| Duke of Normandy |
Count of Rouen
|Born||c. 846/860 |
|Died||c.930 (aged 69–70)|
|Spouse|| Poppa of Bayeux |
Gisela of France (possibly)
| William Longsword |
|Religion|| Norse Paganism |
later Roman Catholicism
Rollo (Norman : 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), respectively. His great-grandson Richard II was the first to officially use the title of Duke of Normandy.
He emerged as the outstanding warrior among the Norsemen who had secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine. After the Siege of Chartres in 911, 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.
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), much of the island of Ireland, 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 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 . (Compare the Breton names Rouello, 'valorous lineage', and Rouallo, 'iron-lineage' .) It is also sometimes suggested that Rollo may be a Latinised version of another Norse name, Hrollaugr.
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.
Rollo was born in the mid-9th century; his place of birth is almost definitely located in the region of Scandinavia, although it is uncertain whether he is Danish or Norwegian. The earliest well-attested historical event associated with Rollo is his part in leading the Vikings who besieged Paris in 885–886 but were fended off by Odo of France.
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 that Rollo is Danish.
Other historians have identified Rollo with Hrólf the Walker (Norse Göngu-Hrólfr; Danish Ganger-Hrólf) from 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. However, 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.
There are few contemporary mentions of Rollo. In 911, Robert I of France, brother of Odo, again defeated another band of Viking warriors in Chartres with his well-trained horsemen. This victory paved the way for Rollo's baptism and settlement in Normandy. As was the custom, Rollo took the baptismal name Robert, after his godfather Robert I.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 Charles III 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 I, successor of Charles III, was killed in 923. 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, through his descendent William I of England, the seventh Duke of Normandy, is the 32nd great-grandfather of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
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 a lower jaw with eight teeth in it. However, 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 17th-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 .
Normandy is the northwesternmost of the 18 regions of France, roughly referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy.
Robert of Jumièges was the first Norman Archbishop of Canterbury. He had previously served as prior of the Abbey of St Ouen at Rouen in Normandy, before becoming abbot of Jumièges Abbey, near Rouen, in 1037. He was a good friend and adviser to the king of England, Edward the Confessor, who appointed him Bishop of London in 1044, and then archbishop in 1051. Robert's time as archbishop lasted only about eighteen months. He had already come into conflict with the powerful Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and while archbishop made attempts to recover lands lost to Godwin and his family. He also refused to consecrate Spearhafoc, Edward's choice to succeed Robert as Bishop of London. The rift between Robert and Godwin culminated in Robert's deposition and exile in 1052.
Robert the Magnificent, was the duke of Normandy from 1027 until his death in 1035.
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 Rǫgnvaldr Eysteinsson (Mærajarl) 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".
The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and the Viking leader Rollo. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans.
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.
Björn Ironside was a Norse Viking chief and legendary king of Sweden. According to the 12th- and 13th-century Scandinavian histories, he was the son of the notorious and historically dubious Viking king Ragnar Lodbrok. He lived in the 9th century, being securely dated between 855 and 858. Björn Ironside is said to have been the first ruler of the Swedish Munsö dynasty. In the early 18th century, a barrow on the island of Munsö was claimed by antiquarians to be Björn Järnsidas hög or Björn Ironside's barrow.
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.
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.
Ketill Björnsson, nicknamed Flatnose, was a Norse King of the Isles of the 9th century.
Gesta Normannorum Ducum is a chronicle originally created by the monk William of Jumièges just before 1060. In 1070 William I had William of Jumièges extend the work to detail his rights to the throne of England. In later times, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni, extended the volumes to include history up until Henry I.
William Longsword was the second ruler of Normandy, from 927 until his assassination in 942.
Gunnor or Gunnora was a Duchess of Normandy by marriage to Richard I of Normandy.
Normandy was a province in the North-West of France under the Ancien Régime which lasted until the latter part of the 18th century. Initially populated by Celtic tribes in the West and Belgic tribes in the North East, it was conquered in AD 98 by the Romans and integrated into the province of Gallia Lugdunensis by Augustus. In the 4th century, Gratian divided the province into the civitates that constitute the historical borders. After the fall of Rome in the 5th century, the Franks became the dominant ethnic group in the area, built several monasteries, and replaced the barbarism of the region with the civilization of the Carolingian Empire. Towards the end of the 8th century, Viking raids devastated the region, prompting the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy in 911. After 150 years of expansion, the borders of Normandy reached relative stability. These old borders roughly correspond to the present borders of Lower Normandy, Upper Normandy and the Channel Islands. Mainland Normandy was integrated into the Kingdom of France in 1204. The region was badly damaged during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion, the Normans having more converts to Protestantism than other peoples of France. In the 20th century, D-Day, the 1944 Allied invasion of Western Europe, started in Normandy. In 1956, mainland Normandy was separated into two régions, Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy, and were reunified in 2016.
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.
The Normans were an ethnic group that arose from contact between Norse Viking settlers of a region in France, named Normandy after them, and indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans. The settlements in France followed a series of raids on the French coast mainly from Denmark — although some came from Norway and Iceland as well — and 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.
Sprota was the name of a Breton captive who William I, Duke of Normandy took as a wife in the Viking fashion and by her had a son, Richard I, Duke of Normandy. After the death of her husband William, she became the wife of Esperleng and mother of Rodulf of Ivry.
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.
rollo paris 885–886.
|New title|| Count of Rouen |