Angevin

Second House of Anjou

The second house of Anjou was a cadet branch of the Capetians and originated with Charles, a younger brother of King Louis IX of France. Charles was made count of Anjou by Louis, acquired Provence by marriage, and in 1266 was invested by the pope with the kingdom of Naples and Sicily as Charles I. Charles lost Sicily but retained Naples. His successors were Charles II, Robert, and Joanna I of Naples and Provence.

On the death (1382) of Joanna I the succession to Naples was contested by two cadet branches, both descended from Charles II of Naples. The first was represented by Charles of Durazzo (Charles III of Naples), a great-grandson through the male line, and by his children, Lancelot and Joanna II. They retained, for the most part, actual possession of the kingdom despite the efforts of the rival line, issued from Margaret, a daughter of Charles II. Margaret married Charles of Valois; their son and grandson were kings Philip VI and John II, respectively, of France. John made his younger son, Louis, duke of Anjou; Joanna I of Naples adopted Louis as heir; Louis thus became Louis I of Naples and Provence. His successors were Louis II, Louis III, and René.

Although Louis III and René were successively designated as heirs by Joanna II, Naples was seized by King Alfonso V of Aragón and eventually remained in Spanish hands. René became duke of Lorraine by marriage. His nephew and heir, Charles, count of Maine, died in 1481 without issue; and Anjou, Maine, Provence, and the Angevin claim to Naples all passed to the French crown. The theoretical claim to Jerusalem stemmed from Charles I of Naples, whom Pope John XXI invested (c.1276) with the title. René's claim to the title was transmitted to the house of Lorraine.

The Hungarian branch of Anjou began (1308) with Charles Robert (King Charles I of Hungary), a grandson of Charles II of Naples. Charles I's son became king of Hungary and Poland as Louis I. Hungary passed to Louis's daughter Mary and to her husband Sigismund (later Holy Roman emperor), and Poland passed to Ladislaus II of Poland, husband of Louis's daughter Jadwiga.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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