Friday, June 6, 2008

William Gellone's son Bernard

William Gellone had a son named Bernard. He was commononly referred to as Bernard of Septimania. I descend from him as well as my previously mentioned lines.

I am not sure if he was a man you would be proud to claim. He held a position at court. His wife Duoda was the one I found interesting. During the Middle Ages, it was difficult for a woman to have any power. She evidently persevered and found a way. She was able to write and read in fluent Latin.

Bernard was chancellor to Charlemagne's son Louis when he succeeded his father. He was also godfather to Louis' son Charles. He lost favor with Louis, because he either held his troups back in an important battle or was late arriving. To prove his loyalty, he sent his son William to Louis' as a hostage to guarantee his loyalty. This must have been a terrible loss for Duoda.

In addition to losing this elder son, Bernard took a son from her who was so young he had not been baptised and sent him to another of his estates. She satisfied her maternal instincts by writing a series of books for William and his younger brother which contained everything she had learned from her education, from scripture and from life. In effect, she determined to have a part in their raising, despite the political machinations of the men of her world. She included word games and number games and simplified Biblical stories as a means of making her writing appeal to young minds.
Here is a link to read part of her work

Another can be found here.
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