William Breton (William le Breton)

William Breton appears to have been born between 1165 and 1 1 70 a.d. He was thus almost of exactly the same age as Philip Augustus, whose exploits he has celebrated in his two great works "The History of the Life and Deeds of Philid Augustus" (prose) and the " Philippeis " in verse. William is said to have studied at Nantes. Later in life he became Philip's elerk or chaplain, and followed this king on more than one expedition. He was also tutor to one of Philip's natural children, and seems to have died in or after 1224.

The Historia continues Rigord's work mentioned above, and extends to 12 19; the concluding part thence to 1223 is the work of an anonymous monk of St. Denys. The Philippeis, a Latin hexameter epic in XII. books, is dedicated to Philip's son, alluded to above, then a boy some fifteen years old.


"William the Breton". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1911