|The Conventum between William V and Hugh IV of Lusignan|
as depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry, c. 1080
Parents: William IV, duke of Aquitaine, and Emma of Blois
Date of Birth: 969
Royal House: Poitiers (Ramnulfids)
Spouse: Adalemonde of Limoges, then Sancha of Gascony, then Agnes of Burugndy
Reign: 990 – 1030
Predecessor: William IV
Summary: William the Great was a well-loved duke of Aquitaine. He was a well-educated man who ruled a prosperous realm. He made Aquitaine, which at the time consisted of nearly a third of all modern-day France, the center of French culture. Unfortunately, he was a poor military leader. That is partially because he was constantly under attack by the Vikings, who raided his coast with impunity. He also had to contend with lesser French lords such as Boso, count of la Marche, and Fulk, count of Anjou, who both were constantly trying to take land away from his borders.
His greatness comes from his cultural and religious works. He sought peace even while constantly defending his borders. He supported the Peace and Truce of God movements that attempted to limit feudal warfare between and within states. He was the founder of two abbeys. After a large fire in his capital at Poitiers, he rebuilt the city's cathedral and many of its religious structures. WIlliam was pious and went on a pilgrimage to Rome. In exchange, he received many guests from other lands including Emperor Henry II, Alfonso V of León, and Canute the Great, in addition to his own nominal lord, Robert II of France. In 1024, William was even asked by the prominent Italian lord Ulric Manfred of Turin to take the Iron Crown of Lombardy and become King of Italy. But William did not want to upset the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II who claimed that title by right, and so declined the throne for himself and his heirs. William died peacefully in his own lands in 1030, his titles passing to his eldest son. Three other sons would also later rule Aquitaine.
Date of Death: 30 January 1030
Successor: William VI
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