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The Crusades of St Louis

Simon Lloyd assess the achievements and legacy of France's idealised royal crusader.

Louis IX on a ship departing from Aigues-Mortes, for the Seventh Crusade.Around three o'clock on August 25th, 1270, at a fort constructed on the site of ancient Carthage, died Louis IX, the saintly king of France and crusader par excellence. He had been ill for many days, the latest victim of the dysentery or typhus that had been sweeping through the crusaders' encampment in the intense summer heat. It was clear to all of those close to him that his end was not far away; he knew it himself. He sent for his eldest son, soon to be Philip III of France, and laid down his famous instructions to be observed on the governance of the French realm.

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