Normans and Vikings

Home Forums General Discussion Normans and Vikings

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 4 years, 3 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #15864

    tommm
    Participant

    I'm jumping the podcast gun a bit, but it seems to me that the people that lived in the Danelaw areas of England didn't lose their ties to their homeland, but the Normans seem to be more independent from Scandinavian politics and culture.  Does anyone know any more about this?  Did the Normans main any regular contact with Scandinavia?

  • #19107

    anonymous
    Participant

    As I understand it, before invading England in 1066 the Normans had been settled independently from Scandinavia in Northern France for generations (after being given the land that is now Normandy by the Frankish kings to stop them from raiding along the Seine to Paris).  I've been to Norway and I've been to Normandy… if I was a viking raider looking for a more comfortable life and readily available good land on which to set up a farming homestead, I know which I'd choose* – they'd have no reason to maintain links to home.The Danelaw on the other hand I think came under the overall rule of the king of Denmark or Norway (and paid taxes to them, etc).* I'm not a farmer and as such I preferred Norway myself :)

  • #19108

    tommm
    Participant

    That makes sense.    Thanks!.On a related note, I wonder at what point the post-1066 Normans stopped thinking of Normandy or France as home.   

  • #19109

    Oldcastle
    Participant

    Check out the Norman Centuries podcast.  He takes about Scandanavian settlement in France. It is very interesting.

  • #19110

    tommm
    Participant

    Thanks for the info on the Norman Centuries podcasts…hadn't heard about them before.

  • #19111

    iain
    Participant

    That makes sense.    Thanks!.On a related note, I wonder at what point the post-1066 Normans stopped thinking of Normandy or France as home. 

    probably when they invaded France

  • #19112

    William K
    Participant

    8) Actally, Normans were Vikings, They got paid by the French, and then settled in Normandy, and when they conquered England, They settled in England.

  • #19113

    anonymous
    Participant

    I always thought it was very interesting the way history treats the Normans as “Vikings apart”. Remember, of course, that at the same time the Bastard was making his designs on the Crown of England, his fellow Normans were also sailing off to Sicily, southern Italy, and the Holy Lands for conquest where they'd set up kingdoms all over the world.I think it was more circumstance than some innate quality of the Normans which impressed such rapid acculturation, though. For one thing, the first Normans were presented with an "offer they couldn't refuse" - one of the most powerful duchies in Francia in exchange for conversion to Christianity and Frankish ways. With that wealth and prestige also came education - Christian education - which would further distance young Normans from their Viking past.On the other hand, when William became King of England, his fellow Normans and descendant kings felt no compulsion to learn the English language or consider themselves in any way "English". They were merely extending their wealth and prestige from an established powerbase, centralized in northern France. At the end of the day, the best parties were in France, and French was the royal, noble language to speak for hundreds of years. Really, the Norman-descended kings only bothered to learn English once they were kicked out of France entirely and faced with no other choice.Then you have a counter-example, the Sicilio-Normans of Robert Guiscard. Though they were the same French-Christian stock, they assimilated into Italian fashions and language much quicker than the Anglo-Normans had. I argue this is because, like the original Viking Normans before them, these were rulers who found themselves with a new powerbase, removed entirely from their original homeland.With your point about the Danelaw, as Teuchter mentioned the Danelaw fell under the rule of the King of Denmark. Thus, like the Anglo-Normans, the leaders in the Danelaw were simply an extension of an existing powerbase.edit: One thing I can't help but wonder, though, is this: did the Norman penchant for sailing off and conquering have a direct link to their Viking past? Were Norman-conquerors smiling, thinking of old Scandinavian ancestors? Or, were they simply an opportunistic displaced people looking for areas to expand?

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

jQuery('.testimonials-widget-testimonials17')