THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN IDENTITY IN EARLY NORMANDY: ETHNOGENESIS OF THE GENS NORMANNORUM
Starting from the etnogenesis perspective and its focus on the construction of political communities aspect, this paper constitutes itself as an analysis of late-antique and early-medieval thinking in regard to noble and ethnical identity. For such, it aims at comprehending the concepts of gens/gentes and regnum/regna transformations during the period, essential tools in understanding the tradition claimed and applied by the dukes of Normandy in the 10th and 11th centuries. Besides seeking to grasp the construction and application process of the gens and regna concepts regarding the regnum francorum context, which Normandy was connected to, we will delineate a contextual analysis of the creation and consolidation of this Viking-origin political unity in northwestern Francia, as well as the elements that turned the creation of a gens normannorum identity into a political demand inside the ducal court. Tangentially approaching Dudo of Saint-Quentin’s Gesta Normannorum (995 – 1015), one of the main written sources responsible for shaping this ethnic identity, we shall focus our efforts on an analysis of the political elements that have made the registering of the gens normannorum history a decisive tool in the Rollonid dukes pursuit of power and uniformity inside Normandy.
Key-words: gens; Normandy; noble legitimation; Dudo of Saint-Quentin’s Gesta Normannorum
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