sábado, 29 de mayo de 2010
The Tapestry of Bayeux-2
People in the Bayeux Tapestry
The original Tapestry is over 70 metres long and depicts 626 human figures, 190 horses, 35 dogs, 506 other birds and animals, 33 buildings, 37 ships and 37 trees or groups and trees, with 57 Latin inscriptions. Here are a few of the people that appear in the Tapestry.
- The Three Kings -
Edward the Confessor
King of England, 1042-1066
Edward was the Son of the Saxon King Ethelred (the Unready) and Emma, sister of Duke Richard II of Normandy. Emma later married Cnut, King of Denmark. Cnut became King of England and Edward went to live in exile in Normandy.
When Cnut died in 1042 his son Harthacnut was made King of England. But Harthacnut died without leaving an heir so Edward became King in 1042 and was crowned at Winchester in 1043. He ruled with the help of the powerful Saxon earls and married Edith, daughter of Godwin, earl of Wessex. Edward invited many of his Norman friends to come to England; he gave them important jobs and land. He ordered the building of Westminster Abbey.
Because Edward had no children, he had to choose someone to succeed him. There were many claimants to the throne. One was Harold, Earl of Wessex, Edward's brother-in-law: another was Harold Hardrada King of Norway, and a third was William, Duke of Normandy. The strongest claim was from Edgar Aetheling, Edward's great nephew who had been raised by Edward since 1057 when he was the age of 4. The Normans said that Edward had promised the throne to William, but Harold Godwinson was chosen to succeed Edward who died in January 1066.
King of England, Jan - Oct 1066
Harold had no hereditary claim on the throne - he was not of royal birth. He was the son of Godwin, in his time the most powerful Saxon earl. Harold's sister, Emma, was married to Edward the Confessor and had at least 5 brothers. The tapestry shows us that Harold had fought with William against the Duke of Brittany and shows him swearing upon holy relics. When Edward the Confessor died Harold was chosen to be King of England by the leading Saxon noblemen.
Right away Harold had problems. His brother Tostig accompanied Harold Hardrada King of Norway when he invaded England. Both Hardrada and Tostig were killed by Harold's army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge near York. At the same time William of Normandy had brought his army to England to claim the throne. Harold marched from Stamford Bridge to London then on to Hastings where William's army waited.
The English and Norman armies fought bravely, but Harold with his brothers Gyrth and Leofwine were all killed. The tapestry tells us "here King Harold has been killed" - struck down by the sword of a mounted Norman soldier. After the battle of Hastings Williams had an abbey built on the place where the battle had been fought, and the high altar is supposed to mark the spot where Harold was killed.
William of Normandy
King of England, 1066-1087
William's father was Duke Robert and his mother was Herleva who was a tanner's daughter. Duke Robert's great-great-grandfather was Rollo, a Viking who invaded France in 911. Although he was illegitimate William became Duke of Normandy when he was only seven years old - his father died on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. William's mother married the Viscount of Conteville and had two more sons - Odo and Robert.
William was a strong leader and wanted to become King of England. William led his army at the Battle of Hastings where Harold was killed and his army defeated. William then set about the conquest of England; he gave Norman barons pieces of land all over the country and in return they supported him in war and administered regions of England on the king's behalf.
During his reign William ordered the collection of information about the people in Britain and how much property they owned. This information was recorded in the Domesday Book. William died in 1087 after being injured when fighting in France.
(the text was taken from a colleague's blog. I hpoe you like it)