Vive Le Roi! A History of the French Coronation from Charles V to Charles X

Vive Le Roi! A History of the French Coronation from Charles V to Charles X

Vive Le Roi! A History of the French Coronation from Charles V to Charles X

Vive Le Roi! A History of the French Coronation from Charles V to Charles X

Excerpt

The present work is the English-language version of a book published in French under the title Vivat rex: Histoire des sacres et couronnements en France, 1364-1825 (Strasbourg, 1984). The study is not so much a complete history of the French coronation ceremony from Charles V to Charles X as it is a series of studies derived from that history. To have written just the history of the ceremony itself, to have described the manifold -- and often minor -- changes that took place over the centuries, for example, to have determined and listed what official or noble did what on the occasion of crowning each of France's kings, would have done little more than satisfy a certain idle curiosity that, although it might have solved some historical problems, would hardly have warranted the expenditure of effort. I have been more interested in seeking in the ceremony suggestions as to what topics, hitherto either neglected or in need of reinterpretation, should be pursued as possibly adding to our understanding of conceptions of French kingship or as illustrative of the transition from medieval to modern monarchy. Consequently, I have deleted most of what may be considered purely antiquarian, retaining only what contributes to the whole without, I hope, badly misinterpreting the history of the subject. I should also note that I have rather severely limited the notes either to what is absolutely necessary, or to what seemed to me most useful -- potential digressions could be found everywhere.

It would have been easy to have written a much longer book, to have added material that would probably be of value within other contexts. The amount of manuscript and printed material on the coronation ceremony is astounding, particularly as one approaches the present. The recent bibliography of Gaston Saffroy (Bibliographie généalogique, héraldique et nobiliare de la France, 4 vols. [Paris, 1968-78 ], 1:679-719) lists over 650 works dealing with the French coronation -- 83 of them concerning that of Napoleon alone -- and the bibliography hardly comprehends all of the relevant materials. There are at least one hundred manuscripts containing medieval coronation ordines, and there are scores of printed editions of individual ordines in collections of sources or in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.