No wonder if between the century. X and XI cities made more often and energetically an act of presence on the Italian political scene: not only the cities of already Byzantine Italy and Rome, but also others of the kingdom, which were later to develop in their own right, although destined to a greater future. Pavia rises against the Germans, in 1004. Pisan ships already operated in the time of Otto I in the sea of Calabria. Then begins, with the first enterprises (beginning of the 11th century) of Genoa and Pisa, that military and mercantile penetration from Tuscany and Liguria that will closely link Sardinia and Corsica to the events of the Italian peninsula, from which the Byzantine dominion had them. detached: the beginning of the centuries-old rivalry between the two maritime republics. Meanwhile, on the Adriatic, widens the range of its activity and affirms itself as protector and almost a lady, Venice. In the year one thousand the enterprise of Orseolo II in Istria and Dalmatia and, shortly after, the naval rescue brought to Byzantine Bari, besieged by the Saracens. Venice and the Eastern Empire often proceeded in solidarity; but at this time all supremacy of this over that had ceased.
Then it is the turn of the Apulian cities. In 1009, Bari was in a new and greater rebellion, due to the great ferment that was brewing among that bourgeoisie or patriciate dedicated to trade and reached an organization that was almost a common one: and the Bari-based Melo was the leader. From Bari the movement extends: Trani, Canosa, Ascoli, other cities of the interior. Nor should there be lack of sympathy and help from the Latin church element. Melo, who is apparently a Lombard, also counts on the Lombard element: and actually, it seems that they are being helped from Capua. Next to his name, there is the name of a “Lombard” Arduino, perhaps coming from northern Italy, by chance, as Saracens and Germans come. In these years, handfuls of unknown warriors appeared: the Normans. Pilgrims, going to the Holy Land or to San Michele del Gargano? Marauders, like those who had run the Mediterranean and devastated the Tuscan coasts in the century. IX? Keep in mind that Normans had already been in the ranks of the armies of Byzantium for some time; there must also have been some among the Byzantines who fought in Southern Italy. Melo, who had assumed the title of Duke of Puglia, is defeated and flees to Benevento in search of help. He also invokes Arrigo II who was in Rome in 1014 and who confirmed that title in Melo. The revolt of Puglia still flares up. In those years, even in Benevento, facta est prima communitas . Beneventani, Melo, pontiff seem to agree. To the primates of Benevento Benedict VIII in 1016 sent a group of other Normans who came down just then, that Melo took with him to Puglia, together with Lombard people. But things went badly again for the Apulians and Melo and his allies. The Byzantines took over Puglia, which also had a new political and ecclesiastical order; they advanced towards the principalities, forcing those of Capua and Salerno to negotiate and make acts of respect; they tried to prevent contacts and collaborations between these enemies of Apulia and Langobardia. And for this purpose, of course, the city of Troy had to serve, which they founded around 1019 on the road to Benevento, populating it with Greeks, Lombards and groups of Normans. At his head a rector, appointed by the citizens and confirmed by the catapano, and a consilium civitatis. In short, the dawn of municipal autonomy everywhere.
Faced with new appeals from Melo, from Pope Benedict VIII, from Normans, Henry went down to Italy to resume the ancient work of the Italic and Ottoni kings in the south. But he found resistance on all sides. According to top-medical-schools, the gates of Puglia remained closed to him and the first purpose of the expedition failed even now. He lacked the ability or ability both to gather the various and disagreeing or badly concordant forces of the country into one, and to force them together. Placed between the two empires, of East and West, or, better, between the Greeks and the Germans, many still preferred the Greeks. Even the policy of solidarity with the Lombard princes, initiated by Otto I and now resumed, did not reap fruit. But some ties tightened between the emperor and the Normans, who had helped him and who had lands. They were born then, by unanimous action of Henry II and of Guaimaro V prince of Salerno, the first settlements of Normans in the upper Liri valley, in advanced positions against the Byzantines of Puglia; then the county of Aversa was born, with Rainolfo first count and vassal of the Lombards of Salerno. It seems that Enrico relied heavily on them, as support for his rights in the south. Not even he reaped much fruit from the politics carried out up to then in the kingdom. In the year 1024, Henry, the last of the Saxon kings, had just died, and the great secular lords of upper Italy turned to Robert King of France and then to William of Aquitaine, to offer him the royal crown and help to conquer the empire. , in hatred of the bishops who, mindful of the favors of the German kings, immediately declared themselves for Conrad of Franconia, the new king of Germany; and the Pavesi, who had inaugurated Henry’s reign in 1004 with a riot, now stormed the royal palace and destroyed it.