|The White Tower, built by William the Conqueror, London UK. Photo: Stephan Brunker. German Language Wikipedia|
Permission GNU FDL
The review and study of historical processes is a fascinating task. When establishing any sequence of events which led to the great happenings of human history, we often may find some patterns. It seems as if everything followed some kind of script, to get those results. Is amazing to realize how the slightest variation on a simple link of that chain of events, might have produced completely different consequences. A "what if..." question many times arises, opening the doors to the imagination.
At the same time some predestined people emerge, no matter their origin. They seem to take a road which always leads to put them in front of the main historical changes... for better or for worse. Is interesting to consider if each sequence of facts may create its own characters. On the other hand, might they be who showed the way, with their decisions and acts? Could it exist somehow, a mid point between those extremes? Sure it is a subject for endless debates.
|Vikings disembarking at Iceland, by Oscar Wergeland, 1909.|
However, as time passed, the Vikings began to settle at some of the lands they "visited" year after year. It seems likely that some tribes of warriors, had no place to go back at their own places. This gradually made them grow a sense of belonging to other lands, so leaving their roots behind. Their violent habits, would take longer to moderate...
|Monument to Rollo. Alesund, Norway. Photo: SinSpinadas|
|Charles III of France, the Simple. By Georges Rouget, 1838|
Palace of Versailles. Source: www.culture.gouv.fr
|Rollo. Falaise, France. Photo: Imars: Michael Shea. Permission: CC-BY-SA-2.5|
|The cliffs at Etretat, coast of Normandy, France. Photo: Jean-Luc Faisans. Faisans.jeanluc at the French language Wikipedia.|
|Edward the Confessor of England. Anonymous.|
13th Century. Source: www.lib.cam.ac.uk
After a little more than a century, the throne of Normandy was still occupied by Rollo's heirs. Also, they became linked with the royal families of other countries by arranging some political marriages. By the year 1027 the crown belonged to Robert I, called Robert the Devil. He always had to bear the suspicion for the murder of his brother, the Duke Richard III, to keep the Norman crown. Both were cousins of the future king of England: Edward the Confessor, from the House of Wessex. This relationship made the pieces begin to move, to put a Norman prince on the throne of England.
|Robert I of Normandy. Falaise, Fr. Photo: Michael Shea|
Source: English Wikipedia. Att: CC-BY-SA-2.5
Robert I was one of those persons who only seem to feel comfortable in times of fighting or war. As the new duke of Normandy, he should face internal rebellions. Then battled at Flanders and France, to restore their goverments. Also defeated the Bretons, when they tried to become independent from Normandy. He only failed in his attempt to invade England, in the year 1034. By the end of the same year, a relative calm possibly made Robert feel bored, and so started a pilgramage to Jerusalem. It was something many people did by then, despite the many risks. Some have come to think that he did that as a penitence, for the murder of his brother. But this latter is, of course, only speculation.
|Falaise Castle. Calvados, France. The birthplace of William The Conqueror. Photo: Viault, 2008. Lic. CC-BY-SA 4.0|
The Duke Robert the first, only had a son, illegitimate, the fruit of his love for a modest and poor girl. The child was called William, and was born in Falaise, by the year 1028. Although his bastard origin, he was the only heir to the Norman crown. The most disturbing of that, was the weakness situation the Duchy showed... it seemed an easy prey for some secret pretenders to the throne. Among them were Norman nobles, and the king of France himself!
|The Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Photo: Jorge Láscar, 2012|
www.flickr.com/photos/jlascar. Creative Commons Att 2.0
Before going to the sacred places of Christianity, Robert managed to make the nobles swear loyalty for his son. William was only eight years old, but had to become the new Duke in case his father never came back. And so it was, Robert I from Normandy never returned... It is not difficult to imagine the anarchy process that followed. Then appeared persons who attempted to use the young boy, to gain access to the power. While others simply tried to keep it all for them. In spite of their oath, many nobles came to openly conspire and even fought for the Duchy, on those hard times.
|Henry I of France. Anonymous. English Wikipedia.|
From that dangerous and hard stage of his life, emerged William, as from a potter's oven. With his mettle, and overwhelming personality, he would never turn back before any obstacle. He was destined to make history, and so remain indelible; his progeny has worn crowns and had sat on thrones, through centuries, until the present times.
|William the Conqueror. Falaise, France. Photo: Man vyi, 2012.|