France – Nordmandy

Quick summary

The articles about the vikings in France and Normandy was written by Arnaud Le Fèvre.

After the death of the Emperor Charlemagne, at the beginning of the 9th century, Viking fleets (mainly Danish) made landings in the estuaries of the Frankish kingdom.   Organised as small fleets, their raids on the River Seine, in Eastern Neustria, became more frequent, with the plundering of the wealthiest areas all the way to Paris.

On several occasions, the Frankish King Charles the Bald paid the Vikings Danegeld ,to buy them off.   Nevertheless, the colonisation by Danes of the Lower Seine was under way.

In AD 911, in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, Charles the Simple left to the Viking chief Rollo (Rollon), the territory now known as Normandy.   Rollo thus became the first Jarl (or Duke) of Normandy.   After two successful extensions into Western Neustria (colonised mainly by Norwegians), the Norman territory had almost achieved its present frontiers by AD 933.

The invasion of Frankia ceased, but the taste for foreign expeditions persisted in the Normans, who went on to found principalities in southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th-12th centuries, and conquered England after the Battle of Hastings in AD 1066.



The old Frankish administrative districts in Neustria (now Normandy) in the 9th century.
The stages of the foundation of Normandy.
The Scandinavian colonization of Normandy: Scandinavian place name density and linguistic boundary (Joret’s Line: the limit of Norse-influenced Norman dialect).