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Louis XII,1462–1515, king of France (1498–1515), son of Charles, duc d'OrléansOrléans, Charles, duc d'
, 1391–1465, French prince and poet; nephew of King Charles VI. After the assassination of his father, Louis d'Orléans, he became (1407) titular head of the Armagnacs (see Armagnacs and Burgundians).
..... Click the link for more information. . He succeeded his father as duke. While still duke, he rebelled against the regency of Anne de Beaujeu and was imprisoned (1488), but was released (1491) by his cousin King Charles VIII, whom he succeeded (1498) on the throne. Immediately after his accession he ensured the continuance of the personal union of Brittany and France by having his first marriage annulled and marrying his predecessor's widow, Anne of BrittanyAnne of Brittany,
1477–1514, queen of France as consort of Charles VIII from 1491 to 1498 and consort of Louis XII from 1499 until her death. The daughter of Duke Francis II of Brittany, she was heiress to his duchy.
..... Click the link for more information. . Thereafter the king and his minister, Georges d'AmboiseAmboise, Georges d'
, 1460–1510, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He became archbishop of Rouen in 1493. In 1498, as an intimate friend of the new king, Louis XII, he became chief minister.
..... Click the link for more information. , attempted to assert French claims in Italy (see Italian WarsItalian Wars,
1494–1559, series of regional wars brought on by the efforts of the great European powers to control the small independent states of Italy. Renaissance Italy was split into numerous rival states, most of which sought foreign alliances to increase their
..... Click the link for more information. ). Louis conquered Milan and Genoa, but he failed to secure Naples, which he had conquered in alliance with King Ferdinand IIFerdinand II
or Ferdinand the Catholic,
1452–1516, king of Aragón (1479–1516), king of Castile and León (as Ferdinand V, 1474–1504), king of Sicily (1468–1516), and king of Naples (1504–16).
..... Click the link for more information. of Aragón. By the treaties of Blois (1504), Louis attempted a compromise with Spain and with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, who had so far remained an inactive opponent; the treaties subsequently collapsed, and the king's daughter Claude, whose marriage to Maximilian's grandson Charles of Austria (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles V) was to have been the keystone of the new entente, was betrothed to her cousin, Francis of Angoulême, later King Francis IFrancis I,
1494–1547, king of France (1515–47), known as Francis of Angoulême before he succeeded his cousin and father-in-law, King Louis XII. Wars with the Holy Roman Emperor
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1507, Louis suppressed the revolt of Genoa (1506–7), and in 1508 he joined the League of Cambrai (see Cambrai, League ofCambrai, League of,
1508–10, alliance formed by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, King Louis XII of France, Pope Julius II, King Ferdinand V of Aragón, and several Italian city-states against the republic of Venice to check its territorial expansion.
..... Click the link for more information. ) against Venice, defeating the Venetians at Agnadello (1509). When his Italian territories were attacked (1511) by Pope Julius II's Holy LeagueHoly League,
in Italian history, alliance formed (1510–11) by Pope Julius II during the Italian Wars for the purpose of expelling Louis XII of France from Italy, thereby consolidating papal power.
..... Click the link for more information. , he committed their defense to Gaston de Foix, but after Gaston's death (1512) his troops were forced by the Swiss (then the pope's main allies) to evacuate Milan. In 1513 the Swiss routed his army at Novara while another army was defeated at Guinegate by Maximilian and King Henry VIII of England, also the pope's allies. In 1514 he made a truce with all his enemies save Maximilian. Louis endeavored to rule France with justice and moderation, and was known as the Father of the People.
See J. S. C. Bridge, A History of France from the Death of Louis XI, Vol. III–IV (1929).
1462--1515, king of France (1498--1515), who fought a series of unsuccessful wars in Italy