Philip II of France facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Philip II Augustus
King of France
Philippe II Auguste.jpg
Reign 18 September 118014 July 1223
Coronation 1 November 1179
Born 21 August, 1165
Birthplace Gonesse, France
Died 14 July, 1223
Place of death Mantes-la-Jolie, France
Buried Saint Denis Basilica
Predecessor Louis VII
Successor Louis VIII
Consort Isabelle of Hainaut (1170-1190)
Ingeborg of Denmark (1175-1236)
Agnes of Merania (d.1201)
Children Louis VIII (1187-1226)
Marie of France (1198-1224)
Philip, Count of Clermont (1200-1234)
Royal House House of Capet
Father Louis VII of France (1120-1180)
Mother Adèle of Champagne (1140-1206)

Philip II (21 August 1165 – 14 July 1223), known as Philip Augustus (French: Philippe Auguste), was King of France from 1180 to 1223. His predecessors had been known as kings of the Franks, but from 1190 onward, Philip became the first French monarch to style himself "King of France". The son of King Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne, he was originally nicknamed Dieudonné (God-given) because he was a first son and born late in his father's life. Philip was given the epithet "Augustus" by the chronicler Rigord for having extended the crown lands of France so remarkably.

The only known description of Philip describes him as

a handsome, strapping fellow, bald but with a cheerful face of ruddy complexion, and a temperament much inclined towards good-living, wine, and women. He was generous to his friends, stingy towards those who displeased him, well-versed in the art of stratagem, orthodox in belief, prudent and stubborn in his resolves. He made judgements with great speed and exactitude. Fortune's favorite, fearful for his life, easily excited and easily placated, he was very tough with powerful men who resisted him, and took pleasure in provoking discord among them. Never, however, did he cause an adversary to die in prison. He liked to employ humble men, to be the subduer of the proud, the defender of the Church, and feeder of the poor".

After a twelve-year struggle with the Plantagenet dynasty in the Anglo-French War of 1202–14, Philip broke up the large Angevin Empire presided over by the crown of England and defeated a coalition of his rivals (German, Flemish and English) at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214. This victory would have a lasting impact on western European politics: the authority of the French king became unchallenged, while the English King John was forced by his barons to sign Magna Carta and deal with a rebellion against him aided by Philip, the First Barons' War. The military actions surrounding the Albigensian Crusade helped prepare the expansion of France southward. Philip did not participate directly in these actions, but he allowed his vassals and knights to help carry it out.

Philip transformed France from a small feudal state into the most prosperous and powerful country in Europe. He checked the power of the nobles and helped the towns to free themselves from seigniorial authority, granting privileges and liberties to the emergent bourgeoisie. He built a great wall around Paris ("the Wall of Philip II Augustus"), re-organized the French government and brought financial stability to his country.

Images for kids


Philip II of France Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.