PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

THE BRAVE DANCER AND THE NAKED RUNNER

 

 

 

Dance teacher and model Agathe Petrini from Chamonix in France was captured by France-based adventure photographer Alex Buisse, 29. The five-hour shoot took place in the Brévent/Planpraz area of Aiguilles Rouge. Clockwise from top left, the adventurous dancer leaps across the mountain tops, does the splits against a cliff face, stretches into the abyss and balances gracefully off a mountain edge.

With one foot against the cliff, another stretching into the clouds and a graceful hand reaching into the abyss, this brave dancer cuts an astonishing figure as she poses thousands of feet above the ground.

The gravity defying stance is just one the many acrobatic moves thrown by the daredevil dancer in this breathtaking series of images.

Dance teacher and model Agathe Petrini hangs from cliffs, performs alpine acrobatics off walls and leaps high above the French Chamonix mountains in the high-altitude shots.

Dance teacher and model Agathe Petrini hangs from cliffs, performs alpine acrobatics off walls and leaps high above the French Chamonix mountains in a daring high-altitude photo shoot

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Dance teacher and model Agathe Petrini hangs from cliffs, performs alpine acrobatics off walls and leaps high above the French Chamonix mountains in a daring high-altitude photo shoot

The brave dancer appears to defy gravity as she hangs gracefully off a mountain, thousands of feet off the ground

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The brave dancer appears to defy gravity as she hangs gracefully off a mountain, thousands of feet off the ground

 

The French dancer managed to pull off some astonoishing moves in this breathtaking series of images

 

Athletic Agathe does the splits against a cliff face (left) and tries a daring handstand (right)

Adventure photographer Alex Buisse, 29, scaled the hills in the Brévent/Planpraz area of Aiguilles Rouges in the French Prealps to capture the dancer's graceful poses.

The shoot, which took place in August, took five hours to complete.

Athletic Agathe wears a harness to stretch and reach away from the cliff in some poses but in others she leaps across the rock without the use of any safety equipment.

Alex, who was amazed by Agathe's incredible feats, said: 'It seems people love seeing something that out of the ordinary.'

Athletic Agathe wears a harness to stretch and reach away from the cliff

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Athletic Agathe wears a harness to stretch and reach away from the cliff

Agathe performs leaps high above the French Chamonix mountains in the high-altitude shots

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Agathe performs leaps high above the French Chamonix mountains in the high-altitude shots

Adventure photographer Alex Buisse and dancer Agathe Petrini scaled the hills in the Brévent/Planpraz area of Aiguilles Rouges for the shoot

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Adventure photographer Alex Buisse and dancer Agathe Petrini scaled the hills in the Brévent/Planpraz area of Aiguilles Rouges for the shoot

'Combining the beauty of perfect dancing movements with gorgeous natural landscapes is definitely appealing to a lot of people,' he added.

Alex spent time searching for the perfect space for his model, who is a Chamonix native, to strut her stuff without falling.

The combination of snow-peaked mountains and blue sky and sunshine create a beautiful backdrop for the inspirational images.

The France-based snapper is now planning on returning to the mountains to repeat the shoot.

 

Agathe does the splits

 

Agathe leaps into the air to strike a pose thousands of feet off the ground (left) and does the splits (right)

Cable car is the only way to reach the top of these mountainous areas in Chamonix France

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Cable car is the only way to reach the top of these mountainous areas in Chamonix France

Dancer and model Agathe has fun being shot in Chamonix France, near where she lives

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Dancer and model Agathe has fun being shot in Chamonix France, near where she lives

Photographer Alex spent a lot of time searchingfor the perfect space for his model Agathe to strut her stuff without falling

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Photographer Alex spent a lot of time searchingfor the perfect space for his model Agathe to strut her stuff without falling

Photographer Alex was amazed by Agathe's incredible feats and said: 'It seems people love seeing something that out of the ordinary'

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Photographer Alex was amazed by Agathe's incredible feats and said: 'It seems people love seeing something that out of the ordinary'

The daring dancer balances on one hand in some of the beautiful images

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The daring dancer balances on one hand in some of the beautiful images

Agathe performs Alpine acrobatics off walls and leaps high above the French Chamonix mountains in the high-altitude shots

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Agathe performs Alpine acrobatics off walls and leaps high above the French Chamonix mountains in the high-altitude shots

The snow-peaked mountains and blue sky create a beautiful backdrop

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The snow-peaked mountains and blue sky create a beautiful backdrop

 

Watch your step! It's a long way down for French dancer Agathe

 

Watch your step Agathe... it's a long way down for the French dancer Agathe

 

The dance teacher tries some ballet moves at high altitude

 

The dance teacher tries some ballet moves at high altitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The naked runner helps the naked chef: World champion parkour athlete pictured leaping across London rooftops without any clothes on to raise money for Jamie Oliver foundation

  • Free running world champion Tim Shieff pictured climbing across buildings in central London while naked
  • Mr Shieff, 26, braved the cold for the shoot, leaping across rooftops and dangling from bridges in the capital
  • Parkour athlete and a photographer did not have permission to clamber on some of the buildings in the nude
  • Dangerous shoot put Mr Shieff in 'life or death' situations as his strength was put to the test, he says
  • Money raised from selling the prints, which cost up to £600, will go towards Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

A parkour world champion gave 'free' running a new meaning as he clambered across central London's skyline with no clothes on for a photo shoot.

Naked Tim Shieff scaled buildings around Oxford Street and Bond Street, leaping across rooftops for the pictures which will be sold as prints to raise money for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation charity.

Mr Shieff, a World Freerun Championship winner, bared all for the shoot which shows him leaping across buildings and dangling off bridges.

Scroll down for video 

Baring all: Free running world champion Tim Shieff stripped off for a naked series of photographs of him climbing across buildings in central London

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Baring all: Free running world champion Tim Shieff stripped off for a naked series of photographs of him climbing across buildings in central London

Stripped off: The 26-year-old scaled buildings across the capital while wearing no clothes for a set of prints which will be sold for charity

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Stripped off: The 26-year-old scaled buildings across the capital while wearing no clothes for a set of prints which will be sold for charity

Nude: Mr Shieff was seen running through tunnels and dangling off bridges for the shoot which took place in November last year

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Nude: Mr Shieff was seen running through tunnels and dangling off bridges for the shoot which took place in November last year

Naked chef: The prints will be sold to raise money for Jamie Oliver's Food Foundation charity. Mr Shieff regularly appears on the chef's YouTube channel as he is a leading figure in the vegan and raw food movements

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Naked chef: The prints will be sold to raise money for Jamie Oliver's Food Foundation charity. Mr Shieff regularly appears on the chef's YouTube channel as he is a leading figure in the vegan and raw food movements

 

The parkour athlete came up with the idea after holding a similar shoot in Greece, the London Evening Standard reported.

It took four days last November for fellow free running expert Jason Paul to take the pictures.

'These shots would not have been possible for a normal photographer,' Mr Shieff, 26, said.

'Not only did he need to climb too, but he also understands body positioning and posture.

'It was dangerous at times. We couldn't get permission from a lot of the buildings, so while the reaction was great from people who spotted us, some security guards were not happy.

'There were moments when you learn you are stronger than you think. Many situations were life or death.'

The photographs were taken by fellow free running expert Jason Paul, who had to clamber up the buildings himself to take the pictures

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The photographs were taken by fellow free running expert Jason Paul, who had to clamber up the buildings himself to take the pictures

Mr Shieff did not have permission to climb some of the buildings, angering security guards but entertaining members of the public who spotted him climbing up some of London's finest architecture

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Mr Shieff did not have permission to climb some of the buildings, angering security guards but entertaining members of the public who spotted him climbing up some of London's finest architecture

Naked ambition: 2009 World Freerun Championship winner Mr Shieff came up with the idea after holding a similar naked shoot in Greece

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Naked ambition: 2009 World Freerun Championship winner Mr Shieff came up with the idea after holding a similar naked shoot in Greece

The images can be purchased for between £100 and £600, with a proportion of the money going to the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

The images can be purchased for between £100 and £600, with a proportion of the money going to the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

The project aimed to compare the 'rigid and linear' structure of London's architecture with the 'curves' of the human form, Mr Paul said.  

The 2009 world free running champion often appears in Jamie Oliver's YouTube channel Food Tube as he is a leading figure in the vegan and raw food movements. 

Eight of the staggering images, costing between £100 and £600, can be bought as limited edition prints from www.beautifulcrime.com

A proportion of the money will go towards the TV chef's charity for disadvantaged children

 

 

 

Scientific data returned by the Rosetta orbiter might have proven that Earth's water came from asteroids, not comets

 

 

  LA vs 67P: This image combines a photograph of Los Angeles with an image from the Rosetta spacecraft rendezvousing with Churyumov-Gerasimenko, prior to going into orbit and eventually landing. The comet is around 2.2 by 2.5 miles (3.5 by 4km)      

 

 

Scientific data returned by the Rosetta orbiter might have proven that Earth's water came from asteroids, not comets

  • The findings are based on the Rosina instrument, which 'sniffed' gas using a spectrometer on 67P
  • It found that water there had a different ratio of deuterium-to-hydrogen than water on Earth
  • Scientists will now be hoping instruments on Rosetta's lander like Ptolemy can confirm or deny the findings
  • Yesterday it was announced Philae found organic molecules from comet 67P in early data from its instruments
  • The lander managed to use all ten of its instruments on the comet before its primary battery died
  • Esa is analysing scientific data gathered by the Philae probe after its 'successful' comet landing
  • Philae made three historic touchdowns on 67P on Wednesday, making it the first craft to land on a comet

How did water come to exist on our planet? Most scientists are of the opinion that it didn't begin here on Earth, instead being transported from elsewhere in the solar system, but whether it came from an asteroid or a comet was a mystery.

That was one of the key questions Esa was hoping the Rosetta mission would solve when it arrived at comet 67P in August and it may now have an answer that could be verified by the Philae lander on the surface.

Using the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis - or Rosina - the spacecraft 'sniffed' the comet's atmosphere as it remained in orbit and analysed its composition.

It found that water in the comet's atmosphere had a different ratio of deuterium-to-hydrogen than water on Earth.

This may be the final nail in the coffin for the theory that comets brought water to Earth - and it may have finally proven that we have asteroids to thank for allowing life on our planet to thrive. 

Scroll down for video

Data from an instrument on the Rosetta orbiter has suggested that asteroids, not comets, are the origin of water on Earth. It is hoped that the findings can be confirmed by the Philae lander on the surface (artist's illustration shown)

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Data from an instrument on the Rosetta orbiter has suggested that asteroids, not comets, are the origin of water on Earth. It is hoped that the findings can be confirmed by the Philae lander on the surface (artist's illustration shown)

COULD GAS RESURRECT PHILAE?

The increasing amount of sunlight may serve another purpose besides charging Philae's dead battery.

As the comet warms, it releases jets of gas, which could potentially hoist Philae out of its ditch.

'It could be a natural way that it gets lifted up,' former Rosetta manager Gerhard Schwehm said at a teleconferenced NASA science advisory panel meeting in Washington, D.C.

'If a little activity starts there, then the chance that it comes off is fairly high.'

All of the deuterium and hydrogen in the universe was made just after the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, making their ratio important.

The ratio of the two in water varies from location to location depending on when the water formed, and so by comparing the ratio found in extra-terrestrial objects to Earth’s water, it’s hoped the ration can be found.

Water molecules are thought to have been part of the disc of dust and gas that ultimately formed the sun and its planets, but Earth began as a hot molten rock that would have been inhospitable to water early in its life up to 3.8 billion years ago.

The preferred theory is that an asteroid or a comet - both of which have ice in various quantities - crashed to Earth and delivered water when our planet was a more moderate temperature.

In November 2010, Nasa’s Deep Impact spacecraft flew past a comet called Hartley 2 and collected samples that indicated its water had a similar composition to Earth, but in recent years the asteroid theory has been favoured.

And now the latest results from Rosetta could confirm an asteroids as our origin.

The initial findings were hinted at by Rosina principle investigator Dr Kathrin Altwegg of the University of Bern, reports Science.

‘Altwegg says the result for 67P could make asteroids the primary suspect again, writes Eric Hand.

Further studies of the data will be needed to confirm the finding and they may be hiding in the scientific data returned by the Philae lander, particularly its Ptolemy instrument.

Ptolemy is a gas analyser that was used to measure ratios of isotopes such as hydrogen, carbon and oxygen.

The news comes as the Philae team revealed some of the first science that had been returned by the lander yesterday.

Esa released early scientific data from the Philae lander, revealing not only organic molecules on comet 67P but also the structure and composition of the comet as well.

The data returned from the Cosac (Cometary Sampling and Composition Experiment) instrument showed that the comet has an organic compound containing carbon - an important progenitor for life as we know it.

It was also announced that the surface of the comet was far harder than researchers had expected. Before Philae's battery died they were also able to form a 3D mapping mission of the comet's interior using the Rosetta spacecraft.

Rosetta's lander captivated the world by landing on the surface of a comet last week, but went into hibernation mode late on Friday when its primary battery ran out of power.

However, scientists also said they are 'very confident' it will wake up again when the comet moves into an orbit where more sunlight hits its solar panels in a few months - and one Nasa expert even thinks a jet of gas from the comet could move it sooner.

Further analysis of the various scientific data returned by Philae will be needed before any firm  conclusions can be drawn.

But the tentative discovery of organic molecules by Cosac is certainly promising.

It's also unclear to what extent Philae's drill was able to penetrate the surface, and whether or not it was able to get a sample back to the lander for analysis - however there have been some suggestions that it failed to do so.

This was one of the first pictures return by Philae from the surface of comet 67P. Yesterday scientists said they are 'very confident' it will 'wake up' when the comet moves into an orbit where more sunlight hits is solar panels in a few months

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This was one of the first pictures return by Philae from the surface of comet 67P. Yesterday scientists said they are 'very confident' it will 'wake up' when the comet moves into an orbit where more sunlight hits is solar panels in a few months

Illustrated here are the various scientific instruments on the Philae lander that were used to study the comet when attached to the surface

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Illustrated here are the various scientific instruments on the Philae lander that were used to study the comet when attached to the surface

Before going into hibernation at 00:36 GMT on 15 November 2014, the Philae lander was able to conduct some work using power supplied by its primary battery.

With its 10 instruments, the mini laboratory sniffed the atmosphere, drilled, hammered and studied Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko while over 500 million kilometres from Earth.

It was controlled and monitored from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Lander Control Center (LCC). Now, the complicated data analysis begins.

DLR's Scientific Director for the project, Ekkehard Kührt, said the team were pleased with the results.

'We have collected a great deal of valuable data, which could only have been acquired through direct contact with the comet,' he said.

'Together with the measurements performed by the Rosetta orbiter, we are well on our way to achieving a greater understanding of comets. Their surface properties appear to be quite different than was previously thought.'

The team responsible for the Mupus (Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science) instrument, which hammered a probe into the comet, estimates that Comet 67P is hard as ice: 'Although the power of the hammer was gradually increased, we were not able to go deep into the surface,' said Tilman Spohn from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, who is leading the research team.

'67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko proved to be a "tough nut to crack."'

Only the thermal sensors and accelerometers in the anchors that should have fixed Philae to the comet's surface were not used, because they were not deployed during the touchdown.

The team of the SESAME experiment (Surface Electrical, Seismic and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment) also confirmed that Churyumov-Gerasimenko is not nearly as soft and fluffy as it was believed to be.

'The strength of the ice founds under a layer of dust on the first landing site is surprisingly high,' says Klaus Seidensticker from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research.

The instrument Casse, which sits in the feet of the lander, was turned on during the descent and clearly registered the first landing as Philae came into contact with the comet.

From additional data, the mechanical properties of Churyumov-Gerasimenko will be derived.

Two other instruments suggest that cometary activity at this landing site is low, as well as revealing the presence of a large amount of water ice under the lander.

The last of the 10 instruments on board the Philae lander to be activated was the Sampling, Drilling and Distribution (SD2) subsystem, which was designed to provide soil samples for the Cosac and Ptolemy instruments.

It is certain that the drill was activated, as were all the steps to transport the sample to the appropriate oven. Cosac also worked as planned.

Now scientists need to analyse the data to determine whether a soil sample was actually examined in the gas chromatograph - but unfortunately this does not look likely at the moment.

Overall, the team say they are now confident they will hear form the probe again.

'I'm very confident that Philae will resume contact with us and that we will be able to operate the instruments again,' said DLR Lander Project Manager Stephan Ulamec.

The increasing amount of sunlight may serve another purpose besides charging Philae's dead battery.

As the comet warms, it releases jets of gas, which could potentially hoist Philae out of its ditch.

'It could be a natural way that it gets lifted up,' former Rosetta manager Gerhard Schwehm said at a teleconferenced NASA science advisory panel meeting in Washington, D.C.

'If a little activity starts there, then the chance that it comes off is fairly high.'

Gravity on the comet's small body is about 100,000 times less than Earth's, giving Philae the relative weight of a piece of paper.

'Perhaps it was good that (Philae) didn't fire the harpoons because if they would not have penetrated you might have had a much bigger problem,' he said.

Early results from the ongoing Rosetta mission are expected to be released next month at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.

WHAT INSTRUMENTS DOES PHILAE HAVE AND WHAT DID THEY DO?

Rosetta's probe, Philae,has ten instruments onboard. All instruments were deployed in the mission.

APXS: The 'Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer' is designed to study the chemical composition of the landing site and track any potential changes during the comet's approach to the sun.

Civa: This stands for 'Comet Nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyser'. The instrument is made up of six cameras and is able to take take panoramic pictures of the comet surface.

Consert: The 'Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission' studies the internal structure of the comet.

Cosac: An instrument used to detect and identify complex organic moleculed. Cosac stands for 'Cometary Sampling and Composition'

Ptolemy: This instrument is used to understand the geochemistry of light elements, such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.

Mupus: The 'Multi-purpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science' instrument studies the properties of the comet surface and sub-surface

Rolis: The 'Rosetta Lander Imaging System' provided some of the the first close-up images of the landing site

Romap: Philae's 'Rosetta Lander Magnetometer and Plasma Monitor' is designed to study the magnetic field and plasma environment of the comet

SD2: This is the lander's drill, and was deployed on Friday in order to collect material from the comet for analysis

Sesame: The 'Surface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment' looks at the electrical parameters of the comet

Once the rechargeable secondary battery has been warmed by sunlight again, Philae will restart and the DLR LCC team will take their places at the control consoles again.

'At the first landing site, we would, of course, have had better solar illumination conditions,' says Ulamec.

'Now we are somewhat in shadow, we will need more time to charge.'

One advantage of the shadier landing site in a crater is that the Philae lander will not overheat as quickly as the comet approaches the Sun, but will benefit from the stronger sunlight.

The team managed to rotate the lander during the night of 14/15 November 2014, so that the largest solar panel is now aligned towards the Sun.

Stephan Ulamec believes it is probable that in the spring of 2015, the DLR LCC will once again communicate with Philae and receive data about how the lander is faring on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

This incredible series of images shows Philae first's bounce on the surface of comet 67P at the initial landing site, named Agilkia. The times are in GMT. The first four images show the moments leading up to the first landing on the surface, and the final image in the top right shows the direction the probe went in after its first bounce - and scientists are hoping to spot its final resting place in later images

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This incredible series of images shows Philae first's bounce on the surface of comet 67P at the initial landing site, named Agilkia. The times are in GMT. The first four images show the moments leading up to the first landing on the surface, and the final image in the top right shows the direction the probe went in after its first bounce - and scientists are hoping to spot its final resting place in later images

In the summer of 2015, it might be possible that temperatures on the comet will allow Philae's battery to be recharged. 'The orbiter will continue with its overflights to receive any signals from the lander once Philae wakes up from hibernation.'

Of the numerous instruments used by the lander, one was designed to measure the temperature of the comet while a drill was used to collect samples and analyse them.

After a successful manouevre to rotate the largest solar panel out of the shadow of the cliff the probe is wedged against, scientists said there is a chance the probe might wake up again in a few months when the comet is closer to the sun and more sunlight is available.

On Friday, scientists made contact with Rosetta's lander for the last time and managed to turn it towards the sun after using its drill in a last gasp attempt to charge its batteries.

Controllers hope that by exposing one of the larger solar panels to the meagre sunlight that is falling on one of the smaller ones, they can provide enough power to charge its batteries.

They now face an agonising wait to see if, and when, it wakes up. The probe is thought to be resting at an angle in the shadow of a crater wall more than half a mile from its planned landing site.

This incredible image shows the moment the Philae lander bounced off the surface for the first time, on its way to a height of 0.62 miles (1km), before returning to the surface of the comet and bouncing again

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This incredible image shows the moment the Philae lander bounced off the surface for the first time, on its way to a height of 0.62 miles (1km), before returning to the surface of the comet and bouncing again

Ullanec confirmed the lander was able to send all of its data back to Earth before it 'died' - and celebrated with champagne as the rover's battery power slowly ebbed away.

'Philae has fallen into 'idle mode' - a possibly long silence. In this mode, all instruments and most systems on board are shut down,' the European Space Agency said on its blog in a post entitled Our Lander's Asleep.

The lander's Twitter feed broke the news of its demise, saying: 'I'm feeling a bit tired, did you get all my data? I might take a nap…' - but then added 'I did it! I became the first spacecraft to land on a comet & study it! But it's not over yet…'

They also revealed they had spotted the lander's first landing site, which was captured in images from Rosetta - but still were not sure where it had ended up after two more 'bounces'.

'The rotation of the lander's body could result in more power if one of the larger solar panels can catch the illumination that is falling on the smaller,' said Esa's Mark McCaughrean, senior science advisor.

'All things being equal, the same amount of sunlight falling on a larger panel should result in more power being generated.'

Philae was thought to be partially in darkness beneath a cliff and, crucially, its largest solar panel was not receiving any sunlight.

This means its secondary battery could not be properly charged unless it was rotated after its primary battery ran out of power - which scientists managed to perform before the main battery died.

Europe makes space history as Philae probe lands on comet

 

The probe landed on the comet at around 3.30pm GMT on Wednesday but then bounced twice - first to a height of 0.62 miles (1km) and then to a much lower height of 65ft (20 metres) before coming to rest.

It is also thought to be about 0.62 miles (1km) from its intended landing site.

Scientists described the ground as being more like a 'trampoline' than rock, owing to its soft and powdery texture, which may have caused the unsteady landing of the probe.

The final approach: This image shows comet 67P/CG from a distance of approximately 1.8 miles (3km) from the surface. Philae is now thought to be on the surface but its exact orientation is unknown. It bounced twice before coming to rest

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The final approach: This image shows comet 67P/CG from a distance of approximately 1.8 miles (3km) from the surface. Philae is now thought to be on the surface but its exact orientation is unknown. It bounced twice before coming to rest

HOW DO ROSETTA AND ITS LANDER PHILAE SEND IMAGES BACK TO EARTH?

Despite being more than 310 million miles (500 million km) from Earth, Rosetta and Philae are sending back vital data and images using radio waves.

The transmissions are relayed through Rosetta's radio equipment and travel at the speed of light - almost 186,400 miles/300,000km per second.

However, because Earth is so far away it takes around half an hour for the signals to be received by mission control in Darmstadt, Germany.

Complex antennae are required to pick up space radio frequency communications as the signals are relatively weak by the time they arrive on Earth.

For comparison, the distance between Rosetta and Earth is around than three times the distance between the Earth and the sun.

The Philae lander doesn't have as much radio equipment as it only needs to send data to Rosetta 12.4 miles (20km) away.

When it needs to send data back or receive commands from mission control, the signals are relayed through the Rosetta spacecraft.

On Wednesday, British scientist Dr Matt Taylor, who played a key role in the mission, said: 'To see this mountaineering effort, that we've descended a lander to the surface of a comet, I can't put words to it. It's beautiful.'

And the expert was so confident of success that he had even had an image of the space probe tattooed on his right leg.

Before the attempt on Wednesday, there was also a good luck message from a man who had once boasted of boldly going into space himself.

Star Trek actor William Shatner sent the team a video in which the 83-year-old said: 'Good luck Rosetta, Philae's gonna land.'

Rosetta has also been aiming to work out the plasma characteristics of the comet (illustrated)

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Rosetta has also been aiming to work out the plasma characteristics of the comet (illustrated)

PHILAE'S LANDING IS A MAJOR STEP FOR HUMANITY TO 'MOVE OFF THIS PLANET', SAYS NASA CHIEF

The historic touchdown of Philae on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko could be big step toward 'moving off this planet' and 'taking' the entire solar system.

This is according to Nasa's planetary science head, Jim Green, who said the solar system is now in reach of wider human exploration.

The space agency is hoping to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, and data from Rosetta's mission could help make that a reality by revealing more planets in our solar system.

'How audacious! How exciting!' Green said, after the landing was made. 'The solar system is mankind's - this mission is the first step to take it.

'It's ours… It's these steps that will lead us beyond this planet and on to Mars and out into the solar system.'

'I truly believe that a single planet species will not survive long. It's our destiny to move off this planet.'

Nasa described yesterday's landing as 'a great day for space exploration.'

'We congratulate Esa on their successful landing on a comet today,' said John Grunsfeld.

'This achievement represents a breakthrough moment in the exploration of our solar system and a milestone for international cooperation.'

Scientists hope that samples drilled out from the comet will unlock details about how the planets - and possibly even life - evolved.

Comets date back to the formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists suspect impacting comets delivered water to early Earth.

One scientist then described the seven hours of 'terror' they went through to drop the Philae lander 13.6 miles (21.9km) above the comet from its mothership, Rosetta.

Dr Matthew Genge, of Imperial College London, said during the wait: 'This is the most difficult landing in space history - like landing a balloon in a city centre on a windy day with your eyes closed.'

Much of the equipment aboard the lander was switched on for the first time after lying dormant during the ten-year journey.

Klim Churyumov, one of the Ukrainians who discovered the comet 45 years ago and named it, said from mission control in Darmstadt, Germany: 'We saw the first light from this comet in 1969, now we are landing on it. It is a fantastic, outstanding event, the first like it in human civilization.'

New address: The lander announced its arrival on Twitter with this historic tweet for its ten year mission. Throughout this week, mission control have been communicating Philae's status through social networks as the world awaits news of its battery life

New address: The lander announced its arrival on Twitter with this historic tweet for its ten year mission. Throughout this week, mission control have been communicating Philae's status through social networks as the world awaits news of its battery life

WHAT IS THE MIDAS INSTRUMENT?

The Midas instrument on Philae is designed to study the dust particles flung from the comet

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The Midas instrument on Philae is designed to study the dust particles flung from the comet

Midas is the Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System. It is designed to study the dust particles flung from the comet as it is heated by the sun and becomes active.

When comets pass through the inner solar system, the ices buried below their dark surface are gradually heated. As this gas streams away from the comet's surface, it drags along dust particles – themselves tiny pieces of rock, ice and organic material.

Sunlight reflected from billions of such particles result in the beautiful dust tails seen from Earth on particle population, size, volume and shape.

Midas is one of several instruments that will study cometary dust. To collect particles Midas has a funnel, which usually points towards the comet.

Behind this is a wheel with sticky targets mounted around its circumference. After dust has been collected, the wheel is rotated to move the dust to the microscope for analysis.

By scanning over the dust grain, line by line, scientists can build a 3D picture. Knowing the size, shape and structure of these particles tells us about how and where these particles formed.

These particles are remnants of when the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago and could reveal how planets formed, and perhaps on life came to be on Earth.

Ptolemy, a British-built laboratory the size of a shoebox, will be used to analyse the composition of samples from the 4.5 billion-year-old comet.

Scientists hope the £1 billion ($1.6 billion) project will solve some of the greatest puzzles in science - including the origins of life on Earth.

Open University Professor Ian Wright, who helped create Ptolemy, said: 'The idea that comets may have brought the building blocks of life to Earth is one of the reasons why we want to study them.'

Professor Stanley Cowley, planetary scientist at the University of Leicester, added: 'It is an interesting relic from that otherwise inaccessible epoch.'

'It's complicated to land on a comet, and complicated to understand what has happened during this landing,' said Dr Stefan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager.

Rosetta has chased comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko through space for more than ten years in what has been described as 'the sexiest, most fantastic mission ever'

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Rosetta has chased comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko through space for more than ten years in what has been described as 'the sexiest, most fantastic mission ever'

LA vs 67P: This image combines a photograph of Los Angeles with an image from the Rosetta spacecraft rendezvousing with Churyumov-Gerasimenko, prior to going into orbit and eventually landing. The comet is around 2.2 by 2.5 miles (3.5 by 4km)

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LA vs 67P: This image combines a photograph of Los Angeles with an image from the Rosetta spacecraft rendezvousing with Churyumov-Gerasimenko, prior to going into orbit and eventually landing. The comet is around 2.2 by 2.5 miles (3.5 by 4km)

 

 



The mystery of the Sudbury Basin solved: The second largest crater on Earth was caused by a massive COMET hitting the planet 1.8 billion years ago

  • Ontario crater is 39 miles long and 19 miles wide, and 9.3 miles deep
  • Was caused caused by a comet colliding with Earth 1.8 billion years ago

It is one of the biggest impact craters on Earth - and until now, scientists have been unsure how it got there.

The Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada, is 39 miles long and 19 miles wide - and 9.3  miles deep.

Researchers have been unsure how it formed - but now say it was a giant comet, not a meteorite as previously thought.

They say it was caused caused by a comet colliding with our planet over 1.8 billion years ago.

The Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada, is 39 miles long and 19 miles wide - and 9.3 miles deep. It was formed by a comet hitting Earth 1.8 billion years ago, researchers have found.

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The Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada, is 39 miles long and 19 miles wide - and 9.3 miles deep. It was formed by a comet hitting Earth 1.8 billion years ago, researchers have found.

THE SUDBURY BASIN

Following the impact, the large impact crater filled with magma containing nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold, and other metals.

As a result of these metal deposits, the Sudbury area is one of the world's major mining communities.

Due to the high mineral content of its soil, the floor of the basin is among the best agricultural land in Northern Ontario.

Collaborative research led by geologists at Trinity College Dublin has found strong evidence that one of the largest preserved impact structures on Earth was caused by a comet colliding with our planet over 1.8 billion years ago.

The findings of this ancient impact are particularly topical with the current mission to provide more information about comets successfully relaying images of Comet 67P to the European Space Agency.

A critical aim of the mission was to test whether the terrestrial hydrosphere was delivered by comets to an originally dry Earth.

In a recently published study in the international journal Terra Nova, the Trinity-led geologists explain the rationale behind their assertion that the Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada, was caused by a comet - and not a meteorite.

Comets are composed by dust and frozen gas and carry few heavy elements, whereas meteorites are solid rocks that delivered iron-loving elements, such as platinum, to a younger Earth.

By conducting geochemical analyses of the siderophile (iron-loving) elements found in and around the crater fill – and by modelling the impact with computer software – the geologists showed that whatever crashed to Earth was almost completely vaporised on entry.

The large impact crater filled with magma containing nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold, and other metals.

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The large impact crater filled with magma containing nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold, and other metals.

The Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada, is 39 miles long and 19 miles wide - and 9.3 miles deep.

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The Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada, is 39 miles long and 19 miles wide - and 9.3 miles deep.

EARTH'S BIGGEST CRATERS

The Vredefort crater, Free State Province, South Africa: 190 miles wide - created 2billion years ago

The Sudbury Basin, Ontario, Canada: 160 miles wide - created 1.8billion years ago

East Warburton Basin, South Australia: 120 miles wide - created 300million years ago

A meteorite of sufficient size to create a crater as large as the Sudbury Basin should only be partially vaporised on entry, which leaves a 'comet-as-culprit' scenario as by far the most likely.

Professor of Geology and Mineralogy in the School of Natural Sciences at Trinity, Balz Kamber, said: 'Our findings provide further evidence that some very large terrestrial impact basins were created by comets, which is important and interesting in the context of the early bombardment of our inner Solar System – it might well be that comets were responsible for bringing volatile elements to the young Earth.'

The large impact crater filled with magma containing nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold, and other metals.

An Image of the basin taken from Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984/1985. It is the second-largest known impact crater or astrobleme on Earth, as well as one of the oldest.

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An Image of the basin taken from Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984/1985. It is the second-largest known impact crater or astrobleme on Earth, as well as one of the oldest.

A shatter cone from the area, a rare geological feature that only forms in the bedrock beneath meteorite impact craters or underground nuclear explosions.

A shatter cone from the area, a rare geological feature that only forms in the bedrock beneath meteorite impact craters or underground nuclear explosions.

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

ESTABLISHMENT OF MONTAIGUT DURING THE TIME OF “Eleanor of Aquitaine”: ÉGLISE NOTRE-DAME MONTAIGUT

 

File:Blason ville fr Montaigut-en-Combrailles (Puy-de-Dôme).svg
File:Gisant alienor d aquitaine et henri2.jpg
File:Blason fr Dauphiné Auvergne.svg

Coat of arms of the dauphins of Auvergne.

 

 

 

ÉGLISE NOTRE-DAME MONTAIGUT

 

File:Montaigut église Notre-Dame.jpg

MONTAIGUT EN COMBRAILLE 

 

 

The visit to Montaigut of Eleanor and Richard the lionheart.

 

 

MONTAIGUT TODAY. MY HOUSE IS LOCATED BOTTOM RIGHT, ON THE WALLS OF AN ANCIENT CITY. THE BOTTOM ROAD IS LOCATED ABOVE THE FORTIFICATION WALLS. THE CHURCH IS AT THE LEFT MIDDLE EDGE OF THE PHOTO.

 

Upon the death of her husband Henry II on 6 July 1189, Richard I was the undisputed heir. One of his first acts as king was to send William Marshal to England with orders to release Eleanor from prison; he found upon his arrival that her custodians had already released her. Eleanor rode to Westminster and received the oaths of fealty from many lords and prelates on behalf of the king. She ruled England in Richard's name, signing herself "Eleanor, by the grace of God, Queen of England". On 13 August 1189, Richard sailed from Barfleur to Portsmouth and was received with enthusiasm. Eleanor ruled England as regent while Richard went off on the Third Crusade. Later, when Richard was captured, she personally negotiated his ransom by going to Germany.

Eleanor survived Richard and lived well into the reign of her youngest son, King John. In 1199, under the terms of a truce between King Philip II and King John, it was agreed that Philip's twelve-year-old heir-apparent Louis would be married to one of John's nieces, daughters of his sister Eleanor of Castile. John instructed his mother to travel to Castile to select one of the princesses. Now 77, Eleanor set out from Poitiers. Just outside Poitiers she was ambushed and held captive by Hugh IX of Lusignan, whose lands had been sold to Henry II by his forebears. Eleanor secured her freedom by agreeing to his demands. She continued south, crossed the Pyrenees, and travelled through the Kingdoms of Navarre and Castile, arriving in Castile before the end of January 1200.

King Alfonso VIII and Eleanor's daughter, Queen Eleanor of Castile, had two remaining unmarried daughters, Urraca and Blanche. Eleanor selected the younger daughter, Blanche. She stayed for two months at the Castilian court, then late in March journeyed with granddaughter Blanche back across the Pyrenees. She celebrated Easter in Bordeaux, where the famous warrior Mercadier came to her court. It was decided that he would escort the Queen and Princess north. "On the second day in Easter week, he was slain in the city by a man-at-arms in the service of Brandin", a rival mercenary captain. This tragedy was too much for the elderly queen, who was fatigued and unable to continue to Normandy. She and Blanche rode in easy stages to the valley of the Loire, and she entrusted Blanche to the Archbishop of Bordeaux, who took over as her escort. The exhausted Eleanor went to Fontevraud, where she remained. In early summer, Eleanor was ill and John visited her at Fontevraud.

File:Gisant alienor d aquitaine et henri2.jpg

Tomb effigies of Eleanor and Henry II at Fontevraud Abbey

Eleanor was again unwell in early 1201. When war broke out between John and Philip, Eleanor declared her support for John and set out from Fontevraud to her capital Poitiers to prevent her grandson Arthur I, Duke of Brittany, posthumous son of Eleanor's son Geoffrey and John's rival for the English throne, from taking control. Arthur learned of her whereabouts and besieged her in the castle of Mirabeau. As soon as John heard of this, he marched south, overcame the besiegers, and captured the 15-year-old Arthur. Eleanor then returned to Fontevraud where she took the veil as a nun.

Eleanor died in 1204 and was entombed in Fontevraud Abbey next to her husband Henry and her son Richard. Her tomb effigy shows her reading a bible and is decorated with magnificent jewelry. By the time of her death she had outlived all of her children except for King John of England and Queen Eleanor of Castile.

Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle church.
Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle church.

Coat of arms of Montaigut
Coat of arms

Montaigut existed about 1230 when a charter was given to seigneur bourbon l'archambault de montaigne. The church was older still.  Although there is not much information of that period, his wooden castle was turned down and burned by another seigneur de Blot.

Far over the misty mountains lies Montaigut

In the south entree of the site you see a proclamation of the visit that was brought by Eleonore d'Aquitaine her son Richard the lionheart, then Count of Poitiers. After Henry II fell seriously ill in 1170, he put in place his plan to divide his kingdom, although he would retain overall authority over his sons and their territories. In 1171 Richard left for Aquitaine with his mother, and Henry II gave him the duchy of Aquitaine at the request of Eleanor.[26] Richard and his mother embarked on a tour of Aquitaine in 1171 in an attempt to pacify the locals.[27] Together they laid the foundation stone of St Augustine's Monastery in Limoges. In June 1172 Richard was formally recognised as the Duke of Aquitaine when he was granted the lance and banner emblems of his office; the ceremony took place in Poitiers and was repeated in Limoges, where he wore the ring of St Valerie, who was the personification of Aquitaine.

 

Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was known as Cœur de Lion, or Richard the Lionheart, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior.[1] The Saracens called him Melek-Ric or Malek al-Inkitar - King of England.[2]

By the age of sixteen Richard was commanding his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father, King Henry II.[1] Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, effectively leading the campaign after the departure of Philip Augustus and scoring considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin, but was unable to reconquer Jerusalem.[3]

Although speaking only French and spending very little time in England (he lived in his Duchy of Aquitaine in the southwest of France, preferring to use his kingdom as a source of revenue to support his armies),[4] he was seen as a pious hero by his subjects.[5] He remains one of the very few Kings of England remembered by his epithet, rather than regnal number, and is an enduring, iconic figure in England.

photo

Beynac

File:Sioule Rocher Chateau 2.jpg

Château-Rocher from the Sioule valley

Château Rocher (or Château fort de Blot-le-Rocher) is a French castle overlooking the Sioule river valley. It is located in the commune of Saint-Rémy-de-Blot in the Puy-de-Dômedépartement of the Auvergne région.

The "romantic ruins of Château Rocher",[1] standing on a cliff above the river, are the remains of a 13th-century construction, with evidence of earlier (11th century) building. The castle was built by the Lords of Bourbon. A masonry bridge crossing the moat comes up against the entry door, now ruined, and the outer wall. A second wall existed in front of the two eastern towers. Three principal towers flanked the east and north fronts.

Privately owned, Château Rocher has been listed since 1913 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

 

 

 

 

The story of that amazingly influential and still somewhat mysterious woman, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has the dramatic interest of a novel. She was at the very center of the rich culture and clashing politics of the twelfth century. Richest marriage prize of the Middle Ages, she was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VII, and went with him on the exciting and disastrous Second Crusade. Inspiration of troubadours and trouvères, she played a large part in rendering fashionable the Courts of Love and in establishing the whole courtly tradition of medieval times. Divorced from Louis, she married Henry Plantagenet, who became Henry II of England. Her resources and resourcefulness helped Henry win his throne, she was involved in the conflict over Thomas Becket, and, after Henry’s death, she handled the affairs of the Angevin empire with a sagacity that brought her the trust and confidence of popes and kings and emperors.

Having been first a Capet and then a Plantagenet, Queen Eleanor was the central figure in the bitter rivalry between those houses for the control of their continental domains—a rivalry that excited the whole period: after Henry’s death, her sons, Richard Coeur-de-Lion and John “Lackland” (of Magna Carta fame), fiercely pursued the feud up to and even beyond the end of the century. But the dynastic struggle of the period was accompanied by other stirrings: the intellectual revolt, the struggle between church and state, the secularization of literature and other arts, the rise of the distinctive urban culture of the great cities. Eleanor was concerned with all the movements, closely connected with all the personages; and she knew every city from London and Paris to Byzantium, Jerusalem, and Rome.

Dauphins of Auvergne

File:Blason fr Dauphiné Auvergne.svg

Coat of arms of the dauphins of Auvergne.

What is by convenience called the Dauphinate of Auvergne was in reality the remnant of the County of Auvergne after the usurpation of Count William VII the Young around 1155 by his uncle Count William VIII the Old.

The young count was able to maintain his status in part of his county, especiallyBeaumont, Chamaliers, and Montferrand. Some authors have therefore named William VII and his descendants Counts of Clermont, although this risks confusion with theCounty of Clermont in Beauvaisis and the episcopal County of Clermont in Auvergne.

The majority of authors, however, anticipating the formalization of the dauphinate in 1302, choose to call William VII and his successors the Dauphins of Auvergne. Still others, out of convenience, choose to call these successors the Counts-Dauphins of Auvergne.

The title of Dauphin of Auvergne was derived from William VII's mother, who was the daughter of the Dauphin de Viennois, Guigues IV. This meant that William VII's male descendants were usually given Dauphin as a surname.

The numbering of the Counts-turned-Dauphins is complicated. Some authors create a new numbering starting with the first dauphins even though the dauphinate did not really begin until 1302. Others choose to reestablish, beginning with William the Young, the numbering of the viscounts of Clermont who became counts of Auvergne, particularly for the dauphins named Robert.

 

Longitude : 2.8094110 Latitude : 46.1810690

More information on Les Combrailles

The Combrailles area

"Les Combrailles" is a plateau in the north-east area of the Puy-de-Dôme, with valleys and gorges and dotted with peaceful villages. An area offering a well-preserved natural setting.
With the rivers, streams, waterfalls and pools, water is to be found wherever you look in the Combrailles, offering a paradise for those who enjoy fishing, bathing and water sports.

The Queuille meander

The Sioule River crosses the Combrailles area, carving out gorges and also the must-see Queille meander. Discover the Sioule by canoe or kayak, departing from the Menat bridge, or go swimming orfishing in the ponds and lakes of the area.

Combrailles is also a very volcanic area, traversed by the Chaîne des Puys. Discover the area on horseback or on foot, with a walk around the Gour de Tazenat crater lake, or the Chemin Fais'Art discovery trail. To learn even more, visit the two sites dealing with the themes of the region’s volcanic activity Vulcania and the Lemptégy volcano.

The Chateau Dauphin gardens

The Chateau Dauphin gardens

Cultural and historical heritage

Among the natural beauty of Les Combrailles lies historical sites, including the Manor of Veygoux, the childhood home of General Desaix that today is an interactive museum dedicated to the French Revolution.

The Combrailles is also a land of castles, including the impressive Chateau Rocher overlooking the Sioule River and the 12th century Chateau Dauphin with its impressive gardens.  Also discover the churches of the area, Menat Abbey, a cluniac site, the unique capitals of the Saint-Pierrechurch in Biollet, and the painted interiors of the Saint-Légerchurch in Montfermy.

Also of note is the town of Chateauneuf-les-Bains, a pleasant spa resort located in the Sioule gorges, a part of the Massif Central Spa Trail.

Fly fishing from Menat Bridge

The locals are particularly attached to biodiversity and to the protection of the Combrailles area’s natural resources. This flair for skilled work can be clearly seen in the region's craft industries. The local artisans- potters, spinners, enamellers, ironworkers, sculptors and glassmakers possess unique know-how in their respective fields. Local traditions also live on through the village festivals, markets, fairs and concerts organised here throughout the year!
Whether you’re staying in a hotel, a B&B, a gîte or a campsite, you'll be dealing with accommodation providers and restaurant owners with a passion for their work and their region, all too happy to pass on their enthusiasm for the Combrailles area.

 

 

Eleanor of Aquitaine

File:Church of Fontevraud Abbey Eleanor of Aquitaine effigy.jpg

Eleanor's effigy at Fontevraud Abbey.

(1122 or 1124 – 1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages and a member of the Ramnulfid dynasty of rulers in southwestern France. She became Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right while she was still a child, then later Queen consort of France (1137–1152) and ofEngland (1154–1189). She was the patron of literary figures such as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-Maure, and Bernart de Ventadorn.

Eleanor's succession to the duchy of Aquitaine in 1137 made her the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after she became duchess, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon after, Eleanor sought an annulment of her marriage,[1] but her request was rejected by Pope Eugene III.[2] However, after the birth of her second daughter Alix, Louis agreed to an annulment in consideration of her failure to bear a son after fifteen years of marriage.[3] The marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152 on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate and custody was awarded to Louis, while Eleanor's lands were restored to her.

As soon as the annulment was granted, Eleanor became engaged to Henry, Duke of Normandy, who became King Henry II of England in 1154. Henry was her third cousin (cousin of the third degree), and nine years younger. The couple married on 18 May 1152 (Whit Sunday), eight weeks after the annulment of Eleanor's first marriage, in a cathedral in Poitiers, France. Over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry eight children: five sons, three of whom would become kings; and three daughters. However, Henry and Eleanor eventually became estranged. Henry imprisoned her in 1173 for supporting her son Henry's revolt against her husband, and she was not released until 1189 when Henry died (on 6 July), and their son ascended the English throne as Richard I.

Now queen dowager, Eleanor acted as regent while Richard went on the Third Crusade where he was captured and held prisoner. Eleanor lived well into the reign of her youngest son John. By the time of her death, she had outlived all her children except for King John and Queen Eleanor of Castile.

Eleanor's year of birth is not known precisely: a late 13th-century genealogy of her family listing her as 13 years old in the spring of 1137 provides the best evidence that Eleanor was perhaps born as late as 1124.[4] On the other hand, some chronicles mention a fidelity oath of some lords of Aquitaine on the occasion of Eleanor's fourteenth birthday in 1136. This, and her known age of 82 at her death, make 1122 more likely the year of birth.[5] Her parents almost certainly married in 1121. Her birthplace may have beenPoitiers, Bordeaux, or Nieul-sur-l'Autise, where her mother and brother died when Eleanor was 6 or 8.[6]

Eleanor (or Aliénor) was the oldest of three children of William X, Duke of Aquitaine, whose glittering ducal court was renowned in early 12th-century Europe, and his wife, Aenor de Châtellerault, the daughter of Aimery I, Viscount of Châtellerault, and Dangerose de l' Isle Bouchard, who was William IX's longtime mistress as well as Eleanor's maternal grandmother. Her parents' marriage had been arranged by Dangerose with her paternal grandfather William IX.

Eleanor is said to have been named for her mother Aenor and called Aliénor from the Latin alia Aenor, which means the other Aenor. It became Eléanor in the langues d'oïl of Northern France and Eleanor in English.[3] There was, however, another prominent Eleanor before her: Eleanor of Normandy, an aunt of William the Conqueror, who lived a century earlier than Eleanor of Aquitaine. In Paris as the Queen of France she was called Helienordis, her honorific name as written in the Latin epistles.

By all accounts, Eleanor's father ensured that she had the best possible education. Eleanor came to learn arithmetic, the constellations, and history.[3] She did learn domestic skills such as household management and the needle arts of embroidery, needlepoint, sewing, spinning, and weaving.[3] Eleanor ended up developing skills in conversation, dancing, games such as backgammon, checkers, and chess, playing the harp, and singing.[3] Although her native tongue was Poitevin, she was taught to read and speak Latin, was well versed in music and literature, and schooled in riding, hawking, and hunting.[8] Eleanor was extroverted, lively, intelligent, and strong-willed. In the spring of 1130, her four-year-old brother William Aigret and their mother died at the castle of Talmont, on Aquitaine's Atlantic coast. Eleanor became the heir presumptive to her father's domains. The Duchy of Aquitaine was the largest and richest province of France; Poitou (where Eleanor spent most of her childhood) and Aquitaine together were almost one-third the size of modern France. Eleanor had only one other legitimate sibling, a younger sister named Aelith, also called Petronilla. Her half brother Joscelin was acknowledged by William X as a son, but not as his heir. That she had another half brother, William, has been discredited.[9] Later, during the first four years of Henry II's reign, her siblings joined Eleanor's royal household.

Inheritance

In 1137, Duke William X left Poitiers for Bordeaux and took his daughters with him. Upon reaching Bordeaux, he left them in the charge of the Archbishop of Bordeaux, one of his few loyal vassals. The duke then set out for the Shrine of Saint James of Compostela in the company of other pilgrims. He died, however, on Good Friday of that year (9 April).

Eleanor, aged twelve to fifteen, then became the Duchess of Aquitaine, and thus the most eligible heiress in Europe. As these were the days when kidnapping an heiress was seen as a viable option for obtaining a title, William dictated a will on the very day he died that bequeathed his domains to Eleanor and appointed King Louis VI of France as her guardian.[10] William requested the king to take care of both the lands and the duchess, and to also find her a suitable husband. However, until a husband was found, the king had the legal right to Eleanor's lands. The duke also insisted to his companions that his death be kept a secret until Louis was informed – the men were to journey from Saint James of Compostela across the Pyrenees as quickly as possible to call at Bordeaux to notify the archbishop, then to make all speed to Paris to inform the king.

The king of France, known as Louis the Fat, was also gravely ill at that time, suffering from a bout of dysentery from which he appeared unlikely to recover. Despite his impending mortality, Louis remained clear-minded. His heir, Prince Louis, had originally been destined for the monastic life of a younger son but became Dauphin when his older brother, Philip, died from a riding accident.[11] The death of William, one of the king's most powerful vassals, made available the most desirable duchy in France. While presenting a solemn and dignified face to the grieving Aquitainian messengers, Louis exulted when they departed. Rather than act as guardian to the duchess and duchy, he decided to marry the duchess to his 17-year-old heir and bring Aquitaine under the control of the French crown, thereby greatly increasing the power and prominence of France and its ruling family, the Capets. Within hours the king had arranged for Prince Louis to be married to Eleanor, with Abbot Suger in charge of the wedding arrangements. Prince Louis was sent to Bordeaux with an escort of 500 knights, along with Abbot Suger, Theobald II, Count of Champagne, and Count Ralph.

First marriage

 

File:Louis vii and alienor.jpg

At left, a 14th-century representation of the wedding of Louis and Eleanor; at right, Louis leaving on Crusade.

File:Vase de cristal d'Aliénor.jpg

 

Eleanor's grandfather, William IX of Aquitaine, gave her this rock crystal vase, which she gave to Louis as a wedding gift. He later donated it to theAbbey of Saint-Denis. This is the only surviving artifact known to have belonged to Eleanor.

On 25 July 1137 Louis and Eleanor were married in the Cathedral of Saint-André in Bordeaux by the Archbishop of Bordeaux.[7]Immediately after the wedding, the couple was enthroned as Duke and Duchess of Aquitaine. However, there was a catch: the land would remain independent of France until Eleanor's oldest son became both King of the Franks and Duke of Aquitaine. Thus, her holdings would not be merged with France until the next generation. As a wedding present she gave Louis a rock crystal vase currently on display at the Louvre. Louis gave the vase to the Saint Denis Basilica. This vase is the only object connected with Eleanor of Aquitaine that still survives.[13]

Louis's tenure as Count of Poitou and Duke of Aquitaine and Gascony lasted only few days. Although he had been invested as such on 8 August 1137, a messenger gave him the news that Louis VI had died of dysentery on 1 August while Prince Louis and Eleanor were making a tour of the provinces. Thus he became King Louis VII of France. He and Eleanor were anointed and crowned King and Queen of the Franks on Christmas Day of the same year.[7][14]

Possessing a high-spirited nature, Eleanor was not popular with the staid northerners; according to sources, Louis's mother Adélaide de Maurienne thought her flighty and a bad influence. She was not aided by memories of Constance of Arles, the Provençal wife of Robert II, tales of whose immodest dress and language were still told with horror.[ Eleanor's conduct was repeatedly criticized by church elders, particularly Bernard of Clairvaux and Abbot Suger, as indecorous. The king was madly in love with his beautiful and worldly bride, however, and granted her every whim, even though her behavior baffled and vexed him. Much money went into making the austere Cité Palace in Paris more comfortable for Eleanor's sake.[11]

Conflict[edit]

Although Louis was a pious man, he soon came into a violent conflict with Pope Innocent II. In 1141, the Archbishopric of Bourges became vacant, and the king put forward as a candidate one of his chancellors, Cadurc, while vetoing the one suitable candidate, Pierre de la Chatre, who was promptly elected by the canons of Bourges and consecrated by the pope. Louis accordingly bolted the gates of Bourges against the new bishop. The pope, recalling similar attempts by William X to exile supporters of Innocent from Poitou and replace them with priests loyal to himself, blamed Eleanor, saying that Louis was only a child and should be taught manners. Outraged, Louis swore upon relics that so long as he lived Pierre should never enter Bourges. An interdict was thereupon imposed upon the king's lands, and Pierre was given refuge by Theobald II, Count of Champagne.

Louis became involved in a war with Count Theobald by permitting Raoul I, Count of Vermandois and seneschal of France, to repudiate his wife Eléonore of Blois, Theobald's sister, and to marry Petronilla of Aquitaine, Eleanor's sister. Eleanor urged Louis to support her sister's marriage to Count Raoul. Theobald had also offended Louis by siding with the pope in the dispute over Bourges. The war lasted two years (1142–44) and ended with the occupation of Champagne by the royal army. Louis was personally involved in the assault and burning of the town of Vitry. More than a thousand people who sought refuge in the church there died in the flames. Horrified, and desiring an end to the war, Louis attempted to make peace with Theobald in exchange for his support in lifting the interdict on Raoul and Petronilla. This was duly lifted for long enough to allow Theobald's lands to be restored; it was then lowered once more when Raoul refused to repudiate Petronilla, prompting Louis to return to Champagne and ravage it once more.

In June 1144, the king and queen visited the newly built monastic church at Saint-Denis. While there, the queen met with Bernard of Clairvaux, demanding that he have the excommunication of Petronilla and Raoul lifted through his influence on the pope, in exchange for which King Louis would make concessions in Champagne and recognise Pierre de la Chatre as Archbishop of Bourges. Dismayed at her attitude, Bernard scolded Eleanor for her lack of penitence and interference in matters of state. In response, Eleanor broke down and meekly excused her behaviour, claiming to be bitter because of her lack of children. In response, Bernard became more kindly towards her: "My child, seek those things which make for peace. Cease to stir up the King against the Church, and urge upon him a better course of action. If you will promise to do this, I in return promise to entreat the merciful Lord to grant you offspring." In a matter of weeks, peace had returned to France: Theobald's provinces were returned and Pierre de la Chatre was installed as Archbishop of Bourges. In April 1145, Eleanor gave birth to a daughter, Marie.

Louis, however, still burned with guilt over the massacre at Vitry and wished to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to atone for his sins. Fortunately for him, in the autumn of 1145, Pope Eugene III requested that Louis lead a Crusade to the Middle East to rescue the Frankish Kingdoms there from disaster. Accordingly, Louis declared on Christmas Day 1145 at Bourges his intention of going on crusade.

Crusade[edit]

Eleanor of Aquitaine also formally took up the cross symbolic of the Second Crusade during a sermon preached by Bernard of Clairvaux. In addition, she had been corresponding with her uncle Raymond, Prince of the Crusader kingdom of Antioch, who was seeking further protection against the "Saracens" from the French crown. Eleanor recruited some of her royal ladies-in-waiting for the campaign, as well as 300 non-noble Aquitainian vassals. She insisted on taking part in the Crusades as the feudal leader of the soldiers from her duchy. The story that she and her ladies dressed as Amazons is disputed by historians, sometimes confused with the account of King Conrad's train of ladies during this campaign (in Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). Her testimonial launch of the Second Crusade from Vézelay, the rumored location ofMary Magdalene´s grave, dramatically emphasized the role of women in the campaign.

The Crusade itself achieved little. Louis was a weak and ineffectual military leader with no skill for maintaining troop discipline or morale, or of making informed and logical tactical decisions. In eastern Europe, the French army was at times hindered by Manuel I Comnenus, the Byzantine Emperor, who feared that the Crusade would jeopardize the tenuous safety of his empire. Notwithstanding, during their three-week stay at Constantinople, Louis was fêted and Eleanor was much admired. She was compared with Penthesilea, mythical queen of the Amazons, by the Greek historian Nicetas Choniates. He added that she gained the epithet chrysopous (golden-foot) from the cloth of gold that decorated and fringed her robe. Louis and Eleanor stayed in the Philopation palace just outside the city walls.

 

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Second Crusade council: Conrad III of Germany, Eleanor's husband Louis VII of France, and Baldwin III of Jerusalem

From the moment the Crusaders entered Asia Minor, things began to go badly. The king and queen were still optimistic – the Byzantine Emperor had told them that the German King Conrad had won a great victory against a Turkish army (when in fact the German army had been massacred), and the troupe was still eating well. However, while camping near Nicea, the remnants of the German army, including a dazed and sick King Conrad, staggered past the French camp, bringing news of their disaster. The French, with what remained of the Germans, then began to march in increasingly disorganized fashion towards Antioch. They were in high spirits on Christmas Eve, when they chose to camp in a lush Dercervian valley near Ephesus. Here they were ambushed by a Turkish detachment; the French proceeded to slaughter this detachment and appropriate their camp.

Louis then decided to cross the Phrygian mountains directly in the hope of reaching Eleanor's uncle Raymond in Antioch more quickly. As they ascended the mountains, however, the army and the king and queen were horrified to discover the unburied corpses of the previously slaughtered German army.

On the day set for the crossing of Mount Cadmos, Louis chose to take charge of the rear of the column, where the unarmed pilgrims and the baggage trains marched. The vanguard, with which Queen Eleanor marched, was commanded by her Aquitainian vassal Geoffrey de Rancon. Unencumbered by baggage, they reached the summit of Cadmos, where Rancon had been ordered to make camp for the night. Rancon however chose to continue on, deciding in concert with Amadeus III, Count of Savoy (Louis's uncle) that a nearby plateau would make a better campsite: such disobedience was reportedly common.

Accordingly, by mid-afternoon, the rear of the column – believing the day's march to be nearly at an end – was dawdling. This resulted in the army becoming separated, with some having already crossed the summit and others still approaching it. At this point the Turks, who had been following and feinting for many days, seized their opportunity and attacked those who had not yet crossed the summit. The French (both soldiers and pilgrims), taken by surprise, were trapped; those who tried to escape were caught and killed. Many men, horses, and much of the baggage were cast into the canyon below. The chronicler William of Tyre,writing between 1170 and 1184 and thus perhaps too late to be considered historically accurate, placed the blame for this disaster firmly on the amount of baggage (much of it reputedly belonging to Eleanor and her ladies) and the presence of non-combatants.

The king, having scorned royal apparel in favour of a simple pilgrim's tunic, escaped notice (unlike his bodyguards, whose skulls were brutally smashed and limbs severed). He reportedly "nimbly and bravely scaled a rock by making use of some tree roots which God had provided for his safety", and managed to survive the attack. Others were not so fortunate: "No aid came from Heaven, except that night fell."[16]

Official blame for the disaster was placed on Geoffrey de Rancon, who had made the decision to continue, and it was suggested that he be hanged (a suggestion which the king ignored). Since he was Eleanor's vassal, many believed that it was she who had been ultimately responsible for the change in plan, and thus the massacre. This did nothing for her popularity in Christendom – she was also blamed for the size of the baggage train and the fact that her Aquitainian soldiers had marched at the front, thus not involved in the fight. Continuing on, the army became split, with the commoners marching toward Antioch and the royalty traveling by sea. When most of the land army arrived, the king and queen had a profound dispute. Some, such as John of Salisbury and William of Tyre, say Eleanor's reputation was sullied by rumours of an affair with her uncle Raymond. However, this may have been a ruse, as Raymond through Eleanor tried to sway Louis forcibly to use his army to attack the actual Muslim encampment at nearby Aleppo, gateway to retaking Edessa, by papal decree the objective of the Crusade. Although this was perhaps the better military plan, Louis was not keen to fight in northern Syria. One of Louis's avowed Crusade goals was to journey in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and he stated his intention to continue. Reputedly Eleanor then requested to stay with Raymond and brought up the matter of consanguinity – the fact that she and her husband, King Louis, were too closely related. This was grounds for divorce in the medieval period. Rather than allowing her to stay, Louis took Eleanor from Antioch against her will and continued on to Jerusalem with his dwindling army .[17]

This episode humiliated Eleanor, and she maintained a low profile for the rest of the crusade. Louis's subsequent assault on Damascus in 1148 with his remaining army, fortified by King Conrad and Baldwin III of Jerusalem, achieved little. Damascus was a major trading centre that abounded in wealth and was under normal circumstances a potential threat, but the rulers of Jerusalem had recently entered into a truce with the city, which they then forswore. It was a gamble that did not pay off, and whether through military error or betrayal, the Damascus campaign was a failure. The French royal family retreated to Jerusalem and then sailed to Rome and made their way back to Paris.

While in the eastern Mediterranean, Eleanor learned about maritime conventions developing there, which were the beginnings of what would become admiralty law. She introduced those conventions in her own lands on the island of Oleron in 1160 (with the "Rolls of Oléron") and later in England as well. She was also instrumental in developing trade agreements with Constantinople and ports of trade in the Holy Lands.

Annulment[edit]

Even before the Crusade, Eleanor and Louis were becoming estranged, and their differences were only exacerbated while they were abroad. Eleanor's purported relationship with her uncle Raymond,[18] the ruler of Antioch, was a major source of discord. Eleanor supported her uncle's desire to re-capture the nearby County of Edessa, the objective of the Crusade. In addition, having been close to him in their youth, she now showed what was considered to be "excessive affection" toward her uncle. Raymond had plans to abduct Eleanor, to which she consented.[19] While many historians[who?] today dismiss this as normal affection between uncle and niece (noting their early friendship and his similarity to her father and grandfather), many of Eleanor's adversaries interpreted the generous displays of affection as an incestuous affair. Louis's long march to Jerusalem and back north, which Eleanor was forced to join, debilitated his army and disheartened her knights; the divided Crusade armies could not overcome the Muslim forces, and the royal couple had to return home.

Home, however, was not easily reached. Louis and Eleanor, on separate ships due to their disagreements, were first attacked in May 1149 by Byzantine ships attempting to capture both on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor. Although they escaped this attempt unharmed, stormy weather drove Eleanor's ship far to the south (to the Barbary Coast) and caused her to lose track of her husband. Neither was heard of for over two months. In mid-July, Eleanor's ship finally reached Palermo in Sicily, where she discovered that she and her husband had both been given up for dead. She was given shelter and food by servants of King Roger II of Sicily, until the king eventually reached Calabria, and she set out to meet him there. Later, at King Roger's court in Potenza, she learned of the death of her uncle Raymond, who was beheaded by Muslim forces in the Holy Land. This appears to have forced a change of plans, for instead of returning to France from Marseilles, they went to see Pope Eugene III in Tusculum, where he had been driven five months before by a revolt of the Commune of Rome.

Eugene did not, as Eleanor had hoped, grant an annulment. Instead, he attempted to reconcile Eleanor and Louis, confirming the legality of their marriage. He proclaimed that no word could be spoken against it, and that it might not be dissolved under any pretext. Eventually, he arranged events so that Eleanor had no choice but to sleep with Louis in a bed specially prepared by the pope. Thus was conceived their second child – not a son, but another daughter, Alix of France.

The marriage was now doomed. Still without a son and in danger of being left with no male heir, facing substantial opposition to Eleanor from many of his barons and her own desire for divorce, Louis bowed to the inevitable. On 11 March 1152, they met at the royal castle of Beaugency to dissolve the marriage. Hugues de Toucy, Archbishop of Sens, presided, and Louis and Eleanor were both present, as were the Archbishops of Bordeaux and Rouen. Archbishop Samson of Reims acted for Eleanor.

On 21 March, the four archbishops, with the approval of Pope Eugene, granted an annulment on grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree (Eleanor was Louis' third cousin once removed, and shared common ancestry with Robert II of France). Their two daughters were, however, declared legitimate and custody of them was awarded to King Louis. Archbishop Samson received assurances from Louis that Eleanor's lands would be restored to her.

Second marriage

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Henry II of England

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 The marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry of Anjou and Henry's subsequent succession to the throne of England created the Angevin empire.

As Eleanor traveled to Poitiers, two lords – Theobald V, Count of Blois, and Geoffrey, Count of Nantes (brother of Henry II, Duke of Normandy) – tried to kidnap and marry her to claim her lands. As soon as she arrived in Poitiers, Eleanor sent envoys to Henry, Duke of Normandy and future king of England, asking him to come at once to marry her. On 18 May 1152 (Whit Sunday), eight weeks after her annulment, Eleanor married Henry "without the pomp and ceremony that befitted their rank".[20]

Eleanor was related to Henry even more closely than she had been to Louis – they were cousins to the third degree through their common ancestor, Ermengarde of Anjou (wife of Robert I, Duke of Burgundy and Geoffrey, Count of Gâtinais), and they were also descended from King Robert II of France. A marriage between Henry, and Eleanor's daughter Marie, had earlier been declared impossible due to their status as third cousins once removed. It was rumored by some that Eleanor had had an affair with Henry's own father, Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, who had advised his son to avoid any involvement with her.

On 25 October 1154, Henry became King of England. Eleanor was crowned Queen of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 19 December 1154.[14] She may not have been anointed on this occasion, however, because she had already been anointed in 1137.[21]Over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry five sons and three daughters: William, Henry, Richard, Geoffrey, John, Matilda, Eleanor, and Joan. John Speed, in his 1611 work History of Great Britain, mentions the possibility that Eleanor had a son named Philip, who died young. His sources no longer exist, and he alone mentions this birth.[22]

Eleanor's marriage to Henry was reputed to be tumultuous and argumentative, although sufficiently cooperative to produce at least eight pregnancies. Henry was by no means faithful to his wife and had a reputation for philandering. Henry fathered other, illegitimate children throughout the marriage. Eleanor appears to have taken an ambivalent attitude towards these affairs: for example, Geoffrey of York, an illegitimate son of Henry, was acknowledged by Henry as his child and raised at Westminster in the care of the queen.

During the period from Henry's accession to the birth of Eleanor's youngest son John, affairs in the kingdom were turbulent: Aquitaine, as was the norm, defied the authority of Henry as Eleanor's husband and answered only to their Duchess. Attempts were made to claimToulouse, the rightful inheritance of Eleanor's grandmother Philippa of Toulouse, but they ended in failure. A bitter feud arose between the king and Thomas Becket, initially his Chancellor and closest adviser and later the Archbishop of Canterbury. Louis of France had remarried and been widowed; he married for the third time and finally fathered a long hoped-for son, Philip Augustus (also known as Dieudonne - God-given). "Young Henry," son of Henry and Eleanor, wed Margaret of France, daughter of Louis from his second marriage. Little is known of Eleanor's involvement in these events. It is certain that by late 1166, Henry's notorious affair with Rosamund Clifford had become known, and Eleanor's marriage to Henry appears to have become terminally strained.

In 1167, Eleanor's third daughter, Matilda, married Henry the Lion of Saxony. Eleanor remained in England with her daughter for the year prior to Matilda's departure for Normandy in September. Afterwards, Eleanor gathered her movable possessions in England and transported them on several ships to Argentan in December. At the royal court celebrated there that Christmas, she appears to have agreed to a separation from Henry. Certainly, she left for her own city of Poitiers immediately after Christmas. Henry did not stop her; on the contrary, he and his army personally escorted her there before attacking a castle belonging to the rebellious Lusignan family. Henry then went about his own business outside Aquitaine, leaving Earl Patrick (his regional military commander) as her protective custodian. When Patrick was killed in a skirmish, Eleanor (who proceeded to ransom his captured nephew, the young William Marshal), was left in control of her lands.

The Court of Love in Poitiers

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Palace of Poitiers, seat of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine in the 10th through 12th centuries, where Eleanor's highly literate and artistic court inspired tales of Courts of Love.

Of all her influence on culture, Eleanor's time in Poitiers between 1168 and 1173 was perhaps the most critical, yet very little is known about it. Henry II was elsewhere, attending to his own affairs after escorting Eleanor there.[23] Some believe that Eleanor’s court in Poitiers was the "Court of Love", where Eleanor and her daughter Marie meshed and encouraged the ideas of troubadours, chivalry, and courtly love into a single court. It may have been largely to teach manners, as the French courts would be known for in later generations. The existence and reasons for this court are debated.

In The Art of Courtly Love, Andreas Capellanus (Andrew the chaplain) refers to the court of Poitiers. He claims that Eleanor, her daughter Marie, Ermengarde, Viscountess of Narbonne, and Isabelle of Flanders would sit and listen to the quarrels of lovers and act as a jury to the questions of the court that revolved around acts of romantic love. He records some twenty-one cases, the most famous of them being a problem posed to the women about whether true love can exist in marriage. According to Capellanus, the women decided that it was not at all likely.[24]

Some scholars believe that the "court of love" probably never existed, since the only evidence for it is Andreas Capellanus’ book. To strengthen their argument, they state that there is no other evidence that Marie ever stayed with her mother in Poitiers.[23] Andreas wrote for the court of the king of France, where Eleanor was not held in esteem. Polly Schoyer Brooks (the author of a non-academic biography of Eleanor) suggests that the court did exist, but that it was not taken very seriously, and that acts of courtly love were just a “parlor game” made up by Eleanor and Marie in order to place some order over the young courtiers living there.[25]

There is no claim that Eleanor invented courtly love, since it was a concept that had begun to grow before Eleanor’s court arose. All that can be said is that her court at Poitiers was most likely a catalyst for the increased popularity of courtly love literature in the Western European regions.[26] Amy Kelly, in her article, “Eleanor of Aquitaine and her Courts of Love”, gives a very plausible description of the origins of the rules of Eleanor's court: “in the Poitevin code, man is the property, the very thing of woman; whereas a precisely contrary state of things existed in the adjacent realms of the two kings from whom the reigning duchess of Aquitaine was estranged.”[27]

Revolt and capture[edit]

In March 1173, aggrieved at his lack of power and egged on by his father's enemies, the younger Henry launched the Revolt of 1173–1174. He fled to Paris. From there, "the younger Henry, devising evil against his father from every side by the advice of the French King, went secretly into Aquitaine where his two youthful brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, were living with their mother, and with her connivance, so it is said, he incited them to join him". One source claimed that the Queen sent her younger sons to France "to join with him against their father the king". Once her sons had left for Paris, Eleanor may have encouraged the lords of the south to rise up and support them.[30]

Sometime between the end of March and the beginning of May, Eleanor left Poitiers, but was arrested and sent to the king at Rouen. The king did not announce the arrest publicly; for the next year, the Queen's whereabouts were unknown. On 8 July 1174, Henry and Eleanor took ship for England from Barfleur. As soon as they disembarked at Southampton, Eleanor was taken either to Winchester Castle or Sarum Castle and held there.

Years of imprisonment 1173–1189

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The obverse of Eleanor's seal. She is identified as Eleanor, by the Grace of God, Queen of the English, Duchess of the Normans. The legend on the reverse calls her Eleanor, Duchess of the Aquitanians and Countess of the Angevins.[14]

Eleanor was imprisoned for the next sixteen years, much of the time in various locations in England. During her imprisonment, Eleanor became more and more distant with her sons, especially Richard (who had always been her favorite). She did not have the opportunity to see her sons very often during her imprisonment, though she was released for special occasions such as Christmas. About four miles from Shrewsbury and close by Haughmond Abbey is "Queen Eleanor's Bower", the remains of a triangular castle which is believed to have been one of her prisons.

Henry lost the woman reputed to be his great love, Rosamund Clifford, in 1176. He had met her in 1166 and began his liaison in 1173, supposedly contemplating divorce from Eleanor. This notorious affair caused a monkish scribe to transcribe Rosamond's name in Latin to "Rosa Immundi", or "Rose of Unchastity". The king had many mistresses, but although he treated earlier liaisons discreetly, he flaunted Rosamond. He may have done so to provoke Eleanor into seeking an annulment but, if so, the queen disappointed him. Nevertheless, rumours persisted, perhaps assisted by Henry's camp, that Eleanor had poisoned Rosamund. It is also speculated that Eleanor placed Rosamund in a bathtub and had an old woman cut Rosamund's arms.[19] Henry donated much money to Godstow Nunnery, where Rosamund was buried.

In 1183, the Young King Henry tried again to force his father to hand over some of his patrimony. In debt and refused control of Normandy, he tried to ambush his father at Limoges. He was joined by troops sent by his brother Geoffrey and Philip II of France. Henry II's troops besieged the town, forcing his son to flee. After wandering aimlessly through Aquitaine, Henry the Younger caught dysentery. On Saturday, 11 June 1183, the Young King realized he was dying and was overcome with remorse for his sins. When his father's ring was sent to him, he begged that his father would show mercy to his mother, and that all his companions would plead with Henry to set her free. Henry II sent Thomas of Earley, Archdeacon of Wells, to break the news to Eleanor at Sarum. Eleanor reputedly had had a dream in which she foresaw her son Henry's death. In 1193 she would tell Pope Celestine III that she was tortured by his memory.

King Philip II of France claimed that certain properties in Normandy belonged to his half-sister Marguerite, widow of the young Henry, but Henry insisted that they had once belonged to Eleanor and would revert to her upon her son's death. For this reason Henry summoned Eleanor to Normandy in the late summer of 1183. She stayed in Normandy for six months. This was the beginning of a period of greater freedom for the still-supervised Eleanor. Eleanor went back to England probably early in 1184.[30] Over the next few years Eleanor often travelled with her husband and was sometimes associated with him in the government of the realm, but still had a custodian so that she was not free.