Deeper Into Jeopardy! I: Battle Nations – $2000

Thanks for joining me for the first installment of Deeper Into Jeopardy! We’ll be back next Monday with a new category.

Category: BATTLE NATIONS (17-01-2014)

$2000 clue: Home team France might rather forget this October 1415 English Victory.

Correct response (highlight to see): BATTLE OF AGINCOURT

The gist: The Battle of Agincourt (or ‘Ah-zeh-coor’ as Alex said in his questionable French accent) was a major English victory during the Hundred Years’ War (that the French eventually won, though only almost 40 years later). It was the first major field battle between English and French forces after the “Second Peace” of 1389-1415 (you can see how “Hundred Years’ War” is something of a misnomer), and took place just a few months after the Peace ended – Henry V, the new English king, had sent an envoy to the king of France, Charles VI, to make his claim on French territory, and followed it up with a 10,000-strong army. He laid siege to Harfleur, and by the end of September had taken the city, but winter was setting in and he had to quarter his troops. He elected not to return to England, but to station himself in Calais, English-occupied territory on the mainland. On his way, however, he encountered a very large French army and was forced to fight lest more of his troops succumb to sickness and hunger. A classic example of brains over brawn, Henry made masterful use of his longbowmen, and the French were routed – the English took so many prisoners that they outnumbered the English soldiers, and Henry ordered their execution. Although not decisive, Agincourt was a major victory and led indirectly to Henry’s marriage to King Charles’ daughter Catherine of Valois at the 1420 Treaty of Troyes… although by the end of the War (31 years after Henry’s death), and notably after the rise of Joan of Arc, Charles VII (or the Victorious) would take the French throne. The Battle of Agincourt was such an important event in English history that Shakespeare would make it the focal point of his play Henry V (the King’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech is one of the more famous of Shakespeare’s monologues: “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers…”).

In Jeopardy!: This one was the only clue in the category where the correct response wasn’t a country – instead they supply that information in the clue, and ask you for the more specific information. Luckily they also give you one of the two big clues about Agincourt: 1415. The number shows up 27 times in the J!Archive, and any time fighting is mentioned, the answer is either the (Battle of) Agincourt or Henry V. (Most of the other times 1415 appears, it’s the first through fourth digits of pi after the decimal point, and the rest are about Czech religious thinker Jan Hus, who was burned for heresy in the same year.) The other big thing about Agincourt – the longbows – isn’t mentioned in this clue, but references to it (“archers” or “archery” always, strangely, never “longbows”) appear in several of the other Agincourt clues, although it shouldn’t be confused with the 1346 battle of Crecy, earlier in the Hundred Years’ War, that also relied on longbows to bring the English to victory. The best thing to remember about Agincourt, though, is definitely 1415, followed closely by Henry V as the English commander, especially since that doubles as a Shakespeare clue.

2 thoughts on “Deeper Into Jeopardy! I: Battle Nations – $2000

  1. Just want to mention that “Home team France” is a big hint that should confirm the English victory is Agincourt (“court”) and not Crecy or Poitiers.

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