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14. Linguistic Cultures and Textual Production in Palermo, from the End of the 11th to the End of the 15th Century

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Chapter Summary

The history of Palermitan cultural production between the Norman conquest (1071) and the expulsion of the Jews from Sicily (1492) has still to be written. The confusion between the enduring influence of Sicilian culture largo sensu and Palermitan textual production may also be explained in terms of the city having continued across the centuries, in the eyes of the supporters of Swabian, and then Aragonese legitimacy, to sustain the symbolic function of capital of the kingdom in manifest contradiction with its real influence. It is anachronistic to suppose that, because Palermo was the official capital of Sicily between 1200 and 1500, it was bound necessarily to be endowed with prestigious cultural functions epitomizing the various phases of Sicilian culture. The crucial fact requiring to re-interpret cultural activities of period is fact linked above all to radical change in dialectical relationship between Palermo and rest of the Mediterranean world.

Keywords: Aragonese legitimacy; cultural production; Jews; largo sensu; Mediterranean world; Norman conquest; Palermo; Sicilian culture; Swabian; textual production



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