Philip I of France
Philip I, called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to his death. His reign, like that of most of the early Capetians, was long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it reached in the reign of his father and he added to the royal demesne the Vexin, Philip was born 23 May 1052 at Champagne-et-Fontaine, the son of Henry I and his wife Anne of Kiev. Unusual at the time for Western Europe, his name was of Greek origin, although he was crowned king at the age of seven, until age fourteen his mother acted as regent, the first queen of France ever to do so. Baldwin V of Flanders acted as co-regent, following the death of Baldwin VI of Flanders, Robert the Frisian seized Flanders. Baldwins wife, Richilda requested aid from Philip, who defeated Robert at the battle of Cassel in 1071, Philip first married Bertha in 1072. Although the marriage produced the heir, Philip fell in love with Bertrade de Montfort. He repudiated Bertha and married Bertrade on 15 May 1092, in 1094, he was excommunicated by Hugh of Die, for the first time, after a long silence, Pope Urban II repeated the excommunication at the Council of Clermont in November 1095.
In France, the king was opposed by Bishop Ivo of Chartres, Philip appointed Alberic first Constable of France in 1060. A great part of his reign, like his fathers, was spent putting down revolts by his power-hungry vassals, in 1077, he made peace with William the Conqueror, who gave up attempting the conquest of Brittany. In 1082, Philip I expanded his demesne with the annexation of the Vexin, in 1100, he took control of Bourges. It was at the aforementioned Council of Clermont that the First Crusade was launched, Philip at first did not personally support it because of his conflict with Urban II. Philips brother Hugh of Vermandois, was a major participant, Philip died in the castle of Melun and was buried per request at the monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire – and not in St Denis among his forefathers. He was succeeded by his son, Louis VI, whose succession was, according to Abbot Suger, Philip‘s children with Bertha were, married Hugh I of Champagne before 1097 and then, after her divorce, to Bohemund I of Antioch in 1106
Henry the Young King
Henry, known as the Young King, was the second of five legitimate sons of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine but the first to survive infancy. Beginning in 1170, he was titular King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou, Henry the Young King was the only King of England since the Norman conquest to be crowned in the lifetime of his father, but never exercised any power. Little is known of the young prince Henry before the associated with his marriage. His mothers children by her first marriage to Louis VII of France were Marie of France, Countess of Champagne and he had one older brother, William IX, Count of Poitiers, and his younger siblings included Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor and John. He was known in his own lifetime as Henry the Young King to distinguish him from his father, because he was not a reigning king, he is not counted in the numerical succession of kings of England. Henry did not appear to have been interested in the day-to-day business of government. His father, however, is reputed to have failed to delegate authority to his son, the majority opinion amongst historians is that of W. L.
Warren, The Young Henry was the only one of his family who was popular in his own day. It was true that he was the one who gave no evidence of political sagacity, military skill. And elaborated in a book, He was gracious, affable, courteous. Unfortunately he was shallow, careless, high-hoped, improvident, the Young Kings contemporary reputation, was by no means so negative. This had much to do with his place in the enthusiastic tournament culture of his own day. We can see this from his appearances in the History of William Marshal, the biography of the assigned to him as a tutor in 1170. The History depicts him as constantly moving from one tournament to another across northern, with his cousins, Count of Flanders, and Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut and Namur, he was one of the key patrons of the sport. He is said to have spent over £200 a day on the great retinue of knights he brought to the tournament of Lagny-sur-Marne in November 1179, if he lacked political weight, the Young Kings patronage gave him celebrity status throughout western Europe.
The baron and troubador Bertran de Born, who knew him, said that he was the best king who took up a shield. There was a perception amongst his contemporaries and the generation that his death in 1183 marked a decline both in the tournament and knightly endeavour. His former chaplain, Gervase of Tilbury, said that his death was the end of everything knightly, the young Henry played an important part in the politics of his fathers reign. On 2 November 1160, he was betrothed to Margaret of France, daughter of King Louis VII of France and his wife, Constance of Castile
Vexin is a historical county of northwestern France. It covers a verdant plateau on the bank of the Seine running roughly east to west between Pontoise and Romilly-sur-Andelle, and north to south between Auneuil and the Seine near Vernon. The plateau is crossed by the Epte and the Andelle river valleys, the name Vexin is derived from a name for a Gaulish tribe now known as the Veliocasses that inhabited the area and made Rouen their most important city. The Norse nobleman Rollo of Normandy, the first ruler of the Viking principality that became Normandy and he halted his actions when the Carolingian king Charles the Simple abandoned the part of the territory that Rollo occupied under the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911. The terms of the treaty established the Duchy of Normandy and fixed its boundary with the Kingdom of France along the river Epte. This divided the county of Vexin into two parts, Norman Vexin, which part of the Duchy of Normandy bounded by the rivers Epte, Andelle. French Vexin, which remained part of the Île-de-France province bounded by the rivers Epte, during the twelfth century, the county of Vexin was a heavily contested border between the Angevin kings of England and Capetian France.
It was of importance because of the close proximity to Paris. As a result, Vexin was the site of castle construction. The major towns are Pontoise, Meulan-en-Yvelines, the plateau is primarily an agricultural region with some manufacturing located in the valleys. The French Impressionist artist Claude Monet made his home at Giverny, a regional nature park was established in the French Vexin in 1995. Ownership of Vexin, and the court related to securing it, is a key plot point in James Goldmans play The Lion in Winter. It features in the Angevin novels of Sharon Kay Penman and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. article name needed. Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, Carte du Vexin, Beauvoisis, et Hurepoix, historical map of the Vexin region by Christophe Nicolas Tassin
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the half of the Carolingian Empire. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy, in Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France, during the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years War.
Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars, religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France, Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America, the Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the great powers in 1814. During the years of the elderly Charlemagnes rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks, after Charlemagnes death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Viking advances were allowed to increase, and their dreaded longboats were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other waterways, wreaking havoc. During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, that was to become Normandy. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years. Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, and married Frances newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne. The death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line, under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman, so the throne passed to Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois
William of Tyre
William of Tyre was a medieval prelate and chronicler. As archbishop of Tyre, he is known as William II to distinguish him from a predecessor. Following Williams return to Jerusalem in 1165, King Amalric made him an ambassador to the Byzantine Empire, William became tutor to the kings son, the future King Baldwin IV, whom William discovered to be a leper. After Amalrics death, William became chancellor and archbishop of Tyre, as he was involved in the dynastic struggle that developed during Baldwin IVs reign, his importance waned when a rival faction gained control of royal affairs. He was passed over for the prestigious Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and died in obscurity, William wrote an account of the Lateran Council and a history of the Islamic states from the time of Muhammad. He is famous today as the author of a history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, William composed his chronicle in excellent Latin for his time, with numerous quotations from classical literature. The chronicle is given the title Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum or Historia Ierosolimitana.
It was translated into French soon after his death, and thereafter into other languages. Because it is the source for the history of twelfth-century Jerusalem written by a native. However, more recent historians have shown that Williams involvement in the political disputes resulted in detectable biases in his account. Despite this, he is considered the greatest chronicler of the crusades, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was founded in 1099 at the end of the First Crusade. It was the third of four Christian territories to be established by the crusaders, following the County of Edessa and the Principality of Antioch, during the kingdoms early decades, the population was swelled by pilgrims visiting the holiest sites of Christendom. Merchants from the Mediterranean city-states of Italy and France were eager to exploit the trade markets of the east. Williams family probably originated in either France or Italy, since he was familiar with both countries. His parents were merchants who had settled in the kingdom and were apparently well-to-do.
William was born in Jerusalem around 1130 and he had at least one brother, who was one of the citys burgesses, a non-noble leader of the merchant community. Nothing more is known about his family, except that his mother died before 1165, as a child William was educated in Jerusalem, at the cathedral school in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The scholaster, or school-master, John the Pisan, taught William to read and write, and first introduced him to Latin
Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion and he engaged in conflict with Henry II, King of England, over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death, he was canonised by Pope Alexander III, the main sources for the life of Becket are a number of biographies that were written by contemporaries. A few of these documents are by unknown writers, although traditional historiography has given them names, the other biographers, who remain anonymous, are generally given the pseudonyms of Anonymous I, Anonymous II, and Anonymous III. Besides these accounts, there are two other accounts that are likely contemporary that appear in the Quadrilogus II and the Thómas saga Erkibyskups. Besides these biographies, there is the mention of the events of Beckets life in the chroniclers of the time. These include Robert of Torignis work, Roger of Howdens Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi and Chronica, Ralph Dicetos works, William of Newburghs Historia Rerum, Becket was born about 1119, or in 1120 according to tradition.
He was born in Cheapside, London, on 21 December and he was the son of Gilbert Beket and Gilberts wife Matilda. Gilberts father was from Thierville in the lordship of Brionne in Normandy, Matilda was of Norman ancestry, and her family may have originated near Caen. Gilbert was perhaps related to Theobald of Bec, whose family was from Thierville. Gilbert began his life as a merchant, perhaps as a textile merchant and he served as the sheriff of the city at some point. They were buried in Old St Pauls Cathedral, one of Beckets fathers wealthy friends, Richer de LAigle, often invited Thomas to his estates in Sussex where Becket was exposed to hunting and hawking. According to Grim, Becket learned much from Richer, who was a signatory of the Constitutions of Clarendon against Thomas. Beginning when he was 10, Becket was sent as a student to Merton Priory in England and attended a school in London. He did not study any subjects beyond the trivium and quadrivium at these schools, later, he spent about a year in Paris around age 20.
He did not, study canon or civil law at this time, some time after Becket began his schooling, Gilbert Beket suffered financial reverses, and the younger Becket was forced to earn a living as a clerk. Theobald entrusted him several important missions to Rome and sent him to Bologna. His efficiency in those posts led to Theobald recommending him to King Henry II for the vacant post of Lord Chancellor, as Chancellor, Becket enforced the kings traditional sources of revenue that were exacted from all landowners, including churches and bishoprics
Tyre, sometimes romanized as Sour, is a city in the South Governorate of Lebanon. There were approximately 117,000 inhabitants in 2003, the government of Lebanon has released only rough estimates of population numbers since 1932, so an accurate statistical accounting is not possible. Tyre juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean and is located about 80 km south of Beirut, the name of the city means rock after the rocky formation on which the town was originally built. The adjective for Tyre is Tyrian, and the inhabitants are Tyrians, Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and the legendary birthplace of Europa and Dido. Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon and houses one of the major ports. The city has a number of ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome which was added to UNESCOs list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. Tyre originally consisted of two urban centres, Tyre itself, which was on an island just off shore. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city, the original island city had two harbours, one on the south side and the other on the north side of the island.
The harbour on the side has silted over, but the harbour on the north side is still in use. Tyre was founded around 2750 BC according to Herodotus and was built as a walled city upon the mainland. Phoenicians from Tyre settled in houses around Memphis, south of the temple of Hephaestus in a called the Tyrian Camp. Tyres name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC, philo of Byblos quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathons work is said to be dedicated to Abibalus king of Berytus—possibly the Abibaal who was king of Tyre, there are ten Amarna letters dated 1350 BC from the mayor, written to Akenaten. The subject is often water and the Habiru overtaking the countryside of the mainland, the commerce of the ancient world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. The city of Tyre was particularly known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive sort of dye, produced from the murex shellfish. The colour was, in ancient cultures, reserved for the use of royalty or at least the nobility, Tyre was often attacked by Egypt, besieged by Shalmaneser V, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years.
From 586 until 573 BC, the city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar II until it agreed to pay a tribute. The Achaemenid Empire conquered the city in 539 BC and kept it under its rule until Alexander the Great laid siege to the city, in 315 BC, Alexanders former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre, taking the city a year later
House of Capet
The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians, called the House of France, or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians, historians in the 19th century came to apply the name Capetian to both the ruling house of France and to the wider-spread male-line descendants of Hugh Capet. It was not a contemporary practice and they were sometimes called the third race of kings, the Merovingians being the first, and the Carolingians being the second. The name is derived from the nickname of Hugh, the first Capetian King, the direct succession of French kings, father to son, from 987 to 1316, of thirteen generations in almost 330 years, was unparallelled in recorded history. The direct line of the House of Capet came to an end in 1328, with the death of Charles IV, the throne passed to the House of Valois, descended from a younger brother of Philip IV. He proceeded to make it hereditary in his family, by securing the election and coronation of his son, Robert II, the throne thus passed securely to Robert on his fathers death, who followed the same custom – as did many of his early successors.
Louis VIII – the eldest son and heir of Philip Augustus – married Blanche of Castile, a granddaughter of Aliénor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England. In her name, he claimed the crown of England, invading at the invitation of the English Barons and these lands were added to the French crown, further empowering the Capetian family. Louis IX – Saint Louis – succeeded Louis VIII as a child, unable to rule for several years, the government of the realm was undertaken by his mother, at the death of Louis IX, France under the Capetians stood as the pre-eminent power in Western Europe. Unfortunately for the Capetians, the proved a failure. Philip IV had married Jeanne, the heiress of Navarre and Champagne, by this marriage, he added these domains to the French crown. More importantly to French history, he summoned the first Estates General – in 1302 – and in 1295 established the so-called Auld Alliance with the Scots and it was Philip IV who presided over the beginning of his Houses end. The first quarter of the century saw each of Philips sons reign in rapid succession, Louis X, Philip V, Louis – unwilling to release his wife and return to their marriage – needed to remarry.
He arranged a marriage with his cousin, Clementia of Hungary and this proved the case, but the boy – King John I, known as the Posthumous – died after only 5 days, leaving a succession crisis. Eventually, it was decided based on several reasons that Joan was ineligible to inherit the throne, which passed to the Count of Poitiers. Marie died in 1324, giving birth to a stillborn son, the last of the direct Capetians were the daughters of Philip IVs three sons, and Philip IVs daughter, Isabella. Since they were female, they could not transmit their Capetian status to their descendants, the wife of Edward II of England, Isabella overthrew her husband in favour of her son and her co-hort, only for Edward III to execute Mortimer and have Isabella removed from power. Joan, the daughter of Louis X, succeeded on the death of Charles IV to the throne of Navarre, she now being – questions of paternity aside – the unquestioned heiress
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine was a Queen consort of France and England. As a member of the Ramnulfids rulers in southwestern France, she was one of the most powerful and she inherited the Duchy of Aquitaine from her father, William X, in 1137, and by successive marriages became Queen of France and of England. She was patron of literary figures such as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-Maure and she led armies several times in her life and was a leader of the Second Crusade. As Duchess of Aquitaine, Eleanor was the most eligible bride in Europe, three months after she became duchess, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade, soon afterwards, Eleanor sought an annulment of her marriage, but her request was rejected by Pope Eugene III. However, after the birth of her second daughter Alix, Louis agreed to an annulment, the marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152 on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree.
Their daughters were declared legitimate and custody was awarded to Louis, as soon as the annulment was granted, Eleanor became engaged to the Duke of Normandy, who became King Henry II of England in 1154. Henry was her cousin and eleven years younger. The couple married on Whitsun,18 May 1152, eight weeks after the annulment of Eleanors first marriage, in a cathedral in Poitiers, over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry eight children, five sons, three of whom would become kings, and three daughters. However and Eleanor eventually became estranged, Henry imprisoned her in 1173 for supporting their son Henrys revolt against him. She was not released until 6 July 1189, when Henry died and their son, Richard the Lionheart. Now Queen dowager, Eleanor acted as regent while Richard went on the Third Crusade, on his return Richard was captured, Eleanor lived well into the reign of her youngest son, John. She outlived all her children except for John and Eleanor, on the other hand, some chronicles mention a fidelity oath of some lords of Aquitaine on the occasion of Eleanors fourteenth birthday in 1136.
This, and her age of 82 at her death. Her parents almost certainly married in 1121 and her birthplace may have been Poitiers, Bordeaux, or Nieul-sur-lAutise, where her mother and brother died when Eleanor was 6 or 8. It became Eléanor in the langues doïl of northern France and Eleanor in English, there was, another prominent Eleanor before her, Eleanor of Normandy, an aunt of William the Conqueror, who lived a century earlier than Eleanor of Aquitaine. In Paris as the Queen of France she was called Helienordis, by all accounts, Eleanors father ensured that she had the best possible education. Eleanor came to learn arithmetic, the constellations, and history and she learned domestic skills such as household management and the needle arts of embroidery, sewing and weaving
Marie of France, Countess of Champagne
Marie of France was a French princess and Countess consort of Champagne. She was regent of the county of Champagne in 1179-1181, and she was the elder daughter of King Louis VII of France and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her parents marriage was annulled in 1152, and custody of Marie and her sister, both Louis and Eleanor remarried quickly, with Eleanor becoming Queen of England as the spouse of King Henry II. Marie had numerous half-siblings, including kings Philip II of France and John, in 1160, when Louis married Adele of Champagne, he betrothed Marie and Alix to Adeles brothers. After her betrothal, Marie was sent to the abbey of Avenay in Champagne for her education, in 1164, Marie married Henry I, Count of Champagne. While her husband was away, Maries father died and her half-brother, Philip and he confiscated his mothers dower lands and married Isabelle of Hainaut, who was previously betrothed to Maries eldest son. This prompted Marie to join a party of disgruntled nobles—including Queen Adele, relations between Marie and her royal brother improved.
Her husband died soon after his return from the Holy Land, now a widow with four young children, Marie considered marrying Philip of Flanders, but the engagement was broken off suddenly for unknown reasons. Marie resumed regency when her son went on Crusade, governing Champagne from 1190 to Henrys death in 1197. She retired to the nunnery of Fontaines-les-Nones near Meaux, and died there in 1198, on 25 June 1562, the Huguenots took over the town of Meaux and devastated many edifices, including the Cathedral. Backed up by Parisian refugees, the Huguenots of the Meaux region called a meeting in the district and chose a leader, Louis de Meaux. They took the keys to the town, put guards at the gates and they attacked the sculpted stone decorations and liturgical furniture, it is on this occasion that the tomb of Marie de Champagne, in the choir, was destroyed. Marie was a patron of literature, including Andreas Capellanus, who served in her court and she was literate in French and Latin and maintained her own library.
A deep affection existed between Marie and her half-brother King Richard, and his celebrated poem Ja nuns hons pris, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Lady,2002 Evergates, Theodore. Aristocratic Women in Medieval France,1999