Fulk III, Count of Anjou
Fulk III, the Black was an early Count of Anjou celebrated as one of the first great builders of medieval castles. It is estimated Fulk constructed 100 castles, along with abbeys throughout the Loire Valley in what is now France, he fought successive wars with neighbors in Brittany, Blois and Aquitaine and made four pilgrimages to Jerusalem during the course of his life. He had three children. Fulk was a natural horseman and fearsome warrior with a keen sense of military strategy that bested of most of his opponents, he was allied with the goals and aims of the Capetians against the dissipated Carolingians of his era. With his county seat at Angers, Fulk’s bitter enemy was Eudes II of Blois, his neighbor 128 km east along the Loire River, at Tours; the two men traded towns and insults throughout their lives. Fulk finished his first castle at 104 km east of Angers, on the banks of the Loire. Like many of his constructions, it began as a wooden tower, was replaced with a stone structure, fortified with exterior walls, equipped with a thick-walled tower called a donjon in French.
He built it in the territory of Eudes I, Count of Blois, they fought a battle over it in 994. But Eudes I died of a sudden illness, his son and successor, Eudes II, did not manage to evict him. Fulk continued building more towers in a slow encirclement of Tours: Montbazon, Montrésor, Montrichard and the tower of Montboyau, erected just across the Loire from Tours in 1016, he fortified the castles at Angers, Chateau-Gontier, Chinon and Semblançay, among many others. “The construction of castles for the purpose of extending a ruler’s power was part of Fulk Nerra’s strategy,” wrote Peter Fraser Purton, in A History of Medieval Siege, c. 450–1220. Fulk was a devout Christian, who built, enlarged or endowed several abbeys and monasteries, such as the Abbey of Beaulieu-les-Loches, Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, Saint-Aubin, a convent, Notre Dame de la Charité at Ronceray in Angers. Although he never learned to write, he endowed a school with revenue to provide poor students with an education. Fulk undertook four pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
He was the son of Geoffrey I of Anjou known as Geoffrey Grisegonelle, Adélaide of Vermandois. He had an older sister: Hermengarde, who married a younger brother Geoffrey. A half-brother, was born in 980. Fulk married Elisabeth de Vendôme, daughter of Count Bouchard of Vendome, they had a daughter: Adèle. Married Bodon, son of Landry, Count of Nevers, their eldest son, inherited Vendôme. Elisabeth’s death was recounted in the Chronicles of Saint-Florent: Elisabeth occupied the citadel at Anger with some supporters and while under siege from Fulk, she suffered a fall from a great height, was burnt at the stake for adultery. Fulk married Hildegarde de Sundgau, whose family was from Lorraine, around December 1005, they had two children: Geoffroy, in 1006, who became known as Geoffroy Martel, succeeded Fulk as Count of Anjou in 1040. Ermengarde-Blanche, around 1018. Fulk Nerra’s first victory was in June 992 at Battle of Conquereuil, where he managed to defeat Conan I, Duke of Brittany. Conan’s territorial ambitions had been quashed by Geoffroy Grisgonelle in 980, seven years he planned an ambush on Angers while Fulk was at the crowning of Robert the Pious.
Fulk and his men foiled the ambush, killing Alain, in the process. In 992 Fulk laid siege to Conan's castle at Nantes. Conan was killed in the battle, Fulk installed a governor/regent, as the succeeding count was a child. While Fulk and Eudes II fought many skirmishes over territory and alliances, their biggest battle occurred in July 1016 at Battle of Pontlevoy. Eudes marched 10,000 men southward toward Fulk’s tower at Montboyau. Fulk’s men were routed and Eudes, thinking the battle won, went for a swim in the Cher River. Reinforcements led by Herbert Wake-Dog of Maine arrived to help Fulk and routed Eudes' surprised men. Several thousand were reported killed. Fulk undertook four pilgrimages to Jerusalem--first and second as a penitent seeking forgiveness for sins and third and fourth to protect pilgrims. In 1003, Fulk traveled to Jerusalem for his first pilgrimage; the journey was across the Alps at the Grand Bernard Pass in today’s Switzerland, over land to Bari in the southern Italian peninsula, by ship to the Holy Land.
The travel took as long as six months, through dangerous territory. Fulk made a second pilgrimage in 1008, obliged to do so by the king as punishment after Fulk ordered the murder of an enemy. For his third and fourth trips, Fulk had a moral obligation to protect pilgrims in the years following the desecration of Jerusalem by the "Mad Caliph" Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, provided armed security against robbers and enslavers along the route. In 1035, the third pilgrimage with Robert I, Duke of Normandy and in 1038, he made his final pilgrimage, he died in Metz in 1040 on his return from that trip, was buried in the chapel of his monastery at Beaulieu. Geoffroy Martel was Count of Anjou from 1040 to 1060, but had no children from either of two marriages; the Anjou title went to the two sons of his sister Ermengarde-Blanche. Geoffroy III Le Barbu was Count of Anjou from 1060 to 1098. Fulk IV's grandson, Geoffrey Plantagenet, married Matilda, heir to the English thro
Fulk IV, Count of Anjou
Fulk IV, called le Réchin, was the Count of Anjou from 1068 until his death. The nickname by which he is referred has no certain translation. Philologists have made numerous different suggestions, including "quarreler", "rude", "sullen", "surly" and "heroic", he was noted to be "a man with many reprehensible scandalous, habits" by Orderic Vitalis. Fulk, born 1043, was the younger son of Geoffrey II, Count of Gâtinais, Ermengarde of Anjou. Ermengarde was a daughter of Fulk the Black, count of Anjou, the sister of Geoffrey Martel who preceded Fulk and his brother Geoffrey as Count of Anjou; when Geoffrey Martel died without direct heirs he left Anjou to his nephew Geoffrey III of Anjou, Fulk le Réchin's older brother. Fulk fought with his brother, whose rule was deemed incompetent, captured him in 1067. Under pressure from the Church he released Geoffrey; the two brothers soon fell to fighting again, the next year Geoffrey was again imprisoned by Fulk, this time for good. Substantial territory was lost to Angevin control due to the difficulties resulting from Geoffrey's poor rule and the subsequent civil war.
Saintonge was lost, Fulk had to give the Gâtinais to Philip I of France to placate the king. Much of Fulk's rule was devoted to regaining control over the Angevin baronage, to a complex struggle with Normandy for influence in Maine and Brittany. In 1096 Fulk wrote an incomplete history of Anjou and its rulers titled Fragmentum historiae Andegavensis or "History of Anjou." The authorship and authenticity of this work is disputed. Only the first part of the history, describing Fulk's ancestry, is extant; the second part describing Fulk's own rule, has not been recovered. If he did write it, it is one of the first medieval works of history written by a layman, he died in 1109 leaving the restoration of the countship, as it was under Geoffrey Martel, to his successors. Fulk may have married as many as five times, his first wife was Hildegarde of Beaugency. Together they had a daughter: Ermengarde, who married to Duke of Brittany. After her death, before or by 1070, he married Ermengarde de Bourbon. Together they had a son before Fulk repudiated her in 1075 on grounds of consanguinity: Geoffrey IV Martel, ruled jointly with him for some time, but died in 1106.
Around 1076 he married Orengarde de Châtellailon. He repudiated her in 1080 on grounds of consanguinity, he married an unnamed daughter of Walter I of Brienne by 1080. This marriage ended in divorce, in 1087. Lastly, in 1089, he married Bertrade de Montfort, "abducted" by King Philip I of France in or around 1092, they had a son: Fulk V "le Jeune", Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem
Fleurey-sur-Ouche is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France. Communes of the Côte-d'Or department INSEE Official Fleury-sur-Ouche website
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
Robert I, Duke of Burgundy
Robert I of Burgundy, known as Robert the Old and "Tête-Hardi", was Duke of Burgundy from 1032 to his death. Robert was son of brother of Henry I of France. In 1025, with the death of his eldest brother Hugh Magnus, he and Henry rebelled against their father and defeated him, forcing him back to Paris. In 1031, after the death of his father the king, Robert participated in a rebellion against his brother, in which he was supported by his mother, Constance of Arles. Peace was only achieved. Throughout his reign, he was little more than a robber baron who had no control over his vassals, whose estates he plundered those of the Church, he seized the income of the wine of the canons of Dijon. He burgled the abbey of St-Germain at Auxerre. In 1048, he repudiated his wife, Helie of Semur followed by the assassination of her brother Joceran and the murdering her father, his father-in-law, Lord Dalmace I of Semur, with his own hands. In that same year, the Bishop of Langres, refused to dedicate the church of Sennecy so as not "to be exposed to the violence of the duke."
His first son, died in battle at a young age and his second son, Henry predeceased him. He was succeeded by Henry's eldest son, his grandson, Hugh I, he married his first wife, Helie of Semur, about 1033, repudiated her in 1048. Robert and Helie had five children: Hugh, killed in battle Henry, he died shortly before his father. His children included Hugh I, Duke of Burgundy, Odo I, Duke of Burgundy, Henry, Count of Portugal, among others Robert, poisoned. Cambridge Medieval History: Volume III—Germany and the Western Empire. Cambridge University Press: London, 1930
Angers is a city in western France, about 300 km southwest of Paris. It is chef-lieu of the Maine-et-Loire department and was the capital of the province of Anjou until the French Revolution; the inhabitants of both the city and the province are called Angevins. Not including the metropolitan area, Angers is the third most populous commune in northwestern France after Nantes and Rennes and the 17th in France. For centuries, Angers was an important stronghold in northwestern France, it was the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty and became one of the intellectual centers of Europe during the reign of René of Anjou. Angers developed at the confluence of three rivers, the Mayenne, the Sarthe, the Loir, all coming from the north and flowing south to the Loire, their confluence, just north of Angers, creates the Maine, a short but wide river that flows into the Loire several kilometres south. The Angers metropolitan area is a major economic centre in western France active in industry and tourism. Angers proper covers 42.70 square kilometers and has a population of 147,305 inhabitants, while around 394,700 live in its metropolitan area.
The Angers Loire Métropole is made up of 30 communes covering 540 square kilometers with 287,000 inhabitants. Angers enjoys a rich cultural life, made possible by its museums; the old medieval center is still dominated by the massive château of the Plantagenêts, home of the Apocalypse Tapestry, the biggest medieval tapestry ensemble in the world. Angers is both at the edge of the Val de Loire, a World Heritage Site, the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional natural park; the city is first mentioned by Ptolemy around AD 150 in his Geography. It was known as Juliomagus, a name by which it appears in the Tabula Peutingeriana; the name is a compound of the Latin name Julius and the Celtic magos, "market". Similar town dedications were common in Roman Gaul, toponyms kept a Gallic element; when the location needed to be distinguished from other Juliomagi, it was known as Juliomagus Andecavorum, in reference to the principal Gallic tribe in and around the city. Around AD 400, the city came to be referred to as the civitas Andecavorum.
This was a common change in Gaul seen in the names of Paris, Tours and Évreux around this time. During the Middle Ages, the late Latin name developed into the modern one, it is successively mentioned as Andecava civitas, Andegavis and Angeus. The form Angiers appeared during the 12th century and was corrupted to "Angers"; the Latin Andecavum gave Anjou its name. This double formation is quite common in France and is seen in Poitiers & Poitou and Bourges & Berry. Angers was traditionally known as the "Black City" because many roofs were built of slate, due to the quarry in neighbouring Trélazé; these have become less common since the development of the city in the 19th century. The city has been known as: "The Athens of the West", a name borne since the 19th century from the development of its university "The City of Flowers", a name from the Second Empire "Green City", in reference to its numerous parks and important horticultural industry "Angers the White", from its modern tufa façades and with ironic reference to its former name The coat of arms of Angers bears the French royal fleur de lys of the dukes of Anjou.
An acrostic from the Middle Ages calls it Antique clef de France, which means "Ancient key to France": Antique clef de France, Neteté de souffrance, Garant contre ennemis, Etappe d'assurance, Recours de secourance, Securité d'amis. Under Napoleon I's rule, Angers was one of the "Bonnes villes" and was therefore allowed to ask for a new coat of arms; the bees, symbol of the First French Empire replaced the royal fleurs de lys. In 1949, Angers received the 1939–1945 War Cross and since the decoration is sometimes placed between the two fleurs de lys. Angers had several mottos through its history: During Antiquity: Assiuis conciliis. Angers in located at the geographical center of the Maine-et-Loire department, on the road which connects Paris to the Atlantic ocean; the city is situated just south of the confluence of the Loir and Sarthe which form together the river Maine. The Maine crosses heads south towards the Loire; the confluence of the three rivers and the proximity of the Loire make up a natural crossroads which favoured the foundation of the antique Juliomagus.
Angers is located 124 km from Rennes, 132 km from Poitiers and 297 km from Paris. It is 118 km far from Pornic, the closest sea resort, situated on the Atlantic ocean. Elevation varies 12 to 64 meters above sea level. Angers is a hilly town marked by a rocky promontory dominating the lower valley of Anjou; this was the site of the ancient city and still houses the town's castle and medieval quarters. At the north and south, where the river Maine arrives in and leaves Angers, the landscape is formed by islands and floodplains which a
Hildegarde of Burgundy
Hildegarde of Burgundy was a French noble, Duchess consort of Gascony and Aquitaine by marriage to William VIII, Duke of Aquitaine. She was the only daughter of Duke of Burgundy with his second wife, Ermengarde of Anjou, she was, by marriage, Duchess of Gascony and Aquitaine. She married William Duke of Aquitaine. William and Hildegarde had these children together: William IX, Duke of Aquitaine Agnes of Aquitaine, Queen of Aragon and Navarre Beatrice? Married firstly to Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile and secondly to Elias I, Count of Maine. William’s birth was a cause of great celebration at the Aquitanian court, but the Church at first considered him illegitimate because of his parents’ consanguinity; this obliged his father to make a pilgrimage to Rome soon after his birth to seek papal approval of his marriage to Hildegarde