Rollo of Normandy

Rollo of Normandy

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Rollo of Normandy was also known as Rolf, Hrolf or Rou; in French, Rollon. He was sometimes called Robert and was also known as Rollo the Viking. It was said Rollo was too tall to ride a horse without his feet reaching the ground, and it was for this reason he was known as Rollo the Walker or Rollo the Gangler or Ganger. 

What Was Rollo of Normandy Known for?

Founding the duchy of Normandy in France. Although Rollo is sometimes called "the first Duke of Normandy," this is somewhat misleading; he never held the title of "duke" during his lifetime.


Military Leader

Places of Residence and Influence


Important Dates

Born: c. 860
Died: c. 932

About Rollo of Normandy

Leaving Norway to embark on pirating expeditions and raid England, Scotland, and Flanders, Rollo headed into France around 911 and settled along the Seine, besieging Paris. Charles III (the Simple) of France was able to hold Rollo off for a while, but he eventually negotiated a treaty to stop him. The treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte gave Rollo part of Nuestria in return for his agreement that he and his fellow Vikings would stop pillaging any further in France. It is believed that he and his men may have converted to Christianity, and it is recorded that he was baptized in 912; however, the available sources conflict and one states that Rollo "died a pagan."

Because the region was settled by Northmen or "Normans," the territory took on the name "Normandy," and Rouen became its capital. Before Rollo died he turned over the governance of the duchy to his son, William I (Longsword).

A rather questionable biography of Rollo and other dukes of Normandy was written in the eleventh century by Dudo of St. Quentin.

Three Sources on the Ravages of the Northmen in Frankland, c. 843 - 912
includes information on Rollo from the Chronicle of St. Denis; at Paul Halsall's Medieval Sourcebook.


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