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Paper I draft - Balloga 1 Abram Balloga HIST 2830 Professor...

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Balloga, 1 Abram Balloga HIST 2830 Professor Hyams Short Paper I Bayeux Tapestry The conquest of Anglo Saxon England in 1066 by the Normans was a pivotal and defining moment in the development of the island. The invaders, under William the Conqueror brought an end to Anglo Saxon rule, overshadowing and to an extent uniting natives under a separate and foreign rule. The merging of these two cultures – the Normans as the newly installed ruling elite, and Saxons as the defeated inhabitants – was fraught with many difficulties. Although William had what many historians believe to be adequate claim to the throne, what used to be the powerful Saxon elite suddenly found themselves disenfranchised by William as he favored the loyalty of his Norman lords with spoils in the form of estates and titles in England. Much bitter resentment certainly must have resulted against the occupying foreigners, and interpreting how history records the Norman invasion becomes an interesting pursuit. How was Williams conquest of England viewed and understood? Was he an unwelcome suppressor, feared and resented by the people as taking that which is not his rightful place? Or were the language and cultural differences irrelevant in comparison to his worthy claim to the throne? For investigating such questions, historians have hardly any authentic resources from the time period from which to derive judgment. The Bayeux Tapestry is one of the few surviving artifacts from which we can make inference. Its origins in make and purpose are open to debate, leaving us little basis and original knowledge for interpretation. Therefore evaluating certain segments for bias or lack there of, aids in determining the overall worth of this piece a preserver of history. Upon making these assumptions, however false the may be, it is then possible to decide on the general perception of the Norman Conquest by the masses.
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Balloga, 2 Before observations can be made it is noteworthy to keep in mind that the Bayeux Tapestry is a work of art, and therefore carries the message of the artist, or in this case more likely the views and themes preferred by whomever ordered its production. It is a large and delicate piece, measuring twenty inches tall and two-hundred thirty feet long. Propaganda? Perhaps a monument to Norman victory, a likening to the frieze inspiraling Trajan’s Column. This we cannot know with certainty, however its size suggests display in a large public place,
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2009 for the course HIST 2830 taught by Professor Paulhyams during the Spring '09 term at Cornell.

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Paper I draft - Balloga 1 Abram Balloga HIST 2830 Professor...

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