Faculty of Arts


Norman Conquests, Norman Voices, c. 900-1215

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for HISTORY 368.


1066 continues to be the most well-known date in medieval history. William of Normandy’s victory at the Battle of Hastings, so memorably recorded in the Bayeux Tapestry, introduced a new dynasty and a new ruling elite to England. But who were these conquerors?

This course examines the achievements and self-perception of the Normans from their origins as Norse settlers in tenth-century France. Beginning c. 900 CE, it looks not just at the imposition of power over England by means of extraordinary documents such as the Domesday Book, but also at Norman expansion into the Mediterranean where Norman rulers established regimes in southern Italy, Sicily and the Crusading principality of Antioch.

Alongside the political narrative, which will take the story of the Norman dynasty and its Angevin (or Plantagenet) successors down to the creation of Magna Carta in 1215, the course offers a thematic approach. Students will engage with a number of significant historiographical debates which have taken place in recent decades over the nature of Norman "empires", the question of identity, the structure of the Norman family and the role of women, and the extent of Norman cultural achievements.

The course is structured around a series of important primary sources which can give us access to Norman "voices" telling their stories from their own perspective. Each weekly lecture and tutorial topic focuses on one or two written or visual sources. The course also makes extensive use of video resources to show sites of historical interest. 

View the course syllabus 

Availability 2018

Summer School


Coordinator(s) Dr Lindsay Diggelmann


Tutorial exercises (3 x 15%): 45%
Essay plan (c.600 words): 10%
Final essay (3000 words): 45%


HISTORY 368: 15.0 points


15 points at Stage II in History and 60 points passed



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