Thursday, January 6, 2011

Duly Noted: Joan of Arc's (supposed) birthday

A late-15th century depiction of Joan
of Arc. (Wikimedia Commons)
January 6, 1412, is the date legend gives for Joan of Arc's birth. It probably wasn't, though: it would have been common knowledge in fifteenth century Europe that January 6th was the feast of the Epiphany, and as Joan interpreted the voices she heard as guidance on a divine mission, she would not have failed to make the connection had her birthday actually fallen on the traditional date.

Today, Joan of Arc is remembered more for her death at the stake in 1431 than she is for her earlier achievements: she led the campaign to raise the siege of Orléans and participated in enabling the Dauphin to his coronation in Reims in 1429.

Recommended reading:
Régine Pernoud, Joan of Arc: Her Story.
Article on Wikipedia
Short bio & link lists on

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