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Cómo Rollo, el conquistador vikingo, se instaló en Normandía

Cómo Rollo, el conquistador vikingo, se instaló en Normandía


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Rollo fue un conocido líder vikingo que vivió entre los 9 th y 10 th siglos d.C. Es más conocido por convertirse en el gobernante de Normandía y, por lo tanto, a veces se le conoce como el primer duque de Normandía. De hecho, no se sabe que Rollo haya utilizado este título. En cambio, fue uno de sus descendientes quien comenzó a usar oficialmente el título de "Duque de Normandía". En los tiempos modernos, Rollo se ha convertido en parte de la cultura popular, gracias a su representación del actor inglés Clive Standen en la serie de televisión. Vikingos. Sin embargo, debe señalarse que el Rollo de la serie se basa solo vagamente en el líder vikingo real y, por lo tanto, es un relato en gran parte ficticio de esta figura histórica.

Rollo también se conoce como Rollon (en francés), Rou (en normando) y Hrólfr (en nórdico antiguo). Hay varias fuentes escritas durante la Edad Media sobre la vida de Rollo. La mayoría de estas fuentes fueron escritas por escritores noruegos o daneses. Una biografía de Rollo también se encuentra en la historia oficial de los normandos, que fue escrita por Dudo de Saint-Quentin a finales del 10 th siglo después de Cristo. En 986 d.C., Dudo, que fue canónigo de Saint-Quentin, fue enviado por el Conde de Vermandois a los normandos para buscar su ayuda contra Hugo Capeto, el primer rey de los francos de la dinastía Capeto. Posteriormente, Dudo fue contratado por Richard I, nieto de Rollo, para escribir una historia de los duques normandos. Entre 1015 y 1026 d.C., Dudo completó su De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum ("Sobre las costumbres y hechos de los primeros duques de los normandos").

Estatua de Rollo, Falaise, Francia. ( CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Rollo el vikingo y su ascenso al poder

Se cree que Rollo nació alrededor del 860 d.C., aunque su lugar de nacimiento no está claro. Aunque está claro que Rollo nació en Escandinavia, no está claro si era de Noruega o Dinamarca. Según Dudo, por ejemplo, se dice que Rollo procedía de la zona de Dacia rodeada de Alpes en Europa del Este. Algunos han interpretado que esto significa Dinamarca. Sin embargo, otras fuentes afirman que Rollo era de Noruega. En Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla, por ejemplo, hay una historia sobre un vikingo noruego llamado Rolf Ganger, a quien algunos han identificado como Rollo. Por cierto, el nombre "Rolf Ganger" significa "Rolf el Caminante", y este epíteto se le dio porque era "de un crecimiento tan robusto que ningún caballo podía llevarlo, y adondequiera que fuera tenía que ir a pie". Este Rolf Ganger también aparece en otras fuentes noruego-islandesas, como el latín Historia Norvegiae , y el Fagrskinna.

Barcos vikingos sitiando París. ( Dominio publico )

Rollo pudo haber sido danés o noruego, pero ciertamente fue expulsado de su tierra natal. Según Dudo, había un rey de Dacia que se oponía a la familia de Rollo. Cuando murió el padre de Rollo (quien, como el rey, no tiene nombre), fue sucedido por sus dos hijos, Rollo y Gurim. El rey vio la muerte del padre de Rollo como una oportunidad para apoderarse de sus tierras y "vengarse de los hijos por los hechos del padre". Finalmente, el rey ataca a Rollo, pero no puede derrotarlo. Como resultado, la guerra se prolongó durante un año. El rey se dio cuenta de que no podría conquistar Rollo por la fuerza, por lo que recurrió al engaño y fingió hacer las paces con su enemigo. Rollo dio la bienvenida a la oferta de paz, sin ser consciente de la traición intencionada del rey. Cuando cayó la noche, el rey volvió a atacar a Rollo y preparó una emboscada cerca de las murallas de la ciudad. El rey fingió huir de Rollo y una vez que este último estuvo fuera de su ciudad, se lanzó la trampa. Rollo se vio atrapado entre dos ejércitos y muchos de sus hombres, incluido su hermano, murieron. Afortunadamente, Rollo logró escapar de Dacia y navegó a la isla de Scania con los hombres que le quedaban.

La historia del destierro también se encuentra en el Heimskringla. Según Sturluson, Rollo era el hijo de Earl Ragnvald, un amigo cercano del rey noruego, Harald Fairhair, e Hild, una hija de Rolf Nefia. Rollo tenía un hermano llamado Thorer, así como varios medios hermanos. Cuando Rollo creció, se convirtió en un formidable vikingo. Un verano, Rollo asaltó la costa de Viken. Harald, que por casualidad estaba en Viken en ese momento, se enteró de la incursión y se enfureció, ya que había prohibido a sus hombres saquear dentro de los límites de Noruega. El rey convocó una Cosa, o una asamblea, y Rollo fue declarado proscrito. Rollo aceptó su castigo y navegó hacia el oeste, donde continuó sus incursiones.

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Ataque vikingo a París en 845 ( Dominio publico )

Rollo y las incursiones vikingas en París, Francia

Rollo vivió durante una época de la historia europea llamada la "época vikinga". Esta era duró aproximadamente a finales de los 8 th siglo d.C. al 11 th siglo después de Cristo. Durante la era vikinga, los asaltantes escandinavos, como Rollo, frecuentemente hacían su fortuna saqueando sitios costeros. Aunque las Islas Británicas fueron las que más sufrieron por estas incursiones, los vikingos también pisaron el continente europeo, e incluso llegaron a lugares tan lejanos como el este de Europa. Los vikingos, sin embargo, no tuvieron un gran impacto en la Europa continental y sus actividades en Europa del Este parecen haber sido menos violentas que en Occidente. En las Islas Británicas y en Europa del Este, los vikingos finalmente se convirtieron en colonos. En Europa continental, por otro lado, los vikingos no tuvieron tanto éxito en establecer asentamientos, con la excepción de Rollo.

Detalle de una miniatura de la llegada del duque Rollo a Normandía, con la ciudad de Rouen a la izquierda. ( Dominio publico )

Aunque Rollo fundó Normandía, ciertamente no fue el primer vikingo en atacar Francia, o el oeste de Francia, como se la conocía entonces. Se sabe que las incursiones vikingas en Francia ocurrieron ya a fines del 8 th siglo después de Cristo. Como Francia era parte del Imperio Carolingio, el emperador Carlomagno construyó defensas costeras para proteger su reino. Aunque estas defensas redujeron el número de incursiones vikingas, no las detuvieron por completo. Una de las incursiones vikingas más famosas fue el asedio de París en el 845 d.C. Ese año, alrededor de 5000 vikingos sitiaron París. Los vikingos llegaron a París vía Sena a bordo de 120 barcos dirigidos por un cacique llamado Reginherus o Ragnar. Este cacique a veces se identifica como Ragnar Lothbrok, una figura de las legendarias sagas nórdicas. Cuatro años antes del asedio, el rey Carlos el Calvo le dio a Ragnar algunas tierras en Flandes. Pronto, sin embargo, Ragnar perdió el favor del rey y se vio obligado a devolverle su tierra.

Importantes viajes vikingos europeos (Bogdangiusca / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

En represalia, Ragnar decidió lanzar una incursión en Francia. Los vikingos navegaron por el Sena y saquearon Rouen en su camino a París. Carlos estaba decidido a defender la Abadía de Saint-Denis, al norte de París, por lo que reunió a su ejército, los dividió en dos guarniciones y los colocó en ambas orillas del Sena. Ragnar atacó a la más pequeña de las dos guarniciones, las derrotó e incluso logró tomar algunos prisioneros. Después de esta victoria, los vikingos continuaron su viaje y llegaron a París en Semana Santa. Ragnar y sus hombres entraron en la ciudad y la saquearon. Los vikingos solo abandonaron París después de que se les pagó un rescate de 7000 libras de plata y oro. Cuando Ragnar se retiró, saqueó varios otros sitios francos.

En las décadas que siguieron, los vikingos llevaron a cabo nuevas redadas en Francia occidental. El propio París fue atacado tres veces más durante la década de 860. En cada ocasión, los vikingos solo se fueron después de que saquearon la ciudad, o fueron pagados. Al mismo tiempo, sin embargo, los francos tomaron medidas para disuadir estos ataques. En 864 d.C., por ejemplo, se construyeron dos pasarelas que cruzan el Sena hacia París (ubicadas en la Île de la Cité). Además, la ciudad se fortificó aún más para resistir mejor a los vikingos. Estas medidas defensivas se pusieron a prueba en 885 d.C., cuando los vikingos atacaron París nuevamente.

Aunque París estaba bien fortificada, el reino de Francia Occidental se había debilitado en los años previos al 885 d. C. Por ejemplo, Carlos murió en 877 d.C. y fue sucedido por varios reyes de corta vida. Los vikingos vieron la debilidad de los francos como una oportunidad para atacar París nuevamente. Los vikingos, liderados por Sigfred, Sinric y Rollo, inicialmente emitieron sus demandas al rey, Carlos el Gordo (que también era un emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico). Cuando estas demandas no se cumplieron, los vikingos lanzaron un ataque contra París.

Ataque vikingo en Francia. (Imágenes de libros de archivo de Internet / Dominio publico )

La defensa de París fue supervisada principalmente por Odo, conde de París. Se preparó para la llegada de los vikingos erigiendo dos torres para proteger los puentes que se construyeron en el 864 d.C. La flota vikinga llegó a finales de noviembre de 885 d.C. Los vikingos volvieron a pedir tributo, pero sus demandas fueron rechazadas nuevamente. Por tanto, comenzaron a sitiar la ciudad. El mayor obstáculo para los vikingos fueron los dos puentes, uno de piedra y el otro de madera. Dado que el puente de madera era el más débil de los dos, los vikingos concentraron sus esfuerzos allí. Intentaron tomar la torre que defendía el puente, pero solo lo lograron después de tres meses. En febrero de 886 d.C., los vikingos intentaron destruir el puente de madera prendiéndole fuego con barcos en llamas. Aunque el puente no fue destruido, se debilitó. Posteriormente, una inundación que se produjo después de una fuerte lluvia derribó el puente. La torre ahora estaba aislada y pronto fue capturada por los vikingos.

La ciudad, sin embargo, seguía en pie. En lugar de atacar París, los vikingos comenzaron a saquear el campo circundante. Esto les dio a los defensores la oportunidad de reponer sus suministros y buscar ayuda del exterior. En abril, Sigfred se dio cuenta de que le era imposible continuar el asedio. Por tanto, pidió un pequeño tributo (unas 60 libras de plata) que le fue concedido y retiró su ejército. Rollo y sus hombres, sin embargo, continuaron el asedio. Durante el verano, los vikingos restantes hicieron un último intento de tomar la ciudad, pero no tuvieron éxito. Poco después, el rey llegó con su ejército y rodeó a los sitiadores.

Sin embargo, en lugar de luchar contra los vikingos, Carlos decidió pagarles 700 libras de plata para levantar el asedio. Luego, los vikingos atacaron Borgoña, que se rebelaba contra el dominio franco. Naturalmente, la gente de París se sintió traicionada por las acciones del rey. Cuando los vikingos estaban de camino a casa después de asaltar Borgoña, los parisinos se negaron a permitirles usar el Sena. Como resultado, se vieron obligados a arrastrar sus botes por un largo tramo de tierra hasta un área del río en las afueras de la ciudad. Después de que Carlos fuera depuesto en 888 d.C., Odo, quien fue aclamado como el "salvador de París", se convirtió en el nuevo rey de Francia Occidental.

En cuanto a Rollo, regresó a su tierra natal, pero estaba de regreso en Francia Occidental a principios del 10 th siglo después de Cristo. En el 911 d.C., Rollo se había establecido en el valle del Sena. En ese año, intentó atacar París, pero no tuvo éxito. Rollo también trató de asediar Chartres, pero eso también terminó en un fracaso. El rey, Carlos el Simple, decidió que en lugar de tratar de deshacerse de Rollo, sería mejor hacer una tregua con él. Como resultado, el Tratado de Saint-Clair-sur-Epte se negoció entre las dos partes. A cambio de una parte de Neustria, Rollo renunciaría a sus costumbres vikingas. Esta zona se conoció como Normandía, y su gente normandos, una referencia a los vikingos como "hombres del norte". Por lo tanto, Rollo ya no era un enemigo del rey franco, sino uno de sus vasallos.

Rollo y el establecimiento de la dinastía de Normandía

Según Dudo, Rollo recibió la mano de la hija de Charles, Gisela, en matrimonio, para sellar el tratado. Dudo también cuenta una historia en la que Rollo iba a besar el pie de Charles, como señal de sumisión. Dado que esto fue percibido como una forma de humillar a Rollo, no estaba muy feliz por eso. En cambio, se hizo un compromiso: uno de los hombres de Rollo besaría el pie del rey. El hombre que iba a besar el pie del rey, sin embargo, no se inclinó, sino que levantó la pierna del rey y le besó el pie. Naturalmente, el rey se derrumbó, causando mucha diversión entre la gente en la ceremonia. En otra parte de su trabajo, Dudo menciona que Rollo se casó con Popa de Bayeux, la hija de un "Conde Berengario", y la pareja tuvo un hijo, William Longsword, el sucesor de Rollo.

Rollo murió alrededor del 932 d.C. Según Dudo, Rollo entregó su poder a su hijo, William Longsword, poco antes de su muerte. Mientras que algunas fuentes afirman que Rollo se convirtió al cristianismo, otras afirman que siguió siendo pagano hasta su muerte. La dinastía de Rollo floreció en los siglos siguientes. Los normandos expandieron su reino, estableciendo dinastías en Inglaterra, el sur de Italia (el Reino de Sicilia) y el Cercano Oriente (el Principado de Antioquía).


Ducado de normandía

los Ducado de normandía surgió del Tratado 911 de Saint-Clair-sur-Epte entre el rey Carlos III de Francia Occidental y el líder vikingo Rollo. El ducado fue nombrado por sus habitantes, los normandos.

  • Francia
  • Normandía

Guernsey

Desde 1066 hasta 1204, como resultado de la conquista normanda de Inglaterra, los reyes de Inglaterra también fueron duques de Normandía, con la excepción de Robert Curthose (1087-1106), hijo mayor de Guillermo el Conquistador pero que no tuvo éxito en el trono inglés. y Geoffrey Plantagenet (1144-1150), esposo de la emperatriz Matilde y padre de Enrique II.

En 1202, Felipe II de Francia le declaró la confiscación de Normandía y se apoderó de ella por la fuerza de las armas en 1204. Siguió siendo territorio en disputa hasta el Tratado de París de 1259, cuando el soberano inglés cedió su reclamo a excepción de las Islas del Canal, es decir, los Bailiwicks. de Guernsey y Jersey, y sus dependencias (incluido Sark).

En el Reino de Francia, el ducado se apartaba ocasionalmente como un aparato para ser gobernado por un miembro de la familia real. Después de 1469, sin embargo, se unió permanentemente al dominio real, aunque el título se otorgó ocasionalmente como honorífico a los miembros más jóvenes de la familia real. El último duque francés de Normandía en este sentido fue Louis-Charles, duque de 1785 a 1789.


Rollo y la colonia normanda

Un vistazo a los anales francos que registran los acontecimientos a lo largo de los años desde 820, cuando la primera pequeña flota de trece barcos vikingos asaltaron la desembocadura del Sena, muestra la persistencia con que los asaltantes utilizaron el gran río para penetrar los territorios del imperio franco. En la década de 840, las flotas al mando de Asgeir y Ragnar navegaron hasta París, saqueando e incendiando a medida que avanzaban. Rouen fue capturado y quemado por Asgeir en 841, y cuando regresó al Sena en 851, Rouen sirvió como base desde la cual atacar a pie en la región de Beauvais. Se estableció un campamento permanente en la isla fluvial de Jeufosse, desde el cual sucesivas generaciones de líderes vikingos pudieron ejercer control sobre el acceso al Sena. El noruego Sigtrygg, que pasó un tiempo tanto en Irlanda como en Francia, unió fuerzas con un líder llamado Bj & oslashrn para hacer una incursión a lo largo del Sena hasta Chartres hasta que fue derrotado en un raro triunfo militar para Carlos el Calvo. En 857, los dos ejércitos atacaron París y capturaron y saquearon Chartres. Hasting se unió a Bj & oslashrn a principios de 858 y continuaron los ataques desde el valle del Sena. Como vimos en un capítulo anterior, la lucha por el poder que siguió a la muerte de Luis el Piadoso facilitó mucho las cosas a los vikingos.

Los esfuerzos carolingios para preservar el orden dentro del imperio dividido se vieron dificultados por un desarrollo en el sistema de administración real mediante el cual los funcionarios reales como los condes, que anteriormente habían sido itinerantes y derivaban su autoridad de su posición dentro de la jerarquía carolingia, reclamaron una creciente autonomía que los convirtió en magnates con bases de poder locales y geográficamente determinadas. Se desarrollaron dinastías, varias de las cuales se establecieron en la región en torno a lo que luego se convertiría en Normandía, conocida como la marcha bretona o neustriana. En los días de Carlomagno se extendía desde Calais hasta las fronteras de Bretaña y su papel militar dentro del imperio era evitar las incursiones de los bretones notoriamente independientes desde el oeste. Cincuenta años después de la muerte de Carlomagno y rsquos, estaba claro que la región no podía ser defendida y en 867 Cotentin y Avranchin fueron cedidos a los bretones. La inestabilidad crónica en la región persistió mientras continuaban avanzando hacia el este sin jamás establecerse como la potencia dominante en la región.

Al mismo tiempo, las iglesias y los monasterios carolingios estaban abusando de sus privilegios de inmunidad real hasta el punto de que más o menos rechazaron cualquier obligación con el gobierno central. Al no tener dinero, tierras ni ejércitos fiables, la monarquía carolingia se vio reducida a emitir decretos y ordenanzas ineficaces. La anarquía y el robo fueron combatidos por decretos que aconsejaban que los infractores fueran "amonestados con amor cristiano para que se arrepintieran". Un decreto desolado incluso requería que los funcionarios reales juraran bajo juramento que no se convertirían ellos mismos en ladrones de caminos. 1

A esta mezcla de intriga real y anarquía inminente, los asaltantes vikingos agregaron su propia forma particular de terror. Hasting y Bj & oslashrn hicieron incursiones una y otra vez en Cotentin y Avranchin y las convirtieron en tierras baldías desiertas. En 865 las tripulaciones de unos cincuenta barcos construyeron un nuevo campamento en el Sena en P & icirctres, y en 876 otra flota de unos 100 barcos navegó por el Sena y fueron comprados al año siguiente por 5.000 libras por Carlos el Calvo. Tal como lo había hecho en Inglaterra, el terror vikingo devastó y desmoralizó a la Iglesia cristiana. Los obispos fueron asesinados en Noyon, Beauvais y Bayeux, y el registro de obispos en Avranches cesa después de 862, en Bayeux después de 876 y en S & eacutees después de 910.

Los gobernantes francos habían practicado la política de un apaciguamiento a veces bien intencionado durante casi un siglo antes del acuerdo celebrado en 912 entre Carlos el Simple, rey de los francos occidentales, y un líder vikingo llamado Rollo. Por lo general, estos acuerdos involucraban a Frisia, desde R & uumlstringen en el norte hasta Amberes en el sur, y los beneficiarios eran daneses. Hemming recibió el puerto de Dorestad en el Waal, un afluente del Rin, en 807 Luis el Piadoso se lo dio a Klak-Harald en 829, entre 855 y 873 estuvo en manos de Rorik, y en 882 Godfrid se hizo cargo de él. . 2 Ninguno de estos episodios se convirtió en un intento a gran escala de establecerse en Frisia y el registro arqueológico de la presencia vikinga allí es escaso, pero la historia del acuerdo de Godfrid & rsquos de 882 con Carlos el Gordo, en el que se le dio & lsquoland para vivir & rsquo y una novia real llamada Gisla, hace un interesante acercamiento al establecimiento de Rollo & rsquos de la colonia en Normandía.

Vikingsd utilizó los ríos del noroeste del continente europeo para penetrar profundamente en el territorio franco y capitalizar la rivalidad que estalló entre los hijos de Luis el Piadoso después de su muerte.

También conocido por sus biógrafos, cronistas y poetas como Rollo, Rollon, Robert, Rodulf, Ruinus, Rosso, Rotlo y Hrolf, Ganger Rolf o Rolf el Caminante, fundador en alrededor del 911 de lo que se convirtió en el ducado de Normandía, es otro de esos, como Ragnar Hairy-Breeches e Ivar the Boneless, cuya prominencia entre sus contemporáneos conspiró a lo largo de los años con una falta casi total de información biográfica para transformarlos de simples mortales en densos híbridos de hombres, mitos y leyendas. Como señalamos anteriormente, Dudo de St-Quentin & rsquos afirma que Rollo fue uno de los líderes vikingos en el largo asedio de París en 885 parece dudoso. Un canónigo de St-Quentin en Picardía, Dudo recibió el encargo en 994 de escribir su historia del ducado de Normandía por el nieto de Rollo & rsquos, el duque Richard I.Dudo & rsquos cuenta de la creación del ducado y su desarrollo posterior ha sufrido más que la mayoría de la rigores de la crítica de la fuente. Gran parte de su información sobre las actividades de Rollo & rsquos antes de la fundación del ducado es probablemente el producto de un deseo de insertar retrospectivamente en eventos significativos a alguien cuyo ascenso a la prominencia pasó casi desapercibido en el registro contemporáneo y, a partir de entonces, presentarlo de manera comprensiva. como sea posible. 3 Sin embargo, Dudo & rsquos es lo más cercano que tenemos a la historia local y contemporánea del ducado. Sus sucesores como historiadores del ducado fueron Guillermo de Jumi & egraveges, que escribió algún tiempo después de 1066, y Orderic Vitalis, que murió alrededor de 1142. Ambos utilizaron a Dudo como fuente, y aunque lo hicieron con discreción y pudieron proporcionar algunos elementos de información no alteraron sustancialmente su relato de los primeros días del ducado. Solo hay tres referencias a Rollo en fuentes contemporáneas independientes, cada una de ellas breve, ninguna que nos diga nada sobre quién era o de dónde venía.

Sus orígenes, como era de esperar, son inciertos. La tradición que registra Dudo es que era de Dacia o Dinamarca, de familia aristocrática, y expulsado del país como resultado de lo que Dudo insinúa fue una forma de control de población en Dinamarca que implicó la expulsión de generaciones enteras de jóvenes por el sorteo, o porque el rey danés consideraba que el popular Rollo era una amenaza demasiado grande para su poder. Rollo se dirigió a Sk & aringne y desde allí se embarcó en una carrera como vikingo que incluía hacer afluentes de los frisones en Walcheren. En Inglaterra, entabló una relación inmediata y cercana con un rey al que Dudo llama & lsquoAlstem & rsquo, y acordó términos de amistad y apoyo perpetuos con él. Esto se considera una de las ficciones más salvajes de Dudo & rsquos y un error de juicio grotesco del personaje de Alfred of Wessex & rsquos. Sin embargo, su rareza se reduce si tomamos la referencia no a Alfred, rey de Wessex, o incluso a un Athelstan mal fechado, nieto de Alfred, sino a Guthrum, el líder danés a quien Alfred bautizó y luego reconoció como rey de los ángulos del este en 880. & lsquoAlstem & rsquo es una aproximación aceptablemente cercana al nombre bautismal de Guthrum & rsquos Athelstan, y sabemos que Athelstan usó el nombre al acuñar sus monedas. Identificar a Alstem como Guthrum / Athelstan, rey de los ángulos del este, hace creíble la calidez y el respeto que nos dice Dudo surgió entre estos dos hombres, aparentemente de forma espontánea. 4 Cuando los emisarios de Rollo y rsquos le revelan a Alstem que son daneses, el rey y los rsquos informaron de la respuesta: & lsquoNo hay una región en la que surjan hombres extraordinarios y personas con instrucción activa en armas, más que Dacia & rsquo - tiene el tono único de un expatriado que saluda con cariño a otro. Guthrum / Athelstan murió en 890 y había sido rey en East Anglia desde 880, fechas que se adaptan fácilmente a estas asociaciones. Dudo nos dice que Rollo vivió hasta una edad avanzada y murió alrededor de 929 o 930, por lo que si nos arriesgamos a adivinar una fecha de nacimiento de alrededor de 860, esto lo haría activo a más tardar en 880.

La identificación también proporciona una lógica para este danés Alstem & rsquos problemas recurrentes con una población nativa rebelde e irrespetuosa: & lsquoLos ​​ingleses, engreídos y perversos con su audaz insolencia, se niegan a obedecer mis órdenes & rsquo, se quejó a Rollo. 5 Al colocar a Rollo en el sitio de París que tuvo lugar en 885, Dudo escribe como si este fuera realmente el estado de cosas:

Y cuando los ingleses se enteraron de que Rollo había sitiado la ciudad de París y estaba ocupado con los asuntos francos, consideraron que no acudiría en ayuda de su amigo el rey Athelstan, y renunciaron a su lealtad. Comenzaron a volverse insolentes, arrogantes y feroces, y se opusieron al rey enfadándolo con batallas. 6

Dudo continúa refiriéndose a los ingleses como & lsquoperfidious & rsquo, ilógicamente para un partidario de la casa de Wessex, lógicamente para el partidario de un conquistador danés que lucha por afirmar su autoridad sobre los nativos. Incluso nos dice que Alstem ofreció la mitad de su reino a Rollo, un gesto increíble para Alfred, pero para Guthrum / Athelstan solo un intento sensato de resolver problemas de orden en su nuevo reino.

La identificación de Alstem con el Guthrum / Athelstan que conocemos desde Crónica anglosajona refuerza la afirmación de Dudo & rsquos de que Rollo era de origen danés, pero en general, el relato de Dudo & rsquos sobre los orígenes y la carrera de Rollo & rsquos tiene toda la vaguedad y aplicabilidad general de un horóscopo de periódico. Sufre en comparación con el relato más detallado de Snorri Sturluson & rsquos. En Snorri y rsquos Saga de Harald Fairhair el futuro conquistador de Normandía es un joven noruego llamado Hrolf, hijo de ese Ragnvald, conde de M & oslashre, que fue el principal aliado de Harald & rsquos durante la campaña para unificar Noruega y su peluquero ceremonial una vez que tuvo éxito. Snorri nos cuenta que Rollo era tan grande que ningún caballo podía soportar su peso y tenía que caminar a todas partes, por eso se le conocía como Ganger Rolf o Rolf el Caminante. Lo convierte en una especie de inversión legendaria de Ivar el Deshuesado que, en una serie de historias sobre él, no podía caminar a ninguna parte y tenía que ser llevado a todas partes. Por una vez, es Dudo quien tiene la explicación más sobria para este cuento, admitiendo que en el último año de su vida Rollo fue "incapaz de montar a caballo", pero agregó que esto se debió a "su gran edad y su cuerpo defectuoso". No hay indicios de que sea un hombre inusualmente grande.

Como Dudo & rsquos Rollo, Ganger Rolf fue un vikingo exitoso. Cometió el error de acosar a las orillas del Vik en un momento en que el propio rey Harald estaba en la región. Harald inmediatamente proscribió al joven. La madre de Rolf & rsquos, Hild, cuyo apellido era Nevja, trató de persuadirlo para que cambiara de opinión, pero el rey se mantuvo firme. Hild luego compuso este triste verso:

El nombre de Nevja está roto
Ahora conducido en vuelo desde la tierra
Es el pariente audaz del guerrero y rsquos.
¿Por qué ser tan duro, mi señor?
Malvado es por un lobo así
Príncipe noble para ser mordido
No perdonará al rebaño
Si lo llevan al bosque. 7

Las líneas disfrutan de la credibilidad especial que generalmente se extiende a los poemas incrustados en los textos de la saga, ya que es más probable que sean creaciones que describen eventos contemporáneos, pero no tienen una relación directa con la identificación de Rolf con Rollo de Normandía. Esto viene inequívocamente con el resumen de Snorri & rsquos del destino de Rolf & rsquos después de su destierro: & lsquoRolf el Ganger luego cruzó el mar hasta las Hébridas y desde allí se dirigió al suroeste a Francia, se acomodó allí y se apoderó de un gran condado. después se llamó Normandía. & rsquo 8 Entre los tres medios hermanos de Rollo & rsquos estaba Rollaug, un nombre que se transmuta más fácilmente al latín & lsquoRollo & rsquo que Rolf. Snorri cita, además, un verso de Einar, conde de Orkney, que muestra que Rolf y Rollaug estuvieron en algún momento juntos en las Orcadas. Pero argumentando contra la débil posibilidad de que Snorri de alguna manera confundiera a los hermanos y que Rollaug fuera en realidad & lsquoRollo & rsquo de Normandía, es la historia mencionada anteriormente de cómo su padre le dijo a Rollaug que se estableciera en Islandia, ya que tenía & lsquono disposición para la guerra & rsquo .

Las conexiones de Rollo y rsquos con las Hébridas están respaldadas, a pesar de cierta confusión pasajera, por la historia anónima de Gales del siglo XII. La vida de Gruffyd ap Cynan, donde la genealogía del abuelo de Gruffyd & rsquos incluye a Rollo, aquí un hermano del rey Harald Finehair, que sometió a & lsquoa gran parte de Francia que ahora se llama Normandía, porque los hombres de Noruega la habitan son un pueblo de Llychlyn & rsquo. 9 & lsquoLlychlyn & rsquo parece una variante de ese reino insular independiente, mencionado anteriormente, que comprende las islas del norte y el oeste, así como partes de Escocia continental.

A finales del siglo XIX, con las naciones escandinavas luchando por posicionarse sobre la realidad emergente de una & lsquoViking Age & rsquo y reclamando a sus diversos héroes, la cuestión de la nacionalidad de Rollo & rsquos se convirtió durante un corto tiempo en un tema de debate urgente. El historiador danés Johannes Steenstrup utilizó los fragmentos supervivientes de un Planctus para William Longsword, un poema de duelo escrito por un autor desconocido poco después del asesinato del hijo y sucesor de Rollo & rsquos, William Longsword, en 942, para presentar argumentos a favor de aceptar la fiabilidad de la historia de Dudo & rsquos que convertiría a Rollo en un danés. El noruego Gustav Storm empleó el Planctus en efecto opuesto para reforzar el caso de Snorri & rsquos a favor de sus orígenes noruegos, señalando que el PlanctusLa descripción de & rsquos de William como & lsquoNacido en el extranjero de un padre que se apegó al error pagano / y de una madre devota de la dulce religión & rsquo contradice directamente la afirmación de Dudo & rsquos de que William nació en Rouen. Snorri & rsquos cuento de Rolf & rsquos Hebridean interludio, junto con el Planctusrsquos referencia a su esposa cristiana, ambos parecen complementar una tradición, registrada en islandés Libro de los Asentamientos, y se repite en el llamado Gran saga de Olaf Tryggvason, 10 que Rolf tenía una hija llamada Kathl & iacuten, o Kathleen, que se casó con el rey de las Hébridas Bj & oacutelan. 11 Dudo no hace ninguna referencia a esta hija, cuyo nombre es celta y cristiano. 12

Snorri está muy seguro de sí mismo en la identificación de Rolf con Rollo, y el enigma de la ignorancia de Dudo & rsquos sobre los detalles sobre los orígenes de su sujeto y rsquos que estuvo disponible para Snorri más de 200 años después permanece. Bien puede ser que estuviera tratando de racionalizar el hecho de que Rollo era noruego pero la mayoría de sus seguidores daneses. En su Saga de San Olav, rey de Noruega entre 1016 y 1028, Snorri vuelve a visitar el gran triunfo de Rolf / Rollo y rsquos al concluir un resumen genealógico típicamente enérgico: & lsquoDe Rolf the Ganger descienden los jarls de Ruda (Rouen), y mucho después afirmaron su parentesco con el jefes de Noruega y le dieron mucha importancia durante muchos años, siempre fueron los mejores amigos de los nórdicos y rsquos, y todos los nórdicos, que quisieran tenerlo, tenían tierra de paz con ellos. 13

Aunque hay otras alternativas, William of Jumi & egraveges no da con cautela ningún pedigrí para Rollo y dice que fue elegido por sorteo para liderar su generación de asaltantes del Sena y el historiador de finales del siglo X Richer of Reims se refiere mordazmente a Rollo como un & lsquopirate & rsquo y nombra a su padre. como cierto Catillus (Ketill) 14 - La identificación de snorri & rsquos sigue siendo la más popular, aunque ciertamente no es definitiva. Tampoco el anónimo siglo XIII Saga de Ganger Rolf, un relato sublimemente salvaje de los hechos de un hombre que no comparte nada más que su nombre con el héroe de las historias de Snorri & rsquos y Dudo & rsquos, y la leyenda de su gran tamaño con Snorri & rsquos. Contemplating some of his more obvious outrages against both history and common sense, the author admits with a disarming shrug that &lsquomaybe this saga doesn&rsquot tally with what other sagas have to say about the same things, not in regard to the various events, or the names of the people, or the brave and bold deeds done by this one or that, or where the various chieftains ruled&rsquo. He assures his readers, however, that

those who have assembled these tidings must have based them on something, either ancient verses or else the testimonies of learned men. And in any case, few if any of the stories from the old days are such that people would swear that everything happened just as related therein, since in most cases a word here and there will have been added. And sometimes it&rsquos not possible to know every word and every happening, for most things happen long before they&rsquore told about. 15

As we have noted earlier Dudo put the date of Rollo&rsquos arrival on the Seine at 876 and placed him at a siege of Paris which, if there be any truth in the story, is more likely to be that of 886. Thereafter he treats him as the only significant Viking leader on the lower Seine. At some point Rollo captured the city of Rouen. Unlike his predecessors, he managed to keep control of it. los Historia Norwegie describes in admiring terms the tactics that won the day. The crew of his fleet of fifteen ships dug pits disguised with turfs between the city walls and the river and then lured their mounted opponents into the traps by pretending to run for their ships once the battle was under way. The trick was so successful that they were able to enter Rouen unopposed. 16 Indeed, it seems that Rollo had established himself so firmly there that defeat in a battle against the Neustrian count Robert I in about 911 led not to flight but instead to an invitation from Charles the Simple to join him at the negotiating table, where the king formally recognized Rollo&rsquos right to remain in possession of a large part of north-west Francia, pointedly described as already &lsquotoo often laid waste by Hasting and by you&rsquo. 17 In return Rollo agreed to be baptized and to assist the king in the defence of the realm. The seal of agreement was to be marriage between Rollo and Charles&rsquos daughter, Gisla. 18

The treaty agreed upon in 912, at a meeting between Rollo and Charles the Simple at Saint-Claire-sur-Epte, has not survived and is a historical presumption only but there is a reference to it in a royal charter of March 918 which deals with the matter of an abbey whose patrimony had been bisected as a result of it:

we give and grant this abbey of which the main part lies in the area of Méresias on the River Eure to Saint-Germain and to his monks for their upkeep, except that part of the abbey [&rsquos lands] which we have granted to the Normans of the Seine, namely to Rollo and his companions, for the defence of the kingdom . . . 19

Rollo received a further grant of land in central Normandy in 924. The contemporary French analyst Flodoard of Reims tells us:

The Northmen entered upon peace with solemn promises in the presence of Count Hugo, Count Herbert and also Archbishop Seulf. King Ralph was not there, but with his consent, their [the Normans&rsquo] land increased with Maine and the Bessin, which in a pact of peace was conceded to them . . . 20

Rollo died sometime between a final mention of him by Flodoard in 928, and 933, the year in which a third grant of land, usually identified as being the Cotentin and Avranchin areas of Brittany, was made to his son and successor William, known as Longsword. This completed the basic territory of what would become known as the duchy of Normandy. Its boundaries ran roughly from Eu, at the mouth of the river Bresle in the east, across to the river Vire in the west. It was bounded by the English Channel in the north and by the waters of the Avre in the south, an area corresponding to the modern French départements of Manche, Calvados, Seine Maritime and Eure. Orne was included, with the exception of Mortagne and Domfront. The validity of Dudo&rsquos claim that Brittany was included in the initial grant of land remains uncertain. One small piece of possible evidence in favour is a coin found at Mont-St-Michel bearing the inscription + VVILEIM DUX BRI that is thought to refer to Rollo&rsquos son William and to have been issued by him as a duke of Brittany. 21

Along with the agreement of 878 between Alfred and Guthrum, sometimes known as the Treaty of Wedmore, and the trade agreements negotiated in 907 and 911 between the Kievan Rus and the Byzantine emperor, Saint-Claire appears to be the third example available to us of a negotiated settlement between pagan Vikings and Christian rulers. Each in its own way attempted to invite the raiders into the fold of the nominally civilized world of Christian culture, and each in its own way succeeded. Charles&rsquos aims were to put an end to the century-old threat from Viking fleets that used the Seine to attack Paris and to bring stability to a volatile region by sponsoring the authority there of a &lsquogood&rsquo Viking leader. From the time Rollo&rsquos occupation of its lower regions was legalized he remained loyal to the agreement and Viking attacks on Paris effectively ceased.

Following the original grant of land to Rollo in 911 the duchy of Normandy had grown to include the Cotentin peninsual by about 933.

The early years of the colony&rsquos history are turbulent and hard to follow. In 923 Rollo&rsquos forces fought alongside those of Charles around Beauvais, and the grant to him of Bayeux and Maine in the following year may have been an attempt by Charles&rsquos enemy, King Ralph of Burgundy, to split the alliance. In 925 the Vikings devastated Amiens and Arras in the east, but were stopped at Eu by a coalition of Ralph&rsquos allies in their attempts to expand further east into modern-day Picardy. A further complication was the activities of another band of Viking raiders on the Loire, under the leadership of the otherwise obscure Rognvald. After the death of Duke Alan the Great in 907, the Vikings showed an increasing interest in Brittany, whose Celtic population had maintained a fierce independence of Frankish attempts to incorporate it. By about 919 Rognvald&rsquos army had control of all Brittany. In 921 he was formally given Nantes by Count Robert of Neustria, and it seems he may have been expecting the concessions to Rollo in 924 to lead to a Frankish version of the Danelaw which would also involve him, for Flodoard tells us that in anger at not being awarded any land within France at this settlement he led his forces on a series of devastating raids into Frankish crown land, between the Loire and the Seine, until defeated by Hugh the Great, the Robertian count of Paris and duke of the Franks, and compelled to fight his way back to Nantes. He seems to have died shortly after this and with him any prospect of a Viking axis of power connecting Rouen and Nantes and posing the same sort of threat to the whole of France as the York-Dublin axis might have done to the kings of Wessex. His Vikings survived for a few more years, but had been driven out of the area by 939 following a campaign by the Breton leader Alan Barbetorte, or Twisted Beard.

Dudo, in words similar to those in the Crónica anglosajona that announced the Danish takeover in Northumbria and East Anglia, says that Rollo &lsquodivided that land among his followers by measure, and rebuilt everything that had long been deserted, and restored it by restocking it with his own warriors and with peoples from abroad&rsquo. 22 What flimsy documentary evidence there is suggests that he took seriously his new role as the representative of the king&rsquos authority in Normandy, and for his own sake and the sake of his sponsor attempted to restore order and respect for the law to the region. The government of the Norman rulers was illiterate for most of the first century of its existence and as Dudo tells us so little about the specific nature of Rollo&rsquos administration we do not even know whether he continued to surround himself as a Frankish count with the hird of a typical Viking chieftain, nor whether he imported from Scandinavia the system of naval levy known as the leithanger. There is, however, nothing to suggest that he introduced government by cosa meeting, and plenty of hints that it was autocratic in the Frankish tradition. Dudo claims that Rollo passed laws against robbery and violence that made them punishable by death, a novelty by comparison with Carolingian law, which exacted only a fine. 23 Two of his anecdotes show that, from the very start, Rollo responded to slights or challenges to his authority with the same implacable faith in the efficacy of terror he had shown as a Viking.

Rollo had introduced a decree ordering that farm implements be left out in the field and not taken into the house at the end of the day. To make it appear as though they had done so and been robbed, it seems that a farmer&rsquos wife hid her husband&rsquos ploughing implements. Rollo reimbursed the man for his loss and ordered the trials by ordeal of the potential suspects. When all survived the ordeals he had the wife beaten until she confessed. And when the husband admitted that he had known it was her all along, Rollo handed down a finding of guilty on two counts: &lsquoThe one, that you are the head of the woman and ought to have chastised her. The other, that you were an accessory to the theft and were unwilling to disclose it.&rsquo He had them both hung &lsquoand finished off by a cruel death&rsquo, an action which Dudo credibly claims so terrified the local inhabitants that the territory became and remained free of petty criminality for a century afterwards.

The second tale also shows how central was the Viking idea of personal honour, and how fatal to it the taint of unmanliness. Shortly after Rollo&rsquos marriage to Charles&rsquos daughter Gisla, two of Charles&rsquos warriors paid her a visit. Gisla entertained them in private. Presently rumours began circulating, to the effect that Rollo had failed to consummate the marriage. Any suggestion of sexual impotence, casting doubt on the legitimacy of his heirs, would have seemed particularly dangerous to Rollo. Suspecting that Gisla&rsquos visitors were the probable authors of the rumours, he had them arrested and summarily executed in the public market place in Rouen. The story, with its possible hint at Rolf&rsquos homosexuality, provides another glancing point of contact with the Saga of Ganger Rolf, whose &lsquoRolf&rsquo is said to have been uninterested in women. As an illustration of Rollo&rsquos decisive ways, the tale has a certain symbolic value but as history it is compromised. Gisla was one of the king&rsquos six daughters by his first wife, Frédérune, and as the couple did not marry until 907 Gisla would have been, at most, five years old at the time of the Saint-Claire treaty. 24 That the child-marriage took place as a diplomatic seal on the agreement that gave Rollo a foothold in the Frankish aristocracy need not be doubted.

Dudo is more interested in persuading his readers of the genuine nature of Rollo&rsquos conversion than in providing details of the legislative and executive structures of the new regime. He solves the delicate problem of how to deal with Rollo&rsquos Heathendom in the years before baptism and the respectability of legitimate rule by a literary trick involving Hasting, or Anstign, as he calls him, amplifying whatever natural qualities of cruelty Hasting may have possessed to turn him into a Heathen archetype of purest evil:

Death-dealing, uncouth, fertile in ruses, warmonger-general,
Traitor, fomenter of evil, and double-dyed dissumulator,
Conscienceless, proudly puffed up seducer, deceiver, and hot-head.
Gallows-meat, lewd and unbridled one, quarrel maintainer,
Adder of evil to pestilent evil, increaser of bad faith,
Fit to be censured not in black ink, but in charcoal graffiti. 25

He lists the holy places burnt by Hasting during his ravages in Western Francia, including his own monastery at St-Quentin, the churches of St-Médard and St-Éloiat Noyon, and St-Denis and Ste-Geneviève. Rollo, by easy contrast, becomes the &lsquogood&rsquo Heathen, the Viking whose natural instincts always inclined him towards the Christianity he eventually espoused. Dudo credits him with the restoration of churches he and his men had been responsible for ravaging, the reopening of monasteries they had made uninhabitable, and the rebuilding of the walls and defences of cities and towns torn down by them. He even makes Rollo&rsquos piety retrospective and tells an incredible tale of how he brought over with him from England the relics of a holy virgin, Hameltrude, carried them up the Seine on board his longship and deposited them in the church of St-Vaast. In further proof of Rollo&rsquos piety, while still wearing the white baptismal robes and under his baptismal name &lsquoRobert&rsquo, he spent, we learn, the first seven days of his expiation at St-Claire in handing out gifts of land to various churches in the diocese of Rouen, having first ascertained which of them were considered most venerable and which were protected by the most powerful saints. Not until the eighth day did he finally turn his attention to the allocation of land to his own men.

Many of these, it seems, were not willing to join their leader in abandoning their Heathen beliefs. In a letter written before 928 Guy, the archbishop of Rouen, approached his colleague Hervé at Reims for advice on the best way to deal with apostate Heathen converts. In language that recalls the exasperation of Louis the Pious&rsquo bishops at the behaviour of Klak-Harald&rsquos following, who practised their own form of serial baptism in the 820s, Hervé passed the question to Pope John X, asking what was to be done with Heathens, &lsquowhen they have been baptized and rebaptized, and after their baptism carry on living as Heathens, killing Christians as the Heathens do, slaughtering priests and eating animals that have been sacrificed to their idols&rsquo. 26 In reply, the pope counselled patience and persistence, urging them to regard Rollo and his colonists as merely inexperienced in the ways of the new faith, and their conversion as not an event but a process which would inevitably take time to complete. He also reminded Hervé that &lsquothe calamities, the oppression, the dangers which have threatened our regions have come not only from the Heathens but from Christians too&rsquo. 27 Flodoard tells us that in 943 there was an engagement between the Frankish Duke Hugo and a group of Normans &lsquowho had arrived as Heathens or who were returning to Heathendom: a large number of his own Christian soldiers were killed by them&rsquo. Later in the entry for the same year we hear of an otherwise unknown Viking Norman leader named Turmod, &lsquowho had reverted to idolatry and to the gentile religion&rsquo and was apparently also trying to &lsquoturn&rsquo the Norman ruler Richard (Rollo&rsquos grandson) and involve him in a plot against the Frankish King Louis. In 1906 a tenth-century longship burial on a commanding headland on the Île de Groix, some 6 kilometres off the coast of southern Brittany, was excavated and found to contain two bodies as well as the remains of dogs and birds. Among the wealth of finds recovered were swords, arrowheads, lance-heads, rings, tools, gaming pieces and dice. Like the Oseberg ship, it had been dragged overland to a previously prepared site. Unlike the Oseberg ship it had then been burnt, the spectacle being framed by twenty-four shields. 28 This is the only known archaeological evidence of a ship being burnt as part of a Viking burial ritual, and Ibn Fadlan&rsquos literary description of the Rus funeral ceremony for their dead chieftain on the banks of the Volga gives us some idea of what the ritual may have involved. 29 One of the two bodies was that of an adolescent and the archaeologist Julian D. Richards has suggested that here, too, may be the signs of a human sacrifice. The Île de Groix funeral probably took place after the official conversion to Christianity of most of the Vikings in the region, and the sumptuous nature of the ceremony may hint at a conscious act of apostasy. 30

In his detailed study of the Norman conversion, the French scholar Olivier Guillot noted that Flodoard seems to have regarded the conversion of Rollo and his settlers as a process that was demonstrably under way as early as 923, and there is evidence that Rollo was sincere in his desire to embrace certain aspects of Christian culture. As we saw earlier, tradition tells us that his Scottish-born daughter bore the Christian name Kathleen, and both the children of his later association with a woman named Poppa were given Christian names. If his son Guillaume (William Longsword) also had a Scandinavian name then this has not come down to us. Rollo&rsquos daughter had both a Norwegian name, Gerloc, and a baptismal name, Adèle. The reference in the Planctus for William Longswordto William as &lsquoborn overseas from a father who stuck to the pagan error/and from a mother who was devoted to the sweet religion&rsquo might be no more than a factual comment on Rollo&rsquos early life. Adémar of Chabannes, however, writing about 100 years after Rollo&rsquos death, described his last days as a time of religious madness, in which the Heathen &lsquoRollo&rsquo rose up against the Christian &lsquoRobert&rsquo and in a desperate attempt to atone for the betrayal of Odin and Thor ordered the beheading of 100 Christians as sacrifices to them. 31 This was followed by a frenzied attempt to balance the books yet again when he distributed &lsquoone hundred pounds of gold round the churches in honour of the true god in whose name he had accepted baptism&rsquo. 32 Adémar is the only ancient historian to doubt the truth of Rollo&rsquos conversion. His story provides a rare and persuasive insight into the violent tensions that could arise when devout men change the object of their devotion as a matter of political convenience. In Rollo&rsquos case they were seemingly mind-wrenching.

The large and consistent Viking military presence throughout the ninth and tenth centuries in the western Frankish kingdom has left little material archaeological trace. In 1927 the Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig visited museums along the Loire and the Seine and compiled a list of holdings that included an axe, seven spears and twenty-one swords, most of them dredged from the rivers or constituting stray finds. The Swedish archaeologists Arbmann and Nilsson complemented Shetelig&rsquos list in 1968 with another two axe-heads from Rouen, and in 1987 a Viking Age sword was unearthed in the basement of the museum at Denain. A lance ferrule and a helmet fragment, possibly of Nordic origin, were excavated in Brittany, at the Camp de Péran (Côtes d&rsquoArmor). 33 The discovery in the burnt ramparts of Camp de Péran, originally a Celtic fortified settlement, of a coin from York minted between 905 and 925 dates its restoration by Vikings to the early years of the tenth century. Alain Barbetorte is known to have landed at Dol in 936 and fought with the Vikings, an event that has been associated with the evidence of the destruction of the camp. 34 Another earthwork, at Trans, Ille-et-Vilaine, may have been built or renovated by the Loire Vikings as they retreated from Nantes in 939.

In 1870 a navvy working on a road near Pîtres on the Seine came across two characteristically Viking Age brooches known as &lsquofibulas&rsquo, which archaeologists have related to the presence of a Viking fleet at Pîtres in 865. Dated to the second half of the ninth century and of probable Norwegian origin, they come from the grave of a female and provide further evidence that Viking bands travelled with women who were either camp-followers or, as in the case of Hasting in the 890s in Wessex, wives. During a particularly low tide at Reville, in the Bay of Seine, a Frankish necropolis that included possible Viking Age graves was uncovered in 1964. Two ship-settings were seen, of a type familiar from Gotland and parts of Denmark and Sweden, and a third with an unusual arrangement of stones with four right-angled slabs ringed by three stone circles. 35 A vase resembling vases found at Birka is the only artefact to have been found, and the cemetery is once again under water. A recent excavation of the area around Rouen Cathedral shows that the layout of streets appears to have been redesigned in the early tenth century and that the modifications gave the ancient town a layout reminiscent of Anglo-Saxon towns. 36

The linguistic traces of the Scandinavian roots of the Norman colonists are slightly more extensive. Dudo&rsquos silence on the subject of how the Viking colonists administered Normandy is only partially broken by the survival of a small number of words of Scandinavian origin into the duchy&rsquos thirteenth-century law codes. 37 The word ullac, meaning a sentence of outlawry, derived from Old Norse útlagr, y hamfara, or the crime of assault inside a house, from heimsókn. A number of words to do with fishing, whaling, boat-building and the laws covering the status of wrecks were also of Scandinavian origin. 38 The settlement of the land by Rollo&rsquos captains produced over the years a small crop of place-names of Scandinavian origin. Compounds first recorded between 1025 and 1200 include Bramatot, Coletot, Esculetot, Gonnetot, Herguetot and Ketetot. These were formed by combining the personal name of the Viking landowner with a genitive &lsquos&rsquo - respectively Bramis, Kolis, Skúlis, Gunnis, Helgis and Ketils - and -tot, deriving from the Old Norse word tomt o toft (cf. &lsquoLowestoft&rsquo in the English Danelaw), meaning &lsquoplot&rsquo or &lsquopiece of land&rsquo. Other typical Scandinavian elements compounded in place-names include bec, dalle, hom, hogue, londe y torp (cf. English &lsquoScunthorpe&rsquo). A number of personal and family names found in present-day Normandy can also be traced back to the Viking settlement via intermediary Latinized forms known from the eleventh century. These include Ásbjørn - Osbernus - Auber Ásfridr - Ansfridus - Anfray Ásketill - Anschetillus - Anquetil Thorvaldr - Turoldus - Thouroude. 39 Names like Murdac and Donecan may indicate that some of the colonists were Norwegians who arrived via Ireland and Scotland, just as certain personal names and examples of agrarian terminology that occur in the region between Bayeux and the river Orne indicate that others came via England.

For all that Dudo is now regarded with some scepticism as a reliable source for the settlement of Normandy, his history remains a vivid and interesting document. Two of his anecdotes have played a major role in creating the image of the Viking as an independent, heroic, proud and manly ideal. It seems that once the details of the meeting at Saint-Claire had been agreed upon, Rollo was advised that, as Charles&rsquos vassal, it would now be fit and proper for him to kiss the king&rsquos foot. Rollo declined: &lsquoI will never bow my knees at the knees of any man, and no man&rsquos foot will I kiss.&rsquo He ordered one of his men to do so instead. The man stepped forward, took hold of the king&rsquos foot and lifted it to his lips without bending himself. The king fell over backwards, provoking &lsquoa great laugh, and a great outcry among the people&rsquo. 40 The laughter was presumably from the Vikings and the outcry from the Franks but the story is a good illustration of the reality behind the agreement, that Charles&rsquos grant to Rollo was a concession to reality.

When William of Jumièges tells us that Rollo was chosen as a leader by the drawing of lots we add the tacit presumption that he was also known by his peers to be the best leader and yet an insistent streak of egalitarianism attaches to the Viking war band. As part of his claim that Rollo was present at the 886 siege of Paris, Dudo describes an encounter at Damps between the Vikings and Charles&rsquos go-between. The emissary asked by what title their leader was known, and was told &lsquoBy none, because we [are] equal in power.&rsquo 41 They were then asked if they would be willing to bow to Charles the Simple and devote themselves to his service and accept grants of land from him, to which the reply was: &lsquoWe will never subjugate ourselves to anyone nor cling to anyone&rsquos service nor take favours from anyone. The favour that would please us best is the one that we will claim for ourselves by force of arms and in the hardship of battle.&rsquo The sentiments recall Ibn Rustah&rsquos story of the Rus father throwing down a sword in front of his infant son and convey a specifically Viking ethic of self-reliance and self-assertion through violence. Despite the rapid cultural and linguistic assimilation to Frankish ways that took place, this code survived the transition from Viking to Norman. En su Deeds of Count Roger and his brother Duke Robert, written about 1090, Geoffrey Malaterra, a Norman writer living in southern Italy, formulated a set of general characteristics of the Normans which seem to reflect this continuity of values. 42 He writes of an astute people, eager to avenge injuries and looking to enrich themselves from others rather than from work at home. Much interested in profit and power, they are hypercritical and deceitful in all matters, &lsquobut between generosity and avarice they take a middle course&rsquo. Mindful of their reputations, the leaders are notably generous. They are skilled in flattery and cultivate eloquence &lsquoto such an extent that one listens to their young boys as though they were trained speakers&rsquo. They work hard when necessary and can endure hunger and cold. When times are good they indulge their love of hunting and hawking, and they cultivate a sizeable streak of dandyism in their clothing. The aesthetic care that was formerly lavished on the longship was transferred to the horses&rsquo livery as Viking pirates became Norman cavalry, and the practice of decorating and personalizing one&rsquos weapons continued. It is another reminder that Viking culture was not so much primitive, as contemporary Christian scribes so determinedly described it, but essentially different.

Richer of Reims tells a story that epitomizes the determination of the first generations of Viking leaders in Normandy not to be deprived of their newly won land and their status as Frankish aristocrats. In 941, as a vassal of the Frankish King Louis IV, William Longsword made his way to Attigny, where the most powerful leaders in Francia were gathered to confer. Finding the doors barred against him on his arrival, he simply broke them down and voiced his rightful claim to a place at the table. The sight of the Emperor Otto and not his patron in the seat of honour affronted him, however, and before allowing the meeting to proceed he obliged Otto to yield his seat to Louis. A year later and, according to Richer, as a direct result of the insult to Otto, William was murdered. 43 The succession passed to his ten-year-old son Richard and precipitated the most serious crisis the colony had faced so far in its short life. In 944 Louis IV and Hugh the Great mounted a joint attack on Normandy, with Hugh attacking Bayeux and Louis occupying Rouen. It seems that Louis could not countenance the thought of Hugh&rsquos occupation of Bayeux and, as so often before, dissension among the Frankish allies worked to the advantage of the Vikings. Hugh took the king into captivity and ended his hostility to the Normans. His troops helped Richard&rsquos men regain possession of Rouen, and in the wake of their victory Hugh gave his daughter Emma in marriage to the young count. The family ties thus established with the Capetians further increased the status of Normandy&rsquos ruling family, and with surprising speed the threat to the survival of the duchy had vanished. 44 Hugh continued to offer military support to Richard I and in 954 defeated a certain Harold in what may have been another attempt to retake the duchy. Richard&rsquos marriage to Emma was childless, and after her death he married Gunnor, the mother of his two children and a member of a powerful family of Viking settlers from the west of Normandy. This second marriage strengthened his position in the Cotentin region. 45

When a large group of people settles in a foreign country it tends initially to accentuate its roots in an attempt to stave off cultural entropy. Smaller groups, like the Vikings who settled in Normandy, let go more quickly. Dudo tells us that William Longsword had to send his son Richard to Bayeux to learn the Danish tongue, since the language was no longer spoken in the area around Rouen although this is generally regarded as, at best, an exaggeration, the linguistic position of those in Normandy was unlike that of their fellow-Scandinavians in the colonies of the Danelaw across the Channel, where the native and immigrant languages resembled one another closely enough for a fusion of the two to evolve. Mutual incomprehen sibility must have hastened the demise of the spoken Scandinavian languages in Normandy, much as it did among the Kievan Rus, another warrior aristocracy who settled in a minority in a linguistically remote community. But even though they had traded in their longships for horses, the Normandy Vikings retained a number of their cultural traditions. While slavery was being replaced in other parts of the Carolingian empire by serfdom, the colonists in Normandy developed Rouen as an important centre for the trading of slaves. The trade brought such prosperity to the region that it was still thriving at the end of the eleventh century, occasioning a rebuke from the Lombard cleric Lanfranc to his master, William the Conqueror, and a request that he forbid slavery throughout his territories.

There are many possible suggestions for a date at which the assimilation process could be said to have advanced so far that it is no longer meaningful to refer to the Normans as Vikings and to look for Scandinavian elements in their cultural manifestations. Olav Haraldson, the future saint-king of Norway, was baptized at Rouen in 1013, the last Norwegian king to visit the duchy and those soldiers from Normandy who fought beside the Dublin king Sihtric Silkbeard at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 were the last to do so in a Scandinavian cause. As late as 1025, the court of Richard II at Rouen received a visit from Olav Haraldson&rsquos court poet, Sigvat, who may have done what skalds do and composed praise poetry for his host in return for honour and gifts. Richard II, known as &lsquothe Good&rsquo, was the first of the Norman rulers to use the title &lsquoduke&rsquo, which he did from 1006. Perhaps the clearest sign of the irrevocable transition from Viking to Norman is the history his father asked Dudo of St Quentin to write in 994. It must have been among the last acts of Richard I, and there is profound significance in the fact that he chose to have his family remembered in prose, on parchment and in Latin and not, as his forefathers would have done, in verse, on stone and in Old Norse.


Rollo Ragnvaldsson – The Viking

Rollo Ragnvaldsson, sometimes known as Rollo the “Ganger”. It is estimated he lived between 846 and 931 AD, and was the first ruler of a Viking settlement in France that later became Normandía. His direct descendants became the British royal family after the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066, when Rollo’s great-great-great-grandson, William the Conqueror (William I of England) , successfully conquered England. William the Conqueror’s direct descendants include current Queen Elizabeth II.

In 911, a group of Vikings lead by Rollo besieged Paris and Chartres. After a victory near Chartres on 26 August, Charles “the Simple” King of the Franks decided to negotiate with Rollo, resulting in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. For the Viking’s loyalty, they were granted all the land between the river Epte and the sea, as well as Brittany, which at the time was an independent duchy which France had unsuccessfully tried to conquer. Rollo also agreed to be baptised and to marry Charles’ daughter, Gisela.


Fact 4: The most famous Norman was William the Conqueror

The most famous Norman was William the Conqueror who is known for invading England in 1066. William was crowned the Duke of Normandy when he was just seven years old! However, he was an illegitimate child and there were many people who thought that they deserved the title of Duke more than him.

The king of England at the time was a man called Edward the Confessor, and he was distant cousins with the Duke of Normandy. When Edward the Confessor died, William the Duke of Normandy believed that he was the rightful heir to the English throne…


The true history of Rollo, the Viking from whom all current European monarchs descend

One of the most interesting chapters of the Vikings television series is the one where we witness the twist given to the story thanks to the character of Rollo, who here is shown as brother of King Ragnar Lothbrok. In reality the character, like many others in the series, is inspired by a real person.

This is Hrolf Ganger, known by the nickname of Rollo the Walker, a Norwegian Viking warlord who is considered the first Duke of Normandy.

Rollo headed a group of Norwegians and Danes who, in addition to pillaging the coasts of the North Sea, served as mercenaries of whoever hired them. Exiled from the kingdom of Norway, he commanded expeditions to Scotland, Ireland, England and Flanders, as well as devastating the banks of the Seine.

His origin is not very clear. The Norman writer Dudo of Saint Quentin refers to him as Danish, but this appellation seems to be generic to the inhabitants of Scandinavia. Geoffrey Malaterra in the 11th century and William of Malmesbury in the 12th century claim that he was Norwegian of noble origin. Icelandic sagas of the thirteenth century place him on the Norwegian coast in the ninth century as the son of Count Rognvald Eysteinsson. It is these sagas that give him the nickname of the Walker, because he was so big that no horse could transport him. It is said that he weighed more than 140 kilos and has a height of more than 2 meters.

According to Dudo of Saint Quentin Rollo seized Rouen in the year 876 and commanded the Viking fleet that besieged Paris between 885 and 887. Other authors think that he did not arrive in France before the year 900. In any case his presence is documented in a letter of 918 where King Charles the Simple grants him lands for the protection of the kingdom.

After this pact with the Frankish king the Vikings, including Rollo, would have converted to Christianity, they would have been conceived the city of Rouen and other lands on the coast of Neustria. Rollo and his men would gradually adopt the pre-existing administrative and ecclesial system. He would marry Poppa of Bayeux, daughter of Count Berengar of Rennes, and had a son, William I Longsword. Other sources claim that he married the king’s daughter, Gisela, after repudiating Poppa. Although most likely his marriage was Danish style, the Nordic polygamous system, since at the death of Gisela the sources said he returned with Poppa. His grandson Richard would turn those lands into the main power of France. His descendants and those of his men, the Normans, would give name to the region, since then known as Normandy.

The exact date of his death is not known, but most historians give the approximate year 928. His tomb can be visited in the cathedral of Rouen.

Rollo would be the great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror (William I of England), and through him, the direct ancestor of all current European monarchs.


Laying Siege to Paris

Although historians do not agree on the actual dates of his activities, Rollo is said to have captured the city of Rouen sometime during the mid-Eighth century and raided the towns of Bayeux and Evreux afterward. He commanded a Viking fleet believed to have numbered up to 700 ships that laid siege to Paris for 13 months, nearly starving the city into submission. However, when an army marched to the relief of Paris, the Vikings withdrew rather than risk a pitched battle.

Rollo next moved to the region of Burgundy and pillaged the countryside before retiring northward. Little is known of his activities during the next quarter century. However, early in the 10th century he returned to France, plundering in the land of the Franks during the reign of King Charles the Simple.

Although his name might lead observers to conclude otherwise, Charles was shrewd enough to open a dialogue with Rollo before risking battle. The two leaders and their armies met on opposite shores of a small stream, and when Charles asked the Viking leader his intentions, Rollo is said to have replied, “Let me and my people live in the land of the Franks let us make ourselves home here, and I and my Vikings will become your vassals.”


4. Leif Eriksson: Beat Columbus to the New World by 500 years

Generally considered the first European to set foot on the North American continent, Leif got there nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Believed to have been born in Iceland around 970, Leif later moved to Greenland, where his father, Erik the Red, founded the first Norse settlement. Around 1000, Leif sailed off in search of territory that had been spotted years earlier by an Icelander named Bjarni Herjolfsson when his vessel blew off course on the way to Greenland. During his expedition, Leif reached an area he called Helluland (𠇏lat stone land”), which historians think could be Baffin Island, before traveling south to a place he dubbed Markland (𠇏orestland”), thought to be Labrador. The Vikings then set up camp at a location that possibly was Newfoundland and explored the surrounding region, which Leif named Vinland (“wineland”) because grapes or berries supposedly were discovered there. After Leif returned to Greenland with valuable timber cargo, other Norsemen decided to journey to Vinland (Leif never went back). However, the Viking presence in North America was short-lived, possibly due in part to clashes with hostile natives. The only authenticated Norse settlement in North America was discovered in the early 1960s on the northern tip of Newfoundland at a site called L𠆚nse aux Meadows artifacts found there date to around 1000.


El Blog de Historia

Scandinavian researchers have exhumed the bones of two direct descendants of Rollo, the 10th century Viking founder of the Duchy of Normandy, in an attempt to answer the long-debated question of whether Rollo was Danish or Norwegian.

Historians have differed on the matter of Rollo’s national origins since at least the 11th century. Norman historian Dudo of Saint-Quentin (ca. 965-1043) said in his Historia Normannorum that Rollo was the son of a “Danish” king who was exiled and made his way to France, but at the time Dudo was in the employ of Richard II of Normandy who was allied to the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard. He had a dog in the hunt, as it were, and cannot be considered reliable on this question. Goffredo Malaterra, a monk in Sicily writing in the late 11th century, said Rollo hailed from Norway. In the 13th Norwegian-Icelandic sagas Heimskringla y Orkneyinga, Rollo appears as Ganger-Hrólf, the son of Rognvald Eysteinsson, yarl of Møre in western Norway. (Rollo is a Latinization of Hrólf.)

With these conflicting and vague sources, historians have argued the point for centuries. It matters because of how important Rollo was to European history. His raids along the Seine so bedevilled Charles III, aka Charles the Simple, King of Western Francia, that he finally bought Rollo off with huge tracts of land between the city of Rouen and the mouth of the Seine in exchange for him switching from raider to protector. He appears in only one primary source: a charter from 918 which mentions the lands ceded to Rollo and his “Northmen on the Seine.” It seems Rollo ruled those lands as Count of Rouen until at least 927 after which his son William I Longsword acceded to what would become known during his rule as the Dukedom of Normandy, after the Norsemen who founded it. William Longsword’s son was Richard I of Normandy. Richard I’s son was Richard II. Richard II’s son Robert I was the father of William the Conqueror.

/>This January, French government and church authorities granted the research team permission to open the tomb of Rollo’s grandson Richard I and great-grandson Richard II. This is only the second time a French king’s tomb has been opened since World War II. On Monday, February 29th, Per Holck, Professor Emeritus at the University of Oslo, and University of Copenhagen geneticist Andaine Seguin Orlando, opened the two small ossuary coffins buried under the floor southern transept of the gothic church of Fécamp Abbey. Inside one of them were the skeletal remains of Richard II, known as Richard the Good, including a lower jaw with eight teeth.

They were hoping to find teeth because extracting ancient DNA is tricky and the genetic material inside teeth is well-protected by the outer layers. Holck and Orlando retrieved five of the teeth. They will be tested at the University of Oslo and the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen. If all goes well, the research team and French authorities will announce the results in the autumn.

/>The remains of the Richards have been moved before. Richard I, who rebuilt the church after it was destroyed in Viking raids, and Richard II, who made it a Benedictine monastery, were initially buried outside the church. Richard II’s great-great-great-grandson Henry II of England had his ancestors’ bones reburied inside the church. Remains that are not in their original location can be problematic to authenticate. I don’t know if this study plans to do anything specific to confirm first and foremost that they really are the bones of Richard II. Also, if the bones were treated at any point — boiled to remove the flesh and make them a clean fit for a small coffin — DNA extraction will be even more challenging, albeit not impossible. Teeth are the Fort Knox of the body.

If you’ve been watching Vikingos on the basic cable station formerly known as the History Channel, Ragnar’s brother Rollo is very loosely based on the historical Count of Rouen. They had to conflate sagas and mess with the timeline to make them brothers, so who knows if he’ll wind up in Normandy on the series, but he’s in France and married to Charles the Simple’s daughter, who may or may not have existed and if she existed, may or may not have survived to adulthood, but is mentioned as Rollo’s wife in William of Jumièges 11th century chronicle Gesta Normannorum Ducum and in Dudo’s history which relied heavily on Jumièges’.

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Sources

This article is part of the About.com guide to Vikings, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology

Harris I. 1994. Stephen of Rouen's Draco Normannicus: A Norman Epic. Sydney Studies in Society and Culture 11:112-124.

Jervis B. 2013. Objects and social change: A case study from Saxo-Norman Southampton. In: Alberti B, Jones AM, and Pollard J, editors. Archaeology After Interpretation: Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.

Peltzer J. 2004. Henry II and the Norman Bishops. The English Historical Review 119(484):1202-1229.

Petts D. 2015. Churches and lordship in Western Normandy AD 800-1200. In: Shepland M, and Pardo JCS, editors. Churches and Social Power in Early Medieval Europe. Brepols: Turnhout.


Ver el vídeo: Rollo de Normandía - El Vikingo que se Convirtió en Duque Francés - Mira la Historia (Julio 2022).


Comentarios:

  1. Tzefanyahu

    ¡Lindo!

  2. Cruim

    Creo que estás cometiendo un error. Propongo discutirlo. Envíeme un correo electrónico a PM, hablaremos.

  3. Gugor

    Y esto es por lo que lucho ...

  4. Brockley

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