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Thread: Why did the Normans invade England ?

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    Why did the Normans invade England ?



    Why Normans only invaded england ,Why they didnot invade germany or switzerland or other parts of france for instance?

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    The Normans were Danish Vikings. The Danes did invade all of Western Europe, as far as the Maghreb. One group managed to obtain land from the King of France and became known as the Normans. They adopted French language and customs and combined their own Norse technology to the French one.

    I suppose that they became more powerful because they had enough land to support their future conquests. They didn't have to go back to Denmark to make new weapons or bring more men, but could just recruit local Frenchmen, and get all the food and weapons they needed in Normandy.

    The nearest place to conquer outside France from their new "base" was England, just across the Channel. Furthermore the kingdom of England was already weakened from the war between another group of Danish Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons. The Normans came with a big army combining Danish and French troops when England was already on its knees. The timing was perfect.

    Another reason they didn't venture more inland (like Switzerland) is that Vikings were primarily sailors. Their ships could go up rivers, but not upstream in mountainous areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The Normans were Danish Vikings. The Danes did invade all of Western Europe, as far as the Maghreb. One group managed to obtain land from the King of France and became known as the Normans. They adopted French language and customs and combined their own Norse technology to the French one.

    I suppose that they became more powerful because they had enough land to support their future conquests. They didn't have to go back to Denmark to make new weapons or bring more men, but could just recruit local Frenchmen, and get all the food and weapons they needed in Normandy.

    The nearest place to conquer outside France from their new "base" was England, just across the Channel. Furthermore the kingdom of England was already weakened from the war between another group of Danish Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons. The Normans came with a big army combining Danish and French troops when England was already on its knees. The timing was perfect.

    Another reason they didn't venture more inland (like Switzerland) is that Vikings were primarily sailors. Their ships could go up rivers, but not upstream in mountainous areas.
    Is it right that Deutschland means the land of teutons?

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    Quote Originally Posted by motatalea View Post
    Why Normans only invaded england ,Why they didnot invade germany or switzerland or other parts of france for instance?
    The Normans also ruled over Sicily and settled several towns along the northern Portuguese and Galician (NW Spain) coasts.

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    It was an age of oaths. The circumstances are less than clear, but Harold Godwinson (later King Harold II of England) was shipwrecked on the coast of Normandy in 1064. He was effectively the guest/hostage of Duke William the Bastard of Normandy, and the consensus is that Harold swore an oath of fealty to William, promising him the English throne.

    When the throne became vacant, Harold was best placed (i.e. grabbed) it, giving William the excuse he needed to invade.

    Oaths were seen as binding in Germanic (including Anglo Saxon England) culture, so Harold was seen as a 'breaker of oaths' in Normandy by taking the throne.

    Who knows? The facts are after William invaded, Anglo Saxon culture was wiped out over time, and the English people suffered greatly by brutal repression and excessive taxation. The Normans were very effective in subjugating a nation of circa 2 million with an army of less than 10,000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    It was an age of oaths. The circumstances are less than clear, but Harold Godwinson (later King Harold II of England) was shipwrecked on the coast of Normandy in 1064. He was effectively the guest/hostage of Duke William the Bastard of Normandy, and the consensus is that Harold swore an oath of fealty to William, promising him the English throne.

    When the throne became vacant, Harold was best placed (i.e. grabbed) it, giving William the excuse he needed to invade.

    Oaths were seen as binding in Germanic (including Anglo Saxon England) culture, so Harold was seen as a 'breaker of oaths' in Normandy by taking the throne.

    Who knows? The facts are after William invaded, Anglo Saxon culture was wiped out over time, and the English people suffered greatly by brutal repression and excessive taxation. The Normans were very effective in subjugating a nation of circa 2 million with an army of less than 10,000.
    The Normans were inveterate breakers of oaths. The only things they respected were power and treasure.
    Last edited by Cambrius (The Red); 14-07-09 at 23:10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    The Normans were inveterate breakers of oaths. The only things they respected was power and treasure.
    Absolutely. They were masters of war and conquest, and did it with a machine-like effectiveness. Verbal manipulation was one of their techniques, so breaking oaths would have been no concern to them.

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    The Normans were the most dishonorable of all Nordic peoples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    The Normans were the most dishonorable of all Nordic peoples.
    It makes me wonder: They became the ruling elite, and (I believe) 20% of the land in Britain is still owned by their descendants. At the very least, they will have deeply ingrained their thinking into the 'elite' of British culture. Might this explain why this small island forged an empire (i.e. grabbed others' land and resources) and created a financial system of global capitalism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    It makes me wonder: They became the ruling elite, and (I believe) 20% of the land in Britain is still owned by their descendants. At the very least, they will have deeply ingrained their thinking into the 'elite' of British culture. Might this explain why this small island forged an empire (i.e. grabbed others' land and resources) and created a financial system of global capitalism?
    Good points. Something worth exploring, I'd say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    Good points. Something worth exploring, I'd say.
    I firmly believe that people and culture change very little over time. Our minds are wired the same way as our ancestors from millennia back. It's just our technologies, surroundings and hence expectations that change.

    Once an elite have established their cultural mindset on a nation, try changing it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    It makes me wonder: They became the ruling elite, and (I believe) 20% of the land in Britain is still owned by their descendants. At the very least, they will have deeply ingrained their thinking into the 'elite' of British culture. Might this explain why this small island forged an empire (i.e. grabbed others' land and resources) and created a financial system of global capitalism?
    Watch out, some of them could have been my ancestors. Looking back with my surname it is very possible that it was norman in origin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius View Post
    Watch out, some of them could have been my ancestors. Looking back with my surname it is very possible that it was norman in origin.
    I used to think that, but some research made that improbable. Mind you, there'll be some genetic markers of all sorts in the average English person.

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    My wife likely has Norman markers and she's Scottish. Her maiden name has been researched as Norman.

    Gee, my Y-DNA markers match the Southern Irish and Western Welsh and I'm still trying to determine if there is such a thing as a legitimate "Celtic" genetic indicator. My markers read Celtic in great part, but the term may only be a cultural construct...

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    The people that can know whether they are Celtic or not,with the highest level of certainty,would be the folks that are R1b-M222.
    A large chunk of the population of Western Ireland has the M222 marker,and it's a good guess that you had Irish ancestors,if you have this marker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    My wife likely has Norman markers and she's Scottish. Her maiden name has been researched as Norman.

    Gee, my Y-DNA markers match the Southern Irish and Western Welsh and I'm still trying to determine if there is such a thing as a legitimate "Celtic" genetic indicator. My markers read Celtic in great part, but the term may only be a cultural construct...
    I can confirm from my research into my own surname (Maude) and its possible Norman roots, that Scottish names can have Norman origins; e.g. Maude (Anglo Norman supposedly) became Mowatt (Scottish).

    As for the political construct of 'Celt', this from Wikipedia: "The English word Celt is modern, attested from 1707 in the writings of Edward Lhuyd whose work, along with that of other late 17th century scholars, brought academic attention to the languages and history of these early inhabitants of Great Britain."

    From what I know, the 'Celtic' tribes had more similarities than differences, but I'm pretty sure there was no such unified entity as the 'Celts'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary C. View Post
    The people that can know whether they are Celtic or not,with the highest level of certainty,would be the folks that are R1b-M222.
    A large chunk of the population of Western Ireland has the M222 marker,and it's a good guess that you had Irish ancestors,if you have this marker.
    I'm from the west of Ireland and am R1b1b2a1b5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary C. View Post
    The people that can know whether they are Celtic or not,with the highest level of certainty,would be the folks that are R1b-M222.
    A large chunk of the population of Western Ireland has the M222 marker,and it's a good guess that you had Irish ancestors,if you have this marker.
    The Celts were not just the Irish.
    In continental Europe there were Celts, in the Hallstatt culture, that spread into half of Europe.

    The Celtic marker are more than just the M222.
    I would say the M222 has more to do with the Irish natives, Celtic people is much more than just Ireland

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    Viking settlements :


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    I should call Vikings as traders, and their temporary bases as markets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by galychanyn View Post
    I should call Vikings as traders, and their temporary bases as markets.
    There is a strong element of that, and they had superb diplomatic skills in order to be able to trade down river into modern Russia.

    However as raiders, they also had temporary bases in which to launch further raids into neighbouring territory, as witness their forays into Anglo Saxon England as well as Ireland.

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    Superb diplomatic skills, or perhaps an early variant of gunboat diplomacy. I don't know if the archaeological record has led to any firm conclusions either way.

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    It was, as the Normans themselves admitted, conducted "over hidden relics" and no witnesses for this 'oath' were ever named- was it a public oath- and in the open air(Bayeux tap)?

    English custom was that they were always sworn on a gospel book, (Normans say Harold swore manibus junctis- feudal fashion) so was it 'under duress' or procured by deceit, which would render it worthless anyway, certainly outside of Normandy?



    William of Jumieges never went as far as stating that Harold had sworn what later the Normans said he did.



    Normans had drive and ambition- also a voracious reputation for chicanery and inventing outrageous claims- Dudo of St.Quentin- historian of the early dukes- had the gaul to state that William Longsword and Richard the Fearless reigned over "half the world".


    Was William's daughter -Adeliza- 'promised' betrothal to Harold? A way of binding him to the duke, whatever, this seemed to have fallen through (did Harold refuse?)


    The Normans state that Harold coveted the crown himself – even if true, why would H willingly and freely swear this oath, thereby ruling HIMSELF out of the succession as the most qualified candidate in or out of England, socially and Politically?


    But instead a storm blew his embassy off-course and unluckily into William hands (via Guy of Ponthieu) and, knowing all too well his possible fate as a 'guest'/captive, grim gaols that meant a death sentence and penchant for brutality- especially poisonings, (a nephew of King Edward, earl Ralf's younger brother, Walter, Count of Mantes, and his wife, died prisoners this year in William gaols- poisoning rumours. But the two nobles were never seriously considered by Edward as successors)
    William’s father Robert ‘the Devil’ had been suspected of poisoning his own brother Richard, after all?


    Harold seems, in my view, to have gone along with the deed whilst as a Norman "guest" for his own 'safety', of his entourage and that also of long-term Norman captors and kinsmen Wulfnoth & Hakon etc, knowing how worthless the "sworn oath" meant in English eyes and how he could easily shrug it off when back home, under English law?



    Only the King & Witan could decide the succession- not some 'hidden' Norman verbal oath- esp under duress (only the Normans ever stated that Harold was in any danger!), thus invalid in English contemporary eyes!

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    In Seville, at that time the Al-Andalus beat them to the Vikings, they cut their heads and hung them from trees, a group survived until the slaves were converted to Islam, then won freedom and stayed for some villages in the province of Seville, I think it spent as much calmer to manufacture cheese and milk-based foods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hus View Post
    It was, as the Normans themselves admitted, conducted "over hidden relics" and no witnesses for this 'oath' were ever named- was it a public oath- and in the open air(Bayeux tap)?
    English custom was that they were always sworn on a gospel book, (Normans say Harold swore manibus junctis- feudal fashion) so was it 'under duress' or procured by deceit, which would render it worthless anyway, certainly outside of Normandy?



    William of Jumieges never went as far as stating that Harold had sworn what later the Normans said he did.



    Normans had drive and ambition- also a voracious reputation for chicanery and inventing outrageous claims- Dudo of St.Quentin- historian of the early dukes- had the gaul to state that William Longsword and Richard the Fearless reigned over "half the world".


    Was William's daughter -Adeliza- 'promised' betrothal to Harold? A way of binding him to the duke, whatever, this seemed to have fallen through (did Harold refuse?)


    The Normans state that Harold coveted the crown himself – even if true, why would H willingly and freely swear this oath, thereby ruling HIMSELF out of the succession as the most qualified candidate in or out of England, socially and Politically?

    But instead a storm blew his embassy off-course and unluckily into William hands (via Guy of Ponthieu) and, knowing all too well his possible fate as a 'guest'/captive, grim gaols that meant a death sentence and penchant for brutality- especially poisonings, (a nephew of King Edward, earl Ralf's younger brother, Walter, Count of Mantes, and his wife, died prisoners this year in William gaols- poisoning rumours. But the two nobles were never seriously considered by Edward as successors)
    William’s father Robert ‘the Devil’ had been suspected of poisoning his own brother Richard, after all?


    Harold seems, in my view, to have gone along with the deed whilst as a Norman "guest" for his own 'safety', of his entourage and that also of long-term Norman captors and kinsmen Wulfnoth & Hakon etc, knowing how worthless the "sworn oath" meant in English eyes and how he could easily shrug it off when back home, under English law?



    Only the King & Witan could decide the succession- not some 'hidden' Norman verbal oath- esp under duress (only the Normans ever stated that Harold was in any danger!), thus invalid in English contemporary eyes!
    Welcome, Hus!

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