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The Norman peasants' revolt
Date 996
Location Normandy
Outcome Peasants had their hands and feet cut off

The Norman peasants' revolt in 996 was a revolt[1] against Norman conquerors. The revolt was defeated by nobility under early reign and minority of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. His uncle Rodulf of Ivry was the regent of Normandy during the revolt.[2][3]

Overview[edit | edit source]

The revolt was started in 996 after the peasants had met in local assemblies (conventicula) of throughout Normandy. The revolt was coordinated by a central assembly (conventus) that was formed by members of the local assemblies. Each conventicula sent two representatives to the central assembly.[4] The peasants wanted concessions on various economic grievances.[1] These included Barons harassing the peasants with vexatious services, the main reason however was the removal of hunting rights, lest a deer be killed.[5]:51 Medieval sources claim that the revolt was caused by demands of free hunting and fishing rights.[6]

The revolt probably did affect only Seine valley rather than whole Normandy. Dating of the revolt in 996 has been also disputed.[1]

Serfdom[edit | edit source]

The revolt may have been a reaction to rise of serfdom in Normandy.[6][7] It has been suggested that the revolt resulted in abolishing serfdom in Normandy.[citation needed] Lack of serfdom in Normandy has been also linked to depopulation of coastal France brought by warfare. However, evidence for existence and extent of serfdom has been difficult to obtain.[8]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Peasant leaders who brought complaints to the regent Rodulf of Ivry had their hands and feet cut off, after they were captured.[2][3] Others were blinded, impaled, or burnt alive, land owners forfeited their land.[5]:51

Despite the revolt at start of his reign, rest of the Richard II's reign was very peaceful. In May 1023 he did not implement the Peace of God due to calm situation in his lands.[3] However, Normandian culture returned to its Frankish characteristics and lost Scandinavian influences such as Norman language.[2][3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gowers, Bernard (1 February 2013). "996 and all that: the Norman peasants' revolt reconsidered". pp. 71–98. Digital object identifier:10.1111/emed.12010. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/emed.12010/abstract. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jim Bradbury (2 August 2004). The Routledge Companion to Medieval Warfare. Routledge. pp. 77–78, 144. ISBN 978-1-134-59847-2. https://books.google.com/books?id=3FRsBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA144. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 http://chesterrep.openrepository.com/cdr/bitstream/10034/322668/6/matthew+paul+burke.pdf
  4. William H. TeBrake (1 September 1993). A Plague of Insurrection: Popular Politics and Peasant Revolt in Flanders, 1323-1328. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 60. ISBN 0-8122-1526-5. https://books.google.com/books?id=KSVsjwH6iN0C&pg=PA60. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Duncan, Jonathan (1839). The Dukes of Normandy from the time of King Rollo to the expulsion of King John. Joseph Rickerby and Harvey & Darton. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 https://edocs.uis.edu/Departments/LIS/Course_Pages/LIS411/readings/Hilton_Peasant_Society_pp67-94.pdf
  7. Rosamond Faith (1 April 1999). The English Peasantry and the Growth of Lordship. A&C Black. pp. 252–253. ISBN 978-0-7185-0204-1. https://books.google.com/books?id=eyHUAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA253. 
  8. Elizabeth Van Houts (15 December 2000). The Normans in Europe. Manchester University Press. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0-7190-4751-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=IarkHmOdjnsC&pg=PA63. 

Further reading[edit | edit source]

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