With Charles-Victor Langlois we see a scholar who has mastered difficult sources written in 13th century Church Latin and vernacular French. And he is not content to simply retell stories from medieval chroniclers, but goes beyond to explore his central thesis about the development and evolution of royal power and government administration in France. Even when he appears to minimize or cast Philip III in a bad light, it must impress the modern reader that Langlois, a man of the 19th century, had the integrity to develop his thesis based on rigorous inquiry of primary sources, the essence of professional history. Langlois was a man of his era, a century imbued with obsession over nationalism, and his history was also a search for the origins of the French nation.
Contents include: 1.) Entourage of the King and intrigues at court, 2.) Succession of Philip III and external affairs, 3.) the disastrous crusade against the King of Aragon and the death of Philip III, 4.) the importance of state acquisitions operated by royalty in the 13th century, 5.) the relations of feudal royalty with the three orders of society, 6.) Philip and the Church, 7.) the relations of royalty with the towns at the end of the 13th century, 8.) Royal jurisdiction, theory and practice, 9.) royal legislation, 10.) Organisation of the King's court, 11.) Administration at the local level, 12.) Financial organization, 13.) Fiscal privileges, 14.) Military organization.
This modern translation is based upon Le Règne de Philippe III le Hardi (Paris, 1887)
This work of exacting scholarship was an early monograph by Langlois, who eventually won a position at the Sorbonne, or the University of Paris, where he taught paleography, bibliography, and medieval history. He was also director of the Archives Nationales, 1913-29.