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The Origins of the Hundred Years WarThe Angevin Legacy 1250–1340$
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Malcolm Vale

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206200

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206200.001.0001

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Politics and Society in Aquitaine—I: The Nobility

Politics and Society in Aquitaine—I: The Nobility

(p.80) 4 Politics and Society in Aquitaine—I: The Nobility
The Origins of the Hundred Years War

Malcolm Vale

Oxford University Press

The chapter attempts to examine the political, social, and economic characteristics of the duchy of Aquitaine. Divisions are always artificial and often misleading, but the material can be more easily considered if one makes a distinction between nobility and townsmen. The Gascon nobility and the clergy, who were often closely related to them, are therefore the subject of this chapter. Among the factors which may have contributed to the disorderly condition of the Gascon nobility was the slackening of the crusading effort against the infidel. Members of that nobility had been prominent in the wars against the Muslims in Spain. The decline of military opportunities in the Iberian Peninsula after 1264 left aggressive energies untapped. Apart from the conclusion of alliances with other nobles, and the exploitation of casual sources of income, a major instrument of expansion was the diplomatic marriage.

Keywords:   politics, society, nobility, clergy, Muslims, diplomacy, Aquitaine

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