Amadeus V, Count of Savoy

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Amadeus V (between 1249 and 1253 – 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 was born at Le Bourget-du-Lac, and succeeded his childless paternal uncle Philip I, Count of Savoy 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.

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 conflift with the Bishop.

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.

In 1295, Amadeus acquired the Chambéry fortress from its previous owner Hugh of La Rochette. He chose Chambéry as his main residence and in the following decorated it with paintings.

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. 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 for the Kingdom of Italy and at least titular claim over the Asti region.

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