Philip II (21 August 1165 – 14 July 1223), byname Philip Augustus (French: Philippe Auguste), was King of France from 1180 to 1223. His 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".
- Early Years
- Third Crusade
- Marital Problems
- Last Years
In declining health, Louis VII had him crowned and anointed at Rheims by the Archbishop] of Rheims William Whitehands on November 1, 1179. He was marriedon April 28, 1180, to Isabelle of Hainaut, who brought the County of Artois as her dowry. His father died on 20 September.
Philip went on the Third Crusade (1189–1192) with Richard I of England (1189–99) and the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa (1155–90). His army left Vézelay on July 1, 1190. At first, the French and English crusaders traveled together, but the armies split at Lyons, as Richard decided to go by sea, and Philip took the overland route through the Alps to Genoa. The French and English armies were reunited in Messina, where they wintered together. On March 30, 1191, the French set sail for the Holy Land and Philip arrived on May 20. He then marched up to Acre which was already besieged by a lesser contingent of crusaders and started to construct large siege equipments before Richard arrived in June 8. By the time Acre surrendered on 12 July, Philip was severely ill with dysentery which reduced his crusading zeal. Ties with Richard were further strained after the latter acted in a haughty manner after Acre had fallen. More importantly, the siege resulted in the death of Philip of...
After Isabelle's early death in childbirth, in 1190, Philip decided to marry again. On August 15, 1193, he married Ingeborg (1175–1236), daughter of King Valdemar I of Denmark (1157–82). She was renamed Isambour. For some unknown reason, Philip was repelled by her, and he refused to allow her to be crowned Queen. Ingeborg protested at this treatment; his response was to confine her to a convent. He then asked Pope Celestine III for an annulment on the grounds of non-consummation. Philip had not reckoned with Ingeborg, however; she insisted that the marriage hadbeen consummated, and that she was his wife and the rightful Queen of France. The Franco-Danish churchman William of Paris intervened on the side of Ingeborg, drawing up a genealogy of the Danish kings to disprove the alleged impediment of consanguinity. In the meantime Philip had sought a new bride. Initially, agreement had been reached for him to marry Marguerite of Geneva, daughter of William I, Count of Geneva, but the you...
Understandably, he turned a deaf ear when the Pope asked him to do something about the heretics in the Languedoc. When Innocent III called for a crusade against the Albigensians or Cathars, in 1208, Philip did nothing to support it, but neither did he hinder it. The war against the Cathars did not end until 1244, when finally their last strongholds were captured. The fruits of it, namely the submission of the south of France to the crown, were to be reaped by Philip's son, Louis VIII, and grandson, Louis IX. From 1216 to 1222 Philip also arbitrated in the War of Succession in Champagne and finally helped the military efforts of Eudes III, Duke of Burgundy and Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor to bring it to an end. Philip II Augustus would play a significant role in one of the greatest centuries of innovation in construction and in education. With Paris as his capital, he had the main thoroughfares paved, built a central market, Les Halles, continued the construction begun in 1163 of...
Philip made Paris his "chief residence," which became the capital of France. He fortified Paris and patronized the University, which soon developed into a leading center of scholarship at this time. By taking possession of the English lands North of the Loire, he added considerably to both the territorial size and to the population of France. This included access to the sea. Philip II is thus credited with taking the "first great step in uniting France," which may be the origin of his title "Augustus" in imitation of the first Roman Emperor. He may also have become known as "Augustus" because of his territorial conquest. By supporting the University, too, he added to his "imperial aura and bolstered" his status "relative to the other kings of Europe." He has been described as a "political genius." At the beginning of his reign, although he held the title "king" he was only one among the great feudal princes; "there was … no France as yet." By the end of his reign, he had tripled the...Adams, George Burton. 1970. The Growth of the French Nation.New York, NY: Macmillan.Baldwin, John W. 1986. The Government of Philip Augustus: Foundations of French Royal Power in the Middle Ages. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520052727.Claster, Jill N. 1982. The Medieval Experience, 300-1400. New York, NY: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814713815.Ferruolo, Stephen C. 1985. The Origins of the University: The Schools of Paris and their Critics, 1100-1215. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804712668.
Jul 10, 2021 · Philip II, byname Philip Augustus, French Philippe Auguste, (born August 21, 1165, Paris, France—died July 14, 1223, Mantes), the first of the great Capetian kings of medieval France (reigned 1180–1223), who gradually reconquered the French territories held by the kings of England and also furthered the royal domains northward into Flanders and southward into Languedoc.
Philip II of France was the King of France in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. His expansion of France from a feudal land to a prosperous country caused him to be popularly known as ‘Philip Augustus’. He was often called a political genius and master manipulator of feudal lords and other monarchs, to get his way.
king Philip II, sometimes called Philip Augustus, ruled France from 1180 to 1223. He made the Crown more powerful than any feudal lord, more than tripled the royal domain, and turned the balance of power between France and England in favor of France.
- Wars with England
- Relationship with The Pope
- Internal Reforms
- Further Reading
Philip inherited from his father the difficult problem of trying to defend the small royal domain centering on Paris and Orléans against the much more extensive holdings of Henry II of England. By inheritance, marriage, and war, Henry had acquired lands extending from Normandy on the English Channel through Maine, Anjou, and Aquitaine to the Pyrenees. Although young Philip faced seemingly hopeless odds, he exploited the jealousy of Henry's sons, and when Henry invested his favored youngest son, John, with all the King's Continental holdings except Normandy, John's older brother Richard became an ally of Philip and fought his aging father. In 1189 Henry was forced to recognize Richard as heir to all his lands and Philip as his feudal lord for his lands in France. Shortly afterward, Henry IIdied. The power struggle had been interrupted by the preparations for the Third Crusade following the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. Now Philip reluctantly joined Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa) and...
Although preoccupied with defending his kingdom against England, Philip was not unmindful of the opportunities for acquisitions in southern France. In 1207 Pope Innocent III invited Philip to lead a crusade there against the spread of heresy, but Philip declined to take part unless the Pope made John stop fighting in Poitou—something Innocent IIIcould not do. A decade later Philip was still avoiding direct participation in the crusade, but he did permit his son, Louis of France, to lead a French army into Toulouse. In January 1213, John was excommunicated and deposed for his spoliation of the Church. His troubles with his own English barons encouraged Pope Innocent III to urge Philip to invade England, seize John, and put Louis of France, now married to a niece of John's, on the English throne. But when John turned over England to the Pope and received it back as a papal fief, Innocent ordered Philip to give up the invasion. John, restored to power with papal protection, then organi...
While Philip was enlarging his kingdom, he was also developing and instituting a plan of civil servicewhereby men were given high office on the basis of competence rather than hereditary right. To assure obedience in the outlying provinces, where distance encouraged independence, Philip instituted salaried bailiffs responsible for the administrative, military, and judicial supervision of the areas assigned to them. Philip encouraged the growth of town governments by selling charters and privileges to them, and thus he won the support of town bourgeoisie against the restless nobility. Most of the towns granted new charters were on the frontiers of the royal domain. For Philip they were defensive posts with military obligations. Incomes from this source, from the fees levied on foreign merchants and fairs for protection, and from the profits of justice gave the King the money needed to finance a professional army and government bureaucracy. By the time Philip died, he had become the r...
The most thorough study of Philip II is in German. In English, Philip is discussed in more general works on his time: Achille Luchaive, Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus (1912); Charles Petit-Dutaillis, The Feudal Monarchy in France and England from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century (1936); Robert Fawtier, The Capetian Kings of France: Monarchy and Nation, 987-1328 (1962); and Kenneth Setton, A History of the Crusades(2 vols., 1962), which includes a discussion of the Third Crusade. □
- Philip and Henry II
- Participation in The Third Crusade
- Fighting Plantagenets
- John Landless
- War with The Anti-French Coalition
- Recent Years
The English king Henry II Plantagenet supported Philip in the first few years of his reign. Nevertheless, the French king, no later than 1183, began the traditional Capeet policy of supporting rebellious members of the English royal house. Heinrich the Young King received from Philip money and troops, but died the same year. On December 6, 1183, a new meeting of the two kings took place in Gisore, during which Philip recognized Henry all his possessions on the continent. The following year, great success was achieved: another son of Henry II, Jeffrey, Duke of Breton, arrived in Paris and took Philip the vassal oath. He also died very young in 1186, but his widow, who was in charge of his son and heir, was a supporter of the Capetians. After the death of Jeffrey, Philip began to support Prince Richard, who was afraid to be deprived because of his father’s obviously greater love for his youngest son, John. During the meeting of the monarchs in Bonmulin on November 18, 1188, Philip dem...
Philip and Richard the Lionheart took the cross together. They entered into an agreement under which they pledged to help each other in a crusade and to divide in half all the conquered lands (1190). If one of them died on the way to the Holy Land, the other would lead his people. It was assumed that the kings would go all the way together, but the armies turned out to be too numerous, so they had to split up to avoid supply problems. Philip walked ahead. In September 1190 he reached Messina, where he waited for the English Crusaders. Here both armies spent the winter. Richard intervened in the dynastic struggle in the Sicilian kingdom; Philip had to become a mediator between him and the rebels against the British Messina, and in March 1191 to sail to Syria alone, not waiting for Richard to finish his Italian affairs. The French joined the siege of Acre. When Richard arrived here, it became clear that the former allies had become almost enemies. Richard refused to give Philip a part...
Upon the return of Philip from a crusade through France, rumors were spreading that Richard in Palestine had allegedly betrayed Christianity. Bishop Bové Philippe de Dreux convinced King Phillip that Richard was plotting to kill him. When Richard was captured in Austria (December 1192 ), the emperor accused him, among other things, of trying to kill the French king. Richard denied all charges and was able to defend himself. Sources report that Philip was ready to pay Henry VI a huge sum to keep Richard captive, but the imperial princes did not allow this. Having received news of the arrest of Richard, Philip moved his troops to Normandy (early 1193). He took the castles Gisore, Ivri, Pasi. An agreement was signed with Prince John, according to which Touraine and part of Normandy on the right bank of the Seine were to go to the French crown; in the event of his accession to the throne, John pledged to take Philippean oath for England. In February 1194, Richard, despite the best effor...
Philip used against his new king John of England his nephew Arthur of Breton, who had many adherents not only in Brittany, but also in Anjou, Touraine and Maine. Open war resumed. But Philip, excommunicated by the Pope because of his scandalous divorce from Ingeborg Danish, was forced in May 1200 to sign the peace in Le Goulet. Under the terms of the contract, he recognized John as Richard’s heir in all his possessions, received the county of Evreux, most of Veksen and part of Berry, his son Louis married his niece John Blanca of Castile, whose dowries were Shatodene and Youdon counties. John took the vassal oath and undertook to pay 20,000 marks as a relief. By the autumn of the same year, Philip improved his relationship with the papacy and received a new cause for conflict: John kidnapped Hugo IX’s bride de Luzignan Angouleme and married her himself. Lusignan appealed for help to their overlord – the king of France. In March 1202, Philip met with John at Le Goulet and demanded th...
The struggle between the kings of France and England was closely linked to the feud between Stauffen and Welfe in Germany. John Landless supported his nephew Otto to open a second front against France in the east. When the latter was killed (1208), Philip Augustus tried to nominate Heinrich of Brabant, but Otton was able to get recognition from the leaders of the Staufen party and even from the pope, who hoped to break the union of the Empire and Sicily with his help. After the coronation of Otto in Rome in 1209, Philip Augustus was in foreign policy isolation. Fortunately for the French crown, Otto decided to continue the Stauffen policy in Italy and as a result quickly became the pope’s worst enemy. Philip Augustus established contacts with a number of German princes and, with the support of the Holy See, secured the election of King Friedrich II Staufen (1211) as nephew of Philip of Swabian. During the personal meeting of the two monarchs in Vokulera, the alliance between the Sta...
The last nine years of his life, Philip Augustus was mainly engaged in reforming the management of his overgrown domain. In 1216, the English barons offered his son a crown; Louis landed in England and at first achieved great success, but after the death of John Lackland he had to return to France. Since 1209, the crusaders of northern France waged a war in Occitania against the Albigensians, who were supported by the Count of Toulouse and other major lords. Philip Augustus for a long time refrained from participating in this war, but after the defeat of his enemies and the death of Simon de Montfort ( 1218 ), he ceased to stand aside. He twice sent his troops to the south: in 1219, led by his son Louis, and in 1222, led by the Archbishop of Bourges. Philip Augustus died on July 14, 1223 in Manta and was buried in Saint-Denis. His son, Louis, was already 36 years old, yet he was not crowned. This could be connected both with the strengthening of the dynasty, which did not need more...
- Philip II Augustus
- Strategies on Taking Back French Land
- The English-German Invasion
- Catharism in The South
Of all the French kings who helped to put the kingdom of France back together again, Philip II Augustus was the most successful. Philip II Augustus was the first Capetian king who did not bother with anticipatory succession. The fact that he was comfortable with this suggests that his contemporaries, at least, accepted the notion that Capetians were the true dynasty within France. When Philip II Augustus began his reign in 1180, many counts and dukes were loyal to the patient Capetian Crown. Success did not come easily to Philip II Augustus, and in some ways, he was a most unlikely ruler to restore the French monarchy. Philip II was notoriously neurotic, a hypochondriac, and always convinced he was sick and dying. He did not like war and fighting and even left the Third Crusade after a few weeks. At the same time, he was a patient and deviously intelligent king, who preferred administration and accounting. From day one, he wanted to take back western France from England.
His first strategy for taking back the French lands from English kings was to turn royal family members against each other, cause a crack and fit himself in to get back the lands. He gained some success with sons of Henry II but could not get the desired result from turning John Lackland against his brother, Richard Lionheart. Thus, he decided to use his feudal ties with English kings. In 1204, he summoned King John to the French court for charges that had been leveled against him by one of the king of England’s own French vassals. However, John did not go, and Philip declared all of John’s possessions on the European continent to be forfeited. John had failed to do his duty, to appear at the French court, and now he had no right to hold the possessions anymore. Learn more about the chivalric code.
Philip II stormed into the English holdings on the continent from 1204 to 1206. He went first to Normandy, the heartland of the Angevin Empire, and repossessed it in 1204. He took back the region of Anjou in the following year, and in 1206 he took back the region of Brittany in the far northwest of France. Having lost so many of his continental possessions to Philip II, the annoyed John Lackland decided to form an alliance with Germany against France. It took John a while to get organized, but in 1214, he and the ruler of Germany, Otto of Brunswick, invaded the kingdom of France jointly. The joint English-German invasion of France in 1214 marked a grave threat to the Capetian Dynasty. The degree to which they had succeeded in increasing royal power within France was now to be put to the test. England raided France from the west and Germany from the east. Although Philip was not a fighter, he defeated the Germans at the Battle of Bouvines in the same year. He then went to the west to...
Philip II re-established royal control over the south of France as well, where heresy was getting very popular. In 1208, a papal representative was murdered probably by the Cathars; hence, in 1209, the pope declared a crusade. It was against against anyone who protected the Cathars, which meant most of the southern French nobility. The Crusade against the Cathars, which was fought from 1209 to 1229, was known as the Albigensian Crusade. The name comes from the town of Albi in the south of France, which was reputed to be a strong center of Catharism. Philip II did not want to take part at first as he had just had confiscated Normandy and Brittany and was waiting for the English king to react. The northern French aristocrats were more interested and joined the Crusade in the south. After defeating the Germans and the English, Philip II realized he could gain royal control in the south again. Thus, he sent his son, the future King Louis VIII, to the south in 1218 to take part in the Al...
- Early years
- Later years
- Later life
Philip II Augustus had acceded to the throne of France in 1180, at the tender age of fifteen. He married his first wife, Isabella of Hainault the same year; she was only ten-years-old. Isabella was the daughter of Baldwin V, count of Hainault, and Margaret I, countess of Flanders. At just one year old she had been betrothed to Henry, the future count of Champagne and nephew of Adele, queen of France. However, Isabellas father later reneged on his promises, and arranged Isabellas marriage to Philip, the son and heir of Louis VII. Philip had been crowned junior king of France in 1179. Isabella and Philip were married on 28 April 1180 and Isabella was crowned queen exactly one month later, even though her father-in-law was still king. With Louis VIIs death Philip and Isabella acceded to the throne as sole king and queen in September of the same year. Philip was a capricious being when it came to his wives, indeed, he attempted to repudiate Isabella when she was only fourteen. Isabellas father had taken the side of his enemies in war against Flanders, but he cited her failure to produce an heir as his reason for putting her aside, despite her still-tender age. Unfortunately for Philip, Isabella appeared before the council at Sens, called to support his repudiation of her, barefoot and penitent. Isabella was a popular queen and the people were so taken with this act of humility that their protests forced the king to take her back. On the conclusion of negotiations with Knuts representatives, Philip sent an embassy to Denmark, to escort his bride back to France. The envoys were afforded a lavish reception at the Danish court, where the formal arrangements for the marriage were finalised. Ingeborg was provided with a dowry of 10,000 marks in gold and set out for a new life in France, accompanied by the French envoys and many Danish dignitaries, probably not expecting to ever see her homeland again. Ten years older than Ingeborg, Philip met his bride for the first time on their wedding day, 14 August 1193, in the cathedral church at Amiens. Ingeborg was crowned queen of France the next day, by the archbishop of Reims; her name changed to Isambour, to make it more acceptable to the French language, though what she thought of this, we cannot say. Unfortunately, no one knows what happened on the wedding night, but poor Ingeborg had one of the shortest honeymoon periods in history; and by the end of the coronation ceremony he had such an aversion to Ingeborg that he tried to get the Danish envoys to take her home with them. Ingeborg, however, refused to go, saying that she had been crowned queen of France, and her place was now in France. Queen Ingeborg sought sanctuary in a convent in Soissons, from where she wrote an appeal to the pope, Celestine III. Three months later, Philip established a friendly ecclesiastical council in Compiègne, in an attempt to have the marriage annulled. Ingeborg was present, but, speaking no French, had little understanding of the proceedings until they were interpreted for her. As the consanguinity argument was not working for Philip, in pursuit of his divorce, and with his counsellors already having an eye on a new bride for the king, another argument was advanced; that of non-consummation. Ingeborg, however, remained steadfast, insisting that she and Philip had slept together on their wedding night. The pope again took Ingeborgs side. Philip disregarded the popes decree to return to Ingeborg and took a new wife, Agnes of Merania, a German princess, in 1196. They had two children together, Philip and Marie, illegitimate due to their fathers bigamous marriage with their mother. However, in 1198, the new pope, Innocent III, asserted his authority by declaring the marriage invalid, he announced that Philip was still married to Ingeborg and ordered the king to return to his true wife.
She gave birth to the desired son and heir, the future Louis VIII, three years later, in 1187. However, on 14 March 1190 she gave birth to twin boys, Robert and Philip, but died from complications the next day, aged just nineteen; the babies died three days after their mother. The Chronique rimee of Philippe Mouskes described her as Queen Isabelle, she of noble form and lovely eyes. Philip II left on Crusade just a few short months after Isabellas death; however, with only one living son, he was soon looking around for a new wife.
Ingeborg was the daughter of Valdemar I the Great, king of Denmark, and Sofia of Minsk, and was the youngest of their eight surviving children. Born around 1176, it was only six years later, in 1182, that her father died. Valdemar was succeeded by Ingeborgs older brother, Knut (or Canute) VI; and it fell to Knut to arrange Ingeborgs future. I could not find any details of Ingeborgs childhood, although she was probably educated to the standard expected of princesses of the time, in order to make her attractive in the international royal marriage market. A princess was expected to be able to manage a household, to sew, play music, sing, dance and much more.
At seventeen years of age, contemporary sources extolled her excellent qualities; in addition to the obligatory courtly praise of her appearance, comparing her beauty with that of Helen of Troy, she was a model of virtue. Ingeborg was described as very kind, young of age but old of wisdom by Étienne de Tournai, who knew her well and said that the beauty of her soul overshadowed that of her face. Remarkably, given subsequent events, even those chroniclers devoted to her Philip II, such as Guillaume le Breton, spoke of the new queen with respect.
Philip claimed that Ingeborg was related to his first wife, and the marriage was therefore within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity, going so far as to falsify his family tree to provide proof. As a result, the churchmen, sympathetic to their king, determined that the marriage was void. When Ingeborg was informed of the decision, she appealed to Rome, protesting loudly Mala Francia! Roma! Roma! Her homeland finally took notice of Ingeborgs plight and following a meeting with a Danish delegation, who produced their own genealogy showing that Ingeborg and Philippe had very little blood in common, the pope declared the decision by Philips ecclesiastical council to be invalid and ordered that Philip should take back his wife, and was not to remarry.
Philip responded by making Ingeborgs imprisonment even harsher. Following vigorous correspondence between Paris and the papacy Innocent responded with his most powerful weapon; excommunication. On 15 January 1200, the whole of France was put under interdict, all churches were closed. There were to be no church services or offices; no sacraments were to be performed, save for the baptism of new-borns and the last rites of the dying, until Philip acquiesced to the popes demands and, at least, renounced Agnes, even if he didnt return to Ingeborg. Indeed, Philips own son, Louis, had to hold his wedding to Blanche of Castile, daughter of Eleanor of Castile, in Normandy due to the interdict.
Towards the end of the year Philip finally gave in. Poor Agnes was stripped of her status as Philips wife and exiled from court; she died in July 1201, heartbroken. Her two children by Philip were legitimised by the pope shortly afterwards. For Ingeborg, however, nothing changed. Philip refused to take her back and appealed again for an annulment, this time claiming that she had bewitched him on their wedding night. The appeal, again, was refused and Ingeborg was only released finally in 1213. Philippes change of heart was not out of any sense of guilt, affection or justice, but more for practicality. With King Johns barons risen against him, the situation in England was ripe to be exploited, and Philip needed peace with Denmark in order to concentrate his attentions on the greater prize; the English throne. Ingeborg had been a prisoner in France for twenty years. Now, because of political expediency, she was not only free, but reinstated as queen, accorded the respect and dignity she had had a right to since her wedding day in 1193. However, her husband never returned to her bed; it was for outward appearances only. His son, Louis, now had his own son and heir, and so there was no need for Philip to be with Ingeborg, physically, in order to secure the succession. On his deathbed, in 1223, Philip II Augustus asked his son to treat Ingeborg well; while in his will, he left her 10,000 livres. The new king, Louis VIII, and his son, Louis IX, would both treat Ingeborg kindly and accord her all the respect due to her rank as dowager queen of France. Such an action was politically preferable to Louis; by recognising Ingeborg as legitimate queen of France he emphasised that Agnes had not been, and that, therefore, her children, especially Louiss half-brother, Philip, had no right to the throne (despite his legitimisation by the pope).
After Philips death Ingeborg paid for masses to be said for his soul, whether out of duty, or as a sign of forgiveness, well never know. A dignified and pious widow, she then retired to the priory of St Jean de lÎle, Corbeil. She died in 1238, surviving her husband by more than fourteen years and was buried in a church in Corbeil, having spent twenty of her forty-five years, as queen, a prisoner of her husband.