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masc. proper name, from French Louis, from Old French Loois, probably via Medieval Latin Ludovicus, a Latinization of Old High German Hluodowig, literally "famous in war" (cf. Clovis; for etymology, see Ludwig). Louis Quatorze (1855) refers to styles reminiscent of the time of King Louis XIV of France (1643-1715).
A king of France in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Louis was known as the Sun King for his power and splendor. By inviting French nobles to live in luxury at his palace at Versailles, he removed them as threats and greatly increased his own power. He is known for saying, “L'état, c'est moi” (“I am the state”).
The last king of France before the French Revolution; the husband of Marie Antoinette. He at first accepted a change from absolute monarchy (see ancien régime) to constitutional monarchy in France. Then he tried to flee the country and was brought back a prisoner. Radicals, including the Jacobins, assumed control of the revolution and had Louis and Marie Antoinette beheaded for treason.
gold coin circulated in France before the Revolution. The franc (q.v.) and livre were silver coins that had shrunk in value to such an extent that by 1740 coins of a larger denomination were needed. The French kings therefore had gold coins struck and called after their name Louis, or louis d'or ("gold Louis"). After the Revolution, Napoleon continued the practice but called the coins "napoleons." They had a value of 20 francs.
king of France and the last Carolingian monarch