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."


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.