Angevin

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Angevin

Angevin (ăn´jəvĬn) [Fr.,=of Anjou], name of two medieval dynasties originating in France. The first ruled over parts of France and over Jerusalem and England; the second ruled over parts of France and over Naples, Hungary, and Poland, with a claim to Jerusalem.

First House of Anjou

The older house issued from one Fulk, who became count of Anjou in the 10th cent. Fulk V (see Fulk) of Anjou, one of his descendants, became (1131) king of Jerusalem. A younger son inherited the kingship of Jerusalem as Baldwin III and was succeeded by Almaric I, Baldwin IV, and Baldwin V, with whom the branch ended (1186).

Fulk V's elder son, Geoffrey IV (Geoffrey Plantagenet), inherited Anjou. He married Matilda of England, daughter of English King Henry I, and conquered Normandy. Their son became (1154) the first Angevin (or Plantagenet) king of England as Henry II. His successors were Richard I, John, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, and Richard II, after whom the English branch split into the houses of Lancaster and of York (see Lancaster, house of; York, house of).

A nephew of Richard I and John became (1196) duke of Brittany as Arthur I. From his sister and her husband, Peter of Dreux, a Capetian noble who became Duke Peter I of Brittany, the subsequent rulers of Brittany issued. The Breton line of the Angevins came to an end with the marriages of Anne of Brittany and her daughter to the kings of France.

Second House of Anjou

The second house of Anjou was a cadet branch of the Capetians and originated with Charles, a younger brother of King Louis IX of France. Charles was made count of Anjou by Louis, acquired Provence by marriage, and in 1266 was invested by the pope with the kingdom of Naples and Sicily as Charles I. Charles lost Sicily but retained Naples. His successors were Charles II, Robert, and Joanna I of Naples and Provence.

On the death (1382) of Joanna I the succession to Naples was contested by two cadet branches, both descended from Charles II of Naples. The first was represented by Charles of Durazzo (Charles III of Naples), a great-grandson through the male line, and by his children, Lancelot and Joanna II. They retained, for the most part, actual possession of the kingdom despite the efforts of the rival line, issued from Margaret, a daughter of Charles II. Margaret married Charles of Valois; their son and grandson were kings Philip VI and John II, respectively, of France. John made his younger son, Louis, duke of Anjou; Joanna I of Naples adopted Louis as heir; Louis thus became Louis I of Naples and Provence. His successors were Louis II, Louis III, and René.

Although Louis III and René were successively designated as heirs by Joanna II, Naples was seized by King Alfonso V of Aragón and eventually remained in Spanish hands. René became duke of Lorraine by marriage. His nephew and heir, Charles, count of Maine, died in 1481 without issue; and Anjou, Maine, Provence, and the Angevin claim to Naples all passed to the French crown. The theoretical claim to Jerusalem stemmed from Charles I of Naples, whom Pope John XXI invested (c.1276) with the title. René's claim to the title was transmitted to the house of Lorraine.

The Hungarian branch of Anjou began (1308) with Charles Robert (King Charles I of Hungary), a grandson of Charles II of Naples. Charles I's son became king of Hungary and Poland as Louis I. Hungary passed to Louis's daughter Mary and to her husband Sigismund (later Holy Roman emperor), and Poland passed to Ladislaus II of Poland, husband of Louis's daughter Jadwiga.

See D. Jones, The Plantagenets (2013).

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