Gottfried II (Anjou)

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Gottfried II. (French: Geoffroy , Eng .: Geoffrey ; * October 14, 1006 or 1007; † November 14, 1060 ), called Martel or the hammer , was a count of Anjou from 1040 until his death and from 1032 to 1056 Count of Vendôme . He came from the first house of Anjou and was the only son of Count Fulko III. Nerra and his second wife Hildegard († 1046).

The first mention of Gottfried comes from the Gesta Normannorum Ducum : "Gottfried, Count of the Angevines, called Martel, an insidious man in every respect, who often inflicted assaults and unbearable pressure on his neighbors."

Just like his father, Gottfried was of a warlike nature and was with all his neighbors throughout his life, including Count Theobald III in particular . of Blois and Duke Wilhelm II of Normandy , embroiled in military conflicts.


First years and fight against Blois

As a ten-year-old, Gottfried took part in the victorious battle of Pontlevoy against the House of Blois in the entourage of Count Herbert I. Watchdog of Maine . His father Fulko III. Nerra shared Gottfried in the rule over the territory of the Counts of Anjou during his own lifetime, but there were several friction between the two, which is why Gottfried felt compelled to look for a political field of activity outside of Anjou. In 1032, Gottfried took advantage of King Henry I's controversy for the throne against his mother and younger brothers to seize the county of Vendôme , whose weak count Fulko the gosling he drove from there. To secure his rule in Vendôme Gottfried founded the Abbey of Sainte-Trinité . Then he used the rift between his wife Agnes of Burgundy and her stepson, Duke Wilhelm VI. of Aquitaine to expand his power in Aquitaine . He defeated Wilhelm in a battle near Montcontour in the autumn of 1033 and took him prisoner. Until 1036 in his captivity, Gottfried forced him to transfer the Saintonge to him, where he also consolidated his rule by founding a monastery in Saintes ( Abbaye aux Dames ). From now on, Gottfried was to exercise the dominant influence in Aquitaine.

After the death of his father in June 1040, Gottfried took over his family's home country and immediately clashed with their arch rivals from Blois . Count Theobald III. von Blois supported the revolt of Prince Odo against his brother, King Heinrich I , in 1041 , for whom Gottfried again sided. The king withdrew the county of Tours from Theobald and transferred it to Gottfried, who invaded Theobald's territory with his army and took up the siege of Tours for more than a year . On August 21, 1044 Gottfried won the decisive battle at Nouy , where he was able to take his enemy Theobald prisoner; the latter then had to forego Touraine for good in favor of Gottfried.

Imperial politics

Gottfried's relationship with his king was to deteriorate increasingly over the next few years. In addition, the marriage of his stepdaughter Agnes to the Roman King Heinrich III. contribute, which was probably driven by Gottfried's wife. This marriage was primarily intended to consolidate the position of the empire in Burgundy , where the bride had a large family through her mother. But possibly the French nobility should also be brought closer to the Roman king through this marriage, since the French king was suspected of the rebellious Duke of Lorraine Gottfried III. to support the bearded man . In 1046 Gottfried traveled with his wife to the Saxon royal palace of Goslar to the court of his step-son-in-law and accompanied him to Italy , where he attended the Synod of Sutri and the coronation of Henry III. participated to the emperor in Rome .

Furthermore, King Henry I of France was threatened by Gottfried's access to the county of Maine . There Gottfried had his long-time opponent Gervais de Bellême , Bishop of Le Mans , imprisoned in 1048 , because he had the marriage of Count Hugo IV of Maine with a sister Theobald III. mediated by Blois. For this, Gottfried was banned from church by a council held in Reims in 1050 , which was only lifted after the bishop's release in May 1051. The bishop then moved to Normandy, whose young Duke Wilhelm II he was able to persuade to intervene in Maine.

Fight against King and Normans

In order to build a strong counterbalance to Gottfried, the king now supported the young Duke of Normandy Wilhelm II in his struggle for rule in his duchy, while Gottfried was looking for a closer alliance with Guillaume II Talvas de Bellême . In 1049 the King and Duke attacked, and while William was conquering territories in Maine, the King marched with his army to just outside Angers , where he captured Mouliherne Castle . In return, after the death of Hugo IV of Maine in 1051, Gottfried seized the city of Le Mans and finally secured control of this county by appointing himself to be the guardian of the young Count Herbert II ; however, he had fled to see Wilhelm in Rouen . Then Gottfried beat his rebellious vassal Guerin, whose Craon castle he gave to Robert von Nevers (called le Bourguignon ); furthermore Gottfried took control of Alençon and Domfront , with which he gained a foothold in Normandy .

In 1052 Gottfried's situation changed abruptly after Duke Wilhelm II married a daughter of the powerful Count Baldwin V of Flanders , despite the threat of excommunication , and thus emancipated himself from his royal patron. By August 1052 at the latest, King Heinrich I and Gottfried were reconciled, which is recorded in a document in connection with the revolt of Wilhelm von Talous against Wilhelm II. This coming together was made easier by the separation of Gottfried from his wife, with which Gottfried also took into account the deteriorating relationship between France and the Holy Roman Empire since King Henry married Anna of Kiev in 1051 and thus joined an anti-imperial camp.

Battle for Maine

Duke Wilhelm II of Normandy now turned against Domfront, which resisted reconquest over the winter of 1052. At this point Wilhelm von Talou withdrew from the siege and began his revolt. Duke Wilhelm's swift conquest of Alençon and then Domfront drove Gottfried from Normandy back to Maine. Nevertheless, Gottfried remained the king's most important pillar, especially after his arch-rival Theobald III. von Blois had paid homage to the emperor in 1054. At the end of January and beginning of February 1054 , Gottfried and Heinrich attacked Normandy and together they moved down the Seine towards Rouen. When an army corps under the command of Heinrich's brother Odo was defeated in the battle of Mortemer , Heinrich broke off the campaign.

In the next few years the dispute with an offensive Duke Wilhelm shifted to Maine, who brought Mont Barbet and Ambrières into his power there. Wilhelm had reconciled himself with the king immediately after Mortemer, and in doing so, presumably had his conquests in Maine, made at Gottfried's expense, confirmed. Gottfried did not accept this agreement and allied himself in 1054 with Gottfried von Mayenne, who felt threatened by the Normans in Ambrières. However, the siege of this castle failed after a successful relief of Wilhelm, who put Gottfried to flight and took Herr von Mayenne prisoner. This was forced to recognize the Duke of Normandy as a feudal lord. Nevertheless, Gottfried consolidated his rule over Le Mans, where in 1055 he was able to appoint Vougrin, the abbot of Saint-Sergius in Angers, as bishop.

In 1057 King Heinrich, "burning for revenge for the insult the Duke had inflicted on him, [...] commissioned Gottfried, Count of Anjou, to prepare a large arm for a new campaign in Normandy" ( Gesta Normannorum Ducum ). The joint efforts put Duke Wilhelm on the defensive; he withdrew, the invaders penetrated deep into Normandy. In the crossing of the river Dives , the Battle of Varaville took place when Heinrich and Gottfried were caught by the flood while they were crossing . The attack on the divided army brought Wilhelm a victory, after which Heinrich and Gottfried finally withdrew from Normandy. An attack by Gottfried's stepson Wilhelm VII of Aquitaine was repelled in front of Saumur Castle in 1058 .

At the end of his life, Gottfried entered the Saint-Nicolas monastery in Angers, where he died and was buried on November 14, 1060.

Marriages and succession

In his first marriage, Gottfried was married to Agnes of Burgundy († 1068) since January 1, 1032 . She was a daughter of Count Otto Wilhelm of Burgundy and widow of Duke Wilhelm V of Aquitaine . Gottfried separated from her around the years 1049 to 1052.

His second wife was Adela, the daughter of a "Count Odo" (presumably Odo II of Blois ), the third wife Grace, the widow of Gottfried's follower Berlay de Montreuil. His fourth and last known wife was an Adelheid, called la Teutonne (the German). An unusual note in the cartulary of Ronceray had seized the Gottfried describing a dispute over a vineyard and its "Women or better concubines" given the names of these women have survived.

Despite these marital escapades, Gottfried died childless, and was succeeded by his nephew Gottfried III. the bearded one .


  • Elisabeth MC Van Houts (ed. And transl.): The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1995.


  • Georges Duby: The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest. The making of modern marriage in medieval France. 1983.
  • David C. Douglas: William the Conqueror. University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, 1964.
predecessor Office successor
Fulko III. Count of Anjou
Gottfried III.
Theobald I. Count of Tours
Gottfried III.