History

Major conquests of the Normans in detail

Normans

Village of Viking origin that settled in the north of France, today Normandy, in the 10th century. Major conquests of the Normans 

The Normans were a people of Viking origin that settled in northern France , today Normandy, in the 10th century .

Under the rule of the kings of France, the Viking conquerors gradually mixed with the Franks, adopted the French language and the Christian religion , abandoning their original polytheism , and thus gave rise to the Norman people .

Its origins date back to the early 9th century , when numerous groups of Viking pirates from Denmark and Norway ravaged the European coasts.

France was especially punished since its rivers were the route of entry of the Viking ships towards the populations of the interior. Throughout the 9th century, the city of Paris was besieged on several occasions by expeditions that came up the Seine River. Major conquests of the Normans 

In 911, the King of France, Charles the Simple , granted the Viking chief Hrolf Ganger (also known as Rollo or Rollón the Wayfarer), some lands in the north, on the Atlantic Ocean with the aim of stopping Viking raids and establishing a defensive barrier against other possible invasions.

Hrolf Ganger married a Frankish princess, converted to Christianity, and offered his protection to the Church. In this way, a process of settlement and assimilation of the customs of the feudal kingdoms  characteristic of the High Middle Ages began . The territory ceded to the Vikings was transformed into the Duchy of Normandy , a vassal of the King of France.

In this context, the Norman nobility quickly incorporated into their customs the uses of the feudal nobility such as the occupation of the territory through the construction of castles and fortresses, the vassalage and the use of the horse and the tactics of chivalry in their battles.

Major conquests of the Normans

From the Duchy of Normandy, the Normans expanded into the British Isles and the shores of the Mediterranean .

Some authors explain this tendency to expansion by the Viking tradition itself and also because the feudal system itself produced an idle nobility seeking riches and adventure.

The main Norman conquests were as follows:

Conquest of England

In 1066, Duke William of Normandy invaded the British Isles. On September 14 of that year, he faced and won the Battle of Hastings to Haroldo II , the Anglo – Saxon king of England, who was killed in combat. Despite the resistance of the local nobility and numerous uprisings, in a few years the Normans managed to establish themselves by effectively occupying the territory with the construction of castles and the installation of settlers . Major conquests of the Normans 

Over the next two centuries, a society took shape that merged the cultural elements of the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans whose traces persist to the present day, especially in the incorporation of words and grammar from the Frankish language into that of the Anglo-Saxons.

Conquest of southern Italy

The conquest of southern Italy began in the 11th century , not as an expedition with that specific objective, but from successive waves of Normans who settled in the region.

There is no consensus on the origin of these settlements, they were probably groups that stopped during pilgrimages to the Holy Land or warriors who served as mercenaries to local nobles.

In a region of the Mediterranean that, in that period, was a territory of disputes between Lombards, Byzantines and Muslims, the Normans took advantage of the situation to establish small manors.

Throughout the eleventh century, they were occupying the territory of Apulia and expanding to the north. In 1071, Robert de Hauteville expelled the Muslims from Sicily and installed his brother Roger as Count of Sicily . In the following decades, the advance continued to Naples. In the middle of the 12th century , the Norman duchies were unified to form the “Kingdom of Sicily” that lasted, although under other dynasties, until 1814. Major conquests of the Normans 

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