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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 63 "Gambits"

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Book II, Chapter 32

The Normans are an ethnic group originating in the District of Normandy, originally one of the northern duchies of the Kingdom of Francia. Emerging initially from contact between the native Franks, Gallo-Romans and Norse Viking settlers in the 800s AD, the Normans gained political recognition and legitimacy under the Viking Rollo, by treaty with the King Charles III of Francia in AD 911, where Rollo was granted the lands settled by the Normans and recognition as a noble lord in exchange for protection against other Viking raiders…

In the centuries after their establishment, the Normans traveled and conquered widely, either as mercenaries in the employ of others or as their own feudal magnates, with conquered territories at the Straits of Jabal Ṭāriq, the Islas Canarias, the Islas Baleares, Cyprus, Southern Anatolia, Sicily, and the Maghreb…

…while the militaristic nature of the Norman culture is without question, they were also great patrons of the arts during the feudal era, and continue to have noted artistic contributions since. In addition, two common themes in Norman-controlled regions were a degree of meritocratic egalitarianism, regardless of ethnic or religious origin, and the integration of local arts, architecture and society. This emphasis on integration/syncretism created Norman-Arab, Norman-Byzantine, Norman-Moor, and other hybrid societies where they conquered and settled…

Normans. (n.d.) In Wikikenna. Retrieved August 18, 1885

Tropes That Appear In This Chapter:

  • Didn't See That Coming: Rabbi Dovid ben Eliezer wasn't expecting to be visited by Dragon Riders, and he definitely wasn't expecting some of them to know how to write Hebrew. And he most definitely wasn't expecting several of them to be descended from a Jew, making them distant kin.
  • Informed Judaism: Heather figures out that Dror ben Ezra, Astrid and Fishleg's ancestor and the man who was responsible for Berk's high literacy rates, was Jewish and is kinsman with the Jewish community in Normandy.
  • Malicious Slander: During Alvin and Delilah's interview they say the Hooligans are doing many "horrible acts of wickedness and persecutions". Unfortunately for them, Viggo (who was disguised as a scribe) is smart enough to tell that they're lying.
    Viggo listened as she told her tale of woes and wrongs. Interesting; while most of these acts would hardly be of note if Christians were the ones doing them—taking prisoners as slaves, executions, desecrations, and so forth—Viggo did find the reversal interesting.
    However... he hadn't heard a peep from John or anyone else that he'd spoken with on the topic, and these sorts of lurid tales of persecutions would be repeated with gusto by the gossips, he was certain. The fact that he hadn't heard any such tales... well, that pointed against support for the Lady's words. Yes, there were the recent attacks over in Brittany that he'd found out about, but those were clearly from a single rogue, and one playing cat and mouse with the Brittany lord who had kept chasing him off. But if Berk had wanted to conquer Brittany, they would have. So this piece, as lurid as it was, didn't fit.
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  • Wham Line: An In-Universe example for Rabbi Dovid ben Eliezer when he discovers that one of the Dragon Riders visiting his Synagogue knows how to write Hebrew.
    Crude Hebrew letters were written there in the fresh ink, but, despite the grammar being terrible and the penmanship worse… it was readable.
    Av av avi, Dror ben Ezra, haya me'anashekha. Hu Limdanu Kro U Khtov. note 


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