Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona
Ramon Berenguer I, called the Old, was Count of Barcelona in 1035–1076. He promulgated the earliest versions of a code of Catalan law. Born in 1024, he succeeded his father, Berenguer Ramon I the Crooked in 1035 and it was during his reign that the dominant position of Barcelona among the other Catalan counties became evident. Ramon Berenguer campaigned against the Moors, extending his dominions as far west as Barbastro, historians claim that those tributes helped create the first wave of prosperity in Catalan history. During his reign Catalan maritime power started to be felt in the western Mediterranean, Ramon Berenguer the Old was the first count of Catalonia to acquire lands and influence north of the Pyrenees. Another major achievement of his was beginning the codification of Catalan law in the written Usatges of Barcelona which was to become the first full compilation of law in Western Europe. Legal codification was part of the efforts to forward and somehow control the process of feudalization which started during the reign of his weak father, Berenguer Ramon.
Another major contributor was the Church acting through the institution of the Peace and Truce of God and this established a general truce among warring factions and lords in a given region for a given time. The earliest extant date for introducing the Truce of God in Western Europe is 1027 in Catalonia, while still married to his second wife Blanca, he became involved with the wife of the Count of Toulouse, Almodis de La Marche, countess of Limoges. Both quickly married and were excommunicated by Pope Victor II. Ramon Berenguer I, together with his third wife Almodis, founded the Romanesque cathedral of Barcelona and their velvet and brass bound wooden coffins are still displayed in the Gothic cathedral which eventually replaced the cathedral that they founded. He was succeeded by his twin sons Ramon Berenguer II and Berenguer Ramon II, bernard F. Reilly, The Contest of Christian and Muslim Spain, 1031-1157, Blackwell Publishing,1995. The status of her authority, Patricia Humphrey, Queens and Potentates, theresa M.
Vann, Academia Press,1993
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, French, lAffable, was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13 and his elder sister Anne of France acted as regent jointly with her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon until 1491 when the young king turned 21 years of age. During Annes regency, the great lords rebelled against royal centralisation efforts in a known as the Mad War. Preoccupied by the succession in the Kingdom of Hungary, Maximilian failed to press his claim. Upon his marriage, Charles became administrator of Brittany and established a union that enabled France to avoid total encirclement by Habsburg territories. The coalition formed against the French invasion of 1494-98 finally drove out Charles army, Charles died in 1498 after accidentally striking his head on the lintel of a door. Since he had no heir, he was succeeded by his cousin Louis XII of France from the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois.
Charles was born at the Château dAmboise in France, the surviving son of King Louis XI by his second wife Charlotte of Savoy. Charles succeeded to the throne on 30 August 1483 at the age of 13 and he was regarded by his contemporaries as possessing a pleasant disposition, but as foolish and unsuited for the business of the state. She would rule as regent, together with her husband Peter of Bourbon, Charles was betrothed on 22 July 1483 to the 3-year-old Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy. The marriage was arranged by Louis XI, and the Estates of the Low Countries as part of the 1482 Peace of Arras between France and the Duchy of Burgundy. Margaret brought the Counties of Artois and Burgundy to France as her dowry, in 1488, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, died in a riding accident, leaving his 11-year-old daughter Anne as his heiress. The Regent Anne of France and her husband Peter refused to countenance such a marriage, since it would place Maximilian and his family, the Habsburgs, on two French borders.
The French army invaded Brittany, taking advantage of the preoccupation of Frederick III and his son with the succession to Mathias Corvinus. Anne of Brittany was forced to renounce Maximilian and agree to be married to Charles VIII instead, in December 1491, in an elaborate ceremony at the Château de Langeais and Anne of Brittany were married. The 14-year-old Duchess Anne, not happy with the arranged marriage, Charless marriage brought him independence from his relatives and thereafter he managed affairs according to his own inclinations. Queen Anne lived at the Clos Lucé in Amboise, there still remained the matter of Charles first betrothed, the young Margaret of Austria. Although the cancellation of her betrothal meant that she by rights should have returned to her family, Charles did not initially do so
Anne of Brittany
Anne of Brittany was Duchess of Brittany from 1488 until her death, and queen consort of France from 1491 to 1498 and from 1499 to her death. She is the woman to have been queen consort of France twice. During the Italian Wars, Anne became queen consort of Naples, from 1501 to 1504, Anne was raised in Nantes during a series of conflicts in which the king of France sought to assert his suzerainty over Brittany. Her father, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, was the last male of the House of Montfort, upon his death in 1488, Anne became duchess regnant of Brittany, countess of Nantes and Richmond, and viscountess of Limoges. She was only 12 at that time, but she was already a coveted heiress because of Brittanys strategic position. The next year, she married Maximilian I of Austria by proxy and he started a military campaign which eventually forced the duchess to renounce her marriage. Anne eventually married Charles VIII in 1491, none of their children survived early childhood, and when the king died in 1498, the throne went to his cousin, Louis XII.
Following an agreement made to secure the annexation of Brittany, Anne had to marry the new king, Louis XII was deeply in love with his wife and Anne had many opportunities to reassert the independence of her duchy. They had two daughters together and, although neither could succeed to the French throne due to the Salic Law, the eldest was proclaimed the heiress of Brittany. Anne managed to have her eldest daughter engaged to the future Charles V of Austria, grandchild of Maximilian I and this marriage led to the formal union between France and Brittany. Anne is highly regarded in Brittany as a ruler who defended the duchy against France. In the Romantic period, she became a figure of Breton patriotism and she was honoured with many memorials and her artistic legacy is important in the Loire Valley, where she spent most of her life. She was notably responsible, with her husbands, for projects in the châteaux of Blois. Four years later, her parents had a daughter, Isabelle. Her mother died when she was little, while her father died when Anne was eleven years old and it is likely that she learned to read and write in French, and perhaps a little Latin.
Contrary to what is claimed, it was unlikely that she learned Greek or Hebrew. She was raised by a governess, Françoise de Dinan, Lady of Chateaubriant, in addition, she had several tutors, including her butler and court poet, Jean Meschinot, who is thought to have taught her dancing and music. The Treaty of Guérande in 1365, stated that in the absence of an heir from the House of Montfort
Charles I, Duke of Savoy
Charles I, surnamed the Warrior, was the Duke of Savoy from 1482 to 1490 and titular king of Cyprus and Armenia from 1485 to 1490. He was son of Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy and Yolande of Valois, Charles was related in two ways to the childless Queen Charlotte of Cyprus, titular Queen of Armenia and Jerusalem. Charlotte however was without a kingdom, having been exiled in the 1460s from her own kingdom of Cyprus by her illegitimate half-brother. The kingdom itself was held by the republic of Venice, and he married Blanche Palaiologina, daughter of William VIII, Marquess of Montferrat, who after Charless death was the regent of the Duchy of Savoy from 1490 to 1496. Yolande Louise of Savoy, married Philibert II of Savoy
Baldwin III of Jerusalem
Baldwin III was King of Jerusalem from 1143 to 1163. He was the eldest son of Melisende and Fulk of Jerusalem and he became king while still a child, and was at first overshadowed by his mother Melisende, whom he eventually defeated in a civil war. During his reign Jerusalem became more closely allied with the Byzantine Empire, Baldwin captured the important Egyptian fortress of Ascalon, but had to deal with the increasing power of Nur ad-Din in Syria. He died childless and was succeeded by his brother Amalric, Baldwin III was born in 1130, during the reign of his maternal grandfather Baldwin II, one of the original crusaders. This made him the third generation to rule Jerusalem, Baldwins mother Princess Melisende was heiress to her father, Baldwin II King of Jerusalem. Baldwin IIIs father was Fulk of Anjou, the former Count of Anjou, King Baldwin II died at the age of 60 when his grandson was a year old, which led to a power struggle between Melisende and Fulk. Melisende asserted her right to rule as successor to her father, yet Baldwin showed little interest in the intricacies of governance.
In the Muslim world, Zengi ruled northern Syria from the cities of Mosul and Aleppo, in 1144, Zengi captured Edessa, which shocked the Western world and led to the Second Crusade. This crusade did not reach Jerusalem until 1148, and in the meantime Zengi was assassinated in 1146 and he was succeeded by his son Nur ad-Din, who was just as eager to bring Damascus under his control. To counter this and Damascus had made an alliance for their mutual protection, Baldwin marched out from Jerusalem and attempted to capture the Muslim fortress Bosra, but Nur ad-Din arrived with his army and forced the Crusaders to withdraw. Later, Jerusalems truce with Damascus was restored, in 1148 the crusade finally arrived in Jerusalem, led by Louis VII of France, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Conrad III of Germany. Damascus was considered important in the history of Christianity than Aleppo. Baldwin agreed to the plan to attack Damascus, but the siege ended in defeat after only four days. The city fell under Nur ad-Dins control in 1154, and the loss of a Muslim counterweight to Nur ad-Din was a diplomatic disaster, by 1149 the crusaders had returned to Europe, leaving behind a weakened Jerusalem.
Nur ad-Din took advantage of the defeat to invade Antioch. Baldwin III hurried north to take up the regency of the principality, raymonds wife, was Baldwins cousin through his mother and heiress of Antioch by right of her father. Baldwin unsuccessfully tried to marry her to an ally, in the north, Baldwin was unable to help defend Turbessel, the last remnant of the County of Edessa, and was forced to cede it to Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus in August 1150. He evacuated Turbessels Latin Christian residents despite being attacked by Nur ad-Din in the Battle of Aintab, in 1152 Baldwin and his mother were called to intervene in a dispute between Baldwins aunt Hodierna of Tripoli and her husband Count Raymond II
Clovis II succeeded his father Dagobert I in 639 as King of Neustria and Burgundy. His brother Sigebert III had been King of Austrasia since 634 and he was initially under the regency of his mother Nanthild until her death in her early thirties in 642. This death allowed him to fall under the influence of the secular magnates, Clovis wife, whose Anglo-Saxon origins are now considered doubtful, was sold into slavery in Gaul. She had been owned by Clovis mayor of the palace and she bore him three sons who all became kings after his death. The eldest, succeeded him and his second eldest, the youngest, succeeded Childeric in Neustria and eventually became the sole king of the Franks. Clovis was a minor for almost the whole of his reign and he is sometimes regarded as king of Austrasia during the interval 656–57 when Childebert the Adopted had usurped the throne. He is often regarded as an early roi fainéant, medieval monks deemed him insane and attribute the stupidity of his descendants to that cause.
Noted Belgian historian Henri Pirenne stated that Clovis died insane, Clovis II was buried in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris. Media related to Clovis II at Wikimedia Commons
Baldwin IV of Jerusalem
Baldwin IV, called the Leper, reigned as King of Jerusalem from 1174 until his death. He was the son of Amalric I of Jerusalem and his first wife, Baldwins father died in 1174 and the boy was crowned at the age of 13, on 15 July that year. In his minority the kingdom was ruled by two regents, first Miles of Plancy, though unofficially, and Raymond III of Tripoli. In 1175, Raymond III, the king of Jerusalem. Sibylla was being raised by her great-aunt Ioveta in the convent of Bethany, while Isabella was at the court of her mother, Raymonds regency ended on the second anniversary of Baldwins coronation, the young king was now of age. He did not ratify Raymonds treaty with Saladin, but instead went raiding towards Damascus and he appointed his maternal uncle, Joscelin III, the titular count of Edessa, seneschal after he was ransomed. Joscelin was his closest male relative who did not have a claim to the throne, so he was judged a reliable supporter, William arrived in early October and became Count of Jaffa and Ascalon upon his marriage.
In 1174, at the age of 13, Baldwin successfully attacked Damascus in order to draw the Muslim Sultan Saladin away from Aleppo. In 1176 he was leading men in the front in similar attacks at Damascus, Baldwin planned an attack on Saladins power-base in Egypt. He sent Raynald of Châtillon to Constantinople as envoy to Manuel I Comnenus, Raynald had recently been released from captivity in Aleppo, Manuel paid his ransom, since he was the stepfather of the Empress Maria of Antioch. Manuel sought the restoration of the Orthodox patriarchate in the kingdom, Reynald returned early in 1177, and was rewarded with marriage to Stephanie of Milly, a widowed heiress. This made him lord of Kerak and Oultrejourdain, Baldwin tried to ensure that Reynald and William of Montferrat co-operated on the defence of the South. However, in June, William died at Ascalon after several weeks illness, in August the kings first cousin, Philip of Flanders, came to Jerusalem on crusade. Philip demanded to wed Baldwins sisters to his vassals, Philip, as Baldwins closest male kin on his paternal side, claimed authority superseding Raymonds regency.
The Haute Cour refused to agree to this, with Baldwin of Ibelin publicly insulting Philip, Philip left the kingdom, campaigning instead for the Principality of Antioch. The Ibelin family were patrons of the dowager queen Maria, in November and Raynald of Châtillon defeated Saladin with the help of the Knights Templar at the celebrated Battle of Montgisard. That same year, Baldwin allowed his stepmother the dowager-queen to marry Balian of Ibelin, with Marias patronage, the Ibelins tried to have the princesses Sibylla and Isabella married into their family as well. In 1179, the met with some military setbacks in the north
Alexios II Komnenos
Alexios II Komnenos or Alexius II Comnenus was Byzantine emperor from 1180 to 1183. He was the son of Emperor Manuel I Komnenos and Maria, daughter of Raymond of Poitiers and he was the long-awaited male heir and was named Alexius as a fulfilment of the AIMA prophecy. On Manuels death in 1180, who became a nun under the name Xene and she excluded her young son from power, entrusting it instead to Alexios the prōtosebastos, who was popularly believed to be her lover. Their party was defeated on 2 May 1182, but Andronikos Komnenos and he entered Constantinople, received with almost divine honours, and overthrew the government. His arrival was celebrated by a massacre of 80,000 Latins in Constantinople, especially the Venetian merchants, which he made no attempt to stop. During the reign of Alexius II, the Byzantine Empire was invaded by King Béla III, losing Syrmia and Bosnia to the Kingdom of Hungary in 1181, even Dalmatia was lost to the Venetians. Kilij Arslan II invaded the empire in 1182, defeating the Byzantines at the Siege of Cotyaeum, resulting in the Empire losing Cotyaeum, Alexios is a character in the historical novel Agnes of France by Greek writer Kostas Kyriazis.
The novel describes the events of the reigns of Manuel I, Alexios II, list of Byzantine emperors Pseudo-Alexios II Harris, Jonathan and the Crusades, Bloomsbury, 2nd ed.2014
Basil II was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned from 10 January 976 to 15 December 1025. He was known in his time as Basil the Porphyrogenitus and Basil the Young to distinguish him from his supposed ancestor, the early years of his long reign were dominated by civil war against powerful generals from the Anatolian aristocracy. For this he was nicknamed the Bulgar Slayer, by which he is popularly known and his reign is therefore often seen as the medieval apogee of the Empire. She originated from the Peloponnese, possibly from the city of Sparta, Basils paternal ancestry is of uncertain origins, his putative ancestor Basil I, the founder of the dynasty, being variously ascribed Armenian, Slavic, or Greek origins. Indeed the biological father of Leo VI the Wise was possibly not Basil I, the family of Michael III were Anatolian Greeks from Phrygia, though originally of the Melchisedechian heretical faith. In 960, Basil was associated on the throne by his father, who died in 963.
Nikephoros was murdered in 969 by his nephew John I Tzimisces, when Tzimisces died on 10 January 976, Basil II finally took the throne as senior emperor. Basil was a soldier and a superb horseman, and he would prove himself as an able general. Basil waited and watched without interfering, devoting himself to learning the details of administrative business, even though Nikephoros II Phokas and John I Tzimiskes were brilliant military commanders, both had proven to be lax administrators. Skleros was allowed to live, but he ended his days blind, perhaps through disease and these rebellions had a profound effect on Basils outlook and methods of governance. The historian Psellus describes the defeated Bardas Skleros giving Basil the following advice, let no generals on campaign have too many resources. Exhaust them with unjust exactions, to keep them busied with their own affairs, admit no woman to the imperial councils. Share with few your most intimate plans, Basil, it would appear, took this advice to heart.
In order to defeat these dangerous revolts, Basil formed an alliance with Prince Vladimir I of Kiev, who in 988 had captured Chersonesos, Vladimir offered to evacuate Chersonesos and to supply 6,000 of his soldiers as reinforcements to Basil. In exchange he demanded to be married to Basils younger sister Anna, the Byzantines viewed all the nations of Northern Europe, be they Franks or Slavs, as barbarians. Anna herself objected to marrying a barbarian ruler, as such a marriage would have no precedence in imperial annals, Vladimir had conducted long-running research into different religions, including sending delegates to various countries. Marriage was not his primary reason for choosing the Orthodox religion, when Vladimir promised to baptize himself and to convert his people to Christianity, Basil finally agreed. Vladimir and Anna were married in the Crimea in 989, the Rus recruitments were instrumental in ending the rebellion, and they were organized into the Varangian Guard
Conrad, called the Younger or the Boy, but usually known by the diminutive Conradin, was the Duke of Swabia, King of Jerusalem, and King of Sicily. Conradin was born in Wolfstein, Bavaria, to Conrad IV of Germany and he is sometimes known as Conrad V of Germany. Though he never succeeded his father in Germany, he was recognized as king of the Germans, having lost his father in 1254, he grew up at the court of his uncle and guardian, Louis II, Duke of Upper Bavaria. His guardians were able to hold Swabia for him, Jerusalem was held by a relative from the royal house of Cyprus as regent. In Sicily, his fathers half-brother Manfred continued as regent, little is known of his appearance and character except that he was beautiful as Absalom, and spoke good Latin. Innocents successor, Pope Alexander IV, continuing this policy, offered the Hohenstaufen lands in Germany to King Alfonso X of Castile and forbade Conradins election as king of the Romans. Having assumed the title of King of Jerusalem and Sicily, Conradin took possession of the Duchy of Swabia in 1262, and remained for some time in his duchy.
Conradins first invitation to Italy came from the Guelphs of Florence, they asked him to arms against Manfred. Louis refused this invitation on his nephews behalf, count Guido de Montefeltro representing Henry of Castile, Senator of Rome, offered him the support of the eternal city. Pledging his lands, Conradin crossed the Alps and issued a manifesto at Verona setting forth his claim on Sicily. Notwithstanding the defection of his uncle Louis and of other companions who returned to Germany, the threats of Clement IV, only Palermo and Messina remained loyal to Charles. The revolt spread to Calabria and Apulia, in November of the same year the Church excommunicated him, but his fleet won a victory over that of Charles, and in July 1268, Conradin himself entered with immense enthusiasm in Rome. Having strengthened his forces, he marched towards Lucera to join the Saracen troops settled there since the time of his grandfather. On 23 August 1268 his multi-national army of Italian, Roman and German troops encountered that of Charles at Tagliacozzo and he was tried as a traitor, and on 29 October 1268 he and Frederick were beheaded.
With Conradins death at 16, the legitimate Hohenstaufen line became extinct, in the 14th century Codex Manesse, a collection of medieval German lyrics, preserved at Heidelberg, there appear two songs written by Conradin, and his fate has formed the subject of several dramas. His hereditary Kingdom of Jerusalem passed to the heirs of his great-great-grandmother Isabella I of Jerusalem, Conradins grandmothers first cousin Mary of Antioch staked her claim on basis of proximity of blood, which she sold to Conradins executioner Charles of Anjou. The general heiress of his Kingdom of Sicily and the Duchy of Swabia was his aunt Margaret, half-sister of his father Conrad IV and married with Albert and their son Frederick claimed Sicily and Swabia on her right. However, these met with little favor
An-Nasir Muhammad was born and died in Cairo. He was the youngest son of Sultan Qalawun and the brother of Sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil and he was born in Cairo at Qalat al-Jabal. His mother was of Mongol origin, Al-Nasir Mohammad married Khawand Toghay, who started as his slave but was freed by him. She gave birth to Prince Anook and his reign was in three stages, as he was deposed twice during his reign. After the assassination of al-Ashraf Khalil in December 1293, he was installed as sultan with Zayn-ad-Din Kitbugha as the regent and vice-sultan, as an-Nasir was only 9-years-old, he was a sultan in name only. Kitbugha and al-Shujai were the rulers of Egypt. The two emirs, who was of Mongol origin, and al-Shujai were rivals and did not get on each other. The Ashrafiyah were defeated and many of them were killed and executed, Kitbugha deposed an-Nasir Muhammad and installed himself sultan with Lajin as his vice-sultan. An-Nasir, who was by now 10 years old, was removed with his mother to another section in the palace where they stayed until they were sent to Karak thus ending the first reign of an-Nasir Muhammad.
In 1296 Kitbugha was deposed by his vice-Sultan Lajin and he fled to Syria, Lajin ruled as a sultan until he was murdered with his vice-sultan Mangu-Temur in 1299 by a group of Emirs led by Saif al-Din Kirji. But the recall of an-Nasir was delayed for some time as Emir Kirji, who murdered Lajin, at last, an-Nasir was recalled and he arrived with his mother in Cairo amid widespread celebration by its population. An-Nasir, who was by now 14 years old, was re-installed with Seif ad-Din Salar, An-Nasir was, again, a nominal Sultan, with the actual rulers being Salar and Baibars al-Jashnakir. The Burji Mamluks became more powerful during the reign of an-Nasir Muhammad. They imposed taxes on people who needed their services or their protection and this official bribery was called Himayah. The rivals of the Burjis, who were led by Baibars al-Jashnakir, were the Salihiyya, news reached Cairo that Ghazan was preparing to attack the Levant with a big army and about 30 Crusade ships arrived in Beirut.
The Emirs decided to send forces from Egypt to Syria, in 1299 Sultan An-Nasir led the Egyptian Army to Syria to take on the army of Ghazan. While the Sultan was on his way to Syria, some Oirats conspired with a mamluk of the Sultan to kill Baibars al-Jashnakir, the sultans mamluk attacked Baibars al-Jashnakir and tried to kill him but he was himself killed. The Oirats attacked the Dihliz of the Sultan but they were stopped in a way that made Salar, the Oirats were arrested and punished and the mamluks who were involved were sent to Al Kark