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Philip II of France

Philippe II, Auguste also called Philip Augustus (August 21,1165-July 14,1223) was King of France from 1180 to 1223.

A member of the Capetian dynasty, Philippe II was born August 21, 1165 at Gonesse, Val-d'Oise, France, the son of Louis VII of France and his third wife, Adèle de Champagne.

In declining health, his father had him crowned at Reims in 1179.

He was married on April 28, 1180 to Isabelle of Hainaut (April 1170 - March 15, 1190) and they had one son:

A few years after Isabelle's passing, on August 15, 1193 he married Ingeborg of Denmark (1175-1236). The marriage produced no children and ended in divorce.

King Philippe II married for a third time on May 7, 1196 to Princess Agnès of Méranie (c.1180 - July 29, 1201. Their children were:

As king, he would become one of the most successful in consolidating France into one royal domain. He seized the territories of Maine, Touraine, Anjou, Brittany, and all of Normandy from King John of England. His decisive victory at the Battle of Bouvines over King John and a coalition of forces that included Otto IV of Germany ended the immediate threat of challenges to this expansion (1214) and left Philippe as the most powerful monarch in all of Europe.

He reorganized the government, bringing to the country a financial stability which permitted a sharp increase in prosperity. His reign was popular with ordinary people when he checked the power the nobles and passed some of it on to the growing middle class his reign had created.

He went on the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionhearted and the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa (1189-1192).

King Philippe would play a significant role in one of the greatest centuries of innovation in construction and in education. With Paris as his capital, he had the main thoroughfares paved, built a central market, Les Halles, continued the construction begun in 1163 of the Gothic Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, constructed the Louvre as a fortress and gave a charter to the University of Paris (the Sorbonne) in 1200. Under his guidance, Paris became the first city of teachers the medieval world had known.

King Philippe II Auguste died July 14, 1223 at Mantes and was interred in Saint Denis Basilica. He was succeeded by his son by Isabelle of Hainaut, Louis VIII.

Preceded by:
Louis VII
List of French monarchs Succeeded by:
Louis VIII