Amadeus V, Count of Savoy

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Amadeus V, Count of Savoy
Count of Savoy
Blason duche fr Savoie.svg
Coat of Arms of the Counts of Savoy
Spouse(s) Sybille of Bâgé
Marie of Brabant
Noble family House of Savoy
Father Thomas II of Savoy
Mother Beatrice Fieschi
Born 4 September 1249
Le Bourget-du-Lac
Died 16 October 1323(1323-10-16)

Amadeus V (4 September 1249, Le Bourget-du-Lac – 16 October 1323, Avignon), surnamed the Great for his wisdom and success as a ruler, was the Count of Savoy from 1285 to 1323. He established Chambéry as his seat. He was the son of Thomas II of Savoy and Beatrice Fieschi.


Amadeus succeeded his childless paternal uncle Philip I as Count of Savoy in 1285. Amadeus was a younger brother of Thomas III of Piedmont, who had died in 1282. Thomas had been succeeded by his eldest son Philip I of Piedmont who had a stronger claim to the County than Amadeus. However Philip was about seven years old and at the time unable to press a claim. Amadeus managed to secure the support of his nephew by offering Philip control of Turin and Pinerolo. Amadeus also secured the loyalty of his younger brother Louis by offering him Vaud as an hereditary barony.[1]

Through his marriage to Sybilla, Countess of Bugey and Bresse, he was able to incorporate these Burgundian districts into his states. Later expansion saw his dominions further increased.

On 1 October 1285, Amadeus was declared protector of Geneva after negotiations with the Bishop of Geneva. The hereditary title belonged to Amadeus II, Count of Geneva who was in conflict with the Bishop.

In 1287 Amadeus besieged the castle of Ile in the Rhône near Geneva, and captured it after fourteen weeks.[2]

In 1295, Amadeus acquired the fortress at Chambéry from its previous owner Hugh of La Rochette.[citation needed] He brought Georges de Aquila, a student of Giotto from Florence, to his court. Georges decorated the castle with paintings, carved wood, and frescoes. He worked there for the Savoyards until he died in 1348.[3]

Among his successes was the Treaty of Annemasse which the Count of Geneva and the Dauphin of Viennois accepted subservient roles to him as his vassals. The treaty was the result of military victories over the both of them. In 1301, Amadeus also settled his dispute over control of Valais with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sion.

His reign, however, also saw friction between the County of Savoy and the Duchy of Austria. He pursued an alliance with the Kingdom of France and received Maulévrier in Normandy as a result of initial good relations.

The eventual recovery of Lyon by the Kings of France alerted Amadeus to their expansionistic tendencies towards the regions by the Alps. He sought a powerful ally against potential hostility in Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor.[citation needed] Henry was married to Margaret of Brabant, sister-in-law of Amadeus. The relation through marriage probably helped the alliance. Henry awarded Amadeus with the title of imperial vicar of Lombardy and at least titular claim over the Asti region. Henry also elevated Aosta and Chablais to duchies, though they remained a part of the realm of Savoy.[4]

In 1315, Amadeus assisted the Knights Hospitaller in the defense of Rhodes against the Turks.

Family and children[edit]

He first married Sybille of Bâgé in 1272[5] and had 8 children:

  1. Bonne, married twice: 1) John I of Viennois, dauphin of Viennois,[citation needed] 2) Hugh of Burgundy, lord of Montbauson and son of Hugh III, Count of Burgundy[6]
  2. John[citation needed]
  3. Beatrice[citation needed]
  4. Edward (d. 1329), succeeded his father and married Blanche of Burgundy
  5. Eleonor (d. after 1317), married three times: 1) William of Chalon, Count of Auxerre and Tonnerre, 2) Dreux IV of Mello, and 3) John I, count of Forez[6]
  6. Margaret (d. 1349), married to John I of Montferrat[6]
  7. Agnes (d. 1322), married to William III of Geneva[6]
  8. Aymon (d. 1343), succeeded Edward as count of Savoy, married Yolande of Montferrat[6]

In 1297, he married, secondly, Marie of Brabant,[7] who was a daughter of John I, Duke of Brabant and Margaret of Flanders. Her maternal grandparents were Guy of Dampierre and his first wife Matilda of Bethune. They had 4 children:

  1. Maria, married Hugh, baron of Faucigny and son of Humbert I of Viennois[6]
  2. Catherine, d. 1336, married to Leopold I (duke of Austria and Styria)[6]
  3. Anna, d. 1359, married to Byzantine Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos[6]
  4. Beatrice (1310–1331), married in 1327 to Henry VI, Duke of Carinthia, count of Tirol[6]



  • Cox, Eugene L. (1967). The Green Count of Savoy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. LCCN 67-11030. 
  1. ^ Cox 1967, p. 21,376.
  2. ^ Cox 1967, p. 46.
  3. ^ Cox 1967, p. 16.
  4. ^ Cox 1967, p. 21-22.
  5. ^ Cox 1967, p. 378.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cox 1967, p. 22-23,378-379.
  7. ^ Cox 1967, p. 379.

External links[edit]

Amadeus V
Born: 4 September 1249 Died: 16 October 1323
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Philip I
Count of Savoy
Succeeded by