Philippe de Comines

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Comines, Philippe de


(also Commynes). Born in 1447, in Renescure; died Oct. 18, 1511, in Argenton. French statesman and writer.

Comines belonged to a Flemish gentry family. He was in the service of the dukes of Burgundy after 1464, becoming a counselor to Charles the Bold, who entrusted him with important diplomatic negotiations, especially with England and Spain. After betraying Charles the Bold in 1472, he entered the service of Louis XI of France and became his most trusted adviser. After Louis’s death in 1483, he was a member of the regency council during the minority of Charles VIII. In 1489 he was arrested and exiled to his estate for participating in intrigues against the government by the Duke of Orleans (the future Louis XII). In 1491, Comines returned to court as one of Charles VIII’s chief advisers. He was out of favor during the first years of Louis XII’s reign, but in 1505 he once again returned to court and in 1507 accompanied Louis on his campaign against Genoa.

Comines’s Mémoires cover the period 1464–98 and are a very important historical document, especially for the reign of Louis XI. He maintained that France needed strong royal authority and a unified, centralized state. The work offers realistic portrayals of statesmen and a vivid portrait of Louis XI. The Mémoires enjoyed great popularity: first published in 1524, they were reprinted in the original French and in translation more than 120 times.


Mémoires. Paris, 1952.


Roginskaia, A. E. “Filipp de-Komin kak politik i istorik.” Izv. ANSSSR: Seriia istorii i filosofii, 1946, vol. 2, no. 6.
Roginskaia, A. E. “Istoricheskie vzgliady Komina.” In Srednie veka, issue 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Vainshtein, O. L. Zapadnoevropeiskaia srednevekovaia istoriografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. Pages 216–19.
Charlier, G. Commynes. Brussels, 1945.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
From that moment, Master Coppenole enjoyed in Paris as in Ghent, "great favor with the people; for men of that sort do enjoy it," says Philippe de Comines, "when they are thus disorderly." The cardinal bit his lips.