William the Conqueror
William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward, after a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, and he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands, William was the son of the unmarried Robert I, Duke of Normandy, by Roberts mistress Herleva. His illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, during his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke and for their own ends. In 1047 William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy and his marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders.
By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointments of his supporters as bishops and his consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, and by 1062 William was able to secure control of the neighbouring county of Maine. In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England, held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There were other claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson. William argued that Edward had previously promised the throne to him, William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066 and he made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, but by 1075 Williams hold on England was mostly secure, Williams final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, and threatened invasions of England by the Danes.
In 1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a listing all the landholders in England along with their holdings. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France and his reign in England was marked by the construction of castles, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, and change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire, Williams lands were divided after his death, Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, and his second surviving son, William Rufus, received England. Norsemen first began raiding in what became Normandy in the late 8th century, permanent Scandinavian settlement occurred before 911, when Rollo, one of the Viking leaders, and King Charles the Simple of France reached an agreement surrendering the county of Rouen to Rollo. The lands around Rouen became the core of the duchy of Normandy. Normandy may have used as a base when Scandinavian attacks on England were renewed at the end of the 10th century.
In an effort to improve matters, King Æthelred the Unready took Emma of Normandy, sister of Duke Richard II, as his second wife in 1002
William II of England
William II, the third son of William I of England, was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. He was less successful in extending control into Wales, William is commonly known as William Rufus or William the Red, perhaps because of his red-faced appearance. He was a figure of complex temperament, capable of both bellicosity and flamboyance and he did not marry, nor did he produce any offspring, legitimate or otherwise. He died after being struck by an arrow while hunting, under circumstances that remain murky, circumstantial evidence in the behaviour of those around him raise strong but unproven suspicions of murder. His younger brother Henry hurriedly succeeded him as king, on the other hand, he was a wise ruler and victorious general. Barlow finds that, His chivalrous virtues and achievements were all too obvious and he had maintained good order and satisfactory justice in England and restored good peace to Normandy. He had extended Anglo-Norman rule in Wales, brought Scotland firmly under his lordship, recovered Maine, Williams exact date of birth is not known, but it was some time between the years 1056 and 1060.
He was the third of four born to William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, the eldest being Robert Curthose, the second Richard. William succeeded to the throne of England on his fathers death in 1087, Richard had died around 1075 while hunting in the New Forest. William had five or six sisters, records indicate strained relations between the three surviving sons of William I. A brawl broke out, and their father had to intercede to restore order, the division of William the Conquerors lands into two parts presented a dilemma for those nobles who held land on both sides of the English Channel. The only solution, as they saw it, was to unite England, in 1091 he invaded Normandy, crushing Roberts forces and forcing him to cede a portion of his lands. The two made up their differences and William agreed to help Robert recover lands lost to France, William Rufus was thus secure in what was the most powerful kingdom in Europe, given the contemporary eclipse of the Salian emperors. Less than two years after becoming king, William II lost his father William Is adviser and confidant, after Lanfrancs death in 1089, the king delayed appointing a new archbishop for many years, appropriating ecclesiastical revenues in the interim.
The English clergy, beholden to the king for their preferments, in 1095 William called a council at Rockingham to bring Anselm to heel, but the archbishop remained firm. In October 1097, Anselm went into exile, taking his case to the Pope, the diplomatic and flexible Urban II, a new pope, was involved in a major conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, who supported an antipope. Reluctant to make another enemy, Urban came to a concordat with William Rufus, whereby William recognised Urban as pope, Anselm remained in exile, and William was able to claim the revenues of the archbishop of Canterbury to the end of his reign. Lanfranc retorted that you will not seize the bishop of Bayeux and it seems reasonable to suppose that such details are indicative of William IIs personal beliefs
William Longsword, was the second ruler of Normandy, from 927 until his assassination in 942. He is sometimes anachronistically dubbed Duke of Normandy, even though the duke did not come into common usage until the 11th century. Longsword was known at the time by the title Count of Rouen, flodoard—always detailed about titles—consistently referred to both Rollo and his son William as principes of the Norse. William Longsword was born overseas to the Viking Rollo and his Christian wife Poppa of Bayeux, dudo of Saint-Quentin in his panegyric of the Norman dukes describes Poppa as the daughter of a Count Beranger, the dominant prince of that region. In the 11th century Annales Rouennaises, she is called the daughter of Guy, Count of Senlis, despite the uncertainty of her parentage she was undoubtedly a member of the Frankish aristocracy. According to the Longswords planctus, he was baptized a Christian probably at the time as his father. Longsword succeeded Rollo in 927 and, early in his reign, faced a rebellion from Normans who felt he had become too Gallicised, according to Orderic Vitalis, the leader was Riouf of Evreux, who was besieging Longsword in Rouen.
Sallying forth, Longsword won a battle, proving his authority to be Duke. At the time of this 933 rebellion Longsword sent his pregnant wife by custom, Sprota, in 933 Longsword recognized Raoul as King of Western Francia, who was struggling to assert his authority in Northern France. In turn Raoul gave him lordship over much of the lands of the Bretons including Avranches, the Cotentin Peninsula, alan fleeing to England and Beranger seeking reconciliation. In 935, Longsword married Luitgarde, daughter of Count Herbert II of Vermandois whose dowry gave him the lands of Longueville, Longsword contracted a marriage between his sister Adela and William, Count of Poitou with the approval of Hugh the Great. In addition to supporting King Raoul, he was now an ally of his father-in-law, Herbert II. In January 936 King Raoul died and the 16 year old Louis IV, the Bretons returned to recover the lands taken by the Normans, resulting in fighting in the expanded Norman lands. Arnulf captured the castle of Montreuil-sur-Mer expelling Herluin and Longsword cooperated to retake the castle.
Longsword was excommunicated for his actions in attacking and destroying several estates belonging to Arnulf, Longsword pledged his loyalty to King Louis IV when they met in 940 and, in return, he was confirmed in lands that had been given to his father, Rollo. In 941 a peace treaty was signed between the Bretons and Normans, brokered in Rouen by King Louis IV which limited the Norman expansion into Breton lands. The following year, on 17 December 942 at Picquigny on an island on the Somme, Longswords son, Richard becoming the next Duke of Normandy. Longsword had no children with his wife Luitgarde and he fathered his son, Richard the Fearless, with Sprota who was a Breton captive and his concubine
Henry II of England
Henry was the son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England. He became actively involved by the age of 14 in his mothers efforts to claim the throne of England, occupied by Stephen of Blois and he inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards married Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had recently been annulled. Stephen agreed to a treaty after Henrys military expedition to England in 1153. Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his royal grandfather, Henrys desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Beckets murder in 1170, Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a cold war over several decades. By 1172, he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the half of Ireland and the western half of France.
Henry and Eleanor had eight children, as they grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henrys heir apparent, Young Henry, rebelled in protest, he was joined by his brothers Richard and Geoffrey and by their mother, Scotland and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by Henrys vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them new men appointed for their loyalty, Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183, resulting in Young Henrys death. The Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, Philip successfully played on Richards fears that Henry would make John king, and a final rebellion broke out in 1189. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from an ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon in Anjou. Henrys empire quickly collapsed during the reign of his youngest son John, many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, had long-term consequences.
Historical interpretations of Henrys reign have changed considerably over time, in the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and, ultimately, a unified Britain. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133 as the eldest child of the Empress Matilda and her second husband, Geoffrey the Fair, Count of Anjou. In theory, the county answered to the French king, but royal power over Anjou weakened during the 11th century, Henrys mother, firstly married to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, was the eldest daughter of Henry I, King of England and Duke of Normandy. She was born into a ruling class of Normans, who traditionally owned extensive estates in both England and Normandy. Geoffrey took advantage of the confusion to attack the Duchy of Normandy but played no role in the English conflict, leaving this to Matilda and her half-brother.
The war, termed the Anarchy by Victorian historians, dragged on, Henry probably spent some of his earliest years in his mothers household, and accompanied Matilda to Normandy in the late 1130s
Its rulers were Henry II, Richard I, and John. The empire was established by Henry II, as King of England, Count of Anjou, in 1152, through marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, he became ruler of the Duchy of Aquitaine. Despite the extent of Angevin rule, Henrys son, was defeated in the Anglo-French War by Philip II of France of the House of Capet following the Battle of Bouvines, John lost control of all his continental possessions, apart from Gascony in southern Aquitaine. This defeat set the scene for the Saintonge War and the Hundred Years War, the term Angevin Empire is a neologism defining the lands of the House of Plantagenet, Henry II and his sons Richard I and John. Another son, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany, ruled Brittany, the term Angevin Empire was coined by Kate Norgate in her 1887 publication, England under the Angevin Kings. In France, the term Espace Plantagenêt is sometimes used to describe the fiefdoms the Plantagenets had acquired. The term Angevin itself is the demonym for the residents of Anjou and its capital, Angers.
The demonym, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, has been in use since 1653, the use of the term Empire has engendered controversy among some historians, over whether the term is accurate for the actual state of affairs at the time. The area was a collection of the inherited and acquired by Henry. Other historians argue that Henry IIs empire was powerful, centralised. There was no title, as implied by the term Angevin Empire. However, even if the Plantagenets themselves did not claim any imperial title, some chroniclers, often working for Henry II himself, Auvergne was in the empire for part of the reigns of Henry II and Richard, in their capacity as dukes of Aquitaine. Henry II and Richard I pushed further claims over the County of Berry but these were not completely fulfilled and the county was lost completely by the time of the accession of John in 1199. The frontiers of the empire were sometimes well known and therefore easy to mark, one characteristic of the Angevin Empire was its polycratic nature, a term taken from a political pamphlet written by a subject of the Angevin Empire, the Policraticus by John of Salisbury.
This meant that rather than the empire being controlled fully by the ruling monarch, he would delegate power to specially appointed subjects in different areas. England was under the firmest control of all the lands in the Angevin Empire, due to the age of many of the offices that governed the country, England was divided in shires with sheriffs in each enforcing the common law. A justiciar was appointed by the king to stand in his absence when he was on the continent, as the kings of England were more often in France than England they used writs more frequently than the Anglo-Saxon kings, which actually proved beneficial to England. Under William Is rule, Anglo-Saxon nobles had been replaced by Anglo-Norman ones who couldnt own large expanses of contiguous lands
Charles the Simple
Charles III, called the Simple or the Straightforward, was the King of West Francia from 898 until 922 and the King of Lotharingia from 911 until 919–23. He was a member of the Carolingian dynasty, Charles was the third and posthumous son of king Louis the Stammerer by his second wife Adelaide of Paris. As a child, Charles was prevented from succeeding to the throne at the time of the death in 884 of his half-brother, Frankish nobles of the realm asked his cousin, Emperor Charles the Fat to assume the crown. The nobility elected Odo, the hero of the Siege of Paris as the new king, in 893 Charles was crowned by a faction opposed to the rule of Odo at the Reims Cathedral, becoming monarch of West Francia only after the death of Odo in 898. In 911 a group of Vikings led by Rollo besieged Paris, after a victory near Chartres on 26 August, Charles decided to negotiate with Rollo, resulting in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte which created the Duchy of Normandy. Rollo agreed to be baptised and to marry Charles daughter Gisela, Charles had tried to win Lotharingian support for years, for instance, by marrying in April 907 a Lotharingian woman named Frederuna, and in 909 his niece Cunigunda married Wigeric of Lotharingia.
Charles defended Lotharingia against two attacks by Conrad I, in 925 Lotharingia was once again seized by East Francia. Queen Frederuna died on 10 February 917 leaving six daughters and no sons, on 7 October 919 Charles married Eadgifu, the daughter of Edward the Elder, King of England, who bore him a son, the future King Louis IV of France. By this time Charles excessive favouritism towards a certain Hagano had turned the aristocracy against him and he endowed Hagano with monasteries that were already the benefices of other barons, alienating them. In Lotharingia he earned the enmity of the new duke Gilbert, opposition to Charles in Lotharingia was not universal, however, he retained support of Wigeric. The nobles, completely exasperated with Charles policies and especially his favoritism of count Hagano, after negotiations by Archbishop Herveus of Reims the king was released. In 922 the Frankish nobles revolted again led by Robert of Neustria, who was Odos brother, was elected king by the rebels and crowned, while Charles had to flee to Lotharingia.
On 2 July 922, Charles lost his most faithful supporter, Herveus of Reims, Charles returned with a Norman army in 923 but was defeated on 15 June near Soissons by Robert, who died in the battle. Charles was captured and imprisoned in a castle at Péronne under the guard of Herbert II of Vermandois, Roberts son-in-law Rudolph of Burgundy was elected to succeed him as king. Charles died in prison on 7 October 929 and was buried at the abbey of Saint-Fursy. His son by Eadgifu would eventually be crowned in 936 as Louis IV of France, in the initial aftermath of Charless defeat, Queen Eadgifu and children had fled to England. On 6 December 884 King Carloman II of West Francia died without a heir and his half-brother. Because of this, their cousin Charles the Fat, already Holy Roman Emperor, since the beginning, the new monarch was forced to deal with constant Viking raids, with little success
Norman conquest of England
Williams claim to the English throne derived from his familial relationship with the childless Anglo-Saxon King Edward the Confessor, who may have encouraged Williams hopes for the throne. Edward died in January 1066 and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson, within days, William landed in southern England. Harold marched south to confront him, leaving a significant portion of his army in the north, Harolds army confronted Williams invaders on 14 October at the Battle of Hastings, Williams force defeated Harold, who was killed in the engagement. Although Williams main rivals were gone, he faced rebellions over the following years and was not secure on his throne until after 1072. The lands of the resisting English elite were confiscated, some of the elite fled into exile, to control his new kingdom, William granted lands to his followers and built castles commanding military strongpoints throughout the land. More gradual changes affected the classes and village life, the main change appears to have been the formal elimination of slavery.
There was little alteration in the structure of government, as the new Norman administrators took over many of the forms of Anglo-Saxon government. In 911 the Carolingian French ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings under their leader Rollo to settle in Normandy as part of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for the land, the Norsemen under Rollo were expected to provide protection along the coast against further Viking invaders and their settlement proved successful, and the Vikings in the region became known as the Northmen from which Normandy and Normans are derived. The Normans quickly adopted the culture, renouncing paganism and converting to Christianity. They adopted the langue doïl of their new home and added features from their own Norse language, in 1002 King Æthelred the Unready married Emma of Normandy, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Their son Edward the Confessor, who spent many years in exile in Normandy and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex and his sons, Edward may have encouraged Duke William of Normandys ambitions for the English throne.
When King Edward died at the beginning of 1066, the lack of a clear heir led to a succession in which several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. Edwards immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, Harold was immediately challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. William and Harald at once set about assembling troops and ships to invade England, in early 1066, Harolds exiled brother, Tostig Godwinson, raided southeastern England with a fleet he had recruited in Flanders, joined by other ships from Orkney. Threatened by Harolds fleet, Tostig moved north and raided in East Anglia and Lincolnshire, but he was back to his ships by the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia. Deserted by most of his followers, he withdrew to Scotland, King Harald Hardrada invaded northern England in early September, leading a fleet of more than 300 ships carrying perhaps 15,000 men. Haralds army was augmented by the forces of Tostig, who threw his support behind the Norwegian kings bid for the throne
Counts and dukes of Anjou
The Count of Anjou was the ruler of the county of Anjou, first granted by Charles the Bald in the 9th century to Robert the Strong. Ingelger and his son were viscounts of Angers until Ingelgers son Fulk the Red assumed the title of Count of Anjou, Ingelgers male line ended with Geoffrey II, Count of Anjou. Subsequent counts of Anjou were descended from Geoffreys sister Ermengarde of Anjou and Geoffrey II and their agnatic descendants, who included the Angevin kings of England, continued to hold these titles and property until the French monarchy gained control of the area. Thereafter the titles Count of Anjou and, after 1360, Duke of Anjou were granted several times, usually to members of the French ruling houses of Valois and Bourbon. The title was held by Philippe, a grandson of King Louis XIV, since then, some Spanish legitimist claimants to the French throne have borne the title even to the present day, as does a nephew of the Orléanist pretender. In 1204, Anjou was lost to king Philip II of France and it was re-granted as an appanage for Louis VIIIs son John, who died in 1232 at the age of thirteen, and to Louiss youngest son, the first Angevin king of Sicily.
In 1290, Margaret married Charles of Valois, the brother of king Philip IV of France. He became Count of Anjou in her right, in 1328, Philip of Valois ascended the French throne and became King Philip VI. At this time, the counties of Anjou, Maine, on 26 April 1332, Philip granted the county to his eldest son, Following Johns ascension to the throne as John II in 1350, the title once again reverted to the royal domain. The dukes contributed greatly to social reform in the 1300s and 1400s, on the death of Charles IV, Anjou returned to the royal domain. After the death of Henry, Count of Chambord, only the descendants of Philip V of Spain remained of the line of Louis XIV. The most senior of these, the Carlist claimant to the Spanish throne, some of them used the courtesy title of Duke of Anjou. At the death of Alfonso Carlos in 1936, the Capetian seniority passed to the exiled King of Spain, Alfonso XIII. In 1941, Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia, succeeded his father Alfonso XIII as the male of Louis XIV.
He adopted the title of Duke of Anjou, on December 8,2004, Count of Paris, Duke of France, Orléanist Pretender to the French throne, granted his nephew Charles Philippe the title of Duke of Anjou. For him, the title was available since 1824, because he doesnt recognize his cousins courtesy title, list of Countesses and Duchesses of Anjou Anjou Titles of the counts and dukes of Anjou in the 11-16th centuries from contemporary documents with bibliography
Robert Curthose, sometimes called Robert II or Robert III, was the Duke of Normandy from 1087 until 1106 and an unsuccessful claimant to the throne of the Kingdom of England. Robert was the eldest son of William the Conqueror, the first Norman king of England, and Matilda of Flanders, and a participant in the First Crusade. His reign as duke is noted for the discord with his brothers in England, eventually leading to his death in captivity, Roberts birth-date is usually given as 1054, but may have been 1051. As a child he was betrothed to Margaret, the heiress of Maine, but she died before they could be wed, in his youth he was reported to be courageous and skillful in military exercises. He was, prone to laziness and weakness of character that discontented nobles and he was unsatisfied with the share of power allotted to him and quarreled with his father and brothers fiercely. In 1063, his father made him the Count of Maine in view of his engagement to Margaret, the county was presumably run by his father until 1069 when the county revolted and reverted to Hugh V of Maine.
In 1077, Robert instigated his first insurrection against his father as the result of a prank played by his younger brothers William Rufus and Henry, who had dumped a full chamber-pot over his head. Robert was enraged and, urged on by his companions, started a brawl with his brothers that was interrupted by the intercession of their father. Feeling that his dignity was wounded, Robert was further angered when King William failed to punish his brothers, the next day Robert and his followers attempted to seize the castle of Rouen. The siege failed, when King William ordered their arrest and they were forced to flee again when King William attacked their base at Rémalard. Relations were not helped when King William discovered that his wife, at a battle in January 1079, Robert unhorsed King William in combat and succeeded in wounding him, stopping his attack only when he recognized his fathers voice. Humiliated, King William cursed his son, King William raised the siege and returned to Rouen. At Easter 1080, father and son were reunited by the efforts of Queen Matilda, Robert seems to have left court soon after the death of his mother, Queen Matilda, and spent several years travelling throughout France and Flanders.
He visited Italy seeking the hand of the great heiress Matilda of Tuscany but was unsuccessful, during this period as a wandering knight Robert sired several illegitimate children. His illegitimate son, seems to have spent much of his life at the court of his uncle William Rufus. This Richard was killed in a accident in the New Forest in 1099 as was his uncle, King William Rufus. An illegitimate daughter was married to Helias of Saint-Saens. In 1087, the elder William died of wounds suffered from an accident during a siege of Mantes
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance, the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history, classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is subdivided into the Early, High. Population decline, counterurbanisation and movement of peoples, the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the seventh century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete. The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire survived in the east and remained a major power, the empires law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or Code of Justinian, was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became widely admired in the Middle Ages.
In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions, monasteries were founded as campaigns to Christianise pagan Europe continued. The Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty, briefly established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th, the Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation states, reducing crime and violence, intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, and by the founding of universities. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the conflict, civil strife. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages, the Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history, classical civilisation, or Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Modern Period.
Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the Six Ages or the Four Empires, when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being modern. In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua, leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People. Bruni and argued that Italy had recovered since Petrarchs time. The Middle Ages first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or middle season, in early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or middle age, first recorded in 1604, and media saecula, or middle ages, first recorded in 1625. The alternative term medieval derives from medium aevum, tripartite periodisation became standard after the German 17th-century historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods, Ancient and Modern. The most commonly given starting point for the Middle Ages is 476, for Europe as a whole,1500 is often considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date.
English historians often use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period
Richard I of Normandy
Richard I, known as Richard the Fearless was the Count of Rouen or Jarl of Rouen from 942 to 996. Dudo of Saint-Quentin, whom Richard commissioned to write the De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum, this use of the word may have been in the context of Richards renowned leadership in war, and not as a reference to a title of nobility. Richard either introduced feudalism into Normandy or he greatly expanded it, by the end of his reign, most important Norman landholders held their lands in feudal tenure. Richard was born to William Longsword, princeps of Normandy, and his mother was a Breton concubine captured in war and bound to William by a more danico marriage. He was the grandson of the famous Rollo, William was told of the birth of a son after the battle with Riouf and other Viking rebels, but his existence was kept secret until a few years when William Longsword first met his son Richard. After kissing the boy and declaring him his heir, William sent Richard to be raised in Bayeux, Richard was about ten years old when his father was killed on 17 December 942.
After William was killed, Sprota became the wife of Esperleng, rodulf of Ivry was their son and Richards half-brother. With the death of Richards father in 942, King Louis IV of France installed the boy, Richard and he split up the Duchy, giving its lands in lower Normandy to Hugh the Great. In 946, at the age of 14, Richard allied himself with the Norman and Viking leaders in France, a battle was fought after which the Louis IV was captured. Hostages were taken and held until King Louis recognised Richard as Duke, Louis IV working with Arnulf I, Count of Flanders persuaded Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor to attack Richard and Hugh. The combined armies of Otto and Louis IV were driven from the gates of Rouen, fleeing to Amiens, a period of peace ensued, Louis IV dying in 954,13 year old Lothair becoming King. The aged Hugh appointed Richard as guardian of his 15-year-old son, the king of the West Franks, was fearful that Richards retaliation could destabilize a large part of West Francia so he stepped in to prevent any further war between the two.
In 987 Hugh Capet became King of the Franks, for the last 30 years until his death in 996 in Fécamp, Richard concentrated on Normandy itself, and participated less in Frankish politics and its petty wars. Richard was succeeded in November 996 by his 33-year-old son, Richard II, Richard used marriage to build strong alliances. His marriage to Emma of Paris connected him directly to the House of Capet and his daughters forged valuable marriage alliances with powerful neighboring counts as well as to the king of England. Emma marrying firstly Æthelred the Unready and after his death in 1016, Richard built on his relationship with the church, undertaking acts of piety, restoring their lands and ensuring the great monasteries flourished in Normandy. His further reign was marked by a period of peace. His first marriage in 960 was to Emma, daughter of Hugh The Great of France and they were betrothed when both were very young