The genealogy of the Capetian line copied on fol. 222r of Paris, Bibliothèque Mazarine, MS 2013, an historical compendium compiled at Saint-Denis, provides essential and tantalizing information for dating the volume, listing as it does just three sons of Louis VI (1081-1137, r. 1108-1137) and Adelaïde of Maurienne († 1154). To establish a terminus ante quem for the manuscript to complement the terminus post quem of ca. 1117 afforded by an incomplete papal regnal list at the beginning of the volume, this article attempts to determine the date of the next child’s arrival. Because much of the surviving evidence about the royal family is controversial and confusing, and because, over the years, historians have interpreted it in a variety of ways, the article reviews the sequence and birth dates of all the offspring. The fact that only a range of years between 1125 and 1128 can be established for the birth of the royal couple’s fourth son Robert of Dreux demonstrates the difficulty of reconstructing both twelfth-century chronology and the contours of medieval royal families. Still, reassessment of the evidence suggests reasons for favoring the two-year span 1125-1126 for Robert’s birth. More important, it enables Louis and Adelaïde’s branch of the Capetian family tree to be reconfigured, and the reputations and deeds of two of their offspring reassessed. A son named Hugues (invented by Orderic Vitalis) having been eliminated, three or more children (whose names are unknown) are shown to have been buried at Saint-Victor, whereas the fictional dates and deeds that have been attributed to Pierre of Courtenay are exposed and explained, as is the irrelevance to the actual person and actions of Robert of Dreux of fictive tales fabricated in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, some defamatory, about a disinherited royal claimant to the throne called Robert.
Brown, Elizabeth AR
"The Children of Louis VI of France and Adelaïde of Maurienne, and the Date of a Historical Compendium of Saint-Denis,"
Medieval People: Vol. 36:
1, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/medpros/vol36/iss1/9