The Normans in Europe

This book presents histories and chronicles written by the Normans themselves, or written by those whom they conquered, or written by contemporaries elsewhere in Europe who observed their actions from afar. It covers the process of assimilation and amalgamation between Scandinavians and Franks and the emergence of Normandy. The swift association of the Scandinavian counts of Rouen with their Frankish noble neighbours is indicative of their wish to settle and root in western France. The book illustrates the internal organisation of the principality with a variety of source material from chronicles, miracle stories and charters. The Normans had a turbulent relationship with the English kingdom. This country had been regularly attacked by vikings, who had settled in the east in an area known as the Danelaw. The book then presents material from the main chronicle sources for the history of the Norman invasion and settlement, supplemented with some poetry. It explains Normans' careers particularly well in Italy, and to a lesser extent in Byzantium, Spain and the Holy Land. From Normandy they set out later to conquer southern Italy and the greater part of Britain and some established themselves elsewhere in Europe. The book concerns the debate about to what extent the Norman expansion into the Mediterranean was part of an exclusively Norman experience.

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