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(kəpē`shənz), royal house of France that ruled continuously from 987 to 1328; it takes its name from Hugh CapetHugh Capet
, c.938–996, king of France (987–96), first of the Capetians. He was the son of Hugh the Great, to whose vast territories he succeeded in 956. After the death of Louis V, last Carolingian king of France, the nobles and prelates elected him king, setting
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. Related branches of the family (see ValoisValois
, royal house of France that ruled from 1328 to 1589. At the death of Charles IV, the last of the direct Capetians, the Valois dynasty came to the throne in the person of Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois and grandson of Philip III.
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; BourbonBourbon
, European royal family, originally of France; a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty (see Capetians). One branch of the Bourbons occupies the modern Spanish throne, and other branches ruled the Two Sicilies and Parma.
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) ruled France until the final deposition of the monarchy in the 19th cent. The first historical ancestor was Robert the StrongRobert the Strong,
d. 866, French warrior, marquess of Neustria; father of the French kings Eudes and Robert I and ancestor of the Capetians. He joined the rebellious nobles against Charles II, Emperor of the West. They invited Louis the German to invade France (858).
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, count of Anjou and of Blois. His son, EudesEudes
or Odo
, c.860–898, count of Paris, French king (888–898). The son of Robert the Strong, he was an antecedent of the Capetian royal house in France.
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, count of Paris, was elected (888) king after the deposition of the Carolingian king Charles III (Charles the Fat). From 893 to 987 the crown passed back and forth between CarolingiansCarolingians
, dynasty of Frankish rulers, founded in the 7th cent. by Pepin of Landen, who, as mayor of the palace, ruled the East Frankish Kingdom of Austrasia for Dagobert I.
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 and descendants of Robert the Strong. Eudes's brother, Robert IRobert I,
c.865–923, French king (922–23), son of Count Robert the Strong and younger brother of King Eudes. He inherited from Eudes the territory between the Seine and the Loire rivers.
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, was chosen king in 922 but died in 923. The title, waived by his son, Hugh the GreatHugh the Great,
d. 956, French duke; son of King Robert I and father of Hugh Capet. Excluded from the succession on his father's death by his brother-in-law Raoul, he supported the candidacy of Louis IV, the Carolingian heir, after Raoul's death (936).
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, passed to Robert's son-in-law, RaoulRaoul
, d. 936, duke of Burgundy, king of France (923–36). Elected king to succeed his father-in-law, Robert I, Raoul fought the Normans and the Hungarians, who repeatedly invaded France.
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, duke of Burgundy. In 987, Hugh's son, Hugh Capet, became king. His direct descendants remained on the throne until the death (1328) of Charles IV, when it passed to the related house of Valois. The successors of Hugh Capet were 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, and Charles IV. Their reign marked the expansion of royal authority, the revival of towns and commerce, and the beginning of the modern French state.


See R. Fawtier, The Capetian Kings of France (1941, tr. 1960); A. Lewis, Royal Succession in Capetian France (1982); R. McKitterick, The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians (1983); J. Dunbabin, France in the Making, 843–1180 (1985).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a dynasty of French kings (from 987 to 1328). The founder of the dynasty was Hugh Capet, who was elected king after the death of the last king of the Carolingian dynasty. Under the Capetians, the monarchy became hereditary rather than elective (this was at first a de facto development but became de jure after the 12th century). The Capetians succeeded in expanding the territory of the royal domain and were able to consolidate three-fourths of the territory of modern France by the beginning of the 14th century. Capetian policies promoted the establishment of a centralized state. After the death of Charles IV, who left no sons, the French crown passed to the Valois dynasty (a branch of the Capetians).

The Capetian dynasty consisted of Hugh Capet (who ruled from 987 to 996), Robert II (996–1031), Henry I (1031–60), Philip I (1060–1108), Louis VI the Fat (1108–37), Louis VII (1137–80), Philip II Augustus (1180–1223), Louis VIII (1223–26), Louix IX (Saint Louis; 1226–70), Philip III the Bold (1270–85), Philip IV the Fair (1285–1314), Louis X (1314–16), Philip V(second son of Philip IV; 1316–22), and Charles IV (third son of Philip IV; 1322–28).


Petit-Dutaillis, C. Feoda’naia monarkhiia vo Frantsii i v Anglii X—XIIII vv Moscow, 1938. (Translated from French.)
Fawtier, R. Les Capétiens et la France. Paris, 1942.
Calmette, J., Le Réveil capétien. [Paris, 1948.]
Bailly, A. Les Grands Capétiens. Paris [1952].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The illuminated volume known as the Arsenal Old Testament, commissioned between 1250 and 1254 by the sainted Capetian monarch Louis IX, depicts both David and Solomon enthroned beneath trefoil arches (Paris, Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal, MS.
(9.) See William Chester Jordan, The French Monarchy and the Jews: From Philip Augustus to the Last of the Capetians (Philadelphia, 1989), 105-27.
She argues that, in this way, Chretien prepares his audience to accept the "increased domination of the Capetian rulers, particularly after the advent of Philip Augustus in 1180" (14).
With the accession of the Capetian dynasty in France,(56) the title of the sovereign evolved from King of the Franks (a people) to King of France (the territory).(57) At that point, the sovereign stood "in the same relation to the soil of France as the baron to his estate, the tenant to his freehold...."(58) In England, the Norman conquerors imitated their Frankish cousins and initiated the first truly territorial sovereignty in that area.
The Capetian dynasty followed a constant policy of establishing political control within the territory of Carolingian West-Francia, which had been completely splintered into small feudal entities by the civil wars of the ninth and tenth centuries.
Royal requests for tax money from the council in the early Capetian period (Petit-Dutaillis [1964, 32]), and even through the 13th century were infrequent (Wilkinson [1972, 47]).
In the book that I have completed on it, I compared it to the French Capetian era.
The belief in progress by return, plus nationalism, elitism, and the possibility of a final end to history, made the Action Francaise's scheme also quite similar to the millenarian views of history characteristic of most totalitarian ideologies.(10) In fact, the extent of the similarity between the Action Francaise's spiral theory of history and that of the National Socialists can be seen in the case with which one could substitute Hitler for the French king, the SS for the elite, Aryan Germans for the "true" French, the first and second German Reichs for classical Greece and Capetian France, and the Third Reich for the revived age of dominance in the future.
In 1209, the Vatican, aided by the Capetian king of France, Philip II, launched a crusade against the "Albigensians," ravaging the region for more than a generation.
In the work of the Anonymous of Bethune, the rivalry between the Capetian and Plantagenet monarchies for the loyalties of northern French lords discloses a society riven by internal schisms and contested allegiances, in which the progress of royal warfare eventually pits blood relations against one another and spells the destruction of those principles of lineage and solidarity that had once formed the basis of the nobility's social cohesion and strength.