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Philip VI'S Mortal Enemy: Robert Of Artois And The Beginning Of The Hundred Years War

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Chapter Summary

Robert of Artois presents a heron, the symbol of cowardice, to Edward III (1327?1377) to goad him into going to war with Robert?s great enemy, King Philip VI of France (1328?1350). Philip accused Edward of being a rebellious and disobedient vassal for, among other things, allowing Robert of Artois safe refuge in his kingdom. Most historians consider the seizure of Gascony in May, 1337, as the start of the Hundred Years War, and they have long recognized that Robert of Artois?s association with Edward III influenced the French decision. The case of Robert of Artois is one of the best-documented trials in medieval French history. Philip VI himself ordered the compilation of registers containing copies of relevant materials. Even more troubling, however, was what happened after Robert was convicted and sentenced.

Keywords: Edward III; France; Gascony; Hundred Years War; King Philip VI; Robert of Artois



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