William IX, Duke of Aquitaine

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William IX
Duke of Aquitaine
William IX of Aquitaine - BN MS fr 12473.jpg
Miniature of William from a 13th-century chansonnier now in the Bibliothèque nationale de France
Born(1071-10-22)22 October 1071
Died10 February 1127(1127-02-10) (aged 55)
Noble family Poitiers
Spouse(s) Ermengarde of Anjou
Philippa of Toulouse
Issue
Father William VIII of Aquitaine
Mother Hildegarde of Burgundy

William IX (Occitan : Guilhèm de Peitieus; Guilhem de Poitou French : Guillaume de Poitiers,) (22 October 1071 – 10 February 1127), called the Troubador, was the Duke of Aquitaine and Gascony and Count of Poitou (as William VII) between 1086 and his death. He was also one of the leaders of the Crusade of 1101. Though his political and military achievements have a certain historical importance, he is best known as the earliest troubadour [1] — a vernacular lyric poet in the Occitan language — whose work survived.

Occitan language Romance language

Occitan, also known as lenga d'òc by its native speakers, is a Romance language. It is spoken in southern France, Italy's Occitan Valleys, Monaco, and Spain's Val d'Aran; collectively, these regions are sometimes referred to as Occitania. Occitan is also spoken in the linguistic enclave of Guardia Piemontese. However, there is controversy about the unity of the language, as some think that Occitan is a macrolanguage. Others include Catalan in this family, as the distance between this language and some Occitan dialects is similar to the distance among different Occitan dialects. In fact, Catalan was considered an Occitan dialect until the end of the 19th century.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Duke of Aquitaine Wikimedia list article

The Duke of Aquitaine was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine under the supremacy of Frankish, English, and later French kings.

Contents

Ducal career

William was the son of William VIII of Aquitaine by his third wife, Hildegarde of Burgundy. His birth was a cause of great celebration at the Aquitanian court, but the Church at first considered him illegitimate because of his father's earlier divorces and his parents' consanguinity. This obliged his father to make a pilgrimage to Rome soon after his birth to seek Papal approval of his third marriage and the young William's legitimacy.

Hildegarde of Burgundy Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers

Hildegarde of Burgundy was a French noble, Duchess consort of Gascony and Aquitaine by marriage to William VIII, Duke of Aquitaine.

Consanguinity property of being from the same kinship as another person; quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person

Consanguinity is the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that aspect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Early career, 10881102

William inherited the duchy at the age of fifteen upon the death of his father. It has been generally believed that he was first married in 1088, at age sixteen, to Ermengarde, daughter of Fulk IV of Anjou. Biographers have described Ermengarde as beautiful and well-educated, though suffering from severe mood swings. However, Ruth Harvey's 1993 critical investigation shows the assumption of William's marriage to Ermengarde to be based largely on an error in a nineteenth-century secondary source and it is highly likely that Philippa of Toulouse was William's only wife. [2]

Ermengarde of Anjou was a member of the comital House of Anjou and by her two marriages was successively Duchess of Aquitaine and Brittany. Also, she was a patron of Fontevraud Abbey. Ermengarde was the regent of Brittany during the absence of her spouse from 1096 until 1101.

Further research [3] has found the claim that William was married to "Hermingerda", daughter of Fulk IV of Anjou is based on the very unreliable chronicle of William of Tyre, written between 1169 and 1187, more than 70 years after the events in question would have taken place. Tyre erroneously identifies Ermengarde's mother as Bertrade of Montfort, the sister of Amalricus de Montfort when her mother was in fact Audearde or Hildegarde of Beaugency. Tyre's chronicle lacks any contemporary corroboration, no primary text ever mentions a marriage between William and Ermengarde. It is therefore not only improbable that William married Ermengarde, it is likely that Ermengarde - at least as a wife of William - never existed.

William of Tyre 12th-century clergyman, writer, and Archbishop of Tyre

William of Tyre was a medieval prelate and chronicler. As archbishop of Tyre, he is sometimes known as William II to distinguish him from his predecessor, William I, the Englishman and former Prior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, who was Archbishop of Tyre from 1127 to 1135. He grew up in Jerusalem at the height of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which had been established in 1099 after the First Crusade, and he spent twenty years studying the liberal arts and canon law in the universities of Europe.

In 1094, William married Philippa, the daughter and heiress of William IV of Toulouse. [4] By Philippa, William had two sons and five daughters, including his eventual successor, William X. His second son, Raymond, [5] eventually became the Prince of Antioch in the Holy Land, and his daughter Agnes married firstly Aimery V of Thouars and then Ramiro II of Aragon, [6] reestablishing dynastic ties with that ruling house.

Prince of Antioch Wikimedia list article

Prince of Antioch was the title given during the Middle Ages to Norman rulers of the Principality of Antioch, a region surrounding the city of Antioch, now known as Antakya in Turkey. The Princes originally came from the County of Sicily in Southern Italy. After 1130 and until 1816 this county was known as the Kingdom of Sicily. Prince Bohemond IV of Antioch additionally came into possession of the County of Tripoli, combining these two Crusader states for the rest of their histories. Antioch had been the chief city of the region since the time of the Roman Empire. When the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt drove out the knights in 1268, they largely destroyed the city to deny access to the region in the event that the Crusaders returned.

Holy Land Term used by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to describe the Land of Israel and Palestine

The Holy Land is an area roughly located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that also includes the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine. The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the Palestinian territories, western Jordan, and parts of southern Lebanon and of southwestern Syria. Jews, Christians, and Muslims all regard it as holy.

Agnes of Aquitaine, Queen of Aragon Daughter of Duke William IX of Aquitaine and his wife Philippa, Countess of Toulouse.

Agnes was Queen of Aragon during her brief marriage to King Ramiro II, a former monk. The couple separated after the birth of their only child, Queen Petronilla, and retired to monasteries. Agnes chose the Abbey of Fontevraud, from where she continued to take part in the affairs of her sons from her first marriage to Aimery V, Viscount of Thouars.

William invited Pope Urban II to spend the Christmas of 1095 at his court. The pope urged him to "take the cross" (i.e. the First Crusade) and leave for the Holy Land, but William was perhaps more interested in exploiting the absence on Crusade of Raymond IV of Toulouse, his wife's uncle, to press her claim to Toulouse; on a more practical level, he also had no heir at that time. He and Philippa did capture Toulouse in 1098, an act for which they were threatened with excommunication. The Duchess was an admirer of Robert of Arbrissel, and persuaded William to grant him land in northern Poitou to establish a religious community dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This became Fontevraud Abbey, which would enjoy the patronage of their granddaughter Eleanor and would remain important until its dissolution during the French Revolution.

Pope Urban II pope (1088-1099)

Pope Urban II, born Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was Pope from 12 March 1088 to his death in 1099.

Christmas holiday originating in Christianity, usually celebrated on December 25 (in the Gregorian or Julian calendars)

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ observed on December 25. as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

First Crusade Crusade from 1095 to 1099 that captured Jerusalem and established the Crusader States

The First Crusade (1095–1099) was the first of a number of crusades that attempted to recapture the Holy Land, called for by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095. Urban called for a military expedition to aid the Byzantine Empire, which had recently lost most of Anatolia to the Seljuq Turks. The resulting military expedition of primarily Frankish nobles, known as the Princes' Crusade, not only re-captured Anatolia but went on to conquer the Holy Land, which had fallen to Islamic expansion as early as the 7th century, and culminated in July 1099 in the re-conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Likely motivated by many factors, religious as well as secular, William joined the Crusade of 1101, an expedition inspired by the success of the First Crusade in 1099. To finance it, he had to mortgage Toulouse back to Bertrand, the son of Raymond IV. William arrived in the Holy Land in 1101 and stayed there until the following year. His record as a military leader is not very impressive. He fought mostly skirmishes in Anatolia and was frequently defeated. His recklessness led to his being ambushed on several occasions, with great losses to his own forces. In September 1101, his entire army was destroyed by the Seljuk Turks led by Kilij Arslan I at Heraclea; William himself barely escaped, and, according to Orderic Vitalis, he reached Antioch with only six surviving companions. (See Army of William IX on the Crusade of 1101.)

Conflict with Church and wife, 11021118

William, like his father and many magnates of the time, had a rocky relationship with the Church. He was excommunicated twice, the first time in 1114 for an alleged infringement of the Church's tax privileges. His response to this was to demand absolution from Peter, Bishop of Poitiers. As the bishop was at the point of pronouncing the anathema, the duke threatened him with a sword, swearing to kill him if he did not pronounce absolution. Bishop Peter, surprised, pretended to comply, but when the duke, satisfied, released him, the bishop completed reading the anathema, before calmly presenting his neck and inviting the duke to strike. According to contemporaries, William hesitated a moment before sheathing his sword and replying, "I don't love you enough to send you to paradise."

William was excommunicated a second time for "abducting" the Viscountess Dangerose (Dangerosa), the wife of his vassal Aimery I de Rochefoucauld, Viscount of Châtellerault. The lady, however, appears to have been a willing party in the matter. He installed her in the Maubergeonne tower of his castle in Poitiers (leading to her nickname La Maubergeonne), and, as related by William of Malmesbury, even painted a picture of her on his shield.

Upon returning to Poitiers from Toulouse, Philippa was enraged to discover a rival woman living in her palace. She appealed to her friends at court and to the Church; however, no noble could assist her since William was their feudal overlord, and whilst the Papal legate Giraud (who was bald) complained to William and told him to return Dangerose to her husband, William's only response was, "Curls will grow on your pate before I part with the Viscountess." Humiliated, Philippa chose in 1116 to retire to the Abbey of Fontevrault. She did not survive there long, however: the abbey records state that she died on 28 November 1118.

Later career, 11181127

Relations between the Duke and his elder son William also became strainedalthough it is unlikely that he ever embarked upon a seven-year revolt in order to avenge his mother's mistreatment, as Ralph of Diceto claimed, only to be captured by his father. Other records flatly contradict such a thing. Ralph claimed that the revolt began in 1113; but at that time, the young William was only thirteen and his father's liaison with Dangerose had not yet begun. Father and son improved their relationship after the marriage of the younger William to Aenor of Châtellerault, Dangerose's daughter by her husband, Aimery I de Rochefoucauld, Viscount of Châtellerault, in 1121.

In October 1119, Orderic Vitalis reports that the Countess of Poitou, whom he refers to as "Hildegarde," suddenly appeared at the Council of Reims being held by Pope Calixtus II and demanded that the Pope excommunicate William (again), oust Dangerose from the ducal palace, and restore herself to her rightful place. The Pope postponed the case as William was not present to answer the charges. William was readmitted to the Church around 1120, after making concessions to it that may have included participating in the Reconquista efforts underway in Spain.

Between 1120 and 1123 William joined forces with the Kingdoms of Castile and León. Aquitanian troops fought side by side with Castilians in an effort to take Cordoba. During his sojourn in Spain, William was given a rock crystal vase by a Muslim ally that he later bequeathed to his granddaughter Eleanor. The vase probably originated in Sassanid Persia in the seventh century.

In 1122, William lost control of Toulouse, Philippa's dower land, to Alfonso Jordan, the son and heir of Raymond IV, who had taken Toulouse after the death of William IV. He did not trouble to reclaim it. He died on 10 February 1127, aged 56, after suffering a short illness. His nickname, "the Troubadour", was only applied in the nineteenth century. In contemporary documents the only nickname he occasionally bears is "the Younger" (Latin junior), to distinguish him from his father. [7]

Poetic career

William from a 13th-century chansonnier. Vilem9.jpg
William from a 13th-century chansonnier.

William's greatest legacy to history was not as a warrior but as a troubadour — a lyric poet employing the Romance vernacular language called Provençal or Occitan.

He was the earliest troubadour whose work survives. Eleven of his songs survive (Merwin, 2002). The song traditionally numbered as the eighth (Farai chansoneta nueva) is of dubious attribution, since its style and language are significantly different (Pasero 1973, Bond 1982). Song 5 (Farai un vers, pos mi sonelh) has two significantly different versions in different manuscripts. The songs are attributed to him under his title as Count of Poitou (lo coms de Peitieus). The topics vary, treating sex, love, women, his own sexual and literary prowess, and feudal politics.

An anonymous 13th-century vida of William remembers him thus:

The Count of Poitiers was one of the most courtly men in the world and one of the greatest deceivers of women. He was a fine knight at arms, liberal in his womanizing, and a fine composer and singer of songs. He traveled much through the world, seducing women.

It is possible, however, that at least in part it is not based on facts, but on literal interpretation of his songs, written in first person; in Song 5, for example, he describes how he deceived two women.

In a striking departure from the typical attitude toward women in the period, William seems to have held at least one woman in particularly high esteem, composing several poems in homage to this woman, who he refers to as midons (master): [8]

Every joy must abase itself,
and every might obey
in the presence of Midons, for the sweetness of her welcome,
for her beautiful and gentle look;
and a man who wins to the joy of her love
will live a hundred years.
The joy of her can make the sick man well again,
her wrath can make a well man die,

His frankness, wit, and vivacity caused scandal and won admiration at the same time. He is among the first Romance vernacular poets of the Middle Ages, one of the founders of a tradition that would culminate in Dante, Petrarch, and François Villon. Ezra Pound mentions him in Canto VIII:

And Poictiers, you know, Guillaume Poictiers,
had brought the song up out of Spain
with the singers and viels ...

In Spirit of Romance Pound also calls William IX "the most 'modern' of the troubadours":

For any of the later Provençals, i.e., the high-brows, we have to ... 'put ourselves into the Twelfth Century' etc. Guillaume, writing a century earlier, is just as much of our age as of his own.

Ezra Pound, cited in Bond 1982, p. lxxvi

William was a man who loved scandal and no doubt enjoyed shocking his audiences. In fact, William granted large donations to the church, perhaps to regain the pope's favour. He also added to the palace of the counts of Poitou (which had stood since the Merovingian era), later added to by his granddaughter Eleanor of Aquitaine and surviving in Poitiers as the Palace of Justice to this day.

One of William's poems, possibly written at the time of his first excommunication, since it implies his son was still a minor, is partly a musing on mortality: Pos de chantar m'es pres talenz (Since I have the desire to sing,/I'll write a verse for which I'll grieve). It concludes:

I have given up all I loved so much:
chivalry and pride;
and since it pleases God, I accept it all,
that He may keep me by Him.

I enjoin my friends, upon my death,
all to come and do me great honor,
since I have held joy and delight
far and near, and in my abode.

Thus I give up joy and delight,
and squirrel and grey and sable furs.

Orderic Vitalis refers to William composing songs (c. 1102) upon his return from the Crusade of 1101. These might be the first "Crusade songs":

Then the Poitevin duke many times related, with rhythmic verses and witty measures, the miseries of his captivity, before kings, magnates, and Christian assemblies. [9]

Ancestors

See also

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References

Notes

  1. Joseph Anglade, Grammaire de l'ancien provençal ou ancienne langue d'oc, 1921, Part I, Chapter 1, p. 33: ... les poésies du premier troubadour, Guilhem de Poitiers ... ("the poems of the first troubadour, Guilhem de Poitiers").
  2. Harvey, Ruth. "The wives of the 'first troubadour', Duke William IX of Aquitaine". Journal of Medieval History, Volume 19, Issue 4, 1993,pp. 307-325
  3. Wolterbeek, Marc. "Inventing History, Inventing Her Story: The Case of William of Aquitaine's Marital Affairs." Medieval Association of the Pacific, University of California, Berkeley, March 1995, and International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England, July 1995.
  4. John Gillingham, Richard I, (Yale University Press, 1999), 29.
  5. Constance, Princess of Antioch (1130-1164), Alan V. Murray, Ancestry, Marriages and Family |journal=Anglo-Norman Studies XXXVIII: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2015, ed. Elisabeth Van Houts, (The Boydell Press, 2016), 86.
  6. Sara McDougall, Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy, 800-1230, (Oxford University Press, 2016), 199.
  7. John E. Morby, "The Sobriquets of Medieval European Princes", Canadian Journal of History, 13:1 (1978), p. 12.
  8. Bogin, Meg (1980). The Women Troubadours. W. W. Norton and Company. pp. 37–38.
  9. Translation based on Marjorie Chibnall, in Bond, p. 240.

Bibliography

  • Biographies des troubadours ed. J. Boutière, A.-H. Schutz (Paris: Nizet, 1964) pp. 7–8, 585-587.
  • Bond, Gerald A., ed., transl. intro. The Poetry of William VII, Count of Poitier, IX Duke of Aquitaine, (Garland Publishing Co.:New York) 1982
  • Duisit, Brice. Las Cansos del Coms de Peitieus (CD), Alpha 505, 2003
  • Harvey, Ruth E. The wives of the 'first troubadour', Duke William IX of Aquitaine (Journal of Medieval History), 1993
  • Meade, Marion. Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1991
  • Merwin, W.S. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, 2002. pp xv-xvi. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN   0-375-41476-2.
  • Owen, D.D.R. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen and Legend
  • Parsons, John Carmi. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, 2002
  • Pasero, Nicolò, ed.: Guglielmo IX d'Aquitania, Poesie. 1973
  • Verdon, J. La chronique de Saint Maixent, 1979.
  • Waddell, Helen. The Wandering Scholars: the Life and Art of the Lyric Poets of the Latin Middle Ages, 1955
William IX, Duke of Aquitaine
Born: 22 October 1071 Died: 11 February 1127
Preceded by
William VIII
Duke of Aquitaine
Count of Poitiers

1088–1127
Succeeded by
William X