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Béatrice de Savoie

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Béatrice played a role in strengthening the interests of Savoy, and those of Provence, and assisted her brother Thomas in his attempts to manage the family's dominions. She was instrumental in arranging the illustrious marriages of her daughters (queens of France, Germany, Sicily, and England), particularly that of her daughter Éléonore to Henry III which strengthened the family's ties with England and allowed family members to establish themselves at the English court. She settled a dispute with her son-in-law Charles of Anjou, and an agreement was reached where she agreed withdrew her claim for usufruct of Provence, even though her husband had granted it to her in his will.[1] Beatrice was skilled in medicine, and ordered Aldobrandino of Siena, her physician (†1287), to write a medical encyclopaedia for her to take on her journeys, when with a large retinue she visited her four daughters. This book, taken chiefly from Rhazes, Avicenna and Constantine, called the Regime du Corps, and was translated from Greek into Latin, and from Latin into French, at the request of the Emperor Frederick II. The book was a compendium especially useful to women, dealing with diets, hygiene, gynaecology, and the complexion. There was also a chapter on dissections.[2] Béatrice inherited substantial property from her mother in 1258, including the castle of Las Echelles where, in 1262, she founded a hospital.[1] She died either in 1266 or 1267.[3]



1. E.L. Cox. The Eagles of Savoy: The House of Savoy in Thirteenth-Century Europe. Princeton University Press, 2015.

2. K.C. Hurd-Mead. A History of Women in Medicine. Haddam. Conn.: The Haddam Press, 1938.

3. C. Cawley. Medieval Lands - A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families. The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. ©2018.

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