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Men at the Center: Redemptive Governance under Louis IX (The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Series Book 6)

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Three portraits of men who were at the very center of governance in thirteenth-century France—men who strove in the shadow of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) to impose a redemptive regime on the realm. Professor Jordan treats them as individuals, but in a sense they are also types: Robert of Sorbon, a churchman; Etienne Boileau, a bourgeois; and Simon de Nesle, an aristocrat. Three portraits of men who were at the very center of governance in thirteenth-century France—men who strove in the shadow of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) to impose a redemptive regime on the realm. Professor Jordan treats them as individuals, but in a sense they are also types: Robert of Sorbon, a churchman; Etienne Boileau, a bourgeois; and Simon de Nesle, an aristocrat. Robert was the founder of the Sorbonne; Boileau was the prévôt or royal administrator of Paris; and Simon was twice co-regent of the kingdom. Thinking about them and their relations with Louis IX opens up a new and altogether sobering vista for exploring the nature of the king’s rule and the impact of his rule on his subjects. Follows the biographical approach that Natalie Zemon Davis adopted in her celebrated book Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives.


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Three portraits of men who were at the very center of governance in thirteenth-century France—men who strove in the shadow of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) to impose a redemptive regime on the realm. Professor Jordan treats them as individuals, but in a sense they are also types: Robert of Sorbon, a churchman; Etienne Boileau, a bourgeois; and Simon de Nesle, an aristocrat. Three portraits of men who were at the very center of governance in thirteenth-century France—men who strove in the shadow of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) to impose a redemptive regime on the realm. Professor Jordan treats them as individuals, but in a sense they are also types: Robert of Sorbon, a churchman; Etienne Boileau, a bourgeois; and Simon de Nesle, an aristocrat. Robert was the founder of the Sorbonne; Boileau was the prévôt or royal administrator of Paris; and Simon was twice co-regent of the kingdom. Thinking about them and their relations with Louis IX opens up a new and altogether sobering vista for exploring the nature of the king’s rule and the impact of his rule on his subjects. Follows the biographical approach that Natalie Zemon Davis adopted in her celebrated book Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives.

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