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An inhabitant or native of Normandy, France, a descendant of a mixed Scandinavian (‘Northmen’) and Frankish people established there in early medieval times. The area, secured by Rollo in 912 from Charles III of France, was inadequate for settlement since inheritance laws left younger sons without territory; land hunger provided the impetus towards conquest and colonization. Under Duke William the Normans conquered England (see Norman Conquest), and later Wales, Ireland, and parts of Scotland as well as large areas of the Mediterranean. Their expansion southwards, led by Robert Guiscard, was initially as mercenaries fighting the Muslims but they soon controlled much of Europe. In 1154, the year of Roger II of Sicily's death and Henry II's accession to the English throne, Norman power was at its height, witnessed in the highly efficient governments of Sicily and England.

Subjects: History.

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