Talk:Louis IX of France

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This is a delicate balance: to Catholics, he was a saint; to Muslims and Jews, he was a monster. Would it be appropriate to edit this article to reflect this more accurately? He robbed and expelled Jews, he was responsible as a leader of a Crusade for thousands of deaths, he burned the majority of philosophical writings in France; to this editor, these crimes deserve some emphasis when presenting the facts of his life. At present, the article clearly is not neutral, but whether or not an article about a religious figure should be made neutral is a topic for debate. I will undertake a major revision of the article in about six months, after adequate time for discussion on this topic has passed. Please include your thoughts here! Directly below is some older text on this subject.

- - - - — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:33, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Because his religious zeal Louis caused the death of thousands of men who embarked with him. The crusade to Tunis was a disaster. Louis was so obsessed with his "mission of god" that he neglected ruling his own country and spent most of his kingdoms budget on military expeditions. I read nothing of this in this article. Someone with experience should take a look at it. I think that there are numerous publications which explore the other side of Louis.

Additionally a section should be written about how his veneration as a saint came to be. This to a large degree the byproduct of the french-papal conflict and not simply the legacy of Louis IX.

The current version of this article is obviously the vatican version of events.

Tullaris 10-06-2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:08, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't see .va at the end of anyone's signatures. (Smallvillefanatic (talk) 00:31, 12 June 2009 (UTC))
And that matters, why? It's still reads like a papal apology for his atrocities. (talk) 18:48, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
One more weighing in who would really like to see why he was elevated to sainthood. Half the article seems given to all the cities named after him. That's awesome, but the Papal politics interest me more. I also second that this article seems to stray from NPOV and reads more like a pious history, for example in certain sections relating how he was viewed by other monarchs. It is really difficult to reconcile this romanticized courtly account with the stories of the passions and travails of his contemporaries. There are also some bizarre statements such as "his contemporaries would not have understood if he did not engage in Crusades". What the heck is that even supposed to mean? (talk) 19:45, 28 April 2010 (UTC)


re: "Louis married on May 27, 1234, Marguerite de Provence (1221–December 21, 1295), the sister of Eleanor, the wife of Henry III.

Their children were:" ... blady, blody, blah

Objection: Author snootily assumes reign name and political affiliation of Henry III is known to be British. Considering the importance of this union and the many conflicts that resulted as the French thence had a dynastic claim in Britain, and vice versa, 'Of Britain', the coming hundred years war, the beginning of the path leading to Crecy and Agincourt, all should be deliniated in this article. 05-01-29

"Henry III" links to "Henry III of England" already, but you are hereby encouraged to fix the article if you think it requires further delineation. - jredmond 23:00, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)


I have deleted the two pictures in this article, which were not true representation of King Louis IX, but were due only to the imagination of the artists. I am replacing them with the only known true representation of the king. Hardouin 16:53, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Should there really be two almost identical picture of Louis IX. My suggestion is either remove one of them or replace it with one of the front of the statue. - Carl Logan 14 April 2005

I don't have front of the statue unfortunately, so at least the two pictures here show different sides of it. Hardouin 20:49, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

And my question is: how could YOU, a person living in THE YEAR 2010 know what this wonderful SAINT who died in 1270 looked like?? I am sorry whoever you are but they did not invent cameras then and we don't have time machines, now do we? And the portraits of him represent him but you never know EXACTLY what he looked like! I VERY much don't agree with you. In my opinion the act was stupid to delete a picture of him if you do not know what he looks like. HA! there I spoke my mind. HA! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

An image made during the lifetime of its subject is probably more accurate than an image made 500 years after the subject's death, don't you think? I am not sure that this was the situation five years ago when this discussion started but it is certainly possible. Surtsicna (talk) 23:26, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


I have removed the section about Antisemitism, beacause Louis IX policies against Jews didn't differ much from the rest of Western Europe. It should be in the Jewish history section instead. - Carl Logan 13 April 2005

Totally agree. The claim that Saint Louis killed 30% of France Jews is absurd. First of all, there were no statistics kept back then, so who can tell how many Jews died while Saint Louis was king? Then, let's not forget that back then the central governement had very little control over the kingdom. So at the most, Saint Louis can be held accountable for the fate of Paris Jews, but beyond Paris he can't be held accountable for much of what happened. As far as I know, Saint Louis has no particular reputation at killing Jews or organizing pogroms. Quite the opposite, I think he actually opposed the killing of Jews, as he opposed the killing of any other human beings (except the infidels in the Crusades), even though it is true that he disliked the Jews, like all other Christian men of his day, thinking them guilty of usury, and he expelled them from the kingdom. Hardouin 17:19, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

His policies were extreme even by the standards of his day. That this is entirely glossed over with a factually inaccurate apology referencing the 1910 version of Catholic Encyclopaedia, (written when the church was still very anti-semitic), is absurd. I see my changes to that passage were reverted, so if someone of more authority could please correct it I would be grateful. (talk) 18:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


I have changed the so-called "bigotry" section recently added to the article into a section about religious zeal, and greatly expanded on the subject. The "bigotry" section was flawed with bias. In particular, the claim that the purchase of the Crown of Thorns and fragment of Holy Cross in 1239 put France into debt for 150 years is flatly wrong. The kingdom of France was the richest in Europe at the time, and I have never heard anything about a 150 year debt. Besides, Saint Louis' grandson Philip the Fair confiscated the treasures and estates of the Knights Templar in 1307, so at the very most, if there had been a debt, he would have been able to pay it back as early as 1307. Hardouin 19:13, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Part of this seems to have been written by a bigot: 'Louis was a homosexual black man who fled his city of versales with his gay lover pope john paul and came to he americas to escape the russain leader kicg cornholio the 5th. his patronage of the arts drove many to believe he was gay.'


I think we should change and expand the section regarding Louis life. Both making it bigger and changed it in to five parts:

  • Early Life: Between his birth and 1234 when he was deemed of age and took over government of the kingdom from his mother. Should give a bigger part to Blanche of Castile, Louis mother, because without her the work of Philip II could easily been undone. France would once again be a collection of strong feudal lords without a strong king. The English king could have become a strong force in France again.
Also it was during this period that Raymond VII submitted to the French Crown, so it was more his mother Blanche who ended the Albigensian Crusade then Louis (he was only 14 in 1229).
  • Reign: From 1234 to 1248 when he embarked on the seventh crusade. Louis fighting rebellious French Feudal lords in league with the English King Henry. The war ended after Louis victory at Taillebourg in 1242.
  • Louis First Crusade: a summary about the first crusade of Louis IX together with a link to the page about the Seventh Crusade.
  • Between Crusades: From 1254 to 1270 were he reorganised the country. He also tried to insure peace in Western Europe by resolving claims between France and England, and Aragon and France.
  • Louis Second Crusade: a summary on the second crusade of Louis IX and his death together with a link to the page about the Eight Crusade.


View this link, you can tell that one page or the other is plagiarizing. [1]

No, actually it's neither. Scroll down to the very bottom of that page. Everyking 00:04, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)


There seems to me a useful expansion in the text regarding his body. He is an ancestor of my wife and we spent 3 months in France looking at bits of his history. According to Gerard Sivery, (Louis IX Le Roi Saint (Tallandier 2002)), his entrails were boiled off his bones and put in an urn now in the Basilica of Monreale in Palermo where they remained. His bones were taken to the Royal Necropolis at St Denis north of Paris (I have also photographed a plaque in a Lyon church where his remains rested 7 days en route). Because of his reputation for sanctity the bones were given a silver coffin. However according to a pamphlet in St Denis, it was preferentially stolen by military looters at a later date, and neither bones nor coffin were recovered. It is correct that a finger remains (in a reliquary). But ironically he appears to be the only king not represented at St Denis. (

The entrails of the kings and queens of France were always separated from their corpses and placed into special containers that were deposited in convents and churches outside of Saint-Denis. Only the corpses were at Saint-Denis. While the corpses at Saint-Denis were destroyed at the time of the French Revolution, some entrails that were outside of Saint-Denis have survived the Revolution. I think those entrails on French soil that survived the Revolution were later relocated to Saint-Denis at the time of the Restoration (1814-1830). As for Saint-Louis' tomb, I don't think his tomb was made of silver. I have always heard his tomb was of gilt brass, the only such tomb in Saint-Denis. It was melted down at the time of the French Religious Wars (late 16th century). You can see a rare picture of this tomb here [2] (the tomb of Saint Louis is the gilted baldachin behind the altar; only the top of the baldachin can be seen). Last but not least, Saint Louis is not the only king not represented at Saint Denis. There are kings who were burried outside of Saint Denis (3 of them), there are kings who never built tombs (the Bourbon kings, such as Louis XIV, never built tombs and are not represented at Saint Denis; before the Revolution their corpses were deposited inside bare lead coffins standing on trestles in the crypt), and finally there are some tombs that were destroyed at the time of the Revolution. Thus, some of the most famous French kings (Philip Augustus, Saint Louis, Henry IV, Louis XIV) are not reprensented at Saint Denis. Hardouin 29 June 2005 18:09 (UTC)


The article seems to have gone from one extreme (with a section titled "bigotry") to the apologetic other ("the decision to expel the Jews was largely welcome in all spheres of society"... I imagine the Jews, for one, weren't too happy about it). Could we try to rework the discussion of the crusades and anti-semitism to a more NPOV phrasing? The article should explain his actions within the context of European culture at the time, but not try to either condemn or excuse them. - Bryan is Bantman 18:48, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

The sentence "the decision to expel the Jews was largely welcome in all spheres of society" does not excuse Saint Louis' actions. It simply puts them into context. From many historicans that I have read, the king himself was far less extreme against the Jews than his people would have wanted him to be. To put it bluntly, many people hoped to see the Jews put to the sword, whereas the king himself would have been happy just with them converting to the "true faith" (i.e. Christianism). By the way, let's not make confusions, this has nothing to do with antisemitism per se. It's an attitude against non-Christians in general, be they pagan Saxons, Sarracens, Cathars, or Jews. Hardouin 23:52, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you look at the article Jews of France there is a lot of detail about how St Louis took a harder line on prohibiting usury than his predecessors. At least some of this needs to be reflected in this article. More detail is also needed about his participation in crusades. I'll add some when I have a moment. Itsmejudith 21:46, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


I removed this image because it appeared twice. evrik 17:23, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Wooden statue of Saint Louis (perhaps a copy of the statue at the church of Mainneville?)
I tried to remove it too, but just had that change (and all my other edits) reverted too.[3] However, I'd like to assert that not only should we remove the duplicate, we shouldn't be using this image at all. Both images are up for deletion at Commons, as lacking source information. Let's stick with properly sourced images, rather than something questionable. --Elonka 17:33, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Why are they questionable? They appear to explain what they are and where they come from. Furthermore, the statue is a better, and more contemporary, image, than the 16th century depiction. Michael Sanders 17:35, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


I'm getting confused. Historians believe that Louis IX was born on April 25, 1214, while the Catholic Encyclopedia says he was born on April 25, 1215. Which year of birth is more correct? (I added both possible birth years just to be sure.) --Angeldeb82 (talk) 23:13, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Deletion of referenced material[edit]

I dispute the deletion of a large amount of referenced material on the relations of Louis IX with the Mongols [4]. These contacts are an important part of Louis's reign and are, I believe, worthy of inclusion in an Encyclopedia which is supposed to be "the sum of all knowledge". I believe the deleted paragraph should be reinstated:

14th century copy of the February 7, 1248, letter from the Armenian noble Sempad, speaking in positive terms about the Mongols[1] The letter was also shown to Louis IX, who decided to send an envoy to the Mongol court

Louis exchanged multiple letters and emissaries with Mongol rulers of the period. After Louis left France on his first Crusade and disembarked at Nicosia in Cyprus, he was met on December 20, 1248, in Nicosia by two Mongol envoys, Nestorians from Mosul named David and Marc, who bore a letter from Eljigidei, the Mongol ruler of Armenia and Persia.[2] The envoys communicated a proposal to form an alliance against the Muslim Abbasids, whose Caliphate was based in Baghdad.[3] Eljigidei suggested that King Louis should land in Egypt, while Eljigidei attacked Baghdad, in order to prevent the Saracens of Egypt and those of Syria from joining forces.

Though at least one historian has criticized Louis as being "naive" in trusting the ambassadors, and Louis himself later admitted that he regretted the decision,[4] Louis sent André de Longjumeau, a Dominican priest, as an emissary to the Great Khan Güyük Khan in Mongolia. However, Güyük died, from drink, before the emissary arrived at his court, and his widow Oghul Ghaimish simply gave the emissary a gift and a condescending letter to take back to King Louis,[5] demanding that the king pay tribute to the Mongols.[6]

In 1252, Louis attempted an alliance with the Egyptians, for the return of Jerusalem if the French assisted with the subduing of Damascus.

In 1253, Louis tried to seek allies from among both the Ismailian Assassins and the Mongols.[7] Louis had received word that the the Mongol leader of the Golden Horde, Sartaq, had converted to Christianity,[8] While in Cyprus, Louis also saw a letter from Sempad, brother of Hetoum I of Armenia. Sempad, on an embassy to the Mongol court in Karakorum, described a Central Asian realm of oasis with many Christians, generally of the Nestorian rite.[9]

Louis dispatched another envoy to the Mongol court, the Franciscan William of Rubruck, who went to visit the Great Khan Möngke Khan in Mongolia. William entered into a famous competition at the Mongol court, as the Khan encouraged a formal debate between the Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims, to determine which faith was correct, as determined by three judges, one from each faith. The debate drew a large crowd, and as with most Mongol events, a great deal of alcohol was involved. As described by Jack Weatherford in his book Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World:

No side seemed to convince the other of anything. Finally, as the effects of the alcohol became stronger, the Christians gave up trying to persuade anyone with logical arguments, and resorted to singing. The Muslims, who did not sing, responded by loudly reciting the Koran in an effort to drown out the Christians, and the Buddhists retreated into silent mediation. At the end of the debate, unable to convert or kill one another, they concluded the way most Mongol celebrations concluded, with everyone simply too drunk to continue.

— Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, p. 173

But even after the competition, Möngke replied only with a letter via William in 1254, asking for the King's submission to Mongol authority.[10]"

Comments welcome. PHG (talk) 17:31, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

I deleted the extra information because it was undue weight and needless detail in the article. We are supposed to write in a summary style, and I summarized the information given and there is still a section setting forth Louis' contacts with the Mongols in the article. I welcome others comments if summarizing the information was against consensus, but given length of the information, and the relative lack of coverage of his Mongol contacts in most secondary sources dealing with Louis' reign, I felt that the article would be best served by a more concise statement. Please note that there is still a paragraph in the article about Louis' contacts with the Mongols, it just doesn't have lengthy quotes from the letters or information that isn't connected with Louis, who is the subject of the article. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:38, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Articles on Wikipedia are not supposed to be written in "summary style" at all: actually that would "defeat the purpose of the contributions" (See Wikipedia:Summary style). In short, it is improper to delete important referenced information from an article, except if you provide a link to a more detailed sub-article somewhere else (could be Louis IX and the Mongols). One way or another, this information is proper and therefore should be reinstated. PHG (talk) 18:01, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I think we disagree about how important it is to include the minute details of embassies. That information is, in my opinion, better included in a historical monograph or full length biography. You will note that the fact that Louis sent embassies to the Mongols is still included in the article. Much of what I cut has no bearing on Louis at all, especially the quotation on the debate between William of Rubruck and the Mongols, which did not involve Louis at all except that he sent William on the embassy. That quote would be better suited to an article about William of Rubruck. The sentence about the fact that Sempad described the Central Asian realm as an oasis of Christians is also unrelated to Louis, who is, I remind you, the subject of THIS article. The one bit that might need to be returned, "In 1252, Louis attempted an alliance with the Egyptians..." is actually unrelated to Mongols and is unreferenced. It is also covered in the section on the Crusades, where it states that Louis conducted diplomacy with the states of Syria and Egypt. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:16, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
It looks like, as you said, you removed material that didn't pertain to the subject of the article or that was repeated elsewhere. Good edit. Shell babelfish 02:30, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Here is important information pertaining to Louis IX which has been deleted in the process:
  • The "main" link to Franco-Mongol alliance has disapeared, although is it well known that Louis IX made several attempts to form this alliance, and a lot of information can be found there.
  • The decription of the two Mongol envoys David and Marc who met with Louis IX in Cyprus on December 20, 1248, in Nicosia disapeared.
  • The fact was also erased that Louis, while in Cyprus, saw a letter from Sempad, brother of Hetoum I of Armenia. Sempad, on an embassy to the Mongol court in Karakorum, described a Central Asian realm of oasis with many Christians, generally of the Nestorian rite,[11], motivated attempts by Louis to further approach the Mongols.
These important facts, directly related to Louix IX, should at least be reinstated. User:Ealdgyth also deleted all information related to interactions with the Mongols, in the Edward I of England article [5], which also constitutes deletion of referenced and relevant information. This also should be reinstated. 09:11, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
We'll have to disagree about the importance of the description of the two envoys and the details on the meeting between them and Louis. I'll point out that no where else in this article is such a level of detail gone into, so I fit the information to what is already in the article. This is what is known as collaborative editing, working with the information already there. The other information aobut Sempad is the same, no where else in this article are individual letters described in such detail. The link to the article, I'll listen to other editors in this subject area as far as suggestions on that. I'm not a regular editor in the Capetian monarchy, so I'll leave that in Srnec or some of the others that edit over on the continent. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:37, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia:Summary style, in case there is detailed information on a subject "This information should not be removed from Wikipedia: that would defeat the purpose of the contributions. So we must create new articles to hold the excised information." It is improper to delete important referenced information from an article, except if you provide a link to a more detailed sub-article somewhere else (could be Louis IX and the Mongols). PHG (talk) 16:13, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Royal saints[edit]

"he is one of the few royals in French history to have been declared a saint.". Merovingians have been overlooked by the writer of this.--Wetman (talk) 05:53, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Lack of academic content[edit]

This article focusses almost exclusively on religious and ideological ideas at the expense of any discussion of military or political events. While this certainly represents the endemic alternating hagiographic or patriotic historiography, this is a glaring omission. If there seems to be a reasonable level of consent to this, and especially if anyone was willing to help, I'd like to have a go at curing this particular ailment. Reichsfurst (talk) 00:38, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


If Louis IX is the reason so many French kings are named Louis, what accounts for the eight kings named Louis that came before him? The French language Wikipedia page on "Louis" claims that so many French kings are named Louis because it is an alternate spelling of Clovis I, the first Christian French monarch. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Hair shirt?[edit]

The image SaintLouisTuniqueAndDiscipline.jpg is not of his hair shirt, but of a linen tunic. It's probably this one you're looking for: St Aspais Melun - cilice.jpg But don't beat yourself up about it. Kortoso (talk) 00:45, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

In the following sources, zero indication that this is a [Cilice hair shirt].[12]

[13] [14] Everything here agrees that it was made of linen and was worn as an ordinary undertunic.
This is his cilice or hair shirt: [6]

Kortoso (talk) 16:49, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Misplaced source?[edit]

Both the article and this talk page include references pointing to pages in something by Tyerman, but the book those came from are no longer listed in the article. A quick search brings up several books about the crusades by a Christopher Tyerman, but I can't tell which one. Is there an easy way to search the history of this article for the answer, or is there someone who remembers which book it was? 1bandsaw (talk) 07:10, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Communication with the Mongol court?[edit]

There should be a limit to how long a wikipedia page can be, there is a whole section about some letters sent to the Mongol court and back, which led nowhere and is but a specialized interest of some Wikipedia editor who probably wrote his whole thesis on the topic and wants it referenced. Why discourage readers with such trivial non-info?

The Sisters of Saint Louis[edit]

"The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Louis is a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1842 and named in his honour."

I have looked into this statement, and have found nothing to back it up yet. I have contacted the Sisters of Saint Louis to see if they can assist! Cfmdobbie (talk) 12:47, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Have had a response, confirmed the statement as fact, and have updated the page! Cfmdobbie (talk) 18:01, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Le Royaume Armenien de Cilicie", p66
  2. ^ Peter Jackson (July 1980). "The Crisis in the Holy Land in 1260". The English Historical Review. 95 (376): 481–513. 
  3. ^ Grousset, p.523
  4. ^ Tyerman, p. 786
  5. ^ Runciman, p.260
  6. ^ Tyerman, p. 798. "Louis's embassy under Andrew of Longjumeau had returned in 1251 carrying a demand from the Mongol regent, Oghul Qaimush, for annual tribute, not at all what the king had anticipated.
  7. ^ Runciman, pp. 279-280
  8. ^ Runciman, p.380
  9. ^ Jean Richard, “Histoire des Croissades”, p. 376
  10. ^ J. Richard, 1970, p. 202., Encyclopedia Iranica, [7]
  11. ^ Jean Richard, “Histoire des Croissades”, p. 376
  12. ^ Jones, Heather. "Another Look at St. Louis' Shirt". 
  13. ^ McGann, Kass. "Your First Garb: The tunic of St. Louis". 
  14. ^ Carlson, Marc. "St. Louis' Shirt".