The Norman era embraced entire Europe – from Southern Italy to Northern France, while reaching the Near East and Jerusalem. The year 1066 became the Norman milestone in England’s history. It
was the year of the Hastings Battle. That battle won by William the Conqueror completely reversed the European history. Over the following decades, the Normans fully conversed England, and then
the other parts of Great Britain and Ireland. They shaped the English language. Many magnificent temples and castles were inherited from them. It is noteworthy that Tower also belongs to the Norman heritage.
The Normans coveted new lands, greater power and tremendous wealth. At the same time, they were insatiable for culture, fine arts and architecture. The Norman conquerors transfigured spirituality and politics wherever they entered.
England was the Normans’ destination as early as in the year 793. Their ancestors got to the English shore through the North Sea. They brought bloodshed and horror to the serene lands and monasteries. They were Vikings. It was their first English assault.
Over the subsequent 3 centuries, the Vikings were advancing across Europe. They conquered territory after territory with fire and sword. Their rowboats crossed the seas and even the Atlantic Ocean to bring the conquerors to North America.
Authority Establishment in France
Northern France, or Normandy, was the most thriving settlement of the Vikings. Normandy became bthe cradle of the Norman history. Previously it formed part of the great empire under Charles the Great. However in the 9 th century that empire consisting of the modern France, Germany and Italy collapsed. France was split into a cluster of warring principalities. The king’s power was limited. The Vikings realized that they badly needed strategies and tactics to unify the new lands.
Rollo the Walker
The Norwegian giant, was the leader of all Vikings. Walker, his byname, was based on the fact that he was so tall and heavy that no horse could bear him. Cruelty and chaos were innate in him. Along with that, he tended to establish links in the local aristocracy milieus. Rollo married a noble French heiress. Subsequently, he became the first Duke of Normandy. So the strategic path for power establishment emerged: terror for conquests, then adaptive assimilation including inter-ethnic marriages with locals.
To be continued…