The past three decades have seen a resurgence of anglophone scholarly interest in Norman Sicily and how the rulers of the island engaged with the wider Mediterranean world. Even as academic interest in Norman Sicily has waxed, the North African Zirid dynasty has received relatively little scholarly attention. Matt King’s Dynasties Intertwined argues that the histories of the Zirids of Ifriqiya and the Normans of Sicily are deeply intertwined in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and that scholars cannot understand either group without examining the other. Histories of the Zirids, going back to Arabic-language sources from as early as the late twelfth century, have focused on narratives of decline and powerlessness, inevitable victims of the political instability in Ifriqiya that made them victims of expanding Norman power. French colonial histories, upon which contemporary histories of medieval North Africa largely rely, replicated that frame. In looking at the Zirids and Normans...

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