William, duke of Aquitaine and count of Poitou, has won a glowing reputation from historians for his personal piety and his active support of religious reform. Scholars have given him the sobriquet 'the Great', and he is traditionally regarded as one of those overmighty subjects whose fame and power eclipsed their less accomplished Capetian contemporaries. As count and duke, however, William clearly had responsibilities that went beyond support of the Church. In the present study an effort has been made to examine the more secular aspects of William's career to see if, in fact, he justly deserves to be considered one of the outstanding figures of the early eleventh century.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Beech 1966:204. Richard 1903:139, n. 1, discusses the origins of William’s sobriquet le grand. This study was made possible by a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies for 1973-4.