17th Comte de Savoie
Other names: the Green Count
Other Titles and Honours
Principe di Piemonte, 1343-83†
Duc de Chablais, 1343-83†
Duca d'Aosta, 1343-83†
Marchese di Susa, 1343-83†
Baron de Faucigny
Baron de Gex, 1352-83†
Baron of Vaud, 1359-83†
Seigneur de Faucigny, 1355-83†
Seigneur de Quiers
Seigneur de Bielle
Seigneur de Verrue
Signore di Cuneo
Signore di Cherasco
Seigneur de Bresse
Seigneur de Bugey 1359
Seigneur de Valromey 1359
Seigneur de Valbonne
Imperial vicar of Italy, 1365
Amadeus succeeded his father in 1343, being a minor under the guardianship of Louis of Savoy, baron of Vaud, and of Amadeus, count of Geneva. The princes of Achaia, a collateral branch of the house of Savoy, were nominally lords of Piedmont, and vassals of the Count of Savoy, but Robert of Anjou, king of Naples and count of Provence, had actual possession of all the southern part of Piedmont, which he governed by his vicars. After Robert's death, however, the people of Southern Piedmont revolted, being supported by John, marquis of Monferrato. James, prince of Achaia, called to his assistance the guardians of Count Amadeus, who, crossing the Alps with troops, defeated the Marquis of Monferrato, and his ally, Luchino Visconti, the lord of Milan, in 1347, and recovered, possession of Piedmont. Upon this, the towns of Chieri and Mondovi submitted to the Lord of Piedmont. In the following year, a great tournament was given at Chambéry, in which the young Count Amadeus appeared dressed in green, from which he was styled the 'Green Count'.
In 1354, a battle was fought near Arbrette, in which Amadeus defeated the French and made many of their knights prisoners. In the following year a treaty of peace was concluded between Amadeus and King John of France, by which the western limits of Savoy, between the Rhone and the Isere, were fixed at the river Guyer. The barony of Faucigny, which had belonged to the Dauphin of Vienne, was given up to Amadeus Thus all the country now called Savoy came to be united, with the exception of the county of Genevois, the counts of which however acknowledged the suzerainty of the Count of Savoy. In 1359, Amadeus crossed the Alps into Piedmont, where James, prince of Achaia, had been usurping sovereign rights which belonged to his liege lord, the Count of Savoy. He deprived him of his territories, but after two or three years he forgave the prince, and reinstated him in his dominions. It is from the princes of Achaia that Piedmont had since borne the title of principality. In 1359, Amadeus purchased Vaud from Catherine, daughter of his former regent Louis.
Amadeus was next engaged in war with Frederic, marquis of Saluzzo, whom he defeated in 1363 and obliged to do him homage. But the marquis, some years after, constituted himself vassal of the crown of France, and this gave rise in course of time to long and sanguinary contests between France and the house of Savoy. In 1365, the Emperor Charles IV, proceeding to Avignon with a numerous retinue of German barons, on a visit to Pope Urban V, passed through Chambéry, and was splendidly entertained by Amadeus, to whom he granted in return the full investiture of his dominions, appointing him at the same time imperial vicar over the dioceses of Lausanne, Geneva, Belley, Sion, Aosta, Ivrea, Turin, Maurienne, Tarentaise, and the whole county of Savoy. He also ordered the bishops and nobles of those territories to take the oath of fealty to the Count of Savoy, and referred to him all appeals which were previously made to the imperial chamber.
In 1365, Pope Urban V, urged by the entreaties of John Palaeologus, emperor of Constantinople, who was hard pressed by the Turks, preached a crusade for the support of the Eastern empire. But his call was unattended to except by Amadeus, who repaired to Venice with a number of knights and men at arms and sailed for the Levant in 1366. He attacked Gallipoli, which was held by the Turks, carried it by force, and hoisted on its walls the white cross, the banner of Savoy. He then repaired to Constantinople, and finding that the Emperor John was prisoner in the hands of the Bulgarians, he sailed into the Black Sea, took Mesembria by storm, and laid siege to Varna, upon which the King of the Bulgarians sued for peace. The emperor was released and taken back by Amadeus to Constantinople. Amadeus then had some fighting with the Turks in Romania, and took some fortresses from them. At the end of that year Amadeus returned to Italy.
In 1372, the two brothers Galeazzo and Bernabo Visconti, the rulers of Lombardy, attempted to dismember the marquisate of Monferrato, but Amadeus joined Pope Gregory XI against the ambition of the Visconti, and carried the war into Lombardy in 1373. After making peace with the Visconti, he acted as mediator between the two rival republics of Genoa and Venice, and effected a reconciliation between them in 1381. Lastly, Amadeus was induced by Louis of Anjou, brother of Charles V of France and claimant to the throne of Naples, to assist him in recovering that kingdom from the hands of Charles of Durazzo, who had taken possession of it, having put to death Queen Joanna I. Louis made a formal cession to Amadeus of the claims of the Anjous to Piedmont, and Amadeus in return accompanied Louis in his expedition to Naples, taking with him two thousand lances. But he fell ill in the Abruzzi in 1383, (some say of an epidemic, others of poison,) and died.
Amadeus VI was one of the most distinguished princes of the dynasty of Savoy. He was brave, honourable, and successful. He nearly doubled the territories of his house in Piedmont, and greatly extended those on the north side of the Alps. He adopted for his device a running stream, with the motto 'Vires acquirit eundo' (We gather strength as we go), which has proved prophetic for his successors.
Amadeus was the founder of the Order of the Collar in 1362 which was renamed the Order of the Annunciation in 1518.
Place of birth: Château de Chambéry
Place of marriage: Chambéry
Place of death: Santo Stefano, near Castropignano, Apulia
Place of burial: Abbey of Hautecombe, Savoy
1. S. Guichenon. Histoire généalogique de la royale maison de Savoie, vol. 1. Turin: chez Jean-Michel Briolo, 1778.
2. Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The Biographical Dictionary, vol. 2.1. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1843.
3. J.C. Cooper, ed. Dictionary of Christianity. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York; Routledge, 2013.
4. C. Cawley. Medieval Lands - A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families. The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. ©2018.
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