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Philip I of France

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Philip I
Philip I's seal
King of the Franks
Reign4 August 1060 – 29 July 1108
Coronation23 May 1059 (as co-king)
PredecessorHenry I
SuccessorLouis VI
RegentsAnne of Kiev and Baldwin V of Flanders (1060–1067)
Born23 May 1052
Died29 July 1108 (aged 56)
SpousesBertha of Holland
Bertrade de Montfort
FatherHenry I of France
MotherAnne of Kiev

Philip I (c. 1052 – 29 July 1108), called the Amorous (French: L’Amoureux),[1] was King of the Franks from 1060 to 1108. His reign, like that of most of the early Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it had reached during the reign of his father, Henry I, and he added the Vexin region and the viscountcy of Bourges to his royal domaine.

Early life


Philip was born c. 1052 at Champagne-et-Fontaine, the son of Henry I and his wife Anne of Kiev.[2] Unusual for the time in Western Europe, his name was of Greek origin, being bestowed upon him by his mother. In 1059 Henry I had Philip crowned in Reims at the age of seven. Henry also appointed his brother-in-law Baldwin V of Flanders as regent of the kingdom, a role which Baldwin would share with Anne after the death of Henry in 1060.[3] Despite his young age, Philip would rule in his own right, append royal documents with his own seal, and accompany Baldwin to several administrative visits to Flanders.[4] This close association allowed Baldwin to maintain peaceful relationships between the king and his vassals.[5] At age fourteen Philip was knighted by Baldwin's son, Baldwin the Good.[6]

Personal rule

Denier under Philip I

Following the death of Baldwin VI of Flanders, Robert the Frisian seized Flanders.[7] Baldwin's widow, Richilda, requested aid from Philip, who was defeated by Robert at the battle of Cassel in 1071.[8]

Philip appointed Alberic first Constable of France in 1060. A great part of his reign, like his father's, was spent putting down revolts by his power-hungry vassals. In 1077, he summoned a great host to relieve Dol-de-Bretagne and prevent the annexation of Brittany by William the Conqueror, who was forced to capitulate and make his peace with Philip.[9] In 1082, Philip I expanded his demesne with the annexation of the Vexin,[8] in reprisal against Robert Curthose's attack on William's heir, William Rufus. Then in 1100, he took control of Bourges.[10] Philip expanded the royal demesne by incorporating the monasteries of Saint-Denis and Corbie.[11]

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. Philip's brother Hugh of Vermandois, however, was a major participant.

In 1106, he married his daughter Constance to Bohemond I of Antioch. The marriage was celebrated in Chartres with great pomp.[12] In 1107, Pope Paschal II met Philip and the future Louis VI in Saint-Denis, cementing a century-long alliance between the kingdom of France and the papacy against the Holy Roman Empire.

Personal life


Philip first married Bertha of Holland in 1072.[13] Although the marriage produced the necessary heir, Philip fell in love with Bertrade de Montfort, the wife of Fulk IV, Count of Anjou. He repudiated Bertha (claiming she was too fat) and married Bertrade on 15 May 1092.[14] In 1094 following the synod of Autun, he was excommunicated by the papal representative, Hugh of Die, for the first time;[15] after a long silence, Pope Urban II repeated the excommunication at the Council of Clermont in November 1095.[16] Several times the ban was lifted as Philip promised to part with Bertrade, but he always returned to her.

In 1101, the sentence was renewed by Urban II in Poitiers, despite the protest of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, who entered the church with his knights to prevent his suzerain from being excommunicated on his lands.[17] After making a public penance in 1104, Philip received absolution and was reconciled with the Church, and must have kept his involvement with Bertrade discreet.[18] In France, the king was opposed by Bishop Ivo of Chartres, a famous jurist.[19]


13th-century effigy of King Philip I

Philip died in the castle of Melun and was buried per his request at the monastery of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire[20] – and not in St Denis among his forefathers. He was succeeded by his son, Louis VI, whose succession was, however, not uncontested. According to Abbot Suger:[21]

… King Philip 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 Philip wished to be buried; there are those who say they 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 those of so many noble kings, his own tomb would not have counted for much.

Posthumous painting by Gillot Saint-Evre, 1837



Philip's children with Bertha were:

  1. Constance (1078 – 14 September 1126), married Hugh I of Champagne before 1097[22] and then, after her divorce, to Bohemund I of Antioch in 1106.[23]
  2. Louis VI of France (1 December 1081 – 1 August 1137).[23]
  3. Henry (1083 – died young).

Philip's children with Bertrade were:

  1. Philip, Count of Mantes (1093 – fl. 1123),[24] married Elizabeth, daughter of Guy III of Montlhéry[25]
  2. Fleury, Seigneur of Nangis (1095 – July 1119)[26]
  3. Cecile (1097 – 1145), married Tancred, Prince of Galilee[27] and then, after his death, to Pons of Tripoli.[28]


  1. ^ Norwich, John J. (2 October 2018). A History of France. Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 9780802146700.
  2. ^ Bradbury 2007, p. 111.
  3. ^ Prou 1908, p. xxix-xxxii.
  4. ^ Prou 1908, p. xxviii, 45, 49, 67.
  5. ^ Fliche 1912, p. 30-31.
  6. ^ Prou 1908, p. xxxii.
  7. ^ Nicholas 1999, p. 115.
  8. ^ a b Hallam 1980, p. 50-51.
  9. ^ Petit-Dutaillis 1936, p. 81.
  10. ^ Shepherd 2003, p. 13.
  11. ^ Gabriele 2020, p. 500.
  12. ^ Fliche 1912, p. 89.
  13. ^ Bradbury 2007, p. 114.
  14. ^ Bradbury 2007, p. 119; Gabriele 2020.
  15. ^ Bradbury 2007, p. 119.
  16. ^ Somerville 2011, p. 118.
  17. ^ Fliche 1912, p. 239.
  18. ^ d'Avray 2014, p. 47.
  19. ^ Rolker 2009, p. 16.
  20. ^ Brown 1990, p. 807.
  21. ^ Abbot Suger.
  22. ^ Paul 2012, p. 38.
  23. ^ a b Huscroft 2016, p. xi.
  24. ^ Power 2004, p. 85.
  25. ^ Bradbury 2007, p. 131.
  26. ^ McDougall 2017, p. 155.
  27. ^ McDougall 2017, p. 159.
  28. ^ Hodgson 2007, p. 217.


  • d'Avray, David, ed. (2014). "Philip I of France and Bertrade". Dissolving Royal Marriages: A Documentary History, 860–1600. Cambridge University Press.
  • Bradbury, Jim (2007). The Capetians: The History of a Dynasty. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Brown, Elizabeth A. R. (1990). "Authority, the Family, and the Dead in Late Medieval France". French Historical Studies. 16 (4 Autumn): 803–832. doi:10.2307/286323. JSTOR 286323.
  • Fliche, Augustin (1912). Le règne de Philippe Ier, roi de France (1060-1108). Société française d'imprimerie et de librairie.
  • Gabriele, Matthew (2020). "Not so strange bedfellows: new thoughts on King Philip I of Francia's marriage to Bertrada of Montfort". Journal of Medieval History. 46 (5). Taylor & Francis: 499–512. doi:10.1080/03044181.2020.1814393. ISSN 0304-4181. S2CID 225212068.
  • Hallam, Elizabeth (1980). Capetian France: 987–1328. Longman Group Ltd.
  • Hodgson, Natasha R. (2007). Women, Crusading and the Holy Land in Historical Narrative. The Boydell Press.
  • Huscroft, Richard (2016). Tales from the Long Twelfth Century: The Rise and Fall of the Angevin Empire. Yale University Press.
  • McDougall, Sara (2017). Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy, 800–1230. Oxford University Press.
  • Nicholas, Karen S. (1999). "Countess as Rulers in Flanders". In Evergates, Theodore (ed.). Aristocratic Women in Medieval France. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Paul, Nicholas L. (2012). To Follow in Their Footsteps: The Crusades and Family Memory in the High Middle Ages. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-801-45097-6. OL 25307863M.
  • Petit-Dutaillis, C. (1936). The Feudal Monarchy in France and England:From the 10th to the 13th Century. Translated by Hunt, E.D. Routledge. OL 27789341M.
  • Power, Daniel (2004). The Norman Frontier in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries. Cambridge University Press.
  • Prou, Maurice (1908). Recueil des actes de Philippe Ier, roi de France (1059-1108). Imprimerie Nationale.
  • Rolker, Christof (2009). Canon Law and the Letters of Ivo of Chartres. Cambridge University Press.
  • Shepherd, Jonathan (2003). "The 'muddy-road' of Odo Arpin from Bourges to La Charitie-sur-Loire". In Edbury, Peter; Phillips, Jonathan (eds.). The Experience of Crusading. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press.
  • Abbot Suger. "XIII: Of the death of King Philip". Life of King Louis the Fat. Translated by Dunbabin, Jean – via Internet History Sourcebooks Project (Fordham University).
  • Somerville, Robert (2011). Pope Urban II's Council of Piacenza. Oxford University Press.
  • Strickland, Matthew (2016). Henry the Young King, 1155–1183. Yale University Press.
Philip I of France
Born: 23 May 1052 Died: 29 July 1108
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of the Franks
4 August 1060 – 29 July 1108
Succeeded by