Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Philip I of France
A member of the Capetian Dynasty, Philippe was born on May 23, 1052, the son of Henri I (1008-1060) and Princess Anne of Kiev (1024 - 1075). His name (derived from the Greek Philippos, "lover of horses") was rather exotic for Western Europe at the time; it was bestowed upon him by his Russian mother. Although he was crowned king at the age of seven, until 1066 his mother acted as Regent, the first queen ever to do so.
Philippe's first marriage was in 1072 to Bertha, daughter of Floris I Count of Holland (1055-July 30, 1094). Their children were:
- Constance (1078 - c. 1125) married to Hugh of Troyes (Hugh I, count of Champagne) before 1097 and then, after her divorce, to Bohemund I of Antioch in 1106.
- King Louis VI of France (December 1, 1081 - August 1, 1137)
Although the marriage produced the necessary heir, Philippe fell in love with Bertrade de Montfort, the wife of Count Fulk IV of Anjou. He repudiated Bertha and married Bertrade on May 15, 1092. In 1094, he was excommunicated by Hugh, bishop of Lyon for the first time; after long silence, Pope Urban II repeated the excommunication at the council of Clermont in November 1095. Several times the ban was lifted as Philippe promised to to part with Bertrade, but he always returned to her, and after 1104, the ban was not repeated. In France, the king was opposed by Bishop Ivo of Chartres, a famous canonist.
The children of Philippe and Bertrade were:
- Philippe, Comte de Mantes (c. 1093 [?] - 1123)
- Fleury, seigneur de Nagis (1095 [?] - 1118)
- Cécile (1097 - 1145), married Tancred, Prince of Galilee; married secondly Pons of Tripoli
- Eustachie (c. 1095-?), married Jean, Comte d'Etampes
Philippe appointed Alberic, the first Constable of France in 1060. A great part of Philippe's reign, like his father's, was spent putting down revolts by his power-hungry vassals. In 1077, he made peace with William I of England (Duke of Normandy) who gave up attempting the conquest of Brittany. In 1082, Philippe expanded his empire with the annexation of Vexin, then in 1100, he took control of Bourges.
It was during Philippe's time that the First Crusade was launched in 1095 which he at first did not personally support because of his conflict with Urban II. Urban would not have allowed him to participate anyway, as he had reaffirmed Philippe's excommunication at the Council of Clermont before he called for the Crusade. Philippe's brother Hugh of Vermandois, however, was a major participant.
- "...King Philippe daily grew feebler. For after he had abducted the Countess of Anjou, he could achieve nothing worthy of the royal dignity; consumed by desire for the lady he had seized, he gave himself up entirely to the satisfaction of his passion. So he lost interest in the affairs of state and, relaxing too much, took no care for his body, well-made and handsome though it was. The only thing that maintained the strength of the state was the fear and love felt for his son and successor. When he was almost sixty, he ceased to be king, breathing his last breath at the castle of Melun-sur-Seine, in the presence of the [future king] Louis... They carried the body in a great procession to the noble monastery of St-Benoît-sur-Loire, where King Philippe wished to be buried; there are those who say the heard from his own mouth that he deliberately chose not to be buried among his royal ancestors in the church of St. Denis because he had not treated that church as well as they had, and because among so many noble kings his own tomb would not have counted for much."
He was succeeded by his son, Louis VI whose succession was, however, not uncontested.
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