Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Angeoy, Angers, Anschowe

Anjou is a historical region and former county located in the western part of France, primarily in the lower Loire Valley. Anjou is situated along the banks of Loire River.

An old western French count-ship and former province which was conquered by Vortigern and given to Hengist. According to Arthour and MerlinUther conquered Anjou from Harinan, Igerne’s first husband. Geoffrey says that it was conquered by Arthur and given to Kay, Arthur’s seneschal (steward), who became its first count, while in Wolfram von Eschenbach its queen was Herzeloyde (Herselojde).

Malory says that it was owned by Lancelot, and that Lancelot made Sir Dinas the duke of Anjou in return for Dinas’s support in the war against King Arthur. Hughes uses Anna rather than Morgause, but he makes Mordred a product of Anna and Arthur’s incest, which Geoffrey does not.

Anjou were the country of Perceval’s paternal ancestry in Wolfram’s Parzival. The country was ruled by Perceval’s grandfather Gandin and then by Gandin’s son Galoes. The scepter was later passed to Perceval’s son Kardeiz. It’s capital was Bealzenan.

Anjou | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman Influence | 1st century BC – 5th century AD
In the first century BC, the Roman Empire expanded into Gaul, including the territory that would become Anjou. Anjou was part of the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. The Romans established towns and infrastructure, leaving a lasting impact on the region’s development.

Late Roman Period and Decline | 5th century
As the Western Roman Empire faced internal struggles and external invasions, the Roman presence in Gaul weakened. In the fifth century, the region experienced the decline of Roman authority, and various Germanic tribes, including the Visigoths and the Franks, asserted control.

Frankish Rule | 5th century onward
The Franks, under the leadership of Clovis I, gradually established control over Gaul, including Anjou, in the late fifth and early sixth century. Anjou became part of the Merovingian and later the Carolingian realms, contributing to the political and cultural developments of the Frankish kingdoms.

Viking Invasions | 9th century
In the ninth century, Viking raids and invasions, especially along river routes, became a significant challenge for the Frankish territories. Anjou, located along the Loire River, was not immune to Viking incursions. The Viking presence had a disruptive impact on local communities.

Plantagenet House
The House of Plantagenet, a medieval English royal house, originated from Anjou. In 1154, the Count of Anjou became King of England as Henry II, but King John lost the territory in 1204. In 1480 the count-ship was annexed to the French crown.

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Brut | Layamon, late 12th century to mid-13th century
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470