Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Normandie, Normandye, Normendie, Normondye

Normandy is a historic region located in the northwestern part of France, along the English Channel.

Geoffrey says that Arthur conquered Normandy and gave it to BedivereArthour and Merlin tells us that Uther Pendragon acquired it from King HarinanIgraine’s first husband. Wolfram says that Gaschier was the ruler of Normandy during the reign of Uther.

In Malory, Lancelot owns the land and appoints Sir Claryus as its duke, in return for Claryus’s support in the war against Arthur.

Normandy | 0 to 800 AD

Roman Period | Before 5th century AD
Normandy, like much of Western Europe, was under Roman rule during the classcial period. The area witnessed Romanization, with the construction of roads, towns, and other infrastructure. The city of Rouen, in what would become Normandy, was an important Roman settlement.

Germanic Invasions | 5th century AD
With the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Germanic tribes, including the Saxons and the Franks, began migrating into the region. The Frankish king Clovis I consolidated Frankish power in the area and extended the Merovingian Kingdom into what is now northern France.

Frankish Rule and Carolingian Empire | 6th to 9th centuries AD
The region that would become Normandy was part of the Carolingian Empire, established by Charlemagne in the eighth century. The empire included much of Western and Central Europe. The Carolingian rulers, including Charlemagne’s descendants, exerted control over the area.

Viking Incursions | Late 8th century AD
Viking raids along the coast of what is now Normandy began in the late eighth century. Vikings, primarily Norsemen from Scandinavia, targeted coastal areas for raids and eventually established settlements. The Viking incursions led to political and social upheaval in the region.

Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte | 911 AD
The history of the Duchy of Normandy, as a distinct political entity, begins with the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911 AD. In this treaty, the Frankish king Charles the Simple granted the area to the Viking chieftain Rollo. Rollo, in exchange, agreed to convert to Christianity and defend the region against further Viking attacks.

Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy, and the region began to be known as Normandy, derived from “Norsemen’s land.” The dukes of Normandy, including Rollo’s descendants, played a crucial role in consolidating and expanding the territory over the subsequent centuries.

Integration with Frankish Kingdom
Over time, the Duchy of Normandy became more integrated into the Frankish kingdom. The Norman dukes were vassals of the French king and, by the tenth century, began participating in Frankish politics.

Cultural and Economic Development
The Normans engaged in trade, agriculture, and cultural activities. They developed a distinct identity, blending Norse and Frankish influences. The Norman culture would later play a significant role in European history, especially during the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470