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Who were the normans?
The Normans invasion of England in 1066 is one of the most important events in English history.
The people of Scandinavia found it difficult to produce enough food to their needs. And as you know the people from Scandinavia are people from Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
In the 8th century Scandinavians, who became known as Vikings or North-men, began to send out groups of people to find food and something to plunder. When they discovered the great quality of land in Europe some Vikings decided to settle down in France and not to return to Scandinavia.
The Vikings who stayed in France became known as the Normans/North-men. The first great Norman leader was Rollo the Ganger.
The Normans married local women and after some time adopted the French language. They sometimes fought for the French king but were an independent people and preferred to follow their own leader who became known as the Duke of Normandy.
The Normans were successful farmers but they still felt the need to raid other lands. The main reason for this was that they believed in primogeniture. Primogeniture means when a Norman die all his property is given to his eldest son. This often resulted in younger sons leaving their family to try to find their own land.
As Christians, Normans feared that when they died they would be punished for stealing land and for other crimes or things they had done and committed. To protect themselves from this, the Normans used some of the wealth they took from their raids to build churches and monasteries. Norman leaders also went on pilgrim trips to the Holy Land.
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