- Early life
- Patron of arts and arbiter of Europe
Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis or Louis the Saint, is the only king of France to be canonized in the Catholic Church. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII; his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom as regent until he reached maturity, and then remained his valued adviser until her death. During Louis' childhood, Blanche dealt with the opposition of rebellious vassals and obtained a definitive victory in the Albigensian Crusade
Much of what is known of Louis's life comes from Jean de Joinville's famous Life of Saint Louis. Joinville was a close friend, confidant, and counselor to the king. He participated as a witness in the papal inquest into Louis's life that resulted in his canonisation in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII. Two other important biographies were written by the king's confessor, Geoffrey of Beaulieu, and his chaplain, William of Chartres. While several individuals wrote biographies in the decades following th
Louis was born on 25 April 1214 at Poissy, near Paris, the son of Louis the Lion and Blanche of Castile, and was baptised there in La Collégiale Notre-Dame church. His grandfather on his father's side was Philip II, king of France; while his grandfather on his mother's side was Alfonso VIII, king of Castile. Tutors of Blanche's choosing taught him most of what a king must know—Latin, public speaking, writing, military arts, and government. He was nine years old when his grandfather ...
On 27 May 1234, Louis married Margaret of Provence; she was crowned in the cathedral of Sens the next day. Louis's marriage had political connections, as his wife was sister to Eleanor, who later married Henry III of England. The new queen's religious zeal made her a well-suited partner for the king. He enjoyed her company, and was pleased to show her the many public works he was making in Paris, both for its defence and for its health. They enjoyed riding together, reading, and listening to mus
When Louis was 15, his mother brought an end to the Albigensian Crusade in 1229. She signed an agreement with Count Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse, which cleared the latter's father of wrongdoing. Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse had been suspected of murdering a preacher on a mission to convert the Cathars. Louis went on two crusades: in his mid-30s in 1248, and then again in his mid-50s in 1270.
Louis's patronage of the arts inspired much innovation in Gothic art and architecture. The style of his court was influential throughout Europe, both because of artwork purchased from Parisian masters for export, and by the marriage of the king's daughters and female relatives to foreign husbands. They became emissaries of Parisian models and styles elsewhere. Louis's personal chapel, the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, which was known for its intricate stained-glass windows, was copied more than once
Louis IX, also called Saint Louis, (born April 25, 1214, Poissy, France—died August 25, 1270, near Tunis [now in Tunisia]; canonized August 11, 1297, feast day August 25), king of France from 1226 to 1270, the most popular of the Capetian monarchs. He led the Seventh Crusade to the Holy Land in 1248–50 and died on another Crusade to Tunisia.
Aug 23, 2020 · Louis IX (25 April 1215 – 25 August 1270), commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 to his death. He was also Count of Artois (as Louis II) from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was a member of the House of Capet and the son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile.
- Robert, Count of Clermont, Philip III of France, Margaret of France, Duchess of Brabant
- Blanche of Castile, Louis VIII of France
Jan 10, 2020 · Louis IX was born on April 25, 1214 in Poissy, France. His parents were Prince Louis and Blanche of Castile. As the couple’s fourth child, Louis wasn’t expected to inherit the throne. However, after the deaths of his older siblings, Louis became the heir.
- Early years
Born on April 25, 1214, the oldest of the 12 children of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, the half-Spanish Louis IX grew up to be a tall, handsome, blond, and jovial prince. By temperament nervous and energetic, Louis disciplined himself with fasting. His deeply religious mother raised him to be a truly Christian king and, as such, he applied Christian principles to his public acts as well as his private life. Louis was only 12 when he became king; his Spanish mother, in France since she was 12, became regent until Louis could accept active rule at 21.
Louis IX accepted his responsibilities as king with dedication and detachment. He worked to make peace and justice prevail. His detachment came from his conviction that kingship was not an opportunity to conquer others, or to exploit them for personal enrichment, or to use power to satisfy one's vanity. He believed that his obligations were to serve the Church and to lead his people to eternal salvation.
Louis's foreign policy of peace with his neighbors enabled him to go on two crusades. After a serious illness in 1244 he decided to lead a crusade to recover Jerusalem. Divided by internal or foreign problems, other rulers did not participate. Louis's crusade was largely French, the best organized and financed of all crusades. His plan was to damage Egypt so much that it would surrender Jerusalem to him. His army captured Damietta on June 5, 1249, the day after landing in Egypt. The courageous king was one of the first off his ship to establish a beachhead. But he was persuaded by his brother Robert of Artois to head for Cairo rather than Alexandria, and his army of about 15, 000 was trapped on the way at EI Mansûra. Supplies coming up the Nile were cut off, and his army was weakened by death and sickness. Louis therefore had to fall back on Damietta. On the way Louis and his army were captured and held for ransom. Once freed, Louis spent 4 years in Palestine, where he built fortifications and tried to salvage the kingdom of Jerusalem. He returned to France in 1254.
The failure of the crusade prompted Louis to make another effort. The original plan of going to Syria or Egypt was diverted to an attack on Tunisia by Louis's brother Charles of Anjou, King of Sicily, who had interests in Tunisia. About 10, 000 crusaders landed in July 1270. When Louis took sick and died there in August, Charles of Anjou made a profitable peace and returned bearing the remains of the beloved king, who was universally mourned in Europe. He was canonized by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297.
The best and most famous life of Louis was written by Jean, Sire de Joinville, who accompanied the King on his first crusade, The Life of St. Louis (trans. 1955). One of the best modern biographies in English is Margaret Wade Labarge, Saint Louis: Louis IX, Most Christian King of France (1968). A summary of Louis's life is in The Cambridge Medieval History (8 vols., 1911-1936). Louis IX and the other rulers of the Capetian dynasty are covered in Robert Fawtier, The Capetian Kings of France: Monarchy and Nation, 987-1328 (trans. 1960). The best account of his two crusades is in Kenneth M. Setton, ed., A History of the Crusades, vol. 2 (1962). Richard, Jean, Saint Louis: Crusader King of France, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. William Chester Jordan, Louis IX and the Challenge of the Crusade: A Study in Rulership (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1979). Jean Richard, Saint Louis: Crusader King of France. Trans. Jean Birrell (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1992). Labarge, Margaret Wade. Saint Louis: Louis IX, Most Christian King ofFrance. Boston: Little, Brown, 1968. Mayer, Hans Eberhard. The Crusades. 2nd ed. Translated by John Gillingham New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. Strayer, Joseph R. \\"The Crusades of Louis IX.\\" In History of the Crusades. Vol. 2, The Later Crusades, 11891311. Edited by Robert L. Wolff and Harry W. Hazard. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969. Lloyd, Simon. \\"The Crusades of St. Louis (King Louis IX of France).\\" History Today 47, no. 5 (May 1997): 3743. \\"Louis IX: Advice to His Son.\\" Internet Medieval Sourcebook.http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/stlouis1.html (accessed on July 21, 2004). \\"The Seventh Crusade.\\" The ORB: On-line Reference Book for Medieval Studies.http://the-orb.net/textbooks/crusade/seventhcru.html (accessed on July 21, 2004). \\"St. Louis IX.\\" New Advent.http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09368a.htm (accessed on July 21, 2004).
Louis IX or Saint Louis, 121470, king of France (122670), son and successor of Louis VIII. His mother, Blanche of Castile, was regent during his minority (122634), and her regency probably lasted even after Louis reached his majority; she was his chief adviser until her death. During the early years of the reign, the queen mother suppressed several revolts of the great nobles, led by Pierre Mauclerc (Peter I), duke of Brittany, and supported by Duke Raymond VII of Toulouse and King Henry III of England. In 124043, Louis subdued new revolts in S France, securing the submission of Poitou and of Raymond VII, and repulsing a weak invasion (1242) by Henry III. Louis took the cross in 1244, but did not leave on the crusade to Egypt (the Seventh Crusade; see Crusades) until 1248. Defeated and captured (1250) at al-Mansurah, he was ransomed but remained in the Holy Land until 1254, helping to strengthen the fortifications of the Christian colonies. After his return he attempted to bring about a peaceful settlement of territorial claims with Henry III. Agreement was reached in the Treaty of Paris, ratified in 1259. By its terms Louis ceded Limoges, Cahors, and Périgueux to Henry in exchange for Henry's renunciation of Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and Poitou and his recognition of the king of France as suzerain for the reduced duchy of Aquitaine. Louis made a favorable treaty with King James I of Aragón by yielding the French claim to Roussillon and Barcelona in return for James's abandonment of his claim to Provence and Languedoc. A respected arbitrator, Louis settled succession disputes in Flanders and Hainaut and in Navarre; he attempted unsuccessfully to settle the bitter controversy between Henry III and the English barons by judging in favor of the king. In 1270, Louis undertook the Eighth Crusade, but he died soon after landing in Tunis. He was succeeded by his son, Philip III. Under Louis IX, France enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and peace. Louis continued the reforms of his grandfather, Philip II. He curbed private feudal warfare, simplified administration, improved the distribution of taxes, encouraged the use of Roman law, and extended the appellate jurisdiction of the crown to all cases. Louis was pious and ascetic, yet a good administrator and diplomat. He was canonized in 1297. Feast: Aug. 25. French king and crusader, Louis was the son of King Louis VIII and his wife, Queen Blanche of Castille. Although fourth in line, the deaths of three of his brothers made Louis heir to the throne. When his father died in 1226, Louis IX became king at 12. Under the guidance of his mother, Louis set out to end the long struggle between France and the Plantagenets of England for control of French soil. At 15, he commanded French troops in a battle against Henry III, forcing the British ruler to withdraw. Louis led two crusades during his reign, the first, to the Holy Land, was an attempt to capture Jerusalem from the Muslims. After a valiant effort, his troops, wearied from battle and decimated by the plague, were forced to retreat. Louis's second crusade took him to Tunisia. After a series of victories, his troops again fell to disease. The ailing king did not survive the crusade, and passed on his kingdom to his son Philip before dying in August, 1270. Despite his defeats, Louis IX was renowned for his courage and wisdom, and was often asked by other monarchs to arbitrate disputes. He was canonized by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297, becoming the only French king to achieve sainthood. Born in 1214, Louis IX was king of France from 1226 until his death in 1270. During his minority he ruled under the regency of his mother Blanche of Castile (12261242) who even afterwards remained an influential counselor to the king in matters of politics, culture, and religion. Guided as a young man by his mother's interest in education, he later confirmed the foundation of the University of Paris (the Sorbonne, 1257), where significant theologians and intellectuals such as Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Roger Bacon came to teach and contribute to Paris's fertile intellectual climate. Louis also followed his mother in becoming a famous bibliophile, commissioning numerous illuminated manuscripts and thereby contributing to the development of a Parisian court style in painting. Among the many such works of which Louis oversaw the production and likely also the iconographic programs are a well-known psalter and a Bible Moralisée. Works such as these and the many architectural projects undertaken under Louis' patronage brought about a consolidation of the Gothic style. A devout Christian, Louis understood his royal mission to include evangelizing, the giving of charity, and the administration of justice, and he strove to make France a model Christian state. He participated in the seventh and eighth Crusades (during the second of which he contracted the plague), founded public hospitals, and presided over a court of justice, which later evolved into the Paris Parliement. Hence, during his reign, considered the Golden Age of French monarchy, Paris became a flourishing intellectual, administrative, and artistic capital, full of Gothic masterworks such as the flamboyant Sainte-Chapelle, built in the 1240s to house the relics of the Passion that Louis acquired from the East. His wisdom, magnanimity, and mediating prowess were recognized throughout Europe, and he was often solicited to intervene in conflicts outside of France. He was canonized by Pope Boniface VII in 1297, and his cult was especially honored thereafter at the court of France (the Office of St. Louis appears in some notable illuminated books of hours created for members of the royal court). Louis was a patron of the arts par excellence, and subsequent rulers sought to emulate him in this regard. Louis IX was the fourth child of King Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, who was the granddaughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine (see entry), queen of England. Married to Louis while she was still a child of eleven, Blanche proved to be a wonderful choice as a mate for a future king, being both intelligent and strong-willed, like her grandmother. Louis VIII became king in 1223, ruling a realm that had been enlarged by his own father, Philip II. The France that Louis VIII ruled was the largest ever, and when he died just three years later he passed this enlarged kingdom on to his son, Louis IX (his other three children having died). In 1226 Louis VIII died of an illness while returning from southern France after battling the Albigensians, a heretical, or nonconforming, religious group. As he lay dying, Louis VIII made his son the next king, with the heir's mother jointly ruling with him. Louis IX was crowned king of France on November 29, 1226, in the magnificent cathedral of Rheims, France. Blanche was to act as co-regent, or coruler, until the boy reached twenty-one years of age. The most influential person in the young boy's life was his mother, who transmitted her strength of character to her son. She taught him to be religious and to have a strong sense of right and wrong as well as a sense of duty toward his country and people. As a youth, Louis was also trained in the arts of warfare, learning to ride, fight, and lead men. Although he was not a true scholar, he was well educated in religious matters.
Louis IX (121470) King of France (122670), later known as Saint Louis. His mother, Blanche of Castile, was regent from 1226 to 1236 and during his absence from France (124854). In 1242, Louis defeated the English at Taillebourg. He was captured on the Sixth Crusade.
One international situation Louis IX refused to stay out of, however, was the Crusades. These holy wars against the Muslims, whom the Christians called infidels, or unbelievers, in the Holy Land and Middle East were already 150 years old. Jerusalem and its Christian holy sites had been won and lost, bargained over and lost again. Six major Crusades had already been launched against Islam, the most recent ending in the peaceful handing over of Jerusalem to the Christians during the Sixth Crusade (122829), which was led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (see entry). Since then, however, the Muslims had won the city back. As early as 1244 Louis IX answered the pope's call for a new Crusade, promising to raise an army and reconquer the Holy Land for Christianity.
The Crusaders spent the winter months of 1248 to 1249 on the island of Cyprus and then traveled on to Egypt that spring. Arriving off the coast of Egypt on June 4, he and his men quickly took the city of Damietta, at the head of the Nile River, defeating Fakhr al-Din, who was leading the Mamluk (slave) army of the Egyptian leader Sultan al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub; the latter was the last member of the Ayyubid dynasty, which had begun when the powerful Muslim leader Saladin (see entry) conquered Egypt in 1169. The sultan was deathly ill from tuberculosis (a disease of the lungs) and was in Cairo during this battle, but soon he left the capital to set up a defensive position near the small town of Mansurah, site of an earlier battle between Crusaders and Egyptians during the Fifth Crusade (121822). The sultan was accompanied by his favorite wife, Shajarat al-Durr (see entry), who took over command of his forces when her husband died in November 1249.
Although the news of the death of the sultan was kept from the Egyptians, Louis IX learned of it through his spies. In February 1250 he decided to launch a surprise attack, aided by another spy who showed the French where to cross a river separating them from the Muslim and Mamluk forces. Louis IX sent his brother, Robert of Artois, to lead this attack, carefully instructing him not to get too far ahead of his reinforcements. In the heat of battle Robert forgot these orders and chased the retreating Egyptians into the narrow streets of Mansurah, where the Crusaders were cut down by the Mamluk leader al-Zahir Baybars (see entry). Many of the Crusader's most important knights, including Robert of Artois, were killed, forcing the French to retreat.
While organizing and fighting in the Crusades, Louis IX also found the time to improve domestic life and to sponsor the arts in France. He built hospitals and institutions for the poor, as well as the glorious chapel at Sainte-Chapelle in Paris to house the crown of thorns worn by Christ.
Such sponsorship of scholarship and the arts was also a typical feature of Islamic courts, from Baghdad to Cairo. Although we generally do not associate the arts with the Mongolsthose warring tribes from Central Asia who swept into Europe and the Middle East in the mid-thirteenth centuryeven they honored the skills of famous scholars. One such man of learning was Nasir al-Din (12011274), who served as a minister for the powerful Mongol leader Hulagu.
Nasir al-Din was famous in his time as a philosopher, scientist, physician, mathematician, and writer. He made major advances in the mathematical field of trigonometry, and in science his work in astronomy helped move forward the study of the heavens. He built an observatory that contained many instruments the Mongols stole from Muslim cities they conquered. He was able to produce astronomical (of the solar system) tables, the Al-Zij-Ilkhani (\\"The Ilkhanic Tables\\"), that revealed the motion of the planets. Nasir al-Din thought this work would take thirty years to finish, but on orders from Hulagu he completed the monumental task in only twelve. In philosophy his Akhlaq-i-Nasri (\\"Nasirean Ethics\\") became one of the most famous writings on ethics, or moral living. He also wrote widely on religion and produced other scientific studiesall while in the service of the so-called barbarian Mongols.
Louis IX was finally forced to return to France. His mother had died in late 1252, and the kingdom needed its king at home. He immediately set about enacting domestic reforms, sending royal commissioners, or representatives, to check on the running of the local administrations to make sure there was no abuse of power. He also established a fair tax system in France. Internationally, by signing the Treaty of Paris in 1259, he reached a settlement with England's Henry III over the regions of Normandy, Anjou, and Poitou, also making a similar agreement with the regions of northern Spain.
Maalouf, Amin. The Crusades through Arab Eyes. Translated by Jon Rothschild. New York: Schocken Books, 1984.
St. Louis IX, King of France was born at Poissy on April 25, 1214. His parents were Louis VIII, King of France and Queen Blanche of Castile. He was Capetian king of France from 1226 to 1270. He led the seventh Crusade to the Holy Land in 1248-50.
A native of Poissy, Louis IX served as king of France between 1226 and his death. A renowned patron of arts, he married Margaret of Provence in 1234 and fathered eleven children. Passing away in Carthage during the second crusade, probably of dysentery, his body was successively boiled so that the bones could be transported hygienically from distant lands back home.
- 25 Apr 1214, Poissy, Departement des Yvelines, Île-de-France, France
- North of the Choir
- 25 Aug 1270 (aged 56), Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia
- Monreale, Sicilia
Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was the sixth-great-grandson of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile.
August 1270 Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis, is the only King of France to be canonized in the Catholic Church. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII; his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom as regent until he reached maturity.
King of France (Roi de France) Louis VIII the Lion (Louis VIII le Lion) 14 July 1223: 8 November 1226 • Son of Philip II Augustus King of France (Roi de France) Louis IX the Saint (Saint Louis) 8 November 1226: 25 August 1270 • Son of Louis VIII King of France (Roi de France) Philip III the Bold (Philippe III le Hardi) 25 August 1270: 5 ...
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