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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: July 2020

Chapter 12 - New Families and New Kingdoms

from Part II - A Sense of Dynasty


This chapter looks at “new men” who created ruling dynasties, beginning with the foundation legends of the Piasts of Poland and Premyslids of Bohemia and moving on to Adam of Dryburgh ’s portrayal of the roots of the major dynasties of his own day. Dynasties that came to power through usurpation, such as the Carolingians and Capetians, sought to stress or fabricate biological links with the previous dynasty, just as the marriage of Henry I of England and his queen Edith/Matilda could be seen as uniting the blood of the Wessex and Norman kings. New dynasties often meant exclusion of members of old dynasties, and two notable examples of such excluded dynasts, Charles of Lorraine and Edgar Atheling, are discussed. The most remarkable new dynasties were those that founded new kingdoms, such as the Norman kingdom of Sicily.