Great Count Roger

Roger I, son of Tancred of Hauteville, was Count of Calabria and Sicily. He was born in Hauteville-la-Guichard, Normandy in 1031. Roger, known as the Great Count, was responsible for the conquest of Sicily, together with his brother Robert Guiscard. After the 1061 landing in Messina and the surrender of the city, the Normans invaded the Val Demone almost without difficulty and, with the town of Rometta, many strongholds fell. In 1072 Palermo capitulated, followed by Trapani in 1077, Agrigento in 1087, and finally Enna and Noto in 1091. In Sicily, the Great Count implemented a policy of centralising power, even to the detriment of the feudal lords; in his diplomatic dealings, he supported Pope Urban II who appointed him “papal legate” in 1098. He died in Mileto on June 22, 1101.