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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).



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].
References in periodicals archive ?
By demonstrating that many of the innovations in Capetian administration--ranging from enregistering documents to new forms of taxation and the development of popular assemblies--had clear links to the Regno via Robert, Dunbabin convincingly challenges traditional assumptions about the evolution of government during Philippe IV's reign.
She takes issue with studies that assume that the position of the counts of Blois-Charters in the eleventh century was the same as that in later centuries, significantly underestimating their importance and influence in the formative decades of Capetian rule.
50) Thus not only are themes of extreme asceticism not prominent in Agnes's description of Isabelle's piety, but their appearance as minor attributes of sanctity in the milieu of the devout Capetian court cannot be said to be gender-specific.
The Capetian rulers of northern France were successful during the opening decades of the thirteenth century in expanding their control into fractious southern France, subduing the baronies of the south, adding these rich areas to their domain, and in the process falling heir to older and better rooted Jewish communities.
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).
By 1316, the luck of the Capetians in producing male heirs ran out; for the first time in 12 generations there was no male heir to the throne, and in 1328 the Capetian line ended (Henneman [1971, 8]).
1) The Grandes Chroniques de France condensed the genealogical and dynastic memory of France into a simple edifice that inaugurated a new understanding of French history as the history of the trois races of kings--Merovingians, Carolingians and Capetians.
Scholarship on the genealogical theme already has a healthy history of its own, often influenced by the work of Gabrielle Spiegel on the Capetians.
In tracing the spread of Isabelle's cult (eventually stalled), he may have exaggerated its popularity by not paying enough attention to the discrete political and personal relations linking Flanders with the Capetians.
The GCF flourished under Charles V, king of France from 1364 to 1380, who incorporated the history of his own Valois dynasty, the new branch of the Capetians, into the official history of the monarchy, and that during a period when the English crown was challenging the legitimacy of the French rulers.
Indeed, the idea of embarking on military crusades to liberate the Holy Land may have had special resonance in France precisely because the Capetians so avidly defined themselves in biblical terms.