The Full Wiki

Philip II of France: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Philip II Augustus ( ; 21 August 1165 – 14 July 1223) was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonessemarker in the Val-d'Oisemarker, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne. He was originally nicknamed Dieudonné—the God-given—as he was the first son of Louis VII late in his father's life.

Philip was one of the most successful medieval French monarchs in expanding the royal demesne and the influence of the monarchy. He broke up the great Angevin Empire and defeated a coalition of his rivals (German, Flemish and English) at the Battle of Bouvinesmarker in 1214. He reorganized the government, bringing financial stability to the country and thus making possible a sharp increase in prosperity. His reign was popular with ordinary people because he checked the power of the nobles and passed some of it on to the growing middle class.

Early years

Isabelle, Philip's first wife.
Philip, born in Gonessemarker on August 21, 1165, was surnamed Augustus in honor of the month he was born. As soon as he was able, Louis planned to associate Philip with him on the throne, but it was delayed when Philip, at the age of thirteen, was separated from his companions during a royal hunt and became lost in the Forest of Compiegnemarker. He spent much of the following night attempting to find his way out, but to no avail. Exhausted by cold, hunger and fatigue, he was eventually discovered by a peasant carrying a charcoal burner, but his exposure to the elements meant he soon succumbed to a dangerously high fever. His father went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Thomas Becket to pray for Philip’s recovery, and was told that his son had indeed recovered. However, on his way back to Paris, he suffered a stroke.

In declining health, Louis VII had him crowned and anointed at Rheimsmarker by the Archbishop William Whitehands on 1st of November in 1179. He was married on 28 April 1180 to Isabelle of Hainaut, who brought the County of Artois as her dowry. From his inauguration, all real power was transferred to Philip, as his father slowly descended into senility. The great nobles were discontented with Philip’s advantageous marriage, while his mother and four uncles, all of whom exercised enormous influence over Louis, were extremely unhappy with his association to the throne, causing a diminishment in their power. Eventually, Louis died on 18 September 1180.

Consolidation of royal demesne

While the royal demesne had increased under Philip I and Louis VI, under Louis VII it had diminished slightly. In April 1182, Philip expelled all Jews from the demesne and confiscated their goods.

Philip's eldest son, Louis, was born on the 5th of September in 1187 and inherited Artois in 1190, when Isabelle, his mother, died.

Wars with his vassals

In 1181, Philip began a war with Philip of Alsace, Count of Flanders over the Vermandoismarker, which King Philip claimed as his Queen’s dowry, which the Count was unwilling to give up. Finally the Count of Flanders invaded France, ravaging the whole district between the Sommemarker and the Oisemarker, before penetrating as far as Dammartin. Notified of Philip’s impending approach, he turned around and headed back to Flanders. Philip chased him, and the two armies confronted each other near Amiensmarker. By this stage, Philip had managed to counter the ambitions of the count by breaking his alliances with Henry I, Duke of Brabant, and Philip of Heinsberg, Archbishop of Cologne. This together with an uncertain outcome were he to engage the French in battle forced the Count to conclude a peace. In July 1185, the Treaty of Boves left the disputed territory partitioned, with Amiénoismarker, Artoismarker and numerous other places passing to the King and the remainder, with the county of Vermandois proper, being left provisionally to Philip of Alsace.

Meanwhile in 1184, Stephen I of Sancerre and his Brabançon mercenaries ravaged the Orléanais. Philip defeated him with the aid of the Confrères de la Paix.

War with Henry II

Philip also began to wage war with Henry II of England, who was also Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine in France. The death of Henry’s eldest son, Henry the Young King in June of 1183 began a dispute over the dower of the widowed Margaret, who was Philip’s sister, who insisted that it should be returned to France as the marriage did not produce any children, as per the betrothal agreement. The two kings would hold conferences at the foot of an elm tree near Gisorsmarker, which was so positioned that it would overshadow each monarch’s territory, but to no avail. Philip pushed the case further when King Béla III of Hungary asked for the widow’s hand in marriage, and thus her dowry had to be returned, to which Henry finally agreed.

The death of Henry’s fourth son, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany in 1186 the began a new round of disputes, as Henry insisted that he retain the guardianship of the duchy for his unborn grandson Arthur I, Duke of Brittany. Philip, as Henry’s liege lord, objected, stating that he should be the rightful guardian until the birth of the child. Philip then raised the issue of his other sister, Alys, Countess of the Vexin, and her delayed betrothal to Richard the Lionheart.

With these grievances, two years of combat (1186–1188) followed, but the situation remained unchanged. Philip initially allied with Henry's young sons, Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland, who were in rebellion against their father. Philip II launched an attack on Berry in the summer of 1187 but then in June made a truce with Henry, which left Issoudunmarker in his hands and also granted him Frétevalmarker, in Vendômois. Though the truce was for two years, Philip found grounds for resuming hostilities in the summer of 1188. He skillfully exploited the estrangement between Henry and Richard, and Richard did homage to him voluntarily at Bonmoulins in November 1188.

The in 1189 Richard openly joined forces with Philip to drive Henry into abject submission. They chased him from Le Mansmarker to Saumurmarker, losing Toursmarker in the process, before forcing him to acknowledge Richard as his heir. Finally, by the Treaty of Azay-le-Rideau (July 4, 1189), Henry was forced to renew his own homage, to confirm the cession of Issoudun, with Graçaymarker also, to Philip, and to renounce his claim to suzerainty over Auvergne. Henry died two days later. His death, and the news of the of the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin, diverted attention from the Franco-English war.

Philip was close friends with all of Henry's sons and he used them to foment rebellion against their father, but turned against both Richard and John after their respective accessions to the throne. With Henry the Young King and Geoffrey of Brittany he maintained friendship until their deaths. Indeed, at the funeral of Geoffrey, he was so overcome with grief that he had to be forcibly restrained from casting himself into the grave.

Third Crusade

Philip went on the Third Crusade (1189 – 1192) with Richard I of England and the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa. His army left Vézelaymarker on 1 July 1190. At first the French and English crusaders traveled together, but the armies split at Lyonmarker, as Richard decided to go by sea, and Philip took the overland route through the Alps to Genoamarker. The French and English armies were reunited in Messinamarker, where they wintered together. On 30 March 1191 the French set sail for the Holy Land and Philip arrived on 20 May. He then marched up to Acremarker which was already besieged by a lesser contingent of crusaders and started to construct large siege equipments before Richard arrived in 8 June (see Siege of Acre). 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.

Ptolemais (Acre) given to Philip Augustus 1191
More importantly, the siege resulted in the death of Philip of Alsace, who held the county of Vermandois proper; an event that threatened to derail the Treaty of Gisors which Philip had orchestrated to isolate the powerful Blois-Champagne faction. Philip decided to return to France to settle the issue of succession in Flanders, a decision that displeased Richard, who said, "It is a shame and a disgrace on my lord if he goes away without having finished the business that brought him hither. But still, if he finds himself in bad health, or is afraid lest he should die here, his will be done." So on 31 July 1191 the French army of 10,000 men (along with 5,000 silver marks to pay the soldiers) remained in Outremer under the command of Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy. Philip and his cousin Peter of Courtenay, count of Nevers, made their way to Genoa and from there returned to France. This decision to return was also fuelled by the realization that with Richard campaigning in the Holy Land, English possessions in northern France (Normandy) would be open for attack. After Richard's delayed return home after the Third Crusade, war between England and France would ensue over possession of English-controlled territories in modern-day France.

Conflict with England, Flanders and the Holy Roman Empire

Conflict with King Richard 1192-1199

The immediate cause of the conflict with Richard stemmed from Richard’s decision to break his betrothal with Philip’s sister Alice at Messinamarker in 1191. Part of Alice’s dowry that had been given over to Richard during their engagement was the territory of the Vexin which included the strategic fortress of Gisorsmarker. This should have reverted to Philip upon the end of the betrothal, but Philip, to prevent the collapse of the Crusade, agreed that this territory was to remain in Richard’s hands, and would be inherited by his male descendents. Should Richard die without an heir, the territory would return to Philip, and if Philip died without an heir, those lands would be considered a part of Normandy.

Returning to France in late 1191, he began plotting to find a way to have those territories restored to him. He was in a difficult situation, as he had taken an oath to Richard not to attack his lands while he was away, and as Richard was still on Crusade, his territory was under the protection of the Church in any event. He had unsuccessfully asked Pope Celestine III to release him from his oath, and so Philip was forced to build a causus belli from scratch.

On January 20, 1192, Philip met with William of FitzRalph, Richard’s seneschal of Normandy. Presenting some documents purporting to be from Richard, Philip claimed that Richard had agreed at Messina to hand back the disputed lands to Philip. Not having heard anything directly from their sovereign, FitzRalph and the Norman barons rejected Philip’s claim to the Vexin. Philip at this time also began spreading rumors about Richard’s action in the east to discredit the English king in the eyes of his subjects. Among the stories Philip invented included Richard was involved in treacherous communication with Saladin, that he had conspired to cause the fall of Gazamarker, Jaffamarker and Ashkelonmarker, and that he had participated in the murder of Conrad of Montferrat. Finally, Philip made contact with Prince John, Richard’s brother, whom he convinced to join him and overthrow his brother.

At the start of 1193, John paid a visit to Philip in Paris where he paid homage for Richard’s French lands. When word reached Philip that Richard had finished crusading and had been captured on his way back from Holy Land, he promptly invaded the Vexin. His first target was the fortress of Gisors, commanded by Gilbert de Vascoeuil, which surrendered without putting up a struggle. Philip then penetrated deep into Normandy, reaching as far as Dieppemarker. To keep the duplicitous John on side, Philip entrusted the defense of the town of Evreuxmarker over to him. Meanwhile, Philip was joined by Count Baldwin of Flanders, and together they laid siege to the ducal capital of Normandy, Rouenmarker. Here, Philip’s advance was halted by a defense led by Earl Robert of Leicester. Unable to penetrate their defenses, an enraged Philip moved on.

At Mantesmarker on July 9, 1193, Philip came to terms with Richard’s ministers who agreed that Philip could keep his gains and would be given some extra territories if he ceased all further aggressive actions in Normandy, along with the condition that Philip would hand back the captured territory if Richard would pay homage to Philip. To prevent Richard from spoiling their plans, Philip and John attempted to bribe the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI to keep the English king captive for a little while longer. He refused, and Richard was released from captivity on February 4, 1194. By March 13, Richard had returned to England, and by May 12, he had set sail for Normandy with some 300 ships, eager to take the war to Philip.

Philip had spent this time consolidating his territorial gains, and by now was controlling much of Normandy east of the Seinemarker, and remaining within striking distance of Rouen. His next objective was the castle of Verneuil,, which had withstood an earlier siege. Once Richard arrived had at Barfleurmarker, he was soon marching towards Verneuil. As his forces neared the castle, Philip, who had been unable to break through, decided to strike camp. Leaving a large force behind to prosecute the siege, he moved off towards Evreux, which Prince John had handed over to his brother to prove his loyalty. Philip retook the town and sacked it, but during this time, his forces besieging Verneuil abandoned the siege, and Richard entered the castle unopposed on May 30. Throughout June, while Philip’s campaign ground to a halt in the north, Richard was taking a number of important fortresses to the south. Philip, eager to relieve the pressure off his allies in the south, marched to confront Richard’s forces at Vendômemarker. Refusing to risk everything in a major battle, Philip retreated, only to have his rear guard caught at Frétevalmarker on July 4, which turned into a general encounter during which Philip only managed to avoid capture, as his army was put to flight. Fleeing back to Normandy, Philip revenged himself on the English by attacking the forces of Prince John and the Earl of Arundel, seizing their baggage train. By now both sides were tiring, and they agreed to the temporary Truce of Tillières.

War continued in 1195 with Philip once again besieging Verneuil. Richard arrived to discuss the situation face to face. During negotiations, Philip secretly continued his operations against Verneuil, and when Richard discovered it, he left, swearing revenge. Philip now pressed his advantage in northeastern Normandy, where he conducted a raid at Dieppe, during which he burnt the English ships in the harbor, repulsing an attack by Richard at the same time. Philip now marched southward into the Berry region, and his primary objective was the fortress of Issoudunmarker, which had just been captured by Richard’s mercenary commander, Mercadier. The French king took the town and was besieging the castle when Richard stormed through French lines and made his way in to reinforce the garrison, while at the same time another army was approaching Philip’s supply lines. Philip called off his attack, and another truce was agreed to.

The war slowly turned against Philip over the course of the next three years. Though things looked promising at the start of 1196 when Arthur of Brittany ended up in Philip’s hands, and he won the Siege of Aumalemarker, it would not last. Richard won over a key ally, Baldwin of Flanders in 1197. Then in 1198, Henry the Holy Roman Emperor died, and his successor was to be Otto IV, Richard’s nephew, who in turn put additional pressure on Philip. Finally, many Norman lords were switching sides, and returning to Richard’s camp. This was the state of affairs when Philip launched his 1198 campaign with an attack on the Vexin. He was pushed back before then having to deal with the Flemish invasion of Artoismarker.

On September 27, Richard entered the Vexin, taking Courcelles-Chaussymarker and Boury-en-Vexinmarker before returning to Dangumarker. Philip, believing that Courcelles-Chaussy was still holding out, went to its relief. Discovering what was happening, Richard decided to attack the French king’s forces, catching Philip by surprise. Philip’s forces fled and attempted to reach the fortress of Gisors. Bunched together, the French knights and Philip attempted to cross the Eptemarker River on a bridge that promptly collapsed under their weight, almost drowning Philip in the process. He was dragged out of the river and shut himself up in Gisors.

Philip soon began a new offensive, launching raids into Normandy and again targeting Evreux. Richard countered Philip’s offensive with a counterattack in the Vexin, while Mercadier led a raid on Abbevillemarker. The upshot was that by the fall of 1198, Richard had regained almost all that had been lost in 1193. Philip, now in desperate circumstances, offered a truce so that discussions could begin towards a more permanent peace, with the offer that he would return all of the territories except for Gisors.

In mid-January 1199, the two kings met for a final meeting, Richard, standing on the deck of a boat, Philip, standing on the banks of the Seine River. Shouting terms at each other, they could not reach agreement on the terms of a permanent truce, but did agree to further mediation, which resulted in a five year truce. The truce held and later that year, Richard was killed during a siege involving one of Richard’s vassals.

Conflict with King John 1200-1206

In May 1200, Philip signed the Treaty of Le Goulet with Richard's successor king John of England, as youngest son of Henry called the Lackland, now also Duke of Normandy. The treaty was meant to bring peace to Normandy by settling the issue of the boundaries of the much reduced duchy and the terms of John's vassalage for it and Anjoumarker, Maine, and Tourainemarker. John agreed to heavy terms, including the abandonment of all the English possession in Berry and 20,000 Marks of Silver, but Philip in turn recognised John as king, formally abandoning Arthur I of Brittany, whom he had thitherto supported, and recognised John's suzerainty over the Duchy of Brittany. To seal the treaty, a marriage between Blanche of Castile, John's niece, and Louis the Lion, Philip's son, was contracted.

Map of Philip's conquests
This did not stop the war, however. John’s mismanagement of Aquitaine saw that province erupt in rebellion later that year, which Philip secretly encouraged. To disguise his ambitions, he invited John to a conference at Andelymarker, and then entertained him at Parismarker, and both times he committed to complying with the Treaty. Then in 1202, disaffected patrons petitioned the French king to summon John to answer their charges in his capacity as John’s feudal lord, and, when the English king refused to appear, Philip again took up the claims of Arthur, to whom he betrothed his six-year-old daughter, Marie. John crossed over into Normandy and his forces soon captured Arthur, and in 1203, the young man disappeared, with most people believing that John had Arthur murdered.

The outcry over Arthur’s fate saw an increase in local opposition to John which Philip used to his advantage. He took the offensive and, apart from a five month siege of Andely, he swept all before him. On the fall of Andely, John fled to England, and by the end of 1204, most of Normandy and the Angevin lands, including much of Aquitainemarker had fallen into Philip’s hands.

What Philip had gained through victory in war, he then sought to confirm by legal means. Philip, again acting as John’s liege lord, summoned his vassal to appear before the Court of the Twelve Peers of France, to answer for the murder of Arthur of Brittany. John’s request for safe conduct only saw Philip agree to allow him to come in peace, but that his return would only occur if it were allowed after the judgment of his peers. Not willing to risk his life on such a guarantee, he refused to appear, so Philip summarily dispossessed him of his French lands. Pushed by his barons, John eventually launched an invasion in 1206, disembarking with his army at La Rochellemarker during one of Philip’s absences, but the campaign was a disaster. After backing out of a conference that he himself had demanded, John eventually bargained at Thouarsmarker for a two year truce, the price of which was his agreement to the chief provisions of the judgment of the Court of Peers, including the loss of his patrimony.

Alliances against Philip 1208-1213

In 1208, Philip of Swabia, the successful candidate for becoming the next emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was assassinated, meaning that the imperial crown was given to his rival, Otto IV, the nephew of King John. Otto, prior to his accession, had promised to help John to recover his lost European possessions, but circumstances prevented them from making good their claims. By 1212, both John and Otto were engaged in power struggles against Pope Innocent III, John over his refusal to accept the papal nomination for the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Otto over his attempt to strip Frederick II of his Sicilian crown. Philip decided to take advantage of this situation, firstly in Germanymarker where he supported the rebellion of the German nobility in support of the young Frederick. John immediately threw his support behind Otto, and Philip now saw his chance to launch a successful invasion of England.

In order to secure the cooperation of all his vassals in his plans for the invasion, Philip denounced John as an enemy of the Church, thereby justifying his attack against him as being solely for religious reasons. He summoned an assembly of French barons at Soissonsmarker, which was well attended with the exception of Ferdinand, Count of Flanders. He refused to attend, still angry over the loss of the towns of Airemarker and Saint-Omermarker which had been captured by Philip’s son, Louis the Lion, and he would not participate in any campaign until they had been restored to him.

In the meantime, Philip, eager to prove his loyalty to Rome and thus secure Papal support for his planned invasion, announced at Soissons his reconciliation with his estranged wife Ingeborg of Denmark which the Popes had been pushing. The Barons fully supported his plan, and they all gathered their forces and prepared to join with Philip at the agreed rendezvous. In all this, Philip remained in constant communication with Pandolfo, the Papal Legate, who was encouraging Philip to pursue his objective. Pandolfo however was also holding secret discussions with King John. Advising the English king of his precarious predicament, he persuaded John to abandon his opposition to Papal investiture and agreed to accept the Papal Legate’s decision in any ecclesiastical disputes as final. In return, the Pope agreed to accept the Kingdom of England and the Lordship of Ireland as Papal fiefs, which John would rule as the Pope’s vassal, and for which John would do homage to the Pope.

No sooner had the treaty been ratified in May 1213 than Pandolfo announced to Philip that he would have to abandon his expedition against John, since to attack a faithful vassal of the Holy See would constitute a mortal sin. In vain did Philip argue that his plans had been drawn up with the consent of Rome, that his expedition was in support of papal authority which he only undertook on the understanding that he would gain a Plenary Indulgence, or that he had spent a fortune preparing for the expedition. The Papal Legate remained unmoved. But Pandolfo did suggest an alternative. The Count of Flanders had denied Philip’s right to declare war on England while King John was still excommunicated, and that his disobedience needed to be punished. Philip eagerly accepted the advice, and quickly marched at the head of his troops into the territory of Flanders.

War of Bouvines 1213-1214

The French fleet, reportedly numbering some 1,700 ships proceeded first to Gravelinesmarker and then to the port of Dam. Meanwhile the army marched by Casselmarker, Ypresmarker and Brugesmarker, before laying siege to Ghentmarker. Hardly had the siege begun when Philip learned that the English fleet had captured a number of his ships at Dam, and that the rest were so closely blockaded in its harbor, that it was impossible for them to escape. After having obtained 30,000 Marks as a ransom for the hostages he had taken from the Flemish cities he had captured, Philip quickly retraced his steps in order to reach Dam. It took him two days, and he arrived in time to relieve the French garrison. But he discovered that he could not rescue his fleet, and in order to prevent it from falling into enemy hands, he ordered it to be burnt before also commanding that the town of Dam also be burned to the ground. Determined to make the Flemish pay for his retreat, every district he passed through he ordered that all towns be razed and burned, and that the peasantry were either killed or sold as slaves.

But the destruction of the French fleet had once again raised John’s hopes up, and so he began preparing for an invasion of France and a reconquest of his lost provinces. Initially his barons were unenthusiastic about the expedition, which delayed his departure, and so it was not until February 1214 that he was able to disembark at La Rochelle. John was to advance from the Loire marker, while his ally Otto IV made a simultaneous attack from Flanders, together with the Count of Flanders. Unfortunately, the three armies could not coordinate their efforts effectively. It was not until John, who had been disappointed in his hope for an easy victory after being driven from Roche-au-Moine and had retreated to his transports that the Imperial Army, with Otto at its head, assembled in the Low Countries.

On August 27, 1214, the opposing armies suddenly discovered they were in close proximity to each other, on the banks of a little tributary of the River Lysmarker, near the Bridge of Bouvines. Philip’s army numbered some 15,000, while the allied forces possessed around 25,000 troops, and the armies clashed at the Battle of Bouvinesmarker. It was a tight battle; Philip was unhorsed by the Flemish pikemen in the heat of battle, and were it not for his plate mail armour in which he was encased, he would probably have been killed. When Otto was carried off the field by his wounded and terrified horse, and Ferdinand, Count of Flanders, severely wounded, was captured by the French, the Flemish and Imperial troops saw that the battle was lost, turned and fled from the battlefield. The French troop began pursuing them but with night approaching, and with the prisoners they already had being too many and, more importantly, too valuable to risk in a risky pursuit, Philip ordered a recall before his troops had moved little more than a mile from the battlefield. Philip returned to Paris triumphant, marching his captive prisoners behind him in a long procession, as his grateful subjects came out to greet the victorious king. In the aftermath of the battle, Otto retreated to his castle of Harzburgmarker and was soon overthrown as Holy Roman Emperor, and replaced by Frederick II. Count Ferdinand remained imprisoned following his defeat, while King John obtained a five year truce, on very lenient terms given the circumstances.

Philip’s decisive victory was crucial in ordering Western European politics in both England and France. In the former, so weakened was the defeated King John of England that he soon needed to submit to his barons demands and sign the Magna Carta, limiting the power of the crown and establishing the basis for common law. In the latter, the battle was instrumental in forming the strong central monarchy that would characterize France until the first French Revolution. It was also the first battle in the Middle Ages in which the full value of infantry was realised.

Marital problems

After Isabelle's early death in childbirth, in 1190, Philip decided to marry again. On the 15th of August in 1193 he married Ingeborg (1175–1236), daughter of King Valdemar I of Denmark (1157–82). She was renamed Isambour, and Stephan of Dornik described her as "very kind, young of age but old of wisdom." 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 had been 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 Margaret of Geneva, daughter of William I, Count of Geneva, but the young bride's journey to Paris was interrupted by Thomas I of Savoy, who kidnapped Philip's intended new queen and married her instead, claiming that Philip was already bound in marriage. Philip finally achieved a third marriage, on the 7th of May in 1196, to Agnes of Merania from Dalmatia (c. 1180 – 29th of July in 1201). Their children were Marie (1198 – 15th of October in 1224) and Philippe Hurepel (1200–1234), Count of Clermont and eventually, by marriage, Count of Boulogne.

Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) declared Philip Augustus's marriage to Agnes of Merania null and void, as he was still married to Ingeborg. He ordered the King to part from Agnès; when he did not, the Pope placed France under an interdict in 1199. This continued until the 7th of September in 1200. Due to pressure from the Pope and from Ingeborg's brother, King Valdemar II of Denmark (1202–41), Philip finally took Ingeborg back as his Queen in 1213.

Philip II, King of France, in a non-contemporary portrait

Last years

Understandably, he turned a deaf ear when the Pope asked him to do something about the heretics in the Languedoc. When Pope 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 Parismarker as his capital, he had the main thoroughfares paved, built a central market, Les Halles, continued the construction begun in 1163 of the Gothic Notre-Dame de Parismarker Cathedral, constructed the Louvremarker as a fortress and gave a charter to the University of Parismarker in 1200. Under his guidance, Paris became the first city of teachers the medieval world had known. In 1224, the French poet Henry d'Andeli wrote of the great wine tasting competition that Philip II Augustus commissioned The Battle of the Wines.

Philip II Augustus died 14 July 1223 at Mantes-la-Joliemarker, and was interred in Saint Denis Basilicamarker. Philip's son by Isabelle de Hainaut, Louis VIII, was his successor.

Portrayal in fiction

King Philip appears in William Shakespeare's historical play King John.He is also a character in James Goldman's historical play The Lion in Winter, which maintains the historical theory that he and Richard the Lionhearted had previously had a homosexual relationship. In the 1968 film of Goldman's play, which downplayed the homosexual aspect present in the stage play, Philip was played by Timothy Dalton. Jonathan Rhys Meyers played Philip in a 2003 television version which somewhat resurrected the matter.



  • Baldwin, John W. The Government of Philip Augustus: Foundations of French Royal Power in the Middle Ages. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.
  • Meade, Marion. Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1977. ISBN 0-801522-31-5
  • Payne, Robert. The Dream and the Tomb: A History of the Crusades. New York: Stein and Day, 1984. ISBN 0-812829-45-X
  • Rees, Simon. King Richard I of England Versus King Philip II Augustus. Military History Magazine, September 2006
  • Smedley, Edward. The History of France, from the final partition of the Empire of Charlemagne to the Peace of Cambray. London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1836.


Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address