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The Founding of Normandy

In 911 the French King, Charles the Simple, met with the Viking chieftain, Rollo at Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in order to sign a treaty, permitting the Vikings to settle in Normandy in return for their protection of the French Kingdom from the invasions of other Northmen (as the Vikings were called by the French). For a long time it was believed that the only existing source was a long and perhaps a bit farfetched description of the meeting and the negotiations in the French Cronicle of Dudo of St. Quentin. Hence historians have from time to time considered the treaty a myth. However, there does exist a document from 918, in which we are told that the king donate some land to the abbey of St. Germain-de Prés, except that part which “we have granted to the Northmen at the Seine, that is to say Rollo and his companions, in order for them to safeguard the kingdom.” [1]


[1] Praeter partem ipsius abbatiae quam animus Normannis Sequanensibus, uidelicet Rolloni suisque comities, pro tutelar regni.
(Abrams, L., “Early Normandy” in Bates, D. (ed) “Anglo-Norman Studies 35. Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2012” p. 45)




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