The Normans: The History of a Dynasty
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The Normans were pioneers of strong government, vigorous builders of church-es and castles, and fierce warriors. William l's death was followed by civil war and continued tension between England and Normandy, unresolved at the time of he death of William Rufus in a hunting accident in the New Forest in 1100. Peace under Henry I was followed by final eclipse after the Anarchy of Stephen's reign, when 'Christ and his saints slept'.
was thought at the time to be exceptional, a way of making him first of the Franks after the king.13 We have seen that William Longsword experimented with the title 'duke of the Bretons' in the 9305, when King Ralph had given him some mandate to extend his control west. It is conceivable that he took the title with royal licence, and the earlier rulers of the Bretons had used a number of exalted titles, including that of king. But we hear no more of Brittany in the reign of Richard. Richard's
wealthy. In taking her to wife, he may have been creating a link with one of those putative rival Viking dynasties within his principality at whose existence we may guess, and by allying with her enhancing his own power. We know of her brother, Arfast, who was the progenitor of one of the great noble lineages of Normandy, and grandfather in the male line of William fitz Osbern. To emphasise the importance of her lineage, a number of THE C O U N T S OF R O U E N 2J Gunnor's sisters made great
duke's rule and he was writing a book addressed to the duke's son. Robert's foreign adventures were more varied and aggressive than his father's and made respectable telling in the lo/os. His first major enterprise was to take advantage of a civil war in Flanders, where Count Baldwin IV had been driven out of his realm by his son, 5O THE N O R M A N S Baldwin V, in alliance with King Robert II, his father-in-law. Duke Robert offered military support sufficient to intimidate the younger
Baldwin V of Flanders). The introduction to this contract shows a further intensification of theological language, drawing on St Augustine: the monogamous nature of marriage is firmly laid down, and an ascetic element is added when the young duke tells his wife that C I Richard, duke of the Normans - striving to submit to these sentiments - accept you Lady Adela in marriage by the ring of lawful espousal, joining to me in one flesh, not for the sake of sexual pleasure but for the cause of
a Norman force under its castellan was trapped and destroyed, while the castle was closely besieged. The rebels were now led by those northern nobles who had retreated to Scotland the previous year, notably Edgar atheling. King William arrived at York in March and managed to drive off the rebels, leaving a part of his host to refortify the city and strengthen it with a second castle. His view of the seriousness of the situation is clear in that he left Earl William fitz Osbern in charge as he