Numismatic and History Discussions > History and Archeology

Norman history

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Ecgþeow:
Ok, so I always hear about William the Conqueror, the Norman Duke who invaded and conquered England.  But I also hear that the Byzantines fought the Normans, and now I see a coin on Ebay of Norman Sicily.  So where exactly did the Normans live that would allow them to do all of this, and are they the same people? 
help!  ???

thanks,

~Zach

Bacchus:
That simple question would require volumes to answer.  However, my simplistic understanding is that the Normans (Norse men) were decended from Viking stock who settled in Northern Europe - think northern modern day France. As Viking decendents they would be aware of the world at large and would have had much trading experience and knowledge passed down.  At that time much of the power in Europe extended from the Papacy - I think it was Pope Nicholas II who backed "William the Bast**d, Duke of Normandy" to attack the Anglo-Saxons and build upon the body of support for the Papcy independant from the Holy Roman Empire which was centralised more around modern day Germany/Austria.  The Normans invasion of Sicily (at approximately the same time) was organised along similar lines with similar goals.

So, The answer is yes  they were the same Normans

I hope this helps

-:Bacchus:-

Pscipio:
The Normans attacking Byzantium had crossed whole Russia by using the big rivers (Lena, Dnjepr, Volga). The name "Russia" decends from the norman prince Rus and his dynasty of the "Rurikids" that ruled the empire of Kiew from the 9. Century until 1598.

BTW: the Byzantine emperors were so impressed by the force of the norman warriors that they founded a life guard out of them.

Lars

Robert_Brenchley:
They crop up all over the place, and while they all descended from Scandinavian pirates who settled permanently, I'm not sure how closely one group was associated with another. Is there a decent overall history, as opposed to, say, a history of the Normans in England?

Pscipio:
"The Normans" (or Norsemans) surely were no single people and they were not ruled by one king like other medieval regions. In fact, medieval historians called many differing groups "Normans", some originated in todays Sweden, others coming down from todays Norway and Danemark. Until 9. and in some parts 10. Century, only small principalities and clans existed in Scandinavia, all raiding and trading on its own and I guess the first bigger norman princedoms only cam into existence after the normans got into closer contact with southern reigns. Afterwards, we know of kings in Scandinavia (Norway, Danemark, etc.), and then we have of course the dukes of the Normandy in northern France, the kingdom of Sicily, several principalities that originated during the crusades were many of the now christian Normans took part in, the empire of Kiew, but still many smaller norman clans continued to live without recognizing a king, for example on Iceland and Greenland.

Lars

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