Lars Brownworth, author of "Lost to the West" and creator of the "12 Byzantine Rulers" podcast presents "Norman Centuries", a podcast on the Normans. While popular Norman history focuses on the regions of France and England, Norman Centuries covers the lesser known Italian Normans as well. Visit us at http://NormanCenturies.com/
Episode 1 - Rollo and the Viking Age
They were the great success story of the Middle Ages, a footloose band of individual adventurers who appeared out of nowhere to blaze across the face of Dark Age Europe. In the course of two centuries the Normans launched a series of extraordinary conquests, transforming Anglo-Saxon England into Great Britain, setting up a powerful Crusader state in Antioch, and turning Palermo into the dazzling cultural and economic capital of the western Mediterranean. Their story, however, begins rather humbly in the fierce Viking Age, when a group of Scandinavian raiders came crashing into Charlemagne's empire. Join Lars Brownworth as he follows the ferocious warrior Rollo, the first Norman, who began life as a simple raider and ended it as a great lord of the West.
Episode 2 - Richard the Fearless
With the death of Rollo and his son, Normandy seemed poised on the brink of disaster. Its nobles were in open revolt and the King of France had seized the capital of Rouen. The legitimate heir, Richard I, was only nine years old- and a captive of the crown- yet against all expectations he grew into one of early Normandy's most formidable Dukes. Along the way he acquired the nickname of Richard the Fearless, and is remembered chiefly as the man who put Normandy on the map. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at the dramatic career of the first Norman Duke.
Episode 3 - Richard the Good: Inventing the Past
At the start of Richard II's reign northern Europe was once again subjected to a wave of Viking attacks. The young Duke was faced with the question of what to do with his distant Norse brethren. Assist these pagans in their plunder and be labeled a pirate himself - or resist and become their next victim. His solution would intertwine the fate of Normandy with the kingdom of England, and lay the groundwork for the great conquest to come. In the process he would commission the first court historian and create a new identity for the Normans. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at both England and Normandy in the time of Richard the Good.
Episode 4 - Magnificent Devil
The reign of Robert I began under the dark suspicion of murder and descended into chaos as the young Duke struggled for control. Dogged by rumors of fratricide and a papal excommunication, he carried on a whirlwind romance with the beautiful Herleve and attempted the first invasion of England. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at the tempestuous career of Robert I whose own subjects could never quite decide if he was Robert the Magnificent- or Robert the Devil.
Episode 5 - William the Conqueror
The young Duke William seemed destined not to survive his childhood. Orphaned before he was ten, he became a plaything of powerful nobles as one by one his guardians were killed off. Normandy descended into chaos as central authority disappeared and ambitious knights began to carve out their own independent kingdoms. The king of France, looking to exploit the situation, invaded the Duchy seizing castles and encouraging a general revolt. But against all these odds, William somehow triumphed, defying both king and nobility and stamping his authority over his Duchy as few others would. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at the early career of Normandy's most famous Duke.
Episode 6 - The Two Harolds
England on the eve of the Conquest was torn between the old King Edward the Confessor and the powerful house of Godwin. With no clear heir apparent chosen, a predatory Normandy and the terrifying Harald Hardrada of Norway waited for their chance to seize the throne, while Harold of England tried desperately to keep the peace. As the year 1065 drew to it's close a royal death started a chain of events that would drastically alter the political landscape. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at the most famous date in English history and the three would-be kings who struggled for the crown.
This is an excellent podcast. The events are well chosen and described. I looked forward to every episode. Thank you for your outstanding research and production.
Fantastic podcast. A thorough, entertaining history.
Another good one