Siege of Chartres (911)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Siege of Chartres
DateJuly 20, 911[1][dubious ]

French victory;
Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte

Vikings French
Commanders and leaders
Rollo Richard, Duke of Burgundy
Robert I of France
Charles the Simple
Bishop Gantelme
20,000 8,000

The Siege of Chartres was the part of Norman incursions. In 858 the Normans captured and burned Chartres. After that, in the time of relative peace, the town defenses were rebuilt and strengthened. It turned into a fortified, trapezoid-like city, going close to the river.

When Rollo led the Danes in a siege, they were formidable enough to persuade Charles the Simple that they might become valuable allies.[2] Richard, Duke of Burgundy split his forces into three corps. The first was made up of Aquitanians, assisted by a group of French nobles.[3] According to legend, Bishop Gantelme exposed the Virgin's tunic on the ramparts and led a mob of peasants to charge: the Normans fled as a result.[4][5]

Rollo attempted to flee from the Frankish cavalry led by Charles the Simple. Rollo was unable to board his army onto his ships due to the rapid approach of the horsemen. Rollo decided to make a defensive wall by slaughtering the livestock from his ships. The Frankish charge halted as their horses were intimidated by the sight and smell of the livestock corpses.

The Franks, unable to attack, decided to instead open negotiations with Rollo: thus the battle ended, as both sides began formulating the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte.

In 1618 the Italian painter Padovanino painted a version of the event which now hangs in the Pinacoteca di Brera.[6]


  1. ^ Gesta Regum Anglorum: The History of the English Kings. Oxford University Press. 1998. p. 110. ISBN 0-19-820682-8.
  2. ^ Chibnall, Marjorie (2000). The Normans. Blackwell Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 0-631-18671-9.
  3. ^ Lair, Jules. Le siege de Chartres par les Normands, 1901
  4. ^ France. New Holland Publishers. 2004. p. 328. ISBN 1-86011-881-X.
  5. ^ Ordericus Vitalis (1853). The ecclesiastical history of England and Normandy. p. 136.
  6. ^ La vittoria dei Carnutesi sui Normanni