Philip III of France

Last updated
Philippe III redirects here. It can also refer to Philippe III de Croÿ and Philippe III, Duke of Orléans.
Philip III the Bold
Miniature Philippe III Courronement.jpg
Coronation of King Philip III
King of France (more...)
Reign25 August 1270 – 5 October 1285
Coronation 30 August 1271
Predecessor Louis IX
Successor Philip IV
Born30 April 1245
Died5 October 1285(1285-10-05) (aged 40)
Initially Narbonne, later Saint Denis Basilica
Isabella of Aragon (m. 1262)

Maria of Brabant (m. 1274)
Issue Louis of France
Philip IV of France
Charles, Count of Valois
Louis, Count of Évreux
Blanche, Duchess of Austria
Margaret, Queen of England
House Capet
Father Louis IX of France
Mother Margaret of Provence
Religion Roman Catholicism

Philip III (30 April 1245 – 5 October 1285), called the Bold (French : le Hardi), [1] was King of France from 1270 to 1285.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.


Philip proved indecisive, soft in nature, and timid. The strong personalities of his parents apparently crushed him, and policies of his father dominated him. People called him "the Bold" on the basis of his abilities in combat and on horseback and not on the basis of his political or personal character. He was pious but not cultivated. He followed the suggestions of others, first of Pierre de La Broce and then of his uncle King Charles I of Naples, Sicily, and Albania.

His father, Louis IX, died in Tunis during the Eighth Crusade. Philip, who was accompanying him, came back to France to claim his throne and was anointed at Reims in 1271.

Louis IX of France 13th-century King of France

Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France, and is a canonized Catholic and Anglican saint. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII; his mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled the kingdom as regent until he reached maturity. During Louis' childhood, Blanche dealt with the opposition of rebellious vassals and obtained a definitive victory in the Albigensian Crusade which had started 20 years earlier.

Tunis Capital and largest city of Tunisia

Tunis is the capital and the largest city of Tunisia. The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as Grand Tunis, has some 2,700,000 inhabitants.

Eighth Crusade Crusade against Tunis in 1270

The Eighth Crusade was a crusade launched by Louis IX of France against the city of Tunis in 1270. The Eighth Crusade is sometimes counted as the Seventh, if the Fifth and Sixth Crusades of Frederick II are counted as a single crusade. The Ninth Crusade is sometimes also counted as part of the Eighth. The crusade is considered a failure after Louis died shortly after arriving on the shores of Tunisia, with his disease-ridden army dispersing back to Europe shortly afterwards.

Philip made numerous territorial acquisitions during his reign, the most notable being the County of Toulouse which was annexed to the Crown lands of France in 1271. Following the Sicilian Vespers, a rebellion triggered by Peter III of Aragon against Philip's uncle Charles I of Naples, Philip led an unsuccessful Aragonese Crusade in support of his uncle. Philip was forced to retreat and died from dysentry in Perpignan in 1285. He was succeeded by his son Philip the Fair.

County of Toulouse countship

The County of Toulouse was a territory in southern France consisting of the city of Toulouse and its environs, ruled by the Count of Toulouse from the late 9th century until the late 13th century.

The crown lands, crown estate, royal domain or domaine royal of France refers to the lands, fiefs and rights directly possessed by the kings of France. While the term eventually came to refer to a territorial unit, the royal domain originally referred to the network of "castles, villages and estates, forests, towns, religious houses and bishoprics, and the rights of justice, tolls and taxes" effectively held by the king or under his domination. In terms of territory, before the reign of Henry IV, the domaine royal did not encompass the entirety of the territory of the kingdom of France and for much of the Middle Ages significant portions of the kingdom were the direct possessions of other feudal lords.

Sicilian Vespers successful rebellion in Sicily on Easter, 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I

The Sicilian Vespers was a successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out at Easter 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, approximately 13,000 French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of King Charles lost control of the island. It was the beginning of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.


Early life

Philip was born in Poissy to King Saint Louis IX of France [2] and Margaret of Provence, queen consort of France. As a younger son, Philip was not expected to rule a kingdom. At the death of his elder brother Louis in 1260, he became the heir to the throne. He was then 15 years old and had less skill than his brother, being of a gentle character, submissive, timid and versatile, almost crushed by the strong personalities of his parents.

Poissy Commune in Île-de-France, France

Poissy is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris, 23.8 km (14.8 mi) from the centre of Paris.

Margaret of Provence Queen of France, 1234–1270

Margaret of Provence was Queen of France by marriage to King Louis IX.

Louis of France (1244–1260) Eldest son of King Louis IX; heir and regent of France

Louis of France was the eldest son of King Louis IX of France and his wife Margaret of Provence. As heir apparent to the throne, he served as regent for a brief period.

His mother Margaret made him promise to remain under her tutelage until the age of 30, but his father King Louis had him released from this oath by the pope, preferring to improve his son through education. Pope Urban IV released Philip from his oath on 6 June 1263. From 1268 Pierre de La Brosse became mentor. Saint Louis also provided him his own advice, writing in particular Enseignements, which inculcate primarily the notion of justice as the first duty of the king. He also received a very faith-oriented education. Guillaume d'Ercuis was also his chaplain before being the tutor of his son, the future king Philip IV.

Philip IV of France King of France 1285–1314

Philip IV, called Philip the Fair, was King of France from 1285 to 1314. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Philip I from 1284 to 1305, as well as Count of Champagne. Although Philip was known as handsome, hence the epithet le Bel, his rigid and inflexible personality gained him other nicknames, such as the Iron King. His fierce opponent Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, said of him: "he is neither man nor beast. He is a statue."

Advent of Sorrow

Following the Treaty of Corbeil (1258), concluded on 11 March 1258 between James I of Aragon and his father, Philip was married in 1262 to Isabella of Aragon in Clermont by the archbishop of Rouen Eudes Rigaud. As Count of Orléans, he accompanied his father to the Eighth Crusade in Tunis, 1270. Shortly before his departure, St. Louis had given the regency of the kingdom into the hands of Mathieu de Vendôme and Simon II de Clermont-Nesle, Count of Clermont, to whom he had also entrusted the royal seal. After taking Carthage, the army was struck by an epidemic of dysentery, which spared neither Philip nor his family. His brother John Tristan, Count of Valois died first, on 3 August, and on 25 August the king died. [lower-alpha 1] [3] To prevent putrefaction of the remains of the sovereign, they recoursed to Mos Teutonicus.

Philip, then 25 years old, was proclaimed king in Tunis. With neither great personality or will, very pious, but a good rider, he owed his nickname of "Bold" to his valor in combat rather than strength of character. He was unable to command the troops at the death of his father. He left his uncle Charles I of Naples to negotiate with Muhammad I al-Mustansir, Hafsid Sultan of Tunis; there was a truce of ten years which allowed him to return to France. He got the payment of tribute from the caliph of Tunis in exchange for the departure of the crusaders. A treaty was concluded 28 October 1270 between the kings of France, Sicily and Navarre and the barons on one hand and the caliph of Tunis on the other.

Other deaths followed this debacle. In December, in Trapani, Sicily, the brother-in-law of Philip, King Theobald II of Navarre, died. He was followed in February by Philippe's wife, Isabella, who fell off her horse pregnant with their fifth child, dying in Cozenza (Calabria). In April, Theobald's wife and Philippe's sister Isabella also died.

Philip III arrived in Paris on 21 May 1271, and made foremost tribute to the deceased. The next day the funeral of his father was held. The new sovereign was crowned King of France in Reims 15 August 1271.


Alphonse, Count of Poitiers and Toulouse, uncle of the newly crowned king Philip III, returning from the crusade, died childless in Italy on 21 August 1271. Philip inherited the counties from his uncle and united them to the Crown lands of France, the royal domain. His inheritance included a portion of Auvergne, then the Terre royale d'Auvergne, later the Duchy of Auvergne. In accordance with wishes of Alphonse, he granted the Comtat Venaissin to Blessed Pope Gregory X in 1274. This inheritance also included the Agenais. Several years of negotiations yielded the Treaty of Amiens (1279) with King Edward I of England, which restored this territory to the English.

Sicilian Vespers

King Philip III of France meanwhile supported policy of his uncle, King Charles I of Naples, Sicily, and Albania, in Italy.

King Peter III of Aragon and Valencia in 1282 triggered the Sicilian Vespers rebellion against King Charles I of Naples, Sicily, and Albania. The success of rebellion and invasion led to the coronation of Peter III of Aragon as king of Sicily therefore beginning the dynasty of the House of Barcelona in Sicily.

King Peter II of Aragon in 1205 put his realm under the suzerainty of the pope. Pope Martin IV excommunicated king Peter III of Aragon, the conqueror, and declared his kingdom forfeit. [4] The pope then granted Aragon to Charles, Count of Valois, son of Philip III, king of France.

Family matters

Joan I of Navarre, daughter of the deceased king Henry I of Navarre, reigned as queen regnant of Navarre. Philip IV of France, son of Philip III and heir to the French throne, took her as his wife in 1284 per the Treaty of Orléans signed by Philip III and Joan's mother, Blanche of Artois.

In 1284, Peter, Count of Perche and Alençon, died without surviving children; therefore, his oldest living brother, Philip III, king of France, inherited his domains.

Marriage of Philip and Marie of Brabant, Queen of France MariaofBrabantMarriage.jpg
Marriage of Philip and Marie of Brabant, Queen of France

Aragonese Crusade and death

Philip III of France in 1284 responded to the Sicilian Vespers in support of his partially dethroned uncle. With his sons, the king entered Roussillon at the head of a large army on the ultimately unsuccessful Aragonese Crusade. The war took the name "crusade" from its papal sanction; nevertheless, one historian labelled it "perhaps the most unjust, unnecessary and calamitous enterprise ever undertaken by the Capetian monarchy.". [5] On 26 June 1285, Philip III the Bold entrenched himself before Girona in an attempt to besiege the city. Despite the strong resistance, the French took Girona on 7 September 1285.

Philip quickly experienced a reversal, however, as an epidemic of dysentery hit hard the French camp. The disease afflicted king Philip III personally. The French retreated, and the Aragonese enemy handily defeated the French at the Battle of the Col de Panissars on 1 October 1285.

Philip III died of dysentery in Perpignan, the capital of his ally James II of Majorca, on 5 October 1285. His son, Philip IV of France the Fair, succeeded him as king of France. The attempt of Philip to conquer Aragon nearly bankrupted the French monarchy, causing challenges for his successor. [6]

Following the Mos Teutonicus custom, his body was divided in several parts buried in different places : the flesh was sent to the Narbonne Cathedral, the entrails to La Noë abbey in Normandy, his heart to the now-demolished church of the Couvent des Jacobins in Paris and his bones to Basilica of St Denis, at the time north of Paris. [7]

Review from Dante

In the Divine Comedy , Dante envisions the spirit of Philip outside the gates of Purgatory with a number of other contemporary European rulers. Dante does not name Philip directly, but refers to him as "the small-nosed" [8] and "the father of the Pest of France," a reference to king Philip IV of France.

Marriage and children

French Monarchy
Direct Capetians
Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien).svg
Hugh Capet
Robert II
Henry I
Philip I
Louis VI
Louis VII
Philip II
Louis VIII
Louis IX
Philip III
Philip IV
Louis X
John I
Philip V
Charles IV

On 28 May 1262, Philip married Isabella, daughter of King James I of Aragon and his second wife Yolande of Hungary. [9] They had the following children:

  1. Louis (1264 - May 1276). He was poisoned, possibly by orders of his stepmother.
  2. Philip IV of France (1268 – 29 November 1314), his successor, married Joan I of Navarre [10]
  3. Robert (1269–1271)
  4. Charles, Count of Valois (12 March 1270 – 16 December 1325), [11] Count of Valois from 1284, married first to Margaret of Anjou in 1290, second to Catherine I of Courtenay in 1302, and last to Mahaut of Chatillon in 1308
  5. Stillborn son (1271)

After death of Queen Isabella, he married on 21 August 1274 Marie, [12] daughter of the late Henry III, Duke of Brabant, and Adelaide of Burgundy, Duchess of Brabant. Their children were:

  1. Louis, Count of Évreux (May 1276 – 19 May 1319), Count of Évreux from 1298, [11] married Margaret of Artois
  2. Blanche of France, Duchess of Austria (1278 – 19 March 1305, Vienna), married the duke, the future king Rudolf I of Bohemia and Poland, on 25 May 1300. [13]
  3. Margaret of France, Queen of England (1282 – 14 February 1318), married king Edward I of England on 8 September 1299



  1. The disease in question was either dysentery or typhus. [3]

Related Research Articles

The Capetian dynasty, also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Frankish origin, and a branch of the Robertians. It is among the largest and oldest royal houses in Europe and the world, and consists of Hugh Capet, the founder of the dynasty, and his male-line descendants, who ruled in France without interruption from 987 to 1792, and again from 1814 to 1848. The senior line ruled in France as the House of Capet from the election of Hugh Capet in 987 until the death of Charles IV in 1328. That line was succeeded by cadet branches, the Houses of Valois and then Bourbon, which ruled without interruption until the French Revolution abolished the monarchy in 1792. The Bourbons were restored in 1814 in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat, but had to vacate the throne again in 1830 in favor of the last Capetian monarch of France, Louis Philippe I, who belonged to the House of Orléans.

House of Valois cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty

The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.

Peter III of Aragon King of Aragon, Sicily and Valencia, count of Barcelona

Peter III of Aragon was King of Aragon, King of Valencia, and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. At the invitation of some rebels, he conquered the Kingdom of Sicily and became King of Sicily in 1282, pressing the claim of his wife, Constance II of Sicily, uniting the kingdom to the crown.

Charles II of Naples King of Naples

Charles II, also known as Charles the Lame, was King of Naples, Count of Provence and Forcalquier (1285–1309), Prince of Achaea (1285–1289), and Count of Anjou and Maine (1285–1290); he also styled himself King of Albania and claimed the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1285. He was the son of Charles I of Anjou—one of the most powerful European monarchs in the second half of the 13th century—and Beatrice of Provence. His father granted Charles the Principality of Salerno in the Kingdom of Sicily in 1272 and made him regent in Provence and Forcalquier in 1279.

Theobald II of Navarre King of Navarre

Theobald II was King of Navarre and also Count of Champagne and Brie, ruling as Theobald V, from 1253 until his death in 1270. He was the son of Theobald and the second Navarrese monarch coming from the House of Blois. After passing away childless, the throne of Navarre passed to his younger brother, Henry I.

John II, Duke of Brittany Duke of Brittany

John II reigned as Duke of Brittany from 1286 until his death, and was also Earl of Richmond in the Peerage of England. He took part in two crusades prior to his accession to the ducal throne. As a duke, John was involved in the conflicts between the kings of France and England. He was crushed to death in an accident during the celebrations of a papal coronation.

Charles, Count of Valois Emperor of Constantinople

Charles of Valois, the third son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon, was a member of the House of Capet and founder of the House of Valois, whose rule over France would start in 1328.

Isabella of Aragon, Queen of France French queen consort

Isabella of Aragon was Queen of France from 1270 to 1271 by marriage to Philip III of France.

Philip III of Navarre King of Navarra, 1328-1343

Philip III, called the Noble or the Wise, was King of Navarre from 1328 until his death. He was born a minor member of the French royal family but gained prominence when the Capetian main line went extinct, as he and his wife and cousin, Joan II of Navarre, acquired the Iberian kingdom and a number of French fiefs.

House of Capet Rulers of the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328

The House of Capet or the Direct Capetians, also called the House of France, or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. Historians in the 19th century came to apply the name "Capetian" to both the ruling house of France and to the wider-spread male-line descendants of Hugh Capet. Contemporaries did not use the name "Capetian". The Capets were sometimes called "the third race of kings". The name "Capet" derives from the nickname given to Hugh, the first Capetian King, who became known as Hugh Capet.

Aragonese Crusade

The Aragonese Crusade or Crusade of Aragon, a part of the larger War of the Sicilian Vespers, was declared by Pope Martin IV against the King of Aragon, Peter III the Great, in 1284 and 1285. Because of the recent conquest of Sicily by Peter, the Pope declared a crusade against him and officially deposed him as king, on the grounds that Aragon was a papal fief: Peter's grandfather and namesake, Peter II, had surrendered the kingdom as a fief to the Holy See. Martin bestowed Aragon on Charles, Count of Valois, son of the French king, Philip III, and nephew of Peter III.

The Treaty of Tarascon was an accord between Pope Nicholas IV, Philip IV of France, Charles II of Naples, and Alfonso III of Aragón that was intended to end the Aragonese Crusade, an episode in the War of the Sicilian Vespers. The treaty was signed at Tarascon, halfway between papal Avignon and Arles, on 19 February 1291, six years after Philip's uncle, Charles of Valois, tried to conquer Aragón from Alfonso's father, Peter III of Aragon, in an event called the Aragonese Crusade because it was sanctioned by Nicholas' predecessor, Pope Martin IV. The intent of the signatories in putting an end to hostilities was to prevent Aragonese domination of Sicily, then ruled by Alfonso's brother, James II.

War of the Sicilian Vespers

The War of the Sicilian Vespers or just War of the Vespers was a conflict that started with the insurrection of the Sicilian Vespers against Charles of Anjou in 1282 and ended in 1302 with the Peace of Caltabellotta. It was fought in Sicily, Catalonia and elsewhere in the western Mediterranean between, on one side, the Angevin Charles of Anjou, his son Charles II, the kings of France, and the Papacy, and on the other side, the kings of Aragon. The war resulted in the division of the old Kingdom of Sicily; at Caltabellotta, Charles II was confirmed as king of Sicily's peninsular territories, while Frederick III was confirmed as king of the island territories.

Battle of the Col de Panissars

The Battle of the Col de Panissars was fought on 30 September and 1 October 1285 between the forces of Philip III of France and Peter III of Aragon. It was a severe defeat for the French, who were already retiring over the Pyrenees when the Aragonese fell on them.

Capetian House of Anjou

The Capetian House of Anjou was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct French House of Capet, part of the Capetian dynasty. It is one of three separate royal houses referred to as Angevin, meaning "from Anjou" in France. Founded by Charles I of Naples, the youngest son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century. Later the War of the Sicilian Vespers forced him out of the island of Sicily, leaving him with the southern half of the Italian Peninsula — the Kingdom of Naples. The house and its various branches would go on to influence much of the history of Southern and Central Europe during the Middle Ages, until becoming defunct in 1435.

Peter I, Count of Alençon French count

Peter I of Alençon was the son of Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence. He became Count of Alençon in 1269 and in 1284, Count of Blois and Chartres, and Seigneur de Guise in 1272 and 1284. He was also Count of Perche.



Philip III of France
Born: 30 April 1245 Died: 5 October 1285
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Louis IX
King of France
25 August 1270 – 5 October 1285
Succeeded by
Philip IV