The First Generations of the Conquest (Norman Worlds, 9th-12th Century) – 1. Departing
Symposium at the Maison Française d’Oxford, 22-23 September 2023
Image: Dove of peace between two soldiers: Tours, Bibliothèque municipale, Ms. 568, f. 249v © BMT
This conference will address the notion of “first generations” in relation to the medieval Norman conquests in England, Wales, Ireland, southern Italy, Sicily, and the Crusader states. Focusing on the conquerors’ departure from their places of origin, the papers will explore the rhythms, modalities, reasons and objectives for leaving.
The conference aims at:
1/ Determining how relevant the notion of “first generations of the conquest” is. All these movements were phenomena that took place over several generations and featured different kind of protagonists – soldiers, mercenaries, pilgrims, merchants, clerics and monks.
2/ Considering the horizons of those who departed, while avoiding teleological and unilinear assumptions. These horizons require an analysis of diverse dynamics and “push and pull” factors: political motivations, economic grounds, social mechanisms, acculturation processes, social and political creativity.
3/ Exploring the documentation, approaches, and tools that help to answer these questions. Our documentation was often produced in the regions where the conquerors settled, and it focuses on their new status; it must be compared retroactively with sources from Normandy (and more broadly speaking from northern France) to enlighten the dynamics that led to the mobility of these people.
This symposium is part of the 2022-2026 research project Pax normanna (dir. Prof. Pierre Bauduin, University of Caen-Normandie, and Prof. Annick Peters-Custot, University of Nantes). Please send your paper proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Deadline: 10 May 2023