Robert II (France)

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Robert the Pious in a representation by Jean Fouquet from the Grandes Chroniques de France . (15th century, Bibliothèque nationale de Paris)

Robert II , called the Pious (French Robert le Pieux ; * March 27, 972 ; † July 20, 1031 in Melun ) was a King of France from 987 (from 996 sole ruler) to 1031 from the Capetian dynasty .



Robert was the only son of Hugo Capet and his wife Adelheid of Aquitaine . His father ensured an excellent education by having the son teach temporarily in Reims from Gerbert von Aurillac . After the father was elected king in May 987 and was crowned in Noyon in July , he also raised his son to co-king in order to secure the succession against many opposition, who was then crowned in Orléans by Adalbero of Reims in December 987 .

In 988, at the request of his father, Robert married Rozala-Susanna , the daughter of King Berengar II of Italy and widow of Count Arnulf II of Flanders . The marriage was separated in 992 , probably because Rozala was about 38 years old to give birth to children. His second marriage was in 996 with Bertha of Burgundy , daughter of King Conrad of Burgundy and widow of Count Odo I of Blois .

Sole rule

After the death of his father in the same year, Robert took over sole government and in 997 settled the dispute between Gerbert von Aurillac and his predecessor Arnulf over the Archdiocese of Reims . Gerbert then went to the court of the young emperor Otto III.

Robert's second marriage led to complications with the clergy because, as a second cousin , he was too closely related to Bertha. Their common great-grandparents were King Heinrich I and Mathilde of Saxony . Robert II's paternal grandmother, Hadwig von Sachsen , was the sister of Bertha’s maternal grandmother, Gerberga von Sachsen . This close relationship between the spouses, namely in the 3rd canonical degree, prompted Pope Gregory V in 998 to demand a divorce and to force it through excommunication . In 1003 he married Konstanze von der Provence , with whom he had seven children. But since Robert continued his relationship with Bertha, the court split into the powerful family members of the two women, with her sons from the Blois family on Bertha's side , while Konstanze was supported by the Anjou family . Robert's authority over these powerful princes was little. He could not prosecute the murder of Count Palatine Hugo von Beauvais in 1008 during a hunting excursion by the court, as the responsible Count Fulko Nerra von Anjou simply refused to appear before the court.

After his uncle Heinrich died in 1002 , Robert tried to take the opportunity to add the Duchy of Burgundy to the royal domain . But he met the resistance of the Burgundian nobility under the leadership of Count Otto Wilhelm , who himself made a claim to the duchy. Only after Robert had conquered Auxerre in 1005 did Otto Wilhelm withdraw his claims. The war only ended with the capture of Sens in 1015 and the death of the oppositional bishop Brun von Langres in 1016. Robert reached a compromise with the nobility of Burgundy by preserving the autonomy of the duchy by appointing his son Heinrich as duke.

Robert tried a similar approach in Champagne after Count Stephan von Meaux-Troyes had died there around 1020 . Here, however, he had to give in to the superior military strength of Count Odo II of Blois , who was able to assert himself in Champagne until 1023. For the purpose of a common alliance against Odo, Robert met with Emperor Heinrich II at Ivois on August 10 and 11, 1023 . This alliance ended with the death of the emperor in the following year, without having brought any advantage. Instead, he made a peace with Odo and awarded him the champagne. Robert tried to use the emperor's death to regain Lorraine, which had been lost to the West Franconian Regnum in 925 . At the same time he supported the aspirations of Duke Wilhelm V of Aquitaine for the Italian crown , which had already been offered to him. These plans failed with Duke Wilhelm's renunciation of Italy and the quick assertion of Salier Conrad II on the throne in Regnum in East Franconia .

Robert had his first-born son Hugo crowned co- king in 1017 . After his death in 1025, he enforced the coronation of the second oldest Heinrich against the resistance of his wife. Konstanze had stood up for the demands of her favorite son Robert . This conflict burdened Robert's last years and was not resolved even after his death in 1031. He was buried in the Abbey of Saint-Denis .


The king received the nickname “the pious” because of the piety described by his biographer Helgaud von Fleury : Robert is said to have successfully healed wounds and scrofula through the laying on of hands and blessings and took care of the sick and lepers. In doing so, he established a custom that was continued by his descendants until the end of the monarchy. For Robert and his immediate successors, the attribute of miraculous healing was a way of setting themselves apart from the mighty princes of their time, since this ability was only recognized by crowned persons by virtue of the divine grace of their office. Helgaud von Fleury claimed, albeit in vain, to recognize Robert's life as sacred.

Rodulfus Glaber certified that the king had a great sense of education and study. Richer von Reims recognized Robert's expertise in the subjects of theology and canon law . The Bishop Adalbero of Laon dedicated the work Carmen ad Rotbertum regem to him , in which he described the functional tripartite division of human society into clergy, fighters and workers, or feudalism . This is one of the earliest descriptions of this social order that characterized the high Middle Ages.

By having a number of the city's church officials, including the confessor of Constance, burned as heretics in Orléans in 1022 , Robert was the first medieval ruler to order a heretic cremation.


Robert's third marriage to Konstanze von der Provence had seven children:

  • Adele ( Hadwig , * 1003; † after 1063), Countess of Auxerre, ⚭ 1028 with Count Rainald I of Nevers († 1040)
  • Hugo (* 1007; † September 17, 1025), Crown Prince and from 1017 co-king
  • Henry I (* 1008 - † August 4, 1060), Robert's successor as King of France
  • Adela (also Adelheid, Adelaide or Alix) (* 1009/1014; † January 8, 1079)
  1. ⚭ 1027 with Duke Richard III. of Normandy († 1027)
  2. ⚭ 1028 with Count Balduin V of Flanders († 1067)
  • Robert (1011 - March 21, 1076), Duke of Burgundy from 1025
  • Odo (* 1012/13; † 1056),
  • Beatrice
  • Constance (* 1014; † 1052)

In addition, Robert II was the father of the illegitimate Rudolf (Raoul), who is mentioned around 1060 as Archbishop of Bourges .


  • Christian Pfister : Etudes sur le règne de Robert le Pieux (996-1031) (= Bibliothèque de l'École des hautes études. Sciences philologiques et historiques vol. 64). Vieweg, Paris 1885, (Also reprinted: Slatkine Reprint, Geneva 1974), (Outdated but very thorough investigation).
  • Joachim Ehlers : History of France in the Middle Ages. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart et al. 1987, ISBN 3-17-009801-2 .
  • Hans-Henning Kortüm : Robert II. 996-1031. In: Joachim Ehlers, Heribert Müller , Bernd Schneidmüller (eds.): The French kings of the Middle Ages. From Odo to Charles VIII. 888–1498. Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40446-4 , pp. 87-98.

Web links

Commons : Robert II of France  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Hans-Henning Kortüm: Robert II. 996-1031. In: Joachim Ehlers, Heribert Müller, Bernd Schneidmüller (eds.): The French kings of the Middle Ages. From Odo to Charles VIII. 888–1498. Munich 1996, pp. 87-98, here: p. 96. Heinrich Fichtenau: Ketzer und Professoren. Heresy and Faith in Reason in the High Middle Ages. Munich 1992, p. 19ff.
predecessor Office successor
Hugo Capet King of France 996-1031
Blason pays for FranceAncien.svg
Heinrich I.