| Duke of Normandy |
Count of Rouen
|Died||c.930 (aged 69–70)|
|Spouse|| Poppa of Bayeux |
Gisela of France (possibly)
| William Longsword |
|House||House of Normandy|
|Religion|| Norse Paganism |
later Roman Catholicism
Rollo or Gaange Rolf : Rou; Old Norse : Hrólfr; French : Rollon; c. 860 – c. 930 AD) was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region in northern France. He is sometimes called the first Duke of Normandy. His son and grandson, William Longsword and Richard I, used the titles "count" (Latin comes or consul) and "prince" (princeps). His great-grandson Richard II was the first to officially use the title of Duke of Normandy. His Scandinavian name Rolf was extended to Gaange Rolf because he became too heavy as an adult for a horse to carry; therefore he had to walk (ganga in older Dano-Norwegian). Rollo emerged as the outstanding personality among the Norsemen who had secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine. Charles the Simple, the king of West Francia, ceded them lands between the mouth of the Seine and what is now Rouen in exchange for Rollo agreeing to end his brigandage, and provide the Franks with protection against future Viking raids.(Norman
Norman is a Romance language which can be classified as one of the Oïl languages along with French, Picard and Walloon. The name Norman-French is sometimes used to describe not only the Norman language, but also the administrative languages of Anglo-Norman and Law French used in England. For the most part, the written forms of Norman and modern French are mutually intelligible. This intelligibility was largely caused by the Norman language's planned adaptation to French orthography.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
Normandy is the northwesternmost of the 18 regions of France, roughly referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy.
Rollo is first recorded as the leader of these Viking settlers in a charter of 918, and he continued to reign over the region of Normandy until at least 928. He was succeeded by his son William Longsword in the Duchy of Normandy that he had founded.The offspring of Rollo and his followers became known as the Normans. After the Norman conquest of England and their conquest of southern Italy and Sicily over the following two centuries, their descendants came to rule Norman England (the House of Normandy), the Kingdom of Sicily (the Kings of Sicily) as well as the Principality of Antioch from the 10th to 12th century, leaving behind an enduring legacy in the histories of Europe and the Near East.
The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and Rollo, leader of the Vikings. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans.
The Normans were an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between indigenous Franks, Gallo-Romans, and Norse Viking settlers. The settlements followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, and they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.
The Norman Conquest of England was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, Flemish, and French soldiers led by the Duke of Normandy, later styled William the Conqueror.
The name Rollo is generally presumed to be a latinisation of the Old Norse name Hrólfr – a theory that is supported by the rendition of Hrólfr as Roluo in the Gesta Danorum . It is also sometimes suggested that Rollo may be a Latinised version of another Norse name, Hrollaugr.
Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of writing from a different writing system to the Roman (Latin) script, or a system for doing so. Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written text, and transcription, for representing the spoken word, and combinations of both. Transcription methods can be subdivided into phonemic transcription, which records the phonemes or units of semantic meaning in speech, and more strict phonetic transcription, which records speech sounds with precision.
Gesta Danorum is a patriotic work of Danish history, by the 13th century author Saxo Grammaticus. It is the most ambitious literary undertaking of medieval Denmark and is an essential source for the nation's early history. It is also one of the oldest known written documents about the history of Estonia and Latvia.
Rollo is generally identified with one Viking in particular – a man of high social status mentioned in Icelandic sagas, which refer to him by the Old Norse name Göngu-Hrólfr, meaning "Hrólfr the Walker" (also widely known by an Old Danish variant, Ganger-Hrolf). The byname "Walker" is usually understood to suggest that Rollo was so physically imposing that he could not be carried by a horse and was obliged to travel on foot. Norman and other French sources do not use the name Hrólfr, and the identification of Rollo with Göngu-Hrólfr is based upon similarities between circumstances and actions ascribed to both figures.[ citation needed ]
Old Norse was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th centuries.
The 10th-century Norman historian Dudo records that Rollo took the baptismal name Robert.A variant spelling, Rou, is used in the 12th-century Norman French verse chronicle Roman de Rou, which was compiled by Wace and commissioned by King Henry II of England, a descendant of Rollo.
Dudo, or Dudon, was a Norman historian, and dean of Saint-Quentin, where he was born about 965. Sent in 986 by Albert I, Count of Vermandois, on an errand to Richard I, Duke of Normandy, he succeeded in his mission, and, having made a very favorable impression at the Norman court, spent some years in that country. During a second stay in Normandy, Dudo wrote his history of the Normans, a task which Duke Richard had urged him to undertake. Very little else is known about his life, except that he died before 1043.
Wace, sometimes referred to as Robert Wace, was a Norman poet, who was born in Jersey and brought up in mainland Normandy, ending his career as Canon of Bayeux.
Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.
Rollo was born in the mid 9th century; his place of birth is unknown. The earliest well-attested historical event associated with Rollo is his leadership of Vikings who besieged Paris in 885–886.
Medieval sources contradict each other regarding whether Rollo's family was Norwegian or Danish in origin. In part, this disparity may result from the indifferent and interchangeable usage in Europe, at the time, of terms such as "Vikings", "Northmen", "Swedes", "Danes", "Norwegians" and so on (in the Medieval Latin texts Dani vel Nortmanni means "Danes or Northmen").
A biography of Rollo, written by the cleric Dudo of Saint-Quentin in the late 10th century, claimed that Rollo was from Denmark. One of Rollo's great-grandsons and a contemporary of Dudo was known as Robert the Dane. However, Dudo's Historia Normannorum (or Libri III de moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum) was commissioned by Rollo's grandson, Richard I of Normandy and – while Dudo likely had access to family members and/or other people with a living memory of Rollo – this fact must be weighed against the text's potential biases, as an official biography. According to Dudo, an unnamed king of Denmark was antagonistic to Rollo's family, including his father – an unnamed Danish nobleman – and Rollo's brother Gurim. Following the death of their father, Gurim was killed and Rollo was forced to leave Denmark. Dudo appears to have been the main source for William of Jumièges (after 1066) and Orderic Vitalis (early 12th century), although both include additional details.
A Norwegian background for Rollo was first explicitly claimed by Goffredo Malaterra (Geoffrey Malaterra), an 11th-century Benedictine monk and historian, who wrote: "Rollo sailed boldly from Norway with his fleet to the Christian coast."Likewise, the 12th-century English historian William of Malmesbury stated that Rollo was "born of noble lineage among the Norwegians".
A chronicler named Benoît (probably Benoît de Sainte-More) wrote in the mid-12th-century Chronique des ducs de Normandie that Rollo had been born in a town named "Fasge". This has since been variously interpreted as referring to Faxe, in Sjælland (Denmark), Fauske, in Hålogaland (Norway), or perhaps a more obscure settlement that has since been abandoned or renamed. Benoît also repeated the claim that Rollo had been persecuted by a local ruler and had fled from there to "Scanza island", by which Benoît probably means Scania (Swedish Skåne). While Faxe was physically much closer to Scania, the mountainous scenery of "Fasge", described by Benoît, would seem to be more like Fauske[ citation needed ]. Benoît says elsewhere in the Chronique des ducs de Normandie that Rollo is Danish.
The claim that Rollo was the brother of a King of Norway, Harald Finehair, was made by an anonymous 12th-century Welsh author, in The Life of Gruffudd ap Cynan .
Rollo was first explicitly identified with Hrólf the Walker (Norse Göngu-Hrólfr; Danish Ganger-Hrólf) by the 13th-century Icelandic sagas, Heimskringla and Orkneyinga Saga . Hrólf the Walker was so named because he "was so big that no horse could carry him".The Icelandic sources claim that Hrólfr was born in Trondhjem (now known as Trondheim) in western Norway, in the late 9th century and that his parents were the Norwegian jarl Rognvald Eysteinsson ("Rognvald the Wise") and a noblewoman from Møre named Hildr Hrólfsdóttir. However, these claims were made three centuries after the history commissioned by Rollo's own grandson.
There may be circumstantial evidence for kinship between Rollo and his historical contemporary, Ketill Flatnose, King of the Isles – a Norse realm centred on the Western Isles of Scotland. If, as Richer suggested, Rollo's father was also named Ketill and as Dudo suggested, Rollo had a brother named Gurim, such names are onomastic evidence for a family connection: Icelandic sources name Ketill Flatnose's father as Björn Grímsson, and "Grim" – the implied name of Ketill Flatnose's paternal grandfather – was likely cognate with Gurim. In addition, both Irish and Icelandic sources suggest that Rollo, as a young man, visited or lived in Scotland, where he had a daughter named Cadlinar (Kaðlín; Kathleen). Ketill Flatnose's ancestors were said to have come from Møre – Rollo's ancestral home in the Icelandic sources. Ketill was a common name in Norse societies, as were names like Gurim and Grim.
Dudo tells us that Rollo seized Rouen in 876. He is supported by the contemporary chronicler Flodoard, who records that Robert of the Breton March waged a campaign against the Vikings, who nearly levelled Rouen and other settlements; eventually, he conceded "certain coastal provinces" to them.
According to Dudo, Rollo struck up a friendship in England with a king that Dudo calls Alstem. This has puzzled many historians, but recently the puzzle has been resolved by recognition that this refers to Guthrum, the Danish leader whom Alfred the Great baptised with the baptismal name Athelstan, and then recognised as king of the East Angles in 880.
Dudo records that when Rollo took Bayeux by force, he carried off with him the beautiful Popa or Poppa, a daughter of Berenger, Count of Rennes, took her in marriage and with her had their son and Rollo's heir, William Longsword.[[File:Effigy of Rollo of Normandy, Notre-Dame de Rouen-8542.jpg|left|thumb|Rollo's grave at the Cathedral of Rouen]] There are few contemporary mentions of Rollo. The earliest record is from 918, in a charter of Charles III to an abbey, which referred to an earlier grant to "the Normans of the Seine", namely "Rollo and his associates" for "the protection of the kingdom." Dudo retrospectively stated that this pact took place in 911 at Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In return for formal recognition of the lands he possessed, Rollo agreed to be baptised and assist the king in the defence of the realm. Rollo took the baptismal name Robert, as it was custom to take the name of godfather. The seal of agreement was to be marriage between Rollo and Gisla, daughter of Charles. Dudo claims that Gisla was a legitimate daughter of Charles. Since Charles first married in 907, that would mean that Gisla was at most 5 years old at the time of the treaty of 911 which offered her in marriage. It has therefore been speculated that she could have been an illegitimate daughter. However a diplomatic child betrothal need not be doubted.
After pledging his fealty to Charles III as part of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, Rollo divided the lands between the rivers Epte and Risle among his chieftains, and settled with a de facto capital in Rouen.
When Rollo had been given Rouen and its hinterland in return for his alliance with the Franks, it was agreed upon that it was both in his and his Frankish allies’ interest to extend his authority over Viking settlers.This would appear to be the motive for later concessions to the Vikings of the Seine, which are mentioned in other records of the time. When King Charles the Simple abdicated the throne to Rudolph of France, Rollo felt that his pledge and oaths to the kings of France null and void, and began raiding in the west to expand his territory, putting pressure on other rulers to propose another compromise. The need for an agreement was particularly urgent when Robert the Strong, successor of Charles the Simple, was killed by the Viking army of Brittany in 924. Rudolph is recorded as sponsoring a new agreement by which a group of Northmen were conceded the provinces of the Bessin and Maine. These Northmen were presumed to be Rollo and his associates, moving their authority westward from the Seine valley. It is still unclear as to whether Rollo was being given lordship over the Vikings already settled in the region in order to domesticate and restrain them, or was given lordship over the Franks around Bayeux in order to protect them from other Viking leaders settled in eastern Brittany and the Cotentin peninsula.
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, was made to his son and successor William.
Rollo's son and heir, William Longsword, and grandchild, Richard the Fearless, forged the Duchy of Normandy into West Francia's most cohesive and formidable principality.The descendants of Rollo and his men assimilated with their maternal Frankish-Catholic culture and became known as the Normans, lending their name to the region of Normandy.
Rollo is the great-great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror, or William I of England. Through William, he is one of the ancestors of the present-day British royal family, as well as an ancestor of all current European monarchs and a great many claimants to abolished European thrones.
One daughter of Rollo, Gerloc (also known as Adele), who married William III, Duke of Aquitaine, was mentioned by Dudo. According to William of Jumièges, writing in the latter half of the 11th century, Gerloc's mother was named Poppa.
According to the medieval Irish text An Banshenchas and Icelandic sources, another daughter, Cadlinar (Kaðlín; Kathleen) was born in Scotland (probably to a Scots mother) and married an Irish prince named Beollán mac Ciarmaic, later King of South Brega (Lagore). A daughter of Cadlinar and Beollán named Nithbeorg was abducted by an Icelandic Viking named Helgi Ottarsson,and became the mother of the poet Einarr Helgason and grandmother of Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir (protagonist of the Laxdœla saga ).
A genetic investigation into the remains of Rollo's grandson, Richard the Fearless, and his great-grandson, Richard the Good, was announced in 2011 with the intention of discerning the origins of the historic Viking leader.On 29 February 2016 Norwegian researchers opened Richard the Good's tomb and found his lower jaw with eight teeth in it. Unfortunately, the skeletal remains in both graves turned out to significantly predate Rollo and therefore are not related to him.
After Rollo's death, his male-line descendants continued to rule Normandy until 1204, when it was lost by John Lackland to the French King Philip Augustus.Rollo's dynasty was able to survive through a combination of ruthless military actions and infighting among the Frankish aristocracy, which left them severely weakened and unable to combat the Rouen Vikings' growing determination to stay put.
Rollo is the subject of the seventeenth-century play Rollo Duke of Normandy , written by John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, Ben Jonson, and George Chapman.
A character, broadly inspired by the historical Rollo but including many events from before the real Rollo was born, played by Clive Standen, is Ragnar Lothbrok's brother in the History Channel television series Vikings.
Romsdal is the name of a traditional district in the Norwegian county Møre og Romsdal, located between Nordmøre and Sunnmøre. The district of Romsdal comprises Aukra, Fræna, Midsund, Molde, Nesset, Rauma, Sandøy, and Vestnes. It is named after the valley of Romsdalen, which covers part of Rauma.
Rognvald Eysteinsson was the founding Jarl of Møre in Norway, and a close relative and ally of Harald Fairhair, the earliest known King of Norway. In the Norse language he is known as Rognvaldr Eysteinsson and in modern Norwegian as Ragnvald Mørejarl. He is sometimes referred to with bynames that may be translated into modern English as "Rognvald the Wise" or "Rognvald the Powerful".
Richard II, called the Good, was the eldest son and heir of Richard I the Fearless and Gunnora. He was a Norman nobleman of the House of Normandy. He was the paternal grandfather of William the Conqueror.
The Danes were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting southern Scandinavia, including the area now comprising Denmark proper, and the Scanian provinces of modern southern Sweden, during the Nordic Iron Age and the Viking Age. They founded what became the Kingdom of Denmark. The name of their realm is believed to mean "Danish March", viz. "the march of the Danes" in Old Low German, referring to their southern border zone between the Eider and Schlei rivers, known as Danevirke.
Richard I, also known as Richard the Fearless, was the Count of Rouen or Jarl of Rouen from 942 to 996. Dudo of Saint-Quentin, whom Richard commissioned to write the "De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum", called him a Dux. However, this use of the word may have been in the context of Richard's renowned leadership in war, and not as a reference to a title of nobility. Richard either introduced feudalism into Normandy or he greatly expanded it. By the end of his reign, the most important Norman landholders held their lands in feudal tenure.
The treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (911) is the foundational document of the Duchy of Normandy, establishing Rollo, a Norse warlord and Viking leader, as the first Duke of Normandy in exchange for his loyalty to the king of West Francia. The territory of Normandy centered on Rouen, a city in the Marches of Neustria which had been repeatedly raided by Vikings since the 840s, and which had finally been taken by Rollo in 876.
Einarr Rognvaldarson often referred to by his byname Torf-Einarr, was one of the Norse Earls of Orkney. The son of the Norse jarl, Rognvald Eysteinsson and a concubine, his rise to power is related in sagas which apparently draw on verses of Einarr's own composition for inspiration. After battling for control of the Northern Isles of Scotland and a struggle with Norwegian royalty, Einarr founded a dynasty which retained control of the islands for centuries after his death.
Aud the Deep-Minded, also known as Unn, Aud Ketilsdatter or Unnur Ketilsdottir, was a 9th-century settler during the age of Settlement of Iceland.
Rolf is a male given name and a surname. It originates in the Germanic name Hrolf, itself a contraction of Hrodwulf (Rudolf), a conjunction of the stem words hrod ("renown") + wulf ("wolf"). The Old Norse cognate is Hrólfr. An alternative but less common variation of Rolf in Norway is Rolv.
Hrólfs saga Gautrekssonar is a Scandinavian legendary saga which was put to text in Iceland in the 13th century. It has a prequel in Gautreks saga.
Ketill Björnsson, nicknamed Flatnose, was a Norse King of the Isles of the 9th century.
William Longsword was the second ruler of Normandy, from 927 until his assassination in 942.
Gunnora was a Duchess of Normandy by marriage to Richard I of Normandy.
Hildr or RagnhildrHrólfsdóttir was a 9th-century woman who is referenced in various Old Norse sources including Óláfs saga, Orkneyinga saga and Landnámabók.
Anslech or Anslec de Bricquebec played a major political role in the first days of the duchy of Normandy, though the sources on him are rather opaque.
The phrase more danico is a Medieval Latin legal expression which may be translated as "in the Danish manner", i.e. under Medieval Scandinavian customary law". It designates a type of traditional marriage practiced in northern Europe during the Middle Ages.
Viking expansion is the process by which Norse explorers, traders and warriors, the latter known in modern scholarship as Vikings, sailed most of the North Atlantic, reaching south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople and the Middle East as looters, traders, colonists and mercenaries. Vikings under Leif Erikson, the heir to Erik the Red, reached North America and set up a short-lived settlement in present-day L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada. Longer lasting and more established settlements were formed in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Great Britain, Ireland and Normandy.
Poppa of Bayeux, was the Christian wife or mistress of the Viking conqueror Rollo. She was the mother of William I Longsword, Gerloc and grandmother of Richard the Fearless, who forged the Duchy of Normandy into a great fief of medieval France. Dudo of Saint-Quentin, in his panegyric of the Norman dukes, describes her as the daughter of a "Count Berengar", the dominant prince of that region, who was captured at Bayeux by Rollo in 885 or 889, shortly after the siege of Paris. This has led to speculation that she was the daughter of Berengar II of Neustria.
Hagrold, also known as Hagroldus, Harold, and Harald, was a powerful tenth-century Viking chieftain who ruled Bayeux. He was apparently a pagan from Scandinavia, and seems to have seized power in Normandy at about the time of the death of William, Count of Rouen. His career can be interpreted in the context of aiding the Normans against the intrusion of Frankish authority, or conversely in the context of taking advantage of the Normans.
|New title|| Count of Rouen |