Hastings without Metropolis

Today marks the 950th anniversary of the battle of Hastings, when Guillaume, Duke of Normandy and pretendent to the throne of England following the death of the childless King Edward the Confessor in January 1066, defeated Harold Godwinson, recently elected King and even more recently the victor of a battle against another pretended, Harald Hardrada of Norway. (I had always thought that Guillaume had fought the battle the day his fleet of hundreds of Viking drakkars landed, but he arrived two weeks earlier and had time to build a fort in Hastings.) One of the consequences of this victory would be significant changes in the structure and vocabulary of the English language. [One may wonder at why I am mentioning this anniversary but been “born and raised” in the heart of Guillaume’s Norman kingdom prompted some long-lasting interest in the Norman invasion.]

2 Responses to “Hastings without Metropolis”

  1. This post made me picture Guillaume and his fearsome warriors riding a herd of fluffy, angry sheep with horned helmets! What could Harold do against such a horde.

    • I presume Harold’s and Harald’s warriors were all of the same mould as Guillaume’s, except for the use of cavalry and archers. Which of course made a huge difference. Along with the fact that Harold’s army had crossed England twice in the past weeks…

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