The Regnum Francie of Sugar of Saint-Denis: An Expansive Ile-de-France
By Jeremy du Quesnay Adams
Historical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques, Vol.19:2 (1993)
Synopsis: Examines the transformation of the Capetian royal domain into the kingdom of France by the time of Philip the Fair, focusing on the role of Sugar, Abbot of Saint-Denis and a prirne minister of Louis VI and Louis VII from 1122 until his death in 1151. This essay, however, is not a study in legal or administrative usage. It is instead an exploration of something more elusive — the emotional charge of the words Suger used for the homeland that came to be associated with an ambitious royal destiny. What was the affective content of those terms? Most present day Frenchmen can explain at some length and with considerable feeling what France means to them. But how can we, children of the twentieth century, garner some sense of how Suger and his generation felt about Francia, their patrie? For them what were its territorial boundaries? Within those frontiers, what sort of entity was it? How did it tend to behave?