Category Archives: Life of Louis the Fat

Suger: The Life of Louis VI ‘the Fat’

JUST PUBLISHED The kingdom of France when Louis VI came to the throne in 1108 was a patchwork of feudal principalities over which the authority of the French Capetian monarchy was weak. Beyond the heartlands of Capetian power around Paris, … Continue reading

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Contemporary accounts of the death of Charles the Good, 1127

In the Restauratio sancti Martini Tornacensis (The Restoration of the Monastery of Saint Martin of Tournai), written around 1142 by  the monastery’s abbot, Herman of Tournai (c.1090-1147) provides an invaluable account of the history his monastery and the events of … Continue reading

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Contemporary accounts of the death of Charles the Good, 1127

On 2nd March 1127, Charles the Good, Count of Flanders, was murdered in the city of Bruges by several of his vassals and officials.  The leaders of this plot were Bertulf, provost of Bruges, Didier Hacket, the castellan of Bruges, … Continue reading

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Appendix 1: Orderic Vitalis on the battle of Brémule 20 August 1120

  Meanwhile King Louis paid a quick visit to France and suddenly returned to Normandy from Etampes, bringing many warlike knights with him. On 20th August King Henry heard Mass at Noyon-sur-Andelle and set out on a campaign against the … Continue reading

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Chapter 34

With what piety he faced death However he gasped his way back a little towards good health and was able to go in the best carriage he could to Melun, on the Seine. On the road, crowds of devoted people … Continue reading

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Chapter 33

With what courage he bore illness The lord King Louis was in the process of failing not in mind but in body, as men habitually do, worn out by his corpulence[1] and by the continual strain of his tasks; for … Continue reading

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Chapter 32

How he received Pope Innocent when he fled to him At that time it happened that the Roman church was deeply wounded to the quick by schism. For when the venerable supreme pontiff and universal father Honorius went the way … Continue reading

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Chapter 31

How he made an end of Thomas de Marle On another occasion he wreaked a similar vengeance, equally pleasing to God and equally celebrated on Thomas de Marle, a malicious man who persecuted the church without respect for God or … Continue reading

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Chapter 30

How he avenged the murder of Charles, count of Flanders I intend to relate his finest exploit[1], the noblest deed he performed from his youth to his life’s end. Although it ought to be spoken of at length, I shall … Continue reading

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Chapter 29

How he restrained the count of Auvergne from attacking the bishop of Clermont At about the same time, the bishop of Clermont in the Auvergne[1], a man of upright character and a distinguished defender of his church, was struck down … Continue reading

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Chapter 28

With what valour he repelled the Emperor Henry’s attempted invasion of the kingdom But let us return to our aim, which is to write a history of the king. The Emperor Henry long nourished a grievance against King Louis because … Continue reading

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Chapter 27

Pope Calixtus and the abbacy of St-Denis About that time Paschal, sovereign pontiff of blessed memory, departed from this world to eternity[1]. His successor was the chancellor John of Gaeta[2], canonically elected pope under the name of Gelasius[3]. But Bourdin, … Continue reading

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Chapter 26

Of the resumption of war with Henry of England Unbridled arrogance is worse than pride; for if pride will not break a superior, arrogance will not brook an equal. As the poet said, ‘Caesar could not bear to be second, … Continue reading

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Chapter 25

Of Aimon Vaire-Vache Royal power ought not to appear confined to narrow limits in any part of its lands, ‘for we know that kings have long arms.’[1] From the frontiers of Berry there came to him Alard Guillebaud[2], a clever … Continue reading

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Chapter 24

How the king destroyed Thomas of Marle’s castles The hand of kings is very powerful because of the right attached to their office. They repress the impudence of tyrants each time they see them provoking wars or taking infinite pleasure … Continue reading

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