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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53751
Doc. No:TL23705
Call number:‭3273588‬
Main Entry:Ryan Anders Pederson
Title & Author:Noble violence and the survival of chivalry in France, 1560–1660Ryan Anders Pederson
College:State University of New York at Binghamton
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:423
Abstract:This dissertation argues that the traditional connection between chivalry, noble identity and noble violence persisted in France until the middle of the seventeenth century. It therefore contributes both to the scholarly literature on noble culture in early modern France and to the larger historiography of chivalry. Studies of chivalry have largely ignored the period after 1500. This dissertation, however, provides compelling evidence that the history of French chivalry must be pushed forward by more than a century. Chivalry continued to provide French noblemen with an ethos founded on ideals of prowess, personal loyalty, generosity and independence. This ethos retained its vigor until the 1650s, first, because it continued to legitimize acts of noble violence, and second, because it was sustained by these very acts of violence. Aristocratic violence was essential to chivalry in both the medieval and early modern periods, for it was through acts of chivalric violence that warrior nobles instantiated and gave meaning to their ethos. The trappings of chivalric culture such as romances and jousts were readily visible in France until the early decades of the seventeenth century. Moreover, French discourse continued to define nobility in terms of martial virtue and link nobility with chivalric qualities such as prowess, all the while absorbing humanist values without compromising tradition. The nobility's violence in turn instantiated the chivalric ethos reflected in this discourse. The rituals of the duel derived in part from the medieval pas d'armes, provided warrior nobles with a tangible link to medieval knighthood, as well as governed their social and political relations through traditional notions of aristocratic fraternity and courtesy. Meanwhile, the aristocratic experience of warfare retained much of its medieval character, juxtaposing reckless valor and courteous restraint. Indeed, the nobility's traditional ethics and psychology of combat remained relevant in part because their arms and tactics changed very slowly, so that warfare could still provide them with a palpable link to the practices of their medieval predecessors. Finally, warrior nobles of the early modern period further instantiated their chivalric ethos, as well as communicated their autonomous right to violence through revolt, knight errantry and the crusade.
Subject:Social sciences; Chivalry; France; Nobility; Survival; Violence; European history; 0335:European history
Added Entry:H. G. Brown
Added Entry:State University of New York at Binghamton