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Rollo, Duke Of Normandy

Rollo, Duke Of Normandy

Male 846 - 931  (85 years)Deceased

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name  Rollo, Duke Of Normandy  [1
    Suffix  Duke Of Normandy 
    Born  846 
    Alt. Birth  860  [2
    Christened  915  Rouen Cathedral, Rouen, , Haute-Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  931 
    Age  85 years 
    Buried  Rouen Cathedral, Rouen, , Haute-Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gravesite of Rollo at Rouen Cathedral in Rouen, France
    Gravesite of Rollo at Rouen Cathedral in Rouen, France
    Person ID  I10351  One Big Family Tree
    Last Modified  10 Jul 2011 

    Family  Poppa,   bur. Rouen Cathedral, Rouen, , Haute-Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  Y  [1
    Children 
     1. William "Longsword", I, Leader Of The Normans,   b. 893,   d. 17 Dec 942  Age: 49 years
    Last Modified  3 Jul 2011 
    Family ID  F3119  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 915 - Rouen Cathedral, Rouen, , Haute-Normandie, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Rouen Cathedral, Rouen, , Haute-Normandie, France Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Rollo, first Viking ruler of Normandy
    Rollo, first Viking ruler of Normandy
    The statue is located in the town square of Falaise, France

  • Notes 
    • From Queen Emma and the Vikings, page unmarked:

      [...] the Norman chroniclers trace Rollo back to Denmark. They record that he and his bellicose followers were driven out of the 'island' of Scania (presumably Skane, on the southern tip of what is now mainland Sweden) by other Viking groups, an expulsion that would have taken place some time during the 870s. After ten years ravaging the coasts of England and Holland, Rollo and his men moved on to the territory of the King of West Francia - and here questionable myth sarts to merge with proven fact.

      When Rollo arrived in what is now northern France, there were already a number of Scandinavian settlements around the Cotetin peninsula and the Seine. As a sea-faring plunderer, the Viking newcomer would not have been entirely welcome with those who make homes in the area. In the 880s he sailed up the Seine, captured Rouen and made it his strategic base. From there he joined other Viking plunderers in besieging Paris, and he petulantly ravaged the countryside when he considered he was not being paid enough to leave the city in peace.

      His activities must have been particularly menacing, for eventually Charles the Simple of West Francia struck a deal with Rollo. A ruler more shrewd than his nickname suggests, Charles demanded terms to keep the Viking very much under his control: in return for land, Rollo was obliged to convert to Christianity, marry Charles's daughter Gisla and become a vassal of the king. The unfortunate, peaceweaving Gisla did not survive long. She died childless whereupon Rollo reinstalled his companion Poppa, to whom he was 'bound according to the Danish custom'.

      This presumably refers to pagan Scandinavian marriage practice. Northern marriage traditionally took place by seizure: the prospective bride would be forcibly carried off and the union formally recognised once her abductor had paid a 'bride-price' to her relatives. If the wife subsequently committed adultery she would be severely punished - in some regions she risked being killed. No such limits were imposed on Scandinavian men. They were openly promiscuous and would often keep one or more concubine whose children they might choose to recognise, or not. From a Scandinavian man's perspective, sex was unlicensed and marriage exised principally for making alliances. And for the newly Christian Viking leaders, the recognition of two separate marriage practices, Christian and pagan - and two convenient possibilities of making alliances this way - was an open door to flagrant bigamy.
      [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S175] Queen Emma and the Vikings, Harriet O'Brien, (New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2005.).

    2. [S230] Genealogical & Personal Memoirs Relating to the Famlies of the State of MA, Wililam Richard Cutter and William Frederick Adams, (New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1910.), Vol. 3: p. 1424. (Reliability: 3), 9 Jul 2011.