Capetian dynasty

Eumenis Megalopoulos | Mar 27, 2024

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The Capetitians were a descendant of the Robertine dynasty of French kings, whose representatives ruled from 987 to 1328, and on the lateral lines until 1848. In the history of the French state is the third dynasty after the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties.

The first king to permanently establish the dynasty on the throne was the Parisian Count Hugo Capet (although the Robertines had been kings twice before him), who was elected king by the royal vassals after the death of the childless Louis V. Abbot Hugo Capet was nicknamed Capet because he wore the mantle of a secular priest, which was called a "cape." It was Hugo Capet who gave the name to the largest royal dynasty in France, whose descendants ruled the country for many centuries.

The last representative of the older branch of the Capetings on the French throne was Charles IV the Beautiful. The Valois dynasty, the youngest branch of the Capeting family, then came to power. With the suppression of the Valois dynasty's Angoulême line, another branch of the Capeting house, the Bourbons, came to power. The two current claimants to the French throne are also direct descendants of Hugo Capet: from the Legitimists, the Spanish branch of the Bourbons, and from the Orleanists, the Orleans branch of the Bourbons.

The Capetians also included the Duchy of Breton de Dreux, the noble family of Courtenay (which gave rise to several rulers of the Latin Empire), most of the kings of Portugal, including the hitherto continuing Braganza dynasty with numerous side branches, as well as a number of smaller noble families.

The first reliably known ancestor of the Capetian dynasty is Robert the Strong (d. 866), who, during the reign of Charles II the Bald, was one of the largest feudal lords of the West Frankish kingdom of his time, ruling both secular and several church estates. There are several hypotheses about his origins. It is now generally accepted that Robert descended from the dynasty of the counts of Wormsgau. It was first put forward by Karl Glöckner. According to it, Robert the Strong is identified with Count Robert IV, son of Robert III, Earl of Wormsgau and Oberreingau, who died around 834, and Wiltrude, who may have been the sister of Counts Ed Orleans and Guillaume of Blois and also of Queen Irmentrude, wife of King Charles II the Bald.

After the death of Emperor Louis I the Pious in the Carolingian Empire in 840, a struggle for the inheritance between his sons began. Like many other members of the Frankish nobility, Robert the Strong had to make a choice in favor of one of the kings. He supported the ruler of the West Frankish kingdom, Charles II the Bald, as a result of which he lost his ancestral estates. As compensation, he received from Charles II the Bald a number of possessions in Neustria between the Seine and the Loire to protect the kingdom from Viking and Brettonian raids. Robert fought quite successfully against the Vikings, achieving several victories until he was killed on September 15, 866, in the battle of Brissart.

Robert's possessions, which in the future formed the basis of the royal domain of the Capetings, did not constitute a single land complex and originally had no name. They were conventionally called "Robertine State". They comprised the counties of Anjou, Vendôme and Maine, later the county of Paris was also annexed. The eastern part on the lands between Lahn and Orleans formed the basis of the royal domain of the Capetings. In addition, the Robertins owned a number of large abbeys, including Saint-Martin-de-Tour and Saint-Denis, considered sacred places of the royal dynasty. The Robertines' holdings between the Seine and the Loire were called the "Brand of Neustria".

Robert the Strong's sons, Ed and Robert, consolidated the power of the Robertine dynasty. After the deposition of Emperor Charles III the Fat in 887, Ed was elected King of West Francia, but after his death the Carolingian dynasty's representative, Charles III the Simple, was enthroned. In 922, however, Ed's brother Robert I was enthroned. In 923 he was killed in battle against Charles the Vain, who, however, was taken prisoner by Count Herbert II de Vermandois, where he died. Robert I's son Hugo the Great appears to have himself renounced the throne, and as a result Raoul of Burgundy was chosen king. After Raoul's death in 936, Hugo the Great initiated the election to the throne of a Carolingian dynasty representative, Louis IV of Caesar, the son of Charles III of Bourgogne. The reason for this was probably Hugo's desire to restore peace in a kingdom disturbed by constant conflict. At that time Hugo had no children, so he could not guarantee a succession of power. In addition, this choice struck at the most powerful opponent of Hugo - Herbert II de Vermandois.

Under the new king, Hugo the Great was the most powerful magnate in the kingdom, receiving the title "Duke of the Franks," Louis called him "second after us in all our kingdoms. But Hugo's ambitions later led to conflict with Louis IV, their confrontation lasting until the king's death in 956. He was married to Gedwig of Saxony, daughter of King Henry I of Saxony of the East Frankish Kingdom. She was also the sister of Queen Gerberga, wife of Louis IV, and of King (and later Emperor) Otto I, who, not wanting the excessive strengthening of the Robertines, tried to keep the balance between the king and his vassal. So he had to arrange a campaign in 946 to free Louis IV, who had been captured by Hugo.

Hugo Capet

Hugo the Great left several sons. Of these, the eldest, Hugo the Capet, whose nickname became the Capetian dynasty, inherited his father's estates and titles, except Burgundy, which his younger brother Otto inherited. Another brother, Ed, became a clergyman, but after Otto's death he inherited Burgundy (under the name of Henry).

Although Hugo Capet held the hereditary lands of the Capetians, he was not as powerful a ruler as his father. His possessions were between Paris in the north and Orleans in the south. He also had a number of smaller towns (Sanlis, Étamp, Melun, Corbeil, Dreux). In each of the cities Hugo had a palace and subordinate knights. In addition, Hugo was secular abbot of a number of monasteries (Saint Martin de Tours, Saint Benoît-sur-Loire, Saint Germain de Pré, Saint-Maur-de-Fosse and some others). However, his possessions were widely scattered, with the lands of feudal lords hostile to him (e.g. the lords of Montléry and Montmorency) in between. In addition, and around his possessions between the Loire and the Seine were the possessions of powerful lords, although the ancestors of some of them got their castles and towns from the Robertines, but they became independent in the middle of the 10th century, taking advantage of the weakness of the Robertines after the death of Hugo the Great. For example, the Count of Blois, Thibault Plutus, a former vassal of Hugo the Great, was recognized by King Lothair as Count of Blois and Tours in 960, his holdings also included Chartres and Châteaudun. He erected the castles of Blois, Chartres, Châteaudun and Chinon in his possessions, which represented his desire for power. And his eldest son and heir, Ed I, who further increased his holdings, was a personal enemy of Hugo Capet. The Counts of Anjou also became independent: although Geoffroy I of Grisegonel in 866 called himself "Count of Anjou by the grace of God and the generosity of my lord Hugo," his son Fulco III of Nerra did not actually recognize himself as a vassal of Hugo, calling himself "Count of Anjou by the grace of God" in 989. But unlike the Counts of Blois, the Counts of Anjou were allies of Hugo. Another staunch ally of Hugo was Count Vendôme Bouchard.

After Otto's death in 965, Hugo organized the election of his last brother, Ed Henry, as duke, without consulting the king. From that moment Burgundy was not considered a royal fief: its rulers were only vassals of the Frankish duke. Thereafter, relying on an alliance with his kinsmen the Liudolfings and the archbishop of Reims, Hugo was able to maintain a prominent position in the northern part of the kingdom. In the conflict between Lothar and the Emperor Otto II he supported Lothar: in 979 Hugo took part in the campaign against Aachen, and during the Emperor's counter-attack he blocked his way near Paris and forced him to retreat.

In 986 King Lothar died, placing his 19-year-old son Louis V in the care of Hugo. After 14 months of reign, young Louis died in a hunt. The rightful heir to the throne was his uncle, Charles of Lorraine, but this pretender had strong enemies within the kingdom, led by the Archbishop of Rheims, Adalberon. In addition, many people did not want to see a vassal of the emperor on the throne, and the German ruling circles did not want the excessive strengthening of the Duke of Lorraine.

At the assembly of the nobles in Sanlis, which was in the center of Hugo's domain, the majority arrived already in favor of the Duke of the Franks (late May 987). Adalberon of Rheims in his speech to the audience said that Charles "lost his head to such an extent that he dared to serve a foreign king and marry an unequal, a woman from the rank of vassals," while Duke Hugo has all the qualities necessary for a monarch. Hugo received unanimous support. The coronation and anointing took place on July 3, 987 in Nuayon. It was with the election of Hugo Capet as king of the state, which took the name France, that the dynasty was finally entrenched on the throne.

To consolidate his position, six months after his election, Hugo organized the coronation of his son Robert II the Pious as co-ruler. No election was held before this. Hugo thus initiated a new tradition: the early Capetians had their sons enthroned during their lifetime in order to avoid elections in which another dynasty might reign. This tradition played an important role in the transition from an elective to a hereditary monarchy.

The new king had full power only in a number of small holdings in the north of the kingdom: these were the Robertines' lands between Paris and Orleans, several counties inherited from the Carolingians, and a number of abbeys and bishoprics. In Neustria in the period following the death of Hugo the Great there was a strengthening of the Counts of Blois and Anjou. This made Hugo equal or even inferior to a number of territorial princes who were limited to formal subordination to his ministry. The lands south of the Loire were completely independent of the crown, but Hugo's nominal supreme power was recognized here rather quickly.

The other was the situation in the north. Here Charles of Lorraine was allied with the Count of Troyes, Ed Blois and the Archbishop of Sansa, the traditional opponent of the Archbishop of Reims. In 988, having given control of the duchy to his son Otto, Charles went to war against Hugo and occupied Lahn, considered the capital of the kingdom. Hugo and Robert besieged the city, but its defenders repulsed the assault and later with a successful sortie forced the besiegers to retreat.

When Adalberon died, Hugo decided to make King Lothar's bastard son Arnulf the archbishop of Rheims in order to win him over to his side. But the result was quite different: the new archbishop surrendered Rheims to Charles of Lorraine (August 989). True, Charles was unable to use the advantage of control over the coronation site. On March 29, 991, both he and Arnulf were captured through the treachery of Bishop Lan Adalberon and delivered to Hugo Capet. The king imprisoned Charles with his wife and children in a fortress at Orleans, where he died no later than 995.

The First Capetings

Hugo Capet died on October 24, 996, and was succeeded by Robert II the Pious (March 27, 972-July 20, 1031). He, like his immediate successors, had virtually no control over most of France; attempts to extend his influence beyond the domain, which included only the lands around Paris and Orleans, were generally not very successful. Although Robert II succeeded in annexing Burgundy after the death in 1002 of his childless uncle, Ed-Henry, Duke of Burgundy, in a war that lasted until 1016, the acquisition was short-lived.

Robert the Pious and then his son, Henry I (4 May 1008 - 4 August 1060) had to fight with his vassals, primarily the Counts of Blois. Immediately upon ascending the throne in 1031, Henry had to fight against his mother, Constance of Arles, who wished to see her youngest son Robert on the French throne, supported by the powerful Count of Ed II de Blois. Only with the help of Norman duke Robert the Devil was Henry able to hold out. He managed to negotiate with his brother, ceding him the Duchy of Burgundy. Also for the help of the Duke of Normandy, Henry was forced to cede to him part of Vecsen, which occupied a very important strategic position.

Henry, with the help of the Duke of Normandy and Emperor Conrad II, was able to win the war for the throne, but only at the cost of serious concessions to the princes: he lost the vast Duchy of Burgundy, which he was forced to cede to his brother (for the help of Robert the Devil the king was forced to cede him the southern part of Vexin, which occupied a very important strategic position; he also left intact the vast territorial complex belonging to the Counts of Blois. With this outcome of the war he could only be "first among equals" among his nominal vassals. Thus the decline of royal power continued.

The monarch's powerful vassals formally recognized his supreme authority over the entire kingdom, but they also pursued independent policies. Many of them were stronger than the king. To ensure the continuity of power, Hugo Capet's immediate descendants, following his example, crowned their heirs while he was still alive. Problems arose even in the royal household, where the king's vassals built stone castles, behind the walls of which they could feel completely independent rulers. The barons fought each other, harassed neighboring ecclesiastical communities and towns, and even plundered travelers, making trade routes unsafe - including those around Paris. The king, having suffered a series of setbacks in the first half of his reign, did practically nothing against these vassals during the last ten years, nor did he intervene in the struggles of the towns with their liege lords over communal rights.

During the reign of Philip I (1052-29 July 1108), Henry I's heir, a new threat arose when William II, duke of Normandy, conquered England in 1066. To counter William's strengthening, the French king had to seek allies among the new English king's opponents. Philip I took advantage of the feuds in the county of Anjou to win the recognition of Fulco IV as the new earl of Gatineau, which had been added to the royal domain in 1068. He also recognized Robert I of Flanders as count of Flanders in 1071, securing the alliance by marriage to his stepdaughter, Bertha of Holland.

During the feudal war in Brittany, Philip managed to defeat William's army at Dole, resulting in the return of Vexen by peace. Philip later supported William the Conqueror's eldest son, Robert Courtgeuse, in rebelling against his father. After William's death, the Anglo-Norman monarchy was divided between his two sons, so for a time the threat to the Capetings passed.

In 1078, Philip married his brother Hugo to the heiress of the Counts of Vermandois and Valois, which strengthened his position in Picardy. Also in 1101, the Viscount of Bourges, on his way to the First Crusade, mortgaged to Philip Bourges and Dune at Berry; he was never able to redeem them on his return.

In 1092 Philip kidnapped Bertrande de Montfort, wife of the Count of Anjou, and married her, divorcing his first wife, which caused a conflict with the Count of Flanders as well as excommunication that lasted 10 years.

During Philip's reign there was a strengthening of the barons within the royal dominions, which endangered the routes of communication between the cities. But he began to build a system of government independent of territorial princes and capable of maintaining a stable state policy. He was succeeded by his eldest son Louis VI, during whose reign began to strengthen the royal power in France: he achieved the internal unity of the royal domain, thus laying the foundation for the unification of the country by his descendants. He successfully fought vassals to protect royal law, the church and public order, seeking to establish order and justice in the kingdom.

During Louis' reign, there was a renewed threat from England, whose king, Henry I of Bocklerc, the younger son of William the Conqueror, was able to incorporate Normandy into his possessions and began to strengthen his position in the border territories. Relying on the Counts of Blois, Nevers and Flanders and the Duke of Burgundy, the French king in 1109 undertook a campaign to Gisor, which the English king reinforced, but was not successful. In response, Henry's vassals seriously threatened Louis' possessions. As a result he was forced to relinquish suzerainty over Maine and Brittany.

To fight against Henry, the French king decided to support the claims to Normandy of William Clyton, son of Robert Courthouse, but was not successful. He also had to fight against Emperor Henry V, father-in-law of the English king, but his invasion of France was not successful, and when Henry V died in 1125 the threat disappeared.

Despite his defeat in Normandy, Louis actively expanded his influence in other major French principalities. He constantly intervened in the conflict between the count of Auvergne and the bishop of Clermont. He succeeded in establishing William Cliton as Count of Flanders in 1127, but after his death in 1128 Thierry of Alsace, supported by Henry of England, established himself there; though the new Count of Flanders swore an oath of allegiance to Louis, he was in fact independent. Nor was he able to take advantage of the turmoil in England that began after the death in 1135 of Henry I, who left no heirs.

In 1137, Louis was able to arrange the marriage of his heir, Louis VII (1120-18 September 1180), to Alienora, heiress to the Duke of Aquitaine, which ensured that vast holdings in the south of France were added to the royal possessions. Louis VI died shortly after the marriage and was succeeded by a son.

However, Louis VII did not succeed in keeping Aquitaine, and in 1152 he divorced Alienora, from whose marriage he had no sons. This divorce had serious consequences, especially since the Duchess of Aquitaine almost immediately married Henry Plantagenet, who was already ruler of Anjou, Maine and Touraine, and in 1154 became King of England as well. As a result, the King of England had in his hands vast estates in France, exceeding the size of the royal domain. Although Louis and Henry's relations were initially peaceful, the French king did not wish to see the English strengthened further. In 1173, Louis supported a rebellion by Henry's heir, which turned into open warfare, but he was not successful.

Louis VII undertook a series of campaigns against the "bad lords" of Ile-de-France, as a result of which he was able to establish control over the entire domain, finishing what his father had begun. He died in 1180 and was succeeded by his only son, Philip II Auguste (21 August 1165-14 July 1223).

The rise of the dynasty under Philip II Augustus

Philip was the last of the Capetians to be crowned while his father was still alive - he managed to strengthen the prestige of royal power so much that there were no further problems with the succession of the throne. He was also the first ruler to call himself "king of France" (lat. rex Franciae) rather than king of the Franks (lat. rex Francorum).

Philip II was active in expanding the royal domain. He skillfully exploited controversy at the English court. Philip took part in the Third Crusade, on his return from which he supported John of Heaven against his brother, King Richard the Lionheart. When Richard died, John of No Man's Land became king, but Philip supported his nephew, Arthur of Brittany, who had a legitimate claim to the English throne as the son of the king's older brother. Although under the terms of the peace treaty signed at Le Goule in 1200, the French king recognized John as Richard's heir to all his estates, receiving the earldom of Evreux, most of Vexin and part of Berry, but after the English king kidnapped Hugo IX de Lusignan's bride Isabella of Angoulême and married her himself, Philip used the Lusignan complaint as an excuse for renewing the struggle. In March 1202 the king of France demanded that John the Soothless not only satisfy the claims of the Lusignans, but also surrender to Arthur of Breton Ange, Normandy, and Poitou, and after he refused to do so and did not come to Paris for the trial of the peers, all his possessions in France were declared confiscated by the crown in April. After taking the vassal oath from Arthur for Brittany, Anjou, and Touraine, Philip began the conquest of Normandy. Although John succeeded in capturing Arthur, many barons from Anjou and Poitou supported the French king, and after Arthur's assassination in 1203, a number of Norman barons also defected to Philip's side. By 1204, the French king controlled all of Normandy, by 1205 Poitou and Centonge, and in early 1206 made significant gains in Brittany. But after the rebellion of the barons in Poitou and Sentonge, Philip agreed to a truce by which he returned all the possessions south of the Loire to John, retaining control of Normandy, Anjou, Maine and Touraine.

Later John succeeded in forming a coalition against France that included his nephew, Emperor Otto of Brunswick, as well as the counts of Flanders, Holland and Boulogne and the Duke of Brabant. The war resumed in 1213, but in 1214 the army of Emperor Otto and his allies was defeated at the Battle of Bouvin. This victory would have a lasting impact on Western European politics: the power of the French king became unchallenged, the English king, who in England faced discontent with the barons, which eventually turned into civil war, concluded a truce and effectively recognized that Normandy, Anjou, Touraine, Maine and Poitou became part of the royal domain.

During the last years of his life, Philip Augustus was mainly concerned with reforming the administration of his sprawling domain, undertaking financial and administrative reforms, and limiting the power of the magnates. Although he himself did not participate in the Albigoy Crusade to southern France, he allowed his vassals and knights to help carry it out.

As a result of his reign, Philip succeeded in transforming France from a small feudal state into the most prosperous and powerful country in Europe, and his reforms succeeded in reorganizing the administration of the kingdom and ensuring its financial stability.

Philip II's immediate successors

Philip II Augustus in 1223 was succeeded by his eldest son Louis VIII (September 5, 1187 - November 8, 1226), who as early as 1216 unsuccessfully tried to become king of England. The new king of France continued the expansion of the royal domain. He displaced the Plantagenets from a substantial part of Aquitaine, subjugated the counties of Marché and Angoulême as well as Limoges and Sentonge, but he failed to capture Gascony. In 1225 the king declared a new crusade against the Albigensians, actually directed against the Count of Toulouse. In 1226 the crusaders captured a number of towns in Languedoc (Avignon, Nîmes, Montpellier, Carcassonne, Narbonne, Pamier, Boker). But on November 8 the king died of dysentery. In the end only his son, Louis IX the Holy, was able to reap the fruits of the victories he had won.

Louis IX (25 April 1214-25 August 1270), the eldest of Louis VIII's sons, was a minor when his father died, so his mother, Blanche of Castile, became regent, further strengthening the authority of royalty and expanding the royal domain. Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1229, the king received half of the countship of Toulouse, and one of Louis' brothers, Alphonse, was engaged to the heiress of the count. After his father-in-law's death, he became count of Toulouse in 1249, and in 1241 he received the countship of Poitiers as an appanage. He left no children, so after his death in 1271, Toulouse was finally annexed to the royal domain. Another brother of Louis IX, Robert, was given the Countship of Artois as an appanage in 1237. He became the ancestor of the Artois branch. The youngest of the brothers, Charles I of Anjou, was granted the counties of Anjou and Maine as appanage. Through a fortunate marriage in 1246, he was able to become count of Provence and later conquer the kingdom of Sicily. He became the ancestor of the Anjou-Sicilian house.

Louis IX came of age in 1234, but this made little difference. The royal power was already so strong that Louis had no difficulty in maintaining his authority against his vassals. In 1242, he managed to crush a rebellion by southern French nobles, backed by Henry III, King of England, who wanted to regain the French possessions his father had lost. By the Treaty of Paris in 1259, the king of England relinquished control of Normandy (except the Channel Islands), the counties of Maine, Anjou and Poitou. In return, Louis ceded to England Limousin, Perigord, part of Centonge, Kersey, and Agenois (Ajne). Also Henry III swore an oath of vassalage to the king of France as duke of Aquitaine (Guienne). In 1258 Louis renounced suzerainty over Catalonia, Cerdani and Roussillon, thus settling relations with the kings of Aragon. As a result, these successes greatly increased the prestige of the French king among European rulers, who often began to turn to Louis as an arbitrator to resolve disputes.

Louis IX organized two crusades, during the second in 1270 he died of typhus. In 1297 he was canonized.

The younger sons of Louis IX were allocated apanages. Of these, Pierre I, Count of Alanson and Perche, left no heirs, but Robert de Clermont, who through marriage inherited the rich seignory of Bourbon, became the progenitor of the Bourbon dynasty, which in 1589 inherited the French crown.

The eldest son, Philip III the Bold (April 30, 1245-October 5, 1285), inherited the crown. His reign was short: in 1284 he organized an unsuccessful Aragonese crusade during which he died of dysentery. He was survived by his three sons. Of these, Charles of Valois was the founder of the Valois dynasty that replaced the older branch of the Capetings on the French throne in 1328. The youngest, Louis d'Evreux, became the ancestor of the house of d'Evreux.

The French throne was inherited by Philip III's eldest son, Philip IV the Beautiful (1268 - 29 November 1314). Through his marriage to Jeanne I of Navarre he expanded the royal domains at the expense of the kingdom of Navarre and the county of Champagne. In 1297 he began a war against Flanders that lasted until 1305. Eventually Lille, Douai, Bethune, and Orchy were annexed to the crown. He also confiscated Guienne from King Edward I of England, which he did not recover until 1303 after the marriage of his daughter Isabella to his heir, the future Edward II.

Philip IV was in constant need of money, so he imposed new taxes, confiscated the property of Jews and Lombards, set in motion the liquidation of the Templar order by confiscating its property in France, and defaced coins. His attempts to tax the clergy led to a conflict with the pope, which ended with the papacy coming under the control of the French kings (the so-called Captivity of Avignon). Also during Philip's reign the influence of the legal experts (Ligists) grew, through whose efforts the monarch's prerogatives were extended and the sovereignty of his power was justified. As a result, his reign is considered a turning point in the strengthening of royal power as well as in the formation of the cult of the king of France. During Philip's reign, in 1302, the states-general were convened for the first time.

The Last Capetings

Philip IV had three sons: Louis X the Swarming (October 4, 1289-June 5, 1316) Philip V the Long (1291

Philip V finished the war with Flanders and spent most of his reign in domestic politics, trying to bring order to the administration. His reign can be seen as a time of summing up all the activities of the Capetians: what had previously been left out of legislation was now regulated. But his reforms of coinage and attempts to introduce uniformity in the confusion of weights and measures were not successful. He died in 1322, leaving only his daughters, who under the Salic law could not obtain the throne. He was succeeded by his younger brother Charles IV, during whose reign his uncle, Charles Valois, effectively ruled the kingdom. Charles IV was the last in the senior line of the Capetian dynasty. He left no sons and died in 1328. As a result, Philip VI, son of Charles Valois, who died in 1325, became king of France, becoming the founder of a new royal dynasty, the Valois, which ruled France until 1589, when it was replaced by another branch of the Capetings, the Bourbons.

Senior Burgundy House

The first branch to be separated was the Senior House of Burgundy, whose ancestor was Robert I, the youngest son of King Robert II the Pious. Under this dynasty came the Duchy of Burgundy, which included the lands of the former Counts of Autumn, Bon, Avalon, Dijon and Châtillon-sur-Cien. The counts of the other Burgundian counties (Chalon, Macon, Nevers, Auxerre, Tonner) were in fact independent rulers. Robert and his immediate successors were mere feudal lords, but gradually the dukes of Burgundy were able to increase their holdings and force their vassals to recognize their suzerainty. The older branch died out in 1361 after the death of Philip I of Rouvre.

In addition to the older branch, there were also lateral branches:

Vermandois branch

The ancestor of the branch was Hugo the Great (1057 - 18 October 1102), the youngest son of King Henry I, who through his marriage with Adelaide, heiress of Herbert IV de Vermandois, became Count of Valois and Vermandois. This branch died out in the male line in 1167 after the death of the childless Raoul II de Vermandois (1145-17 June 1167), grandson of Hugo. His heirs were successively two sisters. First, the eldest, Elisabeth (1143 - March 28, 1183), who was childless, ruled the Valois and Vermandois. After her death the Valois and Vermandois were claimed by Philip of Alsace, Count of Flanders, Elisabeth's husband, and her sister Eleanor (1148

Maison de Dreux

The ancestor of the family was one of the sons of King Louis VI of France - Robert I (1123-1188), who received as an apanage the Count of Dreux. His son and heir, Robert II (1154-1218) also inherited the Countship of Bren from his mother. From the sons of Robert II came two branches of the family.

The eldest son, Robert III, who inherited the family estates, became the ancestor of the eldest branch of the family, which died out in 1345 on the male line with the death of Count Pierre I (1298-1345) and in 1355 on the female line with the death of Countess Jeanne II (1345-1346), sister of Pierre I. Also separated from the older branch was the line of lords of Beaux, whose ancestor was the second son of Robert III de Dreux, Robert I de Beaux (1217-1264), lord de Beaux and viscount de Chateaudin (faded in 1398 with the death of Robert VI de Beaux), and the Bossard lordship line, whose ancestor was the second son of Robert II de Beaux (1265-1306), Jean I, lord de Bossard (died in 1590 with the death of Jean IV de Bossard, lord de Morainville).

The most famous was the younger branch of the house, whose ancestor was the second son of Robert II de Dreux, Pierre I Moclerc (1191-1250), who married an heiress of the Duchy of Brittany. His descendants ruled in Brittany until 1514. The last representative of the branch was Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), successively the wife of the French kings Charles VIII and Louis XII. There was, however, a sideline line of d'Evangour, whose ancestor was François I d'Evangour (1462 - after 1494), the illegitimate son of Duke François II. There was also a line of lords de Machecull, whose ancestor was the younger son of Pierre I, Olivier I de Machecull (1231-1279). The line died out in 1464 with the death of Marguerite de Machecull (1374-1464), Dame de Vieulevigne.

Courtenay House

Its ancestor was Pierre I de Courtenay (1126-1183), the sixth son of King Louis VI of France, who married Elisabeth, daughter of Renaud, seigneur de Courtenay, receiving as dowry the Seignory of Courtenay.

The eldest son of Pierre I, Pierre II (1155-1219), who was the ancestor of the most significant branch of the family, acquired by marriage the earldom of Nevers and also became emperor of the Latin Empire. In order to maintain power in the Latin Empire, the descendants of Pierre II were forced to sell most of their possessions in France, but power in the empire to retain it failed. Pierre II's youngest son Baldwin II (1217-1273) was overthrown in 1261, and the Latin empire ceased to exist; Baldwin himself died in Italy. The older male line died out in 1283 with the death of Baldwin II's son Philip, whose only daughter, Catherine, married Charles of Valois, giving him the title of Emperor of the Latin Empire.

In France there remained other branches of the family that descended from the younger sons of Pierre I. Their vast estates were fragmented among numerous members of the family. In the last decades of their existence, the Courtaines claimed the title of princes of the blood through the Paris parliament, citing their descent in the direct male line from Hugo Capet. The last male member of the Courtenay family died in 1733, and after the death of Hélène de Courtenay on June 29, 1768, the family finally died out.

There was also a Polish family of Baudouin de Courtenay, whose representatives insisted on their descent from the French Courtenay, although there is no documentary evidence of this. After the partitions of Poland, representatives of this family were recognized as nobles of the Russian Empire.

Anjou-Sicily House

The ancestor of this dynasty was Charles I of Anjou (21 March 1227 - 7 January 1285), Count of Anjou, Maine, Provence, and Forcalquier. In 1266 he conquered the kingdom of Sicily, creating a powerful Mediterranean power, but as a result of the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 he lost Sicily and his descendants ruled only in Naples. There were several branches of the family. Charles II of Anjou, who died in 1309 by his marriage to Mary of Hungary, left numerous descendants. From the eldest son, Charles Martel, came the Hungarian branch, whose representatives were kings of Hungary and then of Poland. The last representative of the branch was Louis I the Great (1326-1382), King of Hungary and Poland, who left only three daughters: Catherine (1366-1377), who died during her father's lifetime; Mary (1371-1392), Queen of Hungary; and Jadwiga (1372-1399), Queen of Poland.

The second son, Louis (1274-1297), was to succeed to the Kingdom of Naples, but he chose a clerical career and renounced his rights in 1295. He was elected bishop of Toulouse in 1297, but died the same year. In 1317 he was canonized. The Kingdom of Naples and Provence was eventually inherited by his eldest surviving son, Robert (1277-1343), who became the ancestor of the Neapolitan branch. His only son, Charles of Calabria, died before his father, so he was succeeded by his granddaughter, Giovanna I, who was deposed from the throne of Naples and murdered in 1282.

The fourth son, Philip I (1278-1332), inherited Taranto, becoming the ancestor of the Tarento branch, which died out in 1374 with the death of Philip II of Tarento. The next surviving son, Pierre (1292-1315) received the Countship di Gravina. He died childless. And the youngest of the sons, Giovanni (1294-1336), received the Duchy of Durazzo, which included the Albanian possessions of the house. He became the ancestor of the Durazzo branch. From this branch came Charles III Durazzo (1345 - February 24, 1386), who in 1382 conquered the Kingdom of Naples, deposing Queen Giovanna I. However, Charles' successor, Vladislav (1376

Maison d'Artois

The ancestor was one of the sons of Louis VIII, Robert I d'Artois, who received the Countship of Artois as an appanage in 1237. After the death of Robert II in 1302, the County of Artois was the subject of a long dispute between his daughter Matilde d'Artois and his grandson Robert III, son of Philippe d'Artois, who died in 1298. Matilda, who became Countess d'Artois, prevailed in the dispute. Robert III retained only a few seignories - Conches, Nonancourt and Domfron - and in 1309 he was granted the countship of Beaumont-le-Roger. After the death of Magot in 1329, and then in 1330 of her heir, Jeanne of Burgundy, Robert again asserted rights to Artois, but after it was found that the documents presented by Robert as proof of his rights were false, he was forced to flee to England and his holdings in France were confiscated. He fought on England's side in the Hundred Years' War and was mortally wounded in 1342.

The branch died out in 1472 after the death of Charles d'Artois, Count d'E. He left no legitimate children, but from his illegitimate son Charles d'Artois a sideline line descended, terminating in the male line in 1885.


The ancestor of the dynasty was Charles the Soothless (March 12, 1270 - December 16, 1325), Count of Valois, Alanson, Chartres, Anjou and Maine. This family had been on the French throne since 1328 after the extinction of the older line of the Capetings.

There were several branches of the family.

Maison d'Evreux

The ancestor was Louis d'Evreux, the youngest son of King Philip III the Bold. From his sons came two branches of the family. The eldest, Charles, became Count d'Etampas. This branch died out in 1400 with the death of his eldest son Louis. The younger son, Philip, Count d'Evreux, married the only daughter of King Louis X, who after the election of Philip VI Valois as king, was recognized as Queen of Navarre. This branch died out in 1425 with the death of Charles III of Navarre.


The ancestor was Robert de Clermont (1256 - February 7, 1317), the youngest of Louis IX's sons, who received as an appanage the countship of Clermont-en-Bovézy and later through marriage inherited the rich seignory of Bourbon that gave its name to the dynasty. His eldest son, Louis I de Bourbon, received the title Duke de Bourbon in 1327. From Louis' sons came two branches of the family.

The older branch, whose ancestor was Pierre I de Bourbon, the eldest of the sons of Duke Louis I, who inherited the title of duke. The older line of the family faded in 1503 with the death of Duke Pierre II de Bourbon. Earlier, it was separated from the branch Bourbon-Monpensier, one representative of which, Charles III de Bourbon, connetable of France, married the heiress of Pierre II and inherited the title of duke. But after he was accused of treason in 1523, his estates and titles were confiscated and he himself forced to flee. He died in 1527, leaving no heirs, after which the eldest branch died out. A side branch of Bourbon-Busset is also descended from one of this family.

A younger branch, the ancestor of which was Jacques I de Bourbon, Count de La Marché and the connetable of France, the youngest of the sons of Duke Louis I. From his youngest son, Jacques, came the Bourbon-Preault family, which died out in 1429. The eldest of Jacques I's sons left no children, and the second son, Jean I, had posterity. The eldest of them, Jacques II, who inherited the counties of La Marché and Castres, left only daughters, one of whom inherited his estates and titles. The youngest of the sons, Jean, became the ancestor of a collateral branch of the Bourbon-Carcy. And the second son, Louis I, who inherited the Countship of Vendôme from his mother, became the ancestor of the Vendôme branch of the Bourbons.

This branch also soon split into lines. Louis de Bourbon, Prince de La Roche-sur-Yon, was married to the daughter of Gilbert de Bourbon-Monpensier, so that his son, Louis III, could obtain some of the confiscated estates of the Connetable Charles III de Bourbon. He became the ancestor of the second Bourbon-Monpensier family, which died out in 1608. François I de Bourbon-Saint-Paul was the ancestor of the branch of the dukes of Estouville, which died out in 1546.

Charles IV de Bourbon received the title Duke of Vendôme in 1514. From his youngest son Louis, Prince Condé, came the Bourbon-Conde branch, which died out in 1830, and the Bourbon-Conti branch, which separated from it, which died out in 1814. Charles IV's eldest son, Antoine de Bourbon, became king of Navarre by marriage. His son Henry IV, after the termination of the Valois dynasty in 1589 by the Salic law, as the eldest male descendant of King Louis IX, became king of France. Under his descendants the family strongly branched out, representatives of the Bourbon dynasty ruled in a number of other European states in addition to France. The eldest branch of the Bourbons (French Bourbons) suppressed in 1883, its junior branch, the House of Orleans, exists to this day, it includes besides the older line the Orleans-Braganza and Orleans-Galliera. There are also various branches of the family of Spanish Bourbons. Representatives of this family are the kings of Spain. They also ruled in Sicily and Naples (Neapolitan Bourbons) and the Duchy of Parma (Parma Bourbons). One branch of the Bourbons of Parma is currently the ruling dynasty in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.


  1. Capetian dynasty
  2. Капетинги
  3. Glöckner K. Lorsch und Lothringen, Robertinger und Capetinger. — S. 301—354.
  4. ^ Carlo IV fu l'ultimo re capetingio del ramo principale estintosi nel 1328. Discendenti diretti di Ugo Capeto regnano in Spagna, con Filippo VI dal 2014, e in Lussemburgo, con Enrico I dal 2000.
  5. ^ Luigi Alfonso di Borbone-Dampierre per i Bianchi di Spagna, Enrico d'Orléans per gli Orleanisti
  6. ^ M. Bloch, La società feudale Torino 1974, p. 325
  7. ^ a b Karl Ferdinand Werner, Les premiers Robertiens et les premiers Anjou (ixe siècle - xe siècle), Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de l’Ouest, 1997
  8. Annexion de la Navarre par la France : le 12 janvier 1790, l'Assemblée nationale française décrète que la Navarre est « réuni[e] au Béarn pour former un seul Département »[1] – appelé le 8 février, département du Béarn[2], puis le 26 février, département des Basses-Pyrénées[3]. Ces décrets entrent en vigueur par lettres-patentes du roi des François [sic][4] le 4 mars 1790. Tout cela avait été précédé dès le 22 décembre 1789, par un décret portant constitution des assemblées primaires et des assemblées administratives[5] ; et le 30 décembre, avait été lue à l'Assemblée une adresse « par laquelle la Navarre adhère au décret qui l'a confondue avec la France »[6].
  9. ^ a b Maurois, André, Istoria Angliei, Editura Orizonturi, București, 1993

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