France 979 CE

Internal disorder and Viking raids have brought chaos to the land of the west Franks, as royal authority declines and the power of local lords rises.

Read on

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

4300BCE 3900BCE 3500BCE 3100BCE 2700BCE 2300BCE 1900BCE 1500BCE 1100BCE 700BCE 300BCE 100CE 500CE 900CE 1300CE 1700CE 2021CE

What is happening in France in 979CE

Pepin the Short’s son, Charles the Great – Charlemagne (768-814) – waged ceaseless campaigns against the peoples on his borders, and built up a large empire in Europe. He worked tirelessly to establish both sound administration and the firm establishment of the Christian Church (often the same thing, given that royal administrators were usually clerics) within his realm.

Since Charlemagne’s death, his empire has been divided amongst his descendants, and the West Franks have come under a branch of Charlemagne’s family. However, Viking invasion and civil war have led to a near total breakdown in law and order, and to a severe decline in royal authority. Regional counts now rule as virtually independent princes. They in their turn struggle to assert their authority over local lords, who are now dotting the land with their castles, both to protect themselves and their followers against Viking raids, and to defend their local power against the encroachments of neighbouring lords and regional princes. To build up their power and to re-establish some degree of law and order, greater and lesser lords are coming together in mutual agreements, of protection and obedience, underpinned by personal oaths. Thus are the foundations of that socio-political system known as “feudalism” being laid

Next map, France in 1215

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads