROCOPIUS. I castelli cit. De Rebus siculis cit. Il Palazzo Reale di Palermo come esibizione cit. Champollion-Figeac (Jacques-Joseph. p. 100 See AMATO DI MONTECASSINO. in CARUSO. pp. but in substance there is no great difference. p. “Delle antiche cinte murarie di Palermo e di altri rinvenimenti archeologici effettuati tra il 19κ4 ed il 19κ6”.. BAS. Bibliotheca historica regni Siciliae cit. I castelli normanni cit. p. p. 98 See MAURICI. 83 MAURICI.. Italian translation by MAURICI. in particular p. p. 85. pp. 38. Gesta Roberti Wiscardi.80 TRONZO.. vol. Topografia antica cit. p. Historia Normannorum cit. Palermo 1990. 103 GUGLIELMO APULO. 97 Historia Theodosii Monachi Epistola in CARUSO. Bibliotheca historica. Palermo araba cit. 335 5 . pp. p. “La storia”. 87 CAMERATA SCOVAZZO. 85 POLYBIUS. In this hypothesis the gate of Bab al-ryad must have been somewhere else. Descrizione di Palermo di IBN HAWKAL.. 148-165. 104 It might derive from the Arabic galqa (walled place) rather than from halqa (circuit). I. Delle antiche cinte cit. 7-10. 95-104. p. in Storia di Palermo cit. 81 ROBERTO CALANDRA. 102 Anonimo Vaticano. p. I. Palermo 1991. 92 Ibid. in Storia di Palermo cit. note 24. in particular pp. vol. XXIII. The quotations from Ibn Hauqal are taken from ADALGISA DE SIMONE. 370. 96 Qasr gives us the word Cassaro. It is conceivable that the Norman wall that closed up the Punic gates was in fact the one ordered by Asan to close up the old gate of Ibn Qurhub (probably named after the first Muslim conqueror of Palermo).. Histories. pp. 101 AMATO DI MONTECASSINO. vol. pp. 87. 93 Vide supra. 5-7. in Storia di Palermo cit. in Panormus II. perhaps a little to the south. MAURICI. note 10. p. 156-157. 118.. 89 DE SIMONE. 287. See VINCENZO TUSA.. 94 Da PATERA.. I castelli cit. of Constantinople and of the Middle East. Il palazzo ex reale cit. I castelli cit. Bibliotheca historica regni Siciliae cit. Palermo araba cit. 295-296. 69..). To which we may add HANS RUDOLF MEIER. Palermo araba cit. nota 23. pp.. 12-16. See also the introduction by Maria Andaloro to the present volume. p. DE SIMONE. See also IDRISI. 33-34. p.. L’arte della Sicilia cit.. 86 See ROSALIA CAMERATA SCOVAZZO. 17. 91 CALANDRA. 99-100. 69. 88 We cannot be certain which gate was closed up by Ibn Asan. p. 70. 2. 70. 741-780. Die normannischen königspaläste in Palermo. pp. 18. Il complesso monumentale cit.. 98.. note 3. pp. p.. 10-50. 83 e p. Paris 1835. FERDINANDO MAURICI. 115-128. DI GIOVANNI.. Worms am Rhein 1994 for its detailed and well thought-out comparisons with various Ifriqiyan typologies. 3-5. Studien zur hochmittelalterlichen residenzbaukunst. 84 See GUIOTTO.... L’ystoire de li Normant et La chronique de Robert Viscart par Aimè. 99 Vide supra. “Il periodo punico-romano”. 391.. p. 373 e p. p. but also with those of the palatine traditions of Umayyad Spain. note 11. DIODORUS SICULUS. “Il complesso monumentale”. I castelli cit. in MAURICI. in Il Palazzo dei Normanni. 25-26. See Cronaca di Cambridge in AMARI. II. “Dall’assedio vandalo alla conquista musulmana”. 19. 141. De bello gothico. vol. pp. in Palermo araba cit. 82 FAZELLO. Mont-Cassin. II. 90 Ibid. M. 16. Centro di documentazione e ricerca per la Sicilia Antica “Paolo Orsi”. 5. p. 171-178.. I. ι: “In the highest part of this Cassaro”.. See DE SIMONE.

the references to the walls of the Harat al-Saqaliba (quarter of the slaves. 236-237. I. the walls of which are covered with silver and gold”. 113 ROMUALDO II GUARNA. fig. XLV.. La nuova “Carta della Sicilia” e la topografia di Palermo. Arx praeclara cit. 115 The chronicler in fact speaks of a palace in the city. pp. fortitude). 109 See JEREMY JOHNS. III. 52-54. Pontieri 1928. vol. Centro di studi filologici e linguistici siciliani. III. DE SIMONE.GIROLAMO CARACAUSI. vol. 108 See especially FALCANDO. BAS. Fronte sud-ovest e “Torre Mastra”). 1. 118 See ZORIČ. II. p. E. La fortezza del Castellammare in Palermo. pp.. XXXI. Rerum Italicarum Scriptores II. Palermo 1996. pp. 107 Ibid. supra. pp. pp. Die normannischen cit. and later he locates in the orti regali another “palace. 88. 106 Ibid. 110 The map has an idealised representation of Sicily. 111 In particular. De rebus gestis Rogerii Calabriae et Siciliae Comitis et Roberti Guiscardi Ducis fratris eius. a city which by synecdoche the Arabs often called Siqilliya. whereas later he speaks explicitly of the Alhisiana (from al-Hisn. by CINZIA BONETTi... 116 See AMARI. 117 MEIER. 66. ed. Sicily is in practice almost entirely filled by Palermo. Palermo araba cit. Palermo 1983. ed. about 40 years before the time of the compiler (but certainly after the visit of Hauqal in 973). p. 46. vol. Accademia di Scienze Lettere e Arti di Palermo. shown as circular. III. the ancient port of Palermo. 35 e 44-45. Cava de’ Tirreni 2001. Primi scavi e restauri (1988-1994.. have made it possible to date the treatise to the first quarter of the 11th century. 15ι- 159. the only indentation on its coast being the Cala. 114 Da PATERA. which might indeed be the Zisa. 15-24. Chronicon. I parte. p. XXXII. 112 See RODO SANTORO. 336 6 . then Harat al-Qadi and Seralcadi in Norman times.. in Nobiles Officinae cit. identifiable as the castle of Favara. 91. 105 GOFFREDO MALATERRA. now “il quartiere del Capo”) and to its construction. Arabismi medievali di Sicilia. Le arti della Sicilia cit.

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