Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 – 1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France 1137-1152 and queen consort of England 1154-1189. She was the patroness of such literary figures as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-More, and Chrétien de Troyes.
Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), ruled as King of England (1154–1189), Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the first of the House of Plantagenet to rule England. Henry was the first to use the title "King of England" (as opposed to "King of the English").
Louis VII, called the Younger or the Young, French: Louis le Jeune (1120 – 18 September 1180), was King of France, the son and successor of Louis VI (hence his nickname). He ruled from 1137 until his death. He was a member of the House of Capet. His reign was dominated by feudal struggles (in particular with the Angevin family), and saw the beginning of the long feud between France and England.
Odo was Duke of Gascony from 1032 and then Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou from 1038. He was a member of the House of Poitiers, the second son of William V of Aquitaine and Prisca, daughter of William II of Gascony and sister of Sancho VI. The Chronicle of Saint-Maixent and Adhemar of Chabannes are the chief sources for his reign. He was subscribing donation charters to Saint-Cyprien with his father and mother and his brother Theobald, who died young, before 1018.
William VIII (1025 – 25 September 1086), born Guy-Geoffrey (Gui-Geoffroi), was duke of Gascony (1052-1086), and then duke of Aquitaine and count of Poitiers (as William VI) between 1058 and 1086, succeeding his brother William VII (Pierre-Guillaume). Guy-Geoffroy was the youngest son of William V of Aquitaine by his third wife Agnes of Burgundy. He was the brother-in-law of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor who had married his sister, Agnes de Poitou.
William IX, called the Troubador, was the Duke of Aquitaine and Gascony and Count of Poitou (as William VII) between 1086 and his death. He was also one of the leaders of the Crusade of 1101. Though his political and military achievements have certain historical importance, he's best known as the earliest troubadour - a vernacular lyric poet in the Occitan language - whose work survived.
Bernard II Tumapaler was Duke of Gascony from 1039 to 1052 and Count of Armagnac from 1020 to 1061. Bernard was the son of Adalais, daughter of William V of Aquitaine and Prisca, and Girard I Trancaleon, whom he succeeded in Armagnac. Prisca was a daughter of William II of Gascony and it was through her that Bernard inherited his Gascon claim. Prisca's claim was passed to her son Odo on the death of her brother Sancho VI in 1032.
The Duchy of Vasconia (sometimes Wasconia), later known as Gascony, was a Merovingian creation: a frontier duchy on the Garonne, in the border with the rebel Basque tribes. During the collapse of Frankish authority in the region in the year 660, it gained de facto and possibly de jure independence, in personal union with the Duchy of Aquitaine (north and east of the Garonne).
Lupo II (died 778) is the third-attested historical duke of Gascony (dux Vasconum or princeps), appearing in history for the first time in 769. His ancestry is subject to scholarly debate. In 769, a final rising of the Aquitanians against Charlemagne and Carloman was put down and the rebel, Hunald (either the same Hunald as above or another), was forced to flee to the court of Lupo in Gascony. Lupo had thitherto been his ally, lending him Gascon troops.
Seguin II (died 846), called Mostelanicus, was the Count of Bordeaux and Saintes from 840 and Duke of Gascony from 845. He was either the son or grandson of Seguin I, the duke appointed by Charlemagne. When Louis the Pious subdued Aquitaine and took it from his rebellious grandson Pepin II in 839, he began partitioning it into counties for those loyal to him. Seguin was one of the new counts.
Sancho II Sánchez or Sans II Sancion (died 864) succeeded his brother Aznar Sánchez as count of Vasconia Citerior in 836, in spite of the objections of Pepin I, King of Aquitaine. After Pepin's death in 838, confusion enveloped southern Gaul.
Arnold (also Arnaut or Arnaud, died 864) was the Count of Fézensac and briefly Duke of Gascony in 864. He was the son of Emenon, Count of Périgord, and Sancha, daughter of Sancho Sánchez of Gascony. He made his claim on Gascony on his uncle's death. In 863, King Charles the Bald nominated him Count of Angoulême and Bordeaux. The next year he became duke defending the Gascon frontier, but he died fighting the Norsemen within months.
García II Sánchez, called the Bent, was the duke of Gascony from sometime before 887 to his death. He was probably a son of Sancho Sánchez or of Sancho Mitarra, though older sources give a genealogy with a Spanish origin. His ancestry is, in the end, unknown. He may have been a cousin of Arnold, who some sources claim acted as regent during his minority following his father’s death in 864 (if his father was Sánchez).
Sancho III, called Mitarra (from the Arabic for "terror" or "the terrible"), Menditarra (meaning "the mountaineer"), or Handia (meaning "the great" in Basque), was the Duke of Gascony in a very obscure period of its history between 864 and 893. He was probably duke from 872 to 887. He is shrouded in mystery and legend, but is regarded as a great fighter of the Reconquista elected to his post as Carolingian power waned by the native Gascons.
Sancho VI William was the Duke of Gascony from 1009 to his death. His reign is most notable for the renewal of Gascons ties with Spain. Sancho was a son of William II Sánchez and Urraca of Navarre and relative of Sancho III of Navarre and he spent a portion of his life at the court of that king in Pamplona. He also took part in the Reconquista. It is possible he even submitted Gascony to the suzerainty of Navarre.
Lupo III Centule was the Duke of Gascony briefly from 818 until his deposition by Pepin I of Aquitaine in 819. He was either a son of García I or of Centule, a brother of Sancho I. Lupo was a Gascon rebel against the authority of Pepin in Aquitaine. In 818, the death of García left a power vacuum in Gascony which Lupo attempted to fill. Pepin responded quickly, however, and entered Gascony, emanating a diploma at Castillon-sur-Dordogne the next year.
William I was the Duke of Gascony, appointed in 846 following the death of Seguin II in battle with the Norse assaulting Bordeaux and Saintes. He himself had to fight the Vikings and died during an attack on Bordeaux in 848. He was the last Frankish-appointed duke. After his death, the Basque chief Sancho Sánchez probably took control of Bordeaux and was soon recognised as duke.
Sancho IV Garcés was the Duke of Gascony from 930 to his own death in 950 or 955. During his tenure, Gascony shrank considerably as his brothers inherited important regions and the de facto and perhaps de jure independent duchy slipped into historical near-oblivion. He is mentioned in the cartulary of Auch, as a son of García Sánchez, and the Codex of Roda, which mentions him as the heir 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. Documents of his reign say that his grandfather came from Iberia, lending credence to "phantasmagorical" genealogies placing the origins of García II Sánchez across the Pyrenees.
Sancho V Sánchez was briefly Duke of Gascony from the death of his father, Sancho IV, between 950 and 955 to his own death. He was an illegitimate son whose rule did not last long before he died heirless to be succeeded by his brother William Sancho. There is some disagreement as to the name of this successor of Sancho IV.
Berengar was the eldest son of Alausia, daughter of Sancho VI of Gascony, and Hilduin, Count of Angoulême. He succeeded to the Duchy of Gascony on Sancho's death in 1032. He was either opposed immediately by his cousin Odo or acted as regent on his behalf. Either way, he appears to have been in power until his death in 1036, when Odo succeeded him. In a charter dated to the episcopate of Geoffrey of Bordeaux, Berengar appears as Belengarius comes Vuasconiçe ac burdegalensis provinçie.
Bernard I William was the Duke of Gascony from 996 or 997 to his death. He was the eldest son of William II Sánchez and Urraca of Navarre and elder brother of Sancho William, who succeeded him. According to Ademar of Chabannes, his death was due to "womanly plots."
Seguin I Lupo was Duke of Gascony from 812 to 816, when Louis the Pious deposed him. He was originally appointed count of Bordeaux (the pagus Burdegalensis) by Charlemagne around 781. He was probably of Gascon lineage though, an alleged son of Adalric of Gascony, a possible duke of Gascony, or of Lupus II, a definite duke of Gascony. He may have been a brother of Sancho I, Lupo III Centule of Gascony, and Garsand (or Garseand), and probably was the father of Seguin II.
Sancho I López or Lupus Sancho was a Duke of Gascony between the years 801 and 812. His parentage is unknown, but onomastics and chronology indicate that he may have been a son of Lupus II. This is especially likely if the early dukes of Gascony are to be regarded as related. Sancho first appears (as Lupus Sancho) in the historical record as dux "of the Vascones. " This means that he was almost certainly a Basque.