The central fact of Norman history and the starting-point for its study is the event so brilliantly commemorated by the millenary of 1911, the grant of Normandy to Rollo and his northern followers in the year 911. The history of Normandy, of course, began long before that year. The land was there, and likewise in large measure the people, that is to say, probably the greater part of the elements which went to make the population of the country at a later day; and the history of the region can be traced back several centuries. But after all, neither the Celtic civitates nor the Roman province of Lugdunensis Secunda nor the ecclesiastical province of Rouen which took its place nor the northwestern pagi of the Frankish empire were Normandy. They lacked the name — that is obvious; they lacked also individuality of character, which is more. They were a part, and not a distinctive part, of something else, whereas later Normandy was a separate entity with a life and a history of its own. And the dividing line must be drawn when the Northmen first established themselves permanently in the land and gave it a new name and a new history...
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