ROBERT II. (c. 970-1031), king of France, was a son of Hugh Capet, and was born at Orleans. He was educated at Reims under Gerbert, afterwards Pope Silvester II. As the ideal of mediaeval Christianity he won his surname of "Pious" by his humility and charity, but he also possessed some of the qualities of a soldier and a statesman. His father associated him with him self in the government of France, and he was crowned in Decem ber 987, becoming sole king on Hugh's death in October 996. In 988 he had married Rosala, or Susanna, widow of Arnold II., count of Flanders. He repudiated her in 989, fixing his affections upon Bertha, daughter of Conrad the Peaceful, king of Burgundy, or Arles, and wife of Eudes I., count of Blois; and although the pair were related, and the king had been godfather to one of Bertha's children, they were married in 996, a year after the death of Eudes. Pope Gregory V. excommunicated the king, and a council at Rome imposed a seven years' penance upon him. For
five years the king braved all anathemas, but about 1002 he gave up Bertha and married Constance, daughter of a certain Count William. Still attached to Bertha, Robert took this lady with him to Rome in Ion), but the pope refused to recognize their marriage, and the king was forced to return to Constance. By this wife Robert had four sons, and in 1017, the eldest of these, Hugh, (1007-1025), was crowned as his father's colleague and successor. After Hugh's death Robert's concluding days were troubled by a rising on the part of his younger sons, and after a short war, in which he was worsted, the king died at Melun on July 20, 1031.
His life was written by his chaplain, Helgaud, and this panegyric, Epitoma vitae Roberti regis, is published by J. P. Migne in the Patrologia Latina, tome cxli. (Paris, 1844). See also C. Pfister, Etudes sur le regne de Robert le Pieux (i885) ; and E. Lavisse, Histoire de France, tome ii. (19oI).