The 10th century displayed complete transfiguration of wild Vikings into a strong nation integrated into the French society. Looting and extortion subsided to give way to economic development. Instead of pagan sanctums, they erected temples and monasteries. On the other hand, Normans kept themselves up in arms to penetrate new lands. With their rowboats replaced by horses, Vikings morphed into knights. The Norman troops got strongly reinforced by cavalry.
New Machine for Future Invasions
The cavalry required substantial investment in the Middle Ages. Helmets, metal armor, spears and swords were expensive. But most of funding was to procure horses.
Cavalry battles generated new war tactics. The heavy Norman cavalry produced a stunning and horrifying effect. It appeared devastating and invincible for the rest of Europe. The cavaliers were polishing their combat skills. They learned hard how to act in a consolidated manner. New conquests were imminent. Due to such great force and influence, knights formed an honored stratum in society.
The severe cavalry tactics paved the way for new construction patterns. Wooden castles with fortresses located on hills ensured the strongest fortification. As they were easily and promptly built, they soon accomplished the skylines throughout Normandy.
Such military architecture was designed not only for defense, but for upcoming offensives. The newly conquered terrains were subject to defense again, by means of the same fortification structures. The Normans used not only hills, they also made embankments to fortify areas.
The construction techniques were evolving, and wood was soon substituted by stone in new structures. Castles and fortresses reinforced the power of aristocracy. They sheltered lords, their families and entourage.
New Norman Leader
A bastard child and the future greatest Norman was conceived and born in early 11 th century. His name was William, later he was called the Conqueror. His father, Duke Robert I of Normandy, died after pilgrimage to Jerusalem. William was 8 years old then. Since William was the only son of Robert, he inherited the title of Duke of Normandy. In 1035, he was crowned. His rule was questioned by many people. Thus his life was under constant threat.
The king of France, Henry I, fostered the reign and title of William.