Even more than individual rulers there are whole dynasties that are not known to the people.In many cases they are known only in the regions where they have prevailed.
The struggle between the Habsburg Empire and Brandenburg-Prussia is known, but two other families competed against the sacred Romanesque empire.
The House of Luxembourg and the House of Wittelsbach fought with each other in the late Middle Ages.The house Wittelsbach would later supply the Kings for countries such as Hungary, Denmark, Sweden and Greece. The heir to the house is now considered the legitimate follow-up of the Scottish house Stuart, the Kings of England and Scotland, by what remains of the jacobies.
Another not so well-known family is the Anjou cadet branch of the house Capet.They have been king in many places, but never long. They knew nowhere long to keep the throne like most houses, but they have been seated in many places on the throne.
Anjou-Sicily House-Wikipedia -1266 to 1435
The house reigned over the regions of Anjou, Maine, Touraine, Provence, Touraine and Forcalquier, the principalities of Achaeaen Taranto, and the kingdoms of Sicily, Naples, Hungary, Croatia, Albania and Poland.
In Eastern/Central Europe the most successful people who belonged to this house were king Louis I of Hungary, who ruled over Poland, Hungary and Croatia.
His daughter Hedwig of Poland was also very important for Polish history.
Louis possessed a large power block in Eastern Europe, but his only children were 3 daughters who could not inherit a country.However, instead of seeking a suitable spouse for them, he wanted to pass both Poland and Hungary to his daughters and therefore gave the Polish nobility Privilige or Kozcysze which would influence the development of Polish nobility until the Time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, another daughter of Louis was involved, Hedwig.The Polish nobility eventually accepted a female ruler but this led to a complication. It ensured that Hedwig was a very attractive candidate to marry as the forthcoming husband received a whole kingdom. Marriage candidates consisted of members of the House of Habsburg to members of the genus Piasten, but the lucky one was totally someone else.
He signed the Union of Krevo in which he promised to convert to Catholicism and to promote it among his nationals.Meanwhile, William Habsburg moved to Krakow hoping to marry his youth fianc茅, but he was expelled from the Polish nobility at the end of August 1385. Jagiello, who assumed the baptismal name Wladislaus, married Hedwig on February 15, 1386. There is a legend that she only consented to marry him after a lengthy prayer in which she sought divine inspiration.
This marriage ensured that also the last land was the paganism adhered to in Europe converted to Christianity and led to a Polish-Lithuanian union that would later culminated in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.The ascent of the throne by Hedwig also led to an end of the Polish-Hungarian union that existed during the reign of her father.
If you know anything about history, you’ve probably also heard of the Battle of Grunwald between the German order state and the new Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
We made a leap forward to Louis, but the founder of the House of Anjou was also a monumental figure.This man founded a very Mediterranean empire.
We did skip ahead a little here by going straight to Louis because the founder of the Anjou-Capetian dynasty was also a monumental figure.The Guy basically built a Mediterranean empire for himself.
He was Count of Provence (1246 -85) and Forcalquier (1246 -48, 1256 -1285) in the Holy Romanesque Empire, count of Anjou and Maine (1246 -85) in France; In addition, he was King of Sicily (including part of Naples) (1266 -1285) and Prince of Achaea (1278 -85).
In 1272 he was crowned King of Albania and in 1277 he bought a claim on the Kingship of Jerusalem.
You can draw a diagonal line from Anjou in France to the Peloponnese in Greece and you will find much of the land over which he prevailed.
For me (the original writer of the piece), the Sicilian Vespers (popular uprising) makes him even more interesting.He loses part of his empire, but the rebellion is very fascinating. It was in more than one respect a battle of the Western Mediterranean and arguably one saw some of the most brilliant naval battles of the High Middle Ages.
Both Louis and Charles are of those players in history where you can ask yourself ‘ what if ‘?If a son were born, perhaps this would have led to a more stable union between Poland-Hungary and a more successful way would perhaps have led to an equally larger sea of Anjou.