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, following the Siege of Chartres. 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.
Rollo in June 911 unsuccessfully laid siege to Chartres. He was defeated in battle on 20 July 911.In the aftermath of this conflict, Charles the Simple decided to negotiate a treaty with Rollo.
The talks, possibly led by Heriveus, the archbishop of Reims, resulted in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911. Initial proceedings with the treaty were difficult; Rollo was initially offered Flanders, though he refused on the account that the land was uncultivable.Instead, he was given all the land between the river Epte and the sea "in freehold and good money". In addition, it granted him Brittany "for his livelihood." At the time, Brittany was an independent country which present day France had unsuccessfully tried to conquer. In exchange, Rollo guaranteed the king his loyalty, which involved military assistance for the protection of the kingdom against other Vikings. One of the conditions for the Vikings after their loss was to convert. As a token of his goodwill, Rollo also agreed to be baptized and to marry Gisela, a presumed legitimate daughter of Charles. The traité en forme at Saint Clair-Sur-Epte marked the beginning of Normandy as a state. Rollo refused to kiss Charles' foot to solidify the deal. Instead, he ordered one of his men to proceed with the ordeal. The warrior subsequently yanked the king's leg whilst he was standing and kissed it, causing Charles to topple onto the ground.
With Norse bands of settlers, composed of non-aristocratic lineages, there came multiple communities formed and a new political ethos that was not Frankish. The Norsemen ("Northmen") came to be known as Normans in French.This identity formation was partly possible because the Norse were adapting indigenous culture, speaking French, renouncing paganism and converting to Christianity, and intermarrying with the local population.
The territory covered by the treaty corresponds to the northern part of today's Upper Normandy down to the Seine, but the territory of the Vikings would eventually extend west beyond the Seine to form the Duchy of Normandy, so named because of the Norsemen who ruled it. The treaty allowed these new settlements. But not all Vikings were welcome. And with the death of Alan I, King of Brittany, another group of Vikings occupied Brittany faced their own dispute. Around 937, Alan I's son Alan II returned from England to expel those Vikings from Brittany in a war that was concluded in 939. During this period the Cotentin Peninsula was lost by Brittany and gained by Normandy.
There would be a convergence between Franks and Normans within a few generations. Political marriages played an important role in cultivating alliances and cohesion; wives were often called "peace weavers." Charles the Simple created an alliance and a grant of rights to those Vikings seeking to settle in 918. While the Normans did adapt, adopt, and assimilate to Christianity, they did not necessarily adopt indigenous administration: "The creation of Norman power between first settlement and the mid-eleventh century is not primarily of assimilation to Carolingian forms, as those appear in the capitualaries.Rather, the Normans "adhered longer than the Franks around them--to older forms of social organization," that the Franks were abandoning.
The Normans came close to being absorbed into a lower social strata in Frankish society had not a renewed wave of Viking raids occurred in the 960s. Over time, the frontiers of the duchy, based in kinship, expanded to the west."By the mid-eleventh century the descendants of the settlers formed the most disciplined and cooperative warrior society in Europe, capable of a communal effort in the conquest and subjugation of England that other regional political entities were incapable of." The Duchy of Normandy achieved success under Duke Richard I, who forged valuable marriage alliances through his daughters; his daughter Emma became Queen of England, Denmark and Norway through her marriages to Æthelred the Unready (1002–1016) and Cnut the Great (1017–1035).
Normandy is the northwesternmost of the 18 regions of France, roughly coextensive with the historical Duchy of Normandy.
Rollo was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region in northern France. 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, gifted them lands between the mouth of the Seine and what is now Rouen in exchange for Rollo agreeing to end his brigandage, swearing allegiance to him, religious conversion and a pledge to defend the Seine's estuary from Viking raiders.
Charles III, called the Simple or the Straightforward, was the king of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the king of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–23. He was a member of the Carolingian dynasty.
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.
In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles III in 911. In 924 and again in 933, Normandy was expanded by royal grant. Rollo's male-line descendants continued to rule it down to 1135. In 1202 the French king Philip II declared Normandy a forfeited fief and by 1204 his army had conquered it. It remained a French royal province thereafter, still called the Duchy of Normandy, but only occasionally granted to a duke of the royal house as an apanage.
Richard II, called the Good, was the duke of Normandy from 996 until 1026.
The Danes were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting southern Scandinavia, including the area now comprising Denmark proper, and the Scanian provinces of modern-day 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 Norse, referring to their southern border zone between the Eider and Schlei rivers, known as the Danevirke.
Richard I, also known as Richard the Fearless, was the count 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.
Vexin is an historical county of northwestern France. It covers a verdant plateau on the right bank (north) of the Seine running roughly east to west between Pontoise and Romilly-sur-Andelle, and north to south between Auneuil and the Seine near Vernon. The plateau is crossed by the Epte and the Andelle river valleys.
In medieval history, West Francia or the Kingdom of the West Franks refers to the western part of the Frankish Empire established by Charlemagne. It represents the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia emerged out of the partition of the Carolingian Empire in 843 under the Treaty of Verdun following the death of Charlemagne's son, Louis the Pious.
William Longsword was the second ruler of Normandy, from 927 until his assassination in 942.
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 regions, Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy, which were reunified in 2016.
The Marches of Neustria were two marches created in 861 by the Carolingian king of West Francia Charles the Bald that were ruled by officials appointed by the crown, known as wardens, prefects or margraves. Originally, one March was created against the Bretons and one against the Norsemen, often called the Breton March and Norman March respectively.
Bernard the Dane was a Viking jarl (earl) of Danish origins. He put himself in the service of another jarl installed at the mouth of the Seine, Rollo. After the accords of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte that officially gave birth to the duchy of Normandy (911), Bernard converted to Christianity at Rouen the following year (912) and shortly afterwards received from Rollo the county of Pont-Audemer in Roumois then, later, the city of Harcourt.
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 was the historical movement which led Norse explorers, traders and warriors, the latter known in modern scholarship as Vikings, to sail most of the North Atlantic, reaching south as far as North Africa and east as far as Russia, and through the Mediterranean as far as Constantinople and the Middle East, acting as looters, traders, colonists and mercenaries. To the west, 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 Norse settlements were formed in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Great Britain, Ireland and Normandy.
The Normans are 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 Sweden as well — and gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia following the Siege of Chartres in 911 AD. The intermingling of Norse settlers and native Franks and Gallo-Romans in Normandy produced an ethnic and cultural "Norman" identity in the first half of the 10th century, an identity which continued to evolve over the centuries.
The Siege of Chartres was part of the Viking incursions. In 858, Norsemen raided and burned down Chartres. After that, the town's defenses were rebuilt and strengthened. It turned into a fortified, trapezoid-like city, going close to the river.
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.
Heriveus of Reims was a West Frankish churchman and political advisor. In 900, he was consecrated archbishop of Reims, holding this position until his death. Heriveus's tenure was marked by the genesis of the duchy of Normandy and the growing discord between the Carolingian king Charles the Simple and his Robertian rival Robert of Neustria.