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Rollo ( nrf, Rou, ''Rollo(u)n''; non, Hrólfr; french: Rollon;  – ) was a
Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In ...

Viking
who became the first ruler of
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
, today a region in northern
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
. He emerged as the outstanding warrior among the
Norsemen The Norsemen (or Norse people) were a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extin ...
who had secured a permanent foothold on
Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman author ...

Frankish
soil in the valley of the lower Seine. After the Siege of Chartres in 911,
Charles the Simple Charles III (17 September 879 – 7 October 929), called the Simple or the Straightforward (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was or ...

Charles the Simple
, the king of
West Francia In medieval history, West Francia (Medieval Latin: ) or the Kingdom of the West Franks () refers to the western part of the Francia, Frankish Empire established by Charlemagne. It represents the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting fro ...
, granted them lands between the mouth of the Seine and what is now
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
in exchange for Rollo agreeing to end his brigandage, swearing allegiance to him,
religious conversion Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another. This m ...
and a pledge to defend the Seine's estuary from Viking raiders. Rollo is first recorded as the leader of these Viking settlers in a charter of 918, and he continued to reign over the region of Normandy until at least 928. He was succeeded by his son
William Longsword William Longsword (french: Guillaume Longue-Épée, la, Willermus Longa Spata, on, Vilhjálmr Langaspjót; c. 893 – 17 December 942) was the second ruler of Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old Fre ...
in the
Duchy of Normandy The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizati ...

Duchy of Normandy
that he had founded. The offspring of Rollo and his followers, through their intermingling with the indigenous Frankish and Gallo-Roman population of the lands they settled, became known as the "
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
". After the
Norman conquest of England The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to ...
and their conquest of southern Italy and Sicily over the following two centuries, their descendants came to rule
Norman England England in the High Middle Ages includes the history of England between the Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, ...
(the
House of Normandy The House of Normandy ( Norman French Norman or Norman French (', french: Normand, Guernésiais Guernésiais, also known as ''Dgèrnésiais'', Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French, is the variety of the Norman language Norman or Nor ...
), much of the island of
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
, the
Kingdom of Sicily Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. L ...

Kingdom of Sicily
(the
Kings of Sicily The monarchs of Sicily ruled from the establishment of the County of Sicily in 1071 until the "perfect fusion" in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1816. The origins of the Sicilian monarchy lie in the Norman conquest of southern Italy which occur ...
) and the
Principality of Antioch The Principality of Antioch was one of the crusader states The Crusader states were feudal polities created by the Latin Catholic leaders of the First Crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wa ...
from the 11th to 13th centuries, leaving behind an enduring legacy in the histories of Europe and the
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental ...
.


Name

The name Rollo is generally presumed to be a
latinisation Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s to replace traditional writing sy ...
of the Old Norse name Hrólfr – a theory that is supported by the rendition of Hrólfr as ''Roluo'' in the ''
Gesta Danorum ''Gesta Danorum'' ("Deeds of the Danes Danes ( da, danskere, ) are a North Germanic peoples, North Germanic ethnic group native to Denmark and a modern nation identified with the country of Denmark. This connection may be ancestral, legal, h ...
''. It is also sometimes suggested that Rollo may be a Latinised version of another Norse name, ''Hrollaugr''. The 10th-century French historian
Dudo Dudo (Spanish for ''I doubt''), also known as Cacho, Pico, Perudo, Cachito or Dadinho is a popular dice game played in South America, specifically in Chile. It is a more specific version of a family of games collectively called Liar's Dice, whic ...
records that Rollo took the
baptismal name A Christian name, sometimes referred to as a baptismal name, is a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious tex ...
Robert. A variant spelling, ''Rou'', is used in the 12th-century
Norman French Norman or Norman French (', french: Normand, Guernésiais Guernésiais, also known as ''Dgèrnésiais'', Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French, is the variety of the spoken in . It is sometimes known on the island simply as "". As one ...
verse chronicle ''
Roman de Rou Image:Wace monument in St Helier Jersey.jpg, As quoted on this monument in Saint Helier, Wace informs the reader of the ''Roman de Rou'' that he was born in Jersey ''Roman de Rou'' is a verse chronicle by Wace in Norman language, Norman covering ...
'', which was compiled by
Wace Wace presents his ''Roman de Rou'' to Henry II in this illustration from 1824 Wace ( 1110 – after 1174), sometimes referred to as Robert Wace, was a Medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the di ...
and commissioned by King
Henry II of England Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (french: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from 1154 until his death in 1189. He was the first king of the House of Plantagenet. ...

Henry II of England
, a descendant of Rollo.


Origins and historiography

Rollo was born in the mid-9th century; his place of birth is almost definitely located in the region of
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

Scandinavia
, although it is uncertain whether he is Danish or Norwegian. The earliest well-attested historical event associated with Rollo is his part in leading the Vikings who besieged Paris in 885–886 but were fended off by
Odo of France Odo (french: Eudes; c. 857 – 1 January 898) was the elected king of West Francia from 888 to 898. He was the first king from the Robertian dynasty. Before assuming the kingship, Odo was the count of Paris. He is the first West Francian monarch ...
. Medieval sources contradict each other regarding whether Rollo's family was Norwegian or Danish in origin. In part, this disparity may result from the indifferent and interchangeable usage in Europe, at the time, of terms such as "Vikings", "Northmen", "Swedes", "Danes", "Norwegians" and so on (in the Medieval Latin texts means 'Danes or Northmen'). A biography of Rollo, written by the cleric
Dudo of Saint-QuentinDudo, or Dudon, was a Picard historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as ...
in the late 10th century, claimed that Rollo was from Denmark ("Dacia"). One of Rollo's great-grandsons and a contemporary of Dudo was known as Robert the Dane. However, Dudo's ''Historia Normannorum'' (or ''Libri III de moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum'') was commissioned by Rollo's grandson, Richard I of Normandy and – while Dudo likely had access to family members and/or other people with a living memory of Rollo – this fact must be weighed against the text's potential biases, as an official biography. According to Dudo, an unnamed king of Denmark was antagonistic to Rollo's family, including his father – an unnamed Danish nobleman – and Rollo's brother Gurim. Following the death of their father, Gurim was killed and Rollo was forced to leave Denmark. Dudo appears to have been the main source for
William of Jumièges William of Jumièges (b. ca. 1000 - d. after 1070) (french: Guillaume de Jumièges) was a contemporary of the events of 1066, and one of the earliest writers on the subject of the Norman conquest of England The Norman Conquest (or the Conqu ...
(after 1066) and
Orderic Vitalis Orderic Vitalis ( la, Ordericus Vitalis; 16 February 1075 – ) was an English chronicler and Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a monastic reli ...
(early 12th century), although both include additional details. A Norwegian background for Rollo was first explicitly claimed by
Goffredo MalaterraGaufredo (or Geoffrey, or Goffredo) Malaterra ( la, Gaufridus Malaterra) was an eleventh-century Benedictine monk and historian, possibly of Normans, Norman origin. He travelled to the southern Italian peninsula, passing some time in Apulia before en ...
(Geoffrey Malaterra), an 11th-century
Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a Christian monasticism, monastic Religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Be ...
monk and historian, who wrote: "Rollo sailed boldly from Norway with his fleet to the Christian coast." Likewise, the 12th-century English historian
William of Malmesbury William of Malmesbury ( la, Willelmus Malmesbiriensis; ) was the foremost English historian of the 12th century. He has been ranked among the most talented English historians since Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also kno ...
stated that Rollo was "born of noble lineage among the Norwegians". A chronicler named Benoît (probably Benoît de Sainte-More) wrote in the mid-12th-century ''
Chronique des ducs de Normandie
Chronique des ducs de Normandie
'' that Rollo had been born in a town named "Fasge". This has since been variously interpreted as referring to
Faxe Faxe or Fakse is a town on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark. It is located in Faxe Municipality in Region Zealand. The town is most known for the Faxe Brewery, Royal Unibrew, a relatively large brewery producing a range of beer and soft dri ...
, in Sjælland (Denmark), Fauske, in
Sykkulven
Sykkulven
(Norway), or perhaps a more obscure settlement that has since been abandoned or renamed. Benoît also repeated the claim that Rollo had been persecuted by a local ruler and had fled from there to "Scanza island", by which Benoît probably means
Scania Scania, also known by its native name of Skåne (, ), is the southernmost of the historical (''landskap'') of . The former province is roughly conterminous with , created in 1997. Like the other former provinces of Sweden, Scania still feature ...

Scania
(Swedish ). While Faxe was physically much closer to Scania, the mountainous scenery of "Fasge", described by Benoît, would seem to be more like Fauske. Benoît says elsewhere in the ''Chronique'' that Rollo is Danish.Rollo and his followers are referred to as throughout the ''Chronique''. For example, .. ( Francisque Michel edition, page 173, available online vi
Internet Archive
.
Other historians have identified Rollo with Hrólf the Walker (Norse ; Danish ) from the 13th-century
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...

Iceland
ic
saga Sagas are prose Prose is a form of written (or spoken) language that usually exhibits a natural speech, natural flow of speech and Syntax, grammatical structure—an exception is the narrative device stream of consciousness. The word "prose" f ...

saga
s, ''
Heimskringla ''Heimskringla'' () is the best known of the Old Norse kings' sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson (1178/79–1241) 1230. The name ''Heimskringla'' was first used in the 17th century, derived f ...
'' and ''
Orkneyinga Saga The ''Orkneyinga saga'' (Old Norse: ; also called the ''History of the Earls of Orkney'' and ''Jarls' Saga'') is a narrative of the history of the Orkney and Shetland islands and their relationship with other local polities, particularly Norw ...

Orkneyinga Saga
''. Hrólf the Walker was so named because he "was so big that no
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

horse
could carry him". The Icelandic sources claim that Hrólfr was from Møre in western
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
, in the late 9th century and that his parents were the Norwegian jarl
Rognvald Eysteinsson Rognvald Eysteinsson (''fl.'' 865) was the founding Jarl (or Earl) of Møre in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official ...
('Rognvald the Wise') and a noblewoman from Møre named Hildr Hrólfsdóttir. However, these claims were made three centuries after the history commissioned by Rollo's own grandson. There may be circumstantial evidence for kinship between Rollo and his historical contemporary Ketill Flatnose,
King of the Isles The Kingdom of the Isles consisted of the Isle of Man ) , anthem = " O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = 290px , map_alt = Location of the Isle of Man in Europe ...
 – a Norse realm centred on the
Western Isles The Outer Hebrides () or Western Isles ( gd, Na h-Eileanan Siar or ; sco, Waster Isles), sometimes known as ("islands of the strangers") or the Long Isle/Long Island ( gd, An t-Eilean Fada, links=no), is an island chain off the west coast ...

Western Isles
of Scotland. If, as Richer suggested, Rollo's father was also named Ketill and as Dudo suggested, Rollo had a brother named Gurim, such names are
onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names. An ''wikt:orthonym, orthonym'' is the proper name of the object in question, the object of onomastic study. Onomastics can be helpful in data mining, with ap ...
evidence for a family connection: Icelandic sources name Ketill Flatnose's father as Björn Grímsson, and  – the implied name of Ketill Flatnose's paternal grandfather – was likely cognate with . In addition, both Irish and Icelandic sources suggest that Rollo, as a young man, visited or lived in Scotland, where he had a daughter named Cadlinar (, 'Kathleen'). Ketill Flatnose's ancestors were said to have come from Møre – Rollo's ancestral home in the Icelandic sources. However, was a common name in Norse societies, as were names like and .


Biography

Dudo's chronicle about Rollo seizing
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
in 876 is supported by the contemporary chronicler
FlodoardFlodoard of Reims (; 893/4 – 28 March 966) was a Franks, Frankish chronicler and Priesthood in the Catholic Church, priest of the Reims Cathedral, cathedral church of Reims in the West Francia, West Frankish kingdom during the decades following the ...
, who records that Robert of the Breton March waged a campaign against the Vikings, nearly levelling Rouen and other settlements; eventually, he conceded "certain coastal provinces" to them. According to Dudo, Rollo struck up a friendship in England with a king called Alstem. This has puzzled many historians, but recently the puzzle has been resolved by recognition that this refers to
Guthrum Guthrum ( ang, Guðrum, c. 835 – c. 890) was King of East Anglia East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. This region was created in 1994 and was ...
, the Danish leader whom Alfred the Great baptised with the baptismal name Athelstan, and then recognised as king of the East Angles in 880. Dudo recorded that when Rollo controlled Bayeux by force, he carried off with him the beautiful Popa or Poppa, a daughter of Berenger, Count of Rennes. He married her and she gave birth to his son and heir,
William Longsword William Longsword (french: Guillaume Longue-Épée, la, Willermus Longa Spata, on, Vilhjálmr Langaspjót; c. 893 – 17 December 942) was the second ruler of Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old ...
. Her parentage is uncertain and may have been invented after the fact to legitimize her son's lineage, as many of the fantastic genealogical claims made by Dudo were. She may have come from any country with which the Norse had contact, as Dudo is a highly unreliable source who may have written his chronicle primarily as a didactic text to teach courtly values. There are few contemporary mentions of Rollo. In 911,
Robert I of France Robert I (c. 866 – 15 June 923), was the elected King of West Francia In medieval history, West Francia (Medieval Latin: ) or the Kingdom of the West Franks () refers to the western part of the Francia, Frankish Empire established by Charl ...
, brother of Odo, again defeated another band of Viking warriors in Chartres with his well-trained horsemen. This victory paved the way for Rollo's baptism and settlement in Normandy. In return for formal recognition of the lands he possessed, Rollo agreed to be baptised and assisted the king in defending the realm. As was the custom, Rollo took the baptismal name Robert, after his godfather Robert I. The seal of the agreement was to be a marriage between Rollo and Gisla, daughter of Charles. Gisla might have been a legitimate daughter of Charles. Since Charles first married in 907, that would mean that Gisla was at most 5 years old at the time of the treaty of 911 which offered her in marriage. It has therefore been speculated that she could have been an illegitimate daughter. However a diplomatic child betrothal need not be doubted. The earliest record of Rollo is from 918, in a charter of
Charles III
Charles III
to an abbey, which referred to an earlier grant to "the Normans of the Seine", namely "Rollo and his associates" for "the protection of the kingdom." Dudo retrospectively stated that this pact took place in 911 at
Saint-Clair-sur-Epte Saint-Clair-sur-Epte is a Communes of France, commune in the Val-d'Oise Departments of France, department in Île-de-France (region), Île-de-France in northern France. The treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911 established Rollo, a Norse warlord a ...
. Dudo narrates a humorous story not repeated in other primary sources about Rollo's pledge of fealty to Charles III as part of the
Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include individuals, business entities, and other L ...
. The attendant bishops urged Rollo to kiss the king's foot to prove his allegiance. Rollo refused, saying "I will never bow my knees at the knees of any man, and no man's foot will I kiss." Instead, Rollo commanded one of his warriors to kiss the king's foot. The warrior complied by raising the king's foot to his mouth while the king remained standing, which "caused the king to topple backward" much to the amusement of their entourage. On taking his oath of fealty, Rollo divided the lands between the rivers
Epte The Epte is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching anoth ...
and
Risle The Risle (; less common: ''Rille'') is a long river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the ...

Risle
among his chieftains, and settled in the ''de facto'' capital Rouen. Given Rouen and its hinterland in return for the alliance with the Franks, it was agreed upon that it was in the interest of both Rollo himself and his Frankish allies to extend his authority over Viking settlers. This would appear to be the motive for later concessions to the Vikings of the Seine, which are mentioned in other records of the time. When Charles III abdicated the throne to
Rudolph of France Rudolph or Rudolf (french: Rodolphe; c. 890 – 14/15 January 936) was the king of France from 923 until his death in 936. He was elected to succeed his father-in-law, Robert I of France, Robert I, and spent much of his reign defending his realm fr ...

Rudolph of France
, Rollo felt that his pledge and oaths to the kings of France null and void, and began raiding in the west to expand his territory, putting pressure on other rulers to propose another compromise. The need for an agreement was particularly urgent when
Robert IRobert I may refer to: *Robert I, Duke of NeustriaRobert I, ''Rupert'', (697 – 748), Counts of Hesbaye, Count of Hesbaye and Duke of Neustria, son of Lambert, Count of Hesbaye, Lambert. He was Count palatine under Childeric III. Robert married Wi ...
, successor of Charles III, was killed in 923. Rudolph was recorded as sponsoring a new agreement by which a group of Norsemen were conceded the provinces of the Bessin and Maine. These settlers were presumed to be Rollo and his associates, moving their authority westward from the Seine valley. It is still unclear as to whether Rollo was being given lordship over the Vikings already settled in the region in order to domesticate and restrain them, or the Franks around
Bayeux Bayeux () is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically ho ...

Bayeux
in order to protect them from other Viking leaders settled in eastern
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
and the
Cotentin peninsula The Cotentin Peninsula (, ; nrf, Cotentîn ), also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, is a peninsula in Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( ...

Cotentin peninsula
. Rollo died sometime between a final mention of him by
FlodoardFlodoard of Reims (; 893/4 – 28 March 966) was a Franks, Frankish chronicler and Priesthood in the Catholic Church, priest of the Reims Cathedral, cathedral church of Reims in the West Francia, West Frankish kingdom during the decades following the ...
in 928, and 933, the year in which a third grant of land, usually identified as being the Cotentin and Avranchin areas, was given to his son and successor
William William is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproducti ...
.


Descendants

Rollo's son and heir,
William Longsword William Longsword (french: Guillaume Longue-Épée, la, Willermus Longa Spata, on, Vilhjálmr Langaspjót; c. 893 – 17 December 942) was the second ruler of Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old ...
, and grandchild,
Richard the Fearless Richard I (28 August 932 – 20 November 996), also known as Richard the Fearless (French: ''Richard Sans-Peur''; Old Norse: ''Jarl Rikard''), was the count of Rouen from 942 to 996.Detlev Schwennicke, ''Europäische Stammtafeln, Europäische St ...

Richard the Fearless
, forged the
Duchy of Normandy The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizati ...

Duchy of Normandy
into
West Francia In medieval history, West Francia (Medieval Latin: ) or the Kingdom of the West Franks () refers to the western part of the Francia, Frankish Empire established by Charlemagne. It represents the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting fro ...
's most cohesive and formidable principality. The descendants of Rollo and his men assimilated with their maternal French-
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic
culture and became known as the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
, lending their name to the region of
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
. One daughter of Rollo,
Gerloc Gerloc (or Geirlaug), baptised in Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French , plural of ...
(also known as Adele), who married William III, Duke of Aquitaine, was mentioned by Dudo. According to
William of Jumièges William of Jumièges (b. ca. 1000 - d. after 1070) (french: Guillaume de Jumièges) was a contemporary of the events of 1066, and one of the earliest writers on the subject of the Norman conquest of England The Norman Conquest (or the Conqu ...
, writing in the latter half of the 11th century, Gerloc's mother was named Poppa. According to the medieval Irish text '' An Banshenchas'' and Icelandic sources, another daughter, Cadlinar (Kaðlín; Kathleen) was born in Scotland (probably to a Scots mother) and married an Irish prince named Beollán mac Ciarmaic, later King of South Brega (Lagore). A daughter of Cadlinar and Beollán named Nithbeorg was abducted by an Icelandic Viking named Helgi Ottarsson, and became the mother of the poet Einarr Helgason and grandmother of
Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir Guðrún Ósvífsdóttir (Old Norse: ; Modern Icelandic: ; 10th century – 11th century), was an Icelandic woman who was famed for her great wisdom and beauty. She was married four times. She is the main protagonist of the Old Norse, Mediev ...
(protagonist of the '' Laxdœla saga''). Rollo is the great-great-great grandfather of
William the Conqueror William I (c. 1028Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33 – 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs, monarch of Engl ...

William the Conqueror
.
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Elizabeth II
and the
British Royal Family The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British royal family. Many members support the Queen in undertaking public engag ...
are not direct male-line descendants of Rollo, as the
House of Normandy The House of Normandy ( Norman French Norman or Norman French (', french: Normand, Guernésiais Guernésiais, also known as ''Dgèrnésiais'', Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French, is the variety of the spoken in . It is sometimes ...
ended on the death of
Henry IHenry I may refer to: 876–1366 * Henry I the Fowler, King of Germany (876–936) * Henry I, Duke of Bavaria (died 955) * Henry I of Austria, Margrave of Austria (died 1018) * Henry I of France (1008–1060) * Henry I the Long, Margrave of the Nord ...

Henry I
, and the
ruling family A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. usually in the context of a feudalism, feudal or monarchy, monarchical system, but sometim ...
has changed many times since. On the other hand, the
House of Plantagenet The House of Plantagenet () was a royal house A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university ...
takes roots from the Norman dynasty, as
Henry II Henry II may refer to: Kings *Henry II of England (1133–89), reigned from 1154 *Henry II of Jerusalem and Cyprus (1271–1324), reigned from 1285; king of Jerusalem in name only from 1291 *Henry II of Castile (1334–79), reigned 1366–67 and ...

Henry II
was
Empress Matilda Empress Matilda ( 7 February 110210 September 1167), also known as the Empress Maude, was one of the claimants to the English throne during the civil war known as the Anarchy The Anarchy was a civil war A civil war, also known ...

Empress Matilda
's son, and Matilda was sister and daughter of Norman Kings. A genetic investigation into the remains of Rollo's grandson Richard the Fearless, and his great-grandson Richard the Good, was announced in 2011 with the intention of discerning the origins of the historic Viking leader. On 29 February 2016 Norwegian researchers opened Richard the Good's tomb and found a lower jaw with eight teeth in it. However, the skeletal remains in both graves turned out to significantly predate Rollo and therefore are not related to him.


Legacy

After Rollo's death, his descendants continued to rule Normandy until 1204, when it was lost by
John Lackland John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerg ...
to the French
King Philip Augustus Philip II (21 August 1165 – 14 July 1223), byname Philip Augustus (french: Philippe Auguste), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: lin ...
. However
Henry VHenry V may refer to: People * Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1081–1125) * Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (1173–1227) * Henry V, Count of Luxembourg (1216–1281) * Henry V, Duke of Legnica (c.  1248 – 1296) * Henry V of Iron (c. 1319 ...

Henry V
a descendant of
John Lackland John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerg ...
reconquered Normandy as part of his conquest of France. However it was lost again during the reign of his son
Henry VI Henry VI may refer to: * Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1165–1197) * Henry VI, Count Palatine of the Rhine (ruled 1212–1214) * Henry VI, Count of Luxembourg (crowned 1281, died 1288) * Henry VI the Older (before 1345 – 1393) * Henry VI, Count ...

Henry VI
. Rollo's dynasty was able to survive through a combination of ruthless military actions and infighting among the Frankish aristocracy, which left them severely weakened and unable to combat the Rouen Vikings' growing determination to stay put.


Depictions in fiction

Rollo is the subject of the 17th-century play ''
Rollo Duke of Normandy ''Rollo Duke of Normandy'', also known as ''The Bloody Brother'', is a play written in collaboration by John Fletcher (playwright), John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, Ben Jonson and George Chapman. The title character is the historical Viking duke ...
'', written by John Fletcher,
Philip Massinger Philip Massinger (1583 – 17 March 1640) was an English dramatist. His finely plotted plays, including ''A New Way to Pay Old Debts'', ''The City Madam'', and ''The Roman Actor'', are noted for their satire and literary realism, realism, ...

Philip Massinger
,
Ben Jonson Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet. Jonson's artistry exerted a lasting influence upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours The comedy of humours is a ge ...
, and
George Chapman George Chapman (Hitchin, Hertfordshire Hertfordshire (; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the sout ...

George Chapman
. A character, broadly inspired by the historical Rollo but including many events from before the real Rollo was born, played by
Clive Standen Clive is a name. People and fictional characters with the name include: People Given name * Clive Allen (born 1961), English football player * Clive Anderson (born 1952), British television, radio presenter, comedy writer and former barrister * ...
, is
Ragnar Lothbrok Ragnar Lodbrok or Lothbrok ( non, Ragnarr Loðbrók, "Ragnar shaggy breeches", Modern Icelandic: ''Ragnar Loðbrók'') is a legendary Viking hero, as well as, according to the ''Gesta Danorum'', a legendary Legendary kings of Denmark, Danish and ...
's brother in the
History Channel History (formerly The History Channel from 1995 to 2008; stylized as HISTORY) is a pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to ...
television series ''
Vikings Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In ...
''. Rollo is a character in the video game ''
Assassin's Creed Valhalla ''Assassin's Creed Valhalla'' is an Action role-playing game, action role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the twelfth major installment and the twenty-second release in the ''Assassin's Creed'' ser ...
'', set before his reign, where he appears in a questline involving the
ealdorman Ealdorman () was a term in Anglo-Saxon England Anglo-Saxon England or Early Medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman Conquest, Norman conquest in 1066, consisted of various ...
of
Essex Essex () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Ro ...

Essex
. Afterwards, he can be recruited as part of the player's raiding crew.


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * *


Further reading


Primary texts

* * * * . Republished 1981, Harmondsworth: Penguin. .


Secondary texts

* * * * {{Authority control 860s births 930s deaths Year of birth uncertain Year of death uncertain 10th-century Dukes of Normandy Duchy of Normandy Viking rulers Norman warriors Viking warriors 10th-century Normans 10th-century rulers in Europe Converts to Christianity from pagan religions Burials at Rouen Cathedral House of Normandy