Philip I (23 May 1052 – 29 July 1108), called the Amorous (French: l' Amoureux), was King of France from 1060 to his death. His reign, like that of most of the early Direct Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it reached in the reign of his father and he added to the royal demesne the Vexin and Bourges.
Philip was the son of Henry I and Anne of Kiev. His name was of Greek origin, being derived from Philippos, meaning "lover of horses". It was rather exotic for Western Europe at the time and was bestowed upon him by his Eastern European mother. Although he was crowned king at the age of seven, until age fourteen (1066) his mother acted as regent, the first queen of France ever to do so. Her co-regent was Baldwin V of Flanders.
Philip first married Bertha, daughter of Floris I, Count of Holland, in 1072. Although the marriage produced the necessary heir, Philip fell in love with Bertrade de Montfort, the wife of Count Fulk IV of Anjou. He repudiated Bertha (claiming she was too fat) and married Bertrade on 15 May 1092. In 1094, he was excommunicated by Hugh, Archbishop of Lyon, for the first time; after a long silence, Pope Urban II repeated the excommunication at the Council of Clermont in November 1095. Several times the ban was lifted as Philip promised to part with Bertrade, but he always returned to her, and after 1104, the ban was not repeated. In France, the king was opposed by Bishop Ivo of Chartres, a famous jurist.
Philip appointed Alberic first Constable of France in 1060. A great part of his reign, like his father's, was spent putting down revolts by his power-hungry vassals. In 1077, he made peace with William the Conqueror, who gave up attempting the conquest of Brittany. In 1082, Philip I expanded his demesne with the annexation of the Vexin. Then in 1100, he took control of Bourges.
It was at the aforementioned Council of Clermont that the First Crusade was launched. Philip at first did not personally support it because of his conflict with Urban II. The pope would not have allowed him to participate anyway, as he had reaffirmed Philip's excommunication at the said council. Philip's brother Hugh of Vermandois, however, was a major participant.
Full article ▸