Archives de catégorie : Normandie / Normandy

Crosby Everett U., The king’s bishops: the politics of patronage in England and Normandy, 1066-1216

Crosby Everett U., The king’s bishops: the politics of patronage in England and Normandy, 1066-1216, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, XVIII-519 p. ISBN: 9781137307767

Compte rendu par/Review by : Hugh M. Thomas

The Medieval Review

Date : 10 May 2014

In his lengthy exploration of patronage and bishops in England and Normandy between the Norman Conquest and the death of King John, Everett U. Crosby has two main concerns, royal control of episcopal appointments and nepotism. His first chapter sets the stage by discussing medieval and modern views of bishops in the period. Crosby criticizes what he regards as snap judgments about individual medieval bishops made with inadequate evidence by some modern historians, warns against relying too heavily on medieval judgments that were based on impossibly high standards set by reformers, and argues that we should not focus too much on opposition between church and state. The second chapter consists of an overview of royal control of episcopal appointments, with most attention on the period up to Thomas Becket, and discusses the dual role of bishops as church officials and powerful lords. The third chapter provides a good deal of useful information, much of it set out in tables, on a variety of subjects, including episcopal appointments by royal reign; the background of bishops as regular clerics, royal clerks, or secular clerics; and the lengths of episcopal vacancies in various reigns. Scholars will find a large amount of research digested into a brief space here.

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Bainton Willliam, History and the written word in the Angevin Empire, c. 1154-c. 1200

Bainton Willliam, History and the written word in the Angevin Empire, c. 1154-c. 1200, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (University of York)

Résumé/abstract :

It is axiomatic that later twelfth-century England witnessed a growth in the sophistication of government and a related proliferation of written records. This period is also noted for its prolific and distinctive historical writing — which was often written by administrators and reproduced administrative documents. Taking these connected phenomena as its starting point, this study investigates how the changing uses of, access to and attitudes towards the written word affected the writing of history. Conversely, it also seeks to understand how historiography — which had long been associated with the written word — shaped contemporary assumptions about the written word itself. It assesses why historians quoted (and versified) so many documents in their histories, and traces structural similarities between chronicles and other contemporary forms of documentary collection. In doing so, it suggests that the apparently ‘official’ documents reproduced by histories are better thought of as social productions that told stories about the past, for and about those holding public office. It suggests that by rewriting documents as history, historical writing played a fundamental role in committing them to memory — and that it used historical narrative to explain the documents of the past to an imagined future. It also investigates why the period’s historical writing is so attuned to the performances that surrounded the written word. By investigating the presentation of documentary practices in both Latin and vernacular historiography, and by reconstructing the multilingual milieu that historians and historiography inhabited, the study challenges the way that vernacular textual practices are associated primarily with orality and performance, and Latin textual practices with writing and the making of ‘passive’ records. In the process, it suggests that both vernacular and Latin (historical) writing presented a normative picture of the functions of the written word — and of the literati — in contemporary society.

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Rozier Charlie, The importance of writing institutional history in the Anglo-Norman realm, c.1060-c.1142

Rozier Charlie, The importance of writing institutional history in the Anglo-Norman realm, c.1060-c.1142, with special reference to Eadmer’s Historia Novorum, Symeon of Durham’s Libellus de exordio, and the Historia Ecclesiastica of Orderic Vitalis, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. G. Gasper, R. Gameson, University of Durham)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis examines the place of the past within the lives and works of three notable Anglo-Norman authors of history: Eadmer of Canterbury, Symeon of Durham, and Orderic Vitalis of the monastery of Saint-Évroul in Normandy. The first half of the twelfth century witnessed an unprecedented flowering of historical writing in England and Normandy. Scholarly interest and debate surrounding the historical texts produced in this context, and in particular the reasons for their composition, has grown significantly in recent years. This thesis examines the place of Eadmer’s, Symeon’s and Orderic’s historical writings within the wider corpus of works which they are known to have studied and composed, according to surviving manuscript evidence. Particular attention is placed on: their engagement with wider themes of learning such as exegesis and theology, Latin poetry and computistical studies; their participation in the organisation of monastic and ecclesiastical life, including record-keeping, revision and care of book-collections and their role as monastic cantors; and their experiences of training in and engagement with historical studies and resultant self-identification as authors of history. This thesis will argue that although all three authors had access to a concise framework through which medieval audiences understood the nature and purposes of historical studies (as shown in chapters three and four) the exact character and intended purposes of their historical texts was in fact heavily dependent on the degree to which each author interacted with the wider textual culture of contemporary Benedictine studies (as outlined in chapters five, six and seven). Conclusions will observe that the three examples considered demonstrate the multifaceted nature of historical studies in the medieval period, and especially the overlap between the various sub-genres of history, such as narrative text, annal, chronicle, and hagiography, and also reveal the resonances of the past within almost every aspect of monastic life and studies in the period.

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Jones Peter, The sublime and the ridiculous: laughter, sovereignty, and sanctity at the court of Henry II (d.1189)

Jones Peter, The sublime and the ridiculous: laughter, sovereignty, and sanctity at the court of Henry II (d.1189), Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. B.M. Bedos-Rezak, New York University)

Résumé/abstract :

Laughter appears to have been an obsession for the writers surrounding the English king, Henry II (r.1154-89). They discussed the subject in a greater depth than had any other milieu of the period, produced an overflowing of satirical texts and theories, and, most of all, contributed challengingly original images of both laughing saints and kings. This dissertation explores the significance of laughter in both the writing and the politics of Henry’s court, with a particular focus on the innovative descriptions of the laughter of Thomas Becket (d.1170) and Henry II himself. Establishing, for the first time, the range of ways that laughter was conceptualized by twelfth-century thinkers, and delineating the fundamental narrative topoi through which texts from the period articulated laughter, I will provide a new assessment of the central place of laughter and humor in the political culture of the court. Reading Thomas’s and Henry’s laughter through these insights, I will then suggest an entirely new narrative of laughter’s Christianization, and will offer a fresh perspective on Henry II’s governmental strategy. Throughout, I will ultimately illuminate how laughter came to be considered, by the later twelfth century, as a truly sublime spiritual and political act. Yet I will argue that it did so at the cost of losing some of the ineffable power and awe that earlier writers imagined it to have.

The Charters of William II and Henry I

The Charters of William II and Henry I

Responsable du projet/Project leader :

Richard Sharpe (

Établissement principal/Main institution :

University of Oxford

Projet en cours/Project in progress

Description :

The overall aim is to collect, edit, and interpret the royal acts issued in the names of two English kings, William II (reigned 1087 to 1100), and his brother Henry I (reigned 1100 to 1135), who was also duke of Normandy from 1106 until 1135. Royal acts, mainly charters but also writs and other letters, are the prime documentary source for the period, providing the means to understand the workings of the realm in a way not possible from chronicles and other narrative sources.

This edition differs from previous work on documents of this period by treating beneficiary archives as a unit. Although the king issued documents for his own reasons in many circumstances, for example royal proclamations, treaties, royal letters, and writs concerning fiscal administration, these rarely survive. What remains, therefore, is very largely the material in whose preservation someone had a direct interest. Most documents, even those representing the exercise of the king’s power such as the appointment of bishops or abbots, survive through the archive of the beneficiary who received and retained the documents. Different beneficiary archives tell different stories. The organization of the edition presents, for the most part, beneficiary archives with a headnote to explain the background, including the motivations behind seeking the king’s seal and the reasons for preservation.

When complete, the edition will include several hundred beneficiary archives. The acts are not distributed evenly between them: almost half are contained in just thirty archives. The files currently available on this site represent about an eighth of the material to be included in the final edition, which will be published as a multi-volume book.

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Mancia Lauren, Affective devotion and emotional reform at the eleventh-century monastery of John of Fécamp

Mancia Lauren, Affective devotion and emotional reform at the eleventh-century monastery of John of Fécamp, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (Yale University)

Résumé/abstract :

In the early Middle Ages, the crucifixion was interpreted as the moment when Christ’s divinity was finally unmasked, a moment when a seeming mortal showed himself as God, triumphing over death. By the Late Middle Ages, however, a change had occurred: the crucifixion no longer revealed God’s glory, but instead represented Christ as suffering and dying on the cross. This dissertation centers on some of the earliest medieval writings designed to address Christ in this more affective, humanized way: the eleventh-century contemplative writings of the Norman abbot John of Fécamp (ca. 990-1078), particularly those contained in his work posthumously entitled the Confessio Theologica (written between 1016 and 1028).

This study examines both John’s writings and his surrounding monastic context, demonstrating how the liturgical, devotional, visual, homeletic, and intellectual culture of the Norman monastery of La Trinité de Fécamp worked with John of Fécamp’s writings to promote this more affective approach to the divine. Through a cross-disciplinary investigation, this dissertation expands our understanding of John’s theological inheritances and practical motivations for writing such ‘newly’ emotional prayers. It revises our identification of John’s intended audience, arguing that John wrote his Confessio for and sent his Confessio to male Benedictines in and around Fécamp’s monastic network. Through his writings, John intended to provide an interior facet to the exterior monastic reforms going on at the monastery of Fécamp. This study details how John’s writings inspired an emotional, affective devotional culture among the monks of his own monastery through an investigation of manuscripts of John’s Confessio Theologica, and through the monastery of Fécamp’s manuscripts, liturgy, intellectual culture, and devotional writings. An examination of the writings of and devotional practices set up by some of John’s acolytes also demonstrates how John’s legacy of affective, emotional devotion was continued and elaborated in subsequent generations at Fécamp and in the Norman monastic world.

Ultimately, Affective Devotion and Emotional Reform in the Eleventh-Century Monastery of John of Fécamp clarifies the internal lives of eleventh-century Benedictine monks and the emotional nature of their devotional practices. It articulates the emotional, interior, prayerful dimensions to pre-Gregorian monastic reform practices. And it challenges existing theories for the impulses of later medieval « affective » devotion by examining the application of such piety in one of its earliest and original contexts: the Benedictine monastery.

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Kaye Henrietta, Serving the man that ruled: aspects of the domestic arrangements of the household of King John, 1199-1216

Kaye Henrietta, Serving the man that ruled: aspects of the domestic arrangements of the household of King John, 1199-1216, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. S. Church, University of East Anglia)

King John played a direct role in the domestic arrangements of his household. He shifted the function of officials, moulded the structure of household offices and took personal control over the purveyance of food, wine and luxuries. During his reign, John adapted his household to suit his circumstances and personal method of ruling. These findings reveal that a medieval king could be directly involved in the minutiae of his domestic establishment; this is an aspect of kingship not previously noticed by historians. It is upon these findings that this thesis makes its greatest original contribution to our understanding of the period. To reach these conclusions, this thesis examines the officials at court and in the localities who enabled the domestic side of the household to function effectively. Hitherto, the medieval royal household of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries has been studied as part of the wider system of Angevin government. The political, administrative and financial elements of court are, however, entirely outside my remit. This thesis interrogates the evidence of the household ordinances from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, by using a corpus of record sources extant from 1199 onwards, which break through the façade of departmentalism to reveal the complexity of the royal household. The king’s chamber and his stewards are the focus of the first two chapters. These chapters show the changing nature of the household; they reveal the expansion of the chamber’s sphere of function and the decline of the stewards’ domestic role. The purveyance of household victuals is the focus of the final three chapters. These chapters demonstrate how the peripatetic nature of John’s household was enabled through a network of local and court officials. By serving King John in his domestic needs, these officials were a vital tool in the facilitation of his rule.

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Hammond Catherine, Family conflict in ducal Normandy, c.1025-1135

Hammond, Catherine, Family conflict in ducal Normandy, c.1025-1135, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. J. Hudson, University of St Andrews)

This thesis focuses on conflict within families in Normandy, c. 1025 to 1135. Despite the occurrence of several acute struggles within the ducal house during this period, and a number of lesser known but significant disputes within aristocratic families, this topic has attracted little attention from historians. Kin conflict was cast by medieval commentators as a paradox, and indeed, it is often still regarded in these terms today: the family was a bastion of solidarity, and its members the very individuals to whom one turned for support in the face of an external threat, so for a family group to turn against itself was aberrant and abhorrent. In this thesis, I draw on significant narrative and documentary evidence to consider the practice and perception of family discord. When considered in its broader setting, it emerges that kin disputes were an expected and accepted part of Norman society at this time. I begin by introducing the topic, justifying my approach, considering the relevant historiography, and providing an overview of the sources. In chapter one, I examine the representations of family and conflict in a range of primary sources to glean contemporary views. In chapters two and three, I focus on the practice of conflict within the ducal family, considering the causes of disputes, and then the place of internal ducal dissension in the Norman world. Chapter four analyses the same issues in relation to discord within aristocratic families, before chapter five explores family disputes which arose from patronage of the Church. In the conclusion, I consider the Norman example within its comparative contemporary milieu and ponder the broader themes of family conflict.

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Dunthorne Judith, Anselm of Canterbury and the development of theological thought, c. 1070-1141

Dunthorne Judith, Anselm of Canterbury and the development of theological thought, c. 1070-1141, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. G. Gasper, R. Gameson, University of Durham)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis explores the role of Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) in the development of theological thought in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. It aims to demonstrate that Anselm’s thought had a greater impact on the early development of scholastic theology than is often recognized, particularly in the areas of the doctrine of the incarnation and redemption, but also in his discussion of freedom and sin. Through his explanation of the economy of salvation in terms of making satisfaction for sin, and his rejection of modes of discussion that focussed on the rights and role of the devil, Anselm’s writing on the theology of the redemption provided a framework for the discussion of later authors such as Hugh of St Victor, Peter Abelard, Bernard of Clairvaux and authors associated with the School of Laon, among others. Such discussion often utilized Anselm as an explicator of difficult passages in patristic theology, notably Augustine, and his work was most controversial when he was thought to have contradicted earlier authority. Anselm was involved in contemporary polemics with both Jews and Christian theologians, as well as producing works that explored profound theological and metaphysical ideas. In his emphasis on the place and role of reason in divine questions, he crossed the boundaries between ‘monastic’ and ‘scholastic’ thought. Through an exploration of Anselmian elements in the thought of a variety of authors from the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, this thesis aims to contribute to a broadening understanding of the legacy of this great thinker.

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Cartwright Charlotte, Matilda of Flanders in Normandy: a study of eleventh century female power

Cartwright Charlotte, Matilda of Flanders in Normandy: a study of eleventh century female power, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. P. Stafford, University of Liverpool)

Résumé/abstract :

Matilda of Flanders was the wife of William II, count/duke of Normandy and, from 1066, king of the English. This thesis is a study of her, and specifically of her power and authority, with a focus on her activity in Normandy rather than in England. This work builds on the existing historiography to examine Matilda in Normandy as a countess, and in comparison as a queen after 1066. The focus throughout is on contemporary sources, especially the writings of Dudo of Saint Quentin, William of Jumièges, William of Poitiers, and the more than five hundred surviving Norman and Anglo-Norman charters from the period 996-1086. The issue of legitimate marriage, which made a woman a wife and gave her access to power and authority through her family role, was critical, and Matilda’s marriage can be established as legitimate and secure. The bulk of this thesis considers the activity of the comital/ducal women recorded within the Norman charters, focusing on the actions which reveal power, and the descriptions which suggest the way in which they, and their authority, were perceived. Throughout, Matilda is compared with her predecessors, but also with contemporary men, especially the male members of the family. Close study of the source material reveals a Norman court in the tenth and eleventh century where family women, especially the legitimate wives of the count/dukes, were important actors. Matilda, however, was distinct from her predecessors: her power and authority greater than theirs. During her lifetime, there are hints at the development of an office of countess, and she appears to have acted as both a regent and a deputy in Normandy after the Conquest of England. Her activity as a queen, and the comparison with her as a countess, sheds light on both roles, suggesting that countesses could exercise a quasi queenly power, but also that coronation and inauguration set queens apart. However, even after Matilda’s coronation, the role of ‘wife’ was still important, as was family power.

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Dennis Christopher, The career of Geoffrey de Montbray, bishop of Coutances (1048-1093)

Dennis Christopher, The career of Geoffrey de Montbray, bishop of Coutances (1048-1093) and unus de primatibus Anglorum (‘one of the chief men of the English’), Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. W. Aird, Cardiff University)

Résumé/abstract :

Geoffrey de Montbray was one of the most important men in Normandy and England during the second half of the eleventh century. As bishop of Coutances, Geoffrey made a significant contribution to the restoration of ecclesiastical life in western Normandy. In post-Conquest England, where Geoffrey became a great landholder, he played a pivotal role in the consolidation of the Conqueror’s victory. Geoffrey’s role in the conquest and settlement of England, and in particular his association with warfare, has overshadowed his achievements as a diocesan bishop. In modern historiography he has been presented as an example of an old-fashioned type of bishop that was gradually being superseded in Normandy by more reform-minded prelates. This thesis will assess the validity of this interpretation by providing a detailed examination of his career. But it will also consider his activities as a diocesan bishop and his participation in the settlement of England in the context of the development of his personal relationship with the Conqueror. In particular, it will examine the significance of charismatic elements of lordship and the importance of acquiring ‘closeness’ to a ruler as a means of self-advancement. By approaching Geoffrey’s career from his perspective, the intention of this thesis is to gain a better understanding of the mindset of an eleventh-century Norman bishop. This thesis uses a range of sources that includes charters and narrative sources, architectural evidence, the evidence of Domesday Book, and manuscript sources.

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Alexander Alison, Annalistic writing in Normandy, c. 1050-c. 1225

Alexander Alison, Annalistic writing in Normandy, c. 1050-c. 1225, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. E. van Houts, University of Cambridge)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis provides an analysis of annalistic writing in Normandy between c. 1050 and c. 1225. It examines three principal groups of texts which were written and copied in religious institutions throughout the duchy from the mid-eleventh century, before being transmitted beyond its borders into France and England. Its purpose is to address a significant gap in modern scholarship by establishing the origin, development and purpose of annalistic writing in Normandy and to consider the contribution of the texts to our understanding of Norman history in this period.

The thesis consists of three main parts, followed by two appendices. Part I addresses the annals of Rouen, which were first written in Rouen cathedral chapter c. 1054/5 and which subsequently became the base text for one family of Norman annals. It presents a model of composition, outlining stages of redaction, sources used in its production and textual development down to c. 1225. The text is also examined within the context of institutional and historiographical developments in the cathedral chapter of Rouen in the same period. Part II addresses the monastic annals of Normandy, outlining patterns of dissemination around the duchy and analysing each text in turn. Part II A considers the Rouen family of annals, Part II B the Bec family and Part II C the ‘Fécamp’ family. Finally, Part III considers the contribution of this analysis to modern scholarship. It examines what the annals can tell us about the nature and purpose of historical writing in Norman religious communities; and discusses how the texts can be used to enhance our knowledge of Norman history at both the institutional and the duchy-wide level. The thesis also includes a general introduction and conclusion, a bibliography, several diagrams and two technical appendices which provide an overview of the manuscripts in which the Norman annals are now preserved.

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Dutton Kathryn, Geoffrey, count of Anjou and duke of Normandy, 1129-51

Dutton Kathryn, Geoffrey, count of Anjou and duke of Normandy, 1129-51, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. S. Marritt, University of Glasgow)

Résumé/abstract :

Count Geoffrey V of Anjou (1129-51) features in Anglo-French historiography as a peripheral figure in the Anglo-Norman succession crisis which followed the death of his father-in-law, Henry I of England and Normandy (1100-35). The few studies which examine him directly do so primarily in this context, dealing briefly with his conquest and short reign as duke of Normandy (1144-50), with reference to a limited range of evidence, primarily Anglo-Norman chronicles. There has never been a comprehensive analysis of Geoffrey’s comital reign, nor a narrative of his entire career, despite an awareness of his importance as a powerful territorial prince and important political player. This thesis establishes a complete narrative framework for Geoffrey’s life and career, and examines the key aspects of his comital and ducal reigns. It compiles and employs a body of 180 acta relating to his Angevin and Norman administrations to do so, alongside narrative evidence from Greater Anjou, Normandy, England and elsewhere. It argues that rule of Greater Anjou prior to 1150 had more in common with neighbouring principalities such as Brittany, whose rulers had emerged in the tenth and eleventh centuries as primus inter pares, than with Normandy, where ducal powers over the native aristocracy were more wide-ranging, or royal government in England. It explores the count’s territories, the personnel of government, the dispensation of justice, revenue collection, the comital army, and Geoffrey’s ability to carry out ‘traditional’ princely duties such as religious patronage in the context of Angevin elite landed society’s virtual autonomy and tendency to rebel in the first half of the twelfth century. The character of Geoffrey’s power and authority was fundamentally shaped by the region’s tenurial and seigneurial history, and could only be conducted within that framework. This study also addresses Geoffrey’s activities as first conqueror then ruler of Normandy. The process by which the duchy was conquered is shown to be more intricate than the chroniclers’ accounts of Angevin siege warfare suggest, and the ducal reign more complex than merely a regency until Geoffrey’s son, the future Henry II (1150-89), came of age. Through use of a much wider body of evidence than previously considered in connection with Geoffrey’s career, and a charter-based methodology, this thesis provides a new and appropriate treatment of an important non-royal ruler. It situates Geoffrey in his proper context and provides an account of not only how he was presented by commentators who were sometimes geographically and temporally remote, but by his own administration and those over whom he ruled. It provides an in-depth analysis of the explicit and implicit characteristics of princely rulership, and how they were won, maintained and exploited in two different contexts.

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Traill Vanessa, The social and political networks of the Anglo-Norman aristocracy

Traill Vanessa, The social and political networks of the Anglo-Norman aristocracy: the Clare, Giffard & Tosny kin-groups, c.940 to c.1200, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. S. Marritt, University of Glasgow)

Over the last twenty years, the analysis of social networks has become an increasingly significant tool for sociologists, anthropologists and historians alike. Network analysis has not yet, however, been adopted extensively by historians of ducal Normandy or the Anglo-Norman realm. Although there has been some useful work on specific families or political groups, these have tended to artificially isolate networks from one another and from their broader social milieux. It has become clear that these problems can only be addressed by both inter and intra network analysis over a broader time frame, and that those networks themselves must also be conceived in broad terms. This thesis therefore considers three aristocratic kin-groups of significant contemporary and subsequent importance; the Clares, Giffards, and Tosnys, and includes both their cadet branches and their in-laws. All three groups are examined in terms of their kinship structures, their roles as lords and vassals, and their relationships to the church. While much of the material is Anglo-Norman, the chronological range extends from c.940 to c.1200. The aim has been to produce a fuller picture of how all three great family enterprises were constituted, developed, interacted with one another and were embedded within society, and to acknowledge that no man, and indeed, no kin-group, is an island entire of itself.

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Sheldon Gwendolyn, The Conversion of the Vikings in Ireland from a Comparative Perspective

Sheldon Gwendolyn, The Conversion of the Vikings in Ireland from a Comparative Perspective, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. A. Orchard, Université de Toronto)

Résumé/abstract :

The history of the Viking invasions in England and what is now France in the ninth and tenth centuries is fairly well documented by medieval chroniclers. The process by which these people adopted Christianity, however, is not. The written and archaeological evidence that we can cobble together indicates that the Scandinavians who settled in England and Normandy converted very quickly. Their conversion was clearly closely associated with settlement on the land. Though Scandinavians in both countries expressed no interest in Christianity as long as they engaged in a Viking lifestyle, characterized by rootless plundering, they almost always accepted Christianity within one or two generations of becoming peasants, even when they lived in heavily Scandinavian, Norse-speaking communities. While the early history of the Vikings in Ireland was similar to that of the Vikings elsewhere, it soon took a different course. While English and French leaders were able to set aside land on which they encouraged the Scandinavians to settle, none of the many petty Irish kings had the wealth or power to do this. The Vikings in Ireland were therefore forced to maintain a lifestyle based on plunder and trade. Over time, they became concentrated into a few port towns from which they travelled inland to conduct raids and then exported what they had stolen from other parts of the Scandinavian diaspora. Having congregated at a few small sites, most prominently Dublin, they remained distinct from the rest of Ireland for centuries. The evidence suggests that they took about four generations to convert. Their conversion differed from that of Scandinavians elsewhere not only in that it was so delayed, but also in that, unlike in England and Normandy, it was not associated with the re-establishment of an ecclesiastical hierarchy. Rather, when the Scandinavians in Ireland did convert, they did so because they were evangelized by monastic communities, in particular the familia of Colum Cille, who had not fled from foundations close to the Viking ports. These communities were probably driven by political concerns to take an interest in the rising Scandinavian towns.