In the times discussed in the article southern Italy was an arena of conflicts between Byzantium, the Lombards, the Western Empire and the Papacy. The only factor that could make the conflicted powers cooperate was the Muslim menace. There were numerous attempts to create an Antisaracenic alliance. They were initiated, on emperors' order, by the strategs of the Theme of Sicily, to whom all Byzantine properties in Italy were subordinated. The Byzantinians negotiated alliances with the Venetians, with Louis the Pious, Lothar I, Louis II and popes (John VIII, John X). Any lasting alliances turned out to be impossible in a longer perspective, due to a conflict of interests and lack of solidarity among Christian countries. It certainly did not eliminate the possibility of temporary, tactical agreements, though their results were limited. Fortunately, the inner problems inside the Arab world reduced the menace and confined the results of invasions to material loses and devastation of the invaded territories.
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