JOAN OF ARC

The Maid of Orleans

Jeanne d'Arc

Joan was a peasant girl born in Domremy-La-Pucelle, France in 1412. She convinced the king to let her lead the army to Europe, disguised as a man, Joan led the army to England and won several battles. Her most memorable battle was the battle of Orleans which she won at the age 17.

Childhood

Joan was born to Jacques and Isabelle d'Arc. She had four other siblings and was a peasant girl who worked in the farms. There on the farms she knew how to sew and spin wool, however not to read or write.

She was incredibly loyal to the god of the Roman Catholic Church. At the age of 13, she began to hear voices in her head that she thought were angels. The voices told her to go and pretend to be a man to fight in the war and she did just so later on in her life.

Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War were a series of wars fought between England and France during 1337 to 1453. England had claimed the crown of France as their own and France wanted it back. The battle was difficult to win. Although France had the upper hand of being the most populated ruler of West Europe, they still found it difficult to win. Despite England's size, the army was well disciplined and used bows and arrows as their main defense. Because they got to shoot from a distance, France could not harm any of them and lost more and more men the longer they stayed in battle.

Joan played a significant part in the war for she was one of the greatest captains they've ever had.

Battle of Orleans

At the age of 17 and dressed as a man, Joan led a march to England. She never took her hot and heavy armor off, which resulted in her growing quite tired. As she rested in the base, the voices in her head told her to attack the British immediately. It is reported that she had a vision of what would happen.

Her and her men rode on their horses to one of the British forts around Orleans, they attacked immediately.

For the next five weeks, Joan had won battle after battle.

Death

Joan died at the age of 19 on May 30th, 1431 in Rouen, France by burning at the stake.

The English took her captive and while in jail she had begun to hear voices again. She had stopped wearing her men's armor.

She was called a witch and burned for heresy.

She was burned at the stake. A pitiful peasant made her a small cross for her to wear while she hung. After she was burned, the English checked to see if she died, then they burned her again to ashes and threw her in France to mock the people she had tried to save.

Many people actually feared what would happen after her death, especially since many claimed that she actually spoke to god. It was even reported that the executor was frightened.

Heresy

noun

belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.


(Back in the Middle Ages you could be punished for doing so with death by the burning stake.)

After her Death

It wasn't until 25 years later in 1456 that she was found innocent. Joan was not a witch and Joan did not commit any negative acts against the Roman Catholic Church.

Roman Catholic Church eventually claimed her to be a saint.

Today, every May 30th in France, people celebrate Joan's great sacrifice to the people.

Interesting Facts

  • At the age of 16, Joan was supposed to get married, but she fought against the court and won.
  • Joan was Roman Catholic
  • Every time the Church bells rang, Joan got on her knees and prayed.
  • Joan never actually fought or killed anyone because when she was admitted into the army, she never learned how to. Instead, she waved a flag around like in one of the pictures above and cheered the army on. She also came up with great battle strategies.
  • She was reportedly known to have an extremely violent temper. She would yell at her troops for not going to mass, swearing, and other things.
  • Joan of Arc was actually the one who invented the 'bob' haircut.
  • Today, she has been diagnosed by medical doctors with numerous mental disorders including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Joan was a Capricorn
  • In France, daughters did not take their father's surnames but instead their mothers. So, Joan went by Jeanne Romee.
  • Joan was said to have dark hair and dark eyes. She was also short and muscular. She even had a red birthmark behind her left ear.