The Western Schism

Seventy years before the Western Schism, the French Pope Clement V moved the church’s capital from Rome to Avignon, France. He did this to escape the factionalism in Rome and to submit to the French king, Philip IV. Ever since his conflict with Pope Boniface VIII, Philip had wanted to influence future popes better. Six popes later, Pope Gregory XI […]

Philip II of France: The Cunning King

It was said that Philip II’s birth was God-given. Philip was born on August 21, 1165 to Capetian King Louis VII and his wife, Queen Adela. At the time of his birth, Louis was 44-45 years old and was on his third marriage. His prior marriages had only given him daughters. When Philip was born, he immediately became Louis’s heir. […]

Charlemagne: The Father of Europe

His kingdom would unite western Europe and end the Dark Ages. Charlemagne was born in 747 as the son of Austrasian King Pepin the Short. At the age of 19, he inherited his deceased father’s territory and jointly ruled it with his brother Carloman. Pepin intended for his sons to cooperate as rulers, but they had an uneasy relationship. After […]

Blanche of Castile: Mother of a Saint King

Her support and guidance would help create one of the greatest French kings in history. Blanche was born in Castile on March 4, 1188, to King Alfonso VIII and Queen Eleanor. She descended from Castilian royalty and English royalty through her mother. As part of a marriage arrangement between Castile and France, the young Blanche was betrothed to King Philip […]