The fourteenth-century Roman de Mélusine by Jean d’Arras is a story of dynastic expansion and political legitimization that extends far beyond the territorial battles fought by the French royal family during the Hundred Years War. In fact, Jean d’Arras’s narrative of Lusignan history pointedly pulls away from the Valois line of its patron, the Duke of Berry, replacing paternal lineage with a primary bond between mother and sons. In this instance, Jean de Berry’s claim to Lusignan territory is secured not by documents proving local inheritance but by a flying woman/snake mother who provides political legitimization in large part because of her unparalleled trans-Mediterranean reach.

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