Discussion:
Ranulf 'of Alife or Avellino' d. 1139 Brother-in-law of King
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Eric Kniffin
2019-10-26 14:23:55 UTC
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This is one of the few threads that mentions Alberada of Buonalbergo, so I guess I'll ask here. Robert Guiscard's wiki entry says:

"During his time in Calabria, Guiscard married his first wife, Alberada De Macon, known in Italy as Alberada of Buonalbergo. She was the daughter of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy, also known as Renaud I De Macon (Raynald I), Baron of Buonalbergo, and Girard of Buonalbergo, and his wife Alice of Normandy."

The wiki entries of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy and Girard of Buonalbergo BOTH say Alberada was their daughter, and that she married Robert Guiscard.

Obviously, she cannot be daughter of Reginald I AND Girard. Everywhere I've looked it has said she is daughter of Girard. Am I reading it wrong??? Is it trying to say Reginald and Girard are the same person?

Alberada's entry says Reginald was her father. John Julius Norwich's "The Normans in the South 1016-1130", but it doesn't look like there is an e-book of that anywhere.

In "The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily", Gordon S. Brown says Alberada was Girard's aunt. "(who, despite the relationship, was still a young girl).

Anybody know about any of this off the top of your head? I'm still searching, but original sources of these people don't seem to be easily available in the e-world.

Eric
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-26 20:53:22 UTC
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In "The Normans", R. Allen Brown also says Alberada was Girard's aunt. (Which is two places, and I should have proofread and deleted "Everywhere I've looked it has said she is daughter of Girard" in the first place. Heh) The Normans is not available as an e-book, either, but quite a few pages are on google books. Sadly, I don't see sources.

Eric
Peter Stewart
2019-10-26 22:09:40 UTC
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Post by Eric Kniffin
"During his time in Calabria, Guiscard married his first wife, Alberada De Macon, known in Italy as Alberada of Buonalbergo. She was the daughter of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy, also known as Renaud I De Macon (Raynald I), Baron of Buonalbergo, and Girard of Buonalbergo, and his wife Alice of Normandy."
The wiki entries of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy and Girard of Buonalbergo BOTH say Alberada was their daughter, and that she married Robert Guiscard.
Obviously, she cannot be daughter of Reginald I AND Girard. Everywhere I've looked it has said she is daughter of Girard. Am I reading it wrong??? Is it trying to say Reginald and Girard are the same person?
Alberada's entry says Reginald was her father. John Julius Norwich's "The Normans in the South 1016-1130", but it doesn't look like there is an e-book of that anywhere.
In "The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily", Gordon S. Brown says Alberada was Girard's aunt. "(who, despite the relationship, was still a young girl).
Anybody know about any of this off the top of your head? I'm still searching, but original sources of these people don't seem to be easily available in the e-world.
She was the paternal aunt of Girard of Buonalbergo, who was certainly
not the same person as Renaud of Macon - Girard offered to join Robert
Guiscard with 200 knights if he would marry his father's sister
Alberada. She was subsequently repudiated, supposedly for consanguinity
but we have no evidence for how the couple may have been related (if at
all).

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2019-10-26 23:50:35 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Eric Kniffin
This is one of the few threads that mentions Alberada of Buonalbergo,
"During his time in Calabria, Guiscard married his first wife,
Alberada De Macon, known in Italy as Alberada of Buonalbergo. She was
the daughter of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy, also known as Renaud I
De Macon (Raynald I), Baron of Buonalbergo, and Girard of Buonalbergo,
and his wife Alice of Normandy."
The wiki entries of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy and Girard of
Buonalbergo BOTH say Alberada was their daughter, and that she married
Robert Guiscard.
Obviously, she cannot be daughter of Reginald I AND Girard.
Everywhere I've looked it has said she is daughter of Girard. Am I
reading it wrong???  Is it trying to say Reginald and Girard are the
same person?
Alberada's entry says Reginald was her father.  John Julius Norwich's
"The Normans in the South 1016-1130", but it doesn't look like there
is an e-book of that anywhere.
In "The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily", Gordon S. Brown
says Alberada was Girard's aunt. "(who, despite the relationship, was
still a young girl).
Anybody know about any of this off the top of your head?  I'm still
searching, but original sources of these people don't seem to be
easily available in the e-world.
She was the paternal aunt of Girard of Buonalbergo, who was certainly
not the same person as Renaud of Macon - Girard offered to join Robert
Guiscard with 200 knights if he would marry his father's sister
Alberada. She was subsequently repudiated, supposedly for consanguinity
but we have no evidence for how the couple may have been related (if at
all).
It's worth noting that Alberada of Buonalbergo - as the article on her
by Raoul Manselli in *Dizionario biografico degli Italiani* (1960) here
http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/alberada_(Dizionario-Biografico)/
points out - was not the same person as Alberada of Colubraro & Policoro
(who died between July 1122 and September 1125), although this old error
has resurfaced in Pietro Dalena's "'Guiscardi coniux Alberada': donne e
potere nel clan del Guiscardo", in *Roberto il Guiscardo tra Europa,
Oriente e Mezzogiorno* (1990).

However, Manselli was also very probably mistaken in assuming that
Alberada died after the death of her son Bohemond in March 1111 - her
epitaph from SS Trinità abbey church at Venosa says that her "race" can
be found in Canosa, where Bohemond was buried ("Si gentium quaeris hunc
Canusinus habet"). However, this only indicates that epitaph was
composed after Bohemond's burial, not that this was necessarily put in
place at the time of Alberada's. It was most likely not contemporary -
medieval epitaphs like this were often the equivalent of neon signs
today, meant to attract the notice of passers-by as advertisements of
prestige.

Peter Stewart
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-27 12:57:37 UTC
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Are her parents known? Are they Reginald I, Count of Burgundy and Alice of Normandy? They are the only other suggestions I have yet found, but there are no sources cited anywhere.
Peter Stewart
2019-11-05 00:09:40 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Eric Kniffin
This is one of the few threads that mentions Alberada of Buonalbergo,
"During his time in Calabria, Guiscard married his first wife,
Alberada De Macon, known in Italy as Alberada of Buonalbergo. She was
the daughter of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy, also known as Renaud I
De Macon (Raynald I), Baron of Buonalbergo, and Girard of
Buonalbergo, and his wife Alice of Normandy."
The wiki entries of Reginald I, Count of Burgundy and Girard of
Buonalbergo BOTH say Alberada was their daughter, and that she
married Robert Guiscard.
Obviously, she cannot be daughter of Reginald I AND Girard.
Everywhere I've looked it has said she is daughter of Girard. Am I
reading it wrong???  Is it trying to say Reginald and Girard are the
same person?
Alberada's entry says Reginald was her father.  John Julius Norwich's
"The Normans in the South 1016-1130", but it doesn't look like there
is an e-book of that anywhere.
In "The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily", Gordon S.
Brown says Alberada was Girard's aunt. "(who, despite the
relationship, was still a young girl).
Anybody know about any of this off the top of your head?  I'm still
searching, but original sources of these people don't seem to be
easily available in the e-world.
She was the paternal aunt of Girard of Buonalbergo, who was certainly
not the same person as Renaud of Macon - Girard offered to join Robert
Guiscard with 200 knights if he would marry his father's sister
Alberada. She was subsequently repudiated, supposedly for
consanguinity but we have no evidence for how the couple may have been
related (if at all).
It's worth noting that Alberada of Buonalbergo - as the article on her
by Raoul Manselli in *Dizionario biografico degli Italiani* (1960) here
http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/alberada_(Dizionario-Biografico)/
points out - was not the same person as Alberada of Colubraro & Policoro
(who died between July 1122 and September 1125), although this old error
has resurfaced in Pietro Dalena's "'Guiscardi coniux Alberada': donne e
potere nel clan del Guiscardo", in *Roberto il Guiscardo tra Europa,
Oriente e Mezzogiorno* (1990).
However, Manselli was also very probably mistaken in assuming that
Alberada died after the death of her son Bohemond in March 1111 - her
epitaph from SS Trinità abbey church at Venosa says that her "race" can
be found in Canosa, where Bohemond was buried ("Si gentium quaeris hunc
Canusinus habet"). However, this only indicates that epitaph was
composed after Bohemond's burial, not that this was necessarily put in
place at the time of Alberada's. It was most likely not contemporary -
medieval epitaphs like this were often the equivalent of neon signs
today, meant to attract the notice of passers-by as advertisements of
prestige.
This is an example of my doing exactly what I have frequently said
no-one should do: relying on a secondary source.

In this case I took the purported text of Alberada's epitaph from a work
on art in Norman Italy, where "Si gentium quaeris" is given instead of
the correct reading "Si genitum quaeres" - i.e. literally "If you seek
her race" (verb in present tense with genitive plural of gens) instead
of the correct "If you will seek her son" (verb in future tense with
accusative singular of genitus).

All I needed to do was check the photo, to which I subsequently posted a
link, but I made the mistake of trusting _before_ verifying when these
responses should be part of one process, and preferably undertaken fully
_before_ posting to the newsgroup.

Also, I have left an impression (based on my own vague recollections)
that there may be a so-so difference of opinion among historians about
the parentage of Tancred of Antioch's mother Emma. This is not the case.
Some scholars persist in accepting that Emma was Robert Guiscard's
daughter rather than his sister, but this is untenable on the balance of
evidence.

The main sources for Emma as Guiscard's sister are Raoul of Caen, who
knew Tancred well, and Orderic Vitalis who confidently described Emma's
husband as Guiscard's brother-in-law. Against this the main sources
cited are Matthew of Edessa and Anna Komnene, but on examination the
statements by both of these turn out to be specious. Many derivative
sources written after these are of very limited probative value.

Matthew of Edessa used the term (transliterated, since I'm not sure that
Armenian letters will come through properly) "k'urordin" (քուրորդին),
that means literally sister's son, for the relationship between Tancred
and Guiscard's son Bohemond. However, Matthew plainly did not use this
term literally, since he applied it very liberally to younger men and
their older relatives. For example, he also called Richard of Salerno
"sister's son" to Bohemond whereas he was actually a paternal uncle's
son, and then he called Richard of Salerno's son Roger "sister's son" to
Tancred which if taken literally would involve a first-cousin marriage
between Richard and a sister of Tancred that clearly was not meant.

Anna Komnene explicitly called Tancred a nephew of Bohemond, later
describing him as son of Bohemond's sister. But later still she
mentioned "the mother, it was said, of Tancred, though I am uncertain
whether or not she was the sister of Bohemund, already mentioned often,
nor have I investigated enough to know if Tancred was related to
Bohemund on his father’s side or his mother's" (μήτηρ, ὡς ἐλέγετο, τοῦ
Ταγγρέ, εἴτε ἀδελφὴ τοῦ ἐν πολλοῖς ἤδη ῥηϑέντος Βαϊμούντου εἴτε ϰαὶ μή,
συνιδεῖν οὐϰ ἔχω ∙ οὐ γὰρ οἶδα σαφῶς, εἰ πατρόϑεν ἢ μητρόϑεν τὴν πρὸς
τὸν Βαϊμοῦντον ὁ Ταγγρὲ συγγένειαν ἐϰέϰτητο).

In other words, some scholars have contented themselves with looking up
one or two occurrences of Tancred as "sister's son" to Bohemond without
checking all such references to ascertain exactly what the writers may
have known or meant.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-03-21 10:29:00 UTC
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On Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 11:09:46 AM UTC+11, Peter Stewart wrote:

<snip>
Post by Peter Stewart
Also, I have left an impression (based on my own vague recollections)
that there may be a so-so difference of opinion among historians about
the parentage of Tancred of Antioch's mother Emma. This is not the case.
Some scholars persist in accepting that Emma was Robert Guiscard's
daughter rather than his sister, but this is untenable on the balance of
evidence.
The main sources for Emma as Guiscard's sister are Raoul of Caen, who
knew Tancred well, and Orderic Vitalis who confidently described Emma's
husband as Guiscard's brother-in-law. Against this the main sources
cited are Matthew of Edessa and Anna Komnene, but on examination the
statements by both of these turn out to be specious. Many derivative
sources written after these are of very limited probative value.
Matthew of Edessa used the term (transliterated, since I'm not sure that
Armenian letters will come through properly) "k'urordin" (քուրորդին),
that means literally sister's son, for the relationship between Tancred
and Guiscard's son Bohemond. However, Matthew plainly did not use this
term literally, since he applied it very liberally to younger men and
their older relatives. For example, he also called Richard of Salerno
"sister's son" to Bohemond whereas he was actually a paternal uncle's
son, and then he called Richard of Salerno's son Roger "sister's son" to
Tancred which if taken literally would involve a first-cousin marriage
between Richard and a sister of Tancred that clearly was not meant.
The last part is invalid - Richard of Salerno's son Roger was called "sister's son" (filius sororis) to Tancred also by Albert of Aachen, and so this particular relationship as stated by Matthew of Edessa must be considered correct unless both independent sources were wrong in the same way: Roger's mother could have been a paternal half-sister to Tancred, daughter of Odo the marquis not by Tancred's mother Emma of Hauteville but by an unknown prior wife.

Nonetheless it is also true that Matthew used the description "sister's son" for close relationships that he evidently did not know precisely, and the earlier part of my post last November about Tancred as a first cousin rather than nephew to Bohemond of Antioch is still valid.

Peter Stewart

taf
2019-10-27 18:38:02 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
She was subsequently repudiated, supposedly for consanguinity
but we have no evidence for how the couple may have been related (if at
all).
While this is all pretty iffy, she almost immediately remarried to Robert's nephew, Richard. Richard was son of Drogo, Robert's half-brother, so _if_ the first annulment was indeed due to consanguinity, and _if_ a blind eye wasn't turned to consanguinity in regard to the second marriage, and _if_ it wasn't just a factor of the husband being one additional generation away, then it suggests that the relationship came through a connection of Robert's mother, Fredescenda, that was not shared by Drogo's mother, Muriella. (Note that the two are dubiously claimed both to have been daughters of Richard I of Normandy.) Too much tea leaf reading here to be of much value, though.

taf
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-27 19:29:56 UTC
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That's good stuff! Heh. But even _if_ it's all true - except for the dubious claim - it doesn't give more than general hints as to who Alberada's parents were.
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-27 22:25:45 UTC
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Hey, somebody just edited wiki. Lol
Peter Stewart
2019-10-27 22:31:15 UTC
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Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
She was subsequently repudiated, supposedly for consanguinity
but we have no evidence for how the couple may have been related (if at
all).
While this is all pretty iffy, she almost immediately remarried to Robert's nephew, Richard. Richard was son of Drogo, Robert's half-brother, so _if_ the first annulment was indeed due to consanguinity, and _if_ a blind eye wasn't turned to consanguinity in regard to the second marriage, and _if_ it wasn't just a factor of the husband being one additional generation away, then it suggests that the relationship came through a connection of Robert's mother, Fredescenda, that was not shared by Drogo's mother, Muriella. (Note that the two are dubiously claimed both to have been daughters of Richard I of Normandy.) Too much tea leaf reading here to be of much value, though.
This is part of the old confusion of two different ladies named Alberada
- Robert Guiscard's first wife, Alberada of Buonalbergo the mother of
Bohemond of Antioch, is not recorded as having any other husband, and
her epitaph calling her "Guiscardi coniux Aberada" suggests that she did
not. We don't know anything about her life after she was repudiated in
favour of Sikelgaita of Salerno, including how long she surviveed after
1058.

Guiscard's nephew, Drogo's son, Richard the Seneschal married first
Altrude (who has been misnamed Alberada), possibly daughter of Geoffrey
of Conversano, and secondly the other Alberada I mentioned before, lady
of Colobraro & Policoro, whose first husband was Roger of Pomareda and
whose father was Hugo the One-Eyed, lord of Chiaromonte.

There is no good information about the family of Alberada of
Buonalbergo. She was evidently a Norman and it is likely that her father
and/or her brother, whose names are unknown, joined with Robert
Guiscard's elder brothers William Iron-arm and Drogo when they ventured
into Apulia. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.

As for the supposed sibling relationship of Drogo's and Guiscard's
mothers, Muriella's alleged relationships to the ducal family of
Normandy and to Tancred of Hauteville's second wife Fressendis are
imaginary, given a pestiferous currency in 1971 by Szabolcs de Vajay,
who was _far_ from being reliable on this. The sources he adduced in
proof are not contemporaneous, or even nearly so, with the individuals
in question and one of them flatly does not say what is claimed at all.
Vajay cited two narrative sources in reverse order of their composition:
the first written was taken from Pierre Pithou's collection *Historiae
Francorum* (1596) and was doubly mistaken by Vajay as he mistitled it
'Aquitanicae historiae fragmentum' whereas the latter actually ended on
page 83 of the work and the quotation was from the following extract on
the next page - the correct title for this is 'Fragmentum historiae
Francorum a Roberto ad mortem Philippi regis'. It is a partial version,
written at Fleury, derived from the somewhat slapdash history compiled
in 1114 by Hugo de Sainte Marie, a monk at the same abbey, titled 'Liber
qui modernorum regum Francorum continet actus'. The version by Hugo
states that a certain Norman knight named Richard, a vigorous man of
worthy birth but not of great nobility ("quidam miles Normannus nomine
Richardus, vir quidem strenuus et ingenuus, sed non magnae nobilitatis")
encouraged his countrymen to join him in winning wealth and honour in
Apulia; one of those who did was his nephew or kinsman Robert Guiscard
("Inter quos nepos prefati Richardi Rotbertus eo profectus est"). In the
later version quoted inaccurately by Vajay, this has become "Ricardus
quidam Normannus eo tempore in Apuliam profectus ... [making the same
appeal to his fellow Normans] Inter quos nepos ipsius Ricardi Robertus
nomine profectus est". So Robert Guiscard is said in both versions to be
the "nepos" of a certain Norman named Richard who ventured to Italy, not
of a namesake duke ruling at home. Vajay's reversal of the chronological
order of the misstated sources for his argument emphasised his
misreading, since he quoted "nepos ipsius Ricardi" out of context on the
false assumption that the passage was about a duke and not a simple knight.

The other medieval text adduced in support of the proposition allegedly
describes William Iron-Arm as "nepos Richardi Magni ducis Normandiae";
however, Vajay was misquoting the early-14th century work by Tolomeo of
Lucca in which William is erroneously connected to a Norman "duke" named
Tancred (inserted between entries for 1034 and 1036: "Veniens igitur
Guillielmus quidam in Italiam cognomine Ferrabath, nepos Tancredi magni
ducis Normannie"). Vajay miscited this passage in the edition by
Muratori in *Rerum Italicarum Scriptores* vol. 11 (1727) as occurring in
vol. 9 under the year 1022. Tolomeo's stated source for these
nonsensical details was an otherwise unknown writer named Martin (column
1022 in Muratori's edition, weirdly mistaken by Vajay for the year):
"Anno Domini DCCCCXII ... Stephanus V ["IV" in the version as printed by
Muratori], natione Romanus ex patre Adriano de via Lata in cathedra
Petri sedet [sic, but Stephen V, whose father was a Roman named Hadrian,
was pope 885-891 while the pope in 912 was actually Anastasius III] ...
Istius etiam pontificis tempore, scribit Martinus, quod postquam
Normanni quieverunt in terra Francorum, primus ipsorum dux fuit
Robertus. Hic autem genuit Guillelmum, Guillelmus vero Richardum, hic
autem secundum Richardum et Robertum Guiscardi [sic], qui Apuliam et
Calabriam devicit ac Sicilie insulam, sicut infra patebit. On this
wholly confused, anachronistic and sloppily reported basis, Robert
Guiscard's mother Fressendis has been made into a sister of her
husband's first wife, both supposedly illegitimate daughters of Duke
Richard II since the younger could not have been born by the time of
Richard I's death.

A charter of William the Conqueror and Queen Matilda for La Trinité
abbey at Caen was also cited as evidence that the elder, Muriella, must
have been either a sister of Robert Guiscard's mother, both of them
daughters of a Norman duke, or that they were possibly aunt and niece
sired by successive dukes of the same name, Richard I and Richard II -
this charter was quoted by Vajay an 1850 edition where it is in turn
cited from one of 1663: in the 1998 edition by David Bates it is p. 280
no. 59, written 1080/82: "Ebremarus ... in Willon decimam quam emit ipse
a Murier sorore Ricardi principis, dedit pro filia sua in eodem cenobio
monacha facta". The resulting claim that Tancred of Hauteville's first
wife Muriella and his second wife Fressendis were both daughters of
Norman dukes and therefore sisters or an aunt and niece must be
considered implausible in the extreme, and no contemporary source
suggests anything of the kind: it is scarcely credible that this kind of
unequal marriage would ever have taken place when ducal daughters had
far greater value in the marriage market than to be matched with an
obscure lordling, or if such an oddity did happen that chroniclers would
have neglected for 300 years to mention such an interesting fact as the
close relationship between the two Norman ducal-royal families. Besides,
this purported evidence is highly problematic in itself. First, the term
"princeps" was scarcely used any longer for earlier Norman dukes by the
late 11th century when this charter was written; secondly, the
description "Murier sorore Ricardi principis" distinguishes this lady
from a namesake "Murier de Guitot" occurring earlier in the document (p.
279 in the edition by Bates) rather than asserting incidentally that she
was a relative of Duke William; thirdly, because Tancred of Hauteville's
wife Muriella would not have been remembered as acting in her own right
in this way while identified only as a sister to someone when she had
long since become a wife and the mother of celebrated sons; fourthly,
because she was a deceased wife and mother long before anyone could have
bought a tithe from Murier to present to an abbey that was not founded
until decades after the death of Tancred's first wife; and fifthly,
because the word "princeps" in the 10th and 11th centuries was used for
leading men of different status, not exclusively for the rulers of great
territories - for instance, the lords of Montmirail and Déols
consistently used it as their title - and not only in feudal contexts
anyway, so that it could well be merely a nickname in this instance and
not a title of rank at all.

Peter Stewart
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-28 22:37:09 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
There is no good information about the family of Alberada of
Buonalbergo. She was evidently a Norman and it is likely that her father
and/or her brother, whose names are unknown, joined with Robert
Guiscard's elder brothers William Iron-arm and Drogo when they ventured
into Apulia. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.
That's what I like. Clear and solid. Thank you. It's what it looked like to me, as I tried searching anywhere I could online.


If anyone here is the one who was editing the relevant wiki entries, Robert of Bounalbergo's still says "Gerard was father to Alberada of Buonalbergo, who married Robert Guiscard and mother to Bohemond I of Antioch."
taf
2019-10-29 01:44:58 UTC
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Post by Eric Kniffin
If anyone here is the one who was editing the relevant wiki entries, Robert
of Bounalbergo's still says "Gerard was father to Alberada of Buonalbergo,
who married Robert Guiscard and mother to Bohemond I of Antioch."
The thing about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it.

Even you.

taf
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-29 02:08:46 UTC
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I suppose. But I'd have to make an account. Sounds like a lot of hassle. Heh
taf
2019-10-29 03:45:14 UTC
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Post by Eric Kniffin
I suppose. But I'd have to make an account. Sounds like a lot of hassle. Heh
Actually, you don't. If you want to create a page, or edit certain controversial pages, yes, but if you just want to make an edit, anyone can do that, account or not (but if you don't use an account, your IP address will appear associated with the edit).

taf
Peter Stewart
2019-10-29 04:42:30 UTC
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Post by taf
Post by Eric Kniffin
I suppose. But I'd have to make an account. Sounds like a lot of hassle. Heh
Actually, you don't. If you want to create a page, or edit certain controversial pages, yes, but if you just want to make an edit, anyone can do that, account or not (but if you don't use an account, your IP address will appear associated with the edit).
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?

How do they prevent cranks from repeatedly editing a page to their liking?

It seems rather like a world-wide kindergarten game, where everyone gets
to smear paint with their fingers ad lib.

Peter Stewart
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-29 10:36:05 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
This is apparently just a slip, substituting "father" for "nephew", as
there is a link to this page stating that Robert was son of "Gerard,
count of Buonalbergo, who was a nephew of Bohemond's mother" -
https://www.dhi.ac.uk/crusaders/person/?id=635&kw=Robert+of+Buonalbergo&n=69&nav=0&total=128
At least it lists several sources. Not that I'm likely to find them in e-form, but possibly.
Post by Peter Stewart
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?
How do they prevent cranks from repeatedly editing a page to their liking?
It seems rather like a world-wide kindergarten game, where everyone gets
to smear paint with their fingers ad lib.
Sure. But, for centuries, we've had people writing books that CAN'T be edited, containing terribly wrong information. Even people who actually witnessed an event got things wrong, sometimes intentionally. And later people base THEIR books on those first ones. And now I figure I should go back to the original sources, not realizing there are later writings that prove they couldn't be accurate.

Sadly, when humans are involved, there is no system that ensures accuracy.
Peter Stewart
2019-10-29 11:38:43 UTC
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Post by Eric Kniffin
Post by Peter Stewart
This is apparently just a slip, substituting "father" for "nephew", as
there is a link to this page stating that Robert was son of "Gerard,
count of Buonalbergo, who was a nephew of Bohemond's mother" -
https://www.dhi.ac.uk/crusaders/person/?id=635&kw=Robert+of+Buonalbergo&n=69&nav=0&total=128
At least it lists several sources. Not that I'm likely to find them in e-form, but possibly.
Post by Peter Stewart
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?
How do they prevent cranks from repeatedly editing a page to their liking?
It seems rather like a world-wide kindergarten game, where everyone gets
to smear paint with their fingers ad lib.
Sure. But, for centuries, we've had people writing books that CAN'T be edited, containing terribly wrong information. Even people who actually witnessed an event got things wrong, sometimes intentionally. And later people base THEIR books on those first ones. And now I figure I should go back to the original sources, not realizing there are later writings that prove they couldn't be accurate.
Sadly, when humans are involved, there is no system that ensures accuracy.
Books that can't be edited are not as readily accessible - and nowadays
probably not as frequently accessed - as Wikipedia pages, and there is
less likelihood of spreading errors from print into the future.

As for inaccurate original sources, the questionable parentage of
Tancred of Antioch's mother Emma is a salient example. Apart from the
ambiguous sources I mentioned before, I was forgetting that Matthew of
Edessa twice called Tancred the sister's son to Bohemond, and that is
perhaps more persuasive than Orderic calling Emma's husband the
brother-in-law rather than son-in-law of Bohemond's father Robert
Guiscard. The consensus of historians in favour of Orderic's version had
been influenced by a 1939 article of Evelyn Jamison, where she described
Orderic as a "pastmaster in Norman genealogy" - but this is going a bit
too far even for people closer to his orbit than the Hauteville family
in Italy.

Still, it's a mystery why Raoul of Caen - who should have known the
truth - didn't mention if Tancred was the grandson of the most renowned
of the Hauteville brothers, rather than just saying he was "nepos" to
all of them.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2019-10-31 01:56:25 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
This is apparently just a slip, substituting "father" for "nephew", as
there is a link to this page stating that Robert was son of "Gerard,
count of Buonalbergo, who was a nephew of Bohemond's mother" -
https://www.dhi.ac.uk/crusaders/person/?id=635&kw=Robert+of+Buonalbergo&n=69&nav=0&total=128
At least it lists several sources.  Not that I'm likely to find them
in e-form, but possibly.
Post by Peter Stewart
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?
How do they prevent cranks from repeatedly editing a page to their liking?
It seems rather like a world-wide kindergarten game, where everyone gets
to smear paint with their fingers ad lib.
Sure.  But, for centuries, we've had people writing books that CAN'T
be edited, containing terribly wrong information.  Even people who
actually witnessed an event got things wrong, sometimes
intentionally.  And later people base THEIR books on those first
ones.  And now I figure I should go back to the original sources, not
realizing there are later writings that prove they couldn't be accurate.
Sadly, when humans are involved, there is no system that ensures accuracy.
Books that can't be edited are not as readily accessible - and nowadays
probably not as frequently accessed - as Wikipedia pages, and there is
less likelihood of spreading errors from print into the future.
As for inaccurate original sources, the questionable parentage of
Tancred of Antioch's mother Emma is a salient example. Apart from the
ambiguous sources I mentioned before, I was forgetting that Matthew of
Edessa twice called Tancred the sister's son to Bohemond, and that is
perhaps more persuasive than Orderic calling Emma's husband the
brother-in-law rather than son-in-law of Bohemond's father Robert
Guiscard.
I take this back - Matthew of Edessa is not a reliable source for
relationships such as this and indeed he appears to have been "sister's
son" happy, using this description almost indiscriminately for younger
relatives.

For example he called Bertrand of Tripoli the "sister's son" of Raimond
of Saint-Gilles, whereas in fact he was Raimond's own son.

Peter Stewart
taf
2019-10-29 16:37:09 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?
The level of 'page protection' that would block an IP from editing would be applied by an administrator if they deemed that there was 'disruptive behavior' coming from multiple IP addresses. This could either be persistent controversial edits with no attempt to work out differences on the associated Talk page, or simply repeated vandalism (e.g. twelve-year-olds stumbling onto the Harold II of England page and adding "harold was a wanker").
Post by Peter Stewart
How do they prevent cranks from repeatedly editing a page to their liking?
There are a number of convoluted policies. In particular, one indicating that if a change is made, and someone else changes it back, it is supposed to be discussed on the associated Talk page before the same change is made again. Repeatedly making the same change without discussion can be punished with editing blocks of progressively longer periods, or even in rare cases, expulsion. However, it is equally likely that the persistent editor will eventually wear down any opposition and indeed get their way. Likewise, given the sheer size of Wikipedia, there are pages with nobody regularly looking at them, and vandalism or nonsense can be found on obscure pages that has been there for a decade unchallenged.
Post by Peter Stewart
It seems rather like a world-wide kindergarten game, where everyone gets
to smear paint with their fingers ad lib.
Some consider the universal editing of Wikipedia to be its greatest feature, other's its greatest failing, but that is the way it is.

taf
Andrew Lancaster
2019-10-29 17:08:21 UTC
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Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?
The level of 'page protection' that would block an IP from editing would be applied by an administrator if they deemed that there was 'disruptive behavior' coming from multiple IP addresses. This could either be persistent controversial edits with no attempt to work out differences on the associated Talk page, or simply repeated vandalism (e.g. twelve-year-olds stumbling onto the Harold II of England page and adding "harold was a wanker").
The first line of defense is supposed to be normal editors. Editors with an account normally have a watchlist of articles they are interested in and it is surprising how even rather isolated articles normally have people watching them. (If articles are not busy then by definition the feed of edits coming from those ones is not overwhelming.) But as Wikipedia evolved a lot of tricky little bots and software tools have indeed been developed which look for various types of red flag as well.

Concerning the idea of wearing people down, for really stupid edits being persistently pushed, there is still the back-up of going to one of the centralized forums which rulings are made on editor complaints. They can be quite quick to block someone from editing. So wearing down strategies normally only happen when there is a good faith, but annoying, minority position. For those situations there are standard procedures for calling in more opinions from uninvolved editors.

All of the above is about Wikipedia, not wikis generally. Wikipedia has allowed a lot of freedom and chaos which would probably not work in a smaller community. As a dynamic system I think one of its weak points comes about when people deliberately create a new article, just slightly different from one which already exists, in order to get out of the lime light and create fringe versions. This is called "forking" and when done on a bigger scale it leads to a "walled garden". But just by increasing scale a lot it makes it harder for "normal" editors to keep the quality up on all the articles about a topic they are interested in. Medieval histories has tended to get rampant over-production of mini-articles about every family member in a family etc, and is not an easy area.
Peter Stewart
2019-10-29 22:14:42 UTC
Reply
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Post by Andrew Lancaster
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?
The level of 'page protection' that would block an IP from editing would be applied by an administrator if they deemed that there was 'disruptive behavior' coming from multiple IP addresses. This could either be persistent controversial edits with no attempt to work out differences on the associated Talk page, or simply repeated vandalism (e.g. twelve-year-olds stumbling onto the Harold II of England page and adding "harold was a wanker").
The first line of defense is supposed to be normal editors. Editors with an account normally have a watchlist of articles they are interested in and it is surprising how even rather isolated articles normally have people watching them. (If articles are not busy then by definition the feed of edits coming from those ones is not overwhelming.) But as Wikipedia evolved a lot of tricky little bots and software tools have indeed been developed which look for various types of red flag as well.
Concerning the idea of wearing people down, for really stupid edits being persistently pushed, there is still the back-up of going to one of the centralized forums which rulings are made on editor complaints. They can be quite quick to block someone from editing. So wearing down strategies normally only happen when there is a good faith, but annoying, minority position. For those situations there are standard procedures for calling in more opinions from uninvolved editors.
All of the above is about Wikipedia, not wikis generally. Wikipedia has allowed a lot of freedom and chaos which would probably not work in a smaller community. As a dynamic system I think one of its weak points comes about when people deliberately create a new article, just slightly different from one which already exists, in order to get out of the lime light and create fringe versions. This is called "forking" and when done on a bigger scale it leads to a "walled garden". But just by increasing scale a lot it makes it harder for "normal" editors to keep the quality up on all the articles about a topic they are interested in. Medieval histories has tended to get rampant over-production of mini-articles about every family member in a family etc, and is not an easy area.
T.E. Lawrence counted seven pillars of wisdom, while there are just five
for Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Five_pillars.
Maybe that is architecturally unsound.

The fifth pillar is "Wikipedia has no firm rules". Maybe that is asking
for a fight club.

The underlying premise appears to be a form of the great 19th-century
fallacy that all human things organically progress, always towards
improvement. The 20th century proved that wrong, but apparently the 21st
is taking no notice.

Peter Stewart
Andrew Lancaster
2019-10-29 23:06:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Andrew Lancaster
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Eek - would a certain number of edits cause a page to become
"controversial" automatically, or does someone have to intervene?
The level of 'page protection' that would block an IP from editing would be applied by an administrator if they deemed that there was 'disruptive behavior' coming from multiple IP addresses. This could either be persistent controversial edits with no attempt to work out differences on the associated Talk page, or simply repeated vandalism (e.g. twelve-year-olds stumbling onto the Harold II of England page and adding "harold was a wanker").
The first line of defense is supposed to be normal editors. Editors with an account normally have a watchlist of articles they are interested in and it is surprising how even rather isolated articles normally have people watching them. (If articles are not busy then by definition the feed of edits coming from those ones is not overwhelming.) But as Wikipedia evolved a lot of tricky little bots and software tools have indeed been developed which look for various types of red flag as well.
Concerning the idea of wearing people down, for really stupid edits being persistently pushed, there is still the back-up of going to one of the centralized forums which rulings are made on editor complaints. They can be quite quick to block someone from editing. So wearing down strategies normally only happen when there is a good faith, but annoying, minority position. For those situations there are standard procedures for calling in more opinions from uninvolved editors.
All of the above is about Wikipedia, not wikis generally. Wikipedia has allowed a lot of freedom and chaos which would probably not work in a smaller community. As a dynamic system I think one of its weak points comes about when people deliberately create a new article, just slightly different from one which already exists, in order to get out of the lime light and create fringe versions. This is called "forking" and when done on a bigger scale it leads to a "walled garden". But just by increasing scale a lot it makes it harder for "normal" editors to keep the quality up on all the articles about a topic they are interested in. Medieval histories has tended to get rampant over-production of mini-articles about every family member in a family etc, and is not an easy area.
T.E. Lawrence counted seven pillars of wisdom, while there are just five
for Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Five_pillars.
Maybe that is architecturally unsound.
The fifth pillar is "Wikipedia has no firm rules". Maybe that is asking
for a fight club.
The underlying premise appears to be a form of the great 19th-century
fallacy that all human things organically progress, always towards
improvement. The 20th century proved that wrong, but apparently the 21st
is taking no notice.
I agree progress is never inevitable (not even in biology). But in practical subjects we learn from trials and mistakes, not by making the perfect plan using sheer brain power at the outset. In its first years Wikipedia was a surprising and rapid success. I think it is notable that a lot of people felt it was logically certain that moderated, expert-run wikis would obviously soon replace it. However, they have never worked well on that scale, and indeed experts struggle to work well in their own fields on Wikipedia. What seemed to be obvious was not.

However, more recently Wikipedia seems to have plateaued a bit, and started to struggle to iron out the types of problems which it still has. There seem to be some glass ceilings. New approaches are perhaps needed here and there.

One thing we can be sure of is that new ideas about online collaborations in different formats will continue to pop-up for some time, both on Wikipedia and elsewhere, and some of them will be surprising in one way or another.
Peter Stewart
2019-10-30 00:39:00 UTC
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The 20th century was full of surprises too, and look where that got us...

Wikipedia may best iron out its creases by starting again with new and better fabric.

Peter Stewart
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-30 01:38:56 UTC
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What is the solution? What is the best method of accomplishing this goal? What Ultimate Source should we trust, satisfied that we need never check it's sources, or verify those sources' accuracy?
Peter Stewart
2019-10-30 03:07:03 UTC
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Post by Eric Kniffin
What is the solution? What is the best method of accomplishing this goal? What Ultimate Source should we trust, satisfied that we need never check it's sources, or verify those sources' accuracy?
Absolutely none - there can never be such a one-stop repository for hard
facts, for the simple reason that primary sources frequently contradict
each other or leave open different interpretations.

I suppose that one day there may be a vast database aggregating all the
primary sources for every medieval individual who occurs in the record,
but I don't expect that anyone alive today will still be around to
benefit from this.

Meanwhile you have come to the best place I know of to raise questions
and see if you receive any useful answers. Then (time, energy and
interest allowing) you can query these further to explore the basis for
opinions or apparent certainties posted in response.

Peter Stewart
Andrew Lancaster
2019-10-30 07:50:43 UTC
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Post by Eric Kniffin
What is the solution? What is the best method of accomplishing this goal? What Ultimate Source should we trust, satisfied that we need never check it's sources, or verify those sources' accuracy?
People wanting an "Ultimate Source" is part of the problem we have interpreting information about the real world which was not made to be a source for people to read.

So I agree with Peter. I like this saying: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify

In a nutshell, a good source in genealogy or any study of human records is that the less explanations given of the records used, the worse it is.

Actually in Wikipedia there are three core content principles, and one of those is "verifiability". (The other two are more about remembering that Wikipedia is a tertiary source, which limits the content a bit: no original research, and neutrality.)
Eric Kniffin
2019-10-30 08:59:45 UTC
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I agree. That's actually what I was getting at. Uneditable primary sources, editable things like Wikipedia, or anything else, are all flawed, and all have their value. None are a stopping point.
Peter Stewart
2019-10-30 09:03:09 UTC
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Post by Andrew Lancaster
Post by Eric Kniffin
What is the solution? What is the best method of accomplishing this goal? What Ultimate Source should we trust, satisfied that we need never check it's sources, or verify those sources' accuracy?
People wanting an "Ultimate Source" is part of the problem we have interpreting information about the real world which was not made to be a source for people to read.
So I agree with Peter. I like this saying: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify
In a nutshell, a good source in genealogy or any study of human records is that the less explanations given of the records used, the worse it is.
I'm not sure what to make of this - if the primary sources are clear
enough, no explanation ought to be needed.

Of course most primary sources for the medieval era are written in
Latin, or in early and generally obsolete forms of modern languages, so
that "explanation" may be just translation - but I would are argue that
too much of this can be more harmful than none at all.

Universities nowadays are producing quite a lot of "medievalists" who
rely on other scholars for translations, not only from Latin sources but
also from modern languages other than their native ones.

Until fairly recently, the directors and actors in period dramas made
for cinema or TV were usually painstaking over authenticity - but that
effort has been defenestrated lately even by the BBC, dumbed down in
favour of rock/pop music tracks and current vernacular dialogue, etc.
Not coincidentally, the historical advisers listed in the credits tend
to come through universities that spoon-feed undergraduates with
translated sources.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2019-10-29 02:45:33 UTC
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Post by Eric Kniffin
Post by Peter Stewart
There is no good information about the family of Alberada of
Buonalbergo. She was evidently a Norman and it is likely that her father
and/or her brother, whose names are unknown, joined with Robert
Guiscard's elder brothers William Iron-arm and Drogo when they ventured
into Apulia. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.
That's what I like. Clear and solid. Thank you. It's what it looked like to me, as I tried searching anywhere I could online.
If anyone here is the one who was editing the relevant wiki entries, Robert of Bounalbergo's still says "Gerard was father to Alberada of Buonalbergo, who married Robert Guiscard and mother to Bohemond I of Antioch."
This is apparently just a slip, substituting "father" for "nephew", as
there is a link to this page stating that Robert was son of "Gerard,
count of Buonalbergo, who was a nephew of Bohemond's mother" -
https://www.dhi.ac.uk/crusaders/person/?id=635&kw=Robert+of+Buonalbergo&n=69&nav=0&total=128

The Italian wikipedia page for Gerard contains the speculation that his
father, Alberada's brother, was Ubberto, count of Ariano -
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerardo_di_Buonalbergo

The page for Alberada (with a good photo of her tomb) asserts that she
was mother to Tancred of Antioch's mother Emma -
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberada_di_Buonalbergo. This
interpretation of the evidence for Emma's place in the Hauteville family
is problematic, because Raoul of Caen who was in the service of Tancred
described him as 'nepos' to the famous brothers suggesting that Emma was
a sister of Robert Guiscard rather than his daughter. Robert the Monk,
however, called Tancred 'nepos' of Bohemond of Antioch. Unfortunately we
don't know exactly what either of them meant by 'nepos', since they
can't both have intended this to be understood as nephew precisely
rather than younger kinsman more vaguely, unless of course one of them
(or, at a long stretch, both) got this wrong.

Peter Stewart
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