It was in 911 that Rollo led a group of warriors and raiders from Scandinavia to France to force the French king, King Charles to give up French territory. The price King Charles demanded was that Rollo and his men become his subjects and each takes an oath of loyalty to France and Himself. Rollo did just that, but according to legend when he was required to kiss the foot of King Charles, as a condition of the treaty. When King Charles extended his foot, Rollo refused to embarrass himself and ordered one of his men to do so in his place. That warrior then forced Charles’s foot to his own mouth making the king fall in the mud. Although he had taken an oath of loyalty to the French King, Rollo considered himself to be an independent ruler and aggressively increased the territory under his control.
Technically, Normandy was a duchy of France, but the Norman Dukes ruled their territory as if it were an independent kingdom with very little interference from the French king. It was in the 11th century that Normandy had become one of the most powerful regions in the western world. In 1066, the great-great-great-grandson of Rollo, William the Bastard, also known as William the Conqueror defeated Harold Godwinson, thus conquering England. The history of William’s reign in England, and his predecessors would pave the way for the feudal system to develop into a complete political monarchy.
The word Norman means "Northmen"
Theatres of operation
Southern Italy: 999–1017. Unlike the conquest of England, the conquest of South Italy took decades and numerous battles to achieve victory. Many territories were conquered independently, and were later unified. Overall, this invasion was “spur of the moment” being unplanned and unorganized.
Wales: 1067-1081). Originally King William had no desire to enter a hostile relationship with the Welsh, but the Welsh King, Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, proved to be a constant thorn in William’s side, eventually forcing his hand.
Ireland: 1169 & 1171: Diarmaid MacMurrough was removed as King of Leinster in the 1160s. Enraged, the former King sought military assistance from King Henry II to retake his country.
Albania 1100 - 1300 : Lead by Robert Guiscard, the Normas obtained Papal consent and started a campaign to conquer the Balkan peninsula, which would serve as a foothold for the west and the Church. The Norman invaders devastated everything in their path.
The Normans came into Scotland, constructing castles and creating noble families that would provide some future kings, one of the most notable ones being Robert the Bruce. Numerous Scottish clans were actually founded by the Normans aswell:
-Lyons / Lyon
Over time, several lowland clans intermarried with Normans who moved north, introducing Teutonic Norman family traditions and social structures into the native Gaelic traditions.
The Normans spoke a dialect of French called Norman. Since the Normans were vikings who settled in France, they introduced a vast ammount of scandinavian influences to the language. One of the many differences between Norman and Standard French was in the GW sound at the beginning of words. In Norman, this was pronounced W, but in the rest of France as GW(later g).
English = Norman = French
cabbage < caboche = chou
candle < caundèle = chandelle
castle < caste(l) = château
cauldron < caudron = chaudron
causeway < cauchie = chaussée
catch < cachi = chasser
cater < acater = acheter
wicket < viquet = guichet
plank < pllanque = planche
pocket < pouquette = poche
fork < fouorque = fourche
garden < gardin = jardin
cattle < *capte(l) = cheptel