Article publié dans le dossier thématique – actes de la journée d’étude du 20 novembre 2015, Les transferts culturels dans les mondes normands médiévaux I – Des mots pour le dire ?
From Vikings to Normans in England and Ireland
University of Oxford, England, UK
In this short piece, I address the ways in which historians and archaeologists have approached, interpreted and described the Viking and Norman presences in England and Ireland. These are treated as very different phenomena, yet in many ways have similar origins and effects. ‘Vikings’ (a word hardly used in near-contemporary historical sources, which use ‘Northmen’, ‘Gentiles’, Foreigners’) became a feature of English and Irish historical consciousness from the 780s AD, with raids followed by more sustained semi-systematic warfare coupled to settlement and assimilation, and ultimately dynastic rivalry and competing claims on statehood. The latter are exemplified in England by the successful attempt by Svein Forkbeard of Denmark to wrest the crown and make way for his son Cnut’s accession in 1016, and in Ireland by the creation of the kingdom of Dublin and the failed attempts by external powers in the Norse world to invade Ireland in 1014 and by Magnus Barelegs of Norway in 1098/1103. Duke William of Normandy, it will need no reminder to say, invaded southern England in 1066, and over the following 20 years (expensively and often bloodily) established Norman rule over the majority of the country. An important dimension to the Norman invasion is its coincidence with the Northumbrian rebellion against Harold II and the Norwegian invasion led by Harald Hardraði, which narrowly failed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066, three days prior to the Norman fleet landing at Pevensey, Sussex. Following William’s success at Hastings, and his assumption of the crown, further unsuccessful Danish campaign was mounted against England in 1069-70. Subsequently in 1169-71, led initially by Norman settlers from West Wales, and representing the king Henry II (also Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and Count of Anjou), an Anglo-Norman army landed (initially by Irish invitation) in south-eastern Ireland, rapidly effecting a take-over of the towns and then the Irish countryside. Continuer la lecture de From Vikings to Normans in England and Ireland