Angevin Empire

Angevin Empire

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Angevin Empire

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The term Angevin Empire is a modern term describing the collection of states once ruled by the Angevin Plantagenet dynasty.

The Plantagenets ruled over an area stretching from the Pyrenees to Ireland during the 12th and early 13th centuries. This "empire" extended over roughly half of medieval France, all of England, and nominally all of Ireland. However, despite the extent of Plantagenet rule, they were defeated by the King of France, Philip II Augustus of the House of Capet, which left the empire split in two, having lost the provinces of Normandy and Anjou. This defeat, after which the ruling Plantagenets retained their English territories and the French province of Gascony, set the scene for the Saintonge and the Hundred Years' War.

Origin of the term and its application

The Angevin Empire is a neologism defining the lands of the Plantagenets: Henry II and his sons Richard I and John. Another son Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany ruled Brittany and established a separate line there. As far as historians know, there was no contemporary term for the region under Angevin control; however descriptions such as "our kingdom and everything subject to our rule whatever it may be" were used. The term Angevin Empire was coined by Kate Norgate in her 1887 publication, England under the Angevin Kings.Norgate, Kate,...
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