Women of the Middle Ages - great and famous

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Women of the Middle Ages - great and famous
Women of the Middle Ages - great and famous

Throughout history there have been many women who have left their mark on the history of a country. They participated in various state affairs, coups, battles, ruled the country, gave birth to future kings. The women of the Middle Ages also belong to them. What is this period, the Middle Ages? What great and famous ladies and ladies lived during this period of human history?

Middle Ages

Under this epoch it is considered to be the period of history of the countries of Europe and Near Asia, between antiquity and the period of Modern times. The beginning is considered to be the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. And the end of this era is considered to be the XV century, although the later Middle Ages, which ends in the XVI century, are also distinguished. During this period, events such as the formation of barbarian states, the Byzantine Empire, Kievan Rus, the Frankish kingdom, the Arab conquests and the Crusades, the Hundred Years War, the conquests of the Ottoman Empire, the Reformation and others took place. The Middle Ages left a large and noticeable mark in architecture, art, literature, and science. And in our time, historiansexplore various issues, such as how women in the Middle Ages dressed, what they ate and what people did. It was a difficult period in which women also played an important role. Some of them will be discussed further.

Grand Duchess of Kievan Rus

Princess Olga of Kyiv

Princess Olga, probably born at the end of the 9th century, was the wife of Prince Igor Rurikovich. Her husband died in 945, after which Olga was in power until her death. The reason for this is the small age of the heir to the throne, Svyatoslav. And even after he became the ruler, Olga remained in power, because Svyatoslav was mainly engaged in military campaigns.

After avenging the Drevlyans for the death of her husband and burning down their city of Iskorosten, Olga went to the Novgorod and Pskov lands to collect tribute. It was she who set up the tax collection system, which began to strengthen the power of Kievan Rus. During the life of Olga, stone town planning begins. For her, some stone buildings were built in Kyiv. The princess is one of the first to accept Christianity in Russia. This, of course, left a mark on the life of her grandson, the future Prince Vladimir. Olga died in 969, at the age of about 80, having played a big role in the formation of the Russian state.

The youngest daughter of Prince Yaroslav the Wise

Anna Yaroslavna was the third daughter of Yaroslav. The year of her birth is not exactly known, between 1024 and 1036. As one of the prominent women of the Middle Ages, Anna received an excellent education, fenced well and rode a horse, not inferior to her brothers in this. In 1051 her lifechanges dramatically - she marries Henry I, the French king. Life in France, according to her, she does not like in comparison with Kyiv.

Anna Yaroslavna, Queen of France

A year later, she gave birth to the king's heir, Philip, who would later become the king of France. Anna devoted herself to the upbringing of Philip and the other children she later bore, as well as to the affairs of state. Henry I had great confidence in his wife. She even left her signature next to the king's signature on state documents and decrees. After the death of the king in 1060, Anna continues to manage the affairs of the state, although another person was appointed as Philip's guardian. A few years later, one story happens to Anna - she begins to live with Count Raul, who is married to another woman whom he kicked out. After going through certain difficulties, they become legal spouses. But in 1074, Anna again becomes a widow, returns to the court of her son and again participates in the affairs of the state. Little is known about the end of her life. There is a version that she returned home to Kyiv. Anna Yaroslavna can be called one of the most beautiful women of the Middle Ages.

The grandmother of medieval Europe

Another famous and great woman who left her mark on history is the owner of the Duchy of Aquitaine. In history, she is known as Eleanor. She was probably born in 1122. At 15, she became Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her guardian was the King of France himself, who gave her in marriage to his son Louis. After the death of Louis VI, she becomes Queen of France. But in30 years Eleanor divorces King Louis VII, leaving him two daughters. However, she retained her possessions.

Queen Eleanor

Soon, Eleanor of Aquitaine marries Count Henry, who soon became King Henry II of England. Probably due to the fact that the Aquitanian lands went into the possession of England, a war was subsequently started. She had five sons from her marriage to Heinrich. Among them are two future kings - Richard, known as the Lionheart, and John the Landless. Eleanor rebelled with her sons in the struggle for the throne, but was soon imprisoned by King Henry for 16 years. Richard returns her freedom, and Eleanor leaves for France, where she dies in 1204 at the age of about 80.

The Lionhearted King's Wife

Berengaria of Navarre was the daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre. She was born around 1165-1170. With Richard, then still a count, she met at a jousting tournament, to which Berengaria's brother Sancho VII invited him. In 1190, Richard begins planning a wedding with Berengaria. He entrusts the negotiations to his mother Eleanor. This marriage was beneficial for the owner of Aquitaine. In order to marry, Richard had to break off his engagement with Adele, the sister of the French King Philip II, which led to a conflict. In the end, he was left alone, allowed to marry whomever he pleased. But here comes a new difficulty.

Berengaria of Navarre

Richard sets off on a crusade and Berengaria of Navarre has to join him. Inwhile sailing, some adventures await them - Berengaria's ship crashes near Cyprus, Richard saves his sister and bride, capturing Cyprus. Here, in Cyprus, in 1191, Berengaria becomes Queen of England and Richard's wife. Then she returns to Poitou, remaining in the shadow of Eleanor. With King Richard, they rarely saw each other, the relationship was strained. After the death of the king in 1195, Berengaria never married, remaining a queen dowager who never set foot on English soil. She died in 1230. Her image left a mark in literature and cinema.

Collector Queen

Not much is known about the life of Clementia of Hungary. She was the daughter of Charles of Anjou, who held the title of King of Hungary. Clementia was born in 1293, and in 1315 she married King Louis X of Navarre and France. But the following year, she first lost her husband, and then her son, John I, who was born to her. Clementia was known as a kind and pious woman, positively influencing her husband. But she became a widow early, which was reflected in her character. Clementia began to collect various paintings, jewelry and other works of art, which earned her a lot of debt. She had practically no friends. Clementia of Hungary died in her youth, in 1328, when she was only 35 years old. After her death, her property was sold.

The famous Maid of Orleans

Not much is known about the life of the French national heroine Joan of Arc. It is mainly associated with the events of the Hundred Years War. But, undoubtedly, Jeanne is one of the mostfamous women of the Middle Ages. She was born in 1412 into a we althy peasant family. This girl was very pious, she could stand in church for hours and listen to sermons. But when Charles VII was removed from power, she took it as her own grief. From that moment on, Jeanne set herself the goal of freeing the city of Orleans and crowning Charles.

Jeanne the Maid of Orleans

Actually, her life is shrouded in mystery. Either she was very good at wielding a combat spear, which was the privilege of only the nobles, then she spoke fluent French, then she saw various visions in which she was supposedly predicted to play the role of a liberator. There is even an opinion that she was Karl's half-sister.

In May 1429, Jeanne, having received the opportunity to be a leader, achieved in just a few days the lifting of the siege by the British of Orleans. After that, she participated in many battles and received brilliant victories. This Orleans maiden was known for her decisiveness and speed of action, as well as her courage. Yet after a while, in 1430, Jeanne's detachment was defeated, and Jeanne herself was captured by the British. In January 1431, a trial began over her, which took place in Rouen, and in May of the same year she was sentenced to be burned at the stake. At the end of May, a courageous woman dies, who prevented the plans of the British to seize land on the continent.

The queen who helped Columbus

One of the great women of the Middle Ages was Isabella of Castile, wife of Ferdinand of Aragon, who became the founder of the dynasty that laid the foundation forunification of Spain. She was born in 1451 to King Juan of Castile. The events leading up to her marriage were difficult and stressful. Isabella secretly married Ferdinand, King of Aragon at the age of 18. In 1474 she proclaimed herself queen. And during her thirty-year reign, she was able to raise the level of Castile to unprecedented heights.

In 1492, there were several significant events that were influenced by Isabella. This is the capture of the city of Granada, the sailing of Columbus across the Atlantic and his discovery of America with the blessing of the queen, and the expulsion of the Moors and Jews from the Spanish lands. Conditions were put forward for non-Christians: either become Catholics or leave the land of Spain. By sending Columbus on an expedition, Spain not only discovered a new land, but also significantly replenished its treasury. Isabella died in 1504, having given birth to ten children in her lifetime. Her fourth daughter, Juana, became the heir to her estate. In life, Queen Isabella of Castile was known as a beautiful, energetic, intelligent, tenacious woman.

Twenty-year-old Queen of Burgundy

In 1457 King Charles had a daughter, who later became Queen Mary of Burgundy. After 20 years, her father dies, and then she becomes queen and one of the most desirable European brides. Despite the fact that Louis wanted to marry his son Charles to Mary, she nevertheless married Maximilian of the House of Habsburg, who later became Holy Roman Emperor. The reason for this marriage was the unwillingness of the subjects of Mary of Burgundy to be under French domination.

Mary of Burgundy

The Queen passes away very early, at the age of 25. In 1482, while riding a horse, she falls and dies. There is a version that she fell due to a serious illness that she had. Maximilian once wrote that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. Mary left him a son, Philip, and a daughter, Margarita.

Other Women of the Middle Ages

Of course, these are just some of the prominent women who lived during the Middle Ages. It is worth paying attention to some more whose lives influenced the course of events in the history of mankind.

One of the representatives of the Rurik dynasty was Agafya Svyatoslavovna, who was born between 1190 and 1195. Around 1210, she marries the Polish prince Konrad of Mazovia. Together they lived for thirty years. During this period, Agafya gave birth to Konrad ten children. She actively supported her husband in his affairs, for example, in rapprochement with the Teutonic Order. In 1239, an event occurs that affects both their family and all subjects. This is the murder of the pupil of the sons of the Prince of Mazovia. But in the end, everything was decided, and the family returned the location to itself. Agafya survived her husband, who died in 1247, only for a short time.

Isabella of France

Among the women of the Middle Ages, one can also note the one that was called the French she-wolf. This is Isabella of France, who was born in 1295 in the family of the French king. Becoming the wife of the English King Edward, she raised a rebellion against her husband, overthrew himand began to unofficially govern the country with her lover, Earl Mortimer. Isabella made a number of reforms in the country. In fact, the count ruled, whose power everyone was dissatisfied with. And then, having achieved support from the eighteen-year-old Edward III, the nobility conceived a coup. Mortimer was captured and executed in 1330, and Isabella was stripped of her title of Queen of England and imprisoned. A few years later, she received permission to enter a monastery, where she died in 1358.

Another interesting person was Theodora, who was born in the year 500 in the family of a circus attendant. She spent her childhood and youth in poverty and deprivation. Once in Alexandria of Egypt, she falls into educated circles, which helps her change her lifestyle. When Theodora returned to Constantinople, Emperor Justinian notices her. Probably, in 525 they become husband and wife, having overcome a number of obstacles. Theodora becomes Empress of Byzantium in 527 and reigns for 22 years. She had great power: she could appoint and dismiss, she was engaged in diplomacy, she received ambassadors. She was an energetic and courageous woman. In 548 Theodora dies, leaving a big mark on the history of Byzantium. Her personality is reflected in literature and art.

Studying history, one can see how certain individuals influenced the course of events in a country, the lives of other people. Medieval women are no exception to this. Their role is just as great.

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