Louis VI


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Louis VI

(Louis the Fat), 1081–1137, king of France (1108–37). He succeeded his father, Philip I, with whom he was associated in government from c.1100. He firmly established his authority within the royal domain, suppressing brigandage by robber barons and besieging their castles, and punishing wrongdoers. He continued his father's policy of opposing the English in Normandy and was almost continuously at war with King Henry I (1109–13, 1116–20, 1123–35); he often met with defeat, but his resistance checked a greater English advance. In 1124 he called up forces from far-flung regions of France; with strong support from the nobles he resisted the invasion of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, who had come to the aid of Henry I. As a part of his plan for strengthening royal authority, Louis favored the church, liberally endowing its enterprises and selecting churchmen—notably the Abbé SugerSuger
, 1081–1151, French cleric and statesman, abbot of Saint-Denis from 1122, minister of kings Louis VI and Louis VII. Born into a peasant family and educated at the abbey of Saint-Denis, Suger was noted for his financial ability and his talent for conciliation.
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—as his ministers; he was vigorous, however, in enforcing his privilege of interference in ecclesiastical affairs. To gain support from the towns, he began to grant them royal charters. He obtained a foothold in Guienne (Aquitaine) by marrying his son Louis (his successor as Louis VII) to the heiress of the duchy, Eleanor of AquitaineEleanor of Aquitaine
, 1122?–1204, queen consort first of Louis VII of France and then of Henry II of England. Daughter and heiress of William X, duke of Aquitaine, she married Louis in 1137 shortly before his accession to the throne.
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. His enforcement of order and justice made Louis popular with the middle classes, the peasantry, and the clergy. Suger's Vie de Louis VI Le Gros (tr. 1964) is the standard monography for the history of Louis's reign.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Given the intensity of Norman incursions into the French royal domain over these years, culminating in the Norman sacking of the Ile-de-la-cite in March 1111 while Louis VI was at Melun, it was not surprising that Louis VI should seek to reassert Paris as a political centre.
Erik Bournazel (Louis VI le gros (Paris: Fayard, 2007), p.
For the Latin original, see Suger, Vie de Louis VI le gros, ed.
On the ineffectiveness of ecclesiastical moves to censure Philip and Bertrada, see Bournazel, Louis VI, pp.
21-77; for a summary of Stephens career, see Jean Dufour, Recueil des actes de Louis VI roi de France (1108-1137), 4 vols (Paris: Boccard, 1992-94), III, 38-42.
(16) Suger reports that Philip was married to the daughter of Gui Trousseau (1104) and given the castle at Maintes by Louis VI, who two years later re-captured that castle from him, Suger (Vie de Louis VI, c.
(17) Hugh of Flavigny, Chronicon, in RHGF, xiii (1869), 625; Bournazel, Louis VI, p.
cxxxix-cxl; Dufour, Recueil des actes, Ill, 155-56; and Bournazel, Louis VI, pp.
Nothing is said about this in the Necrologium of St Victor which remembered him on 14 January simply for obtaining annates from Louis VI for the abbey.