Bend or Stand?

Today’s post takes you ago to Normandy through a funny, yet true tale of humor and also diplomacy a la Viking style.

You are watching: Rollo the walker

Thanks to history Channel’s Vikings, most human being know Ragnar Lothbrok and his Viking raiders pillaged Paris to the bone. He and his massive military camped out on the Seine River, conducting raids indigenous 845-846. Yes, that’s right. He gave monasteries, villages, and also the citadel the Paris a year’s precious of raid, rinse, and repeat.

The Franks were basically helpless to stop the destruction he wreaked on Paris and also all the places big and small. 

The remainder of Vikingdom want in on the action. In fact, they kept up your raids for years (with some breaks and also losses spread out out in between). No one equaled Ragnar’s** fame until Rollo the Walker.* 

Like his predecessor, Rollo and also his Viking warriors camped out on the Seine, plan to take silver and gold climate leave. But, Charles the Simple, King that the Franks (as France to be then known) to be struck v an idea: Why not ask the raiders to be his neighbors?



Charles would gain a “defensive buffer” in between him and also sea invaders, and what a beautiful buffer the king offered. Charles had an additional ulterior motive: Vikings would gain more productive uses of their time — favor protecting and developing land instead of raiding Frankish lands.

Rollo took the offer. Perhaps land is worth much more than silver and also gold?

To seal the deal, Charles available his daughter in marital relationship to Rollo, asked for Rollo’s conversion come Christianity, and by the way, adjust your name to Robert. Rollo agreed. During a celebratory event, the bishops chose Rollo must kiss the foot of Charles. Meant as a authorize of submission, some postulate the Franks want payback — they wanted the Vikings humiliated.

No kiss to the foot, no land. Rollo, ever adaptable in politics, offered up one of his men to kiss the kingly foot. 

The warrior approached Charles but failed to bend. Instead, the foot climbed to meet the Viking. The Norseman ordered the foot, brought it to his mouth, and also knocked Charles off his “rocker.” The room erupted through laughter. The Franks quit messing through the Vikings, and Rollo took leadership of his vast domain ad 911.

Under Rollo’s rule, the region prospered. 

Vikings at some point intermarried. They take it on the language of the region (mixed with their own). And, Rollo make Rouen his city center. His presence made the oft-attacked area peaceful. 

From raiders to businessmen and landowners, Vikings worked out in, adapting come their new home. The Norse leader ran a prosperous town emporium and marketplace. Normandy also boasted a coin mint together Europe moved towards a system of currency. 


Maybe you deserve to put the fox in charge of the chicken coop?

Thanks for preventing by!


*Gaange Hrolfr is the Nordic order (also Gongu-Hrolfr). Rollo is his Latinized name. The “Walker” component came since he was so big, supposedly no horse could hold him. Thus, he had actually to walk everywhere.

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**Sorry history Channel Vikings fans! (I counting myself in that number). Rollo and Ragnar were not brothers.