The heel-shaped, southeastern part of the Italian Peninsula, bordered by the mountainous Garagano Peninsula in the north and the Strait of Otranto in the south. Bari and Brindisi (qq.v.) were its chief towns. Apulia was a battleground between Justinian I's troops and the Ostrogoths (qq.v.). The Lombards (q.v.) overran it in the late sixth century, making it part of the Duchy of Benevento (q.v.). Subsequently it was attacked by Arabs (q.v.), and by Louis II (q.v.), but Basil I (q.v.) reconquered much of the region for Byzantium (q.v.) in the ninth century. In the 11th century, control shifted to the Normans under Robert Guiscard (qq.v.), who set up the Duchy of Apulia. Byzantium (q.v.) was ejected from Apulia in 1071 when the Normans took Bari (q.v.). This date resonates ominously in Byzantine history, for in 1071 the Seljuks won their important victory at Mantzikert in Asia Minor (qq.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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