Difference between revisions of "Norman"

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The '''Norman'''s were descended from a group of [[Viking]]s, led by [[Rollo]], who settled in the north-west of [[France]], at the behest of [[Charles the Simple]]. The area, plus a significant area they laid claim to, came to be known as Normandy. A Norman is pretty much what you get when you cross a [[Viking]] with a Frenchman.
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(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normans)
  
The [[1066]] invasion of [[England]] by the Normans is a major reason why modern english contains many [[French]] words not found in [[Old English]].
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The '''Normans''' (adapted from the name "Northmen" or "[[viking|Norsemen]]") were a mixture of the indigenous people of [[France]] and the [[Viking]] invaders under the leadership of [[Rollo of Normandy|Rollo]] (Gange Rolf). [[Denmark|Danish]] or [[Norway|Norwegian]] Vikings began to occupy the northern area of France now known as [[Normandy]] in the latter half of the [[9th century]]. Under the leadership of [[Rollo of Normandy|Hrolf Ganger]], who adopted the French name Rollo, they swore allegiance to the king of France ([[Charles the Simple]]) and received the small lower [[Seine]] area from him in [[911]]. This area expanded over time to become the [[Duchy of Normandy]].
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The Norman people adopted [[Christianity]] and the [[Gallo-Romance languages|Gallo-Romance language]] and created a new cultural identity separate from that of their Scandinavian forebears and French neighbours.  Norman culture, like that of many other migrant communities, was particularly enterprising and adaptable. For a time, it led them to occupy widely dispersed territories throughout Europe.
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==Norman characteristics==
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Normans should not be confused with other Viking groups, such as the Vikings known as [[Danes]] in England and the Vikings known as [[varangian|Varangians]] in Russia.
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[[Geoffrey Malaterra]] characterized the Normans as ''"specially marked by cunning, despising their own inheritance in the hope of winning a greater, eager after both gain and dominion, given to imitation of all kinds, holding a certain mean between lavishness and greediness, that is, perhaps uniting, as they certainly did, these two seemingly opposite qualities. Their chief men were specially lavish through their desire of good report. They were, moreover, a race skillful in flattery, given to the study of eloquence, so that the very boys were orators, a race altogether unbridled unless held firmly down by the yoke of justice. They were enduring of toil, hunger, and cold whenever fortune laid it on them, given to hunting and hawking, delighting in the pleasure of horses, and of all the weapons and garb of war."''
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That quick adaptability Geoffrey mentions expressed itself in the shrewd Norman willingness to take on local men of talent, to marry the high-born local women; confidently illiterate Norman masters used the literate clerks of the church for their own purpose. Their success at assimilating was so thorough, few modern traces remain, whether in [[Palermo]] or [[Kiev]].
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See also:
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*[[viking|Vikings]]
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*[[varangian|Varangians]]
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*[[Viking fighting equipment]]
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*[[Norman fighting equipment]]
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==Normans and Normandy==
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Geographically, Normandy was approximately the same region as the old church province of [[Rouen]] or [[Neustria]]. It had no natural frontiers and was previously merely an administrative unit. Its population was mostly [[Gallo-Roman]] with a small [[Franks|Frankish]]/[[German people|Germanic]] admixture, plus Viking settlers, who had begun arriving in the [[880s]], and who were divided between a small colony in Upper (or eastern) Normandy and a larger one in Lower (or western) Normandy.
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In the course of the [[10th century]] the initial destructive incursions of Norse war bands into the rivers of [[Gaul]] evolved into more permanent encampments that included women and chattel. The [[paganism|pagan]] culture was driven underground by the Christian faith and [[Gallo-Romance languages|Gallo-Romance language]] of the local people. With the zeal of new converts they set forth in the [[11th century]] from their solid base in Normandy. Characteristically it was younger sons, like [[William I of England|William the Bastard]] who were largely dispossessed at home, that headed the adventurous raiding parties.
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In Normandy they adopted the growing [[feudal]] doctrines of France, and worked them, both in Normandy and in England, into a logical system.
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The Norman warrior class was new and different from the old [[French nobility|French aristocracy]], many of whom could trace their families back to [[Carolingian]] times, while the Normans could seldom cite ancestors before the beginning of the [[11th century]]. Most knights remained poor and land-hungry; by [[1066]], Normandy had been exporting fighting horsemen for more than a generation. [[Knighthood]] at this time held little social status, and simply indicated that a man was a professional warrior.
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See also:
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*[[Channel Islands]]
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==The Normans in England==
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''Main articles:'' [[Norman Conquest]]; [[Anglo-Norman]]s
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In [[1066]], the most famous Norman leader, [[William I of England|Duke William II of Normandy]], conquered [[England]]. The invading Normans and their descendants replaced the [[Anglo-Saxon]]s as the ruling class of England. After an initial period of resentment and rebellion, the two populations largely intermarried and merged, combining languages and traditions. Normans began to identify themselves as [[Anglo-Norman]]; indeed, the [[Anglo-Norman language]] was considerably distinct from the "[[Parisian French]]", which was the subject of some humour by [[Geoffrey Chaucer]]. Eventually, even this distinction largely disappeared in the course of the [[Hundred Years war]], with the Anglo-Norman aristocracy increasingly identifying themselves as English, and the Anglo-Norman and [[Anglo-Saxon language|Anglo-Saxon]] languages merging to form [[Middle English]].
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See also:
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*[[Norman Yoke]]
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*[[Norman architecture]]
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==The Normans in Scotland==
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One of the claimants of the English throne opposing [[William I of England|William the Conqueror]], [[Edgar Atheling]], eventually fled to Scotland.  King [[Malcolm III of Scotland|Malcolm Canmore]] of Scotland married Edgar's sister [[Saint Margaret of Scotland|Margaret]], and came into opposition to William who had already disputed Scotland's southern borders. William invaded Scotland in [[1072]], riding as far as the [[Firth of Tay]] where he met up with his fleet of ships. Malcolm submitted, paid homage to William, and surrendered his son [[Duncan II of Scotland|Duncan]] as a hostage, beginning a series of arguments as to whether the Scottish Crown owed allegiance to the English King. 
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Normans came into Scotland, building castles and founding noble families who would provide some future kings such as [[Robert I of Scotland|Robert the Bruce]] as well as founding some of the [[Scottish clan]]s in the [[Scottish Highlands|Highlands]]. The Norman [[feudal]] system was applied to the [[Scottish Lowlands]], but the influence on [[Scots language|Lowland Scots]] language was limited.
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''See also [[History of Scotland]]''
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[[Image:TrimCastleNorman.jpg|thumb|300px|Norman [[keep]] in [[Trim]], [[County Meath]], [[Ireland]].]]
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== The Normans in Ireland==
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:''See [[Norman Ireland]]''
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The Normans had a profound effect on Irish culture, history and ethnicity. While initially  the Normans in the [[12th century]] kept themselves as a distinct culture and ethnicity, they were quickly subsumed into Ireland, and it is often said that they became [[More Irish than the Irish themselves (slogan)|more Irish than the Irish themselves]]. The Normans settled mostly in an area in the east of [[Ireland]], later known as the [[Pale]], and also built many fine castles and settlements, including [[Trim Castle]] and [[Dublin Castle]]. Both cultures intermixed, borrowing from each other's language, culture and outlook.
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See also: [[Castles in the Republic of Ireland]], [[Hiberno-Norman]]
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==The Normans in Italy, Sicily, and the Mediterranean==
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''See also [[Kingdom of Sicily]]''
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Opportunistic bands of Normans successfully established a foothold far to the south of Normandy.  Groups settled at [[Aversa]] and [[Capua]], others [?] conquered [[Apulia]] and [[Calabria]].
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Normans were to become very influential in the affairs of Italy (especially Southern Italy). As a prime example, [[Robert Guiscard]], a Norman leader, was the only support to be found for [[Pope Gregory VII]] (Hildebrand) in his conflict with [[Emperor Henry IV]]. This support was to lead to a fight, between the Normans and the Romans, in which a large part of [[Rome]] was burned down or sacked.
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See:
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*[[Tancred of Hauteville]]
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*[[Robert Guiscard]]
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*[[Bohemund I of Antioch]]
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*[[Roger I of Sicily]]
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*[[Roger II of Sicily]]
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*[[Roger III of Sicily]]
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*[[William I of Sicily]]
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*[[William II of Sicily]]
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*[[Tancred of Sicily]]
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*[[Constance of Sicily]]
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*[[History of Palermo]]
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*[[History of Naples]]
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==Sources==
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*Brown, Elizabeth (see [[Feudalism]])
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*Maitland, F.W., ''Domesday Book and Beyond: Three Essays in the Early History of England'' (feudal Saxons)
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*Muhlbergher, Stephen, ''Medieval England'' (Saxon social demotions)
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*Reynolds, Susan (see [[Feudalism]])
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*Robertson, A.J., ed. and trans. ''Laws of the Kings of England from Edmund to Henry I''. New York: AMS Press, 1974. (Mudrum fine)
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*[[European Commission]] presentation of [http://www.mondes-normands.caen.fr/angleterre/index.htm The Normans] Norman Heritage, 10th-12th century.
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[[Category:Norman]]
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[[Category:Ethnic groups of Europe]]
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[[cy:Y Normaniaid]]
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[[de:Normannen]]
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[[es:Normandos]]
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[[eo:Normanoj]]
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[[fr:Normands]]
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[[ga:Normannaigh]]
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[[it:Normanni]]
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[[he:נורמנים]]
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[[la:Normanni]]
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[[ja:ノルマン人]]
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[[no:Normannere]]
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[[pl:Normanowie]]
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[[pt:Normandos]]
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[[scn:Nurmanni]]
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[[fi:Normannit]]
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[[sv:Normander]]

Latest revision as of 09:42, 25 March 2007