Philip I

Philip I, 1052–1108, king of France (1060–1108), son and successor of Henry I. He enlarged, by arms and by diplomacy, his small royal domain. In order to prevent the union of England and Normandy under a single ruler, he consistently supported Robert II of Normandy (Robert Curthose). In spite of his efforts, royal power remained weak. Philip's practice of simony and his consequent opposition to the reforms of Pope Gregory VII brought him into conflict with the Holy See. Among the issues were simony and control of marriage policy, an issue fueled by Philip's private life. Philip repudiated his first wife, Bertha, daughter of the count of Holland, and married, over the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church, Bertrada of Montfort, wife of Count Fulk of Anjou, while both Bertha and Fulk were still living. Philip, excommunicated by popes Urban II and Paschal II, remained defiant until 1104. In his last years his son, Louis VI, ruled for him.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies