Philip II of France
Philip II, known as Philip Augustus, was King of France from 1180 to 1223, a member of the House of Capet. Philips predecessors had been known as kings of the Franks, but from 1190 onward, Philip became the first French monarch to style himself king of France. The son of King Louis VII and his wife, Adèle of Champagne, he was originally nicknamed Dieudonné God-given because he was the first son of Louis VII. Philip was given the nickname Augustus by the chronicler Rigord for having extended the Crown lands of France so remarkably, the military actions surrounding the Albigensian Crusade helped prepare the expansion of France southward. Philip did not participate directly in these actions, but he allowed his vassals, Philip transformed France from a small feudal state into the most prosperous and powerful country in Europe. He checked the power of the nobles and helped the towns to free themselves from seigniorial authority and he built a great wall around Paris, re-organized the French government and brought financial stability to his country.
Philip was born in Gonesse on 21 August 1165 and he spent much of the following night attempting to find his way out, but to no avail. Exhausted by cold and fatigue, he was discovered by a peasant carrying a charcoal burner. His father went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Thomas Becket to pray for Philips recovery and was told that his son had indeed recovered, however, on his way back to Paris, he suffered a stroke. In declining health, Louis VII had his 14-year-old son crowned and anointed as king at Rheims on 1 November 1179 by the Archbishop Guillaume aux Blanches Mains. He was married on 28 April 1180 to Isabelle of Hainaut, the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut, and Margaret I, Countess of Flanders, who brought the County of Artois as her dowry. From the time of his coronation, all power was transferred to Philip. Eventually, Louis died on 18 September 1180, while the royal demesne had increased under Philip I and Louis VI, it had diminished slightly under Louis VII. In April 1182, partially to enrich the French crown, Philip expelled all Jews from the demesne, Philips eldest son Louis was born on 5 September 1187 and inherited the County of Artois in 1190, when his mother Isabelle died.
The main source of funding for Philips army was from the royal demesne, in times of conflict, he could immediately call up 250 knights,250 horse sergeants,100 mounted crossbowmen,133 crossbowmen on foot,2,000 foot sergeants, and 300 mercenaries. Towards the end of his reign, the king could muster some 3,000 knights,9,000 sergeants,6,000 urban militiamen, using his increased revenues, Philip was the first Capetian king to build a French navy actively. By 1215, his fleet could carry a total of 7,000 men, within two years, his fleet included 10 large ships and many smaller ones. In 1181, Philip began a war with Philip, Count of Flanders, over the Vermandois, which King Philip claimed as his wifes dowry, finally the Count of Flanders invaded France, ravaging the whole district between the Somme and the Oise before penetrating as far as Dammartin
Louis the Stammerer
Louis the Stammerer was the King of Aquitaine and the King of West Francia. He was the eldest son of emperor Charles the Bald and Ermentrude of Orléans, Louis the Stammerer was physically weak and outlived his father by only two years. He succeeded his younger brother Charles the Child as the ruler of Aquitaine in 866 and his father in West Francia in 877, in the French monarchial system, he is considered Louis II. The pope may have offered him the imperial crown. Louis had relatively little impact on politics and he was described a simple and sweet man, a lover of peace and religion. In 878, he gave the counties of Barcelona and his final act was to march against the invading Vikings, but he fell ill and died on 9 April or 10 April 879, not long after beginning this final campaign. On his death, his realms were divided between his two sons, Carloman II and Louis III of France, during the peace negotiations between his father and Erispoe, duke of Brittany, Louis was betrothed to an unnamed daughter of Erispoe in 856.
It is not known if this was the daughter who married Gurivant. The contract was broken in 857 after Erispoes murder and his first wife Ansgarde of Burgundy had two sons and Carloman, both of whom became kings of West Francia, and two daughters and Gisela. His second wife Adelaide of Paris had one daughter, Ermentrude and a son, Charles the Simple. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh
Carloman II might refer to the second Carolingian of that name, otherwise known as Carloman I. Carloman II, King of West Francia, was the youngest son of King Louis the Stammerer and Ansgarde of Burgundy, initially some Frankish nobles advocated electing Louis III as the sole king, but eventually both brothers were elected kings. Meanwhile, the powerful Duke Boso of Provence had renounced his allegiance to both brothers and had been elected King of Provence, in the summer of 880 Carloman and Louis III marched against Boso, took Mâcon and the northern parts of his realm. Despite receiving help from their cousin Charles the Fat, who ruled East Francia, only in the summer of 882 Vienne was taken after being besieged by Richard, Count of Autun. After the accidental death of Louis III in August 882, Carloman II became the king of West Francia. The kingdom was in a condition partly owing to repeated incursions from the Viking raiders. Carloman II died while hunting on 12 December 884 and was succeeded in the throne by his cousin and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed.
Childeric III was King of Francia from 743 until he was deposed by Pope Zachary in March 751 at the instigation of Pepin the Short. Although his parentage is uncertain, he is considered the last Frankish king from the Merovingian dynasty, once Childeric was deposed, Pepin the Short, who was the father of emperor Charlemagne, was crowned the first king of the Franks from the Carolingian dynasty. In 718, Charles Martel combined the roles of mayor of the palace of Neustria and mayor of the palace of Austrasia, after the death of king Theuderic IV in 737, the throne remained vacant, and Charles Martel became de facto king. After Charles Martels death in 741, Carloman and Pepin the Short, his sons by his first wife Rotrude, they soon faced revolts from their younger half-brother Grifo and their brother-in-law Odilo, Duke of Bavaria. These revolts may have played a part in their decision to fill the throne with a Merovingian king after a vacancy to add legitimacy to their reigns. Childerics parentage and his relation to the Merovingian family are uncertain and he may have been either the son of Chilperic II or Theuderic IV.
Childeric took no part in business, which was directed, as previously. Once a year, he would be brought in an ox cart led by a peasant and preside at court, after Carloman retired to a monastery in 747, Pepin resolved to take the royal crown for himself. Pepin sent letters to Pope Zachary, asking whether the title of king belonged to the one who had exercised the power or the one with the royal lineage, the pope responded that the real power should have the royal title as well. In early March 751 Childeric was dethroned by Pope Zachary and tonsured and his long hair was the symbol of his dynasty and thus the royal rights or magical powers, by cutting it, they divested him of all royal prerogatives. Once dethroned, he and his son Theuderic were placed in the monastery of Saint-Bertin or he in Saint-Omer, there are conflicts in information of when he exactly died with some references citing as early as 753 and other references saying it was as late as 758. Under the Carolingians, he received bad press, being called a rex falsus, false king, despite the fact that it was Pepin through Popes Zachary, junghans, W.
Die Geschichte der fränkischen Konige Childerich und Clodovech. Chiflet, J. J. Anastasis Childerici I Francorum regis, le Tombeau de Childeric I, roi des Francs. Lavisse, E. Histoire de France, Vol. II, the Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations
Philip IV of France
Philip IV, called the Fair or the Iron King, was King of France from 1285 until his death. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was Philip I, Philip relied on skillful civil servants, such as Guillaume de Nogaret and Enguerrand de Marigny, to govern the kingdom rather than on his barons. Philip and his advisors were instrumental in the transformation of France from a country to a centralized state. Philip, who sought an uncontested monarchy, compelled his vassals by wars and his ambitions made him highly influential in European affairs. His goal was to place his relatives on foreign thrones, princes from his house ruled in Naples and Hungary. He tried and failed to make relative the Holy Roman Emperor. He began the advance of France eastward by taking control of scattered fiefs. To further strengthen the monarchy, he tried to control the French clergy and this conflict led to the transfer of the papal court to the enclave of Avignon in 1309. In 1306, Philip the Fair expelled the Jews from France and, in 1307, Friday 13th, Philip was in debt to both groups and saw them as a state within the state.
His final year saw a scandal amongst the family, known as the Tour de Nesle Affair. His three sons were kings of France, Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV. A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born in the fortress of Fontainebleau to the future Philip III. He was the second of four born to the couple. His father was the heir apparent of France at that time, in August 1270, when Philip was two years old, his grandfather died while on Crusade, his father became king, and his elder brother Louis became heir apparent. Only five months later, in January 1271, Philips mother died after falling from a horse, a few months later, one of Philips younger brothers, died. Philips father was crowned king at Rhiems on 15 August 1271. Six days later, he married again, Philips step-mother was Marie, in May 1276, Philips elder brother Louis died, and the eight year old Philip became crown prince. It was suspected that Louis had been poisoned, and that his stepmother, one reason for these rumours was the fact that the queen gave birth to her own eldest son in the same month as the death of the crown prince
Dagobert I was the king of Austrasia, king of all the Franks, and king of Neustria and Burgundy. He was the last king of the Merovingian dynasty to wield any real royal power, Dagobert was the first of the Frankish kings to be buried in the royal tombs at Saint Denis Basilica. Dagobert was the eldest son of Chlothar II and Haldetrude, Chlothar had reigned alone over all the Franks since 613. In 623, Chlothar was forced to make Dagobert king of Austrasia by the nobility of that region, the rule of a Frank from the Austrasian heartland tied Alsace more closely to the Austrasian court. Dagobert created a new duchy in southwest Austrasia to guard the region from Burgundian or Alemannic encroachments, the duchy comprised the Vosges, the Burgundian Gate, and the Transjura. Dagobert made his courtier Gundoin the first duke of this new polity that was to last until the end of the Merovingian dynasty, upon the death of his father in 629, Dagobert inherited the Neustrian and Burgundian kingdoms. His half-brother Charibert, son of Sichilde, claimed Neustria but Dagobert opposed him, brother of Sichilde, petitioned Dagobert on behalf of his young nephew, but Dagobert assassinated him and gave the Aquitaine to his own younger sibling.
Charibert and his son Chilperic were assassinated in 632, Dagobert had Burgundy and Aquitaine firmly under his rule, becoming the most powerful Merovingian king in many years and the most respected ruler in the West. In 631, Dagobert led three armies against Samo, the ruler of the Slavs, but his Austrasian forces were defeated at Wogastisburg, in 632, the nobles of Austrasia revolted under the mayor of the palace, Pepin of Landen. As king, Dagobert made Paris his capital, during his reign, he built the Altes Schloss in Meersburg, which today is the oldest inhabited castle in that country. Devoutly religious, Dagobert was responsible for the construction of the Saint Denis Basilica and he appointed St. Arbogast bishop of Strasbourg. Dagobert died in the abbey of Saint-Denis and was the first Frankish king to be buried in the Saint Denis Basilica, the author of the Chronicle of Fredegar criticises the king for his loose morals in having three queens almost simultaneously, as well as several concubines.
The chronicle names the queens and the otherwise obscure Wulfegundis and Berchildis, in 625/6 Dagobert married Gormatrude, a sister of his fathers wife Sichilde, but the marriage was childless. After divorcing Gormatrude in 629/30 he made Nanthild, a Saxon servant from his personal entourage and she gave birth to, Clovis II king of Neustria and Burgundy. Shortly after his marriage to Nanthild, he took a girl called Ragnetrude to his bed and it has been speculated that Regintrud, abbess of Nonnberg Abbey, was a child of Dagobert, although this theory does not fit Regintruds supposed date of birth between 660 and 665. She married into the Bavarian Agilolfing family
Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774 and Emperor of the Romans from 800. He united much of Europe during the early Middle Ages and he was the first recognised emperor in western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state which Charlemagne founded was called the Carolingian Empire, Charlemagne was the oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon. He became king in 768 following his fathers death, initially as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I, carlomans sudden death in 771 in unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. He continued his fathers policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and he campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianising them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St.
Peters Basilica. Charlemagne has been called the Father of Europe, as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire and his rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. All Holy Roman Emperors considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagnes empire, up to the last Emperor Francis II and these and other machinations led to the eventual split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054. Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for thirteen years and he was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen in what is today Germany. He married at least four times and had three sons, but only his son Louis the Pious survived to succeed him. By the 6th century, the western Germanic Franks had been Christianised, ruled by the Merovingians, was the most powerful of the kingdoms that succeeded the Western Roman Empire. Following the Battle of Tertry the Merovingians declined into powerlessness, for which they have dubbed the rois fainéants.
Almost all government powers were exercised by their chief officer, the mayor of the palace, in 687, Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, ended the strife between various kings and their mayors with his victory at Tertry. He became the governor of the entire Frankish kingdom. Pepin was the grandson of two important figures of the Austrasian Kingdom, Saint Arnulf of Metz and Pepin of Landen, Pepin of Herstal was eventually succeeded by his illegitimate son Charles, known as Charles Martel. After 737, Charles governed the Franks in lieu of a king, Charles was succeeded in 741 by his sons Carloman and Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne. In 743, the brothers placed Childeric III on the throne to curb separatism in the periphery and he was the last Merovingian king. Carloman resigned office in 746, preferring to enter the church as a monk, Pepin brought the question of the kingship before Pope Zachary, asking whether it was logical for a king to have no royal power
Clovis II succeeded his father Dagobert I in 639 as King of Neustria and Burgundy. His brother Sigebert III had been King of Austrasia since 634 and he was initially under the regency of his mother Nanthild until her death in her early thirties in 642. This death allowed him to fall under the influence of the secular magnates, Clovis wife, whose Anglo-Saxon origins are now considered doubtful, was sold into slavery in Gaul. She had been owned by Clovis mayor of the palace and she bore him three sons who all became kings after his death. The eldest, succeeded him and his second eldest, the youngest, succeeded Childeric in Neustria and eventually became the sole king of the Franks. Clovis was a minor for almost the whole of his reign and he is sometimes regarded as king of Austrasia during the interval 656–57 when Childebert the Adopted had usurped the throne. He is often regarded as an early roi fainéant, medieval monks deemed him insane and attribute the stupidity of his descendants to that cause.
Noted Belgian historian Henri Pirenne stated that Clovis died insane, Clovis II was buried in Saint Denis Basilica, Paris. Media related to Clovis II at Wikimedia Commons
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious, called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, during his reign in Aquitaine, Louis was charged with the defence of the empires southwestern frontier. He conquered Barcelona from the Muslims in 801 and asserted Frankish authority over Pamplona, as emperor he included his adult sons, Lothair and Louis, in the government and sought to establish a suitable division of the realm among them. In the 830s his empire was torn by war between his sons, only exacerbated by Louiss attempts to include his son Charles by his second wife in the succession plans. Though his reign ended on a note, with order largely restored to his empire. Louis is generally compared unfavourably to his father, though the problems he faced were of a different sort. He was the son of Charlemagne by his wife Hildegard. His grandfather was King Pepin the Younger, Louis was crowned King of Aquitaine as a child in 781 and sent there with regents and a court.
Charlemagne wanted his son Louis to grow up in the area where he was to reign, Charlemagnes intention was to see all his sons brought up as natives of their given territories, wearing the national costume of the region and ruling by the local customs. Thus were the children sent to their respective realms at so young an age, each kingdom had its importance in keeping some frontier, Louiss was the Spanish March. In 797, the greatest city of the Marca, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, the Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. Louis campaigned in the Italian Mezzogiorno against the Beneventans at least once, Louis was one of Charlemagnes three legitimate sons to survive infancy. He had a brother, Lothair who died during infancy. According to Frankish custom, Louis had expected to share his inheritance with his brothers, Charles the Younger, King of Neustria, to Louiss kingdom of Aquitaine, he added Septimania and part of Burgundy. However, Charlemagnes other legitimate sons died – Pepin in 810 and Charles in 811 –, on his fathers death in 814, he inherited the entire Frankish kingdom and all its possessions.
While at his villa of Doué-la-Fontaine, Louis received news of his fathers death and he rushed to Aachen and crowned himself emperor to shouts of Vivat Imperator Ludovicus by the attending nobles. From start of his reign, his coinage imitated his father Charlemagnes portrait and he quickly sent all of his unmarried sisters to nunneries, to avoid any possible entanglements from overly powerful brothers-in-laws. Sparing his illegitimate half-brothers, he forced his fathers cousins and Wala to be tonsured, placing them in Noirmoutier and Corbie and his chief counsellors were Bernard, margrave of Septimania, and Ebbo, Archbishop of Reims
Chlothar I, called Clotaire I and the Old, King of the Franks, was one of the four sons of Clovis I of the Merovingian dynasty. Although his father, Childeric I, had united Francia for the first time, in 511 at the age of circa 14, Clothar I inherited two large territories on the Western coast of Francia, separated by the lands of his brother Charibert Is Kingdom of Paris. Chlothar spent most of his life in a campaign to expand his territories at the expense of his relatives. His brothers avoided outright war by cooperating with his attacks on neighbouring lands in concert or by invading lands when their rulers died, the spoils were shared between the participating brothers. By the end of his life, Chlothar had managed to reunite Francia by surviving his brothers, but upon his own death, the Kingdom of the Franks was once again divided between his own four surviving sons. A fifth son had rebelled and was killed, along with his family, Frankish customs of the day allowed for the practice polygamy, especially among royalty.
So it was not uncommon for a king to have multiple wives and this was a major deviation from the monogamy of late Roman customs, influenced by the Church. Frankish rulers followed this practice mainly to increase their influence across larger areas of land in the wake of the Roman empires collapse, the aim was to maintain peace and ensure the preservation of the kingdom by appeasing local leaders. In the Germanic tradition succession fell, not to sons, but to younger brothers, but under Salic law, Clovis I instituted the custom of sons being the primary heirs in all respects. However, it was not a system of primogeniture, with the eldest son receiving the vast majority of an inheritance, the greater Frankish Kingdom was often splintered into smaller sub-kingdoms. Chlothar was the son of Clovis I and the fourth son of Queen Clotilde. Chlothar was born around 497 in Soissons, but he was very ambitious and sought to extend his domain. Upon the death of Clovis I in the year 511, the Frankish kingdom was divided between Chlothar and his brothers, Theuderic and Chlodomer, because of the rights of mothers, queens were granted a portion of their sons kingdom.
Clovis I, who had two wives, divided his kingdom into two for each of his wives, parceled out pieces to his respective sons. The eldest, son of the first wife, had the benefit of receiving one half of the kingdom of Francia, Chlothar shared the second half of the kingdom with his brothers Childebert and Chlodomer. Chlothar received the northern portion, Childebert the central kingdom of Paris, in 516 Gundobad, king of Burgundy and the throne passed to his son Sigismund, who converted to Catholicism. Sigismund adopted an extreme anti-Arian policy, going so far as to execute his Arian son Sigeric, in 523, at the instigation of their mother, Chlothar and Chlodomer joined forces in an expedition against the Burgundians. The Burgundian army was defeated, and Sigismund was captured and executed, sigismunds brother Godomar replaced him on the throne, with the support of the aristocracy, and the Franks were forced to leave
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