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House of Burgundy-Spain

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Title: House of Burgundy-Spain  
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Subject: Blanche of France, Infanta of Castile
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House of Burgundy-Spain

The Anscarids or Anscarii or the House of Ivrea were a medieval Frankish dynasty of Burgundian origin which rose to prominence in Italy in the tenth century, even briefly holding the Italian throne. They also ruled the County of Burgundy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and it was one of their members who first declared himself a franc-compte or free count. By a cadet branch of the counts of Burgundy came the House of Burgundy-Spain (Casa de Borgoña-España) which ruled the kingdom of Galicia from 1111 and the Kingdoms of Castile and León from 1126 until 1369.


The founder of the family's fortunes was a petty Burgundian count named Anscar, who, with the support of his powerful brother, the archbishop of Rheims, Fulk the Venerable, brought Guy III of Spoleto to Langres to be crowned King of France in 887. Their plot failing, Anscar accompanied Guy back to Italy to seek that vacant throne and in gratefulness created the March of Ivrea to bestow on his Burgundian faithful. Anscar's descendants held the march until 1030. Perhaps the most illustrious scion of the house was his grandson Berengar, the first of three Anscarids to be crowned king of Italy.

Berengar seized the throne in 950 after the death of Lothair II. He was opposed, immediately, by Lothair's widow Adelaide, whom he imprisoned after his attempt to force her marriage to his son, Adalbert II, failed. Otto I came down the peninsula and forced him to do homage in 952. For the next eleven years, Berengar and his co-crowned son governed Italy until Otto finally formally deposed them in 963.

From 1002 to 1014 Arduin of Italy held the Italian throne as the national candidate in opposition to the German Henry II.

The Royal House of Arduino of Ivrea is currently represented by Princes:

  1. SAR Prince, Marquis, Count Don Luis Roberto di San Martino-Lorenzato d´Ivrea, Head of the Royal House of Ivrea
  2. SAR Prince, Marquis, Count Don Nicolò Costa di Polonghera San Martino d'Agliè di San Germano
  3. SAR Prince, Marquis, Count Don Carlo Emanuele Valperga di Masino

As direct descendants of the Royal House of Ivrea are all Princes of the Royal House of Ivrea (mf), Counts of Canavese (mf), Vicars and Princes of the Holy Roman Empire (mf) in the Kingdom of Italy, even at the March of Ivrea, Sovereign County of Canavese or in the counties San Martino, Valperga, Castellamonte there was not the Salic law.

The same system of female succession is that had benefited the Counts of Savoy to become Marquis of Turin by female succession from Adelaide of Susa, also known as Adelaide of Turin (Turin, 1016 - Canischio, December 19, 1091) was the Marchioness of Turin. Belonging to the family of Arduinici or Arduini, was the daughter of the Marquis of Turin Olderico Manfredi II, son of Olderico Manfredi and Prangarda of Canossa, and niece of Arduino Glaber, and Countess Berta Obertagna, daughter of Oberto d'Este. His marriage Oddone (1023 - 1060), son of Umberto I Biancamano, Count of Savoy gave rise to the influence of Savoy in Piedmont. The female succession occurred even by Filiberto who replaced his brother Charles I the Warrior (1468 - 1490) who in 1485 assumed the title of King of Cyprus and Jerusalem supplied to him by Charlotte of Lusignan, wife of the brother of Amadeus IX, Louis of Savoy. Amadeus V of Savoy "the Conte Grande" (Bourget-du-Lac, 1249 - Avignon, October 16, 1323) was Count of Savoy and Maurienne Count of Aosta and 1285-1323 after all female succession that gave the glory to House of Savoy in Piedmont also adopted the Salic law, in which only the first-born males could aspire to the succession to the throne.

The Royal of Ivrea follows Longobard laws, never adopted the France Salic law and ever renounced the dynastic rights of the first Royal House of it ally - Ivrea-burgundy "Anscarids".


Adalbert was eventually forced to flee to Burgundy, where he died at Autun. His widow remarried to Otto-Henry, Duke of Burgundy and her son by Adalbert, Otto William, inherited the duchy of Burgundy, but was opposed by Henry I of France, who confiscated the duchy, leaving only a small portion around Dole to Otto. This was the kernel of the later Free County.

The greatest of the free counts was Renaud III, who, from 1127, utilised the title franc-compte as a sign of independence of German or Imperial authority, but was forced to submit to Conrad III. His daughter and heiress, Beatrice, married Frederick Barbarossa and united the Anscarid inheritance with that of the Hohenstaufen. Burgundy was inherited by her son Otto, who had an Anscarid name.


Raymond, son of William I of Burgundy, travelled to Castile-León in the late eleventh century and there married the Infanta Urraca, who would later become queen. His son, Alfonso VII, succeeded to the throne and subsequent kings of Castile and León were agnatic descendants of Alfonso, even after 1369, when rule went to an illegitimate cadet branch, the House of Trastámara.

See also


  • Wickham, Chris. Early Medieval Italy: Central Power and Local Society 400-1000. MacMillan Press: 1981.
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