Article

Anglo-Norman Realm

Emily Zack Tabuteau

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online May 2014 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0143
Anglo-Norman Realm

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
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The Anglo-Norman world was created by the union of Normandy and England in 1066, when William, duke of Normandy conquered the kingdom of England. Its beginning date is therefore obvious, but historians differ on when it ended. The most common date is 1154, the end of the reign of William the Conqueror’s grandson Stephen, even though during those eighty-eight years England and Normandy were jointly ruled for only approximately sixty-three. Because Stephen was a son of a count of Blois, some historians consider that the Anglo-Norman period ended with the death of Henry I or in 1144, when Stephen lost control of Normandy; and some carry the date forward through the first dozen years of the reign of Henry II, which makes an even century (1066–1166) and can be justified on the grounds that the major changes of Henry’s reign began about 1166. The conventional date of 1154 for the Anglo-Norman period will be used in this article. The Norman Conquest of England had profound effects not only for England but also for Normandy. Estimates of how much change it brought to each area vary from historian to historian: some argue that most of the developments in England after 1066 would have occurred without the Conquest, and others argue that its consequences were profound, whether for good or for ill. Nonetheless, every historian who discusses any aspect of life in the Anglo-Norman realm must consider the changes that occurred and how much difference they made. The on-again off-again war between England and France that began in 1066 (because William the Conqueror was by then already involved in war with his theoretical overlord the king of France) ended only with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. The Anglo-Saxon nobility was almost completely replaced by a French (primarily Norman) aristocracy, and many Norman families were greatly enriched by land in England. The church in England rapidly came to be headed by men of Continental extraction with Continental ideas about everything from liturgy to architecture, and the church in Normandy was enriched both directly by gifts of loot from England and indirectly by the wealth that its lay patrons acquired there. Normans began to build and rebuild in England and use their new wealth to build and rebuild in Normandy. The French language, castles, and Jews were all new in England after 1066. While changes in law, government, the economy, and society are more difficult to assess, they must also be considered. Because some inhabitants of the Anglo-Norman realm moved beyond its borders while retaining their sense of being Norman, this bibliography also includes sections on the Normans in European History, Normans in Southern Italy, and Normans on Crusade and in the Crusader States.

Article.  21643 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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