Friday, January 22, 2016

England and the Aquitaine

From English Historical Fiction Writers:
The importance of the Aquitaine to Eleanor (as her name suggests) can hardly be underestimated or overstated. Eleanor was Aquitaine. She was the unquestioned heiress to the wealthy Duchy, and as such she brought the Aquitaine with her into the two marriages she contracted. This is an important point: the Aquitaine was not her dowry. Ownership of the Aquitaine did not transfer to her husband at her marriage; it remained her property or “honor” and could only be transmitted in her lifetime with her consent—or by force of arms.
To be sure, the Aquitaine was also a large territory filled with unruly barons and lords wealthy enough to build castles and maintain mercenaries.  Even exceptionally powerful men (e.g. Henry II, Richard the Lionheart) found it difficult to control the Aquitaine. Frequent uprisings by the independently-minded lords meant that the rulers of the Aquitaine were almost perpetually engaged in subduing one rebellious vassal or another, usually by force of arms. (Read more.)

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