Alphonse, Count of Poitiers

Alphonse of Poitiers (French Alphonse de Poitiers; * November 11, 1220 in Poissy, † August 21 1271 in Corneto at Siena ) was a royal prince of France from the Capetian dynasty. He was from 1241, Count of Poitou from 1249 and Count of Toulouse.


Alfonso was the third of four reach adulthood sons of King Louis VIII the Lion († 1226 ) and his wife Blanche of Castile († 1252). His older brothers were the king and later Saint Louis IX. (* 1214, † 1270) and Robert of Artois (* 1216, † 1250), his younger brother was Charles of Anjou (* 1226, † 1285).

Under the terms of the Treaty of Meaux- Paris of 1229, which ended the Albigensian Crusade, Alfonso was the heiress of the county of Toulouse, Johanna, engaged. The wedding took place in 1241 and ushered in the inheritance of the French crown in the region of Languedoc. In the same year Alfonso was defeated on June 24 by his older brother, according to the will of her father, on a court day in Saumur knighted and invested with the counties of Poitou, Saintonge and a part of the Auvergne ( Terre royale d' Auvergne ). This investiture provoked the protest of the Plantagenets, where such areas had heard before, and it brought the still claim. Counter Alfons and Louis IX. an alliance was formed under King Henry III. of England and Hugo X of Lusignan, who joined also Alfonso's father Raymond VII of Toulouse. Together with his brother Alfons hit the opposite side on July 21, 1242 the Battle of Taillebourg. The King of England fled to his kingdom, Lusignan submitted to Alfons and also the Count of Toulouse laid down their arms.

Like all his brothers followed Alfonso the oldest, King Louis IX. , On the sixth crusade to Egypt. But he did not sting with them on August 25, 1248 in Aigues-Mortes in the lake, because his father was staying by its attitude departure. Until the autumn of 1249 Alfons agreed with Raymond VII to a departure in Marseille, but on the way there died his father. Thus, the Erbregelung entered into force in 1229 and Alfonso, Count of Toulouse, Margrave of Provence. The acquisition of these countries, he left his mother because he did not want to postpone his crusade. He reached the meantime conquered Damietta on 24 October 1249 where he reinforced the army of his brother. He then took part in the advance on Cairo, where the combined armies but were stopped on February 8, 1250 before the town of al - Mansura. In a spontaneous attack on the town of Alfonso 's brother Robert of Artois was killed. In a subsequent battle in the city on February 11 against the Mamelukes Alfonso commanded the right wing of the army. He became temporarily so much distress that he had allegedly defended by sutlers. Despite the victory in the battle, the siege of al- Mansura had to be discontinued in April 1250. In the subsequent retreat to Damietta Alfons came with his brothers on April 6 at Fariskur in the captivity of the Mamelukes.

After his release, Alfonso returned with his brother Charles of Anjou in 1251 to France, where both of her mother's side the regency for Louis IX. led, which remained in the Holy Land. The mother died in 1252, whereupon Alfons and Karl further led the regency alone. In that time, Alfons large proportion of the negotiations that led to the 1259 Treaty of Paris. It recognized King Henry III. of England the loss of large parts of his possessions in France to the crown, including Normandy, Maine, Anjou and Poitou. In return, France had to give up the Saintoge that was given as an act of accommodation by the king of England.

Although Alfonso mainly resided in Paris, he rendered his main achievements in his possessions in southern France. He let the ravages of the Albigensian Crusade and eliminate organized the administration of the Languedoc by a centralized, Northern French model by one rushed the country into Seneschallate. Known as the " Alphonsine " document for the town of Riom was the Code of the Auvergne. Despite his despotic character and permanent financial constraints he protected the middle class from the encroachments of the nobility. He supported the Inquisition in the fight against heretics, but also ordered in 1249 in Poitou, the first regional expulsion of Jews. His actions paved the orderly takeover of the south front of the crown.

Despite his poor health Alfons accompanied with his wife, his brother in 1270 on the seventh crusade against Tunis, where the king died in Carthage. Alfonso himself died on the way back to the home on August 21, 1271 in Corneto at Siena. His wife followed him a few days later. While he was buried in the Basilica of Saint- Denis, his wife is the church of Notre -Dame- Gercy (now Varennes- Jarcy ) buried. Since the couple had no children, their land was incorporated as a completed fief to the crown domain. Only the Comtat venaissin, as part of the Margraviate of Provence, he left the Pope, the area remained in his possession until 1791.

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