Normans and Normandy
Normandy is a region that existed in the same area as the province of Neustria or Rouen. It was located in the north of France, and it did not have any traditional frontiers. Because of this, the region was primarily known for its administrative characteristics. The population of Normandy consisted of Germanic people, Franks, and Gallo-Roman groups. Viking settlers lived in the region as well, and they arrived during the 800s. The various groups of people who lived in Normandy split the region into the Upper and Lower regions.
A number of conflicts occurred in the 10th century that were a result of Norse warriors who moved near the many rivers that existed in Gaul. They made encampments in the regions, and these would eventually transform into permanent settlements. The pagan culture was very prevalent in the region during this time, but it would eventually be replaced by Christianity. The rapid adoption of the Gallo-Romance language also appeared during this time. The Vikings who lived in the region begin to mix with the Gallo-Romance population that surrounded them. In the course of about two generations, the Normans were no longer distinct from their French neighbours. By the 11th century, they begin to emerge from their primary residence in Normandy.
In most cases, it was individuals such as William the Conqueror who were responsible for the raids that occurred during this time. The Normans would go on to use the feudal system that was prevalent in France during the time. They would take this system and use it in both England and Normandy. While there were a number of powerful similarities between the Normans and the French, the warrior class of the Normans differed from the French aristocrats. While the French aristocrats were wealthy and maintained a high social status, the Norman warriors were poor when it came to the ownership of land. Normandy was known for dispatching their warrior horsemen for battles, especially the Crusades.
Before the Crusades, knights in the region did not have a large amount of wealth or rank. The Normans were known for fighting during the Crusades, and this allowed their social status to increase. While the Normans had a lot of power in the region, it is their language that has survived to the modern day. It is a combination of the oil language and regional language that were spoken at the time.
Original Authors: Stephen Palmer
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 23/07/2008