From 999 to 1042 the
Normans in Italy, coming first as pilgrims, were mainly mercenaries serving at various times the
Byzantines and a number of
 The first of the independent Norman Lords was
Rainulf Drengot who established himself in the fortress of
Count of Aversa and
Duke of Gaeta.
In 1038 there arrived
William Iron-Arm and
Drogo, the two eldest sons of
Tancred of Hauteville, a petty noble of the
 The two joined in the revolt of the Lombards against Byzantine control of
Apulia. By 1040 the Byzantines had lost most of that province. In 1042
Melfi was chosen as the Norman capital, and in September of that year the Normans elected as their count William Iron-Arm, who was succeeded in turn by his brothers Drogo, Comes Normannorum totius Apuliæ e Calabriæ ("the Count of all Normans in Apulia and Calabria"), and
Humphrey, who arrived about 1044.