Poppa of Bayeux

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Poppa of Bayeux
Poppa of Bayeux's statue, Place de Gaulle, Bayeux
Bornc. 880[1]
Bayeux, West Francia
Noble familyHouse of Normandy (by marriage)
Spouse(s)Rollo (perhaps more danico)
IssueWilliam I Longsword
Gerloc (baptismal name Adela)
FatherBerengar II of Neustria or Guy de Senlis
MotherAdelind, Adela of Vermandois or Cunegundis

Poppa of Bayeux (French: [pɔpa d(ə) bɛjø]; born c. 880) was the wife more danico[2][3] of the Viking leader Rollo. She was the mother of William I Longsword, Gerloc[4][5] and grandmother of Richard the Fearless, who forged the Duchy of Normandy into a great fief of medieval France.[6] Dudo of Saint-Quentin, in his panegyric of the Norman dukes, describes her as the daughter of a "Count Berengar", the dominant prince of that region, who was captured at Bayeux by Rollo in 885 or 889, shortly after the siege of Paris.[7]: 417  This has led to speculation that she was the daughter of Berengar II of Neustria.[8]: 96 [9]

There are different opinions among medieval genealogy experts about Poppa's family. Christian Settipani says her parents were Guy de Senlis and Cunegundis, the daughter of Pepin, Count of Vermandois, and sister of Herbert I, Count of Vermandois.[1] Katherine Keats-Rohan states she was the daughter of Berengar II of Neustria by Adelind, whose father was Henry, Margrave of the Franks, or Adela of Vermandois.[2] Her parentage is uncertain and may have been invented after the fact to legitimize her son's lineage, as many of the fantastic genealogical claims made by Dudo were. Based on her separate more danico status that differentiates her from Rollo's Christian wife Gisela of France, Poppa's family was unlikely to have been powerful Christian nobility who would have insisted—by force if necessary—on a legal and monogamous Christian marriage for their daughter. Poppa was likely a common woman taken from a country with which the Norse had trade contact.[10]

A statue of Poppa stands at the Place de Gaulle in Bayeux.[8]: 235 


  1. ^ a b Settipani, Christian; Kerrebrouck, Patrick van (1993). La préhistoire des Capétiens: 481–987 (in French). Villeneuve d'Ascq: P. Van Kerrebrouck. p. 221. ISBN 9782950150936. OCLC 772782211.
  2. ^ a b Baldwin, Stewart (2 August 2004). "Poppa, tenth century, wife of Rollo of Normandy". The Henry Project: The Ancestors of King Henry II of England. Archived from the original on 29 September 2018.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Philip Lyndon (2001). Marriage in the Western Church: the Christianization of marriage during the Patristic and Early Medieval Periods. Brill. pp. 110–111. doi:10.1163/9789004312913_005. ISBN 9780391041080. Archived from the original on 19 January 2024. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  4. ^ Neveux, François (1998). La Normandie des ducs aux rois: Xe-XIIe siècle (in French). Editions Ouest-France. p. 125. ISBN 9782737309854. OCLC 39472934.
  5. ^ Crouch, David (2006) [2002]. The Normans: The History of a Dynasty. A&C Black. p. 5. ISBN 9781852855956. Archived from the original on 18 October 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  6. ^ Searle, Eleanor (1988). Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840–1066. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780520062764. OCLC 17649606.
  7. ^ Douglas, David C. (October 1942). "Rollo of Normandy". The English Historical Review. 57 (228). Oxford University Press: 417–436. doi:10.1093/ehr/LVII.CCXXVIII.417.
  8. ^ a b Boudet, Pierre (2016). Rollon: Le chef viking qui fonda la Normandie (in French). Paris: Tallandier. pp. 96, 235. ISBN 9791021017467. OCLC 957504891.
  9. ^ Houts, Elisabeth van, ed. (2000). The Normans in Europe. Manchester University Press. p. 30. ISBN 9780719047510.
  10. ^ Neveux, François; Ruelle, Claire (2008). A brief history of the Normans: the conquests that changed the face of Europe. Robinson. pp. 60–61. ISBN 9781845295233. Archived from the original on 18 October 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.

Further reading[edit]

  • Keats-Rohan, K.S.B. (1997). "Poppa of Bayeux and her Family". The American Genealogist. 72: 187–204.