The Dynasty of Carantania and their relations with France
Princess Ida of Carinthia
Princess Mathilda of Carinthia
Coat of arms of French families related to Mathilda...
Princess Agnes of Carniola

   Grandes Croniques de France
   French Kings and their Carantanian roots
The Dynasty of Carantania
and their relations with France

Dr. Jožko Šavli, FAS, KdB, FSAI

It is well known that the Second House (Spanheim) of the Dynasty of Carantania pledged their loyalty to the Pope in his quarrels with the Emperor. There were quarrels but also good collaboration. Such was the case after the decline and extinction of the Salian Dynasty, when the princes elected Lothar III of Supplinburg (King since 1125). Pope Innocent II crowned him Emperor in 1133.  King and Emperor Lothar III firmly supported Pope Innocent II against his adversary, the Anti-Pope Anaclet II, who had assumed power in Rome with the assistance of the Normanic Kingdom in Sicily and in Southern Italy. Innocent II' authority was limited to Germany, Northern Italy and France.

In France, Pope Innocent II found particular support from Bernard of Clairvaux, the most outstanding protagonist of the young Cistercian Order and its monks. After the death of Lothar III († 1138), Pope Innocent II also supported his successor, King Conrad III, who was the beginner of the famous royal and imperial Staufen family († 1152).

Henry of Carinthia, who appears among the Cistercian monks, was the son of Engelbert († 1141), Duke of Carantania (Carinthia) (1123 - 1135). In 1133, he became Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery of Morimond. In the same year he founded another monastery in Villers (Weiler-Bettnach), not far from Metz in Lorraine, and so Henry became Abbot of that monastary, too. But in 1145, he was appointed Bishop of Troyes in Champagne. Moreover, he was a very close confidant and counsellor of Louis VII, King of France. In the years 1147 - 1149, he even accompanied the King on a Crusade to Palestine.

It is almost certain, that Henry was the intermediary in marriage negotiations for his sisters Ida and Mathilda of Carinthia with respectable French nobles. And upon separation between Louis VII and his consort, Elinor of Aquitaine, Henry suggested to the king to marry his niece Adela (Alix) of Champagne, daughter of his sister Mathilda. Adela became the mother of Philip II Augustus, the famous French king, the founder of the French national monarchy (cf. article).

In historiography, because of ideology that refuses the truth, relations between Carantania and France from that time were not researched and presented to the public. In the present-day Carinthia (Austria) historical interpretation is subordinated to the pan-German ideology in the same manner and to the same extent, as it is subordinated to the Yugo-Slav ideology in neighbouring Slovenia (Yugoslavia). Research from a strictly Carantanian point of view was intentionally neglected. Consequently, even if Mathilda of Carinthia found mentioning in the "German" Spanheim family, her sister Ida did not appear anywhere. I found her name only in French sources. Considering the traditional friendship between Serbia and France, it seems that Belgrade's hegemonistic Great Serbian lobby wanted to maintain exclusive relations with France, and, albeit it might sound unusual, they wanted exclusive rights to the historical field.
Princess Ida of Carinthia

Nevers, view of the city, which at one-time was the residence of the famous Counts of Nevers.
William III, Count of Nevers, Auxerre and Tonnerre († 1161), was the consort of Ida († 1178), a Carantanian Princess.

There is not much known about her life. She probably was born in 1118 as the daughter of Margrave Engelbert of Istria, since 1123 Duke of Carinthia. We don't know anything about her childhood in Carinthia; it still has to be researched. In several surveys dealing with historical personalities, there appears the year 1140 as date of marriage. But she must have got married in ca. 1138 AD, when she was about 20 years old.

St. Bernardette Soubirous, the Sleeping Saint of Nevers, died in 1876.
Her body now lies uncorrupted in the convent chapel of St. Gidard, Sisters of Chariti at Nevers.

Princess Ida of Carinthia was given in marriage to William III, Count of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre (*1107).  Today, the city of Nevers is well known throughout the world for the grave of famous St. Bernardette Soubirous, the beholder of St. Mary in Lourdes, in 19th century.  At the time, when Ida of Carinthia established residence there, the city was the centre of an important county in the centre part of France. A more detailed description about her life is not available. Her consort died in 1161 in Auxerre, and she died in 1178. We assume that she was buried beside her late husband in Auxerre.

From this marriage four children were born. The oldest was William IV, Count of Nevers, born in 1138. He later married Countess Elinor, a member of the family of Vermandois and Valois. She was the daughter of Count Rudolf I (ca. 1120 - 1152) and Alix of Aquitaine, sister of Elinor, Queen of France, and later Queen of England. In 1185, Countess Elinor received the title Countess of St. Quentin († 1213). But her marriage with Willan IV remained childless. William died of the plague in Palestine, in 1167.
Arms of the Counts of Nevers, Auxerre and Tonnerre

His brother Guy, Count of Auxerre, was born in 1142. In 1168 he married Countess Mathilda (Mahaut) of Burgundy (1150 - 1192), Dame de Montpensier, Countess of Grignon. She was the widow of Eudes III of Issoudun († 1167). Their son William V (* 1168), Count of Nevers, Auxerre and Tonnere, succeeded his late uncle. Count Guy died in 1175. His widow was remarried in 1176 to Peter of Flanders († 1176) and then, in 1178, to Robert II "le Jeune", Count of Dreux, but the couple was separated already in 1181. -  The third child of Ida and William III was Countess Adela, married to Ronald IV, Count of Joigny (1137 - 1171). Their fourth child was Ronald († 1191) married to Alix de Beaujeu († 1219).

The arms of the families Joigny, Donzy, and Châtillon, the successors, who were related to William III of Nevers and Ida of Carinthia.

In 1184, Guy's daughter, Countess Agnes (* 1159), married Peter II of Courtenay, Marquis de Namur (* 1155), and the title Counts of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre passed on to him. Countess Agnes died in 1192.  She was survived by one daughter Mahaut (Mathilda) de Courtenay (1188 - 1255), who married Hervé IV, Seignior de Donzy, in 1199. The couple was separated in 1213. After the separation she married Guignes IV d'Albon, Count of Forez († 1241). -  From Mathilda's first marriage descended Agnes de Donzy (* 1202 - † 1225), who in 1217 married first a certain Philip, and then, in 1221, to Guy III de Châtillon († 1226). The prestige name and title Counts of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre passed on  to the Châtillon family, then to Dampierre of Bourbon, and finally to Eudes, son of Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy.

The Courtenay family was a lateral line of the royal French house of Capetin, and descended from Peter I of Courtenay. He was the son of Louis VI, King of France (1079 - 1137). He was married to Elisabeth of Courtenay, and her family name passed on to him. After Agnes, the daughter of Guy de Nevers, died in 1192, her consort Peter II of Courtenay was remarried already in 1193 to Countess Yolande, daughter of Baldwin V of Flanders and Hainaut . The couple had ten children.

Arms of Peter II de Courtenay (1), who from 1216 to 1219 was the Latin Emperor of Byzantium († 1219). He was a remote predecessor of Baldouin de Courtenay (* 1845 - † 1929). In the 19th century, the Polish line of his family contributed decisively to the research of Slovenian dialects and language.

In 1216, the French barons elected Peter II of Courtenay as Latin Emperor of Constantinople; in 1217 he was crowned by the Pope. Becoming the victim of a Greek ambush he perished in Epirus, in 1219. The Crusaders plundered and conquered Constantinople since 1204. The Latin Empire of Constantinople came to an end in 1291.

As an irony of fate, in the 19th century, a member of the Polish line of the Courtenays, Baldouin de Courtenay (1845 - 1929), Professor at the University of St. Petersburg (Russia), contributed decisively to the research of Slovenian dialects and language.
Princess Mathilda of Carinthia

Abbey of Fontevrault on the Loire River, founded in 12th century. After the death of Count Theobold II of Blois-Champagne († 1152), Princess Mathilda of Carinthia entered Fontevrault as a nun, where she died and was buried in 1161. In this royal abbey also reposes the English King and the Queen, Henry II Plantagenet and Elior of Aquitaine, as well as their famous son, King Richard the Lionhearted.

Mathilda of Carinthia was Ida's older sister, born between 1097 and 1105.  We do not know much about her life and can only assume that she spent her childhood in Carinthia (Carantania). The Princess was still very young when, in 1123, she was given in marriage to France's Theobold II the Great, Count of Blois, Meux, and Province, from the well-known family of Blois-Champagne.

The couple had many children, who in the coming years, either through marriage or descendants, were holders of high positions of important ranks in the French feudal structure, :

   Henry I "le Liberal" (* 1126), who married Mary, daughter of King Louis VII and his first wife Elinor of Aquitaine;
   Theobold V, Count of Blois, who married Alice, another daughter of Louis VII from first marriage;
   Stephen, Count of Sancerre;
   William, Archbishop of Reims and Cardinal;
   Hugh, 1155 Abbot of Citeau;
   Agnes († 1207), who married Count Reinald II of Bar;
   Mary (* 1128), who married Duke Eudes II of Burgundy; as a widow she became a nun, and in 1174 Abbess of Fontevrault († ca. 1190);
   Isabella (* 1130), who married first Roger, Duke of Apulia († 1148), and then Guillaume Goet de Montmirail, Baron de Perche-Guet;
   Mathilda, who married Count Rotrou III of Perch († 1170);
   Margaret, a nun in Fontevrault;
   Adela (* 1140), who married Louis VIII, King of France.
Altogether there were 11 children, who left very powerful imprints, either through descendants or marriage, on the political and cultural life of France at that time. Here we present those, who made great contributions to French public life.     
   First, there is Mathilda's son Henry I "le Liberal" (* 1126) de Champagne et de Brie, Count of Troyes and Meaux (1152 - 1181) married in 1164 to Mary of France (*1145 - † 1198), daughter of Louis VII and his first wife Elinor of Aquitain. From this union the following children were born: Henry II, Count of Troyes and Meaux (1181 - 1197), Scholastica, Mary, and Theobold III.

   Henry II (* 1164) married Isabella, daughter of Amalric I, King of Jerusalem. It was her third marriage, but officially never acknowledged. In 1192, however, Conrad of Monferrat, Seignior de Tyre and pretender of the crown of Jerusalem was murdered by a sect called "hashashins" (cf. Vladimir Bartol: Alamut). Henry II became King of Jerusalem through the female line of his wife (1192 - 1197). He died in Acre and was survived by two daughters: Alice and Philippa. Philippa married Herard de Brienne.

   The second son, Theobold III (* 1179), Count of Troyes and Meux (1197 - 1201) married Blanche of Navarre, daughter of King Sancho VI "el Sabio" (1150 - 1194). Her sister married Richard the Lionhearted, King of England.

   Son of Blanche and Theobald III was Theobald IV († 1253). He entered history as Theobald I,  King of Navarre (†1270). He was succeeded by three sons. Two of them were playing important roles in  state affairs.

   The first one was Theobald II (V), King of Navarre in 1253, married to Isabella of France, daughter of Louis IX.

   The second son was Henry III, Count of Troyes and Meaux. Later he became King of Navarre (1270 - 1274) and went into history as Henry I. His consort was Blanca d'Artois.

   Their daughter Joan of Champagne, Queen of Navarre (1274 - 1305) married Philip IV "le Bel", King of France (1285 - 1314).

   Louis X, son of Blanca and Henry I, inherited the counties of Champagne, Meaux (1304 - 1314) and the Kingdom of Navarre (1314 - 1316) which he united with France. On the French throne he was followed by his brothers Philip V (1316 - 1322) and Carl IV (1322 - 1328), but Champagne and Navarre did not pertain to the crown's succession. In 1328 the French crown passed on to the family of Valois, whereas Queen Joan of Navarre, daughter of Louis X, took possession of Navarre, she renounced Champagne.

   Mathilda's second son was Theobold V "le Bon" of Blois-Champagne, Count of Chartres (* 1130). He was Seneschal of France, since ca. 1152. His first wife was Sybile de Châteaurenard. In 1164, he entered a second marriage with Adela-Alix de France, daughter of King Louis VII and his first wife Elinor of Aquitaine. Theobold V accompanied his nephew, King Philip II Augustus, on a Crusade to Palestine,  where he passed away before reaching Acre, in 1191.

   His first son Louis, Count of Blois († 1205) married in 1184 Catherine de Clermont († after 1208). His other two sons Henry and Philip died very young.

   Theobold V' daughter Margaret, Countess of Blois et Châteaudun (* ca. 1170, † 1230), was first married to Hugh III d'Oisy, Vicomte de Cambrai († 1190); in her second marriage to Otto von Staufen, Palgrave of Burgundy († 1200), and in her third marriage to Gantgier II d'Avesnes.

   Theobold V had also daughters, Adelaide and Isabelle. The latter was Countess of Chartres († 1248), her first husband was Sulpice d'Amboise; then she was married a second time (before 1224) to Jean de Montmirail, Vicount de Cambrai (ca. † 1244).

Panoramic view of Sancerre in the Loire Valley, the center of the one-time county, which pertained to Stephen of Champagne, Count of Sancerre, son of Mathilda of Carinthia.

   Mathilda's third son Stephen of Blois-Champagne, in 1153, married Alix-Mathilda, daughter of Godefroy, Seignior de Donzy. He became Count of Sancerre. The city of Sancerre in the Loire Valley is today an important vivacious centre. He accompanied King Philip II Augustus to Palestine, where he died before  Acre, in 1191.

   His oldest son William I, Count of Sancerre († 1217), was in first marriage (after 1203) with Denise, Dame de Deols and Châteauroux (* 1173 - † 1207) and in second marriage with Mary, Dame of Charenton. Before 1210 he got married a third time to Eustache de Courtenay († after 1235). These marriages resulted in many offsprings.

   William I' oldest son Louis I, Count of Sancerre († 1268) was in first marriage (before 1220) with Countess Blanche de Courtenay, and in second marriage with Isabelle de Mayenne.

   Stephen's second son Stephen II, Count of Sancerre († 1252), had a great posterity, his first marriage was with Countess Elinor de Vermandois († after 1221), and his second marriage was with Elinor de Soissons († between 1229 and 1234). He contracted a third marriage with Agnes, Dame de Montreuil-Bellay.  Also from these marriages descended a great posterity.

   Mathilda's son William of Blois, called "aux Blanches-Mains" († 1202) also played an important role in public life. At first, he was Bishop of Chartres, following this, he was promoted to Archbishop of Sens, and finally, in 1176, he was appointed Archbishop of Reims and then was elevated to Cardinal. He had the exclusive right to consecrate the King, his nephew Philip II Augustus, at the crowning in the Cathedral of Reims, on All Saints' Day in 1179. He also was the Regent Royal, when the King went on a Crusade from June 1190 to December 1191. In 1193, under his presidency, an assembly of 15 bishops in Compiègne declared Philip II Auguste legally separated from Ingeburge, the Danish princess. Later, the Church held in particular him responsible for this act. He died soon after in 1200.
   Mathilda's youngest daughter Adele (* 1140 - † 1206) married King Louis VII in 1160; the couple was waiting for the birth of a male successor to the throne. Finally, in 1165 the young prince arrived and was named Philip II Augustus. As to assure him the kingdom, his father († 1180) had him crowned in 1179. Soon after the crowing, Philip II entered into a quarrel with his mother. When she made arrangements to insure the estates that represented her subsistence, he had them sequestrated, which forced her to seek sanctuary by her brother Theobold V, Seneschal of France. Philip II also managed to dispose the royal signet of his senile father, who was near the end of his life, and he made arrangements to appoint as Seneschal the potent Count of Flanders.
However, when the English King Henry II arrived in Normandy, Adele asked him for protection. Based on resumption of old agreements, Philip II Augustus engaged himself to ask grace from his mother Adele, his uncles Theobold and Stephen and other members of the Champagne family. He promised his mother to release her estates after the death of his father and to support her financially.

   Besides a son, Adele had a daughter Agnes, also called Ann (* 1171 - † 1220). In 1181, she married, Alexis II Comnenus, Emperor of Byzantium († 1183). Her second husband was Andronicus I Comnenus, her third husband was Theodore Branas, and then she remarried her second husband, Andronicus I Comnenus.

The Cistercian Abbey of Pointigny near Auxerre, founded in 1114 and built by Count Theobold II of Blois-Champagne († 1152). Queen Adele, daughter of Theobold II and Princess Mathilda of Carinthia, requested to be buried here after her death in 1206. On the right hand side we see her statue.

Queen Adele also took on the important role of Regent Royal when her son Philip II and her brother William went on a Crusade (1190 - 1191). Adele of Champagne, Queen of France, died in 1206 and was buried in the Abbey of Pointigny near Auxerre. Huguenots devastated her grave in the 16th century. Today, only three lilies mark her burial place.

Queen Adela de Champagne reposes in the Abbey church in front of this altar. In 1560, however, her tomb was destroyed by Huguenots, who during the plundering searched the tomb of St. Edme. Today, the resting place of Queen Adela is marked only by a cross and three lilies (see the picture on the right).
Coat of arms of several French families, related to descendants of  Princess Mathilda de Carinthia (Carantania) and her consort Count Theobold II of Blois-Champagne.
Arms of Carantania, Champagne, and France

Arms of Empire, Burgundy, and Bar

Arms of Navarre, Jerusalem, and Brienne

Arms of Sancerre, Vermandois, and Avesnes
Princess Agnes of Carniola

After King Philip II Augustus separated from his second wife Ingeburge of Denmark, he married, in 1196, Princess Agnes of Andechs-Meran. She was the daughter of Berthold III, Margrave of Carniola and Istria (in Slovenia), Duke of Meran (not to be confused with Meran in Tyrol, but the area on the sea in Carniola). The couple enjoyed two beautiful years of marriage. Agnes was of outstanding beauty, which was even noticed by the papal Gesta in his later remarks.

Two years later the new Pope, Innocent III, declared the marriage illegal, because Philip II did not confirm submission to him. Furthermore, the Pope also declared interdiction over France. Nevertheless, Philip II continued to resist, but in 1200, when the Pope threatened him with excommunication, Philip II accepted Ingeburge anew. She was reinstated and respected as the official Queen († 1236). However, Philip remained loyal to Agnes and continued to live with her. But soon after, in 1201, she died in Poissy. The King was very stricken with grief over his great loss, and he let her bury with solemn rite in the church of St. Corentin in Mantes on the Seine, north of Paris.

The children, born to Agnes of Carniola and Philip II, were legitimated by the Pope. In this way, the king's throne was secured by more successors, beside his son Louis VIII from his first union. As a matter of fact, with this act the Pope consolidated the continuation of the Capetian dynasty.

   The first-born child of Philip II and Agnes was Mary, or Mary of France (* 1198 - † 1238). In her first marriage she was given to Philip, Count of Namur († 1213), and in her second to Henry I, Duke of Brabant.

   In 1200, Philip II and Agnes had a second child called Philip Hurepel. In 1216, he married Mathilda II, Countess of Dammartin and Boulogne (* 1202 - † 1258). With this marriage Philip Hurepel became Count of Boulogne.

   They had a son named Albèric III Aubry de Dammartin (* 1222 - 1284).

   Mathilda and Philip Hurepel also had a daughter named Jeanne (* 1219 - † 1252), Countess d'Aumal and of Clermont-en-Beauvasis. In 1236 she married Gaucher de Châtillon, Sgr. de Donzy, Montjoy, Troissy (*1223 - † 1250).

   According to some records, Tristan (* 1201) was the third child of Philip II and Agnes. It is very likely that she died in childbirth. But also the child must have died very young, because his name disappears in the records.

In 1218, the royal father gave to Philip Hurepel († 1234) the county of Clermont, which after his death was administered by his daughter Jeanne and his widow Mathilda. However, already in 1235 Mathilda remarried Alphonse III, King of Portugal (1248 - † 1279). Later, the county of Clermont was united with the crown and given to Louis VIII, son of Robert I.

From above exposed cases we conclude, that through relations with the dynasties of Carantania (Carinthia) and Carniola, the Duchy of Carantania and its image was well presented in Medieval France and Navarre. Carinthian and Slovenian historiography needs to take this fact into consideration.

Panoramic view of Mantes sur Seine, north of Paris. Agnes of Carniola (Andechs - Meran),
Queen of France has been buried here in the church of St. Corentin.

Boulogne-sur-Mer. Prince Philip Hurepel, son of Agnes of Carniola and Philip II Augustus, Count of Clermont, inherited through marriage the title Count of Boulogne. The early arms of the Counts of Boulogne: Or, three torteaux Gules. Prince Philip Hurepel had the city walls fortified.

Arms of Andechs, France, and of Prince Philip Hurepel (France, a label Gules).
Grandes Croniques de France

by Dr. Jožko Šavli

Grandes Croniques de France (Paris XIVe s.): Louis VII et sa femme, Alix de Champagne, offerent un ex-voto pour avoir un fils. - Alix de Champagne, Queen of France († 1206), was the daughter of Count Theobold de Blois-Champagne the Great († 1152) and Princess Mathilda de Carantania († 1160). She became the mother of Philip II Augustus (* 1165 - † 1223), since 1180 King of France. Thus, King Philip II Augustus was a grandson of Mathilda de Carantania. He was first a great friend of Richard Lionheart. Later, when the latter was crowned King of England, they became great adversaries. Philip II Augustus succeeded to incorporated into the French Kingdom the English estates in the south, west and north of today's France. He passed into history as the founder of the French national monarchy.
(cf: French Kings and their Carantanian roots)
French Kings and their Carantanian roots

Grandson of Mathilda de Carantania (Slovenia)
Son of Adele de Champagne
Philip II Augustus
King of France (1180 - 1223)
Friend and Adversary of Richard Lionheart

The Kings of France: Louis VII (1137 - 1180) and his son Philip II Augustus (1180 - 1223), consort and son of Queen Alice of Champagne, daugther of Princess Mathilda of Carantania.

by Dr. Jožko Šavli, FAS, KdB, FSAI

Henry, the brother of the Carantanian duke, was founder and abbot of Villars in Alsace in 1233 and thereafter Bishop of Troyes (+1165). It is very likely that he mediated in the matter of marriage of his sister Mathilda of Carantania (Slovenia) and Theobald II the Great (+1152), one of the members of the potent family of Champagne, Count of Blois, of Chartres, of Meux, and of Provence.

After the death of her consort, Mathilda entered the monastery of Fontevraud in Loire, and became a nun (+1161). She was survived by her sons: Henry, Theobald, Stephen and William and her daughters: Agnes, Mary, Elizabeth and Mathilde as well as Adele, who was destined to a particular fate .

Louis VII, the French King, in 1152 divorced his unfaithful wife Elinor of Aquitaine with the permission of the church. But in the same year she remarried Henry II Anjou-Plantagenet, the English royal prince and soon after the king, and bore him eight children, among them Richard and John, the later kings.

In the French territory, the English king was in possession of the provinces of Normandy, Maine and Anjou, later also of Brittany. Elinor brought him in dowry also Aquitaine, Poitou and Guascony. In this way the territory in his possession extended from Scotland to the Pyrenees, which represented a potent set-off to the French crown.

Louis VII had no male heirs from his first marriage and he remained also without male heirs in his second marriage with Constance of Castile (+1160). Only one month after her death Louis VII was married to his third wife Adele de Champagne, and he anxiously expected the birth of a son for some years now. In the meantime Adele's two brothers namely Henry and Theobald, were married to Louis VII daughters Marie and Alice, reinforcing the lines between the royal family and the one from Champagne.

In 1165, queen Adele finally bore him a son. He was so to say, Dieudonee (given from God), baptized as Philip, being by his name the second in the royal house, and because born in August and in honour of ancient Roman emperors, he received the epithet Augustus.

The father had him anointed already at the age of 14, in the year 1179, as to assure him the kingdom, and then died in the following year. Philip II Augustus ascended the throne and was married soon after to Isabelle de Hainaut, the niece of the potent count of Flanders, a rival of the house of Champagne. In the following years he started to fight the Plantagenets, to whom appertained a great part of French soil. In his intention, the dissension in the family was of great help to him. That is to say, Queen Elinor demonstrated her frigate character also in front of Henry II by instigating the rising sons against him.

Richard, who grew up in Aquitaine, was a good friend to Philip II. When his father Henry II, because of Richard's rebellion, gave the precedence to his younger son John, Richard, with help of Philip II in 1189, attached his father's partisans on the Loire, and forced him to humiliating armistice. In the following year Henry II died, and Richard with the epithet Lionheart ascended the English throne.

After being crowned, Richard the Lionheart became a great adversary to Philip II Augustus, his former friend. But in 1191 both of them had to follow the Pope's appeal to go on Crusades. However, under the plea of illness Philip II returned soon, and started to conspire against Richard together with his younger brother John.

Also Richard Lionheart hastened to return home, but on his return he was arrested by the Austrian Duke Leopold V and handed over to Emperor Henry VI. He was released on a high ransom note only in 1194. Thereafter he combated boldly against Philip II, and after two battles the latter was nearly defeated ultimately. However, in 1199, Richard got killed. The battles against Philip II were continued in the following years by his brother and successor John called the Lackland.

In 1193, Queen Isabelle died, and the court prepared for Philip II a new bride, Ingeburge, the sister of Knud VI, the king of Denmark. Philip II felt no attraction to her at all. During the wedding ceremony he became pale and nervous, he hardly lasted to the end. Soon after the wedding he separated from his new wife. Ingeburge was sent to the monastery St. Maures - Fosses near Paris. Her plaint together with the one of the Danish Court was sent to the Pope, who remained without response. An assembly of bishops and counts declared the King's separation legal under the pretext, that Ingeburge was in fourth degree related with the defunct Isabelle.

Philip II Augustus (1165 - 1223), King of France. Crowning in the cathedrale of Reims, in presence of Duke of Normandy, Richard Lionheart, the future King of England

Searching for a new bride Philip II chose Agnes of Andechs-Meran to become his third wife. She was the daughter of Berthold III of Andechs, marquis of Carniola and Istria (in Slovenia), duke of Meran. They were married in 1196, but two years later the new Pope Innocent III declared Philip's II separation as illegal. Because of an interdict over France he was constrained to re-instate Ingeburge as his lawful wife.

Nevertheless, she only functioned as the queen, whereas Philip lived with Agnes, who in 1201 bore him a son named Philip, she died soon after. The king let her enter in solemn rite in the church of St. Corentin in Mantes. In 1206 also the queen mother Adele died. She reposes in the Abbey of Pontigny near Auxerre.

In 1214, it came to the decisive battle near Bouvines between the troupes of Philip II and those of John Lackland, the English king. The last was defeated, and the greater part of all English possessions on the continent came into the hands of the French king.

Nevertheless, on the British Isles the capricious John Lackland still conserved a solid position. In spite of this, some English barons rebelled against him and offered the crown to Philip's son Louis (VIII). He was married to Bianca of Castile and through her he gained access to the English throne. Against the Pope's and his father's will, in 1216, Louis invaded England and occupied London. Therefore he was excommunicated by the Pope. But also John Lackland died unexpectedly. His court chose his son Henry III to be the new successor, with whom also the former deserters united. Louis had to leave England.

Already in 1214, however, Louis undertook a Crusade against the heretic Albigenesians in the Midi, i.e. the south of France. There, they deposed off the lords, who sustained the heretics, among them also Raymond IV, the count of Tolouse. But many expeditions were necessary and they were carried out by Louis, who became King Louis VIII (1223 - 1226), as well as by his successor Louis IX (1226 - 1270), until the Albigenesians were put in line.

After the victory of 1214 near Bouvines years of prosperity and welfare set in. Philip II put the kingdom in order, nominated seneschals and bailiffs, who controlled the work of administrators and provosts in the provinces. In 1221 he emanated for the first time in northern France the charter of expenses and incomes called Magna recepta et magna expensa. He also began to convoke the assembly of vassals, that dealt with judicatures and finances. From that assembly the later Parliament and Audit Office originated.

In September of 1222  Philip II was quite ill and he made his last will. Later, in spite of his delicate condition, he decided to participate in the church assembly in Paris. But on the way his condition worsened heavily. On July 14, 1223, he died in Mantes near Paris. With a solemn ceremony he was buried soon after in the royal vault at St. Denis.

Philip II Augustus, son of Adele de Champagne and grandson of Mathilda of Carantania (Slovenia) was one of the greatest kings of the Middle Ages, and founder of the French national monarchy.