1066—THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING

If you were to look back at hundreds of years of history in search of the one critical moment after which the history of the English-speaking world would never be the same again, it would undoubtedly be the year 1066. It was during this pivotal time that an event occurred that would have untold ramifications for the European continent: the Norman Conquest of England.

But why does this moment matter so much, both for the medieval world and for us today in the 21st century? While the true meaning and importance of the Norman Conquest has been sharply debated, medievalist and professor Jennifer Paxton of The Catholic University of America argues that the Norman Conquest, and the entire year of 1066, matters deeply for two key reasons.

The Norman Conquest through History

What makes 1066 such a pivotal year in the history of Western civilization? How has the meaning of the Norman Conquest been debated and interpreted over time? And how did two weddings—between the English king Aethelred and the duke of Normandy’s sister, Emma, and then, after the death of Aethelred, Emma’s marriage to the Danish king Cnut—lay the groundwork for this tumultuous moment? Find out in this lecture that provides crucial information for grasping the Norman Conquest.