chapter  11
29 Pages

The Capetian Monarchy

This idea that the Franks were a chosen people in whom the Christian virtues were inherent, was to have a long life, for it was the foundation of a highly successful piece of dynastic image-building. While the Angevins were portrayed by Gerald of Wales as the devil’s brood, their origins clouded by sinister witchery (Warner 1891:301-2), and individual monarchs who crossed the papacy had their reputations besmirched by clerical propaganda, leaving Roger II of Sicily as the ‘tyrant king’ (Wieruszowski 1963) and the Emperor Frederick II as an heretical blasphemer with perverted sexual tastes (Van Cleve 1972:420, 481), the Capetians emerged as the true defenders of Christendom, ‘the most Christian kings’ as the popes called them, protectors of the papacy, valiant crusaders and hammers of heretics and Jews (see Table 7).