Green politics, philosophy, history, paganism and a lot of self righteous grandstanding.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Norman Orcs Who Rule Us Still

Orc, in Old English means demon, and it was a word used by contemporary chroniclers for the Norman invaders who ravaged England after the Battle of Hastings. 

After 1066 only 5% of England south of the Tees remained in English hands. This is what William of Malmesbury had to say about the "1%" of the 11th century:


"The Normans, that I may speak of them also, were at that time, and are even now, exceedingly particular in their dress and delicate in their food, but not so to excess. 


 




They are a race inured to war, and can hardly live without it; fierce in rushing against the enemy, 






and, where force fails of success, ready to use stratagem or to corrupt by bribery.





As I have said, they live in spacious houses with economy, 



 


envy their superiors,





 wish to excel their equals,





 and plunder their subjects, 







though they defend them from others;



 



they are faithful to their lords, 






though a slight offence alienates them.


They weigh treachery by its chance of success,

 





 and change their sentiments for money."

2 comments:

Rob Malagola said...

Clever, and a nice find! Good old William, a Malmesbury man, like myself, and with a nose for the nub of things.

Martin Porter said...

Thanks for that. We need a William today to tell us how it really is.