Humbert II (Viennois)

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Great seal of Humbert II of Viennois.
Portrait of Humbert II (though not contemporary and therefore probably fictitious)

Humbert II. De la Tour-du-Pin (* 1312 ; † May 22, 1355 in Clermont-en-Auvergne ) was Dauphin of Viennois from 1333 to July 16, 1349 . He was the younger son of the Dauphin Jean II ( House La Tour-du-Pin ) and Beatrix of Hungary ( House Anjou ) and successor to his older brother Guigues VIII. He was the last Dauphin before the title went to the French crown. He gained fame primarily through his participation in the crusade against Smyrna .


Humbert II is judged by his contemporaries as an incompetent and wasteful prince who did not have the military verve of his brother. He spent his youth with his relatives on his mother's side at the court in Naples , later he gave up the wandering life of his predecessors and preferred to hold a splendid court in Beauvoir-en-Royans , which was little appreciated by his contemporaries.

In July 1332 he married Marie des Baux, daughter of Bertrand des Baux, Duke of Andria ( House Les Baux ), and Beatrix of Anjou-Sicily ( House Anjou ), on September 5, 1333 - just six weeks after he came to power Heir to the throne André to the world. When his only child died in October 1335, however, Humbert gave up hope of descendants and then worked on ceding his inheritance from 1337 (he was the last male family member).

The financial difficulties accumulated as he set about organizing another crusade 40 years after the last Christians had been driven from Acre . Humbert had his property inventoried in 1339 in order to get everything to Pope Benedict XII. to sell, but then turned to the French King Philip VI after this had failed . , with whom he came to an agreement in principle in 1343 (Humbert even entered the Dominican order in Beauvoir that year ). The assignment was then hastened to allow Humbert to "transport" ( passagia ), as his crusade project was called.

In fact, Humbert, accompanied by Philippe de Mézières , among others , set out from Marseille in May 1345 at the head of a papal fleet to intervene in the fighting between Christians and Turks . In June 1346 he reached Smyrna , which had only been conquered by a papal crusade league in 1344, but was still besieged by the Turks. As early as the summer of 1346, Humbert had negotiated with Anna of Savoy , the regent of the Byzantine Empire, about an alliance against the Turks, the crusaders should be allowed to use the Byzantine island of Chios as a base against the Turks for three years. The Genoese had thwarted these negotiations, however, by conquering Chios for themselves at the end of 1346, which led to conflicts in the Crusader camp. After a few unsuccessful attempts to fail and an illness, Humbert went to the Johannitern in Rhodes , where he spent the winter of 1346/47 and corresponded with the Pope about how to proceed. His wife also died in Rhodes. In the meantime, a civil war broke out in the Byzantine Empire when John VI. Kantakuzenos was raised to the position of anti-emperor and intended to depose the regent Anna of Savoy. The Venetians urged Humbert to intervene with the crusade army on behalf of Anna. Humbert and the Pope, on the other hand, tried to maintain the complex balance of Christian powers on the Aegean before an armistice with the Turks was reached. With the Pope's permission, Humbert finally left the crusade army and returned to his homeland without having achieved anything worth mentioning. When the crusaders who stayed behind beat the Turks at Imbros , Humbert was already absent.

On March 29, 1349, Humbert appointed Karl von Valois , the eldest son of Crown Prince Johann von Valois, as heir, the transfer of property was made on July 16: King Philip VI. and his successor Johann II were not interested in taking over the Dauphiné directly, as this would have made them vassals of the Roman-German emperor in relation to this region . Subsequently, it was accepted that the land was considered to be the property of the Crown Prince, and that is why the Crown Prince was called Dauphin du Viennois and later Dauphin de France. In order to prevent the Dauphiné from being merged with other areas of the king over time, Humbert also issued a "Statut Delphinal", with which the inhabitants of the country were exempted from a number of taxes and duties: the defense of these rights was in the the most important topic of the regional parliament in the following centuries.

After the "transport", Humbert devoted himself to a spiritual life and hoped to become Bishop of Paris , perhaps even Pope. In fact, however, he was appointed Patriarch of Alexandria (in Catholicism a pure title) and Archbishop of Reims in 1352 , which was connected with the status of a peer of France . He died on May 22, 1355 at the age of 43 in Clermont and was buried in the Jacobin monastery in Paris .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ MD Sturdza: Dictionnaire Historique et Généalogique des Grandes Familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople. Paris 1999, p. 504.
  2. Steven Runciman: History of the Crusades. CH Beck, Munich 1995, ISBN 3406399606 , p. 1231
  3. Kenneth Meyer Setton, HW Hazard: A History of the Crusades. Volume 3: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. University of Wisconsin Press, 1975, ISBN 0299066703 , pp. 61 ff.
predecessor Office successor
Guigues VIII. Dauphin von Viennois
Charles of France
Hugues d'Arcy Archbishop of Reims
Jean de Craon