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Thread: "Ethnic" composition of the Normans before they settled in Sicily

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    "Ethnic" composition of the Normans before they settled in Sicily

    It is my understanding that the Normans who settled in Northern Sicily made significant contribution to the genetic makeup of its people, with something like 15% carrying l1 in certain areas even today.
    However, the Normans were in many ways just as "french" as they were nordic, and would have intermarried with locals for some time.

    If it is even possible to answer, my question is: What is the "non-viking" part of Normans before they arrived in Sicily? Were these more "Celtic" or "Frankish"? Or are these groups perhaps so similar that it is virtually impossible to tell, from the genetics Sicilians (in areas where l1 are hotspots)?

    A possible difficulty in answering this is that the norsemen of Normandy would have married local women, and so even though their "blood" was largely "Celtic" or "Frankish", they perhaps still carried mainly norse Y-dna? I don't expect many Norman women came along to Sicily, so Frankish/celtic mtDNA is probably not present in Sicily. But maybe some of the Normans had Celtic/Frankish fathers and Norse mothers? After all, daughters of Normans needed to marry someone too.

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    It's just a guess but given their military success relative to their numbers I'd suggest the Normans attracted adventurous psychos from all over Europe.

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    Regards the ethnic composition of Normans in Normandy I would imagine they were a mixture of Norse (which would not be totally I1, in any case) and the local Normandy population that lived there prior to the arrival (settlement) of Rollo and his people. These groups of Vikings are known to have taken up french and the local customs in a very short span of time. What were the numbers both way I do not have an idea, and I am not too sure if they have ever been recorded. Roger of Hautville (and his family who settled in the south of Europe and William the conqueror are known to have spoken French. So I1 would not be the only marker to suggest some kind of Norman settlement in Sicily but also R1b. They later married into the Hohenstaufen family (South Germany) so the Norman reign was pretty short but marked with a golden age of the Norman King Roger 1 and 11.

    Normans of the south part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRZQmwRuuXo

    Normans of the south part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ivyc...i0JIa&index=11

    Normans of the south part 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L_l...cFe12vweWi0JIa

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    First Norman groups were a mix of Northern French and Norwegians.

    Later Normans were mostly British/Irish, especially after the battle of Hastings.

    Anyway most Norman settlements were in Campania, not in Sicily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giuseppe rossi View Post
    First Norman groups were a mix of Northern French and Norwegians.
    What I was trying to get at is, what does one mean by "Northern french"? Are these ethnically mainly Germanic Franks, local Celts, something else or is it impossible to say from their descendants in Northern Sicily?

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    Very few real Normans moved in Sicily and they were from both British Isles and France. Many Lombards and Southern French were later settled to Sicily after the expulsions of the Moors.

    Real Normans with Scando origin settled in Campania and to a much lesser extent Apulia.

    According to estimates about 2500 norman nobles settled in Campania in the XI century alone.

    You should read these books for info.

    http://www.unilibro.it/libri/f/argomento/normanni

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    Quote Originally Posted by giuseppe rossi View Post
    Very few real Normans moved in Sicily and they were from both British Isles and France. Many Lombards and Southern French were later settled to Sicily after the expulsions of the Moors.

    Real Normans with Scando origin settled in Campania and to a much lesser extent Apulia.

    According to estimates about 2500 norman nobles settled in Campania in the XI century alone.

    You should read these books for info.

    http://www.unilibro.it/libri/f/argomento/normanni
    I have not the time to verify but Western Sicily shows not neglictible percentages of Y-I1 compared tu East Sicily and other southern Europe regions, the exception being the Campobasso surroundings stronger yet for Y-I1 and other more "northern" haplo's - for Y-R1a-U106 I' m not sure - Western Sicily shows also some little differences compared to Eastern Sicily concerning aDNA - but I my knowledge concerning Italy History is not too great -
    what has been already said, that these "Normans" were no more true Scandinavians seems evident - Look at the Normans of William the Bastard: a third of Bretons, and some people of France Flanders (where flemish language was the manguage of only the most northern part)

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    I1 is also common in England and parts of France.

    Sicily is oversampled, while other Italian regions are a mistery.

    As far I know parts of Eastern Latium have a frequency of I1 up to 35%, on par with Sweden and more than Norway and Finland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giuseppe rossi View Post
    I1 is also common in England and parts of France.

    Sicily is oversampled, while other Italian regions are a mistery.

    As far I know parts of Eastern Latium have a frequency of I1 up to 35%, on par with Sweden and more than Norway and Finland.
    where did you find so surprising %s? It seems almost impossible for me, except in a too small sample.... and Maciamo, I suppose, could answer you about the sampling of all over Italy regions

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    You will find the complete list of sources in the eupedia page of genetic history of Italy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giuseppe rossi View Post
    I1 is also common in England and parts of France.

    Sicily is oversampled, while other Italian regions are a mistery.

    As far I know parts of Eastern Latium have a frequency of I1 up to 35%, on par with Sweden and more than Norway and Finland.


    There is NO historical record of Normans settling in numbers in Eastern Latium.

    The figure of 2,500 Norman nobles in Campania is greatly exaggerated.

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    That's the point.

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Leon-Robert Menager found only 385 names of likely Norman (or other French) incoming aristocrats for the whole of Southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th and 12th centuries.

    ("Inventaire des familles normandes et franques emigrees en Italie meridionale et en Sicilie (X1e-X11e siecles)")

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    The number of high nobles is about 400 so it's correct, but most Norman nobles in Italy were minor nobles excluded from succession, and their total recorded number for Campania alone is about 2500 in the XI century.

    Please read this book.

    http://www.hoepli.it/mobile/libro/i-...FezHtAodaT8AkA

    The first one was the Norman noble Drengot who settled in Aversa, near Naples, with about 300 Norman soldiers and their families.

    That of course without counting the Swabians, the English and the other non French Normans who were also numerous.

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    Some germanic Y-Dna in Sicily are not necessarily Normans but certainly also Swabians, Goths and Vandals left some genetics.
    Sicilians and mainlander Southern Italian phenotype galleries.

    http://italicroots.lefora.com/topic/1111/Re-Groups-of-Sicilians
    http://italicroots.lefora.com/topic/375/Southern-italians-how-we-really-look

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaleBlueDot View Post
    It is my understanding that the Normans who settled in Northern Sicily made significant contribution to the genetic makeup of its people, with something like 15% carrying l1 in certain areas even today.
    However, the Normans were in many ways just as "french" as they were nordic, and would have intermarried with locals for some time.

    If it is even possible to answer, my question is: What is the "non-viking" part of Normans before they arrived in Sicily? Were these more "Celtic" or "Frankish"? Or are these groups perhaps so similar that it is virtually impossible to tell, from the genetics Sicilians (in areas where l1 are hotspots)?

    A possible difficulty in answering this is that the norsemen of Normandy would have married local women, and so even though their "blood" was largely "Celtic" or "Frankish", they perhaps still carried mainly norse Y-dna? I don't expect many Norman women came along to Sicily, so Frankish/celtic mtDNA is probably not present in Sicily. But maybe some of the Normans had Celtic/Frankish fathers and Norse mothers? After all, daughters of Normans needed to marry someone too.
    In my opinion a mix of Frankish and Vikings more than to original Norse.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    However it's hard to say the precise number of Normans in the South of Italy, David Abulafia wrote around 5.000 while Francesco Renda in his book of Sicily said about 3.000 in Sicily with mostly nobles, knights and soldiers.
    Because Normans imported mainlander Italian families for repopulate Sicily not French or Norwegians.
    In fact the first national Italian language was born in Sicily and it's not coincidental.

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    0 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Most historians who specialize in this subject agree that these "Normans" in Italy were only present in a small minority, similar to the case of the Lombards, as should be expected from mere military conquerors:

    https://www.academia.edu/206519/The_...f_Norman_Italy

    "...the Norman conquerors were a small minority who never completely conquered the region, and were too few to initiate a thorough-going change in its society." (pages 6-7)


    https://books.google.com/books?id=Pz...and%22&f=false

    "The Norman conquerors were only a small minority in a hostile land, which took many decades for them to subdue, and were too few to initiate a radical change in its society."

    https://books.google.com/books?id=M4...ted%22&f=false

    "Not only were the Normans a small minority in comparison with the peoples they subjected, relations between their leaders were fractious and competitive, and Robert Guiscard's career, while spectacular, was only relatively successful."

    https://books.google.com/books?id=KY...st.%22&f=false

    "The Normans were always a tiny minority, who succeeded by a complex process of marriage, political alliance and outright conquest."

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    The original Normans were mainly Danes though the first Duke of Normandy was a Norwegian, Rolf (Rollo) of More.

    The Normans tended to marry into local Lombard/Longobard noble families like the great Robert Guiscard (Hauteville) who married the Lombard noblewoman Sichelgaita of Salerno.

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drac II View Post
    Most historians who specialize in this subject agree that these "Normans" in Italy were only present in a small minority, similar to the case of the Lombards, as should be expected from mere military conquerors:

    https://www.academia.edu/206519/The_...f_Norman_Italy

    "...the Norman conquerors were a small minority who never completely conquered the region, and were too few to initiate a thorough-going change in its society." (pages 6-7)


    https://books.google.com/books?id=Pz...and%22&f=false

    "The Norman conquerors were only a small minority in a hostile land, which took many decades for them to subdue, and were too few to initiate a radical change in its society."

    https://books.google.com/books?id=M4...ted%22&f=false

    "Not only were the Normans a small minority in comparison with the peoples they subjected, relations between their leaders were fractious and competitive, and Robert Guiscard's career, while spectacular, was only relatively successful."

    https://books.google.com/books?id=KY...st.%22&f=false

    "The Normans were always a tiny minority, who succeeded by a complex process of marriage, political alliance and outright conquest."
    Indeed just like Visigoth in Iberian peninsula

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hauteville View Post
    However it's hard to say the precise number of Normans in the South of Italy, David Abulafia wrote around 5.000 while Francesco Renda in his book of Sicily said about 3.000 in Sicily with mostly nobles, knights and soldiers.
    Because Normans imported mainlander Italian families for repopulate Sicily not French or Norwegians.
    In fact the first national Italian language was born in Sicily and it's not coincidental.
    If you mean the initial invading force, then I agree.

    But after conquest a large number of settlers moved in.

    The Spaniards conquered the whole Mexico with less than 1000 soldiers, but over 700.000 Spanish colonists moved to the New World between the XVI and XVII centuries.

    Just one last thing. After the enslavement and expulsion of the 40.000 Muslims of Lucera in Apulia, the remnants of the deported Sicilian Moors, the same area was settled by an equal number of French colonists brought by the Angevins. Still now there is a French speaking minority in the same area.
    Last edited by giuseppe rossi; 04-05-15 at 15:02.

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    Valicanus is correct. The original Normans in the south of Europe were mercenaries to help the Lombards fights the Byzantines. Later they took control of Sicily (and Malta as it was part of Sicily at that time) from the fatmids (Muslims). I do not believe that there were any significant migrations from Normandy itself into the South except for the garrisons themselves, who is highly unlikely they would have traveled with family considering the mission they were assigned to. The main stock of Vikings that settled in Northern France were mainly from modern day Denmark.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    IfI rely upon BritainDNA the aDNA of today Sicily overlap completelywith aDNA of South Italy and partially with Greeks and Askhenazes, soa mixture without too visible Germanics aDNA, what does not disprovethe presence of male Y-DNA of diverse Northern origins, as Y-I1 andY-R1b-U106 : as the last settled Normans could be credited ofthe biggest imput, considering the far older occupations by otherNorthern people as Vandals or Longobards would have their heritagegreatly enough erased by time and dispersion before the 1000's;very hard to be sure...
    whatwould have been interesting is the location in Sicily of theindividuals aDNA spots on the BritainDNA « map », in casethe Western Sicily ones could have shown a (surely limited) drifttowards North populations. (for French people it's evident someindividuals merge with British and Germany borderline people whenother merge with Basques, Spanyards or North Italians)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    IfI rely upon BritainDNA the aDNA of today Sicily overlap completelywith aDNA of South Italy and partially with Greeks and Askhenazes, soa mixture without too visible Germanics aDNA, what does not disprovethe presence of male Y-DNA of diverse Northern origins, as Y-I1 andY-R1b-U106 : as the last settled Normans could be credited ofthe biggest imput, considering the far older occupations by otherNorthern people as Vandals or Longobards would have their heritagegreatly enough erased by time and dispersion before the 1000's;very hard to be sure...
    whatwould have been interesting is the location in Sicily of theindividuals aDNA spots on the BritainDNA « map », in casethe Western Sicily ones could have shown a (surely limited) drifttowards North populations. (for French people it's evident someindividuals merge with British and Germany borderline people whenother merge with Basques, Spanyards or North Italians)
    Moesan, does BritainDna have a graph showing that? Is the graph publicly available?

    I agree with all of the above, for what it's worth, just adding that some of that, especially the U-106, could have come with the settlement of Sicily from northern Italy in the medieval period.


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    Does someone have maybe a
    map with normans and maybe
    germans (from time of Staufs)
    settlements in southern Italy?

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