Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Vikings in Paris

From Ancient History:
Throughout the 9th century CE, Viking raids on the region of Francia (roughly modern-day France) increased in frequency, destabilizing the region, and terrorizing the populace. The raids seem to have been inspired by the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne in 814 CE or, at least, correlated with it. Charlemagne (king of the Franks, 768-814 CE; Holy Roman Emperor, 800-814 CE) had led numerous military campaigns on Saxony during the Saxon Wars (722-804 CE), slaughtering thousands, and seemed invincible in battle. The Saxons appealed to the Danes for help and Denmark did what it could.

As long as Charlemagne lived, however, they had little hope of success but after his death there was no real challenge to Danish incursions. The first Viking raid to strike Francia via the Seine came in 820 CE and more would follow, the most dramatic being the Siege of Paris in 845 CE and 885-886 CE. The first of these, in which the Norse chieftain Reginherus (one of the possible inspirations for the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok) was paid handsomely by Charles the Bald (r. 843-877 CE) to leave the city, encouraged more; the second, after which the Viking Chieftain Rollo (l. c. 830 - c. 930 CE) remained in the land to raid the countryside, resulted in the Treaty of Saint Clair sur Epte in 911 CE, granting Rollo the land which would become Normandy (land of the Norsemen) in exchange for his protection against any future Viking raids. After 911 CE, although Viking bands still made incursions into West Francia, Rollo protected Paris and the surrounding area as he had promised and the Viking raids on Paris and its environs ended. (Read more.)

More on the Vikings, HERE. Share

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