This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. The Franks desperately needed good leadership, and two heroic men filled the void. One of the few eyewitness accounts of the siege of Paris was written by Aboo, a young monk at the abbey of St. Germain-de-Pres. Siege of Paris, (November 25, 885–October 886), nearly year-long Viking siege of Paris, at the time the capital of the kingdom of the West Franks, notable as the first occasion on which the Vikings dug themselves in for a long siege rather than conduct a hit-and-run raid or fight a battle. [16] When the Vikings withdrew from France the next spring, he gave them 700 livres (pounds) of silver as promised,[20][21] amounting to approximately 257 kg.[22]. In January 886 they tried to fill the river shallows with debris, plant matter, and the bodies of dead animals and dead prisoners to try to get around the tower. The Vikings attacked with a variety of siege engines, but failed to break through the city walls after some days of intense attacks. The siege was upheld after the initial attacks, but without any significant offence for months thereafter. Simon Adams is a historian and writer living and working in London. By Danielle Turner. [2] Odo, Count of Paris prepared for the arrival of the Vikings by fortifying the bridgehead with two towers guarding each bridge. The Vikings asked for tribute again, but their demands were refused again. Siege of Paris, (November 25, 885–October 886), nearly year-long Viking siege of Paris, at the time the capital of the kingdom of the West Franks, notable as the first occasion on which the Vikings dug themselves in for a long siege rather than conduct a hit-and-run raid or fight a battle. If you find our videos helpful you can support us by buying something from amazon. NOW 50% OFF! Change in Northern Winds: A Modern Review of the Viking Siege of Paris 845. He prepared for the arrival of the Vikings by erecting two towers to guard the bridges that were built in 864 AD. The siege is the subject of an eyewitness account in … Siegfried then decided to lead his ships up the stream of the Seine. They attacked Paris three times more in the 860s, leaving only when they had acquired sufficient loot or bribes. Bishop Gozlin entered the fray with a bow and an axe. The defence of Paris was mainly overseen by Odo, Count of Paris. His brother Ebles also joined the fighting. The Vikings set sail towards Paris, leading behind some ships huge siege towers built by Floki to climb the walls of the city. Although his son Odo succeeded him, royal power declined. [13], The Vikings arrived in Paris on 24[14][15] or 25[16] November 885, initially asking for tribute from the Franks. [2] It had been thought that the Franks had gained an upper hand against the Vikings after the victory of Louis III at the Battle of Saucourt in 881,[4] but in 885, a year after the succession of Charles, the Vikings launched their most massive attack on Paris yet. Hooper, Nicholas A.; Bennet, Matthew (1996). Corrections? The siege was the most important event of the reign of Charles the Fat, and a turning point in the fortunes of the Carolingian dynasty and the history of France. The Vikings first demanded tribute from Count Odo the Protector of Paris, who refused. Danish Vikings under Sigfred and Sinric sailed towards West Francia again in 885, having raided the north-eastern parts of the country before. The Siege of Paris of 885-886 For those who have been watching the “Vikings” television series, Season 3 has been dominated by the Siege of Paris. Fortunately, we have the poems of the monk Abbo of Saint-Germain-des Prés to … The forces surrounded the bridgehead tower, possibly mainly aiming to bring down the river obstacle. [17] Odo successfully slipped some men through Norse lines to go to Italy and plead with Charles to come to their aid. When Charles died in 888, the French elected Odo as their king. Another Viking leader, Rollo, stayed behind with his men. The burning ships sank before they could set the bridge on fire, but the wooden construction was nonetheless weakened. The imperial army arrived in October and scattered the Vikings. The siege was the most important event of the reign of Charles the Fat, and a turning point in the fortunes of the Carolingian dynasty and the history of France. The Vikings first rowed up the Seine to attack Paris in 845 and returned three times in the 860s. [20] Throughout the next century the Robertians, descendants of Robert the Strong, fought the Carolingians for the French throne. Odo fought his way back into Paris and Charles and Henry of Saxony marched northward. Its strategic importance came from the ability to block ships' passage with its two low-lying foot bridges, one of wood and one of stone. This was denied by Odo, Count of Paris, despite that he only could assemble a couple hundred soldiers to defend the city. [19], That summer, the Danes made a final attempt to take the city, but were repulsed. It also proved to the Franks the strategic importance of Paris, at the time only a small island town. Noter: Vikingerne i nyt lys, No.203 (2014). Charles the Fat was King of France during the Second Siege of Paris, he died in 888AD. [6] The numbers, the largest ever recorded for a Viking fleet in contemporary sources, originates from Abbo Cenuus. The Siege of Paris and the Sack of Paris of 845 was the culmination of a Viking invasion of the kingdom of the West Franks. The bridge gone, the northeast tower was now isolated with only twelve defenders inside. 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