Duchy of Burgundy  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Duchy of Burgundy emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians, which after its conquest in 532 had formed a constituent part of the Frankish Empire. Upon the 9th-century partitions, the French remnants of the Burgundian kingdom were reduced to a ducal rank by King Robert II of France in 1004. Robert II's son and heir, King Henry I of France, inherited the duchy but ceded it to his younger brother Robert in 1032. Other portions had passed to the Imperial Kingdom of Arles and the County of Burgundy (Franche-Comté).

Robert became the ancestor of the ducal House of Burgundy, a cadet branch of the royal Capet dynasty, ruling over a territory that roughly conformed to the borders and territories of the modern region of Burgundy (Bourgogne). Upon the extinction of the Burgundian male line with the death of Duke Philip I in 1361, the duchy reverted to King John II of France and the royal House of Valois. The Burgundian duchy was absorbed in a larger territorial complex after 1363, when King John II ceded the duchy to his younger son Philip. With his marriage with Countess Margaret III of Flanders, he laid the foundation for a Burgundian State which expanded further north in the Low Countries collectively known as the Burgundian Netherlands. Upon further acquisitions of the County of Burgundy, Holland and Luxemburg, the House of Valois-Burgundy came into possession of numerous French and imperial fiefs stretching from the western Alps to the North Sea, in some ways reminiscent of the Middle Frankish realm of Lotharingia.

The Burgundian State, in its own right, was one of the largest ducal territories that existed at the time of the emergence of Early Modern Europe. After just over one hundred years of Valois-Burgundy rule, however, the last duke, Charles the Bold, rushed to the Burgundian Wars and was killed in the 1477 Battle of Nancy. The extinction of the dynasty led to the absorption of the duchy itself into the French crown lands by King Louis XI, while the bulk of the Burgundian possessions in the Low Countries passed to the Habsburg archduke, Maximilian I of Austria, son of Emperor Frederick III, through his marriage with Charles' daughter, Mary.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Duchy of Burgundy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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