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 [lower-alpha 1] [lower-alpha 2] (French : le Hardi), was King of France from 1270 to 1285.


Philip's father, Louis IX, died in Tunis during the Eighth Crusade. Philip, who was accompanying him, returned to France and was anointed king at Reims in 1271.

Philip inherited numerous territorial lands during his reign, the most notable being the County of Toulouse, which was returned to the royal domain in 1271. Following the Sicilian Vespers, Philip led the Aragonese Crusade in support of his uncle. Initially successful, Philip, his army racked with sickness, was forced to retreat and died from dysentery in Perpignan in 1285. He was succeeded by his son Philip the Fair.

Early life

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

Philip was born in Poissy, the son of King Louis IX of France and Margaret of Provence. [3] As a younger son, Philip was not expected to rule France. At the death of his older brother Louis in 1260, he became the heir to the throne. [4]

Philip's mother Margaret made him promise to remain under her tutelage until the age of 30, however Pope Urban IV released him from this oath on 6 June 1263. [5] From that moment on, Pierre de La Brosse was Philip's mentor. [6] His father, Louis, also provided him with advice, writing in particular Enseignements, which inculcated the notion of justice as the first duty of a king. [7]

According to the terms of the Treaty of Corbeil (1258), concluded on 11 March 1258 between Louis IX and James I of Aragon, [8] Philip was married in 1262 to Isabella of Aragon in Clermont by the archbishop of Rouen, Eudes Rigaud. [9]


As Count of Orléans, Philip accompanied his father on the Eighth Crusade to Tunis in 1270. Shortly before his departure, Louis IX had given the regency of the kingdom into the hands of Mathieu de Vendôme and Simon II, Count of Clermont, to whom he had also entrusted the royal seal. [10] 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, [11] and on 25 August the king died. [lower-alpha 3] [13] To prevent putrefaction of the remains of Louis, they decided on Mos Teutonicus. [14]

Philip, then 25 years old and stricken with dysentery, was proclaimed king in Tunis. [15] Unable to command the army following the death of his father, his uncle, Charles I of Naples, was forced to negotiate with Muhammad I al-Mustansir, Hafsid Sultan of Tunis. [16] A treaty was concluded 5 November 1270 between the kings of France, Sicily and Navarre and the caliph of Tunis. [17]

Other deaths followed this debacle. In December, in Trapani, Sicily, the brother-in-law of Philip, King Theobald II of Navarre, died. [18] He was followed in February by Philippe's wife, Isabella, who fell off her horse pregnant with their fifth child, dying in Cozenza (Calabria). [19] In April, Theobald's wife and Philippe's sister Isabella also died. [20]

Philip III arrived in Paris on 21 May 1271, and made foremost tribute to the deceased. [21] The next day the funeral of his father was held. The new sovereign was crowned King of France in Reims 15 August 1271. [22]


Philip would maintain most of his father's domestic policies. [23] In fact, he would follow in his father's footsteps concerning Jews in France, [24] claiming piety as his motivation. [25] Upon his return to Paris 23 September 1271, Philip re-inacted his father, Louis's, order that Jews wear badges. [26] His charter in 1283, banned the construction and repair of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, [27] banned Jews from employing Christians, and sought to restrain Jewish strepiti(chanting too loud [28] ). [29]

On 21 August 1271, Philip's uncle, Alphonse, Count of Poitiers and Toulouse, died childless in Savona. [30] Philip inherited Alphonse's lands and united them to the royal domain. This inheritance included a portion of Auvergne, later the Duchy of Auvergne and the Agenais. In accordance with the wishes of Alphonse, Philip granted the Comtat Venaissin to Pope Gregory X in 1274. [31] Several years later the Treaty of Amiens (1279) with King Edward I restored Agenais to the English. [31]

On 19 September 1271, Philip commanded the seneschal of Toulouse to record oaths of loyalty from nobles and town consuls. [30] The following year, Roger-Bernard III, Count of Foix, invaded the county of Toulouse killing royal officials. [30] Philip's royal seneschal, Eustache de Beaumarchès, led a counter-attack into the county of Foix, until ordered by Philip to withdraw. [30] Philip arrived at Toulouse on 25 May 1272, [30] and proceeded on a campaign to deliberately devastate and depopulate the County of Foix. [32] By 5 June Roger-Bernard had surrendered, and was placed in chains. [32] Philip would hold Roger-Bernard captive for a year. [33]

Treaty with Navarre

The Treaty of Orléans, of 1275, between Philip III and Blanche of Artois, arranged the marriage between a son of Philip III (Louis or Philip) and Blanche's daughter, Joan. [34]

Sicilian Vespers

In 1282, King Peter III of Aragon instigated the Sicilian Vespers rebellion against King Charles I of Naples, [35] Philip's uncle. The success of rebellion and invasion led to the coronation of Peter III of Aragon as king of Sicily. Pope Martin IV excommunicated Peter III and declared his kingdom forfeit. [36] The pope then granted Aragon to Philip's son, Charles, Count of Valois. [37] Philip's brother, Peter, Count of Perche, who had joined Charles to suppress the rebellion, was killed in Reggio Calabria. [38] He died without issue and the county of Alencon returned to the royal domain. [39]

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, through the urging of his wife Mary of Brabant and his uncle Charles of Naples, by launching a war against the Kingdom of Aragon. [40] The war took the name "Aragonese Crusade" from its papal sanction; nevertheless, one historian labelled it "perhaps the most unjust, unnecessary and calamitous enterprise ever undertaken by the Capetian monarchy.". [41] Philip, accompanied by his sons, entered Roussillon at the head of a large army. [42] By 26 June 1285, he had entrenched his army before Girona and besieged the city. [42] Despite strong resistance, Philip took Girona on 7 September 1285. [42]

Philip quickly experienced a reversal, however, as an epidemic of dysentery hit the French camp [42] and afflicted Philip personally. The French had started a withdrawal when the Aragonese attacked and easily defeated the former at the Battle of the Col de Panissars on 1 October 1285. [43]

Philip died of dysentery in Perpignan on 5 October 1285. [40] 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 financial challenges for his successor. [44]

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. [45]

Marriage and children

On 28 May 1262, Philip married Isabella, daughter of King James I of Aragon and his second wife Yolande of Hungary. [46] They had the following children:

  1. Louis (1264 - May 1276). [47]
  2. Philip IV of France (1268 – 29 November 1314), his successor, married Joan I of Navarre [48]
  3. Robert (1269–1271) [49]
  4. Charles, Count of Valois (12 March 1270 – 16 December 1325), [50] 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, [46] 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, [50] married Margaret of Artois [51]
  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. [51]
  3. Margaret of France, Queen of England (1282 – 14 February 1318), married king Edward I of England on 8 September 1299 [52]

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" [53] and "the father of the Pest of France," a reference to king Philip IV of France.


  1. Hallam states Philip gained his nickname sometime before 1300, due to his prowess in Tunis or Spain. [1]
  2. Bradbury states it was Philip's distinct policies and how he implemented them that gained him his nickname [2]
  3. The disease in question was either dysentery or typhus. [12]

Related Research Articles

Louis IX of France 13th-century King of France

Louis IX, commonly known as Saint Louis, is the only King of France to be canonized in the Catholic Church. 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.

Louis VII of France King of France

Louis VII, called the Younger or the Young, was King of the Franks from 1137 to 1180. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI, hence his nickname, and married Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe. The marriage temporarily extended the Capetian lands to the Pyrenees, but was annulled in 1152 after no male heir was produced.

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."

Philip I of France King of the Franks

Philip I, called the Amorous, was King of the Franks from 1060 to 1108. His reign, like that of most of the early Capetians, was extraordinarily long for the time. The monarchy began a modest recovery from the low it reached in the reign of his father and he added to the royal demesne the Vexin and Bourges.

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.

Blanche of Castile Queen consort of France

Blanche of Castile was Queen of France by marriage to Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX: during his minority from 1226 until 1234, and during his absence from 1248 until 1252. She was born in Palencia, Spain, 1188, the third daughter of Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, and Eleanor of England.

Charles II of Naples King of Naples (1254-1309

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.

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.

Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse Count of Toulouse

Raymond VII was Count of Toulouse, Duke of Narbonne and Marquis of Provence from 1222 until his death.

Marie of Brabant, Queen of France Queen consort of France

Marie of Brabant was Queen of France from 1274 until 1285 as the second wife of King Philip III. Born in Leuven, Brabant, she was a daughter of Henry III, Duke of Brabant, and Adelaide of Burgundy.

Bertrade de Montfort Queen consort of the Franks

Bertrade de Montfort was a queen consort of France by her marriage to Philip I of France.

Philip III of Navarre King of Navarre

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 King Peter III of Aragon in 1284 and 1285. Because of the recent conquest of Sicily by Peter, Martin 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 Peter's nephew Count Charles of Valois, son of King Philip III of France.

Roger-Bernard III, Count of Foix count of Foix

Roger-Bernard III was the Count of Foix from 1265 to his death. He was the son of Roger IV of Foix and Brunissende of Cardona. He entered into conflicts with both Philip III of France and Peter III of Aragon, who held him in captivity for a time. He was nevertheless a distinguished poet and troubadour.

Henry I of France 11th-century King of France

Henry I was King of the Franks from 1031 to 1060. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians. This is not entirely agreed upon, however, as other historians regard him as a strong but realistic king, who was forced to conduct a policy mindful of the limitations of the French monarchy.

John Tristan, Count of Valois French prince

John Tristan was a French prince of the Capetian dynasty. He was jure uxoris count of Nevers from 1265 and of Auxerre and Tonnerre from 1268. He was also in his own right Count of Valois and Crépy, as an apanages of the crown, from 1268.

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.

Louis of France, was heir apparent to the French throne. He was the eldest son of King Philip III of France and his first wife, Isabella of Aragon.

Yves II le Vieux of Nesle , son of Raoul I, Seigneur of Nesle, and his wife Rainurde (Ermentrude) of Eu-Soissons. Seigneur of Nesle, Count of Soissons. Upon the death of Renaud III, Count of Soissons, Yves was chosen as the next count by the Bishop of Soissons, Joscelin de Vierzi.


  1. Hallam 1980, p. 275.
  2. Bradbury 2007, p. 237.
  3. Richard 1992, p. xxiv.
  4. Field 2019, p. 77.
  5. Hallam 1980, p. 223.
  6. Gil 2006, p. 88.
  7. Le Goff 2009, p. 330.
  8. Sivery 2003, p. 35.
  9. Ward 2016, p. 132.
  10. Richard 1992, p. 327.
  11. Richard 1992, p. 325.
  12. Riley-Smith 2005, pp. 210–211.
  13. Riley-Smith 2005, pp. 210211.
  14. Westerhof 2008, p. 79.
  15. Giesey 2004, p. 242.
  16. Tyerman 2019, p. 368.
  17. Lower 2018, p. 134-135.
  18. Peter of Ickham 2012, p. 296.
  19. Brown 1978, p. 149.
  20. Evergates 1999, p. 86.
  21. Bradbury 2007, p. 235.
  22. Sivery 2003, p. 109-110.
  23. Fawtier 1989, p. 34.
  24. Stow 2006, p. 95.
  25. Chazan 1980, p. 185.
  26. Chazan 2019, p. 155.
  27. Chazan 1980, p. 186.
  28. Chazan 2019, p. 169.
  29. Stow 2006, p. 94.
  30. 1 2 3 4 5 Biller, Bruschi & Sneddon 2011, p. 42.
  31. 1 2 Sivery 2003, p. 106.
  32. 1 2 Biller, Bruschi & Sneddon 2011, p. 42-43.
  33. Biller, Bruschi & Sneddon 2011, p. 43.
  34. Woodacre 2013, p. 29.
  35. Runciman 2000, p. 205-209.
  36. Bradbury 2007, p. 239.
  37. Runciman 2000, p. 243.
  38. Runciman 2000, p. 232.
  39. Wood 1966, p. 30.
  40. 1 2 Fawtier 1989, p. 35.
  41. Chaytor 1933, p. 105.
  42. 1 2 3 4 Hallam 1980, p. 356.
  43. Sivery 2003, p. 279.
  44. Sumption 1990, p. 24.
  45. Cárdenas 2014, p. ?.
  46. 1 2 Earenfight 2013, p. 158.
  47. Bradbury 2007, p. 238.
  48. Woodacre 2013, p. xviii.
  49. Field 2019, p. 78.
  50. 1 2 Henneman 1971, p. xvii.
  51. 1 2 Morrison & Hedeman 2010, p. 4.
  52. Prestwich 2007, p. 27.
  53. de Pontfarcy 2010, p. 691.


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