Hi DF. Thanks for dropping by.
No, they did not really “invade” anything except England where they established the Dane Law under almost one century. At most places they traded with the people who lived there or they plundered, pillaged and raped and then went back home with the goods they obtained. The situation in France is however a little bit different. Of course they did the same things here as everywhere, but the situation in Normandy differs a lot. The fiefdom of Normandy was created for the Viking leader Rollo (also known as Robert of Normandy in English history tales). Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered an agreement with the King of France that if he spared Paris and his life he would get the fiefdom as a token of peace between the both rulers. Rollo accepted and the Scandinavians settled down in the area. The name “Normandy” reflects the Viking (i.e. “North man”) origins. However, the Vikings had a custom to very easily adopt new ways of culture, communications and religions, so they did here as well as elsewhere. They abandoned their Nordic language, Old Norse (modern Icelandic) in favor of the local Gallo-Romantic language and intermarried with the area’s previous inhabitants and became the Normans – a Norman French-speaking mixture of Scandinavians, Franks and Gauls. They later on became a huge center of power with William the Conqueror in charge when they invaded England, thus ended the Old English Period.