IT BEGINS LONG AGO
Emerging from Europe’s Dark Ages, Charlemagne’s death marked the emergence of the French and German nations. Here, at first, petty principalities for self-defense against marauding Norsemen, Huns, Tartars and other barbarous hordes, were headed by Duke, count, Bishop or Baron.
One such was an ancestor, Jean Guyon, created Baron in 1289, who from his big stone castle erected on top of Roche-Guyon, still overlooks the surrounding country through which the stately Seine winds its way northwest of Paris to the sea.
From this vantage point these early overlords kept a watchful eye over their subjects, protecting them from armed robber bands and acting as chief of police, judge, patron of church and monastery, and generally maintaining peace and order throughout their small domain.
As the centuries rolled by there gradually developed in Western Europe and ever growing battle between Church and State with the “common people” in between, exploited by both.
In France, a bitter…
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