Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Rouen is a historic city located in the northwestern part of France, and is the capital of the Normandy region.

Wolfram says it was Duke Gaschier’s capital. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, the Duke of Rouen joins Arthur’s war against Rome.

Rouen | 0 to 9th century AD

Pre-Roman and Roman Period
The region around Rouen has a long history of human habitation. Before the Roman conquest, Celtic tribes, such as the Gauls, inhabited the area. With the Roman conquest of Gaul in the first century BC, the area became part of the Roman Empire. The Romans established various settlements and infrastructure in the region.

Migration Period | 4th – 6th centuries AD
As the Western Roman Empire faced internal and external challenges, including invasions by Germanic tribes, the Roman presence in the region weakened. The Franks, a Germanic tribe, came to dominate the region. The Merovingian kings, who were part of the Frankish ruling dynasty, played a role in shaping the early medieval history of the area.

Viking Invasions | 9th century AD
In the ninth century, Viking raids and invasions became a significant threat to coastal areas. Vikings, primarily of Norse origin, ventured up rivers and sacked various towns, including Rouen. In 911, Charles the Simple, the King of West France, granted the territory around Rouen to the Viking leader Rollo in exchange for protection against other Viking raids. This event led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, and Rollo is considered the first Duke of Normandy.

Under Viking and later Norman rule, Rouen began to emerge as a significant political and economic center in the region. The Viking presence brought about cultural exchange, and over time, the Normans adopted elements of Frankish culture, leading to the distinctive Norman culture.

Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400