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Joan of Arc

Important Terms, People, and Events




Abjuration -   · An oath by which one renounces a previous belief or oath
Domremy -   · The French village where Joan of Arc was born
Reims -   · A city in northeastern France. This was the traditional place where French kings were crowned. Joan of Arc was obsessed with the need for Charles, the Dauphin, to have a formal coronation in Reims, which was controlled by Anglo-Burgundian forces at the time.
Rouen -   · French city northwest of Paris, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake


Duke of Alencon -  French Duke who almost always supported Joan of Arc's ideas
Burgundy -  Philip the Good, also known as the Duke of Burgundy, or "Burgundy" for short, competed with the Valois king Charles during the Hundred Years' War for control over certain French territories. Those who supported Philip against the claims of the pro-Charles party (the Armagnac party) were called "Burgundians."
Pierre Cauchon -  The bishop of Beauvais, Pierre Cauchon presided over Joan of Arc's trial for heresy and witchcraft, resulting in her burning at the stake.
Charles VII -  French King from 1422 to 1461, during much of second phase of the Hundred Years' War. Because at the time of his father's death the traditional site of coronations, Reims, was under English control, he assumed control without being ceremonially crowned. Thus Joan of Arc called him the "Dauphin," the name for the crown p rince of France, until 1429, when the coronation finally could take place at Reims. Charles was the Valois claimant to the kingship of the War's disputed lands, and those who supported him were called "Armagnacs."
Gilles de Rais -  A wealthy nobleman who fought at Joan of Arc's side at the Siege of Orleans. Years later, Gilles de Rais managed to squander his massive fortune and was hanged after a trial for Satanism, abduction, and murdering children.
John of Luxembourg -  One of the Duke of Burgundy's star commanders, John of Luxembourg captured Joan at the Battle of Compiegne.
La Hire -  French military commander along with Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais at the Siege of Orleans.
Pierre of Arc -  Joan's brother, who went with her to the Battle of Compiegne
Saint Catherine -  Saint Catherine of Alexandria was a martyred saint who was the patron of philosophers and scholars. Joan of Arc claimed that one of the "voices" she heard was Saint Catherine's.
Saint Margaret -  A saint whose voice Joan of Arc claimed to hear.
Saint Michael -  One of the saints Joan of Arc claimed to hear speaking in her head.


Battle of Compiegne -  Battle in which Joan of Arc was captured by John of Luxembourg, in May of 1430.
Hundred Years' War -  Period of sporadic fighting between England and France between 1337 and 1453 (actually more than 100 years), over who should rule certain French territories. During Joan of Arc's time the two candidates were the Valois king Charles, supported by the French Armagnacs, and the Duke of Burgundy, who was allied with England. The Siege of Orleans in 1429 was an important turning point in this battle.
Siege of Orleans -  Crucial battle in the Hundred Years' War, from October 12, 1428 to May 8, 1429. The French pro-Charles forces (the Armagnacs) managed to break the stalemate after Joan of Arc's arrival lifted their spirits.
Battle of Patay -  A June 1429 battle in which the French Armagnac forces thoroughly routed the Anglo-Burgundian forces, helping to open the way to Reims for the Dauphin's coronation.

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