Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The Normans: Bibliography -Medieval Expansionism and Norman Identity

Medieval Colonialism

R. Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350, Harmondsworth, 1999, R. Bartlett and A. MacKay, (eds.), Medieval Frontier Societies, Oxford University Press, 1989 and J. R. S. Phillips, The Medieval Expansion of Europe, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1998 provide the best introduction to the ways in which western Europe colonised the remainder of the continent and the problems that were encountered.

Medieval Ethnicities and Ethnogeneses

Most of the work on ethnicity in medieval Europe is found in articles. The most important are: R. R. Davies, ‘The Peoples of Britain and Ireland, 1100-1400: 1. Identities’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series, volume 4 (1994), pages 1-20; P. Meyvaert, ‘Rainaldus est malus scriptor Francigenus: Voicing National Antipathy in the Middle Ages’, Speculum, volume 66 (1991), pages 743-63; W. Pohl, ‘Conceptions of Ethnicity in the Middle Ages’, Archaeologia Polona, volume 29 (1991), pages 39-49; reprinted in L. K. Little and B. H. Rosenwein, (eds.), Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings, Malden, Mass., 1998, pages 15-24, Susan Reynolds, ‘Medieval Origines Gentium and the Community of the Realm’, History volume 68 (1983), pages 375-90; and, H. Wolfram, ‘Origo et religio: Ethnic Traditions and Literature in Early Medieval Texts’, Early Medieval Europe volume 3 (1994), pages 19-38.

The Norman Myth

R. H. C. Davis, The Normans and Their Myth, London, 1976, chapter 2 is the essential starting-point for an important controversy about Norman identity. Nick Webber The Evolution of Norman Identity 911-1154, Boydell, 2005 is an important study of Norman identity and how its developed. M. Chibnall, The Normans, Blackwell, 2000, chapter 8 provides current thinking. The remaining papers are from various journals: M. Bennett, ‘Stereotype Normans in Old French Vernacular Literature’, Anglo-Norman Studies, volume 9 (1987), pages 37-57; J. H. Drell, J. H., ‘Cultural Syncretism and Ethnic Identity: The Norman Conquest of Southern Italy and Sicily’, Journal of Medieval History, volume 25 (1999), pages 187-202; E. Jamison, ‘The Sicilian Kingdom in the Mind of Anglo-Norman Contemporaries’, Proceedings of the British Academy, volume 24 (1938), pages 237-85, reprinted in Jamison, Studies on the History of Medieval Sicily and South Italy, pages 159-207; G. A. Loud, ‘The Gens Normannorum: Myth or Reality?’, Anglo-Norman Studies, volume 4 (1982), pages 104-116, reprinted in Loud, Conquerors and Churchmen in Norman Italy, Variorum Collected Studies, Aldershot, 1999, chapter 1; and, C. Potts, ‘Atque unum ex diversis gentibus populum effecit: Historical Tradition and the Norman Identity’, Anglo-Norman Studies, volume 18 (1996), pages 139-52.

The Normans before 1066

The standard English-language surveys of early Norman history are David Bates, Normandy before 1066, Longman, 1982, 2nd edition, Basil Blackwell, 2007 and Eleanor Searle, Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840–1066, University of California Press, 1988. Unfortunately, these books tell utterly different stories. Bates favours significant continuity between the Carolingians and the Normans, while Searle believes that the Normans remained fundamentally Viking almost to the Conquest, and neither author has yet seriously engaged the arguments of the other. More recently, see François Neveux, La Normandie des ducs aux rois (Xe–XIIe siècle), Rennes, 1998, although to my mind he takes Dudo far too seriously. Henri Prentout, Essai sur les origines et la fondation du duché de Normandie, Paris, 1911, though dated, is still of value but needs to be read in conjunction with Pierre Bauduin La Premiere Normandie (Xe-XIe siecles), Caen 2004. David C. Douglas ‘The Rise of Normandy.’ Proceedings of the British Academy (1947): pages 95-119, reprinted in D C Douglas Time and the Hour: Some Collected Papers of David C Douglas, London, Methuen, 1977, pages 95-110 retains its importance. For a provocative and important reinterpretation of some aspects of tenth-century Normandy, see Felice Lifshitz, ‘La Normandie carolingienne: Essai sur la continuité, avec utilisation de sources négligées,’ Annales de Normandie volume 48 (1998), pages 505–24. Pierre Bouet and Veronique Gazeau (eds.) La Normandie et l'Angleterre au Moyen Age, Publication du CRAHM, 2003 and Piere Bauduin (ed.) La Fondations scandinaves en Occident et les debut du duché de Normandie, Publication de CRAHM, 2005 are especially useful on links between England and Normandy.

Rollo is discussed in David C. Douglas, ‘Rollo of Normandy,’ English Historical Review volume 57 (1942): pages 417–36 reprinted in D C Douglas Time and the Hour: Some Collected Papers of David C Douglas, London, Methuen, 1977, pages 121-140; Lucien Musset, ‘L’origine de Rollon,’ in Nordica et Normannica: Recueil d’études sur la Scandinavie ancienne et médiévale, les expéditions des Vikings et la fondation de la Normandie, Studia nordica 1, Paris, 1997, reissued 2003, originally published 1982, pages 383–87; and, rather more fancifully, Louis de Saint-Pierre, Rollon devant l’histoire (les origines), Paris, 1949. His posterity is discussed in Isabelle Richard, ‘Rollon, premier duc de Normandie: Légende et réalité,’ Thèse de doctorat (Paris: Université de Paris IV, 1993), and Isabelle Richard, ‘Rollon, premier duc de Normandie et son mythe,’ Études Germaniques volume 50 (1995): pages 691–98. The only dedicated study of William Longsword is the very dated Jules Lair, Étude sur la vie et la mort de Guillaume Longue-épée, duc de Normandie, Paris, 1893. For Richard I, see the new popular biography by Jacques Choffel, Richard sans Peur, duc de Normandie, 932–996, Paris, 1999, although he is far too trusting of Dudo and even Wace and Benoît (12th century poets who adapted and expanded Dudo).

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