Norman Rule in Normandy, 911-1144

Norman Rule in Normandy, 911-1144

Mark Hagger


Boydell Press



A magisterial survey of Normandy from its origins in the tenth century to its conquest some two hundred years later.
In around 911, the Viking adventurer Rollo was granted the city of Rouen and its surrounding district by the Frankish King Charles the Simple. Two further grants of territory followed in 924 and 933. But while Frankish kings might grant this land to Rollo and his son, William Longsword, these two Norman dukes and their successors had to fight and negotiate with rival lords, hostile neighbours, kings, and popes in order to establish and maintain their authority over it.
This book explores the geographical and political development of what would become the duchy of Normandy, and the relations between the dukes and these rivals for their lands and their subjects' fidelity. It looks, too, at the administrative machinery the dukes built to support their regime, from their toll-collectors and vicomtes (an official similar to the English sheriff) to the political theatre of their courts and the buildings in which they were staged. At the heart of this exercise are the narratives that purport to tell us about what the dukes did, and the surviving body of the dukes' diplomas. Neither can be taken at face value, and both tell us as much about the concerns and criticisms of the dukes' subjects as they do about the strength of the dukes' authority. The diplomas, in particular, because most of them were not written by scribes attached to the dukes' households but rather by their beneficiaries, can be used to recover something of how the dukes' subjects saw their rulers, as well as something of what they wanted or needed from them. Ducal power was the result of a dialogue, and this volume enables both sides to speak.

Mark Hagger is a senior lecturer in medieval history at Bangor University.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787440234), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


September 2017
8 black and white, 6 line illustrations
824 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781783272143
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS013000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Settlement and Survival: Normandy in the Tenth Century, 911-996
Expansion: Normandy and its Dukes in the Eleventh-Century, 996-1087
Sibling Rivalry: Normandy under the Conqueror's Heirs,1087-1144
Holier Than Thou: The Dukes and the Church
Sovereigns, Styles, and Scribes
Lonely at the Top: The Duke and his Executive Authority
The Duke and the Court: The Display and Experience of Power
The Chief Purpose of our Government: The Dukes and Justice
Movements, Messengers, Mandates, and Minions
Accounting for Power: Ducal Finance
Strength in Depth: The Dukes and their Knights, Castles, and Armies


Hagger provides a solid and illuminating study of Norman rule-political, feudal, and cultural-from the Viking conquest in 911 to the Angevin absorption in 1144. Highly recommended. CHOICE