Jul 29, 2008

Famous Swords - Baptism

William IV, called Fierebrace (meaning "Iron Arm" or “Strong-o’-the-Arm”), was the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou in the late 10th century. His sword Baptism saw frequent use as William fought to protect his holdings - often against the counts of Anjou.

In 988, William went to war with his brother-in-law, Hugh Capet, the newly-elected king of France whom William refused to recognize. Capet renewed his claim on the great duchy of Aquitaine and invaded it that year. Capet’s royal army suffered defeat on the plain of the Loire Valley, where William sheltered the young Louis, son of Charles, the last legitimate Carolingian heir. William opened the palace of Poitiers to him and treated him as royalty, regarding him as the true heir to the French throne. William finally retired to a monastery, as his father had done, leaving his wife Emma to rule Aquitaine in the name of their son William until 1004.

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