Padovanino's 1618 depiction of the Siege.

The Siege of Chartres (911) was the part of Norman incursions. In 858 the Normans captured and burned Chartres. After that, in the time of relative peace, the town defenses were rebuilt and strengthened. It turned into a fortified, trapezoid-like city, going close to the river.

When the Viking lord Rollo led the Danish raiders in a siege, they were formidable enough to persuade Charles the Simple that they might become valuable allies. Richard, Duke of Burgundy split his forces into three corps. The first was made up of Aquitanians, assisted by a group of French nobles. According to legend, Bishop Gantelme exposed the Virgin's tunic on the ramparts and led a mob of peasants to charge: the Normans fled as a result.

Rollo attempted to flee from the Frankish cavalry led by Charles the Simple. Rollo was unable to board his army onto his ships due to the rapid approach of the horsemen. Rollo decided to make a defensive wall by slaughtering the livestock from his ships. The Frankish charge halted as their horses were intimidated by the sight and smell of the livestock corpses.

The Franks, unable to attack, decided to instead open negotiations with Rollo: thus the battle ended, as both sides began formulating the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte.

Siege of Chartres in "The Old Grind"[]

While a number of historians have chronicled the Siege of Chartres and the resulting stalemate between Charles and Rollo, very few accounts acknowledge the role which the giantess Fenia played in the battle.[1]


  1. E.g., Chicks Ahoy!, pgs. 185-186.