Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ritual, Ceremony and the Changing Monarchy in France, 1350-1789

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Ritual, Ceremony and the Changing Monarchy in France, 1350-1789

Article excerpt

Lawrence M. Bryant, Ritual, Ceremony and the Changing Monarchy in France, 1350-1789 (Farnham and Burlington, Vc Ashgate/Variorum, 2010). ix + 340pp. ISBN 978-0-7546-6846-6. euro85.00. This is an interesting coUection of nine already pubUshed essays, preceded by a new introduction. Lawrence M. Bryant has devoted most of his scholarly career to studying over a long chronological period the ceremonies accompanying the entry of the King of France into the major towns of his realm. He argues for substantial change in the significance of these ceremonies, first in the reign of Louis XI and then more substantially in the mid-sixteenth century: 'The medieval image of the robed king with crown and scepter had reminded people that the person who happened to be king had acquired royal virtues through non-royal ecclesiastical and juridical agents; his duty was to preserve the status quo. The new image had a king embodying rather than acquiring virtues; he was a dynamic agent for making a better society' (p. …

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