la carte médievale


For more details about these eight historic personalities click on each name above


Capital city:

Philip of Burgundy
(called the Good)

Philip of Burgundy

10 September 1419–15 June 1467

Philip became Duke of Burgundy, count of Flanders, Artois and Franche-Comté when his father was assassinated in 1419. Philip accused Charles, the Dauphin of France and Philip's brother-in-law of planning the murder of his father which had taken place during a meeting between the two at Montereau.

Philip of Burgundy

He continued to prosecute the civil war between the Burgundians and Armagnacs. In 1420 Philip allied himself with Henry V of England under the Treaty of Troyes. In 1423 the alliance was strengthened by the marriage of his sister Anne to John, Duke of Bedford, regent for Henry VI of England.

Order of the Golden Fleece
founded in Bruges by Philip of Burgundy 1430

 Charles the Bold, son of Philip of Burgundy
1433 - 1477 last of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy




Capital city:


Henry VI

Henry VI

(31 August 1422 – 4 March 1461)

Henry was the only child and heir of King Henry V of England. He was born on 6 December 1421 at Windsor, and succeeded to the throne at the age of nine months as King of England on 31 August 1422, when his father died, and King of France on 21 October 1422 upon his grandfather Charles VI's death in agreement with the Treaty of Troyes in 1420. His mother, Catherine of Valois, was then 20 years old and, as Charles VI's daughter, was viewed with considerable suspicion and prevented from having a full role in her son's upbringing.

Catherine de Valois

The Hundred Year
Wars between France and England
1337 - 1453

The death of Charles IV in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line. Under Salic law the crown couldn't pass through a woman (Philip IV's daughter was Isabella, whose son was Edward III of England), so the throne passed to Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois.

This, in addition to a long-standing dispute over the rights to Gascony in the south of France, and the relationship between England and the Flemish cloth towns, led to the Hundred Years' War of 1337-1453. The following century was to see devastating warfare, peasant revolts.
Calais remained in English possession until 1558 and the title of King of France was claimed by the British until 1 January 1801



Capital city:

St. John's Town)

James the First

James the First

(10 December 1394 – 21 February 1437)

King of Scotland and poet, the son of King Robert III., was born at Dunfermline in July 1394.
James the First, was a prisoner of the English until 1424. He returned to Scotland with his English bride Lady Joan Beaufort, the niece of King Henry IV. King James and Queen Joan were a true love match - he wrote beautiful poetry for her called "The King's Quair". Their daughter Princess Margaret married Dauphin Louis in 1436.  
James I was killed in 1437 and his son became James II


 "Auld Alliance"
Sir Hugh Kennedy


Many thousands of Scots went to France to fight the English in the Hundred Years War.  Charles VII trusted them as his Garde Ecossaise.  Many Scots, including Sir Hugh Kennedy, were with Joan of Arc throughout her crusade, and played the tune 'Marche de Robert Bruce' when she entered Orleans. The special friendship between France and Scotland is still known as the "Auld Alliance".

King James & Queen Joan Beaufort
parents of Margaret of Scotland
 future wife of King Louis X1 of France


Capital city:

John the First of Portugal

John the First
of Portugal

(João I)

11. April 1357 - 4. August 1433
was the tenth King of Portugal and the Algarve and the first to use the title Lord of Ceuta. He was the natural son of Peter I by a woman named Teresa Lourenço, who some say was a noble Galician, daughter of Lourenço Martins, o da Praça, and wife Sancha Martins. In 1364 he was created Grand Master of the Order of Aviz, by which title he was known. He became king in 1385, after the 1383–1385 Crisis. John I married at Oporto on 2 February 1387 Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Blanche of Lancaster. From that marriage were born several famous princes and princesses of Portugal (infantes) that became known as the Illustrious Generation <<Dudenha>>



During the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of maritime exploration, Portugal established a global empire that included possessions in Africa, Asia and South America, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers.
His daughter Isabelle Infanta 1397 - 1471 of Portugal, married Philip of Burgundy in 1430. She was the mother of Charles le Téméraire

Isabelle of Portugal
Mother of Charles the Bold


Capital city:

1404 - 1406: Pope Innocent VII
1406 - 1415: Pope Gregory XII
1417 - 1431: Pope Martin V
1431 - 1447: Pope Eugene IV


The Popes

at the time of « Catherine »

The Popes of the Middle Ages became powerful and highly influential. This was the period of the crusades where thousands of Medieval people from all walks of life travelled nearly three thousand miles to the Holy Land. The Militant religious zeal of the popes and the promise of redemption from sins made the crusades popular. The Catholic church became the universal and unifying institution. The religious fervour of the Popes of the Middle Ages transferred into medieval culture. A centralized Catholic church was realized under Pope Innocent III. The church and the power of the Popes was eventually weakened by quarrels between church and state.



In Europe during the Middle Ages the only recognised religion was Christianity, in the form of the Catholic religion.  The lives of the Medieval people of the Middle Ages was dominated by the church. From birth to death, whether you were a peasant, a serf, a noble a lord or a King - life was dominated by the church. Various religious institutions became both important, rich and powerful. The lives of many Medieval people were dedicated to to the Catholic church and religion.



Capital city:


René d'Anjou

René d'Anjou
King of Naples

(16 January 1409 – 10 July 1480)

rival claimant to Alfonso V of Aragón and Ferrante I of Naples), duke of Anjou, Bar, and Lorraine, count of Provence. He was also called René of Anjou and Good King René. The second son of King Louis II of Naples, he was count of Guise when he married (1419) Isabella, heiress of Lorraine and Bar. He inherited Bar (1430) and Lorraine (1431), but the latter title was contested by a rival supported by Philip the Good of Burgundy.

Jeanne de Laval
René d'Anjou's second wife



René was captured (1431) and held prisoner, although Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund awarded him Lorraine. At the death (1434) of his brother, Louis III of Naples, he inherited Anjou, Provence, and the claim to the succession of Joanna II of Naples (d. 1435), who adopted him as heir. Released from his imprisonment in 1437, René arrived (1438) in Italy to take possession of his kingdom. Alfonso V, who had taken over the kingdom when Joanna died, defeated (1442) him; René returned to France and established a brilliant court at Angers.

Margaret d'Anjou

daughter of King Rene d'Anjou
became wife of Henry VI of England


Capital city:


Cosimo de Medici

Cosimo de Medici
(September 27, 1389 – August 1, 1464)

The Medicis' Florence

Còsimo di Giovanni of the Medicis  was the first of the Medici political dynasty, de facto rulers of Florence during most of the Italian Renaissance; also known as "Cosimo 'the Elder'" ("il Vecchio") and "Cosimo Pater Patriae".

The son of Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, Cosimo de' Medici succeeded his father as the head of the Medici Bank. He played a prominent role in the government of Florence until his exile in 1433, after a disastrous war with Tuscany’s neighbour, the Republic of Lucca Cosimo's exile in Venice lasted for less than a year, when the people of Florence overturned Cosimo’s exile in a democratic vote. Cosimo returned to the acclaim of his people and the banishment of the Albizzi family, who had exiled Cosimo. He was a patron of scholarship and the arts, including such figures as Donatello and Filippo Brunelleschi.

Republic of Florence

The Republic of Florence was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The Florentines formed a commune in Matilda's place. The republic was ruled by a council, known as the signoria. The signoria was chosen by the gonfaloniere (titular ruler of the city), who was elected every two months by Florentine guild members. The republic has a chequered history of coups and counter coups against various factions. The Medici faction gained control of the city in 1434, upon Cosimo de' Medici's counter coup against the faction that sent him into exile the previous year. The Medici kept control of Florence until 1494

Map of Florence 1490




Capital city:


Francesco Sforza


The Visconti and Sforza in Milan

Filippo Maria Visconti
23 September 1392–13 August 1447

Filippo Maria Visconti, who had become nominal ruler of Pavia in 1402, succeeded his assassinated brother Gian Maria Visconti as Duke of Milan in 1412. They were the sons of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Gian Maria's predecessor.From Filippo's marriage to Beatrice Lascaris, Countess of Tenda and the unhappy widow of Facino Cane—the condottiere who had fomented strife between the factions of Filippo's elder brother and his mother, Caterina Visconti, the regent, Filippo Maria received a dowry of nearly half a million florins; but when Beatrice took too great an interest in affairs of state, he accused her of adultery and had her beheaded at the castle of Binasco in 1418. Cruel, paranoid and extremely sensitive about his personal ugliness, he was nevertheless a great politician, and by employing such powerful condottieri as Carmagnola, Piccinino and Francesco Sforza, he managed to recover the Lombard portion of his father's duchy.

Lodovico Maria Sforza
(Il Moro)
son of Francesco Sforza
died as prisoner in France (Chateau of Loches)

Filippo Maria Visconti

Beatrice Lascaris,
de Tende


Catherine Sforza of Imola and Forli

the woman Juliette Benzoni
admires for her courage and beauty

Filippo Maria tried to re-establish his father's (Giangaleazzo Visconti) policies but by then surrounding states were better prepared to resist Milanese expansion. He died without heirs and his daughter, Bianca, married Francesco Sforza, (grandfather of the famous and beautiful Caterina Sforza) one of the most powerful mercenary captains in Milan. After three years of trying to establish republican government, the Milanese asked Sforza to step in and restore order in 1450. Having settled the situation, Sforza declared himself to be the successor to the Visconti dynasty through his wife and ruled as Duke of Milan until his death in 1466.


The first known Tarot decks, then still called Trionfi cards, were commissioned by Filippo Maria Visconti



Capital city:


The Venetian colonies


Venice Serenissima
Repubblica di Venezia

Doges of Venice

Tommaso Mocenigo

1414 - 1423
Francesco Toscari
1423 - 1457

For more than 1,000 years, the chief magistrate and leader of the city of Venice and later of the Most Serene Republic of Venice was styled the Doge, a rare but not unique Italian title derived from the Latin Dux. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was one of the shrewdest elders in the city. The Venetian combination of elaborate monarchic pomp and a republican (though "aristocratic") constitution with intricate checks and balances makes "La serenissima" (Venice) a textbook example of a crowned republic.

Despite the great power given to them, the Venetian Doges were restricted by law (unlike the Doges of the Republic of Genoa) to spend the rest of their lives inside the Doge's Palace complex and St Mark's Basilica, occasionally leaving for diplomatic reasons.



In the early fifteenth century, the Venetians also began to expand in Italy, as well as along the Dalmatian coast from Istria to Albania, which was acquired from King Ladislas of Naples during the civil war in Hungary. By 1410, Venice had a navy of 3,300 ships (manned by 36,000 men) and taken over most of Venetia, including such important cities as Verona (which swore its loyalty in the Devotion of Verona to Venice in 1405) and Padua. Slaves were plentiful in the Italian city-states as late as the 15th century. Between 1414 and 1423, some 10,000 slaves were sold in Venice, almost all of whom were "nubile" young women from Russia, Greece, Bosnia, Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Turkey.

 Map of Venice

Juliette Benzoni's hero Prince Aldo Morosini
was born in Venice and descents from ancient
Venetian Nobility (Doge Francesco Morosini)


Capital city:


Amadeus VIII

Amadeus VIII
Count - then First Duke of Savoy 

In the late fourteenth century, Amedeo's eight year old grandson ascended the Throne as Amedeo VIII, known to history as "the Peaceful," probably in reference to his pious reflective inclinations. As he grew to manhood, a certain personal quality became manifest. Though quite devout, he was also a warrior-knight, whose faithful service to the Empire earned him the title "Duke of Savoy" in 1416. The Statuto he promulgated for his subjects was an early attempt at constitutional law and a guarantee of certain personal liberties. He retired to a monastery in 1434, designating his son, Ludovico, Lieutenant of the Realm, and ceding to him the title "Duke of Savoy," but not thereby abdicating the Throne.

In 1439, he was elected as the anti-Pope Felix V but renounced this pontificate to recognise the true Pope ten years later. The first Duke of Savoy died in 1451, having founded the confraternal Knights of Saint Maurice, an institution which survives in today's
Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.

 Duchy of Savoy 

Situated in the western Alps with its capital at Chambéry, the duchy of Savoy began as a county of the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. During the reign of Amadeus VIII (1391–1436), the duchy acquired significant territory in Piedmont, east of the Alps, and its ruler was promoted to the status of duke by the Holy Roman emperor in 1416. In the fifteenth century, the duchy of Savoy
included both Nice (Nizza) and Geneva

map of the Duchy of Savoy
1418 - 1748


Capital city:



famous Genose
Christoforo Colombo
1451 - 1506

Doges of Genova

1396-1413 -
Genoa held by the French, Dogeship remains vacant.

Giorgo Adorno

Barnaba Guarco

1421-1436-Milan controls Genoa, dogeship is vacant.

Tommaso di Campofregoso
1436 - 1437
Tommaso di Campofregoso
1437? 1442, third time

The Doges of Genoa are less renowned than the Doges of Venice. Genoa was technically a communal republic in the early Middle Ages, but in actuality it was an oligarchy ruled by a small group of mercantile families. The institution of the doge (duke) dates from 1339. The first doge of Genoa, Simone Boccanegra, whose name is kept alive by Verdi's opera, was appointed by public acclaim in 1339. At first the Doge of Genoa was elected without restriction and by popular suffrage, holding office for life in the so-called "perpetual dogate"


During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Genoa developed into one of the "Maritime Republics" (Repubbliche Marinare) along with Venice, where trade, shipbuilding and banking supported one of the largest and most powerful navies in the Mediterranian.( the others being Venice, Pisa, and Amalfi) mainly oriented on the sea. The Republic of Genoa begun spreading over the surrounding regions obtaining the control of almost entire Tyrrhenian Sea. Its' alliance with the Byzantine Empire gave it opportunities to expand into the Black See and Crimea. The wealthy republic begun collapsing when the Black Death was imported into Europe in 1349 from the Genoese tradeing post at Caffa (Theodosia) in Crimea destroying its economy and killing its population. It adopted the Venetian model of government and was presided over by the doge. The period was also the time of continuous wars against Venice. The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont. It had several colonies in the Mideast, in the Black Sea, in Sicily, Sardinia and Northern Africa. It possessed the island of Corsica.
Due to feuds and rivalry with Venice it tightened political alliances with France, but eventually was conquered by France in 1499 and again in 1502. It gained permanent independence from France in 1528.



Holy Roman Empire

Capital city:


Coat of arms of
 Emperor Sigismund


The Holy Roman Emperor

Sigismund of Luxembourg
14 February 1368 – 9 December 1437

was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1387 to 1437, and Holy Roman Emperor for four years from 1433 until 1437, the last Emperor of the House of Luxemburg. He was also King of Bohemia from 1419, of Lombardy from 1431, and of Germany from 1411

The Holy Roman Emperor (German: Römisch- Deutscher Kaiser, or "Roman-German Kaiser") is a term used by historians to denote a Middle Ages ruler, who as German King had in addition received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope of the Holy Roman Church.

Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation

For most of its history, Germany was not a unified state but a loose association of territorial states that together made up the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation”. It was a long time until the founding of the German Reich in 1871.  

he was married to Mary of Hungary, whose mother was killled by her husbands men... something she never forgave Sigismund. She died in 1395 in a suspicious horse accident while heavily pregnant.

Emperor Sigismund

Mary of Hungary


Capital city:


Władysław Jagiełło

Majestic Seal of Wladyslaw II Jagiello

 Władysław Jagiełło II

King of Poland (1399–1434)

He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis. In 1386, he converted Lithuania to Christianity, was baptized as Władysław, married the young Jadwiga of Poland, and was crowned Poland's king-consort as Władysław Jagiełło. His own reign in Poland started in 1399, upon death of Queen Jadwiga, and lasted a further thirty-five years and laid the foundation for the centuries-long Polish–Lithuanian union. Wladyslaw II was the founder of the new Jagiellon dynasty that bears his name, while pagan Jogaila was an heir to the already established house of Gediminids (Gediminid dynasty) in Grand Duchy of Lithuania; his royal dynasty ruled both states until 1572,and became one of the most influential dynasties in the late medieval and early modern medieval Central and Eastern Europe.

Queen of Poland
called also Saint Hedwig or Hedwig of Anjou

Because of her devotion to the church and a number of miracles recorded throughout her lifetime, she was beatified in 1987. Although this process was not completed, Jadwiga was canonised in 1997 by Pope John Paul II (the former archbishop of Krakow). Her relics are located in the south aisle of Wawel Cathedral in Krakow.



Jogaila was the last pagan ruler of medieval Lithuania. He held the title Didysis Kunigaikštis. As King of Poland, he pursued a policy of close alliances with Lithuania against the Teutonic Knights. The allied victory at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, followed by the Peace of Thorn (1411), secured the Polish and Lithuanian borders and marked the emergence of the Polish–Lithuanian alliance as a significant force in Europe.
fter Jagiełło took the throne in Poland, Poland and Lithuania were joined with a union and for several hundred years functioned as a two-state kingdom, known as Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The reign of Władysław II Jagiełło extended Polish frontiers and is often considered the beginning of Poland's "Golden Age".

Map of Poland 1386 - 1434

Poland and Lituania


Władysław Jagiełło had four wives

Jadwiga of Poland
Anne of Cilli
Elisabeth of Pilica
Sophia of Halshany


some of the content on this page is from Wikipedia 2008 - 2014

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