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Louis was the fourth child of King Louis VIII and his queen, Blanche of Castilebut, since the first three died at an early age, Louis, who was to have seven more brothers and sisters, became heir to the throne. He was raised with particular care by his parents, especially his mother. Experienced horsemen taught him riding and the fine points of hunting. Tutors taught him biblical history, geography, and ancient literature. His mother instructed him in religion herself and educated him as a sincere, unbigoted Christian. Louis was a boisterous adolescent, occasionally seized by fits of temper, which he made efforts to control.
When his father succeeded Philip II Augustus inthe long struggle between the Capetian dynasty and the Plantagenets of England who still had vast holdings in France was still not settled, but there was a temporary lull, since the English king, Henry IIIwas in no position to the war.
In the south of France the Albigensian heretics, who were in revolt against both church and statehad not been brought under control. Finally, there was ferment and the threat of revolt among the great nobles, who had been kept in line by the firm hand of Philip Augustus. Louis VIII managed to bring these external and internal conflicts to an end. In Louis VIII turned his attention to quelling the Albigensian revolt, but he unfortunately died at Montpensier on November 8,on returning from a victorious expedition.
Louis IX, who was not yet 13, became king under the regency of his redoubtable mother. Many of the most powerful nobles refrained from participating in the ceremony, but Blanche was not a woman to be discouraged by adversity. She took advantage of it to put an end to the Albigensian revolt. As a political debut it was a magnificent success.
The problem of the Plantagenet holdings in France remained. Louis IX, though only 15, personally commanded the troops. There was not even a battle, for, after a futile ride to Bordeaux, Henry withdrew. When Blanche laid down the reins of government inthe kingdom was temporarily at peace. Louis IX could now think about marriage. He was a splendid knight whose kindness and engaging manner made him popular. And he was a just king: although he exacted what was due him, he had no wish to wrong anyone, from the lowest peasant to the richest vassal.
He was also a pious king, the protector of the church and friend of those in holy orders. In he founded the noted abbey of Royaumont. Although respectful of the popehe staunchly resisted unreasonable papal demands and protected his clergy. The marriage was celebrated at Sens, May 29,and Louis showed himself to be an eager and ardent husband, which made Blanche intensely jealous of her daughter-in-law. Louis and Margaret had 11 children. Once again Henry descended on the Continent, this Dinner date for Saint Louis 9th at Royan, with a powerful force.
The majority of the nobles in the west of France united with him. An almost bloodless encounter at the bridge of Taillebourg in resulted in defeat for the English, and Henry returned to London. It was then, in Decemberthat he decided to take up the cross and go to free the Holy Landdespite the lack of enthusiasm among his barons and his entourage.
The situation in the Holy Land was critical.
Jerusalem had fallen into Muslim hands on August 23,and the armies of the sultan of Egypt had seized Damascus. If aid from the West was not forthcoming, the Christian kingdom of the East would soon collapse. In Europe the times had never been more propitious for a Crusade. The kingdom of France was at peace, and the barons agreed to accompany their sovereign in the Seventh Crusade. The preparations were long and complex. He took his wife and children with him, since he preferred not to leave the mother and Dinner date for Saint Louis 9th alone together.
His fleet comprised about ships carrying 35, men. The beginning was promising. After wintering in Cyprusthe expedition landed near DamiettaEgypt, in June The king was one of the first to leap onto land, where he planted the oriflamme of St. Denis on Muslim territory. The town and port of Damietta were strongly fortified, but on June 6 Louis IX was able to enter the city. He then pushed on toward Cairobut the rain-swollen waters of the Nile and its canals stopped him for several months. After several attempts, a pontoon bridge was finally built, and the battle took place on February 8, Louis finally gained control of the situation through his energy and self-possession.
But the army was exhausted. The king had to issue orders for the agonizing retreat toward Damietta. Louis IX, stricken in turn, dragged himself along in the rear guard of his disintegrating force. The Egyptians harassed the fleeing army and finally captured it on April 7, After long negotiations, the king and his principal barons were freed for a high ransom, and Louis reed his wife at Acre. The Crusaders would have preferred to return to France, but the king decided instead to remain.
In four years he was to transform a military defeat into a diplomatic success, conclude advantageous alliances, and fortify the Christian cities of Syria. Louis IX. Additional Info. Print print Print. Table Of Contents. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions.
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Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires. External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. See all media. Also Known As: Saint Louis Show more Born: April 25, Poissy France Show more Died: August 25, Tunis Tunisia Show more.
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