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Angevin

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Angevin is the name applied to two distinct medieval dynasties -- the first English, the second French -- which originated as counts (from 1360, dukes) of what is now the western French province of Anjou (of which angevin is the adjectival form), but later came to rule far greater areas.

The first (or English) Angevin dynasty, known since the 12th century as the "Plantagenet dynasty" (with its Lancastrian and Yorkist branches), came to rule England (1154-1485), Normandy (1144-1204; 1346-1360; 1415-1450), and Gascony and Guyenne (1153-1453), but lost Anjou itself to the French crown in 1206. The name "Plantagenet" originates from the nickname "Plante-geneste" often applied to Geoffrey of Anjou, father of King Henry II of England, in reference to the broom plant that became his emblem, possibly from his customarily wearing a sprig of it.

The second (or French) Angevin dynasty began with Charles, created count of Anjou by his elder brother king Louis IX of France in 1246. In 1266 Charles was granted the crown of Naples and Sicily by the Pope in return for overthrowing the territories' Hohenstaufen rulers. Charles was driven out of Sicily in 1282, but his successors ruled Naples until 1442.

Charles's descendants, known also as the house of Capet-Anjou, later ruled also Hungary (1308-1395) and Poland (1370-1386). The last duke of the line died in 1481, and Anjou reverted to the French crown.



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