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Philip I of France

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Philip I of France

Philip I's tomb effigy in the Fleury (Floriacum) Abbey

Philip I of France (23 May 1052 Paris, France-29 July 1108 Melun, France) was the King of France from 1060 to 1108, reigning in a hard time; not only did he face Robert's rebellious County of Flanders and the Kingdom of England to the north, but also faced the Kingdom of Burgundy to the east, Duchy of Brittany to the northwest in Rennes, and to the south, the rebellious William VIII of Aquitaine. By the time of his death, he had added these lands (Normandy apart) to his kingdom.

Biography

Philip I was son of Henry I of France and Anne of Kiev, a Russian princess. Philip was of Frankish, Russian, Swedish, Saxon, Angevin, and German descent, and was of the Capetian line. Philip I became co-king in 1059 but in 1060, at the age of eight, became solo king with his mother as regent. In 1066, at the age of fourteen, he became the full king of his country, and married into the Lotharingian family, but repudiated his fat wife Bertha and instead married Bertrade de Montfort, wife of Fulk IV of Anjou.

His first major actions as ruler of the country was to make peace with William the Conqueror in 1077, promising to not invade Normandy. He married his daughter to Rufus, the son of William, to consolidate an alliance with the Kingdom of England, while he put down rebellions by his power-hungry vassals. Philip I took over Metz from the Duchy of Burgundy, followed by the conquest of Rennes from Breton duke Gilbert. Soon, he added all of Flanders and the Netherlands to his rule, as well as Aquitaine and Dijon. He took part in the First Crusade as the leader of a crusading army that captured Acre and Jerusalem, and was known as "Philip the Crusader" for his piety in suggesting such a venture. Philip died in 1109, his empire encompassing all of Western Europe up to the Rhine River.

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