Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc miniature graded.jpg
Historiated initial depicting Joan of Arc from Archives Nationales, Paris, AE II 2490, allegedly dated to the second half of the 15th century but most likely an art forgery by the Alsatian painter Georges Spetz (1844–1914) in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.[1]
Holy Virgin
Bornc. 1412
Domrémy, Duchy of Bar, Kingdom of France
Died30 May 1431 (probably aged 19)
Venerated in
Beatified18 April 1909, Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Pius X
Canonized16 May 1920, Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Benedict XV
Feast30 May
PatronageFrance; martyrs; captives; military personnel; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers, women who have served in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service); and Women's Army Corps

Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d'Arc pronounced [ʒan daʁk]; c. 1412 – 30 May 1431), who called herself "Joan the Maiden" ("Jehanne la Pucelle" in 15th-century French) and is now nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (French: La Pucelle d'Orléans), is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War. She is also a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

Joan was born to Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée, a peasant family, at Domrémy in the Vosges of northeast France. In 1428, Joan, who was about 17 years old, traveled to Vaucouleurs and requested an armed escort to bring her to Charles VII of France. Joan later testified that she had received visions from the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles and recover France from English domination. Her request to see the king was rejected twice, but eventually the garrison commander Robert de Baudricourt relented and gave her an escort to meet Charles at Chinon. After their interview, Charles sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief army. She arrived at the city on 29 April 1429, and quickly gained prominence for her role in lifting the siege nine days after she arrived in Orléans. During the following June, Joan played a key role in the Loire Campaign, which culminated in the decisive defeat of the English at the Battle of Patay. After the battle, the French army advanced on Reims and entered the city on 16 July. The next day, Charles was consecrated as the King of France in Reims Cathedral with Joan at his side. These victories boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory in the Hundred Years' War at Castillon in 1453.

After Charles' consecration, Joan and John II, Duke of Alençon's army besieged Paris. An assault on the city was launched on 8 September. It failed, and Joan was wounded by an arrow. The French forces withdrew and Charles disbanded the army. By October, Joan had recovered and participated in an attack on the territory of Perrinet Gressart, a mercenary who had been in the service of the English and Burgundian faction, a group of French nobles allied with the English. After some initial successes, the campaign ended in a failed attempt to take Gressart's stronghold at La-Charité-sur-Loire. By December, Joan was back at the French court, where she learned that she and her family had been ennobled by Charles.

In May 1430, Joan organized a company of volunteers to relieve Compiègne, which had been besieged by the Burgundians. She was captured by Burgundians troops on 23 May and afterwards exchanged to the English. She was put on trial by the pro-English bishop, Pierre Cauchon, on a charge of heresy. She was declared guilty and burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about 19 years of age.

In 1456, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III investigated the original trial, which was found to have been by deceit, fraud and incorrect procedure. The verdict of Joan's original trial was nullified and the stain on Joan's name declared to be erased. Joan has been popularly revered as a martyr since her death, and after the French Revolution she became a national symbol of France. She was beatified in 1909, canonized in 1920, and declared a secondary patron saint of France in 1922. Joan of Arc has remained a popular figure in literature, painting, sculpture, and other cultural works since the time of her death, and many famous writers, playwrights, filmmakers, artists, and composers have created, and continue to create cultural depictions of her.

Birth and historical background

Joan of Arc[a] was born sometime around 1412[b] At her condemnation trial, in Domrémy, a small village in the Meuse valley,[9] which is now located in the Vosges department within the historical region of Lorraine, France.[10] Her parents were Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée. Joan had at least three brothers and a sister;[11] all but one of the brothers was older.[12] Her father was a peasant farmer of some means.[13] The family had about 50 acres (20 ha) of land,[14] and her father supplemented the family income with a minor position as a village official, collecting taxes and heading the local watch.[15]

  Controlled by Henry VI of England
  Controlled by Philip III of Burgundy
  Controlled by Charles VII of France

 Main battles
--- Journey to Chinon, 1429
--- March to Reims, 1429

Joan was born during the Hundred Years' War, a conflict between the kingdoms of England and France that had begun in 1337.[16] The cause of the war was an inheritance dispute over the French throne.[17] Nearly all the fighting had taken place in France, and its economy was devastated.[18] At the time of Joan's birth, France was also divided politically. The French king Charles VI had suffered from bouts of mental illness and was often unable to rule.[19] The king's brother Louis, Duke of Orléans, and the king's cousin John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, quarreled over the regency of France. The conflict climaxed with the assassination of the Duke of Orléans in 1407 on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy.[20] This assassination began a civil war.[21] Supporters of Charles of Orléans, who succeeded his father as duke and placed in the custody of his father-in-law Bernard, Count of Armagnac, became known as "Armagnacs"; supporters of the Duke of Burgundy became known as "Burgundians".[22]

Henry V of England took advantage of France's internal divisions when he invaded the kingdom in 1415, winning a dramatic victory at the Battle of Agincourt.[23] Paris was taken by the Burgundians in 1418.[24] In the meantime, the future French king, Charles VII, had assumed the title of Dauphin (heir to the throne) after the successive deaths of his four older brothers.[25] In 1419, the Dauphin began peace negotiations with the Duke of Burgundy, but the duke was assassinated by Armagnac partisans during a meeting with Charles that was under a truce. The new duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, entered into an alliance with the English.[26] In 1420 the queen of France, Isabeau of Bavaria, agreed to the Treaty of Troyes,[27] which disinherited Charles and granted the succession of the French throne to Henry V and his heirs. This revived suspicions that the Dauphin was the illegitimate product of Isabeau's rumored affair with the late Duke of Orléans rather than the son of King Charles VI.[28] In 1422, Henry V and Charles VI died within two months of each other. This left an infant, Henry VI of England, the nominal king of the Anglo-French dual monarchy, but the Dauphin also claimed his right to the French throne.[29]

Just before Joan joined the conflict in 1429, the English had nearly achieved their goal of an Anglo-French dual monarchy.[30] Henry V's brothers, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester had continued the English conquest of France.[31] Nearly all of northern France, Paris, and parts of the southwestern France were under Anglo-Burgundian control. The Burgundians also controlled Reims, which had served as the traditional site for the coronation of French kings. This was important, as Charles had not yet been anointed as king and doing so at Reims would help legitimize his claim to the throne.[32] During this time, there were two prophecies circulating around the French countryside. One promised that a maid from the borderlands of Lorraine would come forth to work miracles, and the other was that France has been lost by a woman,[c] but would be restored by a virgin.[34]

Early life

Joan's birthplace in Domrémy is now a museum. The village church where she attended Mass is to the right, behind the trees.

During Joan's youth, Domrémy was a border village in eastern France whose precise feudal relation was unclear.[35] Much of it lay in the Duchy of Bar which owed fealty to France.[36] Although the region was surrounded by pro-Burgundian lands, the loyalty of its people lay with the French crown.[37] By 1419, the war had begun to affect the area.[38] In 1425, the village's cattle were stolen by an unaligned brigand named Henri D'Orly.[39] In 1428, the region was raided by a Burgundian army under Antoine de Vergy,[40] who set fire to the town and destroyed its crops.[41]

It was during this period that Joan had her first vision.[42] Joan testified that when she was thirteen, around 1425, a figure she identified as Saint Michael surrounded by angels appeared to her in her father's garden.[43] After the vision, she reported weeping because she wanted them to take her with them.[44] Throughout her life, she continued to have visions of Saint Michael, as well as Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret.[45][d] In 1428, a young man from her village took her to court on the allegation that she had broken a promise of marriage, which was brought before the local bishop in the city of Toul. The bishop dismissed the suit after ruling in her favor.[47]

The English began their siege at Orléans in 1428. It was one of the few remaining cities still loyal to Charles VII and an important objective since it held a strategic position along the Loire River, which made it the last obstacle to an assault on the remainder of Charles' territory. The fate of Orléans was critical to the survival of the French kingdom,[48] and by the end of the year, it was completely surrounded.[49] At this time, Joan stated that her visions had told her that she must leave Domrémy and "go to France" (that is, the core of the kingdom still controlled by Charles' faction) to help the Dauphin.[50]

Around May 1428,[51] Joan asked a relative named Durand Laxart to take her to the nearby town of Vaucouleurs, where she petitioned the garrison commander, Robert de Baudricourt, for an armed escort to take her to the French Royal Court at Chinon. Baudricourt's sarcastic response did not deter her.[52] She returned the following January, requested an audience and was once more refused.[53] In the meantime, she gained support from two of Baudricourt's soldiers: Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy.[54] In February, around the time the French were defeated at Battle of the Herrings when they tried to intercept a convoy providing supplies to English troops for the siege of Orléans, Metz and Poulengy were able to obtain for Joan a third interview with Baudricourt. Their enthusiastic support for her[55] as well as her personal conversations with him,[56] convinced Baudricourt to give her permission to travel for an audience with the Dauphin.[57] Joan traveled to Chinon with a small escort of six soldiers.[58] Before heading out, Metz asked her if she was going to travel through hostile Burgundian territory in her dress, but she agreed to switch to a soldier's outfit,[59] Her escorts and the people of Vaucouleurs provided her with the clothing.[60] Around this time she adopted the designation "Joan the Maiden [or Virgin]" ("Jehanne la Pucelle" in 15th-century French), based on the vow of virginity which she said she had taken.[61]


Late 15th-century depiction of the siege of Orléans of 1429, from Les Vigiles de Charles VII by Martial d'Auvergne

Joan's first meeting with Charles VII took place at the Royal Court in the town of Chinon in late February or early March 1429.[e] She was aged seventeen[62] and Charles twenty-six.[63] Charles had hidden himself in the crowd among members of the court, but Joan quickly identified and approached him.[64] Joan told him that she had come to raise the siege of Orléans and to lead him to Reims for his coronation.[65] They also had a private exchange that made a strong impression on Charles,[f] but Charles and his council needed more assurance.[68] They sent her to Poitiers to be examined by a council of theologians to verify her morality and ensure her orthodoxy. The council declared her a good Catholic and a good person.[69] The theologians at Poitiers did not render a decision on the source of Joan's inspiration, but agreed that sending her to Orléans could be useful to the king[70] and would test if her inspiration was of divine origin.[71] Afterwards, she was sent on to Tours, where she was physically examined by women directed by Charles' mother-in-law Yolande of Aragon, who verified her virginity.[72][g] After her examinations, the dauphin commissioned plate armor for her, she received a banner of her own design, and had a sword brought for her from underneath the altar in the church at Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois.[76]

Joan in dress facing left in profile, holding banner in right hand and sheathed sword in the left hand.
Drawing of Joan of Arc by Clément de Fauquembergue, a registrar of the Parliament of Paris[77][h]

Joan effectively turned the longstanding Anglo-French conflict into a religious war.[79] While at Poitiers, for example, Joan had dictated a letter to the Duke of Bedford warning him that she was sent by God to drive him out of France.[80][i] Before Joan's arrival, the French strategic situation was bad but not hopeless.[82] The French forces in Orléans were prepared to survive a prolonged siege,[83] the Burgundians had recently withdrawn from participating in the siege due to disagreements about territory,[84] and the English felt unsure about continuing it.[79] But the French leadership had a "loser's mentality".[85] The French court's acceptance of Joan's role may have been taken out of desperation,[86] but her effect on morale was immediate.[87] Even before she joined the army, her presence created devotion and the hope of divine assistance,[88] and even news of her coming may have encouraged the people of Orléans to continue their resistance.[89]

When Joan and the forces with her set off to Orléans, she was initially treated as a figurehead to raise morale.[90] Throughout her military career Joan would fulfill this role.[91] She said she carried her banner on the battlefield rather than fighting and had never killed anyone.[92] She gained the faith of the Armagnac troops, who believed she was capable of bringing them victory.[93] Though the army was commanded by noblemen, eventually many of them often accepted the advice she gave them,[94][j] particularly her emphasis on rapid offensive action.[95] Some of the commanders said that she had an uncanny ability for performing tasks such as assembling the army and arranging the disposition of troops and artillery.[96]

Military campaigns


Coat of Arms of Jeanne d'Arc.svg Joan of Arc
Jeanne d'Arc - Les vies des femmes célèbres.jpg
Joan on horseback in a 1505 illustration
AllegianceKingdom of France
ConflictHundred Years' War
Major battles and notable locations
[Interactive fullscreen map]
  Orléans & Loire Campaign
  March to Reims & Siege of Paris
  Campaign against Perrinet Gressard
  Notable locations

Joan arrived at the besieged city of Orléans on 29 April 1429, meeting the commander Jean de Dunois,[97] acting head of the ducal family of Orléans on behalf of his captive half-brother.[98] At this point, Orléans was not completely cut off, and Dunois was able to get her into the city, where her arrival was greeted with great enthusiasm.[99] But Joan was not given any formal command,[100] was excluded from military councils,[101] and was kept unaware of the Armagnac strategic plans for relieving Orléans.[102]

The appearance of Joan of Arc at Orléans coincided with a change in the pattern of the siege. The last attempt that had been made by the defenders to lift the siege had been during the previous January, and this attempt had ended in defeat.[103] Within days of her arrival, the Armagnacs returned to the offensive. On 4 May, the Armagnacs attacked the outlying fortress of Saint Loup (bastille de Saint-Loup). Joan had not initially been informed of the attack, but once she learned of it, she quickly mounted a horse and rode out with her banner to the site of the battle a mile east of Orléans. She arrived just as the Armagnac soldiers were retreating after a failed attempt. Her sudden appearance caused the soldiers to give out a cheer and engage in another assault, which took the fortress.[104] On 5 May, no combat occurred since it was Ascension Thursday, a feast Joan deemed too holy for fighting. Instead, she told a scribe to record a letter to the English warning them to leave France. She had it tied to an arrow that was shot by a crossbowman.[105]

On the next day, 6 May, the Armagnac forces captured Saint-Jean-le-Blanc, which the English had deserted.[106] The Armagnac commanders had decided not to attack further that day, but Joan encouraged them to launch an assault against an English fortress built around a monastery called les Augustins.[107] which was successfully captured by the Armagnacs.[108]

Armagnac troops maintained positions on the south bank on the night of 6 May. Once again, Armagnac commanders suggested returning to the defensive,[109] but Joan argued for immediate offensive action. The commanders attacked the main English stronghold, called les Tourelles, on the morning of 7 May. Joan was wounded by an arrow between the neck and shoulder while holding her banner in the trench outside the wall on the south bank of the river, but later returned to encourage a final assault that succeeded in taking the fortress.[110] The following day (8 May), the English retreated from Orléans, ending the siege.[111]

At Chinon, Joan had declared that she was sent by God.[112] At Poitiors, when she was asked to show a sign demonstrating this claim, she was recorded as replying that it would be given if she were brought to Orleans. The lifting of the siege was interpreted by many people to be that sign,[113] and prominent clergy such as Jacques Gelu, Archbishop of Embrun,[114] and the theologian Jean Gerson[115] wrote treatises in support of Joan immediately following this event.[116] In contrast, the English saw the ability of this peasant girl to defeat their armies as proof she was possessed by the Devil.[117]

Loire Campaign

The sudden victory at Orléans opened up a number of strategic possibilities, and many Armagnac leaders favored an invasion of Normandy.[118] But Joan advocated that the Armagnac forces should advance without delay toward Reims so the Dauphin could be crowned.[119] Charles was persuaded and allowed her to accompany the army, which was under the command of troops led by John II, Duke of Alençon.[120] the Duke of Alençon would collaboratively work with Joan, regularly heeding her advice.[121] Before they could advance toward Reims, Joan and the Duke of Alençon were first required to clear the way between Chinon and Orleans by recapturing the bridge-towns along the Loire: Jargeau, Meung-sur-Loire, and Beaugency.[122]

The political debates about strategy,[123] as well as the need to recruit additional soldiers,[124] delayed the start of Joan and the Duke of Alençon's campaign to clear the Loire towns until June. The Armagnac forces arrived at Jargeau on 11 June,[125] and forced the English to withdraw into the town's walls. Joan sent a message to the English to surrender, but they refused.[126] Joan then advocated that the Armagnac forces should directly storm the city walls, which was done the next day.[127] During the assault, the Duke of Alençon credited her with saving his life when she warned him that a cannon on the walls was about to fire at him.[128] Joan was struck by a stone, which was deflected by her helmet, as she stood beneath the town wall.[129] By the end of the day, the town was taken and the English were utterly defeated. The French took few prisoners and many of the English who did surrender were executed.[130] The Armagnac army then advanced on Meung-sur-Loire. On 15 June, they took control of the town's bridge across the Loire, and the English garrison withdrew to a castle in the town on the north bank of the Loire.[131] The majority of the army continued on the south bank of the Loire to Beaugency and besieged the castle there.[132]

Late 15th-century miniature from Vigiles du roi Charles VII. The citizens of Troyes hand over the city keys to the Dauphin and Joan.

In the meantime, the English army from Paris, under the command of Sir John Fastolf, had linked up with the garrison in Meung and was heading on the north bank of the Loire to relieve Beaugency.[133] But the English garrison in Beaugency, who were unaware of the presence of Fastolf's army, agreed to surrender the castle and evacuate the garrison on 18 June.[134] The English army then withdrew from the Loire Valley and began retreating north toward Paris the same day. Joan urged the Armagnacs to pursue, and the two armies clashed southwest of the village of Patay.

The Battle of Patay was fought on 18 June. Talbot, the overall English commander, had prepared his forces to receive a charge like the one launched by over-confident French at Agincourt and ambush them with hidden archers.[135] Instead, the Armagnac vanguard detected the archers and scattered them. A rout ensued that decimated the main body of the English army. Fastolf escaped with a small band of soldiers, but many of the English leaders were captured.[136] Although Joan arrived at the battlefield too late to participate in the decisive action of this battle,[137] it was her encouragement to pursue the English[138] that made the victory possible.[139]

March to Reims and Siege of Paris

Coronation of Charles VII at Reims Cathedral, in the presence of Joan of Arc and armoured men-at-arms (15th century)

After the Battle of Patay, the Armagnac leadership was divided on how to exploit the destruction of the English army. Some argued against advancing on Reims,[140] which seemed like a strategic absurdity.[141] They once more argued for an invasion of Normandy[142] or further action to clear other crossings on the Loire held by the Burgundians.[140] But Joan insisted that Charles must be crowned,[143] and on 29 June, the army left Gien to march on Reims.[144] The advance was nearly unopposed.[145] The Burgundian-held city of Auxerre conditionally surrendered on 3 July after three days of negotiations.[146] Other towns in the army's path returned to Armagnac allegiance without resistance.[147] Troyes, which had a small garrison of English and Burgundian troops,[148] was the only one to put up even brief opposition. After four days of negotiation, Joan directed the placement of artillery at points around the city and ordered the soldiers to fill the town's moat with wood. Fearing an assault, Troyes negotiated terms of surrender,[149] which allowed the English and Burgundian troops to freely leave the city.[150] Reims opened its gates on 16 July 1429. Charles, Joan and the army entered in the evening, and Charles's consecration took place the following morning.[151] Joan was accorded a place of honor,[152] and during the ceremony she announced that God's will had been fulfilled.[153]

After the coronation, the royal court negotiated a truce of fifteen days with the Duke of Burgundy,[154] who promised he would try to arrange the transfer of Paris to the Armagnacs while continuing negotiations for a more definitive peace.[155] At the end of the truce, Philip, who had been fêted in Paris by the Duke of Bedford around this time,[156] reneged on his promises.[157] Joan and the Duke of Alençon favored a quick march on Paris,[158] but the divisions in Charles' court,[k] which was also negotiating with Burgundy, led to a slow and erratic advance.[36] Nevertheless, as the Armagnac army advanced, many of the towns in its path surrendered without a fight.[160]

As the Armagnac army approached Paris, the English forces under the Duke of Bedford confronted them near Montépilloy on 15 August. The Duke of Bedford dug in and created a fortified position that the Armagnac commanders thought were too strong to assault. Joan personally rode out in front of the English positions in an attempt to provoke them to attack, but they refused, resulting in a standoff.[161] The English retreated the following day.[162] The Armagnacs continued their advance and launched an assault on Paris on 8 September.[163] During the assault, Joan was wounded in the leg from a crossbow bolt. She remained in the inner trench beneath Paris's walls until she was rescued after nightfall.[164] The following morning the assault on Paris was broken off. The Armagnacs had suffered 1,500 casualties.[165] In September, Charles disbanded the army, and Joan was permanently prevented from working with the Duke of Alençon.[166]

Campaign against Perrinet Gressard

In October, Joan was sent as part of a force to attack the territory of Perrinet Gressart, a mercenary who had served the Burgundians and English.[167] The army then besieged Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier, which fell after Joan encouraged a direct assault on 4 November. The army then made an unsuccessful attempt to take La-Charité-sur-Loire in November and December.[168] At the end of December Joan returned to court,[169] where she learned that she and her family had been ennobled by Charles as a reward for her services to him and the kingdom.[170][l]


Joan captured by the Burgundians at Compiègne. Mural in the Panthéon, Paris, circa 1886–1890

Before the attack on Paris, Charles had negotiated a four-month truce with the Burgundians[172] and it had been extended until Easter 1430.[173] Because of this truce, there was little for Joan to do between January and March, 1430.[174] In March, the Duke of Burgundy began to reclaim towns that had been ceded to him by treaty but had not submitted to his control.[175] Many of these towns were in areas which the Armagnacs had recaptured over the previous few months.[176] Compiègne was one of these. It refused to submit to the Duke of Burgundy and prepared for a siege.[177] In the same month, Joan set out with a company of volunteers to relieve Compiègne.[178][m]

Joan arrived at the town of Melun, which expelled its Burgundian garrison and received Joan's forces.[182] As Joan advanced, her modest force became larger with the additions of commanders such as the Count of Vendôme with his troops, and a group of 200 mercenaries led by Bartholomew Baretta.[183] The group then went to Lagny and won a battle against an Anglo-Burgundian force commanded by the mercenary Franquet d'Arras.[184] Joan's forces finally arrived at Compiègne on 14 May.[185] After a number of defensive forays against the Burgundian besiegers,[186] Joan was forced to disband the majority of her force because it had become too difficult for the surrounding countryside to support it.[187] Joan and about 400 of her remaining soldiers then entered Compiègne.[188]

On 23 May 1430, Joan accompanied an Armagnac force which sortied from the city in an attempt to attack the Burgundian camp at Margny, northeast of Compiègne. The force was defeated and Joan was captured.[189][n] She agreed to surrender to a pro-Burgundian nobleman named Lyonnel de Wandomme, a member of Jean de Luxembourg's contingent.[191][o]

After Joan was captured, Luxembourg quickly moved her to his castle at Beaulieu-les-Fontaines near Noyes.[194] After her first attempt to escape, she was transferred to Beaurevoir Castle.[195] She made another attempt to escape while there,[196] jumping from a window of a 70-foot (21 m) tower, landing in a dry moat.[197] In November, she was moved to the Burgundian town of Arras.[198]

The English negotiated with their Burgundian allies to pay Joan's ransom and transfer her to their custody. Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvais, an English partisan, assumed a prominent role in these negotiations and her later trial.[199] The final agreement called for the English to pay the sum of 10,000 livres tournois to obtain her from Luxembourg.[200] After the English paid the ransom, they moved Joan to Rouen, which served as their main headquarters in France.[201][p]


The keep of the castle of Rouen, surviving remnant of the fortress where Joan was imprisoned during her trial. It has since become known as the "Joan of Arc Tower".

Joan was put on trial for heresy[204] on 9 January 1431 at Rouen.[205] Although Joan's captors aimed to downplay the secular aspects of her trial by submitting her judgment to an ecclesiastical court,[206] the trial was politically motivated.[207] Both the English and Burgundians rejoiced that Joan had been removed as a military threat,[208] fearing her because she appeared to have supernatural powers that undermined morale.[209] She also posed a political threat. Joan testified that her voices had instructed her to defeat the English and crown Charles, and her success was argued to be evidence Joan was acting on behalf of God.[210] If unchallenged, her testimony would invalidate the English claim to the rule of France[211] and undermine the University of Paris,[212] which supported the dual monarchy ruled by an English king.[213]

Her guilt could also be used to compromise Charles's claims to legitimacy by showing that he had been consecrated by the act of a heretic.[214] Cauchon served as the ordinary judge of the trial,[215] and Jean Le Maître was the Vice-Inquisitor who represented the Inquisitor of France, Jean Graverent[216][q]

The verdict was a foregone conclusion.[220] Cauchon was a partisan supporter of the Duke of Burgundy and the English crown.[221] The English Crown subsidized the cost of the trial,[222] and paid both Cauchon[223] and Le Maître[224] for their participation in the trial. The clergy who participated in the trial were pro-Burgundian and pro-English,[225][r] over two-thirds of whom were associated with the pro-English University of Paris,[227].

Cauchon attempted to follow correct inquisitorial procedure,[228] but the trial had many irregularities.[229] Although Joan should have been in the hands of the church during the trial and guarded by women,[230] she was imprisoned by the English and guarded by ordinary soldiers under the service of the Duke of Bedford.[231] Contrary to canon law, Cauchon had not established Joan's infamy (charges) before proceeding with the trial process.[232] Joan was not read the charges against her until well after her interrogations began.[233] The interrogation procedures were below inquisitorial standards,[234] subjecting Joan to lengthy interrogations[235] without legal counsel.[236] There is evidence that the trial records were falsified.[237][s]

Joan of Arc interrogated in her prison cell by the Cardinal of Winchester, by Hippolyte Delaroche, 1824, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, France

During the trial, Joan showed remarkable control.[240] Some of her requests, such as having her fetters removed,[241] allowing a more balanced tribunal by adding clerics from the pro-Armaganac side,[242] and her appeal to the pope,[243] were denied by the judge. But she was able to induce her interrogators to ask questions sequentially rather than simultaneously, refer back to their records when appropriate, and end the sessions when she requested.[244] Witnesses at the trial were impressed by her prudence when answering the questions posed to her.[245] For example, in one exchange she was asked if she knew she was in God's grace. The question was meant as a scholarly trap, as church doctrine held that nobody could be certain of being in God's grace. Thus, if she answered positively, she would have been charged with heresy; if negatively, she would have confessed her own guilt. Joan avoided the trap by stating that if she was not in God's grace, she hoped God would put her there, and if she were in God's grace then she hoped she would remain so.[246][t] To convince her to submit, Joan was shown the instruments of torture. When Joan refused to be intimidated, Cauchon met with about a dozen assessors (clerical jurors) to vote whether she should be tortured. Though three voted in favor, the majority decided against it.[248]

On 23 May, Joan was given the formal admonition of the court using the twelve articles of accusation that summarized the court's allegation that Joan was guilty of heresy.[249] The next day, Joan was taken out to the churchyard of the abbey of Saint-Ouen for public condemnation. As Cauchon began to read the sentence of condemnation, Joan agreed to abjure.[250][u] Joan signed the abjuration document she was given, which she was not able to understand as she was illiterate[252] and most of it was written in Latin.[253][v]


Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake, by Hermann Stilke (1843)

Public heresy was a capital crime,[255] in which an unrepentant or relapsed heretic could be given over to the judgment of the secular courts and punished by death.[256] Having signed the abjuration statement, Joan could not be put to death as an unrepentant heretic. But she could be put to death if she was convicted of a relapse,[257] returning to the same heresy she abjured.[258] As part of her abjuration, Joan was required to renounce wearing men's clothes.[259] She exchanged her clothes for a woman's dress and allowed her head to be shaved.[260]

After Joan signed the abjuration, the English did not let her out of their custody.[261] She was returned to the English prison instead of being taken to an ecclesiastical one,[262] and remained chained in her cell.[263] Witnesses at the rehabilitation trial stated that Joan was subjected to mistreatment and rape attempts, including one by an English noble.[264] They also stated that guards placed men's clothes in her cell, forcing her to wear them.[265] Cauchon was notified that Joan had resumed wearing male clothing. He sent clerics to admonish her to remain in submission, but the English prevented them from visiting her.[266]

On 28 May, Cauchon personally went to Joan's cell, along with a number of other clerics. According to the trial record, Joan said that she had gone back to a soldier's outfit because it was more fitting that she dress like a man while being held with male guards, and the judges had broken their promise to let her go to mass and to release her from her chains. She stated that if they fulfilled their promises and placed her in a decent prison, she would be obedient.[267] When Cauchon asked about her visions, Joan stated that they had blamed her for adjuring out of fear, but she would not deny them again. As Joan's abjuration had required her to deny her voices, this was sufficient to convict her of relapsing into heresy and to condemn her to death.[268] The next day, forty-two assessors were summoned to decide Joan's fate. Two recommended that she be abandoned to the secular courts immediately. The remaining recommended that the abjuration be read to her again and explained.[269] But all voted unanimously that Joan was a relapsed heretic, and she was to be abandoned to the secular power, the English, for punishment.[270]

On 30 May 1431, Joan was executed at the age of about nineteen years old. In the morning, she was allowed to receive the sacraments despite having been excommunicated.[271] Afterwards, she was directly taken to Rouen's Vieux-Marché (Old Marketplace), where she was publicly read her sentence of condemnation.[272] At this point, she should have been turned over to the appropriate authority, the bailiff of Rouen, for secular sentencing but she was not. Instead, she was delivered directly to the English[273][w] and tied to a tall plastered pillar for execution by burning.[274] She requested to view a cross as she died. She was given one fashioned from a stick by an English soldier, which she kissed and placed next to her chest.[275] A processional crucifix was fetched from the church of Saint-Saveur. She embraced it before her hands were bound, and Friar Isambart de la Pierre held it before her eyes during her execution.[276] After she died, the English raked back the coals to expose her charred body so that no one could claim she had escaped alive. Her remains were cast into the Seine River.[277]

Aftermath and rehabilitation trial

Joan's execution did not help the English in the long run, as they never regained their previous momentum after 1429. This was a turning point in the Hundred Years' War, marking a permanent decline in English fortunes.[278] Charles retained legitimacy as the king of France,[279] despite a rival coronation held for the ten-year-old Henry VI of England at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on 16 December 1431.[280] In 1435, the Burgundians agreed to abandon their alliance with England by signing the Treaty of Arras[281] one week after the death of the English regent, the Duke of Bedford.[282] The war did not end until after the Battle of Castillon in 1453,[283] twenty-two years after Joan's execution, when the English were removed from all of France except for Calais.[284]

Pope Callixtus III was instrumental in ordering the rehabilition of Joan of Arc in 1455 after receiving a petition from her family.

Joan's execution had created a political liability for Charles, as it implied that his consecration as the king of France had been achieved through the actions of a heretic.[285] On 15 February 1450, a few months after he regained Rouen, Charles had ordered Guillaume Bouillé, a theologian and former rector of the University of Paris, to open an inquest.[286] In a brief investigation, Bouillé interviewed seven witnesses of Joan's trial and concluded that the judgment of Joan as a heretic was arbitrary. She had been a prisoner of war treated as a political prisoner, and was put to death without basis.[287] Bouillé's report could not officially overturn the verdict but it opened the way for the later retrial.[288]

In 1452 a second inquest into Joan's trial was opened by Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville, papal legate and relative of Charles, and Jean Bréhal, who had recently been appointed Inquisitor of France.[289] Around twenty witnesses were interviewed by Bréhal,[290] and the inquest was guided by twenty-seven articles describing how Joan's trial had been biased.[x] Immediately after the inquest was completed, Guillaume d'Estouteville went to Orléans on 9 June and granted an indulgence (remission of temporal punishment for sin) to those who participated in the 8 May procession and ceremonies in Joan's honor that commemorated the lifting of the siege.[291]

The inquest still lacked the authority to change the judgement of Joan's trial, but for the next two years d'Estouteville and Bréhal continued to work on the case.[292] Bréhal forwarded a petition from Joan's mother, Isabelle, and Joan's two brothers Jean and Pierre to Pope Nicholas V in 1454.[293] Bréhal submitted a summary of his findings to theologians and lawyers in France and Italy,[294] as well as one to a professor at the University of Vienna,[295] most of whom gave opinions favorable to Joan.[296] In early 1455, Pope Nicholas V died, and Callixtus III became pope. Callixtus granted permission for a rehabilitation trial and appointed three commissioners to oversee the affair: Jean Juvénal des Ursins, archbishop of Reims; Guillaume Chartier, bishop of Paris; and Richard Olivier de Longueil, bishop of Coutances.[297] In turn, they chose Bréhal to serve as Inquisitor.[298]

The trial began on 7 November 1455 at Notre Dame Cathedral when Joan's mother publicly delivered a formal request for her daughter's rehabilitation.[299] During the course of the rehabilitation trial, the depositions of about 115 witnesses were processed.[300] The trial came to an end on 7 July 1456 at Rouen Cathedral. The court declared that the original trial was unjust, malicious, slanderous, fraudulent and deceitful; Joan's trial, abjuration, execution and their consequences were declared nullified.[301] To symbolically emphasize the court's decision, one of the copies of the Articles of Accusation was formally torn up. The court also decreed that a cross should be erected on the site of where Joan was burned.[302][y]


A 1903 engraving of Joan of Arc by Albert Lynch featured in the Figaro Illustré magazine

Joan of Arc became a semi-legendary figure during the four centuries following her death and is one of the most-studied people in Middle Ages,[304] in part because her two trials have provided a wealth of primary source material about her.[305]

Early legacy

Joan's legacy began to form before her death. Just after Charles's consecration at Reims in 1429, the poet Christine de Pizan wrote her last known poem, Ditié de Jehanne D'Arc,[z] celebrating Joan as a supporter of Charles sent by Divine Providence.[306] As early as 1429, Orléans began holding a celebration in honor of the raising of the siege.[307] After Joan's execution, her important role in the victory helped encourage popular support for her rehabilition.[308] Eventually, Joan's role became a central part of the celebration, and a play was written, Mistère du siège d'Orléans [Mystery of the Siege of Orléans],[309][aa] which features her as the vehicle of the divine will that liberated Orléans.[312] Her celebration by the city continues to this day.[313] Around 1500, she was already the subject of a biography, which had been commissioned by Louis XII.[314][ab]

Symbol of France

By the time of Joan's rehabilitation trial, she had already become a symbol of France.[315] She was a warrior,[316] whose leadership helped restore the kingdom of France.[ac] Her early legacy was closely associated with the divine right of the monarchy to rule France.[318] In the twentieth century, her association with the monarchy and national liberation has been used to make her a symbol for the French far-right, including the monarchist movement Action Française[319] and the National Front Party.[320] Joan's image has been used by the entire spectrum of French politics,[321] and during the Third Republic, there was a patriotic civic holiday held in her honor.[322] To the present day, Joan remains an important reference in political dialogue regarding French identity and unity.[323]

During the French Revolution, Joan's reputation came into question because of her association with the monarchy and religion,[324] and the festival in her honor held at Orléans was suspended in 1793.[325] But in 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte authorized the renewal of the festival[326] and the creation of a new statue of her at Orléans, extolling Joan as representing the genius of the French people in the face of a threat to their national independence.[327] Since that time, she has played a prominent role as the symbolic defender of France. After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Joan became a rallying point for a new crusade to reclaim Lorraine, the province of her birth,[328] In World War I, her image was used to inspire victory.[329] During World War II, she became the personification of all sides of the French cause:[330] a symbol for Philippe Pétain in Vichy France,[331] a model for Charles DeGaulle's leadership of the Free French,[332] and an example for the communist resistance.[333] A series of French warships have been named for her.[334]

Saint and martyr

Joan is a virgin saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Until the 1800s, Joan's role as a religious figure was acknowledged by the people of Orléans, whose clerics annually pronounced a panegyric on her behalf.[335] Félix Dupanloup initiated Joan's beatification. When he became bishop of Orléans in 1849, he delivered a panegyric on Joan that attracted international attention.[336] In 1869, he had petition for Joan's beatification sent to Rome.[337] She was beatified in 1909, and canonized on 16 May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.[338] Her feast day is 30 May, the anniversary of her execution.[339] In an apostolic letter delivered on 2 March 1922, Pope Pius XI declared Joan a secondary patron saint of France.[340]

By the time of her death, Joan was already being recognized as a martyr.[341] As Bréhal, the Inquisitor in her rehabilitation trial, approvingly acknowledges,[342] Joan had stated that her visions told her she would undergo martyrdom.[343] Though she was not canonized as one,[344][ad] she continues to be popularly revered as a martyr[346] who suffered for her modesty and purity,[347] her country,[348] and her faith.[349]

Joan's legacy as a religious figure extends beyond the Catholic Church. She is remembered as a visionary in the Church of England with a commemoration on 30 May.[2] She is revered in the pantheon of the Cao Dai religion.[350]

Heroic woman

Joan of Arc statue in Orléans, by Denis Foyatier, 1855
Jeanne d'Arc, a gilded bronze equestrian statue exhibited at the Place des Pyramides in Paris, by Emmanuel Frémiet, 1874

While Joan was alive, she was already being compared to biblical women heroes, such as Esther, Judith, and Deborah.[351] She fulfilled the traditionally male role of a military leader,[352] while maintaining her status as a brave and valiant woman.[353] Her claim of virginity, which signified her virtue and sincerity,[354] was upheld by women of status from both the Armagnac and Burgundian-English sides of the Hundred Years' War: Yolande of Aragon, Charles's mother-in-law, and Anne of Burgundy, Duchess of Bedford.[355] Joan has been described as representing the best qualities of both sexes. She heeded her inner experience,[356] fought for what she believed in,[357] and encouraged others to do the same.[358]

Cultural legacy

Joan remains a major cultural figure. In the nineteenth century, hundreds of work of art about her—including biographies, plays, and musical scores—were created in France, and her story became popular as an artistic subject in Europe and North America.[359] She is the topic of thousands of books.[360] Her legacy has become global, as her story inspires novels, plays, poems, operas, films, paintings, children's books, advertising, computer games, comics and popular culture across the world.[361]


Jeanne d'Arc, by Eugène Thirion (1876). Late 19th century images such as this often had political undertones because of French territorial cessions to Germany in 1871. (Chautou, Church of Notre Dame).

According to the trial record, Joan's assertion that she was once more heeding her visions after she had abjured them was what condemned her to death as a heretic.[362] The source of those visions remains a topic of speculation to the present. In Joan's time, medieval theologians assumed that visions could have a divine source.[363] During Joan's trial, the assessors did not treat her visions as hallucinations.[364] They focused on determining the specific source of her visions[365] using an ecclesiastical form of discretio spirituum (discernment of spirits).[366] Because she was condemned as a heretic, they sought to show that her visions were false.[367] The rehabilitation trial did not clarify the issue. Though it nullified Joan's sentence, it did not declare her visions authentic.[368][ae] In 1894 Pope Leo XIII declared that Joan's mission was divinely inspired, and by the end of her canonization trial in 1903, her visions were seen as part of that mission.[369]

Contemporary scholars have given neurological and psychiatric causes as the source of her visions.[370] Her visions have been conjectured to be hallucinations arising from epilepsy[371] or a temporal lobe tuberculoma.[372] Others have also implicated ergot poisoning,[373] schizophrenia,[374] and delusional disorder.[375] It has been argued that Joan's visions were a product of creative psychopathy induced by her early childhood rearing[376] or that they were partly an artifact produced by the interrogation of her assessors during her trial.[377][af] One of the Promotors of the Faith at her 1903 canonization trial suggested her voices may have been manifestations of hysteria.[378] None of these explanations has strong support, and each has been challenged.[ag]

Though the source of Joan's visions has not been conclusively identified, her belief that her visions came from God strengthened her resolve,[380] allowed her to trust herself,[372] gave her confidence as a military leader,[381] and provided hope during her capture and trial.[382]


Gunn Wållgren as Joan of Arc in armor, 1948

From the time of her journey to Chinon to her abjuration, Joan usually wore men's clothes.[383] She also cropped her hair in a male fashion.[384] When she left Vaucouleurs to see the Dauphin in Chinon, Joan was said to have worn a black doublet, a black tunic, and a short black cap.[385] By the time of her capture, she had acquired a more elaborate outfit.[ah] Joan stated that it was her own choice to wear men's clothes.[387] She did so not at the request of men but by the command of God and his angels.[388] She stated she would return to wearing women's clothes when she fulfilled her calling.[389]

Joan's cross-dressing became one of the principle articles in her accusation at her trial.[390] In the view of the assessors, her cross-dressing was the emblem of her heresy.[391] Joan's final condemnation began when she was found to have resumed wearing men's clothes,[392] which was taken as an overt sign that she had relapsed by listening to her voices again.[393] During her trial, Joan is not recorded as giving a practical reason why she cross-dressed; rather, she dismissed the issue.[394] When she resumed wearing men's clothes after her abjuration, she is recorded as saying that she preferred those clothes and it was more appropriate to be dressed in them if she was to be attended by male guards.[395]

Though Joan's cross-dressing played a role in her execution, the Church's position on it was not clear. In general, cross-dressing was seen as a sin, but there was not agreement about its severity.[396] Exceptions were also allowed. For example, Thomas Aquinas argued that a woman may wear man's clothes to hide herself from enemies or when other clothes are lacking.[397] Joan was in the former situation when she rode through enemy territory to get to Chinon,[398] and she was in the latter situation after her abjuration when all she had available were men's clothes.[399] Soon after the siege of Orléans had been lifted, Jean Gerson claimed that Joan's male clothes and haircut were appropriate for her calling, as she exposed herself as a warrior and men's clothes were more practical.[400]

Other reasons for Joan's cross-dressing have been suggested. It has been argued that it may have helped her maintain her virginity by deterring rape[401][ai] and signalling her unavailability as a sexual object.[403] Joan's cross-dressing may have also functioned as a symbol of her identity[404] and uniqueness.[405] For most of her active life, Joan did not cross-dress to hide her gender.[406] Rather, it may have drawn attention to her as La Pucelle, a role that was neither male nor female,[407] but a model of virtue that inspired people to follow her.[408]

Alleged relics

Helmeted head from a late Gothic statue of a saint, which was once held to have been modeled after Joan of Arc.[409][aj]

In 1867, a jar was found in a Paris pharmacy with the inscription "Remains found under the stake of Joan of Arc, virgin of Orleans." They consisted of a charred human rib, carbonized wood, a piece of linen, and a cat femur—explained as the practice of throwing black cats onto the pyre of witches. Beginning in 2006, a forensic study including carbon-14 dating and spectroscopic analyses was performed. The researchers determined that the remains came from the balm of an Egyptian mummy from the sixth to the third century BC.[411]

In March 2016, a ring believed to have been worn by Joan was sold at auction to the Puy du Fou, a historical theme park, for £300,000.[412] There is no conclusive proof that she owned the ring, but its unusual design matches Joan's own words about her own ring at her trial.[413] The ring was reportedly obtained by Cardinal Henry Beaufort, who attended Joan's trial and execution in 1431.[414] Arts Council England later determined the ring should not have left the United Kingdom. The purchasers appealed to Queen Elizabeth II, and the ring was allowed to remain in France.[415]

Revisionist theories

The standard accounts of Joan's life have been challenged by revisionist authors. Claims include: that Joan of Arc was not actually burned at the stake;[416] that she was secretly the half sister of King Charles VII;[417] that she was a member of a pagan cult;[418] and that most of her story is a myth.[419]



  1. ^ Her name was written in a variety of ways, particularly before the mid-19th century. Her last name was often spelled "Darc" without the apostrophe,[3] and her signature appears as "Jehanne".[4]
  2. ^ At her trial, Joan seemed uncertain of her birthdate: "interrogata cujus aetatais ipsa erat, respondit quod, prout sibit vedetur, est quasi xix annorum. [Translation: "asked what her age was, she replied that, her guess was that she was almost 19 years old".][5] Perceval de Boulainvilliers, a councillor of Charles VII, wrote a letter to the Duke of Milan stating that Joan was born on the feast of the Epiphany (6 January),[6] but his letter is filled with literary tropes that make it questionable as a statement of fact.[7] Neither Joan's mother nor the witnesses at the rehabilitation trial mention her being born on Epiphany.[8]
  3. ^ The woman was Isabeau of Bavaria, who was blamed for the Treaty of Troyes.[33]
  4. ^ Joan did not not specify which Saints Margaret and Catherine were in her visions, but most scholars assume she was referring to Margaret of Antioch and Catherine of Alexandria.[46]
  5. ^ Some historians put the time in February (e.g., Castor 2015, p. 3;Vale 1974, p. 46). Others in March (e.g., Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 22). See Lowell 1896, p. 62, footenote 1 for a discussion of the ambiguity.
  6. ^ Some writers have argued that Joan eased his mind about the legitimacy of his birth,[66] but others question this possibility.[67]
  7. ^ The examination of Joan's virginity was to establish if she was indeed the prophesied virgin[73] who would save France, to show the purity of her devotion,[74] and to ensure there was no chance she had consorted with the Devil.[75]
  8. ^ Fauquembergue's doodle on the margin of a Parliament's register, dated 10 May 1429, is the only known contemporary representation of Joan. This artist's impression is fanciful as he drew her wearing long hair and a dress rather than in her armor.[78]
  9. ^ Joan was illiterate and it is believed that her letters were dictated by her to scribes and she signed her letters with the help of others.[81]
  10. ^ For examples of cases in which the commanders accepted her advice, see DeVries 1999, p. 103;Pernoud 1962, pp. 110, 113–114, 117.
  11. ^ Joan's preference for quick action was undermined by two of Charles's counselors, Georges de La Trémoille and Regnault de Chartres, both of whom preferred a negotiated peace with the Burgundians and resented Joan's influence at the court.[159]
  12. ^ Biographers Frances Gies and Vita Sackville-West state that when Joan's family was ennobled, the family name became "du Lys", after the fleur-de-lis of France.[171] The historians Régine Pernoud and Marie-Véronique Clin are more cautious in their conclusions, but state that Joan's brothers, Jean and Pierre both called themselves by that name later in life. (See Pernoud & Clin 1986, pp. 222, 235)
  13. ^ Joan set out without the explicit permission of Charles, who was still observing the truce.[179] This may have been a desperate act that could be seen as treason,[180] but it has been argued that she could not have launched the expedition without funding from the court.[181]
  14. ^ DeVries describes three different accounts of Joan's capture.[190]
  15. ^ Gies gives three sources for Joan's surrender to Wandomme, two of whom state that Joan offered him her parole and one that states she didn't.[192] Joan's testimony reads:"... si evaderet, nullus posset eam reprehendere quod fidem suam fregisset vel violasset, quia nulli unquam fidem dederat."[193] ["...if she were to escape, no one could blame her for having broken or violating her faith [parole], because she had never given her faith [parole] to anyone."] (cf., Gies 1981, p. 141)
  16. ^ Most biographers agree that there is little evidence that Charles tried to pay Joan's ransom, or that he tried to save her once she was transferred to the English.[202] However, historian Pierre Champion suggests that Charles did to rescue her.[203]
  17. ^ Witnesses at the rehabilitation trial stated that La Maître was hesitant to participate in the trial and the English threatened his life to force him to participate.[217] But he put his seal on the trial documents,[218] and his presence gave the trial inquisitorial authority.[219]
  18. ^ All but eight of the 131 clergy who participated in the trial were French.[226]
  19. ^ One of the clerics at the trial, Jean Lohier, stepped down from the trial and challenged it because he felt the testimony was coerced and its intention was to entrap Joan.[238] Nicholas de Houppeville challenged Cauchon's right to judge the trial and was jailed.[239]
  20. ^ The court notary Boisguillaume later testified that at the moment the court heard her reply,"Dequo responso interrogantes fuerunt multum stupefacti[247] [In this response, the interrogators were quite stupefied]".cf., Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 112
  21. ^ Some biographers state that Joan did not explicitly agree to abjure, only to submit to the court by signing the document given to her.[251]
  22. ^ The contents of the original abjuration are unknown as the court substituted a longer document in the official record.[254] Quicherat 1841a, pp. 446–448 provides the official record's text of the abjuration document, which is written in French. See Linder 2017 for an English translation.
  23. ^ Lightbody 1961, pp. 133–134 argues that the claim that Joan was executed without a secular sentence may have been due to the biases of the rehabilitation trial.
  24. ^ see Pernoud & Clin 1986, pp. 152–155 for a translation of the articles.
  25. ^ In his final summary of the trial, the Recollectio, Bréhal suggested that Cauchon and the assessors who supported him in prosecuting Joan could be guilty of heresy.[303]
  26. ^ See de Pizan 1497, pp. 41–50 for an English translation.
  27. ^ The extant version of the mystery play is thought to have been written sometime in the mid 1400s.[310] Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 243 date a version to 1435, but one may have been written to celebrate the rehabilitation of Joan in July 1456.[311]
  28. ^ See Anon. 1500 for an English translation.
  29. ^ The historian Larissa Taylor quotes Aeneas Sylvius Piccolimini, who later became Pope Pius II: "[Joan is] that astonishing and marvelous Maid who restored the kingdom of France".[317]
  30. ^ Benedict XV's papal bull Divina disponente (Benedict XV 1920) canonizes Joan as a Virgo [Virgin], not Virgo et Martyr [Virgin and Martyr].[345] For arguments given for not canonizing her as a martyr, see those made by the Promotor of the Faith Augustine Caprara (summarized in Kelly 1996, p. 206) during the inquisition that lead to her beatification in 1909, as well as those made by the Catholic theologian Jean Guitton (summarized in Guillemin 1970, p. 256).
  31. ^ Though Bréhal, the inquisitor at the rehabilitation trial, states that Joan "had very good reason always to trust her voices. For in very truth she was delivered, as they promised, from the prison of the body by martyrdom and a great victory: the victory of patience".[342]
  32. ^ Huizinga 1959, pp. 222–223 also suggests that Joan's visions may not have been named until her trial.
  33. ^ For example, Mackowiak 2007, pp. 138–129 points out problems with assuming Joan had schizophrenia, ergot poisoning or temporal lobe issues; Hughes 2005 disputes the conjecture that she had epilepsy; Nores & Yakovleff 1995 argue against her visions being caused by tuberculosis; Ratnasuriya 1986 questions definition of Joan as a creative psychopath; and one of Joan's advocates at the canonization trial pointed out that her case did not fulfill the clinical descriptions of hysteria.[379]
  34. ^ According to the trial record, she was accused of having "her hair her hair cropped short and round like a young fop's, she wore shirt, breeches, doublet, with hose joined together and fastened to the said doublet by 20 points, long leggings laced on the outside, a short mantle reaching to the knees, or therabouts, a close-cut cap, tightfitting boots, and buskins, long spurs, sword, dagger, breastplate, lance, and other arms in the style of a man-at-arms".[386]
  35. ^ Scholars have pointed out that when Joan was imprisoned, her clothes would have only been a minor deterrent as she was shackled most of the time.[402]
  36. ^ Playwright George Bernard Shaw surmises that Joan was the model for the sculpture.[410]


  1. ^ Contamine 2007, p. 199: Cette miniature du XVe siècle, très soignée (l'étendard correspond exactement à la description que Jeanne d'Arc elle-même en donnera lors de son procès) ... Mais c'est précisément cette exactitude, et cette coïncidence, trop belle pour être vraie, qui éveillent—ou plutôt auraient dû éveiller—les soupçons, ... Il n'est pas impossible que cette miniature provienne de la collection que Georges Spetz avait constituée." [This miniature from the 15th century, very neat (the banner corresponds exactly to the description that Joan of Arc herself will give during her trial) ... But it is precisely this exactitude, and this coincidence, too good to be true, which arouses—or rather should have aroused – suspicion, ...It is not impossible that this miniature comes from the collection of Georges Spetz.]]
  2. ^ a b The Calendar 2021.
  3. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, pp. 220–221.
  4. ^ , Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 81.
  5. ^ Quicherat 1841a, p. 46.
  6. ^ Lucie-Smith 1976, p. 6.
  7. ^ Gies 1981, p. 10; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 55; Warner 1981, p. 278.
  8. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 265.
  9. ^ Sackville-West 1936, p. 24.
  10. ^ DLP 2021: Domrémy-La-Pucelle est situé en Lorraine, dans l'ouest du département des Vosges ... dans la vallée de la Meuse. ["Domrémy-La-Pucelle is located in Lorraine, in the western part of the Vosges department ... in the Meuse valley."]; Gies 1981, p. 10.
  11. ^ DeVries 1999, p. 36; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 221.
  12. ^ Lowell 1896, pp. 19–20; Lucie-Smith 1976, p. 8.
  13. ^ DeVries 1999, p. 37; Vale 1974, p. 46.
  14. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 221.
  15. ^ Lowell 1896, pp. 19–20; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 221.
  16. ^ Lace 1994, p. 8.
  17. ^ Lace 1994, pp. 10–11.
  18. ^ Aberth 2000, pp. 85–86.
  19. ^ Seward 1982, pp. 143–144.
  20. ^ Burgundy Today 2012; Sackville-West 1936, p. 21.
  21. ^ Seward 1982, p. 144.
  22. ^ Barker 2009, p. 5.
  23. ^ DeVries 1999, pp. 19–22; Tuchman 1982, pp. 583–585.
  24. ^ Sizer 2007.
  25. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 168.
  26. ^ Barker 2009, pp. 26–27; Burne 1956, p. 142.
  27. ^ Russell 2014, p. [1].
  28. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 189.
  29. ^ Vale 1974, p. 32–33.
  30. ^ Egan 2019, p. 29.
  31. ^ DeVries 1999, pp. 27–28.
  32. ^ Barker 2009, p. 76.
  33. ^ Fraioli 2005, p. 60.
  34. ^ Fraioli 2005, p. 59.
  35. ^ Castor 2015, p. 89; Lowell 1896, pp. 15–16; Sackville-West 1936, pp. 24–25.
  36. ^ a b Lowell 1896.
  37. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 16; Sackville-West 1936, p. 25.
  38. ^ Gies 1981, p. 20; Lowell 1896, pp. 21–22.
  39. ^ Gies 1981, p. 20; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 266.
  40. ^ Lowell 1896, pp. 33–34; Pernoud & Clin 1986, pp. 16–17.
  41. ^ Barker 2009, p. 103; Richey 2003, p. 26.
  42. ^ Lowell 1896, p. 28.
  43. ^ Sackville-West 1936, pp. 53–54.
  44. ^ Barstow 1986, p. 22; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 113.
  45. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 113; Sackville-West 1936, p. 58; Sullivan 1996, p. 88.
  46. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 113; Sullivan 1996, pp. 88–89.
  47. ^ Gies 1981, p. 33; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 119; Warner 1981, p. 14.
  48. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 10.
  49. ^ DeVries 1999, p. 29.
  50. ^ Gies 1981, p. 30; Goldstone 2012, p. 98; Sackville-West 1936, p. 70.
  51. ^ Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 17.
  52. ^ DeVries 1999, pp. 40–41.
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  359. ^ Dunn 2021, p. 38.
  360. ^ Lightbody 1961, pp. 16–17.
  361. ^ Cohen 2014, p. 110.
  362. ^ Schibanoff 1996, p. 31.
  363. ^ Gies 1981, pp. 24; Taylor 2006, p. 13, 27.
  364. ^ Gies 1981, p. 24; Weiskopf 1996, p. 127.
  365. ^ Sullivan 1996, p. 86.
  366. ^ Sullivan 1999, p. 32.
  367. ^ Taylor 2006, p. 29.
  368. ^ Warner 1981, p. 190.
  369. ^ Kelly 1996, pp. 220–221.
  370. ^ Henker 1984; Schildkrout 2017.
  371. ^ d'Orsi & Tinuper 2006; Foote-Smith & Bayne 1991; Nicastro & Fabienne 2016.
  372. ^ a b Ratnasuriya 1986.
  373. ^ Sherman & Zimmerman 2008.
  374. ^ Allen 1975.
  375. ^ Mackowiak 2007, p. 140.
  376. ^ Henderson 1939, cited in Ratnasuriya 1986
  377. ^ Sullivan 1996, pp. 104–105; Warner 1981, pp. 130–131.
  378. ^ Kelly 1996, p. 220.
  379. ^ Kelly 1996, p. 222.
  380. ^ Gies 1981, p. 28.
  381. ^ DeVries 1999, pp. 38–39.
  382. ^ Sullivan 1999, p. 140.
  383. ^ Crane 1996, pp. 298; Fraioli 2000, p. 28, fn18.
  384. ^ Crane 1996, p. 307; Schibanoff 1996, pp. 42.
  385. ^ Crane 1996, p. 307.
  386. ^ Barrett 1932, p. 152.
  387. ^ Sackville-West 1936, p. 91; Gies 1981, p. 36.
  388. ^ Crane 1996, p. 298; Garber 1993, p. 216; Lucie-Smith 1976, p. 32; Warner 1981, p. 144.
  389. ^ Sullivan 2011, p. 316.
  390. ^ Garber 1993, p. 215; Sackville-West 1936, pp. 26–27; Schibanoff 1996, p. 33.
  391. ^ Hotchkiss 2000, p. 66; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 117; Schibanoff 1996, p. 31.
  392. ^ Gies 1981, p. 217–218; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 132; Schibanoff 1996, p. 31; Sullivan 1999, p. 132.
  393. ^ Hotchkiss 2000, p. 67; Schibanoff 1996, p. 38.
  394. ^ Hotchkiss 2000, p. 67; Warner 1981, p. 144.
  395. ^ Castor 2015, p. [5]; Gies 1981, p. 216; Crane 1996, p. 303.
  396. ^ Hotchkiss 2000, p. 66.
  397. ^ Aquinas 2022, ST II-II, a. 2, ad 3.
  398. ^ Sackville-West 1936, p. 93; Schibanoff 1996, p. 41.
  399. ^ Hotchkiss 2000, p. 66; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 132.
  400. ^ Crane 1996, p. 301; Pernoud & Clin 1986, p. 184.
  401. ^ Dworkin 1987, pp. 125–126; Gies 1981, p. 216; Hotchkiss 2000, p. 67; Sackville-West 1936, pp. 301, 318.
  402. ^ Hotchkiss 2000, p. 64–65; Schibanoff 1996.
  403. ^ Dworkin 1987, p. 126; Schibanoff 1996, p. 52.
  404. ^ Crane 1996, p. 298.
  405. ^ Warner 1981, p. 142.
  406. ^ Bullough 1974; Crane 1996, p. 310; Sproles 1996, p. 163; Warner 1981, p. 147.
  407. ^ Crane 1996, p. 313; Garber 1993, p. 11; Warner 1981, p. 147.
  408. ^ Crane 1996, pp. 305–306; Warner 1981, pp. 146–147.
  409. ^ Monmarché 1958, p. 70: Tête casquée découverte en 1820 dans les démolitions des restes de l'ancienne église Saint-Eloi-Saint-Maurice, considérée parfois, mais à tort, comme représentant Jeanne d'Arc; c'est en réalité une tête de St Georges. [Helmeted head discovered in 1820 in the demolished remains of the old Saint-Eloi-Saint-Maurice church, sometimes incorrectly considered to represent Joan of Arc; it is actually a head of St. George.]; Warner 1981, p. 176.
  410. ^ Shaw 1932, p. 7.
  411. ^ Butler 2007, p. 593; Charlier et al. 2010, pp. e14–e15.
  412. ^ BBC 2016.
  413. ^ Alberge 2015.
  414. ^ Daley 2016; Willsher 2016.
  415. ^ Willsher 2016.
  416. ^ Brewer 1900, p. 683.
  417. ^ Caze 1819, p. 124: "Si l'on veut en effet reconnaître que les révélations faites à Jeanne d'Arc sur le Roi et sur Charles d'Orléans, ałors prisonnier en Angleterre, étaient de la même nature, ... qu'ils étaient ses frères et qu'elle était leur soeur, la cause des délais demandés par elle pour la manifestation du secret sur lequel les juges l'interrogeaient si fréquemment, devient facile à concevoir." [If we want to recognize that the revelations made to Joan of Arc about the King [Charles VII] and about Charles d'Orléans, then a prisoner in England, were of the same nature, ... that they were her brothers and that she was their sister, the cause of the delays requested by her for the manifestation of the secret about which the judges [of her condemnation trial] questioned her so frequently, becomes easy to imagine."]; Michaud-Fréjaville 2003, p. 13.
  418. ^ Murray 1921, p. 271.
  419. ^ Graeme 2009, p. 99.


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Author/Creator: User:Trappist the monk, Licence: CC0
Copy of en:File:Free-to-read_lock_75.svg, with consistent name for the series of locks
Author/Creator: MarkusMark, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Città del Vaticano - Cupola della Basilica di S. Pietro
Gloriole blur.svg
An icon of a blurred halo, or gloriole, suitable for marking a saint.
Siege orleans.jpg
Siege of Orléans in 1428 (Vigiles de Charles VII, 15th century).
Capture de Jeanne.JPG
Author/Creator: Eugène Lenepveu , Licence: Licence Ouverte
Jeanne d'Arc faite prisonnière à Compiègne. Fresque relatant la vie de Jeanne d'Arc au Panthéon, Paris.
Jeanne d'Arc - Les vies des femmes célèbres.jpg
Joan of Arc depicted on horseback in an illustration from a 1504 manuscript.
BNF NAF 4811, folio 55 verso - couronnement de Charles VII.jpg
Couronnement de Charles VII à Notre-Dame de Reims, le 17 juillet 1429.
Enluminure ornant une Chronique abrégée des rois de France, Paris, BNF, Nouvelles acquisitions françaises (NAF) 4811, folio 55 verso.
Dans la partie droite de l'image, revêtus de leur armure, des hommes d'armes et Jeanne d'Arc tenant une bannière aux armes de France.
Calixtus III.jpg
Papa Callisto III
Tete de Saint Maurice Orleans.jpg
Old postcard, showing the photograph of the head of a saint's statue, discovered in 1827 in the ruins of the church of St-Maurice-St-Éloi in Orléans.

Often identified as the head of a statue of Saint-Maurice modelled after Jeanne d'Arc, but more likely the head of a statue of Saint George. The head is in polychrome stone, and of considerably high quality, most likely made in the late 15th or early 16th century (the style of the sallet belongs to the mid 15th century).

The postcard was sold in the Musée de sculpture comparée (after 1937 Musée des monuments français), but the head is identified as being kept in the Musée d'Orléans (founded 1823, now Musée historique et archéologique de l'Orléanais) (or possibly the photograph is of a plaster cast of the original that was on exhibit in Paris?).


MUSÉE DE SCULPTURE COMPARÉE Tête de Saint Maurice, conservée au Musée d'Orléans et provenant de St-Eloi, longtemps désignée comme Jeanne d'Arc (commencement du XVIe siècle). -ND

The idea that the head was modelled after Joan of Arc was very popular in 19th-century Romanticism, enthusiastically defended by Walter Scott, and still by Bernard Shaw, although it seems that the identification with Joan of Arc had come to be held untenable before 1900 (although it is still defended, at least on the Internet, today).

Louis-Ernest Barrias (1841–1905) produced a clay sculpture of the head of Jeanne d'Arc based on the artefact (Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris, inv. no. PPS1289).

St-Éloi (or St-Éloi-St-Maurice) 14th-century parish church in Orléans (just west of Orléans cathedral ([1] 47°54′05″N 1°54′30″E / 47.9013°N 1.9083°E / 47.9013; 1.9083), formerly dedicated to Saint Maurice (but was re-dedicated to St Éloi in 1388[2]), for which reason the head was identified as a statue of that Saint. The argument was that, as St Maurice is usually depicted as a bearded moor, and this head is that of a clearly white young man (or woman, Walter Scott: "unquestionably the head of a girl of nineteen or so"), it stands to reason that it was directly modelled after St Joan. Modern art historians assume that it is not from a statue of St Maurice at all but rather from a statue of St George dating to the early 16th century.

The church had been raided by Huguenots in 1567 and served as the seat of the guild of goldsmiths after that.[3] The head was discovered, apparently with fragments of the body, when the remains of a wall of the old church was torn down to make way for an extension of the sugar refinery of Louis-Auguste Pilté-Grenet (d. 1842, apparently a member of the Bande noire who had acquired the refinery from the Boislève family) on 19 November 1827.

  • [4] 19 novembre 1827. — En démolissant une partie du mur intérieur sud de l'ancienne église de Saint-Eloi d'Orléans, pour y place une machine à l'usage de la raffinerie de M. Pilté-Grenet qui y est étable, on trouva les fragmens d'une statue en pierre dure, représentant un guerrier ayant un casque et une cuirasse, d'une sculpture drés-gothique quoique bien faite; M. Pilté, fit sur-le-champ hommage de cette statue au Musée où elle fut déposée dans le cabinet des antiquités (28-76-77.)
  • "Tête casquée découverte en 1820 dans les démolitions des restes de l'ancienne église Saint-Eloi-Saint-Maurice, considérée parfois, mais à tort, comme représentant Jeanne d'Arc; c'est en réalité une tête de St Georges." Val de Loire; Maine, Orléanais, Touraine, Anjou, Hachette (1963), p. 70.
  • "A more compelling representation of Joan's facial features can be seen in a sculpted head in bronze [sic, it is not actually in bronze but in stone] (now in the Musée Jeanne d'Arc in Orléans [sic. there is no such museum. there was a museum with this name in Rouen until 2012, but it seems the head was never kept there]). The head is all that remains of a statue, formerly to be found in the now demolished church of Saint-Maurice. There is a tradition [sic, there is no such tradition, speculation to this effect was published after the discovery of the head in 1827] than when Joan entered Orléans in triumph after the siege was raised a sculptor modelled the head of his statue of St Maurice from Joan herself." Joan M. Edmunds], The Mission of Joan of Arc, Temple Lodge Publishing (2008) 40f.
  • Michał Monikowski, Reconstructing the looks of Joan of Arc (2014)
  • Les représentations de Jeanne (
Treaty of Troyes.svg
Author/Creator: User:Aliesin, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Map of France during the Hundred Years War, around the time of the Treaty of Troyes.
Jeanne d' Arc (Eugene Thirion).jpg
The portrait depicts Joan of Arc's awe upon receiving a vision from the Archangel Michael.
Stilke Hermann Anton - Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake.jpg
Right-Hand Part of The Life of Joan of Arc Triptych
Paris-statue-J d'arc 02.jpg
© Traumrune / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
Statue de Jeanne d'Arc, place des Pyramides, Paris.
Joan of Arc miniature graded.jpg
Jeanne d'Arc Paris Ulusal Arşivi'nden, AE II 2490 (Archives Nationales, Paris AE II 2490) Edit this at Structured Data on Commons
Coat of Arms of Jeanne d'Arc.svg
Author/Creator: Tom Lemmens, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Coat of Arms of Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc)
Orléans Jeanne d'Arc place du Martroi.jpg
Author/Creator: Croquant, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Statue de Jeanne d'Arc par Denis Foyatier, place du Martroi, Orléans, Loiret, France
Albert Lynch - Jeanne d'Arc.jpg
engraving from Figaro Illustre magazine, 1903
Maison natale Jeanne d'Arc 023.jpg
Author/Creator: Arnaud 25, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Maison natale de Jeanne d'Arc
Vigiles misc 03.jpg
Miniature from Vigiles du roi Charles VII. The citizens of Troyes hand over city keys to the Dauphin and Joan of Arc.
Joan of Arc's Tower, Rouen, France-LCCN2001698690.jpg
Joan of Arc's Tower, Rouen, France. Published by Photochrom Zürich. No. 6761.
Contemporaine afb jeanne d arc.png
Joan of Arc in the protocol of the parliament of Paris (1429). Drawing by Clément de Fauquembergue. French National Archives