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Medieval France

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发表于 6-20-2024 14:51:30 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Allan Massie, Crowned Crusaders. A medieval dynasty featured monarchs of varying piety, character and aspiration. Rescuing the Holy Land was on the minds of some. Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2024, at page A15
https://www.wsj.com/arts-culture ... -crusaders-204884f5
(book review on Justine Firnhaber-Baker, House of Lilies; The dynasty that made Medieval France. Basic Books, 2024)

Note:
(a)
(i) Justine Firnhaber-Baker. Department of History, University of St Andrews, undated
https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/people/jmfb
(A) University of St Andrews
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_St_Andrews
(1413- ; public; based in Town of St Andrews; "It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and, following the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world")
(B) St Andrews
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Andrews
("30 miles (50 kilometres) northeast of Edinburgh * * * The name St Andrews derives from the town's claim to be the resting place of bones of the apostle Andrew [brought from elsewhere]. * * * Its name may also be notable for the lack of apostrophe; this is due to the fact that the name of the town predates the introduction of the apostrophe into the English language from French in the 16th century")
(ii) Basic Books
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Books
(was "founded in 1950 and [is] located in New York City, now an imprint of Hachette Book Group [founded in 1826 in Paris by a French surnamed Hachette]," after having changed hands man times)


(b) "It was August 1239, and Louis IX, king of France, was about to receive a precious gift from the emperor in Constantinople: the Sacred Crown of Thorns, purported to have been worn by Christ at the crucifixion. 'Miraculously evergreen [I see no green, as there are no leaves] (as some people claimed), the Crown never dried out or lost its vitality * * * 'House of Lilies,' her fascinating group portrait of a series of medieval French kings—all members of the Capetian dynasty. * * * When, five centuries later, Louis XVI was preparing to face the guillotine, the last words from his Irish confessor were reputed to be: 'Fils de St Louis, montez au ciel.' (Son of St Louis, ascend to heaven.)"
(i) regarding "emperor in Constantinople. "
(A) Byzantine Empire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire
(330–1453; introduction; section 1 Nomenclature)
(B) Western Roman Empire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Roman_Empire
(395–476; "Some emperors [of entire Roman Empire based in Constantinople after 330], such as Constantine I and Theodosius I, governed, if briefly, as the sole Augustus across the Roman Empire. On the death of Theodosius in 395, the empire was divided between his two infant sons, with Honorius as his successor in the West * * * from Ravenna [in northeastern Italy; NOT from Rome, which had been sacked a few times], and [other son] Arcadius as his successor in the East governing from Constantinople"

In 476, Ravenna was sacked by Barbarians.
(ii)
(A) crown of thorns  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_thorns
(introduction; As a relic, section 1.3 France: "In 1238, Baldwin II, the Latin Emperor of Constantinople, anxious to obtain support for his tottering empire, offered the crown of thorns to Louis IX of France")
is also known as Holy Crown (as opposed to True Cross, on which Jesus was supposed to be crucified. Both were forged in fourth century AD.
(B) Online but not in print, the WSJ review carried a photo:

King Louis IX Carrying the Crown of Thorns. The Met, undated
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/471218

The Met does not identify the origin of this stained glass as well as others (other stained glass related to the topic). My research shows that it had been somehow taken from Sainte-Chapelle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Chapelle
(section 5 Stained glass; section 5.2 Stained glass from Saint-Chapelle in other museums)
(iii) French-English dictionary:
* saint (adjective AND noun masculine; feminine sainte [for both adjective and noun])   
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/saint
   ^ English adjective and noun saint is from Middle English and then Old French of the same spelling, which in turn came from "Latin [adjective masculine, later noun masculine also] sānctus 'holy, consecrated, past participle of [verb] sancīre 'to render sacred, make holy.' "  wiktionary.com for "saint: (English etymology).
* chapelle (noun feminine; ultimately from Latin [noun feminine] cappella [chapel]): "chapel"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chapelle
* The valois (v in lower case) is a French adjective masculine
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/valois
of French noun masculine val "valley" (the latter from Latin noun masculine vallis "valley")
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/val
* fils (noun masculine, plural is of same spelling; from Latin [noun masculine] filius "son")
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fils
* The montez is "second-person plural imperative"  
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/montez
of verb monter to go up.
   ^ Why "plural" imperative instead of singular imperative monte?  All English sources shows s at the end of montez, although the king went to guillotine by himself, without accompaniment of family members. Then I checked French sources, almost all of which have monte.
* ciel (noun masculine; from Latin [noun neuter of masculine] caelum of the same definition)
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ciel
(iv)
(A) Capetian dynasty
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capetian_dynasty
("Hugh Capet, the founder of the dynasty * * * The senior line ruled in France as the House of Capet from the election of Hugh Capet in 987 until the death of Charles IV [of France, whose two sons died young, leaving daughters only] in 1328. That line was succeeded by cadet branches, the Houses of Valois and then Bourbon")
(B) Hugh Capet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Capet
(In 987, "he was elected as the successor of the last Carolingian king, Louis V. Hugh was descended from Charlemagne's son Pepin of Italy through his mother and paternal grandmother, respectively")

Hugh Capet's title was simply king of France
(C) The only wife of Louis V of France
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_V_of_France
(section 2 Marriage)
was Adelaide-Blanche of Anjou. The marriage lasted two years (982-984; he had been "crowned co-king" of France in 979: per same Wiki page) and was childless.
(D) cadet branch
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadet_branch
("consists of the male-line descendants of a monarch's or patriarch's younger sons (cadets)")
(E) Houses of Valois
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Valois
("The Valois descended from Charles, Count of Valois (1270–1325), the second surviving son of King Philip III of France (reigned 1270–1285)")

In Medieval times, Valois was the name of a French county, and later a duchy.

Valois is explained in dictionary under Note (b)(iii).
(F) "The House of Bourbon * * * It traces its origins to the sixth son of King Louis IX [of France], Robert de Clermont, who ruled over the region of Bourbon (hence the name of his house)." : from the Web.

This Robert "was created [or bestowed, by French king] Count of Clermont in 1268 * * * In 1272, Robert married Beatrice of Burgundy, heiress of Bourbon"  en.wikipedia.org for "Robert, Count of Clermont."  

Both Clermont and Bourbon are names of places in France. For the latter, see Bourbon-l'Archambault
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon-l%27Archambault


(c) "When he [Hugh Capet] became king of France—more precisely, king of the Franks—in 987, his title was disputed, and his kingdom was 'not a strong state' but rather 'a loose confederation of semi-autonomous territories' * * * By the early 12th century, France was more firmly consolidated. * * * pigs still roamed the [Paris] streets. It is there that we meet Philip, the eldest son of Louis VI, in 1131. 'Philip might not have been surprised to see a pig suddenly appear and race across the path,' Ms Firnhaber-Baker writes. 'But his horse was.' Thus was he thrown to the ground and trampled fatally underfoot. (The pig escaped.)   A younger son [of Louis VI; Philip's younger brother who was next in line] was ready to take Philip's place in the monarchical succession, and he would become Louis VII, one of the leaders of the Second Crusade. (It was around this time that the dynasty adopted the fleur-de-lys as an emblem, a three-petaled lily.) Distressed by the failure of his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine [Queen of France (1137-1152; [Queen of England (1154-1189), as the wife of England King Henry II; Henry and Eleanor had eight children], to produce a male heir, he persuaded the pope to annul the marriage. She promptly took another husband, Henry Plantagenet, who would inherit the crown of England. We know something of this quarrelsome couple from the play and movie 'The Lion in Winter.' "

(d) "A later Philip—Philip IV, who reigned from 1285 to 1314—was arguably the most successful Capetian king; he made the French crown more powerful than it had been or indeed would be for the next 200 years. He was known as 'the Fair,' on account of his appearance rather than his character. * * * Philip is remembered mostly for his destruction of the Knights Templar, 'a banking order as well as a crusading one,' as Ms. Firnhaber-Baker puts it. Philip's chief motive was greed, for the Templars were immensely rich. He and his minions subjected the knights to torture, repeatedly, and many knights confessed to improbable sins, as people will do in such circumstances. The grand master of the order, Jacques de Molay, recanted his confession at the last minute, but to no avail. The king ordered that he be executed without delay “and his bones ground to dust.” Ms Firnhaber-Baker tells us that de Molay cursed the king on the pyre—or so legend has it—and indeed 'Philip did not live to see Christmas [Philip IV died of stroke in 1314].'   Ms Firnhaber-Baker mentions that this episode appears in 'Les Rois Maudits,
a series of novels—set mostly in the time of the Capetian monarchs—by the French author Maurice Druon. The novels began appearing in the mid-1950s and were translated into English under the title 'The Accursed Kings.' * * * With the death of Charles IV in 1328 [see Note (b_(iv)(A)] , Hugh Capet's dynasty came to an end, yielding to the house of Valois."
(i)
(A) Francia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francia
(top of table: Kingdom of the Franks: c 509–840)
(B) list of French monarchs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_French_monarchs
("The kings used the title 'King of the Franks' (Latin: Rex Francorum) until the late twelfth century; the first to adopt the title of 'King of France' (Latin: Rex Franciae; French: roi de France) was Philip II [of France] in 1190 (r 1180–1223), after which the title 'King of the Franks; gradually lost ground")
(C) name of France
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_France
(rulers of "Francia Orientalis * * * called their realm the Holy Roman Empire (see History of Germany). The history of the Franconian Empire lives on today in place names such as Frankfurt or Franconia (Franken in German). The kings of Francia Occidentalis successfully opposed this claim and managed to preserve Francia Occidentalis as an independent kingdom, distinct from the Holy Roman Empire")
(ii) Île-de-France
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Île-de-France
(iii) Philip of France (1116–1131)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_of_France_(1116–1131)
(1116–1131; King of France 1129-1131)
(iv) Louis VII's wife, after divorce from Louis VII, "promptly took another husband, Henry Plantagenet, who would inherit the crown of England. We know something of this quarrelsome couple from the play and movie 'The Lion in Winter.'"

The Lion in Winter
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion_in_Winter
(a 1966 play)
(v) Jacques de Molay
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_de_Molay
(vi) House of Plantagenet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Plantagenet
("The familEnglish throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died"/ section 1 Terminology)
(vii) English dictionary:
* templar (noun; etymology)
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Templar





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 楼主| 发表于 6-20-2024 14:55:42 | 显示全部楼层
---------------------text (sometimes WSJ allows access to entire review. At other times, it does not.
----------------------
It was August 1239, and Louis IX, king of France, was about to receive a precious gift from the emperor in Constantinople: the Sacred Crown of Thorns, purported to have been worn by Christ at the crucifixion. “Miraculously evergreen (as some people claimed), the Crown never dried out or lost its vitality, a sign of eternal life granted to true Christians.” Louis and his family greeted the gift with tears streaming down their cheeks.

Justine Firnhaber-Baker offers up this detail in “House of Lilies,” her fascinating group portrait of a series of medieval French kings—all members of the Capetian dynasty. Along the way, she describes a nation-state still in the early stages of formation and a historical period in which religious devotion coincided with a martial, crusading spirit.

In the case of Louis IX, the emperor’s gift was unusually apt—he is known to history as St. Louis (after whom the American city is named). The church deemed him to be a model Christian monarch but canonized him primarily for his leadership of the Seventh Crusade, a failed effort to retake the Holy Land from Muslims in the mid-13th century.

Louis returned from that venture, Ms. Firnhaber-Baker tells us, with renewed piety and an intense desire to do penance. He wore a hair shirt, fed paupers at his own table and “knelt down before poor men to wash their feet.” Louis would die in 1270 on yet another crusade. When, five centuries later, Louis XVI was preparing to face the guillotine, the last words from his Irish confessor were reputed to be: “Fils de St. Louis, montez au ciel.” (Son of St. Louis, ascend to heaven.)

Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty, was a descendant of Charlemagne (whose empire had crumbled a generation after his death in 814). When he became king of France—more precisely, king of the Franks—in 987, his title was disputed, and his kingdom was “not a strong state” but rather “a loose confederation of semi-autonomous territories,” Ms. Firnhaber-Baker writes. France remained in that inchoate condition for at least another century, its kings possessing more presumed authority than actual power. They directly governed only a small part of the country, the region surrounding Paris—the Île-de-France. Dukes and counts in territories such as Normandy, Flanders and Anjou paid homage but were often richer and more powerful than their sovereign lord.

By the early 12th century, France was more firmly consolidated. In Paris, with a population of perhaps 15,000, new buildings were constructed on both banks of the Seine, though pigs still roamed the streets. It is there that we meet Philip, the eldest son of Louis VI, in 1131. “Philip might not have been surprised to see a pig suddenly appear and race across the path,” Ms. Firnhaber-Baker writes. “But his horse was.” Thus was he thrown to the ground and trampled fatally underfoot. (The pig escaped.)

A younger son was ready to take Philip’s place in the monarchical succession, and he would become Louis VII, one of the leaders of the Second Crusade. (It was around this time that the dynasty adopted the fleur-de-lys as an emblem, a three-petaled lily.) Distressed by the failure of his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, to produce a male heir, he persuaded the pope to annul the marriage. She promptly took another husband, Henry Plantagenet, who would inherit the crown of England. We know something of this quarrelsome couple from the play and movie “The Lion in Winter.”

A later Philip—Philip IV, who reigned from 1285 to 1314—was arguably the most successful Capetian king; he made the French crown more powerful than it had been or indeed would be for the next 200 years. He was known as “the Fair,” on account of his appearance rather than his character. A second son whose stepmother was believed to have poisoned two of his brothers, he grew up stern, selfish and ruthless. He quarreled with the pope—as many other kings did, of course—while proclaiming himself a devout monarch and an enemy of heretics.

Philip is remembered mostly for his destruction of the Knights Templar, “a banking order as well as a crusading one,” as Ms. Firnhaber-Baker puts it. Philip’s chief motive was greed, for the Templars were immensely rich. He and his minions subjected the knights to torture, repeatedly, and many knights confessed to improbable sins, as people will do in such circumstances. The grand master of the order, Jacques de Molay, recanted his confession at the last minute, but to no avail. The king ordered that he be executed without delay “and his bones ground to dust.” Ms. Firnhaber-Baker tells us that de Molay cursed the king on the pyre—or so legend has it—and indeed “Philip did not live to see Christmas.”

Philip’s severe morality was tested by a family scandal when two of his daughters-in-law were accused of infidelity. Their presumed lovers were tortured and horribly maimed and executed; the princesses themselves, still teenagers, were imprisoned for life. Ms. Firnhaber-Baker mentions that this episode appears in “Les Rois Maudits,” a series of novels—set mostly in the time of the Capetian monarchs—by the French author Maurice Druon. The novels began appearing in the mid-1950s and were translated into English under the title “The Accursed Kings.”

Not that Druon’s novelistic treatment has anything on “House of Lilies.” Ms. Firnhaber-Baker, a history professor at the University of St. Andrews, has written a splendid, enthralling book that is both scholarly and full of enjoyable stories. What is more, she has a deep understanding of the Middle Ages, an often perplexing era, and thus helps us grasp the wider world of the kingships she so vividly describes.

With the death of Charles IV in 1328, Hugh Capet’s dynasty came to an end, yielding to the house of Valois. One can only hope that Ms. Firnhaber-Baker attempts a sequel, for the Valois dynasty was not short of odd and interesting figures. One of its earliest monarchs, Charles VI, suffering from what we now call mental trouble, believed he was made of glass.

Mr. Massie is the author of “The Royal Stuarts: A History of the Family That Shaped Britain.”
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