Zoë Porphyrogenita reigned as Byzantine Empress alongside her sister Theodora from 10 April 1042 to June 1050. She was enthroned as empress consort to a series of co-rulers between 1028 and 1042. Zoë was born to a nominal co-emperor, Constantine VIII, but lived a life of relative obscurity until the age of 47, her uncle Basil II died, leaving the Byzantine throne to her father. As he had no sons, Constantine hoped to continue the dynasty by marrying off one of his daughters. Zoë, aged 50, was married to Romanos III Argyros, who became emperor three days on her father's death; the marriage was troubled and after five years Romanos was found dead in his bath. His death has been variously attributed to her young lover, they were married on the same day as the murder, he was crowned emperor as Michael IV on the following day. Seven years Zoë was persuaded to adopt her dying husband's nephew named Michael. Once Michael V became emperor, he promptly exiled Zoë; this sparked a popular revolt which dethroned him and installed Zoë and her sister Theodora as joint empresses.
After a two-month joint reign Zoë married a former lover, installed as Constantine IX Monomachos, transferring power to him. Eight years Zoë died aged 72. Zoë was Porphyrogenita, "born into the purple", she was the second daughter of his wife Helena. Her father became co-emperor, at the age of two, in 962 and sole emperor in 1025, his reign as sole emperor lasted less than three years, from 15 December 1025 to 15 November 1028. As an eligible imperial princess Zoë was considered a possible bride for the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto III, in 996. A second embassy sent in 1001, headed by Arnulf, Archbishop of Milan, was tasked with selecting Otto’s bride from among Constantine’s three daughters; the eldest, was disfigured by smallpox, while the youngest, was a plain girl. Arnulf therefore selected the attractive 23-year-old Zoë. In January 1002 she accompanied Arnulf back to Italy, only to discover when the ship reached Bari that Otto had died, forcing her to return home. Another opportunity arose in 1028, when an embassy from the Holy Roman Empire arrived in Constantinople with a proposal for an imperial marriage.
Constantine VIII and Zoë rejected the idea out of hand when it was revealed that the intended groom, the son of Conrad II, was only ten years old. Basil II prevented his nieces from marrying any of the Byzantine nobility, as this would have given their husbands a claim on the imperial throne; as women they were unable to exercise any state authority, their only say in this was in choosing, or more accepting or not, a husband who would acquire their authority upon marriage. Zoë lived a life of virtual obscurity in the imperial gynaeceum for many years. Constantine determined that the ruling house would be continued by one of his daughters being married to an appropriate aristocrat; the first potential match was the distinguished noble Constantine Dalassenos, the former dux of Antioch. The emperor's advisors preferred a weak ruler whom they could control and they persuaded him to reject Dalassenos after he had been summoned to the capital. Romanos Argyros, the urban prefect of Constantinople, was the next to be considered as a match.
Theodora defied her father by refusing to marry Romanos, arguing that he was married – his wife having been forced to become a nun to allow Romanos to marry into the imperial family – and that as third cousins they had too close a blood relationship for marriage to occur. Constantine VIII chose Zoë to be Romanos's wife instead of Theodora. Zoe and Romanos married on 10 November 1028 in the imperial chapel of the palace. Three days Constantine died and the newly-weds were seated on the imperial throne. Spending years in the same restrictive quarters with her sister, Zoë had come to loathe Theodora. Zoë convinced Romanos to appoint one of his own men as the chief of Theodora’s household, with orders to spy on her. Shortly afterwards, Theodora was accused of plotting to usurp the throne, first with Presian of Bulgaria in 1030, followed by Constantine Diogenes, the Archon of Sirmium, in 1031. Zoë accused her of being part of the conspiracy, Theodora was forcibly confined in the monastery of Petrion.
Zoë visited her sister and forced her to take religious vows. Zoë was obsessed with continuing the Macedonian dynasty. Upon marrying Romanos the fifty-year-old Zoë tried to become pregnant, she used magic charms and potions, all without effect. This failure to conceive helped alienate the couple, soon Romanos refused to share the marriage bed with her. Romanos paid her little attention. Zoë, furious and frustrated, engaged in a number of affairs. Romanos took a mistress himself. In 1033 Zoë became, she flaunted her lover and spoke about making him emperor. Hearing the rumours, Romanos was concerned and confronted Michael. In early 1034 Romanos became ill and it was believed that Zoë and Michael were conspiring to have him poisoned. On 11 April Romanos was found dying in his bath. According to court official and chronicler Michael Psellus some of his retinue had "held his head for a long time beneath the water, attempting at the same time to strangle him". John Scylitzes writes as a simple fact. Matthew of Edessa's account has Zoë poisoning Romanos.
Zoë and Michael were married on the same day that R
Lothair of France
Lothair, sometimes called Lothair III or Lothair IV, was the penultimate Carolingian king of West Francia, reigning from 10 September 954 until his death in 986. Lothair was born in Laon near the end of 941, as the eldest son of King Louis IV and Gerberga of Saxony, he succeeded his father on 10 September 954 at the age of thirteen and was crowned at the Abbey of Saint-Remi by Artald of Reims, Archbishop of Reims on 12 November 954. Lothair had been associated with the throne since the illness of his father in 951, this being a custom in the royal succession since the founding of the Kingdom of the Franks by the Merovingian dynasty. Queen Gerberga made an arrangement with her brother-in-law Hugh the Great, Duke of the Franks and Count of Paris, an adversary of Lothair's father. In exchange for supporting Lothair's rule Hugh was given rule over Duchy of Aquitaine and much of Kingdom of Burgundy as more or less a regent. Lothair inherited a fragmented kingdom, where the great magnates took lands and offices without any regard for the authority of the king.
Magnates like Hugh the Great and Herbert II, Count of Vermandois were always a veiled threat. In 955 Lothair and Hugh the Great together took Poitiers by siege. With Hugh the Great's death in 956 Lothair, only fifteen, came under the guardianship of his maternal uncle Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, brother of East Francia's king Otto I. With Bruno's advice, Lothair mediated between Hugh's sons -- Otto, Duke of Burgundy; the King gave Paris and the title of dux francorum to Hugh Capet, invested Otto with the Duchy of Burgundy in 956. The guardianship of Archbishop Bruno of Cologne lasted until 965 and oriented Lothair towards policy of submission towards the East Francia, evolving into German Holy Roman Empire. Despite his youth, Lothair reinforced his authority over his vassals; this desire of political independence led to a deterioration in relations between the King and his maternal relatives and a struggle with the new Holy Roman Empire. Despite this, Lothair wanted to maintain ties with Emperor Otto I by marrying Princess Emma of Italy in early 966.
In 962 Baldwin III, Count of Flanders, son, co-ruler, heir of Arnulf I, Count of Flanders died and Arnulf bequeathed Flanders to Lothair. On Arnulf's death in 965, Lothair invaded Flanders and took many cities, but was repulsed by the supporters of Arnulf II, Count of Flanders, he temporarily remained in control of Douai. Lothair attempted to increase his influence in the Lotharingia, once held by his family, in turn Emperor Otto II encouraged resistance to Lothair's overtures. In 976 the brothers Reginar IV, Count of Mons and Lambert I, Count of Louvain, after being dispossessed from their paternal inheritance by Emperor Otto II, made an alliance with Charles and Otto, Count of Vermandois and with an army they marched against the Imperial troops. A great battle, which remained undecided, took place in Mons. Although Lothair secretly encouraged this war, he did not intervene directly to help his brother. Charles established himself in Lotharingia, his main interest was to break the harmony between Lothair and the House of Ardennes, loyal to Emperor Otto II and powerful in Lotharingia and to which belonged both the Chancellor-Arbishop Adalberon of Reims and his namesake Bishop Adalberon of Laon.
In 977, Charles accused Queen Emma of adultery with Bishop Adalberon of Laon. The Synod of Sainte-Macre, led by Archbishop Adalberon of Reims, took place in Fismes to discuss the matter. Due to a lack of evidence, both the Queen and Bishop were absolved, but Charles, who maintained the rumors, was expelled from the kingdom by Lothair; the House of Ardennes and the Lotharingian party, who were favorable to an agreement with Otto II, seemed all-powerful at the court of Lothair. Otto II, committed the mistakes of restoring the County of Hainaut to Reginar IV and Lambert I, of appointing Charles as Duke of Lower Lorraine, a region corresponding to the northern half of Lotharingia, separate from the Upper Lotharingia since the late 950. Rewarding Charles, who had questioned the honor of the wife of the King of the Franks, was a way to offend the King himself. In August 978 Lothair mounted an expedition into Lorraine accompanied by Hugh Capet and upon their crossing the Meuse river took Aachen, but did not capture Otto II or Charles.
Lothair sacked the imperial Palace of Aachen for three days, reversed the direction of the bronze eagle of Charlemagne to face east instead of west. In retaliation Otto II, accompanied by Charles, invaded West Francia in October 978 and ravaged Reims and Laon. Lothair was able to escape from the Imperial troops, but Charles was proclaimed King of the Franks in Laon by Bishop Dietrich I of Metz, a relative of Emperor Otto I; the Imperial army advanced to Paris. On 30 November 978, Otto II and Charles, unable to take Paris, lifted their siege of the city and turned back; the Frankish royal army led by Lothair pursued and defeated them while crossing the river Aisne and being able to recover Laon, forcing Otto II to flee and take refuge in Aachen with Charles, the puppet-King he wanted to impose on West Francia. In West Francia the hasty retreat of Emperor Otto II had a considerable impact and long after was evoked as a great victory of Lothair. Thus, written in 1015, the Chronicles of Sens gives an epic description: there Lothair wa
Romanos III Argyros
Romanos III Argyros, or Romanus III Argyrus, was Byzantine emperor from 15 November 1028 until his death. He was a Byzantine noble and senior official in Constantinople when the dying Constantine VIII forced him to divorce his wife and marry the emperor's daughter Zoë. Upon Constantine's death three days Romanos took the throne. Romanos has been recorded as a ineffective emperor, he disorganised the tax system and undermined the military leading a disastrous military expedition against Aleppo. He fell out with his wife and foiled several attempts on his throne, including two which revolved around his sister-in-law Theodora, he spent large amounts on the repair of churches and monasteries. He died after six years on the throne murdered, was succeeded by his wife's young lover, Michael IV. Romanos Argyros, born in 968, was the son of an unnamed member of the Argyros family; this may have been either Pothos Argyros who defeated a Magyar raid in 958, or Eustathios Argyros, known only for commissioning a poem in honour of Romanos II in 950.
Romanos' grandfather was the son of another Romanos Argyros, who had married Agatha, a daughter of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos. Romanos had several siblings: Basil Argyros, who served as general and governor under Basil II, he served with the rank of protospatharios. In this capacity he persecuted heretics at Akmoneia, he was promoted to the post of quaestor and became one of the judges of the Hippodrome, the High Court of the Empire. In this role he is mentioned in the Peira, a compendium of legal decisions compiled by the noted jurist Eustathios Rhomaios, he was promoted further to the rank of patrikios and the post of Oikonomos of the Great Church, while continuing to preside over the High Court. Under Emperor Constantine VIII he held the post of urban prefect of Constantinople, which made him the formal head of the Senate and one of the emperor’s chief lieutenants. Late in 1028, Constantine VIII lay on his deathbed. Wishing to secure the Macedonian dynasty, but having no son, he summoned Constanine Dalassenos from Antioch to marry his oldest daughter, Zoë.
Dalassenos, the doux of Antioch was an experienced military commander, influential patrician, unswervingly loyal to the ruling house. The emperor's advisors preferred not to have a strong military figure as the new emperor, persuaded the Emperor to choose Romanos instead, as a more pliable and less travelled candidate. Constantine VIII forced Romanos to marry Zoë, aged 50 at the time; the marriage took place on 12 November 1028, three days Constantine VIII died, leaving Romanos III as emperor. The new emperor was eager to make his mark as a ruler, but was ineffectual in his enterprises, he idealised Marcus Aurelius, aspiring to be a new philosopher king, sought to imitate the military prowess of Trajan. He spent large sums in endowing churches and monasteries, he endeavoured to relieve the pressure of taxation on the aristocracy, which undermined the finances of the state. Previous emperors had attempted to control the privileges of the nobles over the common people. Coming from the aristocracy himself, Romanos III abandoned this policy.
This failure to stand up to the aristocrats allowed them to exploit the rural mass of landed peasantry, who fell into a condition of serfdom. This in turn undermined the traditional recruiting base of the Byzantine army; the combination of a reduced tax base and fewer native-born troops had long-term consequences. As revenue declined, the subsequent impoverishment of the state weakened the military's recruitment power still further. In 1030 he resolved to lead an army in person against the Mirdasids of Aleppo, despite their having accepted the Byzantines as overlords, with disastrous results; the army camped at a waterless site and its scouts were ambushed. An attack by the Byzantine cavalry was defeated; that night Romanos held an imperial council at which the demoralised Byzantines resolved to abandon the campaign and return to Byzantine territory. Romanos ordered his siege engines to be burned. On 10 August 1030 the army made for Antioch. Discipline broke down in the Byzantine army, with Armenian mercenaries using the withdrawal as an opportunity to pillage the camp's stores.
The Emir of Aleppo launched the imperial army broke and fled. Only the imperial bodyguard, the Hetaireia, held firm. Accounts vary on the battle losses: John Skylitzes wrote that the Byzantines suffered a "terrible rout" and that some troops were killed in a chaotic stampede by their fellow soldiers, Yahya of Antioch wrote that the Byzantines suffered remarkably few casualties. According to Yahya, two high ranking Byzantine officers were among the fatalities, another officer was captured by the Arabs. After this defeat the army became a "laughing-stock". Despite his victory, the Emir of Aleppo opened negotiations and signed a treaty that m
Abbey of Saint-Remi
The Abbey of Saint-Remi is an abbey in Reims, founded in the sixth century. Since 1099 it has conserved the relics of Saint Remi, the Bishop of Reims who converted Clovis, King of the Franks, to Christianity at Christmas in AD 496, after he defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac; the present basilica was the abbey church. The eleventh-century nave and transepts, in the Romanesque style, are the oldest; the obscure origins of the great abbey at Reims lie in a little 6th-century chapel dedicated to Saint Christopher. The abbey's success was founded on its acquisition of the relics of St. Remy in 553. By the 9th century the abbey possessed about 700 domains and was the most richly endowed in France, it seems probable that secular priests were the first guardians of the relics, but were succeeded by the Benedictines. From 780 to 945 the archbishops of Reims served as its abbots. At the abbey Charlemagne received Pope Leo III. In 1005 the abbot Aviard undertook to rebuild the church of St-Remy, for twenty years the work went on uninterruptedly before vaulting collapsed, no doubt from insufficient buttressing.
Abbot Theodoric erected the magnificent surviving basilica which Pope Leo IX dedicated in 1049 and to which he granted many privileges. The abbey library and its schools were of such high repute that Pope Alexander III wrote a commendatory letter to the Abbot Peter, which survives; the years of around 1170 to 1180 brought this time to the choir. The purpose of replacing the short eastern section of the Romanesque church was to create a grander and more spacious interior for the shrine of St Remy; the shrine was detached from its previous location, next to the altar, moved further east. The archbishops of Reims and several princes, brother of Charlemagne, Henri d'Orléans, kings Louis IV of France and Lothair were buried in the monastery. Among the illustrious abbots, all drawn from the higher nobility, may be mentioned: Henri de Lorraine, who affiliated the abbey to the Congregation of St. Maur. Many valuable objects from the abbey were looted in the French Revolutionary period and the Holy Ampulla of the coronation of the kings of France kept in the abbey was destroyed in 1793, but the 12th-century stained glass remains.
The Abbey of Saint-Remi, together with the nearby cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims and Palace of Tau, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Louis IV of France Gerberga of Saxony Lothair of France Wilson, C; the Gothic Cathedral, Thames & Hudson
In medieval historiography, West Francia or the Kingdom of the West Franks was the western part of Charlemagne's Empire, ruled by the Germanic Franks that forms the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia was formed out of the division of the Carolingian Empire in 843 under the Treaty of Verdun after the death of Emperor Louis the Pious and the east–west division which "gradually hardened into the establishment of separate kingdoms of what we can begin to call Germany and France."West Francia extended further south than modern France, but it did not extend as far east. West Francia did not include such future French holdings as Lorraine, Burgundy and Provence in the east and southeast. In addition, by the 10th century the rule of its kings was reduced within the West Frankish realm by the increase in power of great territorial magnates over their large and territorially contiguous fiefs; this process was compounded by wars among those magnates, including against or alongside the Crown, by foreign invasion.
Notably, Normandy was given to the rule of Norse invaders under Rollo as a county and duchy in return for their willingness to end their raids, like other great fiefs became autonomous of, more powerful than, the Crown. In Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the West Frankish king was felt. West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, for the half-century between 888 and 936 they chose alternately from the Carolingian and Robertian houses. By this time the power of king became weaker and more nominal, as the regional dukes and nobles became more powerful in their semi-independent regions; the Robertians, after becoming counts of Paris and dukes of France, became kings themselves and established the Capetian dynasty. In August 843, after three years of civil war following the death of Louis the Pious on 20 June 840, the Treaty of Verdun was signed by his three sons and heirs; the youngest, Charles the Bald, received western Francia. The contemporary West Frankish Annales Bertiniani describes Charles arriving at Verdun, "where the distribution of portions" took place.
After describing the portions of his brothers, Lothair the Emperor and Louis the German, he notes that "the rest as far as Spain they ceded to Charles". The Annales Fuldenses of East Francia describe Charles as holding the western part after the kingdom was "divided in three". Since the death of King Pippin I of Aquitaine in December 838, his son had been recognised by the Aquitainian nobility as King Pippin II of Aquitaine, although the succession had not been recognised by the emperor. Charles the Bald was at war with Pippin II from the start of his reign in 840, the Treaty of Verdun ignored the claimant and assigned Aquitaine to Charles. Accordingly, in June 845, after several military defeats, Charles signed the Treaty of Benoît-sur-Loire and recognised his nephew's rule; this agreement lasted until 25 March 848, when the Aquitainian barons recognised Charles as their king. Thereafter Charles's armies had the upper hand, by 849 had secured most of Aquitaine. In May, Charles had himself crowned "King of the Aquitainians" in Orléans.
Archbishop Wenilo of Sens officiated at the coronation, which included the first instance of royal unction in West Francia. The idea of anointing Charles may be owed to Archbishop Hincmar of Reims, who composed no less than four ordines describing appropriate liturgies for a royal consecration. By the time of the Synod of Quierzy, Hincmar was claiming that Charles was anointed to the entire West Frankish kingdom. With the Treaty of Mersen in 870 the western part of Lotharingia was added to West Francia. In 875 Charles the Bald was crowned Emperor of Rome; the last record in the Annales Bertiniani dates to 882, so the only contemporary narrative source for the next eighteen years in West Francia is the Annales Vedastini. The next set of original annals from the West Frankish kingdom are those of Flodoard, who began his account with the year 919. After the death of Charles's grandson, Carloman II, on 12 December 884, the West Frankish nobles elected his uncle, Charles the Fat king in East Francia and Kingdom of Italy, as their king.
He was crowned "King in Gaul" on 20 May 885 at Grand. His reign was the only time after the death of Louis the Pious that all of Francia would be re-united under one ruler. In his capacity as king of West Francia, he seems to have granted the royal title and regalia to the semi-independent ruler of Brittany, Alan I, his handling of the Viking siege of Paris in 885–86 reduced his prestige. In November 887 his nephew, Arnulf of Carinthia revolted and assumed the title as King of the East Franks. Charles retired and soon died on 13 January 888. In Aquitaine, Duke Ranulf II may have had himself recognised as king, but he only lived another two years. Although Aquitaine did not become a separate kingdom, it was outside the control of the West Frankish kings. Odo, Count of Paris was elected by nobles as the new king of West Francia, was crowned the next month. At this point, West Francia was composed of Neustria in the west and in the east by Francia proper, the region between the Meuse and the Seine.
After the 860s, Lotharingian noble Robert the Strong became powerful as count of Anjou and Maine. Robert's brother Hugh, abbot of Saint-Denis, was given control over Austrasia by Charles the Bald. Robert's son Odo was elected king in 888. Odo's brother Robert I ruled between 922 and 923 and was followed by Rudolph from 923 until 936. Hugh the Great, son of Robert I, was elevated to the title "duke of the Franks" b
Jean Sylvain Bailly
Jean Sylvain Bailly was a French astronomer, mathematician and political leader of the early part of the French Revolution. He presided over the Tennis Court Oath, served as the mayor of Paris from 1789 to 1791, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror. Born in Paris, Bailly was the son of Jacques Bailly, an artist and supervisor of the Louvre, the grandson of Nicholas Bailly an artist and court painter; as a child he intended to follow in his family's footsteps and pursue a career in the arts. He became attracted to science, however astronomy, by the influence of Nicolas de Lacaille. An excellent student with a "particularly retentive memory and inexhaustible patience", he calculated an orbit for the next appearance of Halley's Comet, reduced Lacaille's observations of 515 stars, he participated in the construction of an observatory at the Louvre. These achievements along with others got him elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1763. In the years prior to the French Revolution, Bailly's distinctive reputation as a French astronomer led to his recognition and admiration by the European scientific community.
Due to his popularity amongst the scientific groups, in 1777, Bailly received Benjamin Franklin as a guest in his house in Chaillot. Bailly published his Essay on The Theory of the Satellites of Jupiter in 1766.a The essay was an expansion of a presentation he had made to the Academy in 1763. He released the noteworthy dissertation On the Inequalities of Light of the Satellites of Jupiterb in 1771. In 1778, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Bailly gained a high literary reputation thanks to his Eulogies for King Charles V of France, Molière, Pierre Corneille and Gottfried Leibniz, which were issued in collected form in 1770 and 1790, he was admitted to the Académie française on 26 February 1784 and to the Académie des Inscriptions in 1785. From on, Bailly devoted himself to the history of science, he published A History of Ancient Astronomy c in 1775, followed by A History of Modern Astronomy.d Other works include Discourse on the Origin of the Sciences and the Peoples of Asia,e Discourse on Plato's'Atlantide',f and A Treatise on Indian and Oriental Astronomy.g Though his works were "universally admired" by contemporaries commentators have remarked that "their erudition was… marred by speculative extravagances."
In a short period of time, Bailly made his way up the judicial ranks. From being the deputy of Paris, he was elected Estates-General on 20 May 1789. Soon after he was elected inaugural president of the National Assembly and led the famous proceedings in the Tennis Court on 20 June, being the first to take the Tennis Court Oath. In the National Assembly Bailly was one of the deputies who secured the passage of a decree that declared Jews to be French citizens on 17 September 1791, he was met with threats and ridicule for this action. This decree repealed the special taxes, imposed on the Jews, as well as all the ordinances existing against them. Bailly was a member of the Club de 1789, one of the most well-known societies at the time. Though calls on his time from his mayoral duties restricted his involvement in the group, by May 1790, Bailly had risen to presiding officer of the club. In 1791, Jean Sylvain Bailly took no active role in it. Shortly after the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, he became the first mayor of Paris under the newly adopted system of the Commune.
On 15 July 1789, Bailly took office as the mayor of Paris. Two days he was met by Louis XVI at the Hôtel de Ville, there to endorse the Revolution. Bailly presented him with the new symbol of the revolution: the tricolour cockade. In his function as mayor, he was attacked by Camille Desmoulins and Jean-Paul Marat as too conservative. Bailly continuously sought to promote the authority of the mayor while limiting the power of the General Assembly of the Commune. Jean Sylvain Bailly sought to be in full control of his administration as the mayor of Paris, he envisioned being in a position where all answered to him, only his orders were to be followed. Creating a centralized government within Paris was his plan, however Parisians were not keen with this vision, his views are depicted in the following passage of his Mémoires: "... in the executive assembly, the mayor who presides over it is a specific officer of the commune. This Assembly possesses the totality of power, but its chief is its agent, its executive authority, who should be charged with the execution of its orders and the maintenance of its regulations.
Moreover, since he is at the head of the administration, he understands all of its branches and has all of its strings in his hands. He is in a better position to detect the difficulties and the dangers than the other members who do not have the same information. If the law does not demand it, reason dictates that no important step be taken and no important questions be decided in his absence, unless he be allowed at least to make observations..." During the early years of the French Revolution, Paris was going through a major food shortage. Bailly's actions to circumvent the situation were of great importance in keeping the revolution alive. Bailly had deputies gather grain, being hoarded, made the sale of wheat mandatory by farmers, helped the bakers by making them first in line in the village markets. Convoys that transported grain obtained by deputies were attacked. To deter these attacks, Bailly signed a decree imposing a fine of five hundred livres on anyone found obstructing such convoys.
Not only did the mayor contr
Battle of Posada
The Battle of Posada was fought between Basarab I of Wallachia and Charles I of Hungary. The small Wallachian army led by Basarab, formed of cavalry and foot archers, as well as local peasants, managed to ambush and defeat the 30,000-strong Hungarian army, in a mountainous region near the border between Oltenia and Severin; the battle resulted in a major Wallachian victory and disaster for Charles Robert, becoming a turning point in the politics of Hungary, which had to abandon its hopes of extending the kingdom to the Black Sea. For Wallachia, the victory meant an increase in morale and the further evolution of the independent state; some historians claim. Still in the Hungarian army there was a substantial Cuman-Hungarian contingent so this variant is improbable. In 1324, Wallachia was a vassal of Hungary, Robert referred to Basarab as "our Transalpine Voivode"; the war started with encouragement from the Voivode of Transylvania and a certain Dionisie, who bore the title Ban of Severin. In 1330, Robert captured the long disputed Wallachian citadel of Severin and handed it to the Transylvanian Voivode.
Basarab sent envoys who asked for the hostilities to cease, in return offered to pay 7,000 marks in silver, submit the fortress of Severin to Robert, send his own son as hostage. According to the Viennese Illuminated Chronicle, a contemporary account, Robert said about Basarab: "He is the shepherd of my sheep, I will take him out of his mountains, dragging him by his beard." Another account writes that Robert said that: "...he will drag the Voivode from his cottage, as would any driver his oxen or shepherd his sheep."The King's councillors begged him to accept the offer or give a milder reply, but he refused and led his 30,000-strong army deeper into Wallachia "without proper supplies or adequate reconnaissance". Basarab was unable to stand a battle in the open field against a large army, due to the poor state of his troops, he decided to retreat somewhere into the Transylvanian Alps. Robert entered the main city of the Wallachian state, he realised that Basarab had decided to give chase. The location of the battle is still debated among historians.
One theory gives the location of the battle at Loviştea, in some mountain gorges, in the valley of Olt, Transylvania. However, Romanian historian Neagu Djuvara denies this and states that the location of the battle was somewhere at the border between Oltenia and Severin; the Wallachian army, led by Basarab himself numbered less than 10,000 men and consisted of cavalry, infantry archers, some locally recruited peasants. When Robert saw his best knights being killed, without being able to fight back, while the escape routes were blocked by the Wallachian cavalry, he gave his royal robes and insignia to one of his captains – "who dies under a hail of arrows and stones" – and, with a few loyal subjects, made a difficult escape to Visegrád "clad in dirty civilian clothes". Robert recounted in detail, in a charter of December 13, 1335, how one "Nicholas, son of Radoslav", saved his life by defending him from the swords of five Wallachian warriors, giving him enough time to escape. Most of the Hungarian army – which included many nobles – was destroyed.
The victory represented the survival of the Wallachian state, as well as the beginning of a period of tense relations between Basarab and the Kingdom of Hungary, which lasted until 1344, when Basarab sent his son Alexandru in order to re-establish a relationship between the two states. Because of its large financial power, the Kingdom of Hungary rebuilt its army and found itself in conflict with the Holy Roman Empire in 1337. However, the Hungarian king maintained a de jure suzerainty over Wallachia until the diplomatic disputes had been resolved. Długosz, Jan & Michael, Maurice; the Annals of Jan Długosz.. IM Publications, 1997. ISBN 1-901019-00-4 Ghyka, Matila. A Documented Chronology of Roumanian History – from prehistoric times to the present day. Oxford 1941. Djuvara, Neagu. Thocomerius – Negru Voda. Un voivod de origine cumana la inceputurile Tarii Romanesti. Bucharest: Humanitas, 2007. ISBN 978-973-50-1731-6