Royal ancestry of the House of Austen

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Arms of the Ancient and Imperial House of Austen

This article documents the descent of the House of Austen from various royal and imperial dynasties. The House of Austen is the founding dynasty of the Empire of Austenasia; due to a family legend that their ancestors included Roman Emperors, the Parliament of Austenasia on 10 January 2009 passed a law directing the Secretary-General to undertake genealogical research into the ancestry of the Imperial Family. By mid-2015, this research had resulted in descent from antiquity having been established, with lines of descent found not just from Roman Emperors, but from the monarchs and dynasties of many other polities, both ancient and medieval.

The royal descent of the House of Austen is through one Elizabeth Vane (1691-1743), who married Edward Austen (1686-1755) in 1711. The couple lived in Tenterden, Kent, and had six children: Robert, Thomas, John, Elizabeth, Edward, and Mary. John Austen (1716-1777) moved to Deal, where he and his family lived until circa the 1810s, when his grandson, also named John (b. 1779), moved to the East End of London. His descendants continued to live there, working on the docks, until the mid-1930s when the second John's great-great grandson David Austen (1900-1983) and David's son - also named David (1927-2008) - moved to Carshalton; these Davids were the grandfather and father respectively of Terry I, Emperor of Austenasia, the current Head of the House of Austen.

Elizabeth Vane's ancestors are those through whom the royal descent of the House of Austen has been able to be traced, and so it is to her that the pedigrees in this article are linked. Her special status in this regard was recognised by law on 14 October 2015, when the Succession to the Throne Act 2015 was passed. Paragraph 10 of this Act provides for the descendants of Elizabeth and her husband to be given preference over all other relatives of previous Austenasian Monarchs in regards to choosing a new Emperor or Empress should the line of succession to the Austenasian Throne ever come to an end.

Persian (7th-2nd centuries BC; 1st-3rd centuries AD)

The House of Austen is descended from the Median, Achaemenid, Seleucid, and Parthian dynasties of Persia.

Medes and Achaemenids

The Medes and Achaemenids were ruling dynasties originating from Media and Persis respectively. The Median Kingdom was conquered by the Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great in 550 BC.

The wife of Cambyses I and mother of Cyrus II (see tree below) was Mandane of Media. She was the direct descendant of the four kings of the Median Empire, being daughter of Astyages (r. 585-550 BC), son of Cyaxares (r. 633-585), son of Phraortes (r. c. 675-633), son of Deioces (r. c. 728-675).

Achaemenid family tree

1achaemenids 705-344bc.png

As can be seen from the family tree above, Rhodogoune was therefore descended from the following Median and Achaemenid kings of Persia:

Cyrus the Great, great-x82 grandfather of Terry I

Median:

Achaemenid:

Rhodogoune, daughter of Artaxerxes II, married Orontes I, and it is through their son Orontes II that said kings of Persia are genealogically linked to Elizabeth Vane:

Descent of Elizabeth Vane from Orontes I

  • Orontes I
  • Orontes II
  • Mithrenes
  • Orontes III
  • Sames
  • Arsames I
  • Orontes IV
  • Ptolemaeus
  • Samses II
  • Mithridates I
  • Antiochus I
  • Athenais
  • Darius II
  • Vonones II
  • Mithridates V
  • Vologases IV
  • Vologases V
  • Khosrov I
  • Tiridates II
  • Khosrov II
  • Tiridates III
  • Khosrov III
  • Bambish
  • St Nerses I
  • St Sahak
  • Sahankanoysh Pahlavi
  • Hemayakes I
  • Vahan Mamikonian
  • Hemayakes II
  • Mushegh II
  • Vahan
  • Dawith
  • Hamazasp III
  • Artavazd I
  • Hemayakes III
  • Artavazd II
  • Marinos Mamikonian
  • Theodora Mamikonian
  • Emperor Michael III
  • Emperor Leo VI
  • Anna of Constantinople
  • Charles-Constantine, Count of Vienne
  • Constance of Vienne
  • William I, Count of Provence
  • William II, Count of Provence
  • Geoffrey I, Count of Provence
  • Stephanie of Provence
  • Stephanie of Besalú
  • Roger III, Count of Foix
  • Roger-Bernard I, Count of Foix
  • Rohese of Foix
  • Hugh le Despencer
  • Hugh, 1st Baron le Despencer
  • Eleanor le Despencer
  • Avelina de Courtenay
  • John Giffard
  • John Giffard
  • Joan Giffard
  • Richard Knightley MP
  • Richard Knightley
  • Richard Knightley
  • Susan Knightley
  • John Spencer
  • William Spencer
  • Catherine Spencer
  • Lucy Montagu
  • Alice Hare
  • Catharine Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Vane

Seleucids and Parthians

The Seleucid dynasty reigned as kings of Persia from 305-129 BC (as well as kings of Syria from 200-64 BC), but gradually lost control of Persia to the Parthian Arsacid dynasty, which reigned from 247 BC - AD 228.

Seleucid family tree

2seleucids 370-0bc.png

As can be seen in the tree above, Darius II of Media Atropatene (who also had Ptolemaic ancestry; see Egyptian) was a descendant of the following Seleucid kings:

Seleucus I, great-x76 grandfather of Terry I

Darius II married an unknown Parthian (Arsacid) princess, with whom he became ancestor of the following direct line of Parthian kings of Persia: their son was Vonones II (r. AD 51), whose son was Mithridates II (r. 129-140), whose son was Vologases IV (r. 147-191), whose son was Vologases V (r. 191-208). Vologases V had four sons, only one of whom, Khosrov I - who did not succeed him to the Persian throne - has been traced as a direct ancestor of Elizabeth Vane:

Descent of Elizabeth Vane from Vologases V

  • Vologases V
  • Khosrov I
  • Tiridates II
  • Khosrov II
  • Tiridates III
  • Khosrov III
  • Bambish
  • St Nerses I
  • St Sahak
  • Sahankanoysh Pahlavi
  • Hemayakes I
  • Vahan Mamikonian
  • Hemayakes II
  • Mushegh II
  • Vahan
  • Dawith
  • Hamazasp III
  • Artavazd I
  • Hemayakes III
  • Artavazd II
  • Marinos Mamikonian
  • Theodora Mamikonian
  • Emperor Michael III
  • Emperor Leo VI
  • Anna of Constantinople
  • Charles-Constantine, Count of Vienne
  • Constance of Vienne
  • William I, Count of Provence
  • William II, Count of Provence
  • Geoffrey I, Count of Provence
  • Stephanie of Provence
  • Stephanie of Besalú
  • Roger III, Count of Foix
  • Roger-Bernard I, Count of Foix
  • Rohese of Foix
  • Hugh le Despencer
  • Hugh, 1st Baron le Despencer
  • Eleanor le Despencer
  • Avelina de Courtenay
  • John Giffard
  • John Giffard
  • Joan Giffard
  • Richard Knightley MP
  • Richard Knightley
  • Richard Knightley
  • Susan Knightley
  • John Spencer
  • William Spencer
  • Catherine Spencer
  • Lucy Montagu
  • Alice Hare
  • Catharine Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Vane

Diadochi

Egyptian (7th-2nd centuries BC)

The House of Austen is descended from two ruling dynasties of ancient Egypt: the Twenty-seventh Dynasty and the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt were the Achaemenids, who for some time ruled over Egypt as well as Persia. The Achaemenids who reigned as Pharaoh from whom Elizabeth Vane is descended were Darius I the Great (r. 522-486 BC), Xerxes I (r. 486-465), Artaxerxes I, (r. 465–424) Darius II (r. 423–404), and Artaxerxes II (r. 404-401); see above for the details of her descent from them.

The second Egyptian dynasty from which the House of Austen is descended, the Ptolemies, ruled as Pharaohs from 305-30 BC.

Ptolemaic family tree

2ptolemies 367-70bc.png

Ptolemy VI, great-x71 grandfather of Terry I

As can be seen in the tree above, Laodice VII was a descendant of the following Pharaohs:

Laodice VII married Mithridates I Callinicus, and it is through their son Antiochus I that the Ptolemies are genealogically linked to Elizabeth Vane:

Descent of Elizabeth Vane from Laodice VII

  • Laodice VII
  • Antiochus I
  • Athenais
  • Darius II
  • Vonones II
  • Mithridates V
  • Vologases IV
  • Vologases V
  • Khosrov I
  • Tiridates II
  • Khosrov II
  • Tiridates III
  • Khosrov III
  • Bambish
  • St Nerses I
  • St Sahak
  • Sahankanoysh Pahlavi
  • Hemayakes I
  • Vahan Mamikonian
  • Hemayakes II
  • Mushegh II
  • Vahan
  • Dawith
  • Hamazasp III
  • Artavazd I
  • Hemayakes III
  • Artavazd II
  • Marinos Mamikonian
  • Theodora Mamikonian
  • Emperor Michael III
  • Emperor Leo VI
  • Anna of Constantinople
  • Charles-Constantine, Count of Vienne
  • Constance of Vienne
  • William I, Count of Provence
  • William II, Count of Provence
  • Geoffrey I, Count of Provence
  • Stephanie of Provence
  • Stephanie of Besalú
  • Roger III, Count of Foix
  • Roger-Bernard I, Count of Foix
  • Rohese of Foix
  • Hugh le Despencer
  • Hugh, 1st Baron le Despencer
  • Eleanor le Despencer
  • Avelina de Courtenay
  • John Giffard
  • John Giffard
  • Joan Giffard
  • Richard Knightley MP
  • Richard Knightley
  • Richard Knightley
  • Susan Knightley
  • John Spencer
  • William Spencer
  • Catherine Spencer
  • Lucy Montagu
  • Alice Hare
  • Catharine Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Vane

Armenian 2nd century BC - 4th century AD

The House of Austen is descended from three dynasties of Armenian kings: the Orontids (321 - 200 BC), Artaxiads (189 BC - AD 12), and Arscacids (52 - 428 AD). The lines of descent of these dynasties to the House of Austen are as follows:

Artaxiad

Tigranes the Great had a daughter who married Mithridates I of Media Atropatene. The grandson of this couple, Artavasdes I, is an ancestor of the Arsacid line as detailed below.

Tigranes the Great, great-x69 grandfather of Terry I

Orontids and Arsacids

Antiochus I Theos's daughter, Athenais, married Artavasdes I of Media Atropatene. Their son, Darius II, was the great-great grandfather of Vologases II (V of Persia), who established the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia as the hereditary kings of that country.

Khosrov III had a daughter, Bambish, who married At’anaganes, the great-grandson of Saint Gregory the Illuminator. Bambish and At'anaganes were parents of Catholicos Nerses I, through whom therefore the Artaxiads, Orontids, and Arsacids are ancestors of Elizabeth Vane:

Descent of Elizabeth Vane from Nerses I

  • St Nerses I
  • St Sahak
  • Sahankanoysh Pahlavi
  • Hemayakes I
  • Vahan Mamikonian
  • Hemayakes II
  • Mushegh II
  • Vahan
  • Dawith
  • Hamazasp III
  • Artavazd I
  • Hemayakes III
  • Artavazd II
  • Marinos Mamikonian
  • Theodora Mamikonian
  • Emperor Michael III
  • Emperor Leo VI
  • Anna of Constantinople
  • Charles-Constantine, Count of Vienne
  • Constance of Vienne
  • William I, Count of Provence
  • William II, Count of Provence
  • Geoffrey I, Count of Provence
  • Stephanie of Provence
  • Stephanie of Besalú
  • Roger III, Count of Foix
  • Roger-Bernard I, Count of Foix
  • Rohese of Foix
  • Hugh le Despencer
  • Hugh, 1st Baron le Despencer
  • Eleanor le Despencer
  • Avelina de Courtenay
  • John Giffard
  • John Giffard
  • Joan Giffard
  • Richard Knightley MP
  • Richard Knightley
  • Richard Knightley
  • Susan Knightley
  • John Spencer
  • William Spencer
  • Catherine Spencer
  • Lucy Montagu
  • Alice Hare
  • Catharine Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Vane

Roman (3rd-6th, 9th-10th centuries)

The House of Austen is directly descended from fourteen or fifteen Roman Emperors, and is descended from the siblings of between two and five others.

Saint Constantine the Great, great-x57 grandfather of Terry I

Classical

The House of Austen can document their descent from ten classical Roman Emperors, namely:

Tetrarchy and Constantinian dynasty:

Valentinian dynasty and Theodosian dynasty:

Imperial Roman family tree

5Classical Roman Emperors 210-550ad.png

As seen in the tree above, the aforementioned ten classical emperors all share one Areobindus (b. c. 550) as a descendant. Said Areobindus is a direct ancestor of Elizabeth Vane:

Descent of Elizabeth Vane from Areobindus

  • Areobindus
  • Anastasia Areobinda
  • Flavia Juliana
  • Ardabastos
  • Erwig
  • Peter
  • Fruela Pérez
  • Bermudo I
  • Ramiro I
  • Ordoño I
  • Leodegundia Ordoñez
  • Onecca
  • Mumadona Díaz
  • Gonzalo Menéndez
  • Ramíro Gonzalez
  • Ordoño Ramírez
  • Muniadona Ordóñez
  • Cristina Fernández
  • Jimena Díaz
  • María Rodríguez de Vivar
  • Jimena de Barcelona
  • Roger-Bernard I, Count of Foix
  • Rohese of Foix
  • Hugh le Despencer
  • Hugh, 1st Baron le Despencer
  • Eleanor le Despencer
  • Avelina de Courtenay
  • John Giffard
  • John Giffard
  • Joan Giffard
  • Richard Knightley MP
  • Richard Knightley
  • Richard Knightley
  • Susan Knightley
  • John Spencer
  • William Spencer
  • Catherine Spencer
  • Lucy Montagu
  • Alice Hare
  • Catharine Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Vane

As seen in the Imperial Roman family tree above, Areobindus can also claim descent from the siblings of Roman Emperors. His paternal grandfather, Flavius Anastasius (consul 517), was the great-nephew of the emperor Anastasius I (r. 491-518). Furthermore, Areobindus's daughter, Anastasia Areobinda, married the curopalates Peter, brother to the emperor Maurice (r. 582-602), the latter of whom was therefore uncle to Anastasia's daughter Flavia Juliana.

Medieval

Austen descent can also be traced from the Amorian (Phrygian) and Macedonian dynasties of the ("Byzantine") medieval Roman Emperors, namely from the following four in a father-son succession:

Anna, a daughter of Leo VI, was the mother[2] of Charles-Constantine of Vienne, who is a direct ancestor of Elizabeth Vane:

Descent of Elizabeth Vane from Charles-Constantine of Vienne

  • Charles-Constantine, Count of Vienne
  • Constance of Vienne
  • William I, Count of Provence
  • William II, Count of Provence
  • Geoffrey I, Count of Provence
  • Stephanie of Provence
  • Stephanie of Besalú
  • Roger III, Count of Foix
  • Roger-Bernard I, Count of Foix
  • Rohese of Foix
  • Hugh le Despencer
  • Hugh, 1st Baron le Despencer
  • Eleanor le Despencer
  • Avelina de Courtenay
  • John Giffard
  • John Giffard
  • Joan Giffard
  • Richard Knightley MP
  • Richard Knightley
  • Richard Knightley
  • Susan Knightley
  • John Spencer
  • William Spencer
  • Catherine Spencer
  • Lucy Montagu
  • Alice Hare
  • Catharine Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Vane

Potential

It is possible that the House of Austen is also descended from Saint Justinian I the Great (r. 527-565). His wife the empress Theodora had an illegitimate daughter of the same name from before her marriage to Justinian. This younger Theodora was the wife of the above-mentioned Flavius Anastasius and therefore grandmother to Areobindus. It is possible, but not proven, that the younger Theodora was the biological but illegitimate daughter of Justinian I, as he reportedly treated the girl as if she were legitimate.

The Imperial Roman family tree depicted above also includes the claim that the mother of Constantius I was Claudia, a niece of the emperors Claudius II Gothicus (r. 268-270) and Quintillus (r. 270), which would make a sibling of two more emperors a direct ancestor of the House of Austen. However, it is important to note that this claim regarding the ancestry of Constantius I is known only from sources recorded after his death, and some historians believe it was a claim made after the collapse of Diocletian's Tetrarchy to legitimize on a hereditary basis the Constantinian dynasty by connecting them with two popular pre-Tetrarchic emperors.

Another possible emperor's sibling from whom the House of Austen is descended is the daughter of Julius Agricola (fl. 421). Agricola was a relative of the emperor Avitus (r. 455-456), and most likely his father, but this has never been proven. If it were the case, however, then the daughter of Agricola would be sister to Avitus; her son, Flavius Magnus (fl. 460s), is a direct ancestor of Elizabeth Vane:

Descent of Elizabeth Vane from Flavius Magnus

  • Flavius Magnus
  • Flavius Probus
  • Industria Narbo
  • Ferreolus Rodez
  • Ansbertus
  • Arnoald
  • Doda
  • Ansegisel
  • Pepin II
  • Charles Martel
  • Carloman
  • Rotrude
  • Beggo de Paris
  • Engletrude de Paris
  • Eberhard de Friuli
  • Berengar I
  • Gisela de Friuli
  • Berengar II
  • Adalbert II
  • Otto-William, Count of Burgundy
  • Gerberga de Burgundy
  • Geoffrey I, Count of Provence
  • Stephanie of Provence
  • Stephanie of Besalú
  • Roger III, Count of Foix
  • Roger-Bernard I, Count of Foix
  • Rohese of Foix
  • Hugh le Despencer
  • Hugh, 1st Baron le Despencer
  • Eleanor le Despencer
  • Avelina de Courtenay
  • John Giffard
  • John Giffard
  • Joan Giffard
  • Richard Knightley MP
  • Richard Knightley
  • Richard Knightley
  • Susan Knightley
  • John Spencer
  • William Spencer
  • Catherine Spencer
  • Lucy Montagu
  • Alice Hare
  • Catharine Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Vane

Visigoth

Saxon

French

Notes

  1. Officially, Leo VI was the son of Basil I, the successor of Michael III. However, it is far more likely that his actual biological father was Michael III. Leo was born on 19 September 866 to Eudokia Ingerina. Michael had fallen in love with Ingerina in 855, but the disapproval of Theodora, his mother and then regent, led to him marrying Eudokia Dekapolitissa, who Theodora selected for him. Michael's marriage to Dekapolitissa was childless and primarily ceremonial, and he arranged for Ingerina to marry Basil - who at the time was his favourite courtier - in order to gain her access to the imperial court. With Theodora deposed from the regency later that year, he was able to continue a relationship with Ingerina whilst ignoring Dekapolitissa, and it was during this time that Leo was born. The suspicion that Leo was really Michael's son was enforced by the latter celebrating the birth with chariot races, and eight months later raising Basil to the rank of co-emperor and thereby ensuring the child's right to the throne. Despite Ingerina being Basil's wife in name, he had a mistress himself - Michael's sister, Thekla - during the time of Leo's birth, further decreasing the chance of his fathering Leo. Basil and Leo themselves seem to have believed that they were not truly father and son: they had a very poor relationship (with Basil at one point imprisoning Leo for three years and threatening to blind him, and on his deathbed accusing Leo of having conspired to assassinate him), and one of the first actions of Leo upon his accession as sole emperor was a lavish reburial of Michael's remains in the imperial mausoleum. Although some believe that Basil was Leo's father, most modern historians (from John Julius Norwich and Warren Treadgold to J. B. Bury and George Finlay) argue in favour of Michael's paternity.
  2. Anna's parentage of Charles-Constantine is presented as a highly controversial theory in some online sources, but opposition to his imperial maternity comes primarily from Tougher (1997), who doubts Anna's marriage to Louis III. We know that they were betrothed, however, due to a surviving letter by Ecumenical Patriarch Nicholas I, and Charles' second name of Constantine (highly unusual for the West at that time, both for having a second name and for that name being "Constantine") gives strong onomastic evidence for a mother from Constantinople. These two considerations point to Leo's daughter Anna as being the most likely candidate for Charles-Constantine's mother, with detractors of the theory relying primarily on arguments from silence. Anna's parentage of Charles-Constantine is supported by Christian Settipani, Charles Previté-Orton and others.