William V of Aquitaine
William V called the Great (le Grand), was Duke of Aquitaine
Duke of Aquitaine
The Duke of Aquitaine ruled the historical region of Aquitaine under the supremacy of Frankish, English and later French kings....

 and Count of Poitou (as William II or III) from 990 until his death. He was the son and successor of William IV
William IV of Aquitaine
William IV , called Fierebras or Fierebrace , was the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou from 963 to his retirement in 990.William's father, William III, abdicated to the abbey of Saint-Cyprien in Poitiers and left the government to...

 by his wife Emma of Blois
Emma of Blois
Emma of Blois became Duchess of Aquitaine through marriage. She was the daughter of Theobald I, Count of Blois and Luitgarde of Vermandois....

, daughter of Theobald I of Blois
Theobald I of Blois
Theobald I , called the Cheat or the Trickster , was the first count of Blois, Chartres, and Châteaudun from 960, and Tours from 945....

. He seems to have taken after his formidable mother, who ruled Aquitaine as regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 until 1004. He was a friend to Bishop Fulbert of Chartres
Fulbert of Chartres
Fulbert of Chartres –10 April 1028) was the bishop of the Cathedral of Chartres from 1006 till 1028. He was a teacher at the Cathedral school there, he was responsible for the advancement of the celebration of the Feast day of “Nativity of the Virgin”, and he was responsible for one of the...

, who found in him another Maecenas, and founded a cathedral school at Poitiers
Poitiers is a city on the Clain river in west central France. It is a commune and the capital of the Vienne department and of the Poitou-Charentes region. The centre is picturesque and its streets are interesting for predominant remains of historical architecture, especially from the Romanesque...

. He himself was very well educated, a collector of books, and turned the prosperous court of Aquitaine into the learning centre of Southern France.

Though a cultivated prince, he was a failure in the field. He called in the aid of his suzerain Robert II of France
Robert II of France
Robert II , called the Pious or the Wise , was King of France from 996 until his death. The second reigning member of the House of Capet, he was born in Orléans to Hugh Capet and Adelaide of Aquitaine....

 in subduing his vassal, Boso of La Marche. Together, they yet failed. Eventually, Boso was chased from the duchy. He had to contain the Vikings who yearly threatened his coast, but in 1006, he was defeated by Viking invaders. He lost the Loudun
Loudun is a commune in the Vienne department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France.It is located south of the town of Chinon and 25 km to the east of the town Thouars...

ais and Mirebalais
Mirebalais is a town in Centre Department, Haïti, approximately 60 km northeast of Port-au-Prince on National Road 3. The city was established in 1703....

 to Fulk Nerra, count of Anjou. He had to give up Confolens
Confolens is a commune in southwestern France. It is one of the two sub-prefecture of the Charente department.Confolens is the administrative center of a largely rural district, which has seen the development of tourism in recent years.-Geography:...

, Ruffec
Ruffec may refer to the following places in France:*Ruffec, Charente, a commune in the Charente department*Ruffec, Indre, a commune in the Indre department...

, and Chabanais to compensate William II of Angoulême
William II of Angoulême
William Taillefer , numbered William II or William IV , was the Count of Angoulême from 987. He stood at the head of the family which controlled not only the Angoumois, but also the Agenais and part of Saintonge...

, but Fulbert negotiated a treaty (1020) outlining the reciprocal obligations of vassal and suzerain.

However, his court was a centre of artistic endeavour and he its surest patron. His piety and culture brought peace to his vast feudum and he tried to stem the tide of feudal warfare then destroying the unity of many European nations by supporting the current Peace and Truce of God
Peace and Truce of God
The Peace and Truce of God was a medieval European movement of the Catholic Church that applied spiritual sanctions in order to limit the violence of private war in feudal society. The movement constituted the first organized attempt to control civil society in medieval Europe through non-violent...

 movements initiated by Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 and Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. He founded Maillezais Abbey (1010) and Bourgueil Abbey
Bourgueil Abbey
Bourgueil Abbey was a Benedictine monastery in France , founded in 990. It was located at Bourgueil, in historic Anjou and the diocese of Angers. The founder was Emma, countess of Blois, daughter of Theobald I of Blois, and duchess of Aquitaine...

. He rebuilt the cathedral and many other religious structures in Poitiers after a fire. He travelled widely in Europe, annually visiting Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 or Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 as a pilgrim. Everywhere he was greeted with royal pomp. His court was of an international flavour, receiving ambassadors from the Emperor Henry II
Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry II , also referred to as Saint Henry, Obl.S.B., was the fifth and last Holy Roman Emperor of the Ottonian dynasty, from his coronation in Rome in 1014 until his death a decade later. He was crowned King of the Germans in 1002 and King of Italy in 1004...

, Alfonso V of León
Alfonso V of León
Alfonso V , called the Noble, was King of León from 999 to 1028. He was the son of Bermudo II by his second wife Elvira García of Castile. The Abbot Oliva called him "Emperor of Spain"....

, Canute the Great
Canute the Great
Cnut the Great , also known as Canute, was a king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden. Though after the death of his heirs within a decade of his own and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was largely lost to history, historian Norman F...

, and even his suzerain, Robert of France.

In 1024–1025, an embassy from Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, sent by Ulric Manfred II of Turin
Ulric Manfred II of Turin
Ulric Manfred II was the Margrave of Turin and Susa in the early 11th century.- Biography:...

, came to France seeking a king of their own, the Henry II having died. The Italians asked for Robert's son Hugh Magnus, co-king of France, but Robert refused to allow his son to go and the Italians turned to William, whose character and court impressed many. He set out for Italy to consider the proposal, but the Italian political situation convinced him to renounce the crown for him and his heirs. Most of his surviving six letters deal with the Italian proposal.

His reign ended in peace and he died on the last (or second to last) day of January 1030 at Maillezais, which he founded and where he is buried.

The principal source of his reign is the panegyric
A panegyric is a formal public speech, or written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally highly studied and discriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical. It is derived from the Greek πανηγυρικός meaning "a speech fit for a general assembly"...

 of Adhemar of Chabannes.


He was married at least 3 times. His first wife was Adalemode of Limoges, widow of Adalbert I of La Marche. They had one son:
  1. William VI
    William VI of Aquitaine
    William VI , called the Fat, was Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou between 1030 and his death...

    , his successor

His second wife was Sancha of Gasconyhttp://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/GASCONY.htm#SanchaGascognediedbefore1018 (or Brisa/Prisca), daughter of Duke William II Sánchez of Gascony
William II Sánchez of Gascony
William II Sánchez , Duke of Gascony from circa 961 at least until 996, was the younger illegitimate son of duke Sancho IV and successor, around 961, of his childless elder brother, duke Sancho V. He united the County of Bordeaux with the Gascony...

 and sister of Duke Sancho VI William. She was dead by 1018. They had two sons and a daughter:
  1. Odo, later duke also
  2. Adalais, married Count Guiraut I Trancaleon of Armagnac
  3. Theobald, died young

His third wife was Agnes of Burgundy
Agnes of Burgundy, Duchess of Aquitaine
Agnes of Burgundy , Duchess of Aquitaine was a daughter of Otto-William, Count of Burgundy and Ermentrude of Roucy. She was a member of the House of Ivrea.-Life:...

, daughter of Otto-William, Duke of Burgundy
Otto-William, Duke of Burgundy
Otto-William was a son of Adalbert, King of Italy, and Gerberga of Mâcon.His mother gave him what would be the Free County of Burgundy around Dôle in 982. Otto also inherited the duchy of Burgundy on the other side of the Saône in 1002 from his stepfather Eudes Henry the Great...

. Her second husband was Geoffrey II of Anjou
Geoffrey II of Anjou
Geoffrey II, called Martel , was Count of Anjou from 1040 to 1060. He was the son of Fulk the Black. He was bellicose and fought against the Duke of Aquitaine, the Count of Blois, and the Duke of Normandy...

. They had two sons and a daughter also:
  1. Peter William
    William VII of Aquitaine
    William VII , called the Eagle or the Bold , was the duke of Aquitaine and count of Poitou between 1039 and his death, following his half-brother Odo.William was the third son of William V of Aquitaine, the eldest by his third wife, Agnes of Burgundy...

    , later duke as William VII
  2. Guy Geoffrey
    William VIII of Aquitaine
    William VIII , born Guy-Geoffrey , was duke of Gascony , and then duke of Aquitaine and count of Poitiers between 1058 and 1086, succeeding his brother William VII ....

    , later duke as William VIII
  3. Agnes
    Agnes de Poitou
    Agnes of Poitou, Agnes of Aquitaine or Empress Agnes was Holy Roman Empress and regent of the Holy Roman Empire from 1056 to 1062.-Family:...

     (or Ala), married Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...



  • Nouvelle Biographie Générale. Paris, 1859.
  • Owen, D. D. R. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen and Legend.
  • Weir, Alison. Eleanor of Aquitaine. 2001.

External links

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