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Rigord (c.1150-c.1209):

The Deeds of Philip Augustus (Gesta Philipi Augusti)

[Introduction by Paul Hyams]

Rigord was born in Languedoc (perhaps Nimes) around 1145/50. He was a physician by profession and was still practising in the South-West when he began to write. By 1189 he had become a monk first at Argenteuil then at the mother house St. Denis near Paris, the great center of Capetian historiography. He died around 1209.

In 1196 he had already offered an early version of the "Deeds" to the king. In 1200 he prepared an abbreviated version for Prince Louis (VIII). There was also a sketch history of the kings of the Franks designed to assist visitors to view the royal tombs at St. Denis and take away the intended messages. It is unfortunate that the latter part of this is now lost, since the arrangement and identification of these tombs was a highly charged matter at just around this time.

His reputation stands or falls, however, by the "Deeds", a work that seems to have gone through various rewritings and was continued to within a year or so of the author's death. There is a fair amount of eye-witness testimony. But he also drew upon his abbey's archives and either both used and on occasion transcribed into his texts various kinds of documents and letters and even such public acts as royal ordinances and Phillip's will. Among the predecessors on whose work he also drew was Geoffrey of Monmouth, not a name to inspire either confidence or any special respect for Rigord's critical faculties. He certainly began his work in the spirit of panegyric, entitling himself "Chronicler (Chronographus) of the king of the Franks" but his view of his patron may, like those of his English contemporary Jocelin of Brakelond, also a Benedictine monk, have developed over time. Modern readers can try and make their own minds up on such questions from this translation. There must have been a fair number of medieval readers too. But when Guillaume le Breton wrote a continuation, he attached a brief summary of Rigord, claiming that "he is possessed by few and still not communicated to the multitude". A French translation was incorporated into the multi-volume Grandes Chroniques de France after 1274.

Gabrielle Spiegel, The Chronicle Tradition of Saint-Denis (1978) gives an excellent account of the broader context in which Rigord operated, and in English too. Two French articles by Elizabeth Carpentier, in Cahiers de civilisation médièvale 25 (1982), 3-30 and in Annales ESC 41 (1986), 325-46, may help further. John W. Baldwin, The Government of Phillip Augustus

(1986) covers rather more ground than its modest title suggests and comments directly on Rigord's testimony at various points, eg pp. 100, 396-7.

My translation, though as accurate as I can make it, is a fast and free one, whose main aim is to make this fascinating text conveniently accessible in English. The scholarly will, if they use it at all, find that it sends them back to the Latin original. To speed up download time I have split Rigord's text, mostly by the years he covers, This translation goes up to 1192 although the complete text of Rigord's first recension goes up to 1196.

1. In the year of the Lord's Incarnation 1165 was born Phillip, king of the French, in the month of August, the 11th kalends of September [Sunday, August 22], on the feast of Timothy and Symphorian. He was to be nicknamed [Augustus] by God's grant, because his most holy father king Louis ,having received a numerous progeny of daughters from three wives, had been unable to have a masculine successor for the realm. Finally he, with his wife the illustrious queen Adela [of Blois] and the whole clergy and people of his realm he turned to prayer and petitioned for a son from God, not in reliance on his merits but trusting in the mercy alone of God.

"I beseech thee, O Lord", he said, " remember me, and thou shalt not enter into judgement on thy servant because no-one alive shall be justified in thy sight. But be gracious to me, a sinner. And, if I have sinned like other men, nevertheless, Lord, spare [me] lest the things which I did in your presence perish before thee. Have mercy on me, Lord, according to thy great mercy, and give me a son and heir for the kingdom of the Franks, a strenuous ruler, lest my enemies say: Thy hope is in vain, and thine alms and prayers perish. [Tob., ii. 22] But do with me, Lord, according to thy will, and order my soul to be received in peace at the end of my days."

Thus were his prayers with those of the whole clergy and people of the realm found acceptable in the Lord's sight, and God gave him a son named Phillip, whom he had brought up in most holy manner and fully taught in the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He had him solemnly crowned at Rheims and lived scarcely a year afterwards to see him reigning in glory over the land of the kingdom of the Franks. [King Louis had had a dream about him before his birth. It seemed to him that his son Phillip held in his hand a gold chalice, full of human blood, from which he drank with all his princes and all were drinking from it. At the very end of his life, he recounted this dream to Henry, bishop of Albano, legate of the apostolic see in France, adjuring him in God's name not to reveal it to anybody before the king's death. When king Louis had died, bishop Henry told the story of the vision to many religious men. [Gerald of Wales, De instruction principum, has a fuller version of this story] In the first year of Phillip's reign, king Louis his father happily migrated to the Lord in the city which was formerly called Lutetia and is now Paris. But we shall say more about these things below. We turn our pen now to the deeds of the first year of Phillip Augustus, illustrious king of the Franks.

Deeds of the First Year

2. In the year of the Lord's Incarnation 1179, Louis the most Christian king of the Franks, scarcely at the age of three score and ten, considering the brevity of human life and feeling his health burdened by a certain degree of paralysis, summoned a general council of all the archbishops, bishops, abbots and barons from the whole realm of the Franks to Paris and the palace of our venerable father, Maurice, bishop of Paris. When everyone was present, king Louis entered the chapel on his own first, as he was accustomed to do in all his works, to pour out his prayers to the Lord. He then called in one by one the archbishops, bishops, abbots and all the princes of the realm, and communicated to them his counsel, that it was his wish, with their counsel and will, to raise up his most beloved son Phillip given by God to be king of the Franks on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When they heard the king's will, the prelates and princes all with one voice shouted "Fiat! Fiat!" ["Let it be done"] And so the council was dissolved.

3. When the aforementioned feast of the Blessed Virgin came along, the most Christian king Louis came with his most beloved son to Chartres, where things turned out, by God's ordaining, otherwise than he had hoped. While the king stayed there, as we have learned from the accounts of many people, the renowned Phillip got his father's permission to enter the forest to hunt with the royal huntsmen. As soon as he was within, he found a boar, whom the huntsmen unleashing their hounds at once pursued through the forest byways and the wastes of solitude, sounding their horns and charging along the forest paths. Meanwhile Phillip sitting astride the fastest horse got separated from the rest and long pursued the boar at the speediest pace along a different hidden path. As the day drew to a close, none of the huntsmen knew where he was even after looking for him for a while. He saw that he was left all alone in that vast solitude of forest and, not unnaturally, began to be afraid. Riding this way and that, wandering alone wherever his horse took him, looking this way and that but seeing nobody, he finally became very concerned. Finally he signed himself with the holy cross on his forehead and commended himself with groans, sighs and much emotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the very blessed Denis patron and defender of the kings of the Franks. His prayers over, he looked to his right and suddenly saw at a distance a peasant of noble stature blowing at the coals on a fire. He was a horrible sight, blackened by the coals, misshapen of face and carrying a great axe on his shoulders. When Phillip first saw him, he was a little afraid, like a child. But the greatness of his soul overcame his fear; he went up to him and greeted him in friendly style. Once the peasant heard who he was, where he had come from and why, and recognizing him to be his lord, he quickly took him back to Chartres by a direct way. Phillip then by God's gift fell quite ill from this fearful experience and as a result his elevation was put off until the feast of All Saints. But our Lord Jesus Christ who never abandons those who believe in Him restored him to his previous good health after a few days, through the prayers and merits of his most holy father Louis, who prayed to God incessantly day and night, and through the prayers of the universal Church. [Rigord does not mention that Louis even crossed the Channel to pray at Becket's tomb in Canterbury.]

4. At the festivities for All Saints, Phillip Augustus assembled the archbishops, bishops and all the barons of his land and was crowned at Rheims by the reverend William, archbishop of Rheims, cardinal priest of St. Sabina and legate of the apostolic see, the king's uncle. Henry [II] king of England was present and in due dependence ("ex debita subjectione") humbly supported the crown on the head of the king of France, while all the princes of the realm and the whole of the clergy and people shouted "Long live the king! Long live the king!". He had reached the age of 14 at the feast of Timothy and Symphorian just passed and entered his fifteenth year. He was thus anointed king in the fifteenth year of his age, on the feast of All Saints, while his father the most Christian king Louis still lived albeit gravely hampered by sickness, a paralysis which totally prevented him from walking.

5. We have decided to write little about the things he did at the start of his reign, for fear that the size of the volume and its great simplicity of style might disgust the listeners' delicate ears. He had from an early age the fear of the Lord as his teacher, for "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" [Ps., cx. 10], and he asked in his prayers and humbly begged the Lord to guide all his acts and steps. He loved justice as if she were his own mother. He struggled to exalt mercy in his judgements. He never allowed truth to leave his side. He practiced conjugal continence in his own house better than all other kings. And because it had pleased him to work from a tender age at these virtues, it gradually came about that, just as the king loved and revered God, so he ordered observance from all at his court. What is even more surprising, he so hated the terrible oaths which were frequently sworn by gamblers in courtyards and taverns that when some knight or other gambler chanced to fall into an oath in the king's presence, the offender was at once thrown by the king's order into a lake or river, and he ordered this edict to be most carefully observed in future. Blessed virtue! When the beginnings are like this what kind of end can we expect? For the hand of God was with him.

6. A few days after the holy anointing, the new king returned to Paris. He started the job which he had long borne in mind but had feared to complete, because of the great reverence which he showed to his most Christian father. For he had heard many times from the boys who were fostered with him in the palace -- and commended to memory without ever forgetting it -- that the Jews who lived in Paris every year slit the throat of one Christian in the hidden underground caverns on Maundy Thursday or during the Holy Week of penitence, as a kind of sacrifice in contempt of the Christian religion, and that many who long persevered in this kind of wickedness by diabolical seduction, had been burned at the stake in his father's time. St. Richard, whose body rests in the Church of the Holy Innocents in the Little Field of Paris (petit champ?), after being killed in this way by the Jews and fixed to a cross, happily migrated to the Lord in martyrdom, a fact which we heard when God worked many miracles to the Lord's honor and by the intercessions of St. Richard. And because the most Christian king Phillip learnt by careful investigation of the older people (majoribus) these and many other scurrilous things about the Jews, which inflamed him with the zeal of God, the Jews were arrested in their synagogues all over France at his order on the fourteenth of February [1180] and despoiled of their gold, silver and vestments, just as the Jews themselves had despoiled the Egyptians on their exodus from Egypt. By this was signified their coming expulsion, which followed in time by God's disposition.

7. It happened about a month of days after Phillip Augustus' anointing that Hèbes [VI] of Charenton "in pago Bituricensi" [Bétracq, Basses Pyrenees?] began to play the tyrant over the churches of God and to oppress the clergy serving God there with heavy exactions. When the clergy could not bear his savagery, they sent messengers to the most Christian king Phillip Augustus complaining of the acts of violence done them them by Hèbes and humbly seeking the king's justice. As soon as the king heard the plaint of the religious men, he lit with Gods zeal for the defense of the churches and the liberty of the clergy, moved in arms against the tyrant, wasted his lands with a strong hand and took booty. He so repressed Hèbes' boldness that this latter seeing that he could not escape the king's hand threw himself down at the king's feet to seek his pardon and promised under public oath that he would do full satisfaction to all churches and the clerics serving God in them according to the king's will and choosing and would restrain himself in future from similar acts. Phillip waged this first war consecrated to God at the very beginning of his reign and at the age of fifteen years.

8. Then in that same first year of his reign, at the instigation of the ancient serpent, enemy of humankind, sons of iniquity, Humbert [III] of Beaujeu [Basses Alpes?] and the count of Chalon [Guillaume III] came out against the churches of God together with their accomplices. Since they had dared to burden these churches heavily and in breach of their royal immunities, the clergy and religious serving God there reported all these evils to their lord, the most Christian king of the Franks.The king then assembled an army for the defense of the churches and the liberty of the clergy, entered their land and took great booty. With God's help he so smashed their pride and tyranny that he forced them to restire against their will absolutely everything they had taken from the churches, and restored peace to the clergy serving God there humbly commending himself to their prayers. He is the one who assiduously stands for the church [Cluny], protecting and defending her from her enemies, by exterminating the Jews as enemies of the Christian faith and by driving out the heretic who felt badly about the catholic faith. [Reminiscence of the coronation oath?] For his good works were founded in the Lord, and the whole Church of the saints ought therefore to recount his deeds.

9. Next in the first year of the reign of Phillip Augustus and the fifteenth of his age, there arose rivalries, or enmities, among the princes of the realm. Certain of his princes, at the instigation of the Devil enemy to ecclesiastical peace, dared to conspire against their lord Phillip Augustus. They assembled an army and began to waste the king's lands. The most Christian king Phillip seeing this was seized by a great fury and led against them an army of infinite multitude so that after a few days he put them all to flight and pursued them with such strength and vigor that, by God's miraculous aid, he reduced them all to obedience and most powerfully compelled them to perform his whole will. But yet the Lord of all, He who duly repays and avenges good men and leaves no good thing unrewarded, because the most Christian king Phillip Augustus had most strenuously waged the first two battles at the start of his reign for the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and God's blessed mother and virgin Mary, therefore our Lord Jesus Christ, who does not abandon those who hope in him, was present to defeat those surrounding him and guarded him from his enemies and preserved him from the seducers and gave him the battle so that he conquered all his adversaries [Sap. X. 12], and had power against those who were toiling to oppress him unjustly. For He is the Lord who dissipates the counsels of the nations, he reproves the intentions of the peoples and counsels of princes [Ps., xxxii. 10]. For this man was not abandoned by God on the day of the battle, because the angel of the Lord standing on his right hand smashed the heads of his enemies [Ps. lxviii. 22]. And why so? Because he persisted faithfully in the commands of the Lord [Ecclesiastic., xxii. 23].

Deeds of the Second Year of Phillip Augustus, king of the Franks

10. In the year of the Lord's incarnation 1180, 4th kalends june, on that day when our Lord Jesus Chrust ascended to the heavens carried up by the clouds, in the church of St. Denis, at the suggestion and on the counsel of a certain good man who appeared to have the zeal of God, the same king Phillip the second laid on himself the diadem, and then was anointed queen the venerable Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Baldwin illustrious count of Hainaut, niece of Phillip the great count of Flanders, who on that day, as the custom is, honorably carried the sword before the lord king. But, while these things were being solemnly carried out in the church of St. Denis, and the king was kneeling with the queen at the high altar their heads bowed to receive the nuptial blessing from the venerable archbishop Guy, with many bishops and barons standing around them, something worthy of memory happened which we consider useful for insertion into this work. A great crowd of the people from the cities, suburbs, towns and villages around had gathered to see so great a solemnity with great joy, when they caused a disturbance to see the king and queen wearing their crowns. A certain knight, one of the king's officials holding his wand in his hand, was waving it to and fro to calm the tumult, when with one blow he broke three lamps hanging over their heads by the high altar and their oil spilt all over the heads of the king and queen. We believe this to have been miraculous and to spread the fame and glory of his name in all the land about. Concerning which the Song of Solomon's love seems to have prophesied: The oil poured out thy name [Cant., i. 2]. As if to say, the fame and wisdom of thy name shall be spread from sea to sea, and from the river the ends of the lands of the globe; and kings will bow their heads before him and many peoples will serve him [Ps., lxxi, 8 and 11]. We may conjecture from these and other things of the same kind that those things which were done about him by God's will can be understood in this way.

Of the death of the most pious king Louis

11. In the same year, 14 kalends October, on a Thursday, there died Louis most pious king of the Franks in the city which is now called Paris and is the capital of the kingdom of the Franks. By chance and the Lord's provision it so happened that he who was king and head (caput) of the whole kingdom of the Franks happily migrated to the Lord in his palace in the city which is capital (caput) of the kingdom of the Franks. It was thus made manifest to all that he was crossing in glory from palace to palace, from kingdom to kingdom, from the terrestrial palace to the latitude of the celestial paradise, from the transitory kingdom to the eternal kingdom which neither an eye saw nor an ear heard nor could a human mind comprehend, that God prepared since eternity for those who love Him in truth [I Cor., ii. 9]. His body was gloriously buried in the church of St. Mary at Barbeaux [Seine-et-Marne, a Cistercian abbey], which he founded. There day and night are celebrated, to the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessed mother of God and virgin Mary and of all the saints, offices for his soul and those of all his predecessors and for the state of the kingdom of the Franks. The illustrious Adela, queen of the Franks, mother of the said Phillip Augustus king of the Franks, had built in the same church over the king's grave a sepulcher of stone slabs, gold and silver, most subtly decorated with brass and gems. No such work of so great subtlety was ever found in the kingdoms of the world since the days of Solomon. But enough of these things; we now turn to what was done at God's inspiration by the king about the perfidious Jews.

Here is placed the first reason why the most Christian king Phillip expelled (exterminavit) the Jews from the whole of France

12. At that time there lived in France a very great multitude of Jews who had gathered there over a long period from the various parts of the world on account of the lasting peace and the generosity (liberalitatem) of the French. For the Jews heard that the kings of the kingdom of the Franks were strong against their enemies and kind (pietatem) towards their subjects. So their elders and those more learned in the law of Moses, called by the Jews themselves "didiscali" decided to come to Paris and lived there for a long time and grew so rich that they claimed almost half of the whole city and -- which is against God's decree and the Church's regulations -- had in their houses as servants Christian men and women, who manifestly moving away from the Christian faith judaized with the Jews themselves. And because the Lord had said in the book of Deuteronomy: Thou shalt not lend [at interest] to your brother but to the stranger [Deut., xxiii. 19], the Jews, wickedly understanding "stranger" to mean any Christian, passed their money to the Christians under usury and so burdened the citizens and knights and countrymen of the suburbs, towns and villages that many of them were forced to dispose of their possessions. Others were bound under oath in the houses of the Jews and held prisoner almost as if in jail. When the most Christian king Phillip heard this, he was moved by benevolence (pietate) and asked a certain hermit named Bernard [de Bré] a holy and religiouis man who was living at that time in the forest of Vincennes for advice on what to do. At his suggestion he released all Christians in his realm from debts to the Jews, keeping for himself a fifth part of the whole sum.

A second reason is placed here

13. Church ornaments dedicated to God, gold and silver crosses bearing the image of the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and chalices were deposited with them by way of pawn because of the pressing needs of the churches. To further increase their damnation, they treated these so vilely in censure and reproach to the Christian religion, that their children ate their eggs cooked in wine and drank from chalices that had contained the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, forgetting what is to be read in the book of Kings [4 Reg., xxv], how Nebuchednezar king of Babylon, in the eleventh year of the reign of the reign of king Zedekiah of Jerusalem, through his general Nabuzardan and because of the sins of the Jews, took the holy city of Jerusalem and despoiled the temple and took away with him the precious vases consecrated to God which the most wise Solomon had made. Nut Nebuchednezar, though a gentile and an idolater, nevertheless feared the God of the Jews and was unwilling to drink from those vases nor to transfer them to his own use. Instead he ordered them to be preserved in his own temple next to the idol as a sacrosanct treasure. It was only at the accession of Balthazar, who reigned sixth after him, that when he offered a great feast to his nobles and princes, he ordered the vases which his grandfather Nebuchednezar had taken from the temple of the Jews to be brought out, and the king and his nobles and wives and concubines drank out of them. The Lord was angered against Balthazar that very same hour, and showed him the sign of his destruction, that is the hand writing against him on the wall "Mane, Techel, Phares", which was to be interpreted as number, weight (in the balance), division [Daniel, v]. That same night Babylon was captured by Cyrus and Darius and Balthazar was killed at that feast as Isaiah had long ago prophesied: "Lay out the meal, see in the mirrors (that is on the wall) those eating and drinking from the vases of the Lord: rise up, princes, and take out your arms" [Is., xxi. 9] because the city is taken. And at the unexpected arrival of the Medes and Persians, Balthazar was immediately killed at that feast. Who shall dare to cover up what the Lord deigns to reveal?

The third reason for the ejection of the Jews is placed here

14. At that time therefore when the Jews were afraid that their house might be searched by the king's officials, it happened that a certain Jew who was then living in Paris and had some church ornaments, a gold cross augmented with gems and a Gospel book wonderfully decorated with precious stones, as well as silver goblets and other vases, put these in a sack and most vilely threw it down into a deep pit in which he was (alas!) accustomed to empty his bowels. All of this was soon afterwards revealed by God and found there by Christians.A fifth of the whole debt having been paid to the king, they were carried with the freatest joy and honor back to their own church.

That year can deservedly be called a jubilee. Just as under the Old Law all possessions reverted free to their former possessors, and all debts were remitted, so by a great release of debts made by the most Christian king, the Christians dwelling in the kingdom of France achieved perpetual liberty.

Deeds of the third year of the reign of Phillip Augustus, king of the Franks

15. In the year of the Lord's incarnation 1182, during the month of April which is called by the Jews Nisan, an edict came out from the most serene king Phillip Augustus that all Jews of his realm should prepare to leave by the feast of St. John the Baptist following. They were then given license by the king to sell all their household effects in the intervening time, that is before the feast of St. John's, with their possessions in the sense of houses, fields, vineyards, barns, (wine?)-presses and that kind of thing being reserved to himself and the future kings of the Franks. When they heard this, some of the perfidious Jews were reborn from the water with the Holy Spirit, and once converted to the Lord persevered in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. To these the king out of respect for the Christian religion restored and granted them in perpetual liberty all their possessions complete. Others blinded by their ancient error persisted in their perfidy and sought to entice the princes of the land, counts, barons, archbishops and bishops among them, with gifts and great promises, to see if they could by their advice and suggestions and the prom,ise of an infinite amount of money call the king's mind back from so firm a decision. But the compassionate and merciful Lord, who does not abandon those who place their hopes in Him and who humiliates those who presume upon his powers, so strengthened with the Holy Spirit the enlightened mind of the king, with an infusion of His grace, that neither prayers nor promises of temporal goods could soften it. I confess that one might appropriately adapt to this what we read concerning the Blessed Agatha: "Stones can more easily be softened, and iron converted to lead, than the mind of the most Christian king recalled from a divinely inspired decision" [Acta SS., 5 Febr., I. 615, col. 2. 4.].

On the princes' setback

16. When the infidel Jews saw that the princes, through whom they were accustomed to bend the will of other, previous kings easily to do their will, had suffered a setback, they wondered at king Phillip's magnanimity and firm constancy in the Lord. Stunned and almost stupefied by wonder, they cried out "Shema Yisrael", that is "Hear O Israel" and hurried to sell their furniture. For the time was approaching when they were bound by the king's command to get out of all France (de tota Francia), and this could on no grounds be put off longer. The Jews then had all they could do to fulfill the king's orders and sold off their movable property with amazing speed, for all their (landed) possessions devolved to the royal fisc. So having sold their things, the Jews had the expenses for the journey and left with their wives and sons and their whole following in the aforesaid year 1182, in the month of July, which the Jews call Tamuz, the third year of king Phillip Augustus' reign with the 17th year of his age having begun the previous August on the feast of St. Symphorian, the 11th kalends of September. And so the seventeenth year of the king's age ended the month following the Jews' expulsion, August. For they left in the month of July as said above, so only three weeks or twenty-one days remained to the end of the seventeenth year.

That Phillip the king "semper Augustus" had the Jews' synagogues dedicated to God as churches

17. Once the infidel Jews had been ejected and dispersed throughout the whole world, king Phillip "semper Augustus" quite aware of what he was doing completed with God's help the work begun in glory in even more glory. For he ordered that all the synagogues of the Jews be cleaned up and, against the will of all the princes, had the same synagogues dedicated to God as churches, with altars consecrated in them to the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the blessed mother of God and virgin Mary. These same "synagogues" were called schools by them, and the Jews gathered there daily for the sake of counterfeit prayer in the name of the fabricated religion, He decided after pious and honest consideration that, where the custom had been indeed, on the witness of Jerome on Isaiah, to blaspheme day in and day out against the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, God who alone performs great wonders should be praised by the clergy and the whole Christian people.

On the institution of prebends at Orleans

18. The knights of all France and the citizens and other burgesses, when they saw the king's miraculous works being done in their time by God's ordaining, and contemplated the native talent of the youthful king (adolescentem) and wondered at his works, they blessed God who gave such power to men. And if you pay careful attention, you will find in him those four glorious virtues which Moses said ought to be considered in the choice of a prince, power, fear of God, love of the truth and hatred of avarice [Ex., xviii. 21]. He is, I say saving peace of all [?], subtle in speech, just inhis judgements, acute in his answers, prudent in discussion, faithful to what he has done, strenuous in what must be done, vigorous against his enemies, kind to his subjects, outstanding in goodness and in every kind of moral worth. I summon in to illustrate all this (ad exemplum) the citizens of Orleans. Wishing to imitate their chief (caput), that is the king, they installed in the church which had previously been the synagogue of Orleans perpetual prebends to support oradained clergy in the celebration day and night of divine office for the king, for the whole Christian people, and for the condition (status) of the kingdom of the Franks. We have seen something similar done at Étampes in the church which used to be a synagogue. We learned from the "Deeds of the kings of the Franks" that such an ejection or expulsion of the Jews was done on another occasion ["Aimoin", IV. 22 = ? Aimoin de Fleury, Historia Francorum (c. 1004)].

The first expulsion of Jews which is placed last in this our history

19. For we have read in the "Deeds of the Franks" that, in the time of the most eloquent king of the Franks, Dagobert, Heraclius who then ruled over the empire of the Roman emperors was a man most wise on the liberal arts and especially in astronomy which flourished greatly at that time but was, as the number of the faithful increased, taken out from their midst and eliminated from (ab omni cetu) of the faithful as idolatry. This Heraclius wrote to Dagobert, most excellent king of the Franks, to expel (exterminaret) all the Jews from his realm, which was done. For the emperor had foreknowledge from signs in the stars which he had frequently studied that the empire of the Romans would be destroyed by the people of the circumcised. However what he interpreted of the Jews should certainly be differently understood through the Hagarene people whom we call Saracens, since his empire is known to have been taken and violently wasted by them later, and Methodius says that it will come again at the end of time (secundo futurum…in fine temporum). They are the Ismaelites who descended from Ishmael, and they are all circumcised, because we read that their father Ishmael, son of Abraham, was circumcised. For Methodius the martyr has left us a writing about them:- For it will be at the end of time, about the times of Antichrist, that they will leave once more and will obtain the earthly world for eight weeks of years (that is for 56 years). And on account of the pressures and tribulations which the Christians suffer, their journey will be called the narrow road (via angustie). They will kill the priests in the holy places and will sleep there with women and will tie up horses to the burial places of the saints, [Much of this seems to be cited from memory and so not verbatim from Methodius, Revelatio.] that is, they will stable them in churches next to the bodies of the holy martyrs, and this because of the wickedness of the Christians of that day. Josephus also said that the whole world would be their abode and also attest that the islands of the sea claim them. After this brief digression, we shall return if God wills it to deal with the deeds of the fourth year of the reign of Phillip Augustus king of the Franks.

Deeds of the fourth year of the reign of Phillip Augustus, king of the Franks

20. In the same year as above, moreover, the year of the Lord's incarnation 1183, the fourth year of the reign of the most Christian king Phillip, it happened that the same king on requests from many and especially at the suggestion of a certain servant who appeared at that time to be the most faithful at carrying on the king's business, bought from the lepers living outside the city of Paris the fairs for himself and his successors, and had them transferred to the market-place called "Campellis" [Champeaux?]. There he had the same most experienced servant build two great houses which the populace call "halls" ["halas". Can this be les Halles?], because he felt it appropriate and likely to be extremely helpful to those who worked there (ob decorem at maximam institorum utilitatem), where the merchants could sell their wares in the dry when it was raining and keep them safe from the incursions of thieves at night. For even greater security, he ordered a wall to be built around the same halls, with gates made so that they could always be shut at night, and between this exterior wall and the actual halls he had covered stalls erected for the merchants so that they would not have to stop buying and selling on rainy days and suffer loss thereby.

On the circuit of the wall around the Forest of Vincennes

21. The forest of Vincennes had never been enclosed in the time of all his predecessors and had been quite open to anyone passing throughit. At much this time, Phillip Augustus king of the Franks, concerned for the development and improvement of the realm, had it ringed with a very fine wall. When Henry (II) king of the English, who had succeeded king Stephen as ruler of the kingdom of England, had wild beasts collected from all over Normandy and Aquitaine, stag fawns, young does and wild goats, placed in a great ship with the utmost care and cleverly protected and provided there with the necessary fodder. He then sent them along the Seine by water to king Phillip his lord at Paris. The most Christian king received this gift kindly and had them enclosed in the forest of Vincennes near the city, placing a permanent watch over them.

22. Incidentals. Many heretics were burned at this time in Flanders by William the reverend archbishop of Rheims, titular cardinal-priest of Sancta Sabina and papal legate, and by Phillip the illustrious count of the Flemings.

Another incident. In the same year in the region of Cahors, in a castle commonly known as Martel [Lot], there died on the 13th kalends of June [actually 11 June not 20 May as indicated here] Henry the young king of England. His corpse was carried to the city of Rouen in the province formerly known as Neustria and now Normandy.

On the killing of the Cottereaux near the city of "Biturica"

23. In the same year, more than seven thousand Cottereaux were killed in the region of the Beauce (?) [near Châteaudun, 20 August 1183] by the local inhabitants allied together against the enemies of God. They were taking booty and wasting the king's lands, dragging their captives vilely after them and (Oh, Horrors!) sleeping with their wives as they watched. What is even worse, they would set fire to churches consecrated to God, and take the priests and religious along with them, calling them in mockery "Choirboys" (Cantores) and ridiculing them in their torments by saying: "Sing to us choirboys, sing!", incessantly boxing their ears or hitting them in a disgraceful manner with big sticks. Some of those beaten in this way gave up their blessed souls to the Lord. Others after long captivity got themselves released from custody by giving money for ransom, and returned to their own. But how can we tell the story without tears and deep sighs?

More on the same

24. So at the same time, to punish our sins these Cottereaux were invading and despoiling churches, and were, at the Devil's prodding and with rash daring, even taking the body of Our Lord, which was reserved, as it should be, for the emergency needs of the sick in gold or silver vessels, extracting it from them with hands (Oh, so painful!) polluted by human blood, throwing it vilely on the ground and crushing it under foot. Their concubines would concoct robes for their heads with that holy linen covering which is called the "corporal" (altar cloth), and carried around with them the gold and silver vessels in which (the eucharist) was conserved and made ready, to smash them up with hammers or break apart with stones. When the local inhabitants saw this, they reported all these evils to their lord Phillip the most Christian king of the Franks, and once he had heard what they were saying he was fired with the zeal of Go to send his army to their assistance. The royal army joined up with them and they mounted a united assault on the enemy, killed them all from the least to the greatest, and were greatly enriched from their spoils. Then the people, seeing what they had achieved, returned home glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard [cf. Luc., ii. 20].

On the miraculous restoration of peace between Raymond, count of St. Gilles and the king of Aragon

25. But there had arisen over a long time past a great quarrel between the king of Aragon and Raymond, count of St. Gilles, which could, because of the work of the Devil, enemy of humankind, in no way be settled. However, the Lord hearing his poor people complaining over a long period of so great an oppression and affliction, sent them as their savior, no emperor or king, nor any prince of the Church, but a certain poor man called Durand, to whom the Lord is said to have appeared in the city of "Aniciensi" now commonly known as Le Puy, and to have handed over to him a parchment (scedulam). On it was the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary enthroned and holding in her hands an image of our Lord Jesus Christ as a child and around the edges was printed words of this nature: "Lamb of God, who bearest away the sins of the world, give us peace". The princes, greater and lesser, having heard what had been done by God's will, assembled at Le Puy (Anicium) with their whole followings on the day of the Blessed Mary's Ascension as was their annual custom. The bishop of that city then with the clergy and people and whole crowd there gathered for the feast day listened intently to that Durand, a poor, humble carpenter, laying down the law in the midst of the populace. He boldly told them of God's command that they were to restore peace among themselves and showed the parchment with its image of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a sign to everyone. They raised their voice in weeping, admiring the kindness and mercy of God, and swore most readily on the holy gospels the strongest of oaths promising God to observe the peace in every way they could. As a token of the commitment to keep the peace, they made a seal of the Blessed Virgin impressed on lead, placed it over their breasts on white linen hoods like the scapulars of the white monks (Cistercians) and carried it there always as a sign of the compact entered into with him. What is even more amazing, anyone carrying a hood of this kind with the sign could be sure that if anyone had killed the brother of another by any kind of accident and the surviving brother had seen the killer wearing the sign just mentioned, the brother's death was at once forgiven and he received him (the killer) with the kiss of peace in tears and weeping, took him hone and gave him what he needed to eat. Surely one can say that in this place there was fulfilled again the prophecy of Isaiah: "The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard make common cause with the kid; the calf and the lion, the sheep and the bear will graze together and the little child will be a threat to them" [Isa., xi. 6]. We understand indeed by those beasts that live from violence and on flesh the irreligious men such as homicides and robbers, but by the rest of the grazing animals the gentle and simple people. And of them all the prophet said that Christ ordered them to live together and keep peace. Why so? "Because the land is filled with the knowledge of the Lord" [Isa., xi. 9]. This reconciliation engineered by the man of God was observed most carefully all over Gothia (Aquitaine) for some time.

Deeds of the fifth year of the reign of Phillip king of the Franks

26. In the year of the Lord's incarnation 1184, the fifth year of Phillip Augustus' reign, the twentieth of his age, there arose a quarrel, as has tended to happen recently, (que in novis rebus accidere solet) between Phillip the most Christian king of the Franks and Phillip count of the Flemings over a certain territory commonly called Vermandois. For the king asserted that the whole of Vermandois with its castles, towns and villages belonged in successoral title to the kings of the Franks by hereditary right, and he committed himself to prove this all by clerics and laymen, viz. Archbishops, bishops, counts, vicomtes and other princes. The count of Flanders on the other hand responded that he had long held the said lands in the lifetime of the most Christian king Louis of blessed memory and had possessed them in peace without any challenge through many times, and stated in the firmest terms that he would never give them up while he lived. For it appeared to the count that he could easily turn back the king's mind with promises and fine words because he was a boy. The hand of the princes was certainly with him, as it is said, but as we say in the proverb they blew up a wind "and wove a spider's web" [Is., xi. 9]. Finally on advice from the princes and barons, Phillip Augustus summoned all the princes of his land to "Karnopolim", a most beautiful castle commonly called Compiègne [Compans, Seine-et-Marne seems to fit the Latin better but the editor identified the place.]. He exchanged counsel with them there and then assembled an army of infinite size in the direction of the city called Amiens [Somme]. The count of Flanders, when he heard of the king's arrival exulted in his heart, assembled his forces against the king, and swore on the right arm of his courage (in brachio fortitudinis sue) that he would defend himself in all things.

More on the same

27. And so in the 5th year of the reign of Phillip Augustus and the twentieth of his age, he king went forth with his army and they covered the face of the earth like locusts [Judith, ii. 11]. When the count of Flanders saw that the king's army was very great and strong, his spirit was terrified [Dan., ii. 1] and the heart of his people turned to water, seeking protection in flight. The count consulted his men and then summoned through intermediaries the king's general, Thibault count of Blois, William, archbishop of Rheims, the king's uncles to whom as the king's most trusted familiars the job of carrying on public business had been committed at that time. With these as mediators, the count of Flanders spoke to the king in this manner:

"Let your anger towards us diminish, o Lord. Come to us in peace and make use of our service as please you. I restore to you in full, O my Lord King, the land you seek, the Vermandois, with all its castles and towns and other appurtenances, freely and without any procrastination. But if it please your royal majesty, I request that the castle of Saint-Quentin and the castle called Péronne [Nord] be handed over to me by royal grant as long as I live, and after my death to devolve to you or your heirs, the successors to the kingdom of the Franks, beyond any further argument."

On the restoration of peace between the king and the count

28. When Phillip, most Christian king of the Franks, heard this, he assembled all the archbishops, bishops, counts, vicomtes and all the barons who had gathered together as one at his call to smash savagery and pride. After taking counsel with them, they all answered as if with a single voice that he should do what the count of Flanders was offering to the king. Once this was done, the count of Flanders was brought in and he justly restored to king Phillip in the presence of all the princes and the whole crowd there assembled the said land of Vermandois, which he had for so long possessed unjustly, and immediately after the return put him in possession. Besides this, he delivered an oath to the king that he would restore completely and without delay all the losses he had caused to Baldwin, count of Hainaut and others of the king's friends, according to the king's will and order. And in this way was peace between the king and the count restored as if by a miracle, for it was achieved without the shedding of human blood. When the people saw this, they were filled with a great joy and blessed with praises God who makes safe those who place their hopes in Him. [Henry II of England was among those present at Aumale when this was concluded, 7 November 1185.]

On a miracle wrought by the Lord on behalf of Phillip king of the Franks

29. Among the other things full of wonder which the Lord deigned to display for king Phillip to the men on his lands, we have thought proper to write down this one as worthy of even greater wonder. Certain good men, canons of Amiens have told us that while the most Christian king was staying with his army near a castle called Boves [Somme, arr. of Amiens], and they were dragging horse carts one at a time (passim) through the fields, the whole army, both men and horses, trampled the harvest under foot, collected the greater part of it with sickles for fodder and gave it to the horses to eat. The result was that scarcely anything green remained that year on the land. It was the time when the harvest is in the ears of corn and producing flowers, around St. John the Baptist's [June 24]. But after the restoration of peace, some canons of Amiens, accustomed to collect the fruits of their prebends in the place where the king's army was, saw the harvest broken up by the horses' hooves and crushed to the point of total destruction and grieving for the loss of their revenues, thought to make complaint before the Dean and Chapter, humbly petitioning and asserting as their right that they [the Dean and Chapter] should in that year see fit to restore to them for the sake of brotherhood and from the common stock of all the other prebends the losses from their prebends. The Dean took counsel with the Chapter and at length asked them to bear matters with patience until the grain was harvested and threshed, and have carefully collected up whatever was left from the crops crushed by the army of the king of the Franks. Then if there were any shortfall from the usual level of fruits of the harvest, the Chapter would make it up to them in full. A wonderful thing and much to be amazed at! In the following days and weeks, by the miraculous workings of God, it turned out against everyone's expectations that the crops crushed by the king's army were so fully and abundantly restored that year that they found a hundred-fold increase, not just on the crushed ears but even on the things cut off by sickle and given to the horses to eat. But in the area where the count of Flanders' army had been drawn up, there all growing things were dried up so that no vegetation was found there that year. Are not these and other things which He did for his servant (servo), the most Christian king Phillip, worthy of being written down in the book of his deeds? When the canons of Amiens saw so great a miracle, they and the whole of the people feared the king, seeing the wisdom of God to be present in him [III Reg., iii. 28] which instructs him and teaches him to do whatever he wishes, with the help of Him who is prince and origin (principium) of all.

On the embassy sent from Jerusalem to Phillip king of France

30. In that same year, on the 17th kalends February, feria iiii, Heraclius patriarch of Jerusalem, the Prior of the Hospitallers in Outremer and the great Master of the Temple were sent to Paris and came to the most Christian king of the Franks, Phillip Augustus. At that time the Saracens had entered with a great army the lands of the Christians in Outremer, killed many of them and took many away as captives. They took Jacob's Ford, a certain very strong fortification of the Christians, killed there in wretched circumstances many knight brothers of the Hospital and Temple and dragged others off with them into captivity. For this reason, all the Christians of Outremer, afraid that the Saracens thus emboldened would take the holy city of Jerusalem and profane the Temple with the Lord's Sepulcher, sent the patriarch with the two masters mentioned above to France, bearing the keys of the city of Jerusalem and of the Lord's Holy Sepulcher to the most Christian king of the Franks, Phillip, asking him and humbly praying that he would, at God's instigation and out of love for the Christian religion, see fit to lend assistance to the desolate land of the city of Jerusalem. They faced the many dangers of the sea, frequent attacks from pirates and a long haul across land, during which the Master of the Temple died. The two survivors reached Paris, God leading them. There the patriarch was received by Maurice, bishop of Paris, his clergy and the whole community of the city. The next day he celebrated mass in the Church of the Blessed Mary and gave a sermon to the people.

On the king's kindly reception of the embassy

31. When Phillip Augustus, king of the Franks, heard this, he set aside all other business, went at once to the envoys, received them honorably with the kiss of peace, and sent most careful orders to his prévôts and baillis (prepositis terre sue sive dispensatoribus) to advance to them their sufficient expenses wherever they went through his lands from the royal rents. Now that he had heard why they had come, his paternal piety was aroused and he ordered a general council of all archbishops, bishops and princes of his land to be held at Paris. After celebrating this council together, he commanded the archbishops, bishops and all prelates of churches by royal authority to admonish their subject people by frequent sermons and exhortations to seek Jerusalem in order to defend the Christian faith and fight the enemies of the cross. For he, king Phillip, ruled the kingdom of the Framnks at that time vigorously and on his own. He had not yet received the desired heir from his wife the venerable queen Elizabeth, and so on the princes' advice devoutly sent off to Jerusalem fighting knights with a great multitude of armed foot, adequately funded from his own rents, as we have learned from report (fama referente).

On the Duke of Burgundy

32. In the meantime, Hugh duke of Burgundy assembled his army on the frontiers of his lands and laid a most vigorous siege to a castle called Vergy which he ringed with four fortifications. He claimed that this castle belonged to his jurisdiction and promised as if under oath that under no circumstances would he give up the siege until he had transferred that castle back into his power and lordship. Guy [de Vergy. Actually, his son Hugh had held the castle sinec 1179.], the lord of the castle, seeing the firmness of the duke's intention and that the duke would strive in every way possible to take the castle away from him, sent messengers to Phillip Augustus, most vigorous king of the Franks, informing him by his letters of his will that he would swiftly hand over the castle of Vergy to the king and his successors to hold permanently. The king "semper Augustus", after seeing and hearing the letters summoned his army hastened to his aid, to liberate from the hand of stronger men the needy enclosed and under siege by those out to despoil them. The king turned up unexpectedly to break up the siege and completely overturned those four fortifications which the duke had had raised, received the castle, placed keepers in it, transferred it in perpetuity to his lordship and added it to the kingdom of the Franks. A little after this, Guy de Vergy did homage to the king under oaths and promised perpetual fidelity to his successors (perpetuam fidelitatem firmavit). Once that was done, the king immediately restored the castle of Vergy with everything belonging to it complete to the lord Guy and his heirs, lordship however reserved to the king and his successors.

Incidentals. In the same year, there was a total eclipse of the sun on the first day of May, at the ninth hour, with the sun being in the sector of the bull.

On king Phillip's army against the duke of Burgundy for the defense of churches

33. A short time after these things, messengers were sent by the bishops and abbots and other religious in the whole of Burgundy to the most Christian king of the Franks, Phillip Augustus. They carried many complaints against Hugh the duke of Burgundy already mentioned and demanded justice of the king. For of old the most pious kings of the Franks inflamed with zeal for the Christian faith, as when Charles and his successors having expelled the Saracens as enemies of the Christian faith and, reigning in peace with much sweat and labor, founded with their own hands many churches and monasteries in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and of Mary, God's blessed mother and virgin, and of all the saints, and assigned to them from their own rents adequate rents for an endowment so that the clergy perpetually serving God in proper manner there could obtain the necessary food. Some of them indeed chose during their lifetimes burial in the churches which they had founded, granting them every kind of immunity, as Clovis, who was first of all the kings of the Franks to accept the faith of the Christians, was buried with the venerable queen Clothilda, his wife, in St. Peter's Church in Paris, now known by a change of name as the church of Sainte-Geneviève, which he had founded. Childebert was buried in the church which was formerly founded in honor of the martyr Saint-Vincent, which is now called the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-près. Chlothar I lies in the church of Saint-Médard at Soissons, but that Chlothar was not the father of Dagobert. Dagobert was buried in the church of Saint-Denis which he founded, on the right hand side of the greater altar. Louis of pious record, father of Phillip Augustus our king, was buried in the church of Saint-Marie of "Barbeel" which he founded.

On the liberty granted to churches by the kings

34. And so when the kings of the Franks handed over lands to the custody of certain princes, out of a desire to keep these churches for ever in their liberty, they decided to retain them under their power and protection, so that the princes to whom the land had been transferred (delegabatur) should not presume to burden either the churches or the clergy serving God there with any carrying services or tallages or other exactions. Yet, because the duke of Burgundy had heavily oppressed the churches on the lands committed to him with frequent exactions of just this kind, king Phillip listened to the churches' complaint, warned the duke in most benign manner before all his friends that he should at the instigation of God and by the faith which he owed to the kingdom of the Franks, restore what he had taken from the churches, and never presume to take such things in future, and that he would punish him severely if he would not restore that wealth to the churches.

On the siege of Châtillon-sur Seine

35. When the duke of Burgundy saw the will of the most Christian king in all his deeds and his firm constanmcy in the Lord in his pronouncements, he left the court much disturbed and returned to Burgundy. For the royal majesty had ordered him to restore to the churches the sum of thirty thousand livres of Paris, violently seized from the churches and in addition to do satisfaction for the violence to the king. When the duke showed himself unwilling to do this by his petitions for obstructive delays, Phillip "semper Augustus", king of the Franks, moved in force against him and entered Burgundy as a knight of Christ with an army ready to fight. In defense of the liberty of churches and clergy (then being crushed for both the populace and the priests), he besieged the castle which they call Châtillon, and after a fortnight or three weeks,having constructed machines around it, had the castle stormed. In this battle, some both of the besieged and the besiegers fell, others were wounded but restored to health as before by the benefits of medicine. Finally the king, having gained the castle by the victory, had it fortified and placed keepers in it.

On the restoration of peace

36. The duke of Burgundy saw that he could not resist the most Christian king, took sensible counsel and then came to throw himself at the king's feet, seeking his pardon and promising that he would make full satisfaction for all the churches and the clerics serving God in them by the judgement of the king's court. But Phillip Augustus saw clearly enough that there was great malice among the men of the land and that all his thought was inclined towards evil for all time. He therefore wished to make precautions for the future for himself and the churches. The king had heard from many who had had prolonged contact with his father, Louis of good memory, that this duke of Burgundy had often offended that king and, freqently came to court on summons and gave security to the king that he would obey royal commands in every way he could and in future obey him in future. King Phillip, adequately forewarned by these and other things of the kind, took from the duke of Burgundy sufficient security (cautionem), three of his best castles by way of gage, on terms by which the king was to have and possess them until he had fully restored the sum mentioned above of thirty thousand livres to the churches. A little later, the king took more intelligent counsel with his friends and restored those three castles to the duke, then because he could not repay the sum to the churches from his own resources, he granted him by royal gift a fee from the lordship of Vergy. Thus peace was restored, and king Phillip "semper Augustus" returned with his men in glory to his palace in Paris, praising and magnifying the Lord.

That king Phillip ordered all the streets and roads of Paris to be paved over

37. It happened after a few days that king Phillip "semper Augustus" staying for a while in Paris was walking about the royal hall deep in thought about the affairs of the realm, when he came to palace windows from which he was accustomed sometimes to look out at the river Seine for the refreshment of his soul. Horse-drawn carriages crossing through the city churned up the mud. The king walking about his hall could not bear the intolerable stench they caused. He therefore took on a hard but very necessary task which none of his predecessors had dared to attempt because of its great expense and difficulty. He called together the burgesses and prévôt of the city and ordered by royal authority that all the streets and roads of the whole city of Paris should be covered with hard and strong stones. The most Christian king was trying to take away from the city its ancient name; for it had been called "Lutea" from the stink of the mire (a luti fetore). But the heathens hated that name on account of the stink, and so long ago called it Paris after Alexander Paris, son of Priam king of Troy. For we have read in the Deeds of the Franks that the first of all the kings of the Franks to reign over them in royal style was Faramond son of Marcomirus, son of Priam king of Austria. This Priam king of Austria [Here and later, Rigord confuses Austria with Austrasia, the northern-most of the four great regions in the old Frankish empire.] was not the great Priam king of Troy, but a descendant of Hector his son through Francio son of Hector, as the appended table teaches us.

Priam king of Troy


<= (brothers) =>


Francio son of Hector

Turchus son of Troilus

Priam king of Austria

Marcomirus his son

Faramundus his son, first king in Gaul, reigned 11 years

Clodius his son, 20 years

Meroveus of his blood, 17 years

Childeric his son, 20 years

And since many are accustomed to have doubts on the origin of the kingdom of the Franks, how and why the kings of the Franks are said to have descended from the Trojans themselves, we decided to put as clearly as we could into this our history what we could collect from the Gregory of Tours' History and from the chronicles of Eusebius and "Hidacius" and from the writings of many others.

38. After the destruction of Troy, a great multitude fled from there, then divided itself into two peoples. One of these raised Francio, a grandson of king Priam, Hector's son, as king over it. The other followed one Turchus by name, son of Troilus, Priam's other son. And from this, as some say, two peoples, the Franks and the Turks, today take their names. After their departure, they settled together for a while in Thrace on the banks of the river Danube. But soon Turchus with his people left Francio his blood kinsman and moved to rule in Lower Scythia. From his people descend the Ostrogoths, Visigoths (Ypogoti), Vandals and Normans. Francio remained around the river Danube and built there a city which he called Sicambria. He and his descendants reigned there for 407 years until in the times of the emperor Valentinian, who ruled in the year of the Lord's incarnation 376, they were expelled for refusing to pay tribute to the Romans like the other heathen nations. They left under the leadership of Marcomirus (son of Priam king of Austria), Sonno (son of Antenor) and Gennebaud and came to live on the banks of the Rhine in the area of Germania and Alemannia in a land called Austria. When the same Valentinian had tried and failed to conquer them in many battles, he called them his own name, in northern speech (arctica lingua), Franks, that is the fierce ones. From that time on the strength of the Franks grew until at length they subjugated all Germania and Gaul up to the yoke of the Pyrenees and beyond. But later Marcomirus, son of Priam king of Austria who descended from Francio, grandson of Priam king of Troy through many generations of successors which would be long to enumerate here, came into Gaul with his people, leaving Sonno and Gennbaud behind in Austria. Others too had escaped from the demolition of Troy, like Helenus the soothsayer, Priam's son, who took himself with twelve hundred men into the kingdom of Pandrasus king of the Greeks. Later Brutus crossed with his group into England. Antenor chose to dwell on the shores of the Tyrrhennian Sea with 2, 500 men. Eneas with Ascanius his son came by ship to Italy, where Ascanius married Lavinia, daughter of king Latinus, from whom he received a son, Silvius. He, indulging in furtive love, received from his mother's niece that Brutus, who, after later joining himself to the progeny of Helenus son of Priam and to Corinneus who was a descendant of Antenor, landed on the island of Albion which he called Britain after himself. When he saw how nice the island was, he founded the city of London after the model of Troy and called it Trinovantum, that is New Troy. From his are said to have descended all the kings of England which after that first Brutus was called Britain.

Nota: And note that there were kings in Austria up to Childeric son of Clovis son of Dagobert. But there then being no kings, dukes took over supremacy and were called Mayors, as Pippin, Charles Martel etc.

[I have omitted (for the present) the rest of s. 38 , pp. 58-61 of the edition.]

39. That king Henry [I], hearing rumors that people had found in the city of Ratisbon, Alemannia, in the abbey of St. Hermentramnus the martyr, a certain body which they said to be Denis the Areopagite, sent his messengers to the emperor Henry with his letters to defer the day of the corpse' s elevation until fuller information (certificaretur) arrived through trustworthy messengers whether the body of the hieromartyr Denis the Areopagite, archbishop of Athens and disciple of the apostle Paul was or was not in the church which Dagobert founded in France. When he heard this, the emperor sent great and wise men into France to discover the truth of the matter in full (ut plene rei veritatem cognoscerent). King Henry assmebled the archbishops, bishops, and barons of the whole realm in the sight of the imperial messengers and sent his dearest brother Odo to the church of the blessed martyr Denis. After prayers, the three silver sealed vessels of Denis, Rusticus and Eleutherius were bought out most carefully before the whole people. Opening the vessel of the blessed martyr Denis, they found his whole body with the head, except two bones from his neck which are in the church of Vergy, and a bone from the arm which pope Stephen III took with him to the Roman church and and deposited in the church known today as the Greek School. [Ed. says this was San Silvestro in capite and not, as one might think, Sta. Maria in Cosmedin otherwise known as "in schola graeca".] At this sight, the whole people raised their pure hands to the Lord with tears and sighs, commending themselves to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy martyrs, then withdrew in joy. The emperor's messengers returned with full speed to tell him in full what they had seen and heard. This was done in the time of pope Leo IX, in the year of the Lord 1050.

After Henry, there reigned as king Phillip [I] who sired Louis the Fat and was killed by a pig. His successor was his brother [!] king Louis the Pious who sired Phillip Augustus.

Nevertheless, since we have briefly set out the genealogy of the kings , we may add the time in which the Christian kings began to reign, proving this according to the chronicles of Hidacius and Gregory of Tours, by the years of the Lord's incarnation. You should note that St. Martin bishop of Tours left this world for the Lord in the eleventh year of the emperor Arcadius, which is the 407th year of the Lord's incarnation. And from the passing of St. Martin to the passing of Clovis, first Christian king of the Franks, flowed 112 years. Therefore there flowed from the Lord's incarnation to the passing of Clovis 519 years; and from Clovis' passing to the seventh year of the reign of Phillip Augustus there flowed 667 years. It is thus clear that the seventh year of Phillip Augustus' reign is the year of the Lord's incarnation 1186.

A further proof of the same thing. In the time of Aiot, fourth judge of Israel, Troy was built and it stood 185 years. Troy was captured in the thirteenth year of Abdon, judge of Israel, who was twelfth after Joshua. And from the capture of Trot to the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ there flowed one thousand one hundred and seventy-six years, and from the incarnation of the Lord to the passing of St. Martin 445 [better 407 years as before?] years, and from the passing of St. Martin to the passing of Clovis 112 years. And from the capture of Troy to the beginning of the reign of Clovis flowed 1, 660 years. And note that Marcomirus began to reign in Gaul in the year of the Lord 376. So there flowed from that time to the sixth year of the reign of Phillip Augustus, king of the Franks, 810 years of the Lord's incarnation. We have thought to insert these things into our history without prejudice to others, since we believe that all the kings of the Franks have descended from this ancient root.

Deeds of the sixth year of the reign of king Phillip Augustus

40. In the year of the Lord's incarnation 1185, the 6th year of Phillip Augustus' reign, 21st of his age, in the middle of Lent, there was an earthquake in Gothis in the city called Uzès [March 20 1186]. And in the following month, April, on the ninth day, the vigils of Palm Sunday, there was a partial eclipse of the moon [April 5 1186]. And at the following Easter, Gerard, prévôt of "Pixiaco" added eleven thousand marks of silver from his own (patch) to the king's treasures and so left the court. Walter the chamberlain was put in his place.

On the abbot of St. Denis

41. At that time, William a "Vapincensis" by birth was ruling the church of St. Denis in a rather half-hearted manner. The most Christian king took this seriously and attempted to provide another ruler for the church. One day when the king was passing through the town of St. Denis on royal business, he descended on the abbey as one does on one's own chamber. When the abbot heard of the king's arrival, he was very scared (for the king was currently seeking a thousand marks of silver from him), so he assembled the brothers in the chapter house on a Saturday, the 6th Ides of May after noon, deposed himself and gave up the abbey. Most of the monks stayed there (in the chapter-house) with Hugh the venerable prior, but some deputed by the whole body went off to report to the king what had happened and seek from him a free election. The king with his usual generosity at once granted them a free license to make an election, asking and praying them in the most kindly manner to choose, in pursuance of God's lead and the king's own honor, without dissension or discord some honest person, tested in good morals, and appropriate to so famous a church, which is both the (corona) site for coronations for the kingdom of the Franks and the burial place of kings and emperors. The monks bore the king's orders back to the chapter house and at once, by God's provision, Hugh the venerable prior of the same house was unanimously chosen as abbot. The election was immediately confirmed by the most Christian king right there in the chapter house in the presence of clergy and people, on this condition added by royal prohibition, that he should not give or promise in the first flush of his promotion (in illa novitate seu promotione) any gift to anyone in the royal family, cleric or layman.

On the consecration of the abbot of St. Denis

42. Then the venerable Hugh abbot-elect of the church of St. Denis, judging his promotion to have been made by God alone and not by any human, and desiring to conserve the ancient dignity of the church of St. Denis in full, invited two venerable bishops, those of Meaux and Senlis, to celebrate his consecration (benedictionem) in the church. By the ancient regulations of the Roman Church, these two were bound each in turn to assist with the consecration of altars and the ordination of monks, especially the bishop of Meaux. That consecration was celebrated by the bishops in the church of St. Denis in the presence of 7 other abbots and a great crowd of clergy and people on the 15th kalends June, a Sunday.

On the messengers sent by the king of Hungary to the king

43. While these things were going on in France, Bela king of Hungary, Pannonia, Croatia, Avaria, Dalmatia, and "Rame" sent messngers to Phillip Augustus, the most Christian king of the Franks. The king of Hungary had heard that Henry (III) the young king of England, son of the king Henry (II) under whom Thomas bishop of Canterbury suffered glorious martyrdom at God's call, had been taken from our midst [ie died.]. He wanted most dearly to be joined in matrimony with the widow, Margaret by name, sister of Phillip king of France, on account both of the ancient dignity of the kings of the Franks and the queen's own wisdom and piety, of which he had learned from many reports. The king of Hungary's messengers now came to Paris and humbly presented his petition to king Phillip. He received the petition with kindness and summoned the archbishops, bishops and greater princes of the realm whose advice and wisdom he often and routinely used in doing his business. After due consultation with them, he granted his most beloved sister Margaret, former queen of England, to king Bela of Hungary as his legitimate wife, the bishops and abbots of the land handing her over honorably to the messengers. He lavished royal gifts quite adequately on these messengers and they returned rejoincing with the queen to Hungary. [English chroniclers tell a somewhat different story!]

On the death of Geoffrey, count of Britanny

44. At the same time as all this, it happened that the illustrious Geoffrey, count of Britanny, son of Henry (II) king of England, came to Paris and fell onto a bed of sickness. Phillip loved him very tenderly. When he heard of the illness, he summoned all the doctors dwelling in Paris at the time and ordered them to furnish all care and diligence they could to the count. Even so after a very few days of incessant labor by the doctors, on the 14th kalends September, he went the way of all flesh. [August 19 (or possibly 21) 1186. Geoffrey may have been preparing to defect to Phillip and do him homage for Britanny.] The citizens and knights of Paris guarded his body with honor and reverence in the church of St. Mary's [Notre Dame] until the king arrived, while the church's canons and clergy celebrated the funeral services most devotedly. The next day, the king came to Paris with Thibault, seneschal of France, and had his body preserved with aromatic herbs and buried in a lead sarcophagus before the great altar in the same church by the most reverend Maurice, bishop of Prais and an assembly of abbots, religious and clergy from all over the city.

On the institution of four prebends

45. Once the solemn burial rites were over, the most Christian king Phillip with count Thibault and count Henry and his mother the countess of Champagne and the former queen of England Margaret the king's sister (who had not yet been taken off by the Hungarians) returned to the palace. The king suffered severely from the death of so great a prince. To console him, the princes just mentioned and many others followed him back. But in receiving consolation from his friends, he frequently recalled to memory the dead man's most recent acts and turned his mind to works of piety and mercy, according to the accustomed generosity of his father, and so installed in perpetuity in the church of St. Mary just mentioned as where the count was buried, four priests for himself and the soul of his pious father Louis and for the soul of his beloved count of Britanny. He assigned from his own revenues sufficient rents for two of the priests, with the countess of Champagne and the chapter of St. Mary's promising to assign rents for the third and fourth priests.


46. At the beginning of the year of the Lord's incarnation 1187, in the sixth year of Phillip's reign, on the 8th kalends April, after the eleventh hour at night, there was an almost complete eclipse of the moon which was then in the eleventh degree of Libra, with the sun being in the eleventh degree of Aries and the dragon's head in the eleventh degree of Aries. Part of the moon was covered over by some misshapen little thing red in color, and that eclipse lasted for two hours. [March 26 1187, 4 a.m.]

On the circuit of the wall around the churchyard at Champeaux

47. Of the many good works of the most Christian king Phillip Augustus, we have thought only a few worthy of being written down for memory here. One day when king Phillip was in Paris, word came to his ears about the need to repair the cemetery in Champeaux by the church of the Holy. Innocents. This had always been a wide thoroughfare a route for anyone to pass by and a place to display goods for sale. Yet the citizens of Paris were accustomed to bury their dead there. But the bodies of the deceased could not decently be buried there because of the streams of rainwater and the great abundance of stinking mud. The most Christian king Phillip, constantly on the look-out for good works to do, therefore ordered the whole churchyard to be enclosed by a stone wall, eqipped with sufficient gates that it could always be kept closed at night against ambushes of those passing through. His considered view after pious thought was that a cemetery in which so many thoiusands of men lay buried should be kept absolutely clean by a posterity that feared God.

On the king's clothes assigned to the poor

48. There often gathers in the courts of kings and other princes a mob of performers (histrionum) out to extort from them gold, silver, horses or robes, which princes are accustomed to change very frequently. They vie with each other to put out full joking words for the various flatterers, and to be even more pleasing they do not blush to belch forth with puffed out cheeks whatever they can put together about the princes, all the alluring and charming stuff and the witty remarks designed to draw a laugh. We have seen on occasion certain princes who had been long devising their outfits most artfully decorated with different flower embroideries and had spent perhaps twenty or thirty marks of silver on them, and then scarcely a week later gave them to the performers, those servants of the Devil, at their very first request. For shame, when they could have provided twnety or thirty poor people with the their food and necessities for a whole year for the price of those clothes. But the most Christian king Phillip Augustus saw that all this kind of thing was vanity and contrary to the salvation of souls. Recalling at the prompting of the Holy Spirit what he had learnt at various times from holy and religious men, that to give to performers is the same as sacrificing to demons, in a most prompt decision he promised the Lord God that he would as long as he lived confer all his own robes on the poor. The giving of alms liberates everyone who practices it from all sin and exhibits to God their great faith. "I was naked", said the Lord, "and thou covered me up" [Mt., xxv. 36]. For it is better to clothe a naked Christian than to incur sin by giving robes to flatterers. If princes thought about these things each day, there would be a lot less lechers [ie people committing the sin of "luxuria" in various ways] running around the world. Let the lesser princes watch the merciful and pious king, contemplate his works, and learn piety and mercy from him, so that they may know for certain that judgement on him who practiced no mercy will be given without mercy.

On the astrologers' false prophesies on winds

49. In that same year, astrologers from East and West, Jews and Saracens and even Christians, sent letters through the various parts of the world, predicting and asserting without hesitation that there would be in the following September a tempest of great winds and an earthquake and a mortality of men and seditions and discords, shifts in political regimes and many other menacing things of this kind. But later events proved quite clearly different from what they had divined they would. The text of their letters ran like this:-

Their letters

"God knows and the reason (ratio) of the number demonstrates that in the year of the Lord1186 (numbered 582 by the Arabs) the planets both superior and inferior will gather in Libra during the month of September. In that same year a partial fire-colored solar eclipse will precede that conjunction at the first hour on the twenty-first day of April. A total eclipse of the moon will precede this on the fifth day of April, at the first hour of the night which precedes Wednesday. Thus in the aforesaid year, when the planets coincide in Libra and there is an airy and windy sign with the Dragon's tail there, there will occur an amazing earthquake especially in the regions where this is normal but this one will destroy places accustomed to earth movements and liable to sudden disaster. For a mighty and strong wind will arise from Western parts which will blacken the air and pollute it with a poisonous stench. From it mortality and sickness will overtake many while crashes and voices are heard in the air to terriofy the hearts of the men who hear them. And the wind will elevate sand and dust from the face of the earth and will cover up cities on the plains especially in desert areas, in the fifth zone (climate) that is. Mecca, "Balsara", Baghdad and Cairo will be completely destroyed with nothing left uncovered and the regions of Egypt and Ethiopia will be so destroyed with sand and dust as to become uninhabitable. And this calamity will stretch out from the West into Eastern parts. In Western areas, indeed, discord will arise, and there will be risings among the people, and there will be one among them who assembles infinite armies, and he will make war against the banks of the waters (facietque bellum secus ripas aquarum), in which there will be so great a massacre that the flood of blood will reach the height of the rising (tidal) waves. And it is known with certainty that this coming conjunction will bring about great changes in all kingdoms, excellence for the Franks, doubt and ignorance among the Jews, destruction for the Saracen people, greater piety and the maximum of exaltation for the law of Christ, and it will signify a better life for those to be born later, if God wills it." [This letter is also found in other contemporary chronicles including the crusading narrative Itinerarium Ricardi. The letter that follows is, however, known only from Rigord.]

Other letters from them

"The wise men of Egypt predicted the signs which would be in the time of agreement between all the planets and with the Dragon's tail with them in the sign of Moarnaim, in the month of Ellul; on the 29th day of the same month in the year 4946 from the beginning of the world according to the Hebrews, on a Sunday. On the next night at about midnight the following signs will begin and they will last until noon the following Wednesday. For there will arise from the great sea a most mighty wind, shattering the hearts of men, and it will raise so much sand and dust up from the face of the earth that it will cover up trees and towers. All this because that conjunction of the planets will be in Libra, in an airy and windy sign. And in the judgement of the wise men that conjunction means that a very strong wind that will smash mountains and rocks. And thunder cracks and voices will be heard in the air, striking terror into the hearts of men, and cities in the fifth zone will be covered with sand and dust. For that wind will begin in the Eastern corner, occupying all the cities of Egypt and Ethiopia, Mecca, "Balsara" and "Haleb" and "Sennaar" and the lands of the Arabs and the whole land of Elam, Rome, "Carmen", Segesta [Sicily?], and "Calla" and "Norozasatan" and "Chebil" and "Tanbrasten" and "Barach", because all those cities and regions are contained beneath the sign of Libra, even the lands of the Romans. And after the first shock, five wonders (miracula) will follow.

First, a man most wise in the alien arts (in sapientia forinseca), in the super-human wisdom, that is, will rise up from the East, and he will walk in the ways of justice and will teach the law of truth, and he will recall many from the shadows of ignorance and from unbelief to the way of truth, and he will teach to sinners the path of justice, and it is no exaggeration to say that he will be numbered among the prophets.

Secondly, there will come from Elam a man who will assemble many and strong armies and he will cause a great slaughter among the Gentiles, and he will not live long.

Thirdly, there will arise another man, claiming to be a prophet and holding a book in his hand, and he will say that he is sent by God. And by his prophecies and his preaching, he will cause many from the nations to go wrong and he will seduce very many. And what he prophesied to the nations will be turned against himself. And he too will not live long.

Fourthly, comets will be seen in the sky, that is stars with long hair or tails, an apparition that will signify completions and tumults and hard battles and droughts and the drying up of lands and fierce fighting and the shedding of blood in the land of the East, and by crossing the river Heber it will spread to the territories of the West. And the just and the true religious will be so oppressed and suffer such persecutions that the houses of prayer will be disturbed.

Fifthly, there will be so great an eclipse of the sun, fiery in color, that its whole body will be obscured, and there will be such darkness over the earth during the time of the eclipse as you usually find only around midnight on a rainy night when the moon is not out."

This should suffice for the present concerning letters of this kind. Let us now return to the deeds of the sixth year of the reign of Phillip Augustus.

Of the war between Phillip king of France and Henry king of England

50. In the same year as above, a quarrel arose between the most Christian king Phillip and king Henry (II) of England. King Phillip sought from Henry's son Richard (I), count of Poitou, personal homage for the whole county, and Richard under instructions from his father kept putting off doing this from day to day. Secondly, the same king Phillip sought from the king of England a castle called Gisors, and another castle close by which his own father, king Louis (VII), had handed over as dowry for Margaret his (Phillip's) sister, at the time when he joined her in matrimony to the illustrious king Henry, the older Henry's son [The young king Henry now dead.]. That dowry was granted to king Henry to possess during his lifetime on condition that it should devolve after his death to any offspring that came from the union. But if he did not receive an heir from Margaret, the dowry would revert without any argument to the king of France on [the young king] Henry's death. The king of England had frequently been summoned (formally to his court) by king Phillip concerning these matters, but had always raised false delays and put off standing to judgement of the [French] king's court. When the most Christian king Phillip saw the cunning tricks and dodges of the English king and shrewdly realized how damaging delay would be to him and his people, he decided to enter the lands of the king of England with an armed multitude.

Deeds of the seventh year of king Phillip of France

51. It happened in the seventh year of Phillip's reign, the twenty-second of his age (the year of the Lord's incarnation 1187) that king Phillip collected an innumerable army "in pago Bituricensi", and entered in strength the territory of Aquitaine, wasted that land took the castle called "Eisenoldum" and "Crazzacum" and destroyed many other fortifications and lands right up to Châteauroux. When they heard of this, Henry king of England and Richard count of Poitou collected a large army and dared to bring it to Châteauroux against the king of France their lord. For they wished if they could to chase away king Phillip and his army forcibly from the siege of Châteauroux. But instead they witnessed the constancy and great-heartedness of the Franks and found the castles prepared against them. King Phillip was indignant and had all his warriors set up a battle-line of fighting men against them. So in fear of the great-heartedness of king Phillip and the usual bravery of the Franks, they sent diligent and pious men with legates of the holy Roman church who had been sent to king Phillip at that time to restore peace to the parts of France. The messengers presented security and confirmed on behalf of the king of England and Richard his son that they would make full amends in all things concerning the whole dispute by judgement of the king of France's court. And when that was done and a truce declared, each went back to his own lands. [A two-year truce was concluded on June 23 1187. Richard broke this later.]

On the mercenary who struck an image of the Blessed Virgin

52. While the king was still besieging Châteauroux, there occurred another incident worth relating. One day Richard count of Poitou sent a multitude of mercenaries ["Coterellorum" can mean brigands] to aid Châteauroux. While there, they were deployed in front of the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and began to play dice with chips of mosaic. One of them, a son of iniquity full of the devil, burst out into blasphemies against the Blessed Virgin and God, because he was losing in an evil way the coins he had acquired by evil ways. He then raised his eyes in furious anger and and saw on the church porch an image of the most blessed virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus in her arms, in the way you often find sculpted in stone on churches to stir the memory and devotion of lay people (pro excitanda memoria seu devotione laicorum). When his eyes saw this, his grim look lightened, and (alas!) he redoubled his words of blasphemy at Our Lady and at God and then, this unhappy Judas in the sight of all threw at the image a stone which most vilely broke off the arm of the image of the child Jesus so that it fell to the ground. From the fracture point, as we have heard from many people who were present at the siege, blood flowed abundantly onto the ground; many bystanders collected this and with it earned cures from various sicknesses. John known as Lackland, the king of England's younger son, who had arrived there by chance sent by his father, carried off this bloody arm from the image in honor and reverence as a relic. But the unfortunate mercenary who had struck the image of the Blessed Virgin in so ignominious a fashion ended his life most wretchedly that very day, snatched by the demon who had previously been troubling him. The other mercenaries seing what had happened and crushed in fear, gave out praises to God who lets no crime go unpunished, and extolled the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, with immense praises, then left Châteauroux. The local monks saw miracles done there daily by God's power and so formally translated the image with hymns and prayers of praise inside the church, where many miracles are done to the present day to the honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On the messengers sent by the people of Jerusalem to the king of France

53. While these things were going on, messengers came from Outremer (de transmarinis partibus) to king Phillip and announced to him with groans and sighs that Saladin, king of Syria and Egypt, had because of the sins of the Christians invaded the Christian lands of Outremer, killed many thousand Christians in misery, cruelly put to the sword many Templars and Hospitallers with the bishops and barons of the land, taken the Holy Cross with the king of Jerusalem and within a few days of growing iniquity conquered the holy city of Jerusalem and the whole Promised Land, except for Tyre, Tripoli and Antioch and a few very strong castles which they could never have.

On the birth of Louis (VIII) son of Phillip Augustus

54. In the year of the Lord's incarnation 1187, on the fourth day of September, at the third hour, there was a partial solar eclipse in the eighteenth degree of the virgin that lasted two hours. On the next day, the fifth of September, Louis son of Phillip Augustus the renowned king of the Franks was born, on a Monday [actually Saturday!], at the eleventh hour of the day. The city of Paris where he was born was filled with such great joy by his birth that for seven days (and each night by the light of wax torches) the whole population of the city paying did not cease singing and dancing due praises to their creator. From the very hour of his birth, they sent out couriers through all the provinces to announce the joys of so great a king to strangers. They took immense pleasure in rejoicing and blessed with their praises the God who had deigned to raise up such a fine heir for the kingdom of the Franks.

On the frequent changes of popes

55. That same year, on the feast of St. Luke in October, pope Urban III migrated to the Lord after a year and a half on the papal throne. Gregory VIII succeeded him for a month and a half, and then in that same year there succeeded to him Clement III, a Roman by birth. [These details are not quite accurate. Urban's pontificate ran from November 25 1185 to October 20 1187, and Gergory VIII was elected October 21 and died December 17 1187.] And note that so frequent a change of popes could happen for no reason other than because of their sins and the disobedience of subjects unwilling to return through the grace of God. For concerning Babylon, i.e. the confusion of sinners, nobody comes back by his own strength or knowledge unless more is bestowed upon him to help him leave. (De Babylone enim, id est, de confusione peccatorum, nemo suis viribus aut scientia revertitur, nisi exeundi gratia desuper ei largiatur.) For the world grows old, it grows old with the whole exercise of its government (regiminis usus) and it declines into old age, and it slips back as if in a repeat of childhood, so that the flow (profluvium) of its will flows forth in everything. Note too that from the same year of the Lord when the Lord's Cross was captured by that same Saladin in Outremer, babies born from that time had only 22 teeth or even 20 when they used to have 30 or 32.

That at the prompting of God king Phillip and Henry king of England took crosses

56. At the celebration of the feast of St. Hilary on January 13th a conference was held between the king of France Phillip and Henry king of England, between "Tria" [Trie-Château, Oise or Triel-sur-Seine, Seine et Oise?] and Gisors, where it came about, by the Lord's miraculous workings and against everyone's expectations, those two kings by the secret inspiration of the Holy Spirit assumed the sign of the holy cross in the same place for the liberation of the Lord's holy sepulcher and of the holy city of Jerusalem, and many archbishops, bishops and counts, dukes and barons with them. Among them were Walter, archbishop of Rouen, Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Beauvais and Chartres, the duke of Burgundy, Richard count of Poitou, Phillip count of Flanders, Thibault count of Blois, Rotrou count of La Perhce, Guillaume des Barres count of Rochefort, Henry count of Champagne, Robert count of Dreux, the counts of Clermont Beaumont, Soissons, Bar, Bernard of St. Valèry, Jacques d'Avesne, the count of Nevers, Guillaume de Merlot and many others inflamed with God 's zeal whose names would be too long to list here. And the two kings piously erected in the same place a stone cross in memory of this deed and founded a church there, striking a perpetual alliance between them and calling the place "The Holy Field" because they were signed with the holy crosses there. And they assigned adequate rents for two priests to serve the Lord there, as we have learnt by the report of many, and granted the church with everything belonging to it to the nuns of Fontevrault to hold in perpetuity.

The deeds of the eighth year of the reign of Phillip king of the Franks

57. In the year of the Lord 1188, in the month of March, the middle of Lent, king Phillip celebrated a general council at Paris, to which he summoned all the archbishops, bishops, abbots and barons of the whole realm. At it an innumerable multitude of knights and footsoldiers were signed with the most sacred cross. And on account of the emergency (for the king aspired to make the Jerusalem journey from the city), he decreed with the assent of clergy and people that certain tithes were to be taken from everyone, called the Saladin Tithes and which we have placed in the present book.

The text of the (Saladin) Tithes

58. In the name of the holy and individual Trinity, amen. It has been enacted by the lord Phillip king of the Franks, with the counsel of the archbishops, bishops and barons of his land, that the bishops and prelates and clergy of the conventual churches and the knights who have taken the cross will have a respite for the repayment of the debts owed both to Jews and to Christians before the king took the cross for two years from the first All Souls day after the king leaves (for Jerusalem. Thus creditors will have a third of their debt on that first All Souls day, another third of the debt the next All Souls day and the final third on the third feast of All Souls. Moreover usury will not run against anyone from the day he took the cross for any debts previously contracted.

If any knight bearing the cross should be a legitimate heir, the son or son-in-law of some knight who does not bear the cross or of some widow, and he belong to the mainpast n1 of his father or mother, his father or mother is to enjoy respite concerning his debt according to the ordinance just made.

But if their son or son-in-law be a forisfamiliated legitimate heir,n2 also if he is not yet knighted and is not bearing the cross, he [the father] shall not enjoy a respite on his [the son's] account.

Further, debtors who will have lands and rents within the fortnight before the feast of St. John the Baptist, will assign to their creditors, through the lords under whose lordship the indebted lands were, lands and rents from which the creditors will receive their debts at the aforesaid terms. And the lords may not oppose these assignments, unless they are prepared to satisfy the creditor for his money (de pecunia sua pacem fecerint).

If any cleric or knight bearing the cross owes a debt to another cleric or knight also bearing the cross, he shall have a respite for it until the next feast of All Souls, providing indeed he gives good security for that adjournment.

If any of those who took the cross eight days before the Purification of St. Mary or thereafter assigns any gold or silver, or grain, or any other moveable as a gage, the creditor is not to be compelled to give a respite for this.

If anyone buys from anyone else who does not bear the cross one year's fruits of any lands at a fixed price, that deal is to stand.

If any knight or cleric gages or leases for a term of years his land or rent to any burgess also bearing the cross, or to a cleric or knight who does not bear the cross, the debtor will receive this year's fruits or rent and the creditor, once the term of years for which he ought to hold the gage or assignment is over, will hold for one extra year to compensate him for the year he lost (at the start). The creditor is to receive half of the grain for that year for cultivation [as seed?], providing he has cultivated the lands or vineyards.

All deals (mercata) made from the week before the Purification of St. Mary or thereafter are valid.

Debtors are to give concerning all debts for which respite has been granted a good surety (fidejussionem) equal to or better than the one he had given previously. And if any dispute should arise concerning this surety, a surety arrangement as good as before or better will be made by the counsel og the lord under whom the creditor is; and if this arrangement is not satisfactorily adjusted by the lord, it should be amended by the counsel of the prince of the land.

Should any of the lords or princes in whose jurisdiction the said creditors and debtors were be unwilling to uphold or cause to be not upheld what was ordained concerning the respite of the debts and the making of (financial) assignments, and he is warned by his metropolitan or bishop, and does not remedy the situation within forty days, he may then be placed by the same (bishop) under sentence of excommunication. Nevertheless, so long as the lord is willing to plead in the presence of his metropolitan or bishop that he did not default towards the creditor, or even the debtor, and that he is prepared to uphold what was ordained, the metropolitan or bishop may not excommunicate him.

Nobody bearing the cross, whether cleric or knight or anyone else, should have to make answer to any claim for anything that he held on the day he took the cross until he returns from the journey (itinere = crusade) he has undertaken, the sole exception being a suit begun against him before he took the cross.

More of the same

59. It was enacted especially concerning these tithes that all who do not bear the cross, whoever they may be, give in this year at least a tenth of all their movable goods and rents, except for as much property as belongs to members of the Cistercian and Carthusian orders and the order of Fontevrault, and except for lepers.

Nobody is to lay a hand upon any communal property (communia = property owned by religious houses etc.?) unless he is its lord. He will then have only such right in the communal property as anyone had had previously.n3

Anyone exercising "haute justice" (qui...magnam justiciam habet) over the lands of another will have the tithe of the same lands. And note that the person from whom tithes are due is to give tithes from all his movable property and rents, with no exception allowed for his debts contracted previously. Rather, he may pay his debts with what remains after the grant of the tithes.

All laymen, knights as well as others, are to give tithes after swearing an oath under threat of anathema, clerics to be constrained by threat of excommunication.

Any knight not bearing the cross is to give the tithe from his movable property to the lord who does bear the cross and from any fee which he holds of him. If he should hold no fee from him, he is to give a tithe of his movable property to his liege lord. He is to give a tithe from each fee to the lord from whom he holds it. Should he have no liege lord, he is to give the tithe of his movable property to the one on whose he fee he actually lives (in cujus feodo manserit levans et cubans).

If anyone collecting his tithe finds on his lands, property belonging to someone other than those from whom he ought to be taking tithe, and that person can show that the things are his, he may not retain them as tithe.

Any knight bearing the cross who is a legitimate heir, the son or son-in-law of a knight who does not bear the cross or of a widow, he is to have the tithe of father or mother.

No-one is to set hand on the property of archbishops or bishops or (cathedral) chapters or of churches held directly of them (que ab eis movent in capite), except the archbishops, bishops, chapters and the churches held of them. If it is the bishops, they are to collect the tithes and give them to whoever they ought to give them.

Anyone bearing the cross who ought to pay "taille"n4 and tithes and is unwilling to do so, let them be taken from him to the person to whom he owes his "taille" and tithes for him to do with as he wills. No-one can be excommunicated for taking this.

On the breach of treaty committed by count Richard

60. Two or three months after these things were done, between Whitsun and the feast of St. John's [June 5-24, 1188], Richard count of Poitou assembled an army, entered the lands which the count of Toulouse held from the king of the Franks, and took Moissac and other castles belonging to the count of Toulouse. When Raymond, count of Toulouse heard of this, he sent messengers to the most Christian king Phillip, to report all the evil things done to him by the count of Poitou against right and the treaty which had existed before. For count Richard had broken the pact made and confirmed on oath the year before between Chaumont and Gisors between Phillip king of the Franks and Henry king of England with the same Richard. It ran like this: that their lands should remain in the state they were when the kings had taken the cross, until each of them returned home joyfully after performing the Lord's service across the sea in the Holy Land. When king Phillip "semper Augustus" heard about the breach of the treaty which the two above-mentioned kings had struck between themselves, he was much moved and so collected a multitude of armed men and swiftly entered their lands to take Châteauroux and "Busenzacum" and "Argentonum" and besieged a fourth one called "Leurosium". It was while the king was there for a short stay during the siege that something happened worthy of memory.

On the miraculous growth of a torrent

61. There was a torrent before this castle in which you would find sufficient water after heavy rains but which was now all dried up from the boiling heat of summer. But when the king and his whole army were deeply afflicted with thirst and lack of water (for it was summer), the water of the torrent suddenly and miraculously burst forth, without any rain, from the deep bowels of the earth so that its level reached the horses' harness enough to revive the whole army with their animals. The populace, seeing this and bowled over by joy at so great a miracle, praised God who did everything he wished in the sea and in every abyss. And the water lasted as long as the king was at the siege. After a few days he took the castle, "Leurosium", and granted it to his kinsman, Louis son of count Thibaut. Once he went away, the waters returned to their previous place and did not appear again.

On the total demolition of "Monte Tricardo"

62. After leaving there they came to besiege "Mont Tricard", where the king stayed a while on siege, erecting machines all round it until he took it with the greatest labor, set the whole town on fire and totally demolished the very strong keep in which there had been fifty armed knights. He then took "Paluellum" and "Montesorium" and "Castelletum", and "Rupem Guillebaldi" and "Cullencem" and "Montem Luzzonis" and king Phillip subjugated to himself whatever right the king of England had in "Bituria" and Auvergne. The king of England was much angered when he saw this, and marched his army back through the march of Normandy towards Gisors. Phillip king of France followed him as soon as he heard the news, took "Vindocinum" on the way and pursued the king right up the castle called "Trou" from which he ejected in shame the king of England along with his son Richard and burnt the whole town. But the king of England then passed through theat march and burnt the castle of "Drocarum" and on the route destroyed many rural villages right up to Gisors. Things finally quietened down with the arrival of winter when each granted the other a truce.

That count Richard of Poitou did homage to king Phillip

63. While these things were going on, Richard count of Poitou requested from his father the wife rightfully due to him, the sister of Phillip king of the Franks who had been handed over into his custody by Louis of good memeory, and with her he requested the kingdom. For so it was in the agreements, that whichever of the sons of the king of England had her as his wife should have the kingdom after the king's death. Richard said that she was rightfully his, since he was the eldest now that his brother Henry was dead. The king of England was very disturbed to hear this and determined that no way would he do this. This so upset Richard, count of Poitou, that he ostentatiously left his father, transferred himself to the most Christian king of the Franks and in the presence of his father did homage to king Phillip and affirmed the pact under oath. [November 18 1188, between Bonmoulins and Soligny.]

Some incidentals

64. In the same year 1188, the second day of February, a Thursday, there was a total eclipse of the moon which lasted three hours from the fourth hour of the night. [Actual date February 3 1189.] Again on the fourth ides of February, while I was at Argenteuil [Seine-et-Oise], on the very calm night of a full moon just before dawn, the Moon (which signifies the Church) descended to earth for a moment, and after a tiny stay as if to recover its strength rose up again back to the place from which it had started. This was seen by brothers R. de Gisors, prior of the house, and J. of Chartres, treasurer (capicerius) of Saint-Denis, and many other monks who reported it to us.

Some anonymous verses

65. Some almost prophetic verses were made in the same year about king Phillip by a certain versifier:

"That little lion will shine with the luster of his kin
He will serve God until he renews the joys of his people.
Brutus keeps for him the four swords of the Catuli;
Answer will be dumb, when Romulus hears the swords.
Babylon will rejoice, its citizens flourishing from their anointing (?),
And Silon will rejoice, rich from the offerings of the Gauls.
That lion will destroy the zones of the whole world,
And he will rejoice to see arms put away.
Here the lion, crow, sheep, will renew the fortifications of "Jebus",
And will increase the fasts by five new days.

[Note: These ten lines of eulogistic rhyming couplets are quite beyond my current powers of translation! But the crude rendering above may give some idea of Rigord's intent.]

1. Household, in the sense that the head of the household might be held responsible for him.

2. ie has received a share of the inheritance in his father's lifetime, for example on marriage.

3. This may be a comment on the controverted rights exercised by secular lords as advocates of religious houses.

4. "Tallia" is tallage or aid, a customary, often arbitrary payment.

Deeds of the ninth year of Phillip king of the Franks

66. In the year of the Lord 1189, in the month of May, king Phillip "semper Augustus" marched his army to Nogent and there captured La Ferté-Bernard [Sarthe] with four other very strong castles and took with a mighty hand the very strong city of Le Mans, out of which he chased with a fair degree of disgrace Henry king of England with 700 armed knights.n1 He then turned in pursuit with a select group of warriors to the castle of Chinon, a very powerful and well fortified keep, which he took with much labor thanks to the miners he had brought with him undermining the wall. A few days later, he led his army off towards the city of Tours and pitched tents there on the banks of the Loire. The king on his own then examined the river and, by prodding the waters with a lance, something unheard of by laymen (a seculis), found a ford, placed markers in the river on left and right so that the whole army could ford it between the two lines of markers after him, and was himself first to cross the Loire before anyone else. The whole army seeing the diminution of the waters (which happened miraculously in a moment) at once pulled up their stakes, struck their tents, and all from the least to the greatest followed the king across the ford. When all had gathered with their equipment and utensils, the waters of the river reverted to their previous state! The citizens of Tours were afraid of the king when they saw this. And this happened on the eve of St. John the Baptist [June 23].While the king was surveying the city's fortifications, his camp-followers (ribaldi) accustomed to be the first to charge battlements, seeing what he was doing, mounted an improvised assault, scaled the walls with ladders and took the city. When the king heard of this, he and the whole army received the city complete, placed a garrison (custodes) over it, and gave solemn thanks to God for several days there.

Of the death of Henry king of England

67. Twelve days later, on the octave of the apostles Peter and Paul, Henry king of England died at Chinon. [July 6 1189] He had been quite successful up to the times of Phillip king of the Franks, whom the Lord placed in his mouth as a bridle (or curb)n2 in vengeance for the blood of the blessed Thomas of Canterbury, so that through this harassment He should give him understanding and bring him back into the bosom of Mother Church. He was buried at Fontevrault in the nunnery. He was succeeded by his son, Richard count of the Poitevins. At Richard's first entry into Gisors the same year the whole castle burnt down; on his departure from that castle the next day the wooden bridge broke under his feet, so that, though all his companions crossed safely, Richard fell with his horse into the moat. A few days later [July 22 at Gisors] the peace which had been negotiated between king Phillip and king Henry (now taken from our midst) was perfected and completed. King Phillip then for the good of peace returned to Richard king of England the city of Tours and Le Mans and even Châteauroux with its whole fee. For this, king Richard renounced (quitavit) in perpetuity to Phillip king of the Franks the whole fee attached to "Crazzacum" and all the fees attached to "Eisenoldum" and all those which he had in Auvergne.

Of the death of the queen, wife to king Phillip

68. In that same year 1189, the tenth of Phillip's reign, on the ides of March, , queen Elizabeth, wife of Phillip king of the Franks died [March 15 1190, in childbirth]and was buried in the church of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in Paris [Notre Dame]. Maurice the venerable bishop of Paris erected an altar in the same church to her memory, and the most Christian king "semper Augustus" at the urging of his piety established there in perpetuity for the remedy of her soul and those of all her predecessors two priests, to each of whom he assigned each year for ever fifteen pounds Parisn3 for their food.

That king Phillip received in the church of Saint-Denis the staff and scrip (sporta) of pilgrimage

69. In the year of the Lord 1190, on the feast of St. John the Baptist, came to the church of the blessed martyr Denis with the greatest company to receive license. For the kings of the Franks had been accustomed of old that, whenever they took up arms against their enemies, they carried with them the banner from the altar of the Blessed Denis for their safety and protection and placed it in the first rank of the fighting.n4 Oftentimes, when their opponents saw this and recognized it, they were terrified and turned tail. The most Christian king therefore humbly prostrated himself in prayer on the marble pavement before the bodies of the holy martyrs Denis, Rusticus and Eleutherius, and commended himself to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy martyrs and all the saints. When at length he arose tearfully from his prayers, he received with great devotion the pilgrim's scrip and staffn5 from the hand of William, archbishop of Rheims, his uncle and legate of the apostolic see. He then accepted with own hands standing on the bodies of the saints (?) two exceedingly fine silk battle standards and two great banners properly embroidered with orphrey crossesn6 Finally commending himself to the prayers of the monks, he accepted the benediction of the key and the Crown of Thorns and the arm of St. Simeon, and left reaching Vezelay with king Richard on the Wednesday after the octave of St. John the Baptist. [July 4] There he received the license of all his barons, he entrusted the custody of the whole kingdom of the Franks along with his most beloved son Louis to his very dear mother Adela and his uncle William, archbishop of Rheims. A few days later he came to Genoa where he had ships and all the necessary supplies and utensils most carefully prepared. Richard king of England set sail from Marseille with all his men. Thus the said catholic kings committed themselves to the winds and sea to defend holy Christianity and for love of our Lord Jesus Christ and came to Messina despite many and great dangers.

[Phillip's testament and regency arrangements]

70. Before king Phillip left the kingdom of the Franks, however, he summoned his friends and intimates to Paris and drew up a testament and ordinance for the whole realm in the following words:

In the name of the holy and individual Trinity, amen. Phillip by the grace of God, king of the Franks. The royal office exists to provide for the needs of subjects by all means and to place the public before (the king's) private interest. Since, therefore, we have embraced with deep desire a vow for our pilgrimage to aid the Holy Land with all our strength, we have decided on the counsel of the Most High to set down how the necessary business of the kingdom should be managed in our absence and to make final dispositions for our life in case we should we end it on the way.

In the first place, we order that our baillis through the prévôts in our (potestatibus) place four prudent men, lawful and of good reputation, without whose counsel (or as a minimum that of two of them) the business of each town is not to be carried on, except that we appoint six trustworthy and lawful men for Paris whose names are these, T[hibaud le Riche], A[thon de la Grève], E[brouin le Changeur], R[obert de Chartres], B[audoin Bruneau?] and N[icolas Boisseau].

And we have placed in our lands which are specified by name baillis, who are to fix each month in their bailliage [bailiwick] one day to be called an assize, on which all those who put forward a complaint (clamorem) are to receive their right through them (the baillis) and to get justice without delay, and we too are to get our rights and our justice. The fines (forefacta) which are our own are to be registered (scribentur) there.

In addition we will and command that our most dear mother, queen A., with our dearest uncle and faithful vassal William, archbishop of Rheims shall fix a day once every four months, on which they will hear the complaints of the men of our realm in Paris and determine them to the honor of God and in the interests of the realm.

We command too that on that day there be before them from each of our vills the baillis who will hold the assizes, so that they may report in their presence on the business of our land.

If, moreover, any of our baillis should err (deliquerit), otherwise than by murder or rape or homicide or treason, and this is established as fact by the archbishop and queen and by the others who are present to hear the misdeeds (forefacta) of our baillis, we command them to inform us by letters each year and three times a year which bailli has so erred, what he did, what he received and from whom, whether money or gift or service, on account of which our men lost their right or we lost ours.

Our baillis shall similarly inform us concerning our prévôts.

The queen and the archbishop may only remove our baillis from their bailliages for murder or rape or homicide or treason. Nor can the baillis remove the prévôts except for one of those offenses. But we shall by God's counsel take on them such retribution, after the aforesaid men have reported to us the truth of the matter, as should reasonably deter others.

The queen and the archbishop shall similarly inform us on the state of our realm and its business three times a year.

Should any royal episcopal see or abbey chance to fall vacant, we will that the canons of the vacant church or the monks of the vacant monastery come before the queen and the archbishop, as they might have come before us, and seek from them a free election, and we sill that they grant them this without argument (sine contradictione). But we warn the both canons and monks to choose the kind of shepherd who will please God and be helpful (utilis) to the realm. The queen and the archbishop are to hold the regalia in their hand in the meantime, until the elect is consecrated or receives benediction and the regalia are then to be rendered up to him without argument.

We command in addition that should any prebends or ecclesiastical benefice fall vacant when the regalia come into our hand, the queen and archbishop should confer them on decent and literate men, as they best and most decently can on the advice of Brother Bernard, saving however any grants of ours which we have made to anyone by our letters patent.

We also prohibit all prelates of churches and our men from giving any taille or other arbitrary exaction (toltam) while we are on God's service. And if the Lord God should do his will on us and we happen to die, we most strictly prohibit all the men of our land, both clergy and laity, from giving any taille or other arbitrary exaction until our son (whom may God deign to keep safe and sound for His service!) reaches by the grace of the Holy Spirit an age when he is capable of ruling the realm.

Moreover, if anyone wishes to make war on our son and the rents that he has are inadequate, then all our men are to aid him with their bodies and goods (averis), and the churches are to give such aid to him as they were accustomed to give to us.

In addition we prohibit our prévôts and baillis from arresting any man or his movable goods, so long as he is willing to give good sureties (fidejussores) that he will pursue justice in our court, except for homicide or rape or treason.

We command besides that all our rents and services and offerings (obventiones) are to be carried to Paris at three dates: first on the feast of St. Rémi, secondly on the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, thirdly at Ascension. And all is to be handed over to our aforesaid burgesses and to P. the marshal. If any of them happen to die, G. de Garlande will substitute another in his place.

Adam our clerk is to be present at receptions of movable goods (averi) and to register them. And each [of the ministers named earlier?] is to have every key for each chest in which our treasure (averum) is placed in the Temple, and one (to the) Temple (itself).From this treasure as much is to be sent to us as we order in our letters.

If we happen to die on the road, we command that the queen and the archbishop and the bishop of Paris and the abbots of Saint-Victorn7 and Vaux-de-Cernay and Brother B.n8 should divide our treasure (thesaurum) into two parts. They should distribute one half to repair those churches which have been destroyed through our wars (guerras), so that God's service may be done in them. From the same half, they are to give to those who were ruined by our taxes (tallias) and give what remains to whomever they wish, those whom they believe to have done the most for the remedy of our soul and that of our father king Louis and of our ancestors. Concerning the other half, we command the keepers of our treasure (averi) and the all the men of Paris that they keep it for the use of our son until he come of an age when with God's counsel and his own good sense (sensus suo) he is capable of ruling the realm.

But if both we and our son happen to die, we then command that our treasure (averum) be distributed by the hand of aforesaid seven men at their judgement for our soul and that of our son. We wish that, as soon as there is certainty about our death, our treasure (averum) be carried to the bishop of Paris' house and kept there and that what we have disposed be later carried out on it.

We also command the queen and archbishop to retain all vacant honors in our gift, such as our abbeys and deaneries and certain other dignities, which they can decently do, and hold them in their hand until we return from God's service. And they should grant and assign those they cannot retain according to God and by the counsel of Brother B. and do this to the honor of God and the utility of the realm. If, however, we die on the road, we wish that they give the honors and dignities to those who seem more worthy.

We have commanded that the present document be confirmed with the authority of our seal and the monogram (karactere) of the royal name appended below.n9 Done at Paris in the year of the incarnate word 1190, the eleventh of our reign, in the presence of those whose names are placed below, and with the seals of count Thibault our seneschal (dapiferi), Guy the butler, Matthew the chancellor, Raoul the constable. While the chancery was vacant ...

1. June 12 1189.

2. It has been suggested that this phrase of Rigord's was the source of a later tradition in France that Henry II died by being strangled with his own hands and his bridle!

3. The pound (livre) was, like other units of money, in origin a measure of weight, usually the weight of silver pennies. The standard differed from one area to the next. The diffusion and influence of the pound of Paris is not to be under-estimated as a symbol of Capetian prestige. England, by contrast, had long enjoyed a single standard, the pound sterling.

4. This is the famous Oriflamme".

5. The scrip is a traveler's wallet or purse, which was, along with the staff and the badge of the target shrine, at the time an instantly recognizable symbol of pilgrimage.

6. Orphrey is embroidery with gold thread as used mostly to decorate ecclesiastical vestments.

7. This is the famous Brother Guérin.

8. This was Bernard de Bré (or Boschiac or Coudray), a monk of Grandmont, Corrector of the Bonshommes of Vincennes, mentioned more than once above, and one of Phillip's most influential advisers.

9. Rigord appears to have added a facsimile of this monogram to his text, copied into our manuscript.

[Deeds of Phillip Augustus 1190-91]

71. He also commanded the citizens of Paris that the city of Paris, which the king much loved, should be most carefully enclosed by a fine wall properly fitted with turrets and gates. We have seen this completed in a short space of time. And he ordered the same thing to be done in other cities and castles throughout the kingdom.

72. Now we return to those things that were done at Messina between the two kings aforementioned and how they behaved themselves in foreign parts.

When king Phillip came to Messina in the month of August [actually September 16], he was received with honor in the palace of king Tancred who gave him of his victuals in abundance and would have given him an infinite sum of gold to marry one of his daughters to his son Louis (VIII). But king Phillip, on account of the friendship in which he held the emperor Henry (VI), refrained from a marriage with any of them. Later a dispute which the king of England had over the dowry of his sister with king Tancred was settled in this manner: the king of England had 40, 000 ounces of gold from king Tancred, of which king Phillip had a third, where he ought to have had half, but contented himself with the third for the good of peace. Some noblemen swore also on the king of England's part that one of king Tancred's daughters would be for Arthur, future duke of Brittany. Phillip king of the Franks then celebrated Christmas at Messina and gave many and great gifts to the poor knights, who had lost their goods at sea when a storm blew up: 1, 000 marks to the duke of Burgundy, 600 to the count of Nevers, 400 to Guillaume de Barris, 400 ounces of gold to Guillaume de Mello, 300 to the bishop of Chartres, 300 to M. de Montmorency, 200 to Dreux [de Mello] and 200 to many others, whose names it would take too long to put here. Whatever goods were found for sale there at that time were very dear. A sester of wheat cost 24 Angevin sous, of barley 18 sous, of wine 15 sous, a chicken 12 pennies. King Phillip therefore sent to the king and queen of Hungary to help provision him. Later he sent to the emperor of Constantinople to give aid to the Holy Land and if the king should by God's will return through the emperor's land that the emperor should grant safe passage and the king give him good security for his peaceful entry and exit.

73. A few days later, the king of the Franks formally demanded that the king of England to prepare to sail in mid-March and cross the sea with him. He responded, however, that he could not cross until August. The king of the Franks then sent again and summoned (commonuit) him as his man, that he should cross the sea with him as he had sworn to him and, if he wished, marry the daughter of the king of Navarre, whom the king of England's mother had brought there. But if he was unwilling to cross, he should marry his (Phillip's) sister, as he was bound by oath to do. The king of England flatly refused to do one or the other. The king of the Franks then demanded that those who were bound to him by this oath should carry out what they had sworn. But G. de Ranchon and the vicomte of Châteaudun, answering on behalf of all, conceded what they had sworn to do and sais they would go with him whenever he wished. The king of England was extremely angry about this and swore to disinherit them, which subsequent events proved to be the case. And from this time on there arose discords and envy (invidie) and enmities between the two kings.

74. Phillip king of the Franks desiring greatly to complete the journey he had begun, set to sea in the month of March, reached Acre with all his things after a few days of favorable winds on the eve of Easter, and was received with the greatest joy as if he were an angel of the Lord, with hymns and songs of praise and much shedding of tears, by the whole army which had been besieging Acre for a long time. He at once had his house (domus) made close to the walls of the city and pitched tents at which the enemies of Christ sent missiles with their catapults and arrows with their bows, right up to that house and often beyond it. But later, once he had erected his petraries and mangonels and other engines, he broke so much of the city walls before the arrival of the king of England that the only thing lacking to take the city was the (final) assault. For the king of the Franks was unwilling to assault the city in the absence of the king of England. As soon as the king arrived, the king of the Franks spoke to him to tell him that all were of a single will, to make the assault. The king of England, speaking heart to heart in corde et corde loquens), took counsel how to make the assault and send all whom he could have. King Phillip wanted to start the assault first thing the next day. But the king of England would not permit his men to leave and forbade the Pisans, with whom he had a sworn agreement, to assault, and so the assault failed.n1 Later still, after consultation with both sides, spokesmen (dictatores) were chosen for each side, wise and honest men by whose judgement and counsel the whole army was to be governed. The two kings promised and swore by the faith that they owed to God and his pilgrimage that they would do whatever the two spokesmen said. The two arbiters said that the king of England should send his men into the assault, and place guards at the barriers and have mangonels and other engines raised up, because the king of the Franks did all these things. He refused this, so king Phillip re;eased his own men from the oath which he had made about the government of the army.

75. While the king of England and his men were coming by sea, they passed through the island of Cyprus and took it with their emperor and his daughter and they carried off all their treasures. But eventually, they left the island well fortified with their men, committed their sails to the wind and met up with an amazingly well fortified ship of Saladin's coming to the aid of the city and carrying innumerable glass vessels filled with Greek fire, 50 balistae and a vast abundance of bows and other arms. And in her were some very strong warriors who were all killed by the king of England and his men, and the ship itself was destroyed. Our men took at Tyre another of Saladin's ships, coming to the aid of city of Acre but unable to find a wind, in which there was an abundance of arms and few men.

76. That same year, Frederick the most Christian emperor of the Romans and Germans was on his way to Outremer with his son, the duke of Bohemia, and all his army, when he went the way of all flesh between the city of Nicea in Bithynia and Antioch, leaving his whole army with his son, the duke of Bohemia. [June 10 1191] He escaped from the land of the Turks with but few men, came with them to Acre and ended his natural life there. The emperor Frederick's successor was his son Henry, a man valiant in deeds and brave in the face of the enemy, generous and munificent to all who came before him.

In the year of the Lord 1191, the 15th kalends of May, pope Clement (III) died after two years and five months on the throne, and his successor was Celestine (III) a Roman by birth.n2

That same year in the months of June, July and August, the air was so intemperate because of the large amount of rain that the standing corn germinated into ears and puffballs out in the fields before it could be harvested.

Again that same year, on June 23rd, the ev of St. John the Baptists's, while the kings were besieging Acre, there was a solar eclipse in the seventh degree of Cancer, while the moon was in the sixth degree of the same sign and the Dragon's tail in the twelfth, and it lasted for four hours.

77. Next month, the 10th kalends of August, Louis the son of king Phillip took sick with a most serious illness which was called dysentery by the doctors. Everybody despaired of his life. It therefore came about by common counsel that the sacred convent of Saint-Denis, after devout fasts and prayer, came in procession barefooted to the church of Saint-Lazare near Paris, carrying with them the key and the Lord's crown of thorns and the arm of the old saint Simeon, with clergy and people pouring out tearful prayers. When these prayers were over and had been followed by an offering from the people, all the religious houses of Paris and the venerable Maurice bishop of Paris with his canons and clerks and an innumerable crowd of students and people from the schools (scholarium et populi) bearing with them the bodies and relics of the saints, came to meet them, the soles of their feet bare, weeping and crying, and joining together in singing with more tears and many sighs, they reached the royal palace where the sick boy was. After a sermon to the people with a great deal more tears shed, and prayers poured out to the Lord on his behalf, the boy's belly was touched all over by the key and the crown of thorns and the arm placed on it in the form of a cross, and he was liberated that very day from imminent danger. And his father, king Phillip, too was cured from a similar sickness on the same day in Outremer. Then, after the boy Louis had kissed the relics and received benediction, all the processions came to the church of St. Mary [Notre Dame] where they gave forth hymns of prasie and offerings to the Lord, joined up with many other processions and led the convent of Saint-Denis with more hymns and songs of praise and much other action of graces to the Lord right up to the entrance to the town. There they blessed each other on the relics and each went back to his home. The canons of Notre-Dame indeed returned rejoicing with the people that the relics of the Blessed Denis had been brought to Paris in their time, for it is not known from any writing that they had ever been brought outside the town of St. Denis for any imminent danger before that time. Nor ought we to pass over in silence the fact that on the same day clear air and weather was restored to all lands. For the Lord had long rained on the earth because of the sins of men.

78. That same year, the bishop of Liège in flight from the emperor Henry (VI) stayed briefly at Rheims and was honorably received by William, archbishop of Rheims and, once all the necessaries were adequately prepared, put up in his own home. A few days later, however, at the Devil's prompting, some knights, but flunkeys of Satan, were sent to the bishop of Liège by the emperor. The bishop, a gentle and kind man, received them honorably and invited them to his table as one would friends and household members. For they told him that they had been unjustly disinherited by the emperor, but they were speaking with cunning and deceit in their hearts (in corde et corde); for they had conceived a deceit and then at once perpetrated an iniquity [Job, xv. 35]. Some days later they took the bishop outside the city for a walk and unsheathing their swords they most vilely killed the Lord's anointed, because he had been canonically elected and consecrated against the emperor's will.n3 Then taking flight, they returned again at top speed to the emperor.

79. The same year the pious and merciful count Thibauld, seneschal to the king of the Franks, the count of Clermont, the count of La Perche, the duke of Burgundy and Phillip count of Flanders all by God's summons entered the way of all flesh at the siege of Acre.n4 The count of Flanders' lands passed to his nephew Baldwin, son of the count of Hainault and later made emperor of Constantinople, because he had no other heir.

80. On the 8th kalends in the same year, the bodies of the most blessed martyrs Denis, Rusticus and Eleutherius with the vessels of the purest silver in which they were contained were sealed, taken out and placed upon the altar on the counsel of the Lord G., archbishop of Rheims and of Queen Adela and of all the bishops. There were placed with them there the bodies of other saints resting in the same church, in order that all the believers (fideles) assembled for so holy a spectacle might with groans and sighs for the liberation of the Holy Land, for the king of the Franks and his whole following, pour out prayers to the Lord while raising their pure hands with Moses. For it is not in the power of arms but in the virtue and mercy of Christ that Christians place their trust, nor do they achieve great things (virtutem faciunt) in themselves but in God, overcoming the unbelieving peoples and reducing to nothing the enemies of Christ's cross. And on the following feast of St. Denis, they opened the silver vessel containing the body of the most sacred martyr Denis in the presence of the venerable bishops of "Silvanectensi et Meldensi et Ala", the queen of the Franks and many abbots and monks, and found there his whole body with the head as we said before. This was then shown to all of God's faithful who had most devoutly gathered there from far-away parts for the sake of prayer. And to refute the error of the Parisians, they kept back the head of the saintly martyr Denis deposited in an appropriate silver vessel, when the saints' bodies were devoutly returned with their vessels under the altar in the marble crypt from which they had been taken out.n5 The head was however displayed throughout the year to all pilgrims in order to excite the devotion of the faithful and was then replaced in its vessel with the body at the following feast of St. Denis.

81. While these things were going on in France, Phillip king of France (Francie) with the help of God's faithful so attacked the city of Acre, breaking down the city walls with his petraries and mangonels, that he compelled the enemies of Christ's cross, that is Saladin's keepers, his vassals (satrapas) Limathosius and Carachosius with a vast body of armed men to surrender under certain conditions. For they promised under an oath of their law, keeping only their bodies, to give up complete to the king of the Franks and the king of England the Lord's True Cross, which Saladin had, and all the Christian captives who could be found in the whole of his land. In this battle, Aubri, marshal to the king of the Franks, a high-minded man doughty in arms, was cut off within the gates of the city and killed by the pagans [July 3 1191]. The tower called "Accursed" (maledicta = "maudit") which had for a long time caused much harm to our men, was undermined and supported on timbers placed there by the king's sappers so that nothing remained to be done to destroy it except to fire the wood. The pagans now saw that they could not resist the kings and princes and the other Christians, so they negotiated with our kings and princes and in July [July 12 1191] they handed over to them the city of Acre with all its arms and fortifications and a sufficient supply of provisions. As the Christian people entered the city, crying and weeping for joy with their hands raised to Heaven, they cried out in a clear voice:

"Blessed be the Lord our God who had a regard for our labors and sweat and humbled beneath our feet the enemies of the Holy Cross who had presumed upon His virtue and power."

The Christians divided amongst themselves the provisions found there, allotting the greater part to the many and a lesser share to the fewer. In their share the kings received all prisoners whom they then divided equally between themselves. The king of the Franks, however, passed his share on to the duke of Burgundy with a great sum of gold and silver and an infinite amount of food and command over all his armies. For the king was at that time seriously ill, and on the other hand deeply suspicious of the king of England because he was frequently sending secret messengers to Saladin and exchanging gifts with him. For this reason and he first consulted his princes in detail and re-organized the army, then took leave of his men and tearfully committed himself to the winds and sea to cross by God's will to Apulia in just three galleys which Ruffo de Volta from Genoa had made ready for him. He recovered health a little there and then while still weak journeyed on with a few men and crossed the country to the city of Rome, where he visited the relics (liminibus) of the apostles and received a blessing from the Roman pontiff, Celestine before returning to France around Christmas-time.

82. But the king of England who stayed on in Outremer forced the prisoners he held, Limathosius and Carachosius, and the others whom other prices held to carry out their promises, and restore without delay to holy Christianity the Lord's Cross which Saladin had and all the Christian prisoners, just as they were bound to do by their recent oath according to their own law (legis sue = religion?). When they were unable to put this into effect as they had sworn to do, the king of England became violently angry, brought the pagan prisoners outside the city and had five thousand of them and more beheaded, while holding back the greater and richer ones from whom he received a vast sum of money as ransom and so allowed them to go away free. He then sold to the Templars the island of Cyprus which he had captured en route for 25, 000 marks of silver. Later, however, he took it away from them and sold it a second time for Guy, former king of Jerusalem, to hold in perpetuity. He completely destroyed the city of Ascalon at the request, backed by much gold, of the pagans. And he took the banner of the city of Acre away from the duke of Austria for some other prince, broke it most vilely and threw it into a deep sewer in contempt of the duke and to his shame. But because we have no intention of writing up the history or the deeds of the king of England, we turn our pen back to the things we know about our king Phillip.

83. When Phillip king of the Franks had returned to France, he celebrated Christmas at Fontevraud and then hurried off as fast as he could to pray at the church of St. Denis within a few days. The sacred convent with abbot Hugh met him there in procession and brought him into the church. He completed his prayer, prostrated before the bodies of the saints, giving thanks to God and the blessed martyrs for liberating him from so many and such great dangers, and then offered on the altar as a pledge of his love (amoris et caritatis) a liturgical coverlet (pallium) of the finest quality silk.

84. Some months later, on the 15th kalends of April [March 18 1192], while king Phillip was at Saint-Germain-de-Laie, he heard about the ignominious death of a certain Christian perpetrated by the Jews and at once, moved by compassion for the Christian faith and religion, took off, leaving his intimates with no idea of where he was headed and swiftly reached the castle which they call "Braia".n6 He placed guards at the castle gates and had the Jews he caught there, 80 and more, burnt. The countess whose castle it was, corrupted by the Jews with great gifts, had handed over to them a certain Christian, whom they falsely accused of theft and homicide. The Jews motivated by their ancient hatred tied his hands behind him, crowned him with thorns, beat him through the town and then hanged him from a gallows, though they had said at the time of the Lord's Passion: "We are not permitted to kill anyone."


1. Even our French editor doubts that this attempt could have been made as early as the morning after Richard's arrival. Other sources confirm that Richard had time first at least to take the Pisans into his pay.

2. Clement actually died on December 19 1187 after 3 years and two and a half months!

3. The murder of bishop Albert of Liège took place on November 24 1192. It is described in his vita.

4. Rigord is a little misleading in collecting these deaths here. The last will of Raoul, count of Clermont was already known in July 1191, while the duke of Burgundy did not die until 1193.

5. The citizens of Paris had recently (perhaps in 1186) proclaimed their discovery of the saint's head in the church of Saint-Étienne.

6.There is some doubt about the location of this place. Our editor plumps for Brie-comte-Robert and names the lady in question as Agnès de Baudemont, countess of Dreux. The most accessible account of the incident is in W.C. Jordan, The French Monarchy and the Jews, 35-7 accepts the identification.

Source: Translation by Paul Hyams, 1998 of Oeuvres de Rigord et de Guillaume le Breton, ed. H. Francoise Delaborde, I (Libr. Renouard: Paris, 1882).

Translation © Paul R. Hyams 1998. Used with permission.

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