The Norman world, c. 1000–c. 1100
in Debating medieval Europe
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The final chapter considers the Normans as a trans-regional entity and so functions as a counterpart to the broad geographical context of the first chapter. It begins by exploring the debate surrounding Norman administration: whether the Normans were responsible for introducing a particularly advanced governmental administration into areas they occupied, or whether they co-opted pre-existing structures. Here the Domesday Book in England is an important case study. The chapter turns next to the question of Norman identity: whether there was a common sense of ‘Norman-ness’ across the different areas conquered and ruled by Normans, and for how long and to what extent common bonds remained. It considers the extent to which Normans imposed change on the religious institutions and practices (notably the cult of saints) that they encountered locally. Finally, it discusses the Norman cultivation of a sense of being divinely guided in their mission of conquest, and the hotly debated question of whether the Norman conquest of Sicily ought consequently to be considered the ‘real’ First Crusade.

Debating medieval Europe

The early Middle Ages, c. 450 –c. 1050

Editor: Stephen Mossman

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