Charles the Bold (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Charles the Bold attempted to build the Duchy of Burgundy into a unified kingdom. He was considered a serious threat to the stability and centralization of the French state.
Charles was born on November 10, 1433, at Dijon, the son of the immensely popular Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, and his third wife, Isabella of Portugal. Perhaps because Charles was the only son of three to survive, Isabella zealously protected the infant. She tended to his needs personally, refusing to relinquish him to wet nurses, as was the normal custom of the age. As a youth Charles received the education properly fitting for a future military leader and political ruler. Charles became a skilled horseman, having received his first lessons at the age of two on a specially constructed wooden horse. Charles avidly pursued knowledge of military affairs as well during his early years.
The future duke was familiar with Latin, although he was by no means a Humanist. He read Sallust, Julius Caesar, and the deeds of Alexander the Great, although he was more interested in their martial activities than their literary style. Charles had an aptitude for languages and could conduct himself in Italian and Flemish as well as in his native French. He had limited knowledge of English as well. In appearance, he was tall, fleshy, and well proportioned. His hair, eyes, and coloring were dark, favoring his mother over...
(The entire section is 1891 words.)
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Charles the Bold (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Charles the Bold was a key figure in the transition from medieval to early modern warfare. His death in battle in 1477, leaving a daughter as sole heir, had a profound impact on the course of war in Europe for the next century.
Son of Philip of Burgundy, Charles the Bold participated in the feud between his family and the Valois Dynasty of France. He commanded the League of the Public Weal at the indecisive Battle of Montlhéry (July 16, 1465) against Louis XI. When his father died in 1467, he inherited lands within France (Burgundy, Flanders, and Artois) and outside (the Franche-Comté and the Netherlands). Alsace and Lorraine lie between these lands, and he wanted to conquer them to form a unified block of territory. Charles fashioned an army of cavalry, pikemen, crossbowmen, and arquebusiers with the best artillery of that time. He was a capable commander, effectively using the disparate elements of his forces, but his impetuous nature proved to be his undoing. His conquests in Alsace aroused the Swiss, who invaded the Franche-Comté in 1474. Charles responded by invading Switzerland but was defeated at Granson (March 2, 1476) and Morat (June 21). When Charles heard of the revolt of Nancy, conquered in 1475, he hastened to crush it. The Swiss, coming to Nancy’s aid, killed Charles on the battlefield (January 5, 1477). Louis XI deprived Charles’s daughter Mary of Burgundy of her French...
(The entire section is 284 words.)