Gesta Normannorum Ducum

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Gesta Normannorum Ducum (Deeds of the Norman Dukes) is a chronicle originally created by the monk William of Jumièges just before 1060. In 1070 William I had William of Jumièges extend the work to detail his rights to the throne of England. In later times, Orderic Vitalis (d. c. 1142) and Robert of Torigni (d. 1186), extended the volumes to include history up until Henry I.

The Gesta Normannorum Ducum by William of Jumièges has become the principal work of Norman historical writings, one of many written to glorify the Norman conquest of England.[1] But unlike most it was probably started in the late 1050s as a continuation of Dudo's De moribus. The monk William returned to his writing after the Conquest, most probably at the request of William the Conqueror.[1] The final version of his history was written at his monastery at Jumièges c. 1070–1071[a][2] During the twelfth century there were interpolations and additions, first by Orderic Vitalis, then by Robert of Torigni, who added an entire book on Henry I of England.[3] During the medieval period his work was widely circulated and read, was an essential work in most monasteries and was the basic source on which the histories of Wace and Benoît de Sainte-Maure were based.[4] William's Gesta Normannorum Ducum survives today in forty-seven manuscripts.[1]

Jules Lair undertook a modern translation, but the final work was interrupted by his death. The work was completed M. Jean Marx, a French scholar who published his translation in 1914.[5] The original version had ended with the reduction of the north by the Conqueror in 1070, but a passage mentioning Robert Curthose as duke appears to be a revision sometime after 1087. However, there was no evidence that William made a continuation beyond 1070.[6] This text displays a difference from William's writing and so would seem to be of an unknown origin, but it was included by Marx, assuming it was by the original author, included it in his translation.[6] The most recent translations were by edited and translated by Elisabeth M.C. van Houts and were published in two volumes, volume I in 1992 and volume II in 1995, both by the Clarendon Press, Oxford.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For a detailed analysis of the Gesta Normannorum Ducum see; Elisabeth M.C. van Houts, 'The Gesta Normannorum Ducum: a history without an end', Anglo-Norman Studies III: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1980, Ed. R. Allen Brown (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1981), pp. 106-118.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Emily Albu, The Normans in Their Histories (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2001), p. 51
  2. ^ Elisabeth M.C. van Houts, 'The Gesta Normannorum Ducum: a history without an end', Anglo-Norman Studies III: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1980, Ed. R. Allen Brown (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1981), p. 106
  3. ^ 'The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni. Vol. I: Introduction and Books I-IV by Elisabeth M. C. van Houts', Review by: D. J. A. Matthew, The English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 437 (Jun., 1995), p. 687
  4. ^ Emily Albu, The Normans in Their Histories (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2001), pp. 51-2
  5. ^ Elisabeth M.C. van Houts, 'The Gesta Normannorum Ducum: a history without an end', Anglo-Norman Studies III: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1980, Ed. R. Allen Brown (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1981), p. 107
  6. ^ a b 'Guillaume de Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum Ducum by Jean Marx', Review by: Charles H. Haskins, The English Historical Review, Vol. 31, No. 121 (Jan., 1916), p. 150
  7. ^ 'The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni. Vol. I: Introduction and Books I-IV by Elisabeth M. C. van Houts', Review by: D. J. A. Matthew, The English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 437 (Jun., 1995), pp. 687-688; 'The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis, and Robert of Torigni, Volume II: Books V-VIII by Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts', Review by: Cassandra Potts, Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), pp. 82-83

See also[edit]

  • The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni edited and translated by Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995.
  • Wace's Roman de Rou
  • Duchy of Normandy