Saturday, June 1, 2013

Queen Gerberga

How medieval queens had to protect their children. To quote:
We don’t know much about Gerberga, except that she was a Frankish noblewoman selected by father-in-law Pepin to marry Carloman, but we can make a few guesses. Women typically were teenagers when they married and could be as young as 13. Men could marry at age 16. The most Gerberga and Carloman could have been married was four years, and their elder son was no more than 3 years old, barely old enough to start riding.

That this queen mother, perhaps as young as 17, made a dangerous journey to Lombardy with these two little boys tells us something about her character.

Seeking aid from Desiderius, the king of Lombardy, was not the safest thing to do, either, but she had no other choice. Desiderius had clashed violently with Rome before, and his retaliation was brutal and typically medieval (for more about him, see my guest post on Tinney Heath’s Historical Fiction Research blog). However, he was the powerful ally she needed – and one who was furious with Charles over the Frankish monarch’s repudiation of his daughter. (Read entire post.)

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