The Siege of Paris of 885-886

The Freelance History Writer

Marauding_expedition_of_northmen

For those who have been watching the “Vikings” television series, Season 3 has been dominated by the Siege of Paris. But what really happened at the siege? Fortunately, we have the poems of the monk Abbo of Saint-Germain-des Prés to give us a record of the events. But it must be kept in mind the monk was writing to glorify the French. We also don’t know if the combatants really used mangonels and trebuchets this early in the Middle Ages. But it makes for a good story!

During the ninth century, while Charlemagne was in control of Western Europe, the Norse or Vikings as they came to be called, made little headway. They attacked and plundered the British Isles and settled in Iceland and even Greenland. But when Charlemagne died, local custom dictated that his three grandsons divide his kingdom into three separate entities. This created internal civil strife, leaving…

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