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83,241. William’s victory at the Battle of Hastings has given us England’s most famous date: 1066. But this wasn’t just a battle, it was a momentous turning point in European history. In the years that followed, the Normans transformed England, and then the rest of Britain and Ireland ... across Europe, from northern France to southern Italy and on to the Middle East and Jerusalem. (Norman & France & England) Professor Robert Bartlett, The Normans I 2010
83,242. By the end of the 10th century Rollos were unstoppable. Charles, King of France, had no choice but to do a deed ... Rollo realised that the route to power lay in diplomacy ... The province of Normandy was born. (Norman & France & Viking) ibid.
83,243. The Normans didn’t completely lose touch with their Viking past. Any attempts to revolt against the new order were brutally repressed. (Norman & France & Viking) ibid.
83,244. In less than a hundred and fifty years the pagan men from the north had become the master builders of Christianity. (Norman & France & Building) ibid.
83,245. William ruthlessly restored Normandy’s power, prestige and wealth. One Norman historian remarked that he was ruler of his whole land, something that is scarcely found anywhere else. By the time he was in his thirties William was secure enough to consider expanding his territories. (Norman & France) ibid.
83,246. A forest of masts lit up with burning torches slipped across the Channel. (Norman & France & England) ibid.
83,247. On this hillside on Saturday 14th of October 1066 a single battle between a few thousand men permanently changed the course of history in England and beyond. It was said to have taken place at the Grey Apple Tree. Nowadays the site is simply known as Battle. (Norman & France & England & Battle) ibid.
83,248. Two early accounts of the battle say that an arrow struck the King in the eye. The King was dead. And a world was coming to an end. (Norman & France & England & Battle) ibid.
83,249. The future belonged to the Normans. (Norman & France & England) ibid.
83,250. William the Conqueror established the Normans as a formidable force in history. He dominated Normandy for fifty-two years. But his greatest achievement was the conquest of England in 1066. The years that followed saw one of the most fundamental transformations in British history. (Norman & France & England) Professor Robert Bartlett, The Normans II 2010
83,251. The coronation of William the Conqueror marks one of the sharpest breaks there has ever been in English history. Anglo-Saxon England was dead. (Norman & France & England) ibid.
83,252. This was a complete militarisation of England. (Norman & France & England) ibid.
83,253. This is known of systematic slaughter and destruction is known as the Harrying of the North. (Norman & France & England) ibid.
83,254. Alongside hundreds of castles they built abbeys and cathedrals on a scale never seen before in England. (Norman & France & England) ibid.
83,255. The monks attempted to force William’s corpse into the space. According to Audrick his swollen belly burst and an intolerable stench filled the noses of the crowd. (Norman & France & England) ibid.
83,256. Savagery and piety. Conquest and colonisation. The Normans used every weapon in their armoury to re-shape Norman France and the British Isles. They were powerful rulers and state builders. And their legacy can be seen all around us. (Norman & England & France & Crusades & Jerusalem) Professor Robert Bartlett, The Normans III: Normans of the South
60,559. In 1099 an international force of 10,000 soldiers stormed through the streets of Jerusalem. This would be the most divisive part of the Norman inheritance: the first Crusade. Among the leaders were Norman knights, including the son of William the Conqueror. As the Crusaders tore through the Holy City they cut down thousands of Muslims. According to one chronicler the slaughter was so great men waded in blood up to their ankles. (Crusades & Jerusalem & Normans & England & France) ibid.
83,257. But what the Normans were really hungry for was territory and the fertile plains of southern Italy must have presented a tempting site. Southern Italy was a promised land ripe for the picking. (Norman & Italy & France) ibid.
83,258. Muslim Sicily was a difficult island to conquer. (Norman & Italy & France) ibid.
83,259. On their way to Jerusalem the Crusaders arrived at the capital of the Byzantine Empire – Constantinople was one of the greatest cities of the medieval world. (Norman & Byzantine & France & Crusades & Jerusalem) ibid.
83,260. Bohemond established a new Norman state – the principality of Antioch. (Norman & Turkey & France & Crusades & Jerusalem) ibid.
60,560. On the night of 10th July 1099 the Crusaders attacked in force from both north and south using battering rams and siege towers. For two days the conflict hung in the balance. Then the Crusaders broke into the city. Tancred was amongst the leaders. Pillage and massacre followed. The Crusaders rampaged through the city seizing gold and silver as they went. The slaughter of the Muslims was savage. Chroniclers record that thousands were killed. (Crusades & Jerusalem & Normans & France) ibid.
60,561. The Normans had taken part in a slaughter that would never be forgiven. (Crusades & Jerusalem & France & Normans) ibid.
83,261. For three hundred years the Normans were among the most dynamic forces in Europe. They colonised countries and created new states and kingdom. They became patrons of art and learning. And they transformed the landscape with magnificent castle and cathedrals. But the age of the Normans wouldn’t last for ever. In England the Norman dynasty founded by Norman the Conqueror gave was to the Plantagenets. (Norman & England & France) ibid.
30,238. French was the language of the English ruling class. (England & France) Dr Janina Ramirez, Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years’ War I: Trouble in the Family 1337-1360, BBC 2013
30,239. Edward III had done the unthinkable: he had proclaimed himself king of England and France. (England & Edward III & France) ibid.
30,240. To claim back his rights in France he would have to take on Philip’s army. (England & Edward III & France) ibid.
30,241. King Edward and his campaigns were hugely popular. (England & Edward III & France) ibid.
30,242. France and England were forced to agree a truce but it was a fragile death … the plague had plunged the country into a moral panic. (England & Edward III & Plague & France) ibid.
30,243. Edward reignited the war ... This was systematic pillage and destruction ... This time Edward had not just humbled the French monarchy he had broken it. (England & Edward III & France) ibid.
3,538. But there was also a the more pointed, millennial assumption that, on the new day that was dawning, the sun would never set. Early during the French upheaval was born a ‘solar myth of the revolution’, suggesting that the sun was rising on a new era in which darkness would vanish forever. (Sun & France) James H Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men
5,459. We must force the people to be free. (Freedom & France & Force) Louis Antoine Leon de Saint-Just
8,644. Carnac stones – gigantic triangles made of stone: geomagnetic phenomenon. (Alien & Ancient Astronaut Theory & France) Ancient Aliens: Unexplained Structures s2e8