Archives de catégorie : Relations internationales, conquêtes, guerre et paix / International relations, conquests, war and peace

Viking Torksey

Viking Torksey

Responsables du projet/Project leaders : Julian Richards (, Dawn Hadley (

Établissements principaux/Main institutions : University of York, University of Sheffield

Projet en cours/Project in progress

Description :

Torksey is widely known as a Viking winter camp from an entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for AD872. A growing body of archaeological evidence offers the potential of placing the site in its broader chronological and spatial context. Previous work has focussed on the pottery industry associated with an Anglo-Scandinavian town or burh. Recent metal detector finds have also suggested Torksey may be an Anglo-Saxon ‘productive site’, implying that Viking occupation must be seen in the context of pre-existing Saxon inhabitation. ‌‎‌‎

The aim of the project is to understand the role and significance of Torksey by plotting the chronological and spatial development of the various centres of activity, which have been tentatively identified through metal detecting.  These include a putative Anglo-Saxon riverine ‘beach market’, the Viking winter encampment and wider trading site, the Anglo-Scandinavian burh and the Torksey ware kilns. The project has major implications for wider understanding of the Viking Great Army and its interaction with local populations, the development of Anglo-Saxon burhs, and the evolving nature of trade and industry in the early medieval period, and its connections with power and ideology.

Funding has been provided by the British Academy, the Society of Antiquaries of London, and the Robert Kiln Trust.

Gerrard Daniel, The military activities of bishops, abbots and other clergy in England c.900-1200

Gerrard, Daniel, The military activities of bishops, abbots and other clergy in England c.900-1200, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Strickland, University of Glasgow)

This thesis examines the evidence for the involvement in warfare of clerks and religious in England between the beginning of the tenth century and the end of the twelfth. It focuses on bishops and abbots, whose military activities were recorded more frequently than lesser clergy, though these too are considered where appropriate. From the era of Christian conversion until long after the close of the middle ages, clergy were involved in the prosecution of warfare. In this period, they built fortresses and organised communities of warriors in time of peace and war. Some were slain in battle, while others were given promotion or lands for their martial exploits. A series of canonical pronouncements aimed to forbid or restrict the involvement of Christian clergy in organised bloodshed, and some writers branded militant clergy as corrupted by the lure of earthly power or even as having surrendered their sacerdotal status. This study therefore approaches the military practices of clergy alongside the legal and narrative treatments, and treats the latter as reactions to, not the background of, the former. This requires consideration of a wide range of narrative, diplomatic and legal source material. A broad approach shows that clerics’ military activities cannot be separated from their spiritual powers, that canonical treatment was more fragmented and less influential than has been assumed, and that the condemnations of some authors existed alongside others’ praise for clerics’ valour, loyalty, or commitment to defending their flocks. In consequence, the extended study of clerical participation in warfare is shown to have significant consequences for our conception of the bounds of military history, the construction of the licit and the illicit, and the nature of clerical identity itself.

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Gazzoli Paul, Anglo-Danish relations in the later eleventh century

Gazzoli, Paul, Anglo-Danish relations in the later eleventh century, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. F. Edmonds, University of Cambridge)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis puts forward a new interpretation of the Anglo-Danish relationship for the period 1042-1103. It is argued that the impact of the Scandinavian settlement of England in the ninth and tenth centuries cannot account for the Danish sympathies visible in northern and eastern England in the later eleventh century and proposes that the Danish identity of these areas was reinvigorated or reinvented following Cnut’s conquest of England as a way for the inhabitants to identify themselves with their new rulers. This revitalisation was most pronounced in Northumbria, where, since Cnut was an absent ruler for much of his reign, the most important figure is argued to have been the highly successful Earl Siward. It is suggested that in this period England took on a central role in the formation of Danish identity, so that men from all over Scandinavia could become Danish by participating in the Danish kings’ campaigns; this inclusiveness was what made it possible for natives of England of Scandinavian descent to opt in to the new, prestigious identity of the conquerors.

After the Norman Conquest, a Danish cultural identity was still politically important to the rule of Siward’s son, Waltheof, and affected the reception of the Danish invasions of 1069 and 1070, both by the locals where the Danes landed and by the writers who described them. Denmark’s history after the loss of England in 1042 is also considered, and it is argued that English influence continued to be of the utmost importance to the Danish kings’ self-image and religious interests: in particular it is argued that Knud the Holy (1080–6) drew inspiration from and modelled himself on William the Conqueror, to whose rule he was exposed during his campaigns in England in 1069, 1070 and 1075 and that Erik Ejegod (1095-1103) built up strong relations to English religious communities beginning during his exile during the reign of Oluf Hunger (1086-95), which he used during his reign to promote Christianity in Denmark, especially in the form of the cult of his martyred brother Knud. In general, the re-conquest of England continued to be one of their highest priorities of the Danish kings until the end of the century, but was often hampered by the increasing importance of relations with the German Empire.

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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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Rivchak Kirill, The Anglo-Danish elite in the power structure of early medieval England (1016-1066)

Rivchak Kirill, Англо-датская правящая элита в структуре власти раннесредневековой Англии (1016–1066 гг.) [The Anglo-Danish elite in the power structure of early medieval England (1016-1066)], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. N. I. Basovskaya, Université d’État des sciences humaines de Russie)

Thomas Elizabeth, ‘We have nothing more valuable in our treasury’ : royal marriage in England, 1154-1272

Thomas, Elizabeth, ‘We have nothing more valuable in our treasury’ : royal marriage in England, 1154-1272, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. J. Hudson, University of St Andrews)

Résumé/abstract :

That kings throughout the entire Middle Ages used the marriages of themselves and their children to further their political agendas has never been in question. What this thesis examines is the significance these marriage alliances truly had to domestic and foreign politics in England from the accession of Henry II in 1154 until the death of his grandson Henry III in 1272. Chronicle and record sources shed valuable light upon the various aspects of royal marriage at this time: firstly, they show that the marriages of the royal family at this time were geographically diverse, ranging from Scotland and England to as far abroad as the Empire, Spain, and Sicily. Most of these marriages were based around one primary principle, that being control over Angevin land-holdings on the continent. Further examination of the ages at which children were married demonstrates a practicality to the policy, in that often at least the bride was young, certainly young enough to bear children and assimilate into whatever land she may travel to. Sons were also married to secure their future, either as heir to the throne or the husband of a wealthy heiress. Henry II and his sons were almost always closely involved in the negotiations for the marriages, and were often the initiators of marriage alliances, showing a strong interest in the promotion of marriage as a political tool. Dowries were often the centre of alliances, demonstrating how much the bride, or the alliance, was worth, in land, money, or a combination of the two. One of the most important aspects for consideration though, was the outcome of the alliances. Though a number were never confirmed, and most royal children had at least one broken proposal or betrothal before their marriage, many of the marriages made were indeed successful in terms of gaining from the alliance what had originally been desired.

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Bowie Colette Marie, The daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine

Bowie, Colette Marie, The daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: a comparative study of twelfth-century royal women, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Strickland, University of Glasgow)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis compares and contrasts the experiences of the three daughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Matilda, Leonor and Joanna all undertook exogamous marriages which cemented dynastic alliances and furthered the political and diplomatic ambitions of their parents. Their later choices with regards religious patronage, as well as the way they and their immediate families were buried, seem to have been influenced by their natal family, suggesting a coherent sense of family consciousness. To discern why this might be the case, an examination of the childhoods of these women has been undertaken, to establish what emotional ties to their natal family may have been formed at this time. The political motivations for their marriages have been analysed, demonstrating the importance of these dynastic alliances, as well as highlighting cultural differences and similarities between the courts of Saxony, Castile, Sicily and the Angevin realm. Dowry and dower portions are important indicators of the power and strength of both their natal and marital families, and give an idea of their access to economic resources which could provide financial means for patronage. The thesis then examines the patronage and dynastic commemorations of Matilda, Leonor and Joanna, in order to discern patterns or parallels. Their possible involvement in the burgeoning cult of Thomas Becket, their patronage of Fontevrault Abbey, the names they gave to their children, and finally where and how they and their immediate families were buried, suggests that all three women were, to varying degrees, able to transplant Angevin family customs to their marital lands. The resulting study, the first of its kind to consider these women in an intergenerational context, advances the hypothesis that there may have been stronger emotional ties within the Angevin family than has previously been allowed for.

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Theotokis Georgios, The campaigns of the Norman dukes of southern Italy against Byzantium

Theotokis Georgios, The campaigns of the Norman dukes of southern Italy against Byzantium, in the years between 1071 and 1108 AD, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. M. Strickland, University of Glasgow)

Résumé/abstract :

The topic of my thesis is The campaigns of the Norman dukes of southern Italy to Byzantium, in the years between 1071 and 1108 A.D. As the title suggests, I am examining all the main campaigns conducted by the Normans against Byzantine provinces, in the period from the fall of Bari, the Byzantine capital of Apulia and the seat of the Byzantine governor (catepano) of Italy in 1071, to the Treaty of Devol that marked the end of Bohemond of Taranto’s Illyrian campaign in 1108. My thesis, however, aims to focus specifically on the military aspects of these confrontations, an area which for this period has been surprisingly neglected in the existing secondary literature. My intention is to give answers to a series of questions, of which only some of them are presented here: what was the Norman method of raising their armies and what was the connection of this particular system to that in Normandy and France in the same period (similarities, differences, if any)? Have the Normans been willing to adapt to the Mediterranean reality of warfare, meaning the adaptation of siege engines and the creation of a transport and fighting fleet? What was the composition of their armies, not only in numbers but also in the analogy of cavalry, infantry and supplementary units? While in the field of battle, what were the fighting tactics used by the Normans against the Byzantines and were they superior to their eastern opponents? However, as my study is in essence comparative, I will further compare the Norman and Byzantine military institutions, analyse the clash of these two different military cultures and distinguish any signs of adaptations in their practice of warfare. Also, I will attempt to set this enquiry in the light of new approaches to medieval military history visible in recent historiography by asking if any side had been familiar to the ideas of Vegetian strategy, and if so, whether we characterise any of these strategies as Vegetian?

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Smith Angela Marion, King Æthelstan in the English, Continental and Scandinavian traditions of the tenth to the thirteenth centuries

Smith Angela Marion, King Æthelstan in the English, Continental and Scandinavian traditions of the tenth to the thirteenth centuries, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. M. Swan, A. Hall,  Université de Leeds)

Résumé/abstract :
Using close textual analysis, this thesis has identified similarities and differences in the ways in which the Anglo-Saxon king, Æthelstan, is depicted in narrative sources from England, the Continent and Scandinavia during the tenth to the thirteenth centuries; how historical, cultural, and literary contexts influenced their writers and their patrons and how literary analysis might contribute further to historical understandings of Æthelstan and his reign. Central to my analysis are the concepts of the sources as textual and visual narratives, deriving contemporary meaning from their intertextuality with other sources and fulfilling a function of recording and creating social memories for their own time and for the future. The thesis does not argue for the historical veracity of any one version over another but for the individual narrative ‗voices‘ to be heard and understood as part of their own historical, national and contemporary backgrounds. Based on my literary analysis of the texts I have questioned some generally held historical interpretations, suggested some alternative interpretations of my own and identified further areas for research. The thesis demonstrates that there are similarities but also significant differences in the way Æthelstan is depicted both between and within the English, Continental and Scandinavian traditions. It identifies a number of narratives within the sources that provide the basis for further research on Æthelstan: his Carolingian ambitions, his role as foster-father to Hákon of Norway, the possibility that he had a second coronation to confirm his claim to be King of all Britain and the depictions of him as a king-maker and a friend and ally of the Vikings.

Raffield Ben, Landscapes of conflict and control

Raffield Ben, Landscapes of conflict and control : creating an archaeological atlas of Scandinavian occupied England, AD 878-954, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. N. Price, G. Noble, Université d’Aberdeen)

Résumé/abstract :
This study re-analyses and re-interprets the Scandinavian occupation of England during the period AD 878-954, which has hitherto been dominated by traditional interpretations based on partial and at times unreliable historical sources. Interpretations of the area commonly referred to as the ‘Danelaw’ largely focus on the role of the City of York and the ‘Five Boroughs’ of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford. The reliance on inevitably sparse Anglo-Saxon texts, whilst providing a chronological framework within which to work, has “streamlined” history, producing only a partial picture of the period. Many aspects of this traditional history have been challenged in recent years. Indeed, even terminology traditionally used, such as the word ‘Danelaw’, has been subject to investigation and revision. Our archaeological knowledge, however, has not always been applied to these advances and a number of long-established interpretational models and frameworks remain unmodified or unchallenged. This project addresses the Scandinavian occupation through the study of conflict, warfare and power in Viking Age England. A wide range of data was studied, with the integration of this into GIS allowing evidence to not only be analysed within individual topographic contexts, but also on a landscape-wide scale. The study not only provides a re-analysis of the Viking Age English landscape, but highlights new and exciting bodies of evidence from which future research may derive. The data revealed that whilst some aspects of conflict, such as battle, are thus far not represented archaeologically, territorial consolidation, socio-political and religious changes within a context of endemic warfare can be identified. The study suggests a number of potential avenues of research through which our knowledge of the Viking Age might be augmented.

Lamb Sally Elsie, Francia and Scandinavia in the early Viking Age, c.700-900

Lamb Sally Elsie, Francia and Scandinavia in the early Viking Age, c.700-900, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. R. D. McKitterick, Université de Cambridge)

Raffield Benjamin Paul, Inside that fortress sat a few peasant men, and it was half-made

Raffield Benjamin Paul, Inside that fortress sat a few peasant men, and it was half-made: a study of ‘Viking’ fortifications in the British Isles, AD793-1066, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Birmingham)

Résumé/abstract :

The study of Viking fortifications is a neglected subject which could reveal much to archaeologists about the Viking way of life. The popular representation of these Scandinavian seafarers is often as drunken, bloodthirsty heathens who rampaged across Britain leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Excavations at Coppergate, York and Dublin however, show that the Vikings developed craft and industry wherever they settled, bringing Britain back into trade routes lost since the collapse of the Roman Empire. These glimpses of domestic life show a very different picture of the Vikings to that portrayed in popular culture. Fortifications provide a compromise to these views, as they are relatively safe, militarised locations where an army in hostile territory can undertake both military and ‘domestic’ activities. This study investigates the historiography of the Vikings and suspected fortification sites in Britain, aiming to understand the processes behind which archaeological sites have been designated as ‘Viking’ in the past. The thesis will also consider the study of Viking fortifications in an international context and attempt to identify future avenues of research that might be taken in an effort to better understand this archaeologically elusive people.

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I Normanni del Mezzogiorno e il movimento crociato

Luigi Russo

Uno degli equivoci storiografici ancora oggi meglio radicati è quello di una sostanziale differenza nella partecipazione normanna al movimento crociato, improntata ad istanze di natura prettamente terrena, al contrario di quanto avvenuto per gli altri pellegrini reclutati al seguito dell’appello di Clermont lanciato da papa Urbano II nel novembre del 1095. In una serie di saggi scritti nell’ultimo decennio e presentati in numerose sedi internazionali, l’autore intende fornire una completa rivisitazione del movimento di espansione con cui i Normanni del Mezzogiorno si rivolsero, tra la fine del secolo XI ed i primi tre decenni del secolo successivo, in direzione dell’impero bizantino e della Terrasanta latina, meglio conosciuta sotto il nome diOutremer. Facendo il punto sugli esiti più aggiornati delle ricerche storiografiche a livello internazionale, l’intento di questo volume è collocare l’apporto dei Normanni nel più ampio contesto storico dei secoli XI-XII, e comprenderne ragioni e motivi che li spinsero a dispiegare una politica di espansione così ampia ed impegnativa.

  • Pagine 192
  • Formato 17×24, brossura
  • Collana Quaderni del Centro di Studi Normanno-Svevi, 4
  • Anno di pubblicazione 2014


Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident Regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne

P. Bauduin et A. Musin (dir.), Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident : regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne, Presses universitaires de Caen, Publications du CRAHAM, 2014, 504 p., ISBN : 978-2-84133-499-5, 45 € (Eastwards and Westwards : Multiple Perspectives on the Dynamics and Cultural Transfers from the Vikings to the Early Rus’/ На Запад и на Восток : сравнительное исследование динамики культурного обмена. От викингов к Древней Руси)


Contact et information

Issu d’un projet de recherche franco-russe (CNRS-Académie des Sciences de Russie), ce volume présente les avancées de la recherche récentes sur les Vikings dans une perspective pluridisciplinaire et comparatiste largement ouverte à l’Europe orientale. Il confronte les vues de chercheurs de plusieurs disciplines travaillant sur différentes sources et qui se rattachent à des méthodologies ou à des traditions historiographiques diverses plus ou moins marquées idéologiquement.

L’ouvrage propose de réfléchir sur les dynamiques des échanges culturels analysées comme un processus d’interactions qui franchissent les groupes ethniques ou sociaux, les pays, les croyances et les pratiques religieuses, les générations, les genres. Il s’agit de s’interroger sur les particularités de ces processus et sur les transformations mutuelles des fondations scandinaves ainsi que des sociétés locales (franque, anglo-saxonne, slave, finnoise). Une large part est accordée aux acteurs de ces changements (élites, marchands, hommes d’Église, artisans, femmes, scaldes, historiographes….), ainsi qu’aux lieux ou aux espaces où celles-ci interviennent. La signification de la mémoire historique relative à la présence scandinave dans le passé régional ou national en Europe et l’impact mémoriel sur la formation des représentations de l’autre, des identités et des historiographies médiévales ou modernes sont également abordés. Le volume participe ainsi à une réflexion plus large sur les notions débattues d’acculturation, de transferts culturels, de middle ground dont l’intérêt heuristique dépasse largement le phénomène de l’expansion scandinave à l’époque viking.

The result of a Franco-Russian Research project (CNRS – Russian Academy of Sciences), this publication presents the latest advances of recent research on the Vikings in a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective across Eastern Europe. It confronts the views of researchers from several disciplines working on different sources which reflect diverse methodological or historiographical traditions that have been, to some extent, marked ideologically.

The volume proposes a reflection on the dynamics of cultural exchanges analysed as a process of interactions that have traversed ethnic or social groups, countries, religious beliefs and practices, generations, genders. Questions concerning the specificities of these processes and the reciprocal transformations of Scandinavian settlements and local societies (Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, Slavic, Finnish) are posed. A large part of the volume is devoted to the actors involved in these changes (elites, merchants, ecclesiastics, artisans, women, skalds, historiographers….), and the places or areas where they took place. The significance of historical memory in the European regional or national past concerning the Scandinavian presence and the impact of this memory on the creation of representations of the other, identities and medieval or modern historiography are equally discussed. This publication thus participates to the broader reflection on the notions discussed concerning acculturation, cultural transfers and the “middle ground” whose heuristic interest goes far beyond the phenomenon of Scandinavian expansion during the Viking era.