Popular Politics & Public Opinion in Late Medieval Paris

Popular Politics & Public Opinion in Late Medieval Paris


>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, DC.>>Janice Hyde: Good afternoon. Welcome to the John With. Kluge Center at the
Library of Congress. My name is Janice Hyde, and
I am privileged to serve as the interim director
of the Kluge Center. Before we begin today’s
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to host this afternoon’s program, which will showcase the work
of one of its resident fellows. The Kluge Center is a vibrant center
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administers the Kluge prize, which recognizes outstanding
lifetime achievement in the humanities and
social sciences. To view past programs or to learn
more about the Kluge Center, please visit our website
at LOC.gov/Kluge. Today’s program is
entitled Popular Politics and Public Opinion in
Late Medieval Paris. It features scholar and current
Kluge fellow, Michael Sizer. Dr. Sizer is a historian with
interests in political culture and philosophy, cultural
history, interdisciplinary studies of literature and ideas, urban
history, the history of revolt and revolution, particularly
appropriate today. He received his PhD in medieval
French history from the University of Minnesota in 2008, and during
his graduate studies he was also a fellow of the [foreign language]
at the Sorbonne in Paris. Dr. Sizer’s research at the
Library of Congress has focused on late middle ages in France,
one of the most tumultuous periods in European political history. It was a time marked by revolts,
riots, popular preachers, processions, and other engagements
of the people in the political realm that was unheard of in
previous times according to one chronicler of the period. In celebration of Bastille
Day today, Dr. Sizer will discuss the popular
politics of late medieval Paris, 1380 to 1422, and what
bearing it may have on the way we understand
popular political culture today. Please join me in welcoming
Dr. Michael Sizer. [ Applause ]>>Michael Sizer: Hello everyone. So thanks for being here and
thanks to the Kluge Center for having hosted me
these past several months. It’s been a great experience. I’d like to thank in
particular Travis Hensley, Mary Lou Riecher [phonetic]. Also, Erica Spencer at
the European Reading Room and also the Rare Books
Reading Room. Staff and also the other fellows who it’s been really
fun to interact act. It’s really exciting to be able
to research in this setting and give this talk here
with the Supreme Court and the Capitol Building
out the windows. You know, I think it has definitely
affected and inspired my thinking on the very deep and long
history of the relationship of governments to their people. And everyone knows that the Library
is the best place in the world to do research on the history of
the Americas or the United States, but it’s also the best place in
the U.S. to do European history, and I feel very lucky to
have been able to do that. I’m also very thrilled to be talking
on Bastille Day because I’m going to be talking about other earlier
rebellious Frenchmen and Parisians, and I promise you a
riot at a Bastille. The Bastille survives this riot,
but it won’t survive, obviously, the one that we commemorate
today in 1789. All right, to start with, let
me give you just one example of a chronicler’s description
of Parisian popular opinion in the period under study. In February 1383, at the
time of fiscal insecurity and popular discontent
over taxation, the Duke of Anjou [phonetic],
serving as regent of France, unwisely decreed that a
new tax should be levied. As part of the process of making
such a decree official required that it be proclaimed publically,
royal officials searched around for a town crier
to proclaim the tax in the market places of Paris. Fearing physical harm,
no one volunteered until finally one man
agreed to do it in return for a significant payment. The chronicle of the monk of Saint-Denis relates
what happened next. Taking all precautions for himself,
the crier assembled the people, first entertaining them with slick
words and then loudly proclaiming that someone had stolen golden
plates from the king’s palace and that the king would
give praise and reward to those who returned them. And as he had excited
the crowd to laugh at this almost unbelievable item and
seeing that the crowd was distracted and engaged in many
uproarious conversations, he quickly spurred his horse
and proclaimed that a tax was to be raised the next day. This unexpected news disturbed the
minds of those in the audience, who filled the city
with vague rumors, most saying it was a false
tale and other astonished, waiting to see the outcome. Thus, the spirit of rebellion grew, and they bonded together using
terrible words, conspiring the death of those who decreed the tax. The conventional scholarly consensus
following Jurgen Habermas is that one cannot truly
speak of a medieval public and that a proper public
only developed under the historically specific
conditions of the enlightenment and that the political sphere was a
restricted one dominated by status and spectacle prior
to the modern age. The episode described here
however depicts a Parisian crowd that was far from passive in
the face of official authority in the public space and furthermore
that employed its own modes of spreading information,
formulating opinions, mobilizing and taking action. The crowd here is also politically
sophisticated, able to understand, sort, and evaluate
information easily and is not fooled by
the crier’s rouse. Perhaps most interesting is that
the forces of authority know that the crowd is this way and
that they are operating in a tense and tenuous context, an unstable
situation out of their control. This passage is by no means
unique, references to an active and engaged Parisian populous
occur frequently in all sources. Still, this is a rather typical
example of public opinion in that we have, in that it
only provides just a hint of a bigger picture and raises as
many questions as it does answers. Many of our examples of a sort of
medieval popular political action and public opinion
come in tantalizing but incomplete chunks like this. But at the same time, we
cannot ignore these hints as they suggest a quite
different way of how medieval politics
operated from the elite-centered, top-down model that still
dominates the scholarship. When hints such as these are
put together and aggregated, we can get a clearer picture of
late medieval political culture in which the popular class
has played a significant and even decisive role. This process of collecting and
making sense of little chunks of evidence like this in order to make a comprehensive
composite picture of how these phenomena operated
has been what I’ve been engaged at the Kluge Center for
the past several months, and in my previous time
here, several years ago and doing my dissertation
research and also at the National Archives in Paris. I have also been trying to situate
this evidence within a wider context of late medieval political
action, one that incorporates and explains popular involvement
in politics in a way that puts it at the center of that
[inaudible] political culture. This talk will present
some of the results, which are still preliminary,
still being sorted and figured out of this research. So why late medieval Paris. Let’s have a nice picture of people
unloading boats on the Sienne. Late medieval, by this I mean
14th and 15th Century Paris, is a great place to look
if we want to answer for some of these questions. There are several reasons for this. The city, likely the largest in
western Europe, was inhabited by men and women throughout
the social spectrum and thus offers an opportunity
to see how both elites and non-elites participated
in politics. As a center of learning with the
University of Paris, and as the site of the royal government with
its army of scribes as well as a commercial hub with
a thriving merchant class, the city was unusually literate,
perhaps up to 20 percent or higher. The time period was tumultuous,
featuring frequent revolts. Major popular uprising
occurred in 1356 through eight, 1380 through 1383, 1413 and 1419. Civil war from 1407 through 1435 and
occupation by the English from 1420 to 1435 in the context
of the hundred years war. This [inaudible] was both cause
and result of an unusual degree of engagement in political
life by the popular classes, and the question of their
involvement was hotly debated. From a broader perspective, this
period is crucial, in the formation of the French nation state as the
power of impersonal institutions of authority were advanced
alongside the king’s direct rule and the integration
of the popular classes when political society
was both a source of power and disruption for
the expanding state. Paris, as capitol of one of
the largest of these new forms of centralized state, was
a vital stage for the play of these new forms
of political power. Furthermore, this period’s
history of popular opinion and politics is a particular
interest as it predated the invention of the
printing press and yet displays some of the features of political culture
associated with post-print era. Political pamphleteering,
popular participation, propaganda, lots of P’s, and ideological
debate in all 14th and 15th Century Paris is
an excellent laboratory for observing premodern,
preprint popular politics. So I struggled to think of various
ways, points of entry to explain in this short lecture
the rather complicated and broader political culture that contextualizes all the
examples I want to show you and that also could allow
me to bring to the fore some of the bigger historical
and theoretical issues that are related to this inquiry. I think the best way to
do that is to go over some of the late medieval meanings
and associations connected to the key words in this
discussion, the people, populous or [foreign language] and public. Let’s start with people. The word populous has a long
history, stretching back to Rome where it generally referred to
the populous Romani [phonetic], the mass of male citizens where
authority was thought ultimately to rest, but which by the
imperial period was seen as a largely abstract entity with no
active force in political affairs. The [foreign language] of Justinian
[phonetic] from the sixth century, which would become quite influential on late medieval law defines the
people as indicating the entirety of citizens including patricians
and senators, while other terms such as vulgus [phonetic] or plebeians denoted
solely the lesser multitude. This meaning continued into
the medieval period although to this sense was added the
sense of a mass of believers, the populous could be
the Christian flock. In both cases, they are passive. They’re presence as a crowd
validates the authority of the powerful one who was before
them, whether prince or priest, who was acting upon them and
who was thus distinct from them. It’s main meaning was
to denote a mass of undifferentiated
citizen subordinates. The sense of the term essentially
persisted throughout the middle ages, but in the late
medieval period, a new set of associations
was added to it. In some ways this borrowed from
the ancient Roman republican idea that the people were the
ultimate source of sovereignty. Late medieval jurists and
political thinkers such as Marsilius of Padua [phonetic] and the
influential Bartolus of Saxoferrato, who derived their arguments from
Roman law placed sovereignty in the populous although the
implications of this were variable. In general, though condemnation
of tyranny were well articulated and abundant in medieval
political theory, most medieval jurists
stopped short of saying that the people could overthrow
an unjust prince, arguing instead that resistance must be
undertaken in the words of Aquinas, who is representative of
the commonly shared view of medieval intellectuals, “not
through the private presumption of a few, but rather
by public authority,” meaning barons, lords, etc. I don’t want to get too far into medieval resistance
theory here except to say that unlike what is
sometimes assumed, the middle ages produced abundant
and very varied versions of it and that several were based on
the premise that ultimately care and concern for the people was an
important if not fundamental factor. This was accompanied in the late
middle ages by an ethic of sympathy for the suffering of the poor
found in all sorts of sources. The common saying [inaudible], the
voice of the people is the voice of God, first attested by
Charlemagne’s court advisor, Alcowen [phonetic], who was denouncing what he
said was a commonly held idea, reflected a sort of sacred
power of the people’s judgement. Supplicants in pardon letters from late medieval France
characterized themselves as “poor laboring men.” In order to elicit sympathy,
royal decrees often declared that the king is issuing
a law due to having heard “the cries of the people.” Chroniclers often deplore
the suffering of the poor and [foreign language], the lesser
people, to indicate the plight of the realm and as an
implicit critique of leadership. The Bourgeois of Paris, the name
given to an anonymous chronicler of 15th century Paris, who was more
likely a cleric than a Bourgeois, invokes the pathos of the suffering
poor frequently in his account. Here is one example. Alas. The great pity of going
through the city of Paris because truly one could see more
men asking for alms than anyone else who cursed their lives 100,000
times per day, in crying often and assuredly in a raised voice,
alas, alas, true and gentle God, when will you stop for
us this heavy sadness and this melancholy life
and this damned war. Note how the alas of the Bourgeois
is immediately echoed by the cries of the impoverished Parisians. The chronicler and the [foreign
language] speak with the same voice. When he wants to condemn the
duke of Berry [phonetic], who had joined the [foreign
language] party hostile to the more popular, especially in
Paris, Burgundian [phonetic] party in 1412 during the civil war, the
Bourgeois says, “He was more cruel to the little people than any
serasan [phonetic] tyrant.” Political theorists
writing advice for princes, called mirror of princes literature,
also argued that the protection of the poor was crucial
to valid and proper rule and even stressed the
common humanity under god that both kings and peasants shared. The most poignant example I found
of this, though there are several, comes from a text I read
in February in the Library of Congress’ Rare Books Room, and it’s from the [foreign language]
information for kings and princes, which is a late 14th
century French translation of an earlier Latin text written
by an anonymous Dominican. In a section on royal clemency and
dealing with recalcitrant serfs, it says, and this is somewhat hasty
and rough translation, “To serfs, one must not place punishment
with too much rigor but gently. Because even though they are
serfs, they are God’s creatures, and in this we must consider
them as men and as friends because we are all formed
from the same elements and have the same birth. We are called to the same heaven, and we are from the
same blood, redeemed. We all have a faith and a mind,
and we all go to the same purpose. There is not serf or freeman
in God, and we are all of God. Though I find this to be
an exceptionally eloquent and poignant expression of
this idea of a common humanity, the sentiment was not unique and became an increasingly important
idea in the late middle ages, helping validate the inclusion
of the people in political life. This phenomenon should be seen
alongside an increased evaluation of vernacular written culture,
which signaled the moving away from the more exclusive clerical
culture of the earlier period. Okay. So what is the
medieval idea of the public. The most important thing
to remember is that while in modern speech the
opposite of public is private. In medieval parliaments, the
opposite of public, publica, publicus, public [phonetic]
was singular or particular. This reflects a different
nuance of the word’s meaning. In the middle ages public meant
pertaining to all or common with its opposite particular meaning
pertaining to one individual. A prostitute was a public woman
because she made herself available to all, this is the real
meaning of a common woman, rather than to a particular husband. Chronicler [inaudible]
articulates this difference clearly in his condemnation of the
behavior of rival court factions. “Rivals in the civil war
induced him, the king, to do their singular
will and pleasure without having regard
together through deliberation for the public good of the realm.” This last quote includes the most
common usage of the word public in the later medieval period, that
of the public good or common good. This concept came from Aristotle,
whose works were translated into Latin in the 13th Century
in French and the 14th Century, and the influence of
Aristotle can’t be understated in the late Middle Ages. By the late Middle Ages the term
or common good was ubiquitous. Late 14th Century poet Ustach
Deshawn [phonetic] provides as good definition as
any in one of his poems. What is the common good? That which can relate to the
profit of all, young and old, to keep the law his
country and his own. Nichola Arem [phonetic], who
translated Aristotle’s politics into French in the 1370’s and who
also glossed the text explained “The common good is also like
a collective holy thing.” On the one hand, the
concept of the public or common good justified
the increase of royal power over a much greater
slice of political life than had been possible before. Indeed by the late Middle Ages the
French royal government had attained both the ideological and
logistical authority and power to make it the unquestioned center
of the realm’s political universe. In the late Middle Ages into the
growing influence of Roman law, royalist medieval jurists and thinkers were successfully
advocating for a conception of royal sovereignty that was
stronger and more centralized than previous, adapting the
Roman law formula to argue that [inaudible], the king,
his emperor, and his realm, enabling the application of wide-ranging Roman imperial
powers encoded in law to the king. This was accompanied by the growth
of impersonal, bureaucratic, financial and legal
institutions of royal government, which enabled extensive war
powers, coaptation of local courts, the extension of a concept of
treason, and the implantation of permanent royal taxation
in the mid-14th Century. The idea of the public good was
mobilized for this purpose as well, justifying the king’s
abrogation of local rights and prerogative in favor of his own. Every encroachment,
taxation, expanded war powers, overturning unfavorable
judgments in local courts, ignoring municipal liberties
could be and was justified by invoking the public good. The kind and his royalists
theorists did not have a monopoly over this concept however for
the public good could be invoked against the king to
criticize his actions and to invalidate his decisions. The chronical of Jean Jouvenal
des Ursins gives but one example, when Parisians reject
a tax levy in 1405. In this time, one spoke loudly of
the queen and my lord of Orleans, saying that it was by them that
lump-sum taxes (tailles) were made, and sales taxes (aides)
raced about and were raised without anything being done and
none of it used for the public good and quite loudly in the streets once
cursed them and said many words. As this example shows, the king and
his court could be held accountable for their failures to uphold the
public interest while claiming extensive powers allowed for the
royal government to assume a greater and greater share of political life,
it also meant that they were subject to public scrutiny to a
greater degree than before. The king’s morality,
disposition, and comportment because his office was
central to the maintenance of the public good became
objects of scrutiny and censure. The thriving mirror of prince’s
literature commented extensively on the importance of the king
maintaining his moral character as this was linked to the
performance of his public office. Cruelty, gluttony, and other sinful
behaviors were not just a question of personal salvation anymore
but were of public importance. The court in particular was
a flashpoint for criticism. Though the king’s person
was sacrosanct and he was rarely the
object of direct criticism, his officials were not,
and they were often blamed for the king’s conduct or for perceived failings
in royal governance. Courtiers were frequently the
target of popular uprisings. The most blatant example
of this in Paris is when the revolutionary
provost of merchants, the head of the Parisian
municipality elected by the town’s bourgeois, Etienne
Marcel gathered a crowd of men who burst into the Palace [phonetic]
Royal, and this is early 1358, and while the regent Charles
cowered in the corner in horror, slaughtered his two leading marshals
before his eyes, one on his bed, the victims’ were decapitated,
then dragged out of the palace, leaving blood all over the royal
chambers and stairs and display in the courtyard visible
from the regent’s window. Marcel, whom one chronicler says
claimed– oh here’s a picture of it, this is a modern representation
of the killing of the, you can see the [inaudible]
how he’s like sat, and that’s Marcel pointing. Marcel, whom one chronicler says
claimed to have acted “concerned for the public good” explained
to the cowering [inaudible] that the killings of these
“false, wicked” traders was done “by the will of the people.” These actions were a display of
the power of the commons intended to intimidate as when
Marcel warns the [inaudible] that the marshals were killed
to avoid greater perils. Here’s a picture of
Etienne Marcel’s revolt, and he’s having the
Parisians clear the Louvre of weapons during his uprising. So potent was this dynamic
that it became the engine for late medieval political
intrigue, those courtiers who are marginalized in the constant
scramble for courtly prestige and access to the king
and the decision making and revenue controlling areas of government could go outside the
court and appeal to the public. They usually did so on the grounds
of immorality and the misuse of public funds by court insiders, which the populous was
only too happy to support. The result was a recurring
cycle of scandal and purge in late medieval France, a source
of considerable instability in the government and discord
in the realm as a whole and generally the defining
feature of most revolts. In this way, the popular element
and it’s sense of guardianship over the public good was a central
feature of the politics of the day in a way that is underappreciated
in most scholarship, which focuses on the rivalry and
decision making of powerful figures. All right. So that’s kind of the context
that I feel is important, and I tried to make that as short as
possible because now it’s more fun, we’re going to talk about
some of the examples. What forms of popular political
expression are revealed in the sources? There are many different
types, and I will not be able to discuss them all today. For the sake of easy comprehension,
I divide them in what I’m trying to write, into two categories, the
formal, the listed, the official, and the informal, listed,
and unofficial. Forman or official modes of expression were
those generally overseen or favored by forces of authority. Informal or unofficial ones were
generally outside of their control, and sometimes operated
against their wishes. In the formal category, we
have, among other things, representative bodies, such as the
estates general, the municipality, petition, processions
and ceremonies, moral and political
literature, and sermons. In the latter category, the
informal, we have rumors, speech, news, songs and festivals
plotting and revolt. It should be noted that these
categories are not hard and fast. Many of these elements listed
here, festivals for example, could fall into both categories
depending on the situation, and many of them overlap. Municipal institutions could
often express the interest of their community through
petition for example. I just grouped them there for
the purposes of discussion. In the interest of time, I
don’t want to cover the formal, official modes of communication
today. The only thing I want to say about
them, and it is an important thing to keep in mind, is that
although these modes of interaction were
generally overseen by royal or aristocratic officials
and those allied with them, it does not mean they were fully
predictable or controllable. We see that petitions from various
interest groups had a real effect on royal legislation, which often
reproduced verbatim the petitioners words and royal decrees. Processions and ceremonies were
often carefully orchestrated and extravagant spectacles,
but they relied on the audience’s participation
and bestowal of good graces, which in some cases
was not forthcoming. Crowds could confront the
king with petitions, heckle, and simply not participate
in the expected numbers or with palpably luke-warm
enthusiasm, which was recorded by chroniclers. As much of these events represented
opportunities for the powerful to display and enact their power,
they were seen by the people as a rare chance to have an
exchange with their sovereign. So let’s talk about some examples. Let’s talk about speech. As stated before, though late
medieval Paris was unusually literate, the predominant mode
of communication was oral. Parisian’s were famous
for their speaking. The Duke of Berry [inaudible]
grumbles in 1413 that they are a “people
full of rumor.” And famed 15th Century poet,
Francois Villon declared “there is no tongue
like the Paris tongue.” The oral public’s fear has
several differences compared with that dominated by writing. Speech acts are bound by space and
time, which reduces their effect and makes them subject to
immediate place of power. The oral sphere is more determined
by the social differences and personal charisma
of those occupying it. But it’s ephemerality
also raises possibilities as it is more elusive and fluid. From the modern perspective, we
tend to see written communication as democratic and connected to the
greater possibilities of expression. In the late middle ages, however,
writing was not democratic and often served to calcify and domesticate the thriving
oral-based exchange mechanisms. Let’s look at some examples. Keep in mind it is rare
to have the contents of speech acts although I have
a few of those rare examples, but other examples allow us to
see hints of their form as well as their ubiquity and importance. So I want to go back to
the monk of Saint-Denis for my first example here. I really like this one
because of its sonic imagery and the way it describes
and mobilizing crowd. This is kind of similar
actually to the one, and it’s from the same revolt, the mallet wielder’s [phonetic]
revolt in March 1382 as before. So the riot that he’s
about to describe began with the rough treatment of
a woman selling water crest in the la saille [phonetic],
the city’s marketplace, by a royal tax collector. Seeing this, the Paris crowd
beat the tax collector to death. From this small incident, the uprising grew rapidly
throughout the city, represented in [inaudible]
chronicle, the monk’s chronicle by the cries of the people. This crime having been perpetrated, the tumult now could not
sustain itself in the marketplace but soon pervaded all the city. From all places one ran to the
marketplace with immoderate haste, converging from all
directions into a crowd. A loud clamor with a raised up from
everywhere and resounded in all ears so that the dire venom of sedition
could be spoken everywhere, next some men with
confused minds and deserving of divine punishment went through
the neighborhoods and crossroads of the city shouting out horrible
words equipped with the weapons and swords that the popular furor
could supply, calling “To arms for the liberation
of the fatherland.” This is the Maillotins Revolt. It’s called that because the rioters
went and got a bunch of hammers that were stored in the city’s
arsenal, and so they used hammers, which were decidedly
nonaristocratic weapon. Knights used swords. And so they used hammers
in their revolt, and here’s them hammering
people and things. The people expressed the
power of their numbers and their uniformed
will to the loudness of their collective shouting
because this power went as far as shouting distance
combining with cry, the cry, with movement to their city
spaces expanded their reach of the people in rebellion. So that’s an example of
the power of the sort of oral community has
expressed in this chronicle. It’s a rather extreme example. What were the regular channels
by which information circulated? Marketplaces such as the
aforementioned [inaudible], taverns, prominent city squares,
bridges, cemeteries, and churches were common
meeting places where ideas were frequently
exchanged. Instructions for town criers, who were to disseminate orally the
king’s decrees indicated the places in Paris where the greatest
number of people congregated and thus the announcements
would have the greatest effects. These were before Saint
Genieve’s church– [ Foreign Language ] Before the palace, before
the chateleigh [phonetic] in LaSailles [phonetic] at Port– [ Foreign Language ] And so on, a letter of
remission describes how in July 1413 during the
[inaudible] uprising in Maillot [phonetic] near Paris
a chamberlain and a companion “went together to the gate of
the market to hear the news.” Orem’s [phonetic] translation of
Aristotle’s politics mentions how “all manner of people converse
in the market and in the city, and because of this congregations
and assemblies are easily made.” Hers a marketplace picture. Here’s men discussing the
purchase of an Oxford. Maybe they’re also discussing
politics at the same time. To this quote of Aristotle’s
that Orem translates, he also adds a grumbling gloss,
warning of “the mob or a multitude of merchants found in marketplaces.” Taverns were particularly rife
with gossip, rumor, and discussion. Here’s a tavern. Guilbert de Metz’ [phonetic]
15th Century description of Paris said there were
4000 taverns in the city. There probably weren’t that many. And here are few sample tavern
names, just because they’re fun. The deer’s horn, the Griffin,
the helm, the armed man, the striped assistant, the
two axes, the three axes, the bear on the line
and the wolf’s tail. So these people would congregate
in these taverns with their names and their beautiful signs that depicted these
things I just described. The point is that these were all
important places where people of all social strata mixed and
normal cultural codes of honor and respect for hierarchy
were loosened. Not surprisingly, some of the most
shocking and subversive snatches of everyday people’s
speech that comes down to us in the sources were spoken
in taverns and then recorded when their unfortunate speakers
went on trial for their words. Here are some examples. These are my favorites. In 1379, Jean Loast [phonetic]
declared that he wished “that the king was dead and
that his soul in paradise and happy peace could be throughout
the realm, and it was a sin that he continued to live.” In 1398, a certain Jean de
Begne [phonetic] was accused, as it turns out falsely, of
having complained of over taxation and called the king insane, and
he said that the king’s brother, “played dice and loved
whores,” which was true. My favorite example comes not
from Paris but from Orleans, but I included it anyway
because it’s too good. In 1384 in the aftermath
of failed revolts that shook the entire realm
including Paris and Orleans, Guillium Lejup Onye
[phonetic], the roadmaker, said, “Shit on this king
and shit on that king. We have no king but God. Do you think they acquired
what they have justly? They burden me again and
again, and it weighs on them that they can’t have
all of our things. What affair is it of theirs to take that which I have gained
with my sewing needle. I would rather have the
king and all kings die than to have my son hurt
even his pinkie finger. Do you think it was a good
idea for Guillium to say that? No. He was pardoned actually, but he got a fleur de li
[phonetic] engraved in his forehead. The royal symbol, the fleur de li. The authorities knew of subversive
speech prevalent in taverns. The Duke of Burgundy, Philip the
Bold tried to use the network of Paris taverns to his advantage
around 1400, “to put the hearts of the people against
the queen and the Duke of Orleans, the king’s brother. He had false lies spread
by scults [phonetic] and in taverns about them.” A systematic regime of
espionage in the taverns of Paris to prevent the youth from
plotting or being idyll, for this led to revolt, was
advocated by a political philosopher and some called the proto-feminist,
Christine de Pizon [phonetic]. She was maybe a proto-feminist
depending on your view, but she was not politically
progressive in other ways. And this plan was once again advised by the Arman Yacklad [phonetic]
government in October 1413 after the [foreign language]
uprising had been quelled. They say that “the provost of
Paris should send 30 or 40 good and sure sergeants to walk often
around the city and in taverns and other places to listen, inquire,
search and hear if they find or know anybody murmuring, plotting
betrayal, saying or doing anything that could be the cause
of disruption of peace.” The 1383 Parisians planned
for resistance as well as an abortive 1417
plot to open Paris to the Burgundians were hatched
in taverns, is tangible evidence that the authorities
were right to be wary. In addition to these informal modes
of spreading news and information, more formal modes of
speech also existed in these faces in the street. Popular preachers commonly
circulated through Paris competing with street performers,
peddlers, and the cries of sellers of all sorts of wares for attention. Most street preachers were connected
to an official organization, and the right to preach
was officially guarded only for those sanctioned by the church. The university had a powerful
weapon to move public opinion with its phalanx of preachers
from the student body and faculty. This university preacher brigade
was a powerful and important tool of the secular authority
such that the threat of a preacher strike
was a major weapon of intimidation by
university officials. Also, the king found himself
frustrated in keeping the university in line ideologically and was forced to issue what were most
likely ineffectual warnings against the university’s preaching
when he found himself at odds with their political views, most
notably in the twist and turns of the policy of the subtraction of
obedience towards the [inaudible], papal schism, it’s a real
mess, but when the king and the university disagreed with
one another, university would preach against the king’s policies. One prominent popular
Parisian preacher, theologian, Pierre-aux-Boeufs,
here’s a preaching scene. This is actually January
Husband, it’s bohemia rather than Paris, but I like the picture. One prominent Parisian preacher, theologian Pierre-aux-Boeufs
complains of the way that he has to compete for attention
in the city’s streets. “There are many who never tire of
listening for the length of a day to the jokes and japes of a
performer and his game of pantomime or to hear a prolix
[phonetic] romance. ” Because of this, preachers
had to adapt accordingly and filled their sermons
with fiery images, sometimes condemning
the rich and powerful. In one of his sermons, Pierre-aux-Boeufs deplores the
laziness and decadent clothing of the rich and equated
poverty with holiness. He further says, due
to their rapacity, they (the rich) show
themselves hard, rigorous and cruel towards the poor. The hard and evil words of the
poor hear sometimes at the doors of the greedy rich stripped of
all mercy, these harsh refusals that they there can be called
rightly hard stones hurled at God. The sources refer to the
presence of many preachers who captivated the city for
months with their public sermons on morality held in the streets or Saint Innocence
Cemetery before great crowds such as the Franciscan
brother, Richard, in 1429, who was said by the bourgeois of
Paris to have drawn five to 6000 for his moralizing sermons. When Brother Richard was
giving these sermons, no doubt he had the famous
painting of the dance of death for which Saint Innocence Cemetery
was well known for centuries as his backdrop, reinforcing
the theme of the equality of all human beings
before God and judgment. Nonprofessional preachers
can get and audience. [Foreign language] mentions, “A
crazy man captivated audience in the Palace [inaudible]” in 1410, claiming he could heal
the king’s insanity. The king was insane
from 1393 to 1422, a long time, probably schizophrenic. And that caused a lot
of problems too. Aside from Brother Richard, the bourgeois mentions the
well-attended preaching sessions of a recluse named Jean La
Vouyeur [phonetic] in 1442, and the Chatleigh [phonetic]
registers state that [foreign language] would be
hanged as a thief in June 1390, pickpocketed a woman
distracted “by a sermon” at Saint Innocence Cemetery. Political leaders would
sometimes give large speeches to assembled crowds as well. Recognizing their power, both sides in the civil war employed
their own preachers. Prior to this, there was the
remarkable speech war in 1357 and 1358 between Charles the
Bad of Navarre and his rival, the [inaudible] regent Charles,
the same one who was cowering in the corner earlier, later,
King Charles the fifth at the time of the Etienne Marcel
uprising in Paris. Charles the Bad had
scaffolding erected. This is a picture of
this, supposedly. It’s kind of a strange picture, but Charles the Bad had scaffolding
erected in the [foreign language], an open field where normally
jousts and other events were held, and had his men spread
word of the coming speech in the days leading up to the event. Around 10,000 are said to have shown
up at eight or nine in the morning of November 30 to see the demagogic
Charles the Bad give a speech railing against royal officers
and other injustices perpetrated by the royal government for
Castro-esque four to five hours. Not wishing to be outflanked, the
young dofan [phonetic] gave a speech at the Palace de Grave [phonetic]
on 11 January to “a great crowd of people” in which he declared
that he was “ready to live and die” with the Parisians. The speech worked. “The words of the [inaudible]
were so agreeable to the people that he had the greater part
of them in favor of him. Another example of spreading
information and commentary about contemporary
politics was through song. Music was a major part of medieval
cultural life, and people played and sang as a group activity or enjoyed watching
street performances. Because music and songs were part
of the people’s participation in political ceremonies, it
is not surprising to find that music could be injected with a different political
context out of satire. A ruling from 1395 prohibits Paris
minstrels from singing “neither in the squares nor elsewhere”
any [inaudible], rhymes or songs that make mention of the pope,
king, or lords of France. The monk of Saint-Denis
describes how some Parisians sang “injurious songs” outside the window
of the Countess of Henolt [phonetic] as she dined after arriving
to the city as an ambassador for John the Fearless in 1414. One chronicler in 1347 comments
that a song called “I Failed Her to Whom I Was Given in Love”
was sung “everywhere in France” about the young count of Flanders,
Louis, who abandoned his fiance, the daughter of the King
of England at the altar, thus touching off a
political scandal and war. In 1413 in the context of the
vicious civil war in France, a judicial record tells
that [foreign language], who snuck into the town of
[inaudible] near Paris was arrested for playing subversive songs
on his harp in a tavern and for having a written
version of “A Ballad Against Those in Paris”
in his pocket. The printing press is given a lot
of credit for the role it played in spreading ideas during the
reformation, and so it should, but it is also important
to realize the elements of pamphlet culture existed in
Paris before Gutenberg’s invention. The widespread use of paper, a
cheaper alternative to parchment, began in the 14th century, making writing more
disposable and accessible. Orality retained its importance
in aspects of law and government but increasingly writing
had become necessary, rather than an ornamental
accompaniment to these procedures, and have permeated
civic life as well. It must be remembered that
in this period orality and literacy were not mutually
exclusive worlds or processes. Written texts were often
read aloud to audiences, and thus a large amount
of people could share in a textual experience
even if they could not read. Political broadsides have been
discussed as a feature of English, political and urban life as a
major vehicle for the spread of the Lollard heresy
in the same period. But it is almost certain that they
existed in France and Paris as well. A few of them have come down to us
as they were designed as ephemeral, but sources give several
indirect references to them. The political debate
over the papal schism, which fed into the
political disputes of the civil war had occasion
efforts the control opinion in 1397 as this ordinance states quote that
“no person regardless of status or condition be not so daring or
bold in secret or openly, directly or indirectly in deed or
in speech to preach, orate, make or write letters or any
other sort of writing or anything that can bring or create any harm
or obstacle to the above said vote of succession neither in the
manner or means to proceed with it or in its practice. Also, in 1406, anyone found
with a copy of a University of Tulet letter arguing that the
king could be deposed as a heretic if [inaudible] pope
was to be executed. There was considerable
concern over seditious letters in the civil war period,
and efforts were made to intercept them before they
could reach their audience. Such letters were probably intended
to be read in taverns and churches by sympathizers, but copies
of them would also be hanged up on church doors and other places as Nichola de Bay’s [phonetic]
description of a provost of Paris decreed banning the
practice in July 1404 indicates. The royal condemnation of the
Cabotian [phonetic] rebels after the revolt was crushed
in September 1413 lists as one of their major crimes that “many
defaming letters were made and sent to many persons affixed to church
doors and published in many places.” Though he was considerably
well connected, and that’s not exactly a member of
the common people, it is noteworthy that the Duke of Burgundy,
John the Fearless, engaged in a large scale publicity
campaign directed by University of Paris theologian John Petit
[phonetic] for his justification of tyrannocide, a treatise
defending his recent assassination of the king’s brother,
that’s the guy who likes dice and
plays with whores. Luxury copies donned in leather were
sent to prominent lords as gifts from John the Fearless, but
cheaper copies were also produced for distribution. Petit and his secretary, John Johannes [phonetic] used the
treasury office of the College of Roueaux [phonetic]
of the university for the copying campaign in 1408. Twelve students at a time would
take dictation from Johannes to produce numerous
additions, which were then sent out throughout Paris and the realm. I promised riots of the Bastille,
and I will deliver, but before that, I think it is important to
remember that if we’re talking about popular resistance to a royal
authority, and not all, in fact, not most of popular political
engagement was adversarial to the crown must be said, even in
these tumultuous medieval centuries, it is just as important however
to talk about more humble, everyday forms of resistance
than big revolts. Rather than take the
risk of open revolt, townspeople from the Parisian
[foreign language] were most likely to engage in the sort of everyday
resistance activities famously analyzed by James Scott in the
study of modern Malaysian peasants, foot dragging, dissimilation,
desertion, false compliance, pilfering, feigned ignorance,
slander, arson, and sabotage. By their nature, such acts are
likely to escape mention in sources, but there are some references. I think a most instructive
reference to kind of every day sort of resistance that we encounter
comes from a July 1388 ordonnances. Every day there is committed and
perpetrated many crimes, excesses, evils, and ill deeds, and that many
times and often it has occurred and occurs that some of
our Officers and Deputies when the case requires it to
make rulings, enforcement, or other matters of justice, have
rebellions, defiance, obstacles, and disobediences given to them. And what is worse, many of
our officers, procurers, and sergeants in exercising
their said offices and duties and otherwise, in hatred or contempt
of them, have been greatly injured and cursed or very badly
beaten, mutilated, and wounded and some dead and killed. This comes in the context
of the crown attempting to label royal officers in a legal
extension of the royal person. Thus they personified the
king and therefore any act on them was an act of treason. We can see here once again that
the people obviously drew a clear distinction in their minds
between king and officers, a distinction that the crown tried
to erase but to little effect. All right. Riot at Bastille time. Obviously the most sensational and therefore most documented
expressions of popular politics in this period were
instances of revolt. As I mentioned earlier, these were
frequent in the late middle ages, once generation in Paris. Scholars [inaudible] in how and
what they mean and how we were to compare them to modern-day
revolutions, and those are big in great questions, but it
would take a whole other lecture to begin to address them. What I hope to do here is to
describe one riot that was part of the 1413 Caboshian [phonetic]
revolt so you can get a picture of what these events looked like
and some of the dynamics that were in play that echo what I
have already talked about. Briefly, the Caboshian revolt was
an uprising in which aristocrats, university men, trade
gills, and rank and file Parisians all participated
in a loose alliance based on a common ideology of antagonism
towards the growth of taxation, the state bureaucracy, and
the increased centralization of government power in the court. It took place in Paris in 1413. It is named for Simon Cabosh,
the slaughterhouse worker, who was one of the movements leaders
as it was the Paris butcher’s guild that was at the forefront
of the movement. Following a contentious estate’s
general meeting in January and February in which the estates
rejected calls for taxation and instead demanded reforms
and purges of wicked courtiers, a commission was established
to draft a set of decrees that would reform the
royal government. This would be issued in May and is
now called the [foreign language]. In late April following the
riot I’m about to describe, the Caboshian seized
power through the organs of the Paris municipal government
and militia and by physical control of the king, again, the
tragic Charles the sixth who was incapacitated by
schizophrenia and the dofan, the 13-year-old Louis
of Guien [phonetic]. Once in power, they purged the
government of disagreeable courtiers and tried to win other cities
in the realm to their cause. Alarmed by their excesses,
the University of Paris, the Duke of Burgundy and other
initial sympathizers abandoned the movement in July, and the
movement collapsed in August 1413. So this is an incredibly complicated
history, but let’s just focus for now on the night of April 28. On this night, the butchers,
as heads of the city militia, rallied 3000 armed Parisians in
the Palace de Grev [phonetic], entering the hotel
de Ville [phonetic] and seizing the town standard
to leave them as they marched. Over the course of the next several
hours, 20,000 more joined them. These numbers are provided
by chroniclers, and they are probably exaggerations. A crowd of 23,000 would
represent at least 10 percent of the Parisian population in this
time and would have been the size of London’s population by itself. So these numbers, we have to
doubt, but in any case we can guess that the participation
of everyday rank and file Parisians was significant. The monk of Saint-Denis Sandonen
[phonetic] describes the riot as “the popular commotion
instigated by most sordid men and later the participants as
plebeians and the popular classes.” Once assembled, the crowd
marched to the Bastille. They did so because they knew
that Pierre de Czar [phonetic] from a prominent Paris bourgeois
family and former provost of Paris once popular but now
hated had taken refuge there. The Bastille also had both tactical and symbolic importance
to the city of Paris. It had been constructed
here, we see it, in the 1370’s by Charles the fifth
and his authoritarian provost of Paris, Ug O Brio [phonetic], as part of that king’s aggressive
building program intended to assert symbolic royal
power and ownership over the city’s physical space
following the Etienne Marcel revolt of 1356 to eight. He was scarred for his
whole life by that incident that I described earlier when the
marshals were executed in front of him and he wanted to have
an extensive building program that would kind of assert his power. As an extension of the
Saint Antoine gate, it was a key strategic
defensive threshold between the city’s interior
and exterior, which contributed to the Parisians’ concern
that it was being used for a planned assault on the city. So in 1789, the Bastille was
in the middle of the city. In 1413, it was right
on the edge of the city. For these reasons, the Bastille
was seen as an intrusion on the Paris community
sense of peace. When they arrived, the Parisians
camped out in front the fortress and “swore an oath not to leave until they had taken
the fortress by force.” Another chronicle says
that they threatened to demason the fortress,
which I love. I love that. The angry crowd was
temporarily mollified, however, and the Bastille given a 376 year
reprieve, when the Duke of Burgundy, beloved by the masses arrived
and arrested Pierre de Czar. The Parisians were
not done, however. Still amassed and a large
crowd, the Parisians marched to the dofan’s residence at San Paol
[phonetic] and demanded an audience. The dofan’s counselors
advised him to charge out his gates wearing
a Fleur de li flag, but the teenage Louis could
not muster the courage to do so against the armed and
angry throng outside. He was 13. It would have been hard. The Parisians draped the city stand
over the fleur de li on the gate of the dofan’s residence. The dofan Louis addressed
the crowd to his credit, saying that they should
return to their jobs. From the Roux St. Antoine, Jean de Troyes [phonetic]
representing the Parisians who cheered him on,
he was a surgeon, and surgeons in those days
weren’t the reputable doctors that they became– anyway, Jean de
Troyes announced that they had come for the benefit of
the realm and demanded that the dofan’s wicked counselors
be delivered to them immediately, producing a scroll of
50 named “traitors” that they insisted the
dofan’s chancellor read aloud. They also attacked the
dofan’s moral character saying that he spent too much time in
“indecent nocturnal parties” and that they feared that his
lack of guidance and discipline in his youth would lead him to
the same sickness of his father. They said that if the demands were
not met they would “rip everything to pieces” and the dofan’s hotel. When the dofan’s chancellor Jean de
Ville read the scroll of traitors, the first name on it was his own. At this, the dofan
withdrew into his residence and refused any more discussion. The Parisians immediately stormed
the dofan’s hall by smashing down the door and then “raced
through its halls in all directions and rifled through all his records
and sized everyone they found, sending many noblemen in
the dofan’s court to prison. The violence then spread throughout
the city as Parisians rounded up other suspected
traitors and arrested them and ransacked their homes. Though the night of April 28
with an intense and extreme in its confrontation
with royal authority, in essence it’s continued the
themes I have already tried to explore today, and the animated
late medieval Parisian popular opinion in my quiet times as well. We see the Parisians
able to mobilize quickly, probably through word of
mouth facilitated here by the militia deputies
who could neighborhood by neighborhood to spread the word. But they also produced a scroll of
traitors showing their familiarity with writing and the inner court
workings no doubt disgruntled courtiers assisted them in
the drawing up the scroll. We see the implicit claim to
represent the public good by arming for the city’s defense,
justified by their use of the militia organization and their marching behind the city
standard and also their desire to remove threats to the city
by pulling suspected traitor, Pierre de Czar from the Bastille. We see them using claims of
the dofan’s immorality as a way to justify arrest of his courtiers
and curbs on his autonomy. Through their physical
penetration of the dofan’s hall, we see them claiming the space
as subject to public scrutiny, a public space rather than a
personal one of the dofan’s. We see from a broader lens this
crucial dynamic referred to earlier that court intrigue could
be animated by alliances with the popular classes. In all, we see the most
spectacular manifestation of what was a fundamental aspect of
late medieval culture, the central and tumultuous role of the people
engaged in political action. So, I’ll stop there. [ Applause ] So, are there any questions,
anybody have any comments? Yeah, sure, Tom? [ Inaudible Comment ] Well thanks for that question. I actually had a huge chunk on
Habermas that I removed just because it wasn’t working
for this lecture. I wanted to talk about the sources. And it’s hard to answer
in a short thing. But yes it’s a big part of what
I’m going to try to talk about. Habermas was very explicit
in that he said that what he was describing was part of a very contingent political
history, structural features of the 17th century and
the 18th century in Europe, and this was essentially that the
people, bourgeoisie especially, could enter the public sphere,
they were private individuals who could enter a public sphere as
a public people and voice their sort of universal opinion using reason
in order to advance their opinions in kind of a neutral
plane with everyone else. The means for this was
in cafes and salons and newspapers and things like that. So the structural elements that
Habermas talks about were not in evidence in the 15th
century, 14th century in Paris. Although some of them were. I mean, some sort of insipient
versions of that were. And Habermas doesn’t say
much about the Middle Ages. He sort of hints at it. Other people kind of coming after
him had filled that picture in, but what Habermas does say is that,
oh gosh, there’s so much to say. I’m going to try to keep
this as short as I can. He says that what’s crucial
is that there is a line between the government
and the people. There’s the government
and the civic society. And what traditionally
people like Habermas and other’s says is the Middle
Ages didn’t have that line. The Middle Ages had all these
intermediate entities, lords, other jurisdictions, and all of
these people so that the public, what would be the public’s sphere,
was filled by all these kind of intermediate things,
and the medieval sort of political story was thus not
one with a line between government and people but actually a
whole bunch of nodes of power. I think Habermas talked
about status, sort of walking around with the nobility rather
than– so that’s Habermas’ argument. And he said what I’m
describing is not an ideal type but a specific event. A lot of people have
criticized Habermas. I think that the best criticism of
Habermas is the feminist criticism for example that points
out that what he describes as a universal public sphere was
in fact very heavily gendered. There were all sorts of rules of
playing in the public sphere that, you know, they talk about
it being governed by reason but in fact there are all sorts of
kind of social identity, related, gendered things that
were restraining it. And Nancy Frasier,
her argument’s great. And other people have
also come in, not just me but other people have talked about
how there are many different kinds of public sphere, you know, the very
thing that Habermas didn’t want. I have sort of articulated arguments
why there are actually many of them and that Habermas is a little
too sort of Euro-centric and kind of modern-centric in his thing. What I would say against the still
strong and still potent argument is that in the Middle Ages we see,
and I think the court is the key, we see antagonists, people
defining themselves as subjects and as marginalized from kind
of royal government as subjects, and then the court is this object
of frustration, animosity, hatred, and so in some ways you see
what Habermas was talking about, which was a line between the
government and the people. But this co-exists with all of these
other sort of political affiliations that Habermas was talking
about, that people have talked about since de Tokeville
[phonetic] and Marx, you know. So, but I think that because
you do have those kind of, that kind of dynamic between Court
and people, you are seeing sort of this kind of early version
of people considering themselves as a kind of a public
against the government. Now is it governed by reason? I think I’ve already answered
this question for a long time, so I’m sort of reluctant
to be there. No, I mean there was a sort
of, there was a culture of reasonableness that people try
to advocate, but it wasn’t as sort of blown up, and it’s
kind of celebrated as it was in the enlightenment. And I guess I would go back to Nancy
Frasier’s argument and the argument of others that this kind
of ethic reason was itself, a kind of cultural construct that
couched and hid all of these kind of sort of gendered and other ways that there was excluded
and included people. That was a long answer. I’m sorry everyone, but
it’s a really good question, and it’s really complicated stuff. Did I kill every– yeah?>>[Inaudible] politics,
so but I notice that [inaudible] royal taxation
would be a political issues [inaudible] and so forth, and I [inaudible] ever a
perceived public interest or, yeah, public interest on the spending side such that you would
find a tax ear marked for a particular activity
[inaudible] or more acceptable or less than the object [inaudible],
so on the spending side, what was understood to be [inaudible] a worthy activity
[inaudible] the subjects would kind of go along, and the other
thing that I was kind of curious about one might [inaudible]
conflicts is to have a good [inaudible]
a good outside [inaudible] and the English were sort
of [inaudible] and I kind of wondered what role they played
either rhetorically or in actuality as [inaudible] these
things, you know, the French would put all [inaudible]
come together [inaudible].>>Okay. Two good questions. So the story of taxation is quite
complicated, but the original, sort of medieval structure
of taxation as sort of exactly what you’re talking
about, that taxation had to be for a specific purpose, and so
originally leaders would raise a tax for building a wall, for
paying for my son’s wedding, for very specific purposes. And for a war most often. Okay. And so this was the
tradition, and leaders always had to articulate what that purpose
was, municipal leaders had to articulate what that purpose
was, and there was an expectation of a kind of cause and effect. In the 14th Century the
war became the hundred, well the term the hundred years war
was a later term applied to the war, but there was basically a kind
of endless war with the English, and in the context
of the endless war with the English there was
also an endless need for funds. And so the French government, the royal government kept collecting
money for war against the English such that they just finally said
guys, let’s just do this every year. We always need money. We’re running out of money. And when they tried to do that,
that’s when the most serious, I mean I would call it a revolution,
the Etienne Marcel uprising, when the crown tried to
impose permanent taxation, and it was in the king got captured
at the battle of [inaudible] by the English, and
to pay his ransom because the English extracted
a huge ransom for him. The crown said we just
need huge amounts of money. And in the face of that, Etienne
Marcel, the provost of Paris, I mean the provost of merchants
in Paris, and the estates general, you know, created a very significant
resistance reform movement, and they tried to have the
estates government essentially, state’s general essentially
govern the country. So the resistance to this kind of permanent taxation was pretty
serious, and it was, they never, they never stopped being serious. I mean this taxation
problem continued. What stopped it is kind of the
answer to your second question, or what changed the game, which
is, after all of these revolts that I’m talking about and
the civil war especially between these two parties,
the Burgundians and the Armonex [phonetic], so
kind of a complicated story, but basically the Duke of Burgundy
assassinated the king’s brother in 1407, and these two
factions sort of fought, and they fought for years. When that happened, and with
all these revolts happening, France was severely weakened,
and the English invaded under Henry the fifth [inaudible]
1415, they occupied France and northern France in 1420 an
in the treaty of Troyes in 1420, Henry the fifth’s son, Henry
the sixth, Henry the fifth of England’s son, was
to take over the crown of France, so this was disaster. And in this, and this
is happening, you know, ten years after the
events I’m describing, in this context you have the dofan,
who has got his little enclave, and that’s when Joan of Arc appears. Okay. And I think you can say
that that changes the equation for many Frenchmen and
that is the external enemy around which they are
able to mobilize. That being said, I always insist
that you must understand that even with Joan of Arc, even with the
English occupying most of France, that there were a lot of people in
France who we would call Frenchmen, including the Parisians
most notably, who didn’t like Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc was an Armonac, she
was kind of on the other side. Joan of Arc was burned
by the Burgundians, the English captured her but
handed her over to the Burgundians to burn her, and so
this idea of Frenchness that was being mobilized
successfully by the dofan and by his party was eventually
able to kind of overcome some of this kind of fractiousness,
but that even in Joan of Arc’s time it was
not a sort of done deal. So, that was long answer too. I’m trying to not have long answers. Yes sir? [ Inaudible Comment ] Well there’s tons of popular
mobilizations in Europe. [ Inaudible Comment ] No, it’s not unique, but
the university of Paris in this period mostly because of the
papal, politics of the papal schism in which there was a pope in Rome
and a pope in Avienne [phonetic], became really, really
politically active and kind of exercised its muscle more
than I think most university, most universities and
other places did. [ Inaudible Comment ] Well, I mean, so the University
of Tullos [phonetic] and the south of France was kind of a very
different political context, but the University of Tullos
issued what I described here, this letter in 1406 saying
that the king was a heretic for supporting the Aviennial pope. So, yeah, they would get involved. The University of Orleans would also
get involved in the uprisings there in the 1380s and the Italian
universities, some of these jurists, and I don’t think they
weren’t sort of directly in the street the way the
University of Paris people were, but a lot of their
jurists are articulating, as I sort of alluded to,
justifications of government as, you know, being based in the popular
sovereignty, and Marsilius of Padua, you know, is the most sort
of strident version of that. He basically kind of almost
a republican in this period. But no, I don’t think
overall it’s nothing compared to University of Paris.>>Thank you very much.>>Okay. [ Applause ]>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

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