Duke of Aquitaine

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Map of France in 1154 France 1154-en.svg
Map of France in 1154

The Duke of Aquitaine (Occitan : Duc d'Aquitània, French : Duc d'Aquitaine, IPA:  [dyk dakitɛn] ) was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine (not to be confused with modern-day Aquitaine) under the supremacy of Frankish, English, and later French kings.

Contents

As successor states of the Visigothic Kingdom (418–721), Aquitania (Aquitaine) and Languedoc (Toulouse) inherited both Visigothic law and Roman Law, which together allowed women more rights than their contemporaries would enjoy until the 20th century. Particularly under the Liber Judiciorum as codified 642/643 and expanded by the Code of Recceswinth in 653, women could inherit land and title and manage it independently from their husbands or male relations, dispose of their property in legal wills if they had no heirs, represent themselves and bear witness in court from the age of 14, and arrange for their own marriages after the age of 20. [1] As a consequence, male-preference primogeniture was the practiced succession law for the nobility.

Coronation

The Merovingian kings and dukes of Aquitaine had their capital at Toulouse. The Carolingian kings used different capitals situated further north. In 765, Pepin the Short bestowed the captured golden banner of the Aquitainian duke, Waiffre, on the Abbey of Saint Martial in Limoges. Pepin I of Aquitaine was buried in Poitiers. Charles the Child was crowned at Limoges and buried at Bourges. When Aquitaine briefly asserted its independence after the death of Charles the Fat, it was Ranulf II of Poitou who took the royal title. In the late tenth century, Louis the Indolent was crowned at Brioude.

The Aquitainian ducal coronation procedure is preserved in a late twelfth-century ordo (formula) from Saint-Étienne in Limoges, based on an earlier Romano-German ordo. In the early thirteenth century a commentary was added to this ordo, which emphasised Limoges as the capital of Aquitaine. The ordo indicated that the duke received a silk mantle, coronet, banner, sword, spurs, and the ring of Saint Valerie.

Visigothic dukes

Dukes of Aquitaine under Frankish kings

Merovingian kings are in boldface.

Direct rule of Carolingian kings

Restored dukes of Aquitaine under Frankish kings

The Carolingian kings again appointed Dukes of Aquitaine, first in 852, and again since 866. Later, this duchy was also called Guyenne.

House of Poitiers (Ramnulfids)

House of Auvergne

House of Poitiers (Ramnulfids) restored (927–932)

House of Rouergue

House of Capet

House of Poitiers (Ramnulfids) restored (962–1152)

Homage of Edward I of England (kneeling) to Philip IV of France (seated), by Jean Fouquet. As Duke of Aquitaine, Edward was a vassal to the French king Hommage d Edouard Ier a Philippe le Bel.jpg
Homage of Edward I of England (kneeling) to Philip IV of France (seated), by Jean Fouquet. As Duke of Aquitaine, Edward was a vassal to the French king

From 1152, the Duchy of Aquitaine was held by the Plantagenets, who also ruled England as independent monarchs and held other territories in France by separate inheritance (see Plantagenet Empire). The Plantagenets were often more powerful than the kings of France, and their reluctance to do homage to the kings of France for their lands in France was one of the major sources of conflict in medieval Western Europe.

House of Plantagenet

Richard the Lionheart was outlived by his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine. In 1189, she acted as regent for the Duchy while he was on crusade — a position he resumed on his return to Europe.

Plantagenet rulers of Aquitaine

In 1337, King Philip VI of France reclaimed the fief of Aquitaine from Edward III, King of England. Edward in turn claimed the title of King of France, by right of his descent from his maternal grandfather King Philip IV of France. This triggered the Hundred Years' War, in which both the Plantagenets and the House of Valois claimed supremacy over Aquitaine.

In 1360, both sides signed the Treaty of Brétigny, in which Edward renounced the French crown but remained sovereign Lord of Aquitaine (rather than merely duke). However, when the treaty was broken in 1369, both these English claims and the war resumed.

In 1362, King Edward III, as Lord of Aquitaine, made his eldest son Edward, Prince of Wales, Prince of Aquitaine.

In 1390, King Richard II, son of Edward the Black Prince, appointed his uncle John of Gaunt Duke of Aquitaine. This grant expired upon the Duke's death, and the dukedom reverted to the Crown. Regardless, due to Henry IV's seizure of the crown, he still came into possession of the dukedom. [3] [ better source needed ]

Henry V continued to rule over Aquitaine as King of England and Lord of Aquitaine. He invaded France and emerged victorious at the siege of Harfleur and the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. He succeeded in obtaining the French crown for his family by the Treaty of Troyes in 1420. Henry V died in 1422, when his son Henry VI inherited the French throne at the age of less than a year; his reign saw the gradual loss of English control of France.

Valois and Bourbon dukes of Aquitaine

The Valois kings of France, claiming supremacy over Aquitaine, granted the title of duke to their heirs, the Dauphins.

With the end of the Hundred Years' War, Aquitaine returned under direct rule of the king of France and remained in the possession of the king. Only occasionally was the duchy or the title of duke granted to another member of the dynasty.

The Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia, son of Alfonso XIII of Spain, was one of the Legitimist pretenders to the French throne; as such he named his son, Gonzalo, Duke of Aquitaine (1972–2000); Gonzalo had no legitimate children.

Family tree

AquitaineDukes.png

See also

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Hunald I, also spelled Hunold, Hunoald, Hunuald or Chunoald, was the Duke of Aquitaine from 735 until 745. Although nominally he was an officer of the Merovingian kings of Francia, in practice Aquitaine was completely autonomous when he inherited it. His rule corresponds to the lowest point of the Merovingian monarchy, when the kingdom was in fact ruled by the mayors of the palace. Hunald was forced at the outset of his reign to accept the authority of the mayor of the palace Charles Martel, but he tried three times to throw it off in open revolt. He was unsuccessful, although he did manage to retain Aquitaine undiminished. In 745, he retired to a monastery, giving power to his son Waiofar. He later went to Rome, where he died during an attack on the city.

Pepin I of Aquitaine 9th-century Frankish king

Pepin I or Pepin I of Aquitaine was King of Aquitaine and Duke of Maine.

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Waiofar, also spelled Waifar, Waifer or Waiffre, was the last independent Duke of Aquitaine from 745 to 768. He peacefully succeeded his father, Hunald I, after the latter entered a monastery. He also inherited the conflict with the rising Carolingian family and its leader, Pepin the Short, who was king of the Franks after 751 and thus Waiofar's nominal suzerain.

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References

  1. Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane; A History of Women: Book II Silences of the Middle Ages, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England. 1992, 2000 (5th printing). Chapter 6, "Women in the Fifth to the Tenth Century" by Suzanne Fonay Wemple, pg 74. According to Wemple, Visigothic women of Spain and the Aquitaine could inherit land and title and manage it independently of their husbands, and dispose of it as they saw fit if they had no heirs, and represent themselves in court, appear as witnesses (by the age of 14), and arrange their own marriages by the age of twenty
  2. Lemovicensis, Ruricius; Limoges), Ruricius I. (Bishop of (1999). Ruricius of Limoges and Friends: A Collection of Letters from Visigothic Gaul. Liverpool University Press. p. 15. ISBN   9780853237037.
  3. "Would the grant of Aquitaine to John of Gaunt in 1399 have been inherited by Henry Bolingbroke had the latter not been exiled by Richard II?" at researchgate.net