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"The History of Project"

The History of Musketeers
Contributed by:
Ted Anthony Roberts

n 1600 A.D., King Henri IV gave himself bodyguards. Arming them with Carbine firearms, they became known as the King's Carabineers: a special group of men that no ordinary soldier could match in firing, swordplay, or battle.

King Louis XIII, his son, re-armed these men in 1622 with the more advanced flintlock musket, calling them the King's Musketeers. They were daredevils and extraordinarily gifted soldiers.

But what of our Three Musketeers: Athos, Porthos and Aramis? Did they actually exist? Happily, they did! Unhappily, we have very little details.

Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras, in his Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artagnan, gave the world the first glimpse of these men. Courtilz would have us believe that they were all brothers, but this is not true, even though Athos and Aramis were actually related, and related also to Treville, captain of the musketeers.

Athos was, in real life, Armand de Sillegue d'Athos d'Auteville. Born around 1615, he joined the Musketeers at the age of 25 in the late 1630's or early 1640's, and died in Paris from a duel in 1643. His name was found listed amongst the fallen duelists in a monastery.

Aramis was Henri d'Aramitz, born in Gascony, joined the musketeers in 1640, married in 1654, had four children, became a churchman, and died around 1674. He was never, however, involved with the Jesuits.

Porthos was Isaac de Portau, born in Pau, Gascony, a town close to one from which d'Artagnan came. They were, perhaps, excellent friends in life. Both were Guards at the same time Athos and Aramis were already Musketeers, and they entered the Musketeers almost at the same time.

As far as d'Artagnan is concerned? Well, that is another story...
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Last updated: 08/26/10.

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