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Orléans (ôrlāäN´), family name of two branches of the French royal line.

The house of Valois-Orléans was founded by Louis, duc d'Orléans (see separate article), whose assassination (1407) caused the civil war between Armagnacs and Burgundians. This house ascended the French throne (1498) in the person of Louis XII, who died without male issue. Gaston, brother of Louis XIII, was made duke of Orléans (see separate article), but died without a male heir.

The modern house of Bourbon-Orléans was founded by Philippe I, duc d'Orléans, 1640–1701, a brother of King Louis XIV. A notorious libertine, Philippe was excluded from participation in state affairs, though he fought in the Dutch War and won the victory of Cassel (1677). He married (1661) Henrietta of England and, after her death, Elizabeth Charlotte of Bavaria (1671).

Philippe I's son, Philippe II, duc d'Orléans, 1674–1723, regent of France (1715–23) during the minority of Louis XV, distinguished himself in the War of the Grand Alliance and in the War of the Spanish Succession. He was known for his cynicism and immorality. The will of King Louis XIV, which made him president of the regency council, severely restricted his authority, but he had the will annulled. His rule was marked by a resurgence of the noble elements subdued by Louis XIV. Councils of state, comprising the higher nobility, were formed, but they failed, and government by ministers, or secretaries of state, was restored.

To deal with the financial crisis, Orléans called on John Law, who established a royal bank, but Law's financial schemes collapsed in 1720. Foreign affairs under the regency were conducted by Guillaume Dubois. Orléans concluded the Quadruple Alliance of 1718 and made war on Spain (1719–20). Social life during his regency reached an apex of licentiousness. The ambitions of the regent and his descendants ultimately brought the house of Orléans into open opposition to the ruling house.

See W. H. Lewis, The Scandalous Regent (1961); C. Pevitt, Philippe, Duc d'Orléans: Regent of France (1997).

The regent's great-grandson, Louis Philippe Joseph, duc d'Orléans, called Philippe Égalité (see separate article), supported the French Revolution. His adherents, the Orleanists, who sought a compromise between the monarchical and the revolutionary principles, came into power by the July Revolution of 1830 and put Philippe Égalité's son Louis Philippe on the French throne. Representatives of the capitalist upper bourgeoisie, the Orleanists limited their definition of revolutionary liberty to the middle class. After the fall of Louis Philippe (1848), they continued to support the claims of his descendants, the Orleanist pretenders, who returned from exile after the fall of Napoleon III (1871). Their prospects, though high under the presidency of Marshal MacMahon, dwindled steadily, especially after the Third Republic exiled all pretenders in 1886.

Louis Philippe's eldest son, Ferdinand Philippe Louis Charles Henri, duc d'Orléans, 1810–42, took part in the French expedition to Belgium (1831–32) and in the Algerian wars (1835–40). His unfinished Campagnes de l'armée d'Afrique, 1835–39, was published in 1870. He died in a carriage accident.

Ferdinand Philippe's eldest son, Louis Philippe Albert d'Orléans, comte de Paris, 1838–94, went to the United States after his candidacy for the throne had failed in 1848 and fought for the North in the Civil War under General McClellan. Back in France in 1871, he was Orleanist pretender but relinquished his rights to the legitimist pretender, Henri de Chambord (1873). After Chambord's death (1883), he became head of the entire house of Bourbon. In 1886 he was exiled by the law against pretenders. He was the author of History of the Civil War in America (tr., 4 vol., 1875–88) and other works. He died in England.

Louis Philippe Albert's brother, Robert Philippe Louis Eugène Ferdinand d'Orléans, duc de Chartres, 1840–1910, also fought in the American Civil War. In the Franco-Prussian War he served in the French army under the name Robert le Fort. After 1871 he fought in the Algerian wars, but he also was exiled in 1886. Owing to his brother's renunciation of his claims, the duke of Chartres was regarded by many Orleanists as pretender from 1873 to 1883.

Louis Philippe Robert, duc d'Orléans, 1869–1926, succeeded his father, Louis Philippe Albert, comte de Paris, as pretender in 1894. Born and educated in England, he served (1888–89) in the Indian army. An explorer, he left accounts of his wide travels. He died childless, and his claim to the French throne passed to his cousin Jean d'Orléans, duc de Guise, son of the duke of Chartres, and his heirs.

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ORLÉANS , town in France, S. of Paris. A Jewish community was established in Orléans before 585. During that year, the Jews of Orléans participated in the welcome which was given to King Gontran and appealed to him to be allowed to rebuild the synagogue, which had previously been destroyed. The community may well have existed earlier, for the second, third, and fourth Councils of Orléans, held in 533, 538, and 541 respectively, had already passed legislation concerning the Jews. During the tenth century, an apostate Orléans Jew, Gautier (Walterius), owned houses in the town. At the beginning of the 11th century, the Jewish community, then quite numerous, was accused of having established relations with Caliph El Ḥakim in order to instigate persecutions of Christians in Jerusalem. The ensuing general persecution of the French Jews struck first in Orléans, from which Jews were expelled for several years. The importance of the Orléans Jewish community is again attested when in 1171 it attempted to succor the *Blois Jewish community at the time of the blood libel. After the expulsion of Jews from the French kingdom in 1182, the synagogue of Orléans was transformed into the St. Sauveur Chapel. The community was reconstituted after Jews were permitted to return to France in 1198; among the Jewish notables imprisoned in the Châtelet of Paris in 1204 were two from Orléans. The Jewish cemetery of Orléans was also used by the small surrounding communities.

The large taxes paid by the Jews of Orléans point to the numerical and economic importance of the community (although the customers for their loans were essentially drawn from among the common people), as well as to the size of the Jewish quarter (Grande Juiverie during the 13th century) and its numerous institutions, especially its two synagogues. After the expulsion of 1306, a new, smaller, community was formed between 1315 and 1322 (or 1323) and again in 1359. As a result of the complaints of the Christian inhabitants, the Jews were confined to a narrow quarter. As was the case in several other cities, notably Paris, the Jews of Orléans were the victims of a popular uprising in February 1382, later crushed by King *Charlesvi. It was, however, this same king who in 1394 refused to prolong the residence of Jews in France, thus ending the medieval Jewish community of Orléans. Early in its history Orléans became an important center of Jewish learning. Isaac b. Menahem, second half of the 11th century, was cited by *Rashi for his talmudic commentaries and was also known as a legal authority. The hymnologist Meir b. Isaac, late 11th century, was, most probably, his son; the latter's son was the biblical commentator Eleazar b. Meir b. Isaac. The most renowned scholar of Orléans was Joseph b. Isaac *Bekhor-Shor. After 1171 the tosafist *Jacob of Orléans emigrated to London, where he became one of the victims of the massacre of 1189. A Jewish community was again established at the beginning of the 19th century; it possessed a small synagogue and, by the close of the century, had about 40 members.

Contemporary Period

In 1971 there were about 500 Jews in Orléans with a synagogue-community center. In May 1969, the Jewish owners of fashion shops in Orléans suddenly found themselves in the midst of a turmoil of strange gossip, which claimed that Christian women who had been trying on dresses had been drugged and spirited away to exotic brothels. The police had absolutely no knowledge of the alleged kidnapping of any female citizen in Orléans, and yet the rumor spread like wild-fire that they had been abducted from six shops, all of which were owned by Jews. Schoolgirls were warned by their teachers not to enter the suspect places and husbands would not allow their wives to go into such shops unaccompanied. The rumor persisted for several weeks, dying out only when a full-scale campaign was organized by the national press, and after conferences held by leading personalities both within and outside of Orléans.


Gross, Gal Jud, 30ff.; B. Blumenkranz, Juifs et chrétiens… (1960), index; E. Morin, Rumour in Orleans (1971).

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]

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Orléans, city (1990 pop. 107,965), capital of Loiret dept., N central France, on the Loire River. A commercial and transportation center, it has food-processing, tobacco, machine-building, electrical, pharmaceutical, chemical, and textile industries. The old city is surrounded by sprawling modern suburbs. Orléans was first known as Genabum, a commercial city of the Carnutes, a Celtic tribe. The city revolted against Julius Caesar (52 BC), was burned, and was rebuilt and called Aurelianum. Unsuccessfully attacked by Attila the Hun (451), it was taken by Clovis I (498), after which it became (511) the capital of the Frankish kingdom of Orléans. The kingdom was united with Neustria in the 7th cent. Under the Capetians, the first kings of France, the city became (10th cent.), after Paris, the principal residence of the French kings. Orléans, with the surrounding province, the Orléanais, constituted part of the small nucleus of the royal domain, and it was several times given in appanage as a duchy to the eldest brother of the king of France and to his descendants (see Orléans, family). The siege of Orléans (1428–29) by the English threatened to bring all of France under England's rule, and its lifting by Joan of Arc (the "Maid of Orléans" ) turned the tide of the Hundred Years War (1337–1453). In the Wars of Religion (16th cent.) the city was briefly the headquarters of the Huguenots and was besieged in 1563 by Catholic forces. Orléans remained in Catholic hands until the Edict of Nantes (1598). During the 17th and 18th cent. the city was a prosperous industrial and commercial center, and its university (founded 14th cent.) was famous throughout Europe. The advent of railroads in the 19th cent. somewhat reduced the city's importance as a trade center dependent on the Loire River port. Orléans was severely damaged during the German invasion of France in 1940, and many irreplaceable historic buildings were destroyed. Several fine structures remain, including the Cathedral of Sainte-Croix, rebuilt (17th–19th cent.) after its destruction by the Huguenots in 1568; and the Renaissance town hall, where Francis II died in 1560. The feast of Joan of Arc is celebrated in Orléans with particular splendor each May.

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Orléansbanns, glans, Prestonpans, sans •Octans •Benz, cleanse, Fens, gens, lens •Homo sapiens • impatiens • nolens volens • delirium tremens • Serpens •vas deferens • Cairns • Keynes •Jeans, means, Queens, smithereens •Owens • Robbins • Rubens • gubbins •Hitchens • O'Higgins •Huggins, juggins, muggins •imagines • Jenkins • Eakins • Dickens •Wilkins • Hopkins •Dawkins, Hawkins •Collins • Gobelins • widdershins •matins • Martens • Athens • avens •Heinz • confines • Apenninesbonze, bronze, Johns, mod cons, Mons, St John's •Downs, grounds, hash-browns, Townes •Jones, nones •lazybones • sawbones • fivestones •New Orleans, Orléans •Lions, Lyons •Gibbons • St Albans • Siddons •shenanigans • Huygens • vengeance •goujons • St Helens • Hollands •Newlands • Brooklands • Netherlands •Siemens • Symons • commons •summons • Lorenz • Parsons •Goossens •Lamentations, United Nations •Colossians • Sextans • Buttons •Evans • Stevens • Ovens • Onions •Lutyens •Cousins, Cozens •Burns

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Orléans City on the River Loire, n central France; capital of Loiret department. Besieged by the English during the Hundred Years' War, it was relieved by Joan of Arc in 1429. During the 16th-century Wars of Religion, the city was besieged by Catholic forces and held by them until the Edict of Nantes. Industries: tobacco, textiles, fruit and vegetables, chemicals. Pop. (1999) 113,126.

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Orleans a city in central France on the Loire which in 1429 was the scene of Joan of Arc's first victory over the English during the Hundred Years War; Orleans was also one of the main royal duchies of medieval France, originally created in 1344 for the younger son of Philip VI of France, and associated particularly with the Orleanist dynasty descended from Louis XIV's younger brother.

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Maid of Orleans, The. Opera in 4 acts by Tchaikovsky, comp. 1878–9 to his own lib. based on Schiller's play about Joan of Arc., rev. 1882. Prod. St Petersburg 1881; Reno, Nev., 1976; London (Collegiate Th.) 1978.

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