Grandes Chroniques de France
The Grandes Chroniques de France is a vernacular royal compilation of the history of France, most manuscripts of which are luxury copies that are heavily illuminated. Copies were produced between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, the text being extended at intervals to cover recent events and it was continued under his successors until completed in 1461. It covers the Merovingian and Direct Capetian dynasties of French kings, with illustrations depicting personages, in front of this a number of figures were engaged in key historical moments, especially battles, coronations and important meetings. There might be over 200 such scenes illustrated, often collected together as individual compartments in a miniature with a decorated framework. By the mid-15th century the number of illustrations was fewer, around 50 even in lavish copies, but the miniatures were larger, scenes of ceremonial moments, now often including large crowds, had become more popular, though battles retained their place.
As first written, the Grandes Chroniques traced the history of the French kings from their origins in Troy to the death of Philip II of France, the continuations of the text were drafted first at Saint-Denis and at the court in Paris. Its final form brought the chronicle down to the death of Charles V in the 1380s, there are Burgundian variants, which give a different account of the final period, a product of the dissention which finally led to the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War in 1407-35. The compiler, Abbot Guillaume Fillastre of Saint Bertin, aimed to promote Philips claim to the French throne and he is shown handing over the work to Philip in the presentation miniature by Simon Marmion in Philips copy. Sources for material on the reign of Charlemagne included the Historia Caroli Magni, known as the Pseudo-Turpin Chronicle, other sources included Abbot Sugers Life of Louis IV. The earliest surviving copy was presented by the monks of St-Denis to Philip III in about 1274, with 36 miniatures and historiated initials by Parisian artists.
Especially fine are the lavishly illustrated copies made for Charles V, Louis VII, illuminated by Jean Fouquet and Philip the Good of Burgundy, now in the Russian National Library, Saint Petersburg. During this period, there were no copies of the work that belonged to members of the Parlement or the university community. But from the century a number of unillustrated copies survive on paper or on mixtures of parchment and paper that belonged to secretaries and notaries. Latterly, under the Valois Dukes of Burgundy, it there as well. A unusually late copy, never finished, was begun in Calais in 1487, the miniatures that were completed seem to be by English artists. Altogether only four early print editions were made, all in Paris and these were in 1477,1493,1514 and 1518
When his father was assassinated in 575, Childebert was taken from Paris by Gundobald, one of his faithful lords, to Metz, where he was recognized as sovereign. He was five years old, and during his long minority the power was disputed between his mother Brunhilda and the nobles. Chilperic I, king at Paris, and the Burgundian king Guntram, sought an alliance with Childebert, because Guntram was lord of half of Marseille, the district of Provence became a centre of a brief dispute between the two. While Jovinus and Theodore, Bishop of Marseille, were travelling to the court of Childebert, meanwhile, blocked Gundulf, a duke of an important senatorial family and Childeberts former domesticus, from entering Marseille on behalf of Childebert. Eventually he was forced to yield, though he arrested Theodore again and had him sent to Guntram, Childebert replaced him in Provence by Nicetius. Despite his revolt, Childebert formally restored Dynamius to favour on 28 November 587, by the Treaty of Andelot of 587, Childebert was recognised as Guntrams heir, and with his uncles help he quelled the revolts of the nobles and succeeded in seizing the castle of Woëwre.
Many attempts were made on his life by Fredegund, wife of Chilperic, on the death of Guntram in 592, Childebert annexed the kingdom of Burgundy, and even contemplated seizing Clotaires estates and becoming sole king of the Franks. Childebert II had relations with the Byzantine Empire, and fought on occasions in the name of the Emperor Maurice, against the Lombards in Italy. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain
Senlis is a commune in the Oise department in northern France. It has a long and rich heritage, having traversed centuries of history and this medieval town has welcomed some of the most renowned figures in French history, including Hugh Capet, Louis IX, the Marshal of France, Anne of Kiev and Séraphine de Senlis. The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived here, attracted by the proximity of the Chantilly forest and it is renowned for the gothic Senlis Cathedral and its vast historical monuments. Its inhabitants are called Senlisiens and Senlisiennes, Senlis is part of the province of lOise in the region of Hauts-de-France in the north of France. It is situated on the river Nonette, between the forests of Chantilly and dErmenonville in the South and dHalatte on the North and it is located 40 kilometers from the north of Paris,44 km from Beauvais and 79 km from Amiens. The highest point of the lies at the heart of the forest Halatte. Geologically, the area is occupied by a vast limestone plateau of the Lutetian covered mostly in silt, Senlis was known in early Roman imperial times as Augustomagus and as Civitas Silvanectium.
During the 3rd century, a high defensive wall, about half of which still exists, was erected around the settlement in response to Frankish incursions. The wall remained in use into the 13th century, the town featured a Roman amphitheatre, the remains of which are still visible, about 500 m west of the walled town. The amphitheatre seated as many as 10,000 people and was used for meetings, gladiatorial combats. The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived here, attracted by the proximity of the Chantilly Forest and its venison, in 987 Alberon, the archbishop of Reims, called together an assembly, and asked them to choose Hugh Capet as king of France. However, the monarchs of France soon abandoned the city, preferring Compiègne, new life was given to the city in the 12th century, and ramparts were built. The popularity of the city fell, and it slipped into decline. Today it remains an attraction for tourists for its long history, Senlis fell under the ownership of Hugh Capet in 981. He was elected king by his barons in 987 before being crowned at Noyon, under the Capetian rule, Senlis became a royal city and remained so until the reign of Charles X. A castle was built during this period remains are still visible today.
The city reached its apogee in the 12th and 13th centuries as trade in wool and leather increased, with an increasing population, the city expanded and needed new ramparts, a second chamber was erected under Phillip II that was larger and higher than the ramparts of the Gallo-Romans. A municipal charter was granted to the town in 1173 by King Louis VII, the bishop of Senlis and the Chancellor Guérin became close advisors to the King, strengthening Senlis ties to the French royalty
Metz is a city in northeast France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers. Metz is the prefecture of the Moselle department and the seat of the parliament of the Great East region, located near the tripoint along the junction of France and Luxembourg, the city forms a central place of the European Greater Region and the SaarLorLux euroregion. The city has been steeped in Romance culture, but has strongly influenced by Germanic culture due to its location. Because of its historical and architectural background, Metz has been submitted on Frances UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, Metz is home to some world-class venues including the Arsenal Concert Hall and the Centre Pompidou-Metz museum. A basin of urban ecology, Metz gained its nickname of The Green City, as it has extensive open grounds, the historic city centre is one of the largest commercial pedestrian areas in France. A historic garrison town, Metz is the heart of the Lorraine region, specialising in information technology.
In ancient times, the town was known as city of Mediomatrici, after its integration into the Roman Empire, the city was called Divodurum Mediomatricum, meaning Holy Village or Holy Fortress of the Mediomatrici, it was known as Mediomatrix. During the 5th century AD, the name evolved to Mettis, Metz has a recorded history dating back over 3,000 years. Before the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, between the 6th and 8th centuries, the city was the residence of the Merovingian kings of Austrasia. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, Metz became the capital of the Kingdom of Lotharingia and was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire. During the 12th century, Metz rose to the status of Republic, with the signature of the Treaty of Chambord in 1552, Metz passed to the hands of the Kings of France. Under French rule, Metz was selected as capital of the Three Bishoprics, with creation of the departments by the Estates-General of 1789, Metz was chosen as capital of the Department of Moselle. Metz remained German until the end of World War I, when it reverted to France, after the Battle of France during the Second World War, the city was annexed once more by the German Third Reich.
In 1944, the attack on the city by the U. S, Third Army freed the city from German rule and Metz reverted one more time to France after World War II. During the 1950s, Metz was chosen to be the capital of the newly created Lorraine region, with the creation of the European Community and the European Union, the city has become central to the Greater Region and the SaarLorLux Euroregion. Metz is located on the banks of the Moselle and the Seille rivers,43 km from the Schengen tripoint where the borders of France and Luxembourg meet. The city was built in a place where branches of the Moselle river creates several islands. The terrain of Metz forms part of the Paris Basin and presents a plateau relief cut by river valleys presenting cuestas in the north-south direction
Brunhilda of Austrasia
Brunhilda was a princess of the Spanish Visigoths who married the Merovingian King Sigebert I of Austrasia, part of Francia. In her long and complicated career she ruled the eastern Frankish kingdoms of Austrasia, the period was marked by tension between the royal house and the powerful nobles vying for power. Brunhilda was apparently an efficient ruler, but this and her forceful personality brought her into conflict with her nobles, the church, and the other Merovingians. Her bitter feud with Fredegund, who murdered Brunhildas sister Galswintha to replace her as Queen of the Kingdom of Soissons, Fredegund had Brunhildas husband murdered, and Brunhilda imprisoned for a period. It was continued by Fredegunds son, Clothar II, who in 613 defeated Brunhilda in battle and had her executed by being pulled apart by four horses. Brunhilda was possibly born about 543 in the Visigothic capital of Toledo and she was only eleven years old when her father was elevated to the kingship in 554. She was educated in Toledo as an Arian Christian, in 567, she was married to King Sigebert I of Austrasia, a grandson of Clovis I, who had sent an embassy to Toledo loaded with gifts.
Upon their marriage, she converted to Catholicism, Sigeberts father, Chlothar I, had reunited the four kingdoms of the Franks, but when he died and his three brothers divided them again. According to historian and bishop Gregory of Tours, Sigeberts marriage to a Visigothic princess was a criticism of his brothers choices in wives, instead of marrying a low-born woman, Sigebert chose a princess of education and morals. In response to Sigeberts noble marriage, his brother King Chilperic of Neustria sent for Brunhildas sister and he and his favorite mistress, conspired to murder her. Galswintha was strangled to death in her bed as she slept by an unknown assailant, Brunhilda so detested Fredegund for the death of her sister—and this hatred was so fiercely reciprocated—that the two queens persuaded their husbands to go to war. Sigebert persuaded their other brother, the elder Guntram of Burgundy and he decided that Galswinthas dower of Bordeaux, Cahors, Béarn, and Bigorre should be turned over to Brunhilda in restitution.
However, Chilperic did not easily give up the cities and Brunhilda did not forget the murder, Bishop Germain of Paris negotiated a brief peace between them. Between 567 and 570, Brunhilda bore Sigebert three children, Ingund and Childebert, the peace was broken by Chilperic, who invaded Sigeberts dominions. Sigebert defeated Chilperic, who fled to Tournai, the people of Paris hailed Sigebert as a conqueror when he arrived with Brunhilda and their children. Bishop Germain wrote to Brunhilda, asking her to persuade her husband to restore the peace, chroniclers of his life say that she ignored this, certainly Sigebert set out to besiege Tournai. Fredegund responded to this threat to her husband by hiring two assassins, who killed Sigebert at Vitry-en-Artois with poisoned daggers, Brunhilda was captured and imprisoned at Rouen. Merovech, the son of Chilperic and his first wife Audovera, while there, he decided to marry the widowed Brunhilda and thus strengthen his chances of becoming a king
Tours is a city located in the centre-west of France. It is the centre of the Indre-et-Loire department and the largest city in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. In 2012, the city of Tours had 134,978 inhabitants, Tours stands on the lower reaches of the River Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. The surrounding district, the province of Touraine, is known for its wines, for the alleged perfection of its local spoken French. The city is the end-point of the annual Paris–Tours cycle race, in Gallic times the city was important as a crossing point of the Loire. Becoming part of the Roman Empire during the 1st century AD, the name evolved in the 4th century when the original Gallic name, became first Civitas Turonum Tours. It was at time that the amphitheatre of Tours, one of the five largest amphitheatres of the Empire, was built. Tours became the metropolis of the Roman province of Lugdunum towards 380–388, dominating the Loire Valley, one of the outstanding figures of the history of the city was Saint Martin, second bishop who shared his coat with a naked beggar in Amiens.
This incident and the importance of Martin in the medieval Christian West made Tours, and its position on the route of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, a major centre during the Middle Ages. In the 6th century Gregory of Tours, author of the Ten Books of History, in the 9th century, Tours was at the heart of the Carolingian Rebirth, in particular because of Alcuin abbot of Marmoutier. The outcome was defeat for the Muslims, preventing France from Islamic conquest, in 845, Tours repulsed the first attack of the Viking chief Hasting. In 850, the Vikings settled at the mouths of the Seine, still led by Hasting, they went up the Loire again in 852 and sacked Angers and the abbey of Marmoutier. During the Middle Ages, Tours consisted of two juxtaposed and competing centres, in the west, the new city structured around the Abbey of Saint Martin was freed from the control of the City during the 10th century and became Châteauneuf. This space, organized between Saint Martin and the Loire, became the centre of Tours.
Between these two centres remained Varennes and fields, little occupied except for the Abbaye Saint-Julien established on the banks of the Loire, the two centres were linked during the 14th century. Tours became the capital of the county of Tours or Touraine and it was the capital of France at the time of Louis XI, who had settled in the castle of Montils and Touraine remained until the 16th century a permanent residence of the kings and court. The rebirth gave Tours and Touraine many private mansions and castles and it is at the time of Louis XI that the silk industry was introduced – despite difficulties, the industry still survives to this day. At this time, the Catholics returned to power in Angers, the Massacre of Saint-Barthelemy was not repeated at Tours
History of Europe
The history of Europe covers the peoples inhabiting Europe from prehistory to the present. Some of the civilizations of prehistoric Europe were the Minoan and the Mycenaean. The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Western and Eastern empires, during the 4th and 5th centuries, the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe grew in strength, and repeated attacks led to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. AD476 traditionally marks the end of the period and the start of the Middle Ages. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples became more powerful in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own. Of all of the Germanic peoples, the Franks would rise to a position of hegemony over Western Europe, the British Isles were the site of several large-scale migrations. The Viking Age, a period of migrations of Scandinavian peoples, the Normans, a Viking people who settled in Northern France, had a significant impact on many parts of Europe, from the Norman conquest of England to Southern Italy and Sicily.
The Rus people founded Kievan Rus, which evolved into Russia, after 1000 the Crusades were a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the Levant back under Christian rule. The Crusaders opened trade routes which enabled the merchant republics of Genoa, the Reconquista, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom. Eastern Europe in the High Middle Ages was dominated by the rise, led by Genghis Khan, the Mongols were a group of steppe nomads who established a decentralized empire which, at its height, extended from China in the east to the Black and Baltic Seas in Europe. The Late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe, the epidemic known as the Black Death and an associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period, in Scandinavia, the Kalmar Union dominated the political landscape, while England fought with Scotland in the Wars of Scottish Independence and with France in the Hundred Years War.
Russia continued to expand southward and eastward into former Mongol lands, in the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire overran Byzantine lands, culminating in the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, which historians mark as the end of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century in Florence and spreading through Europe, the rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman knowledge had an enormous liberating effect on intellectuals. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation under German Martin Luther questioned Papal authority, henry VIII seized control of the English Church and its lands. The European religious wars between German and Spanish rulers, the Reconquista ended Muslim rule in Iberia. By the 1490s a series of oceanic explorations marked the Age of Discovery, establishing links with Africa, the Americas
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius and added the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather and he is the primary contemporary source for Merovingian history. St. Martins tomb was a pilgrimage destination in the 6th century. Gregory was born in Clermont, in the Auvergne region of central Gaul, Gregory had several noted bishops and saints as close relatives, according to Gregory, he was connected to thirteen of the eighteen bishops of Tours preceding him by ties of kinship. Gregorys paternal grandmother, descended from Vettius Epagatus, the martyr of Lyons. His father evidently died while Gregory was young and his mother moved to Burgundy where she had property. Gregory went to live with his paternal uncle St. Gallus, Bishop of Clermont), under whom, Gregory received the clerical tonsure from Gallus. Having contracted an illness, he made a visit of devotion to the tomb of St.
Martin at Tours. Upon his recovery, he began to pursue a career and was ordained deacon by Avitus. Upon the death of St. Euphronius, he was chosen as Bishop by the clergy and people, who had been charmed with his piety, learning and he spent most of his career at Tours, although he assisted at the council of Paris in 577. The rough world he lived in was on the cusp of the world of Antiquity. Gregory lived on the border between the Frankish culture of the Merovingians to the north and the Gallo-Roman culture of the south of Gaul, at Tours, Gregory could not have been better placed to hear everything and meet everyone of influence in Merovingian culture. Tours lay on the highway of the navigable Loire. Five Roman roads radiated from Tours, which lay on the thoroughfare between the Frankish north and Aquitania, with Spain beyond. At Tours the Frankish influences of the north and the Gallo-Roman influences of the south had their chief contact, Gregory struggled through personal relations with four Frankish kings, Sigebert I, Chilperic I, and Childebert II and he personally knew most of the leading Franks.
Gregory wrote in Late Latin which departed from classical usage frequently in syntax, the Historia Francorum is in ten books. At this date Gregory had been bishop of Tours for two years, the second part, books V and VI, closes with Chilperic Is death in 584. During the years that Chilperic held Tours, relations between him and Gregory were tense, after hearing rumours that the Bishop of Tours had slandered his wife, Chilperic had Gregory arrested and tried for treason—a charge which threatened both Gregorys bishopric and his life