Battle of Pontlevoy: 1016
Fulk Nerra and Eudes II of Blois
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Fulk Nerra III (987-1040)
Approximately contemporary (to Fulk) immobilized Charles the Bald from Tours
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AR denier, 18 mm, .95gr. Obv: GRATIA D-I REX, central KRLS monogram. Rev: TVRONES CIVITAS (?), central cross. Mint is Tours. This is a 10th C immobilized coin that was part of the Fecamp hoard. Dumas 6935+. #6952-53 are listed as .96gr. The Fecamp hoard was laid down about 977, 10 years before Fulk comes to power. His coins say 'GRATIA D-I COM. I'm still waiting for an image of one - this is as close as I can come at the moment.
Eudes II (?)(997-1037)
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AR denier, 21mm, 1.28gr. Obv: degenerate head left, ‘+’ either side, other design elements. Rev: +DVNIS CAST__, central cross. Mint is Chateaudun. Attribution is difficult in that no image clearly matches the obverse design elements. R1579v; Boud 238+v; PdA 1824+v. Closest is Dy 462 (vers 1020-40, which largely covers Eudes rule).
While attribution of the coins is uncertain, the battle itself between the forces of Eudes and Fulk is not. This was one of the bloodiest early medieval battles. The battle field itself is not marked today, at least we could find no monuments, but it is possible to pick out where this occurred. First take a look at the neighboring countryside.
Herbert 1 of Maine
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AR denier 22mm. Obv: +COMES CENOMANNIS, central monogram of Herbert I of Maine. Rev: SIGNUM DEI VIVI, central cross with detail. Mint in Maine (LeMans). R 4121, Boud 170.
Eudes mounted a large army and headed south from Blois, with the apparent intention of attacking Montrichard. His army included large numbers of foot soldiers as well as seige machines. Fulk countered and met him at Pontlevoy on July 6. They met north of Pontlevoy, between two locations known as l'ail vert and l'etang de Sudais. Conveniently for those wanting to find the battle field these are current place names, circled in red on the following map. When Eudes arrived, Fulk's army was in position and ready for battle. Eude's army was fairly compact and not aligned for battle when they encountered Fulk. Fulk, with the element of surprise, attacked. The two sources I have suggest slightly different events. Bachrach says that Fulk's horse went down, he was shaken and Fulk's standard bearer, Sigebrannus was either killed or wounded and the standard fell. When the standard fell Fulk's forces withdrew from the field. The local Pontlevoy history says Fulk was wounded and captured. Regardless, at this stage of the fight it had gone largely Eudes' way.
The battle was a significant milestone in Anjou lore. Here is an except from, with introductory note, of a history from Fulk IV. This fragment of a history of the counts of Anjou (Fragmentum historiae Andegavensis) was translated by Geoffrey G. Koziol (University of California - Berkeley) and is reproduced here with his permission (2/27/04)
"From Chroniques des comtes d'Anjou et des seigneurs d'Amboise, ed. Louis Halphen and René Poupardin (Paris, 1913), pp. 232-38. "
Professor Koziol's introduction: " ... The history was written by Count Fulk le Réchin in 1096 (Fulk IV), for reasons unknown. If we read it carefully, it should give a rare glimpse into the way an eleventh-century count actually thought ... " (the full text is on the Anjou page)
"He (Geoffrey Greymantle) was succeeded
by his son Fulk, my
uncle (grandfather), whose courage
was great and admirable. He acquired the county of Maine and added it to
the county of Anjou; and he built several castles on his land, which had
remained deserted and reverted to woods on account of the savagery of the
pagans. So in the county of Tours he built Langeais, Chaumont, Montrésor,
Saint- Maur; in Poitou [he built] Mirebeau, Moncontour, Faye, Montreuil,
Passavant, Maulévrier. In Anjou he built Baugé, Château-Gontier,
Durtal, and many others which it would be tedious to list. He also began
the castle of Saumur in that time when Count Odo [of Blois] came to Anjou
with his army and built his castle on the Onglée between the same
city and the river Loire. Fulk also fought two great battles in the open
field: one on the plain of Conquereuil against Conan, count of Brittany,
near the city of Nantes, which Conan tried to take from him. Conan himself
died in this battle along with a thousand of his knights [equites]. He
fought the other battle against the said Odo, a most powerful count, on
the river Cher, at Pontlevoy. Here was great slaughter of Gauls and Angevins.
Count Herbert called Wake- Dog fought with him in this battle of
Le Mans, where by the grace of God he came away the victor. He built
two abbeys: one in honor of St. Nicholas near the city of Angers, another
at the castle of Loches, which is called Beaulieu, in honor of the Lord
of the Holy Sepulchre. He went to Jerusalem twice. On his second trip he
left human cares around the feast of St. John, in the year from the incarnation
of the Lord one thousand forty. His body was brought to the said abbey
of Beaulieu and was buried there in the chapter."