31 Facts About Louis XIV

1. Louis XIV is a member of the House of Bourbon, a branch of the Capetian dynasty and of the Robertians.

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2. Louis XIV named it after Louis IX and intended it as a reward for outstanding officers.

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3. Louis XIV stripped Maine and his brother, Louis-Alexandre, Count of Toulouse, of the rank of Prince of the Blood, which Louis had granted them, and significantly reduced Maine's power and privileges.

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4. Louis XIV features significantly in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, specifically The Confusion, the greater part of which takes place at Versailles.

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5. Louis XIV is a major character in the 1959 historical novel "Angelique et le Roy", part of the Angelique Series.

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6. Louis XIV danced four parts in three of Moliere's comedies-ballets, which are plays accompanied by music and dance.

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7. In general, Louis XIV was an eager dancer who performed 80 roles in 40 major ballets.

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8. Louis XIV used tapestries as a medium of exalting the monarchy.

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9. Over his lifetime, Louis XIV commissioned numerous works of art to portray himself, among them over 300 formal portraits.

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10. Louis XIV used court ritual and the arts to validate and augment his control over France.

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11. Louis XIV allowed Classical French literature to flourish by protecting such writers as Moliere, Racine, and La Fontaine, whose works remain greatly influential to this day.

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12. Louis XIV brought the Academie Francaise under his patronage and became its "Protector".

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13. Louis XIV established the Paris Foreign Missions Society, but his informal alliance with the Ottoman Empire was criticised for undermining Christendom.

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14. Louis XIV was a pious and devout king who saw himself as the head and protector of the Gallican Church.

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15. Louis XIV proved relatively more faithful to his second wife, Francoise d'Aubigne, Marquise de Maintenon.

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16. Louis XIV took a series of mistresses, both official and unofficial.

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17. Louis XIV agreed that the entire Spanish empire should be surrendered to the Archduke Charles, and he consented to return to the frontiers of the Peace of Westphalia, giving up all the territories he had acquired over sixty years of his reign.

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18. Louis XIV might agree to a partition of the Spanish possessions and avoid a general war, or accept Charles II's will and alienate much of Europe.

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19. Louis XIV secured permanent French sovereignty over all of Alsace, including Strasbourg, and established the Rhine as the Franco-German border.

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20. Louis XIV tried to break up the alliance against him by dealing with individual opponents, but this did not achieve its aim until 1696, when the Savoyards agreed to the Treaty of Turin and switched sides.

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21. Louis XIV sailed for England with troops despite Louis' warning that France would regard it as a provocation.

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22. Louis XIV sought Strasbourg, an important strategic crossing on the left bank of the Rhine and theretofore a Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire, annexing it and other territories in 1681.

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23. Louis XIV established the Chambers of Reunion to determine the full extent of his rights and obligations under those treaties.

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24. Louis XIV forced Brandenburg-Prussia to the peace table at the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and imposed peace on Denmark-Norway by the Treaty of Fontainebleau and the Peace of Lund, all concluded in 1679.

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25. Louis XIV was devoted to the soldiers' material well-being and morale, and even tried to direct campaigns.

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26. Louis XIV instituted reforms in military administration through Michel le Tellier and the latter's son Francois-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois.

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27. Louis XIV invited manufacturers and artisans from all over Europe to France, such as Murano glassmakers, Swedish ironworkers, and Dutch shipbuilders.

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28. Louis XIV began his personal reign with administrative and fiscal reforms.

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29. Louis XIV sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority.

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30. Louis XIV ordered the surprise destruction of a Flemish city to divert the attention of these troops.

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31. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children, particularly Francois de Villeroy, and divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy.

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