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Canonized in 1297 as Saint Louis, King Louis IX of France (1214-1270) was the central figure of Christendom in the thirteenth century. He ruled when France was at the height of power; he commanded the largest army in Europe and controlled the wealthiest kingdom. Renowned for his patronage of the arts, Louis was equally famous for his choice to imitate the suffering Christ as a humbly attired, bearded penitent. Armed with the considerable resources of the nouvel historien, Jacques Le Goff mines existing materials about Saint Louis to forge a new historical biography of the king. Part of his ambitious project is to reconstruct the mental universe of the thirteenth century: Le Goff describes the scholastic and intellectual background of Louis’s reign and, most importantly, he discusses methodology and the interpretation of written sources—their composition, provenance, and reliability. Le Goff divides his unconventional biography into three parts. In the first, he gives us the contours of Louis’s life from birth to death in the usual context of family dynamics and genealogy, courtly and regional politics, and shifts in economic, social, and cultural life. In sifting through the historical accounts of the king’s life, Le Goff determines that it is Louis IX’s profound sense of moral and religious purpose—his desire to become the ideal Christian ruler—that colors his every action from boyhood on; it is also, for Le Goff, what renders contemporary accounts problematic and what necessitates further scrutiny. That dissection of sources occupies the second part. Le Goff’s intention is to pare away the layers of homily and anecdote produced by the king’s early biographers to discover the true St. Louis. In the third part, Le Goff highlights the contradictions within Louis and his historical image that previous chroniclers have elided and overlooked.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Translator's Note
  2. pp. xvi-xvii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xviii-xix
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xx-xxxii
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  1. Part I. The Life of Saint Louis
  2. p. 1
  1. 1. From Birth to Marriage (1214 –1234)
  2. pp. 3-82
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  1. 2. From Marriage to the Crusade (1234 –1248)
  2. pp. 83-127
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  1. 3. The Crusade and the Stay in the Holy Land (1248–1254)
  2. pp. 128-150
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  1. 4. From One Crusade to the Next and Death (1254–1270)
  2. pp. 151-226
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  1. 5. Toward Sainthood: From Death to Canonization (1270 –1297)
  2. pp. 227-238
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  1. Part II. The Production of Royal Memory: Did Saint Louis Exist?
  2. p. 239
  1. 1. The King from the Official Documents
  2. pp. 243-261
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  1. The King of the Mendicant Hagiographers: A Saint King of Resurgent Christendom
  2. pp. 252-265
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  1. 3. The King of Saint-Denis: A Dynastic and “National” Saint King
  2. pp. 266-280
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  1. 4. The King of the Exempla
  2. pp. 281-302
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  1. 5. Prefigurations of Saint Louis in the Old Testament
  2. pp. 303-314
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  1. 6. The King of the Mirrors of the Princes
  2. pp. 315-340
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  1. 7. The King of the Foreign Chroniclers
  2. pp. 341-365
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  1. 8. The King of Commonplace Ideas
  2. pp. 366-375
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  1. 9. The "Real" Louis IX of Joinville
  2. pp. 376-398
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  1. 10. Saint Louis
  2. pp. 399-418
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  1. Part III. Saint Louis, The Unique and Ideal King
  2. p. 419
  1. 1. Saint Louis in Space and Time
  2. pp. 423-460
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  1. 2. Words and Images
  2. pp. 461-479
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  1. 3. Words and Gestures: The Prud’homme
  2. pp. 480-518
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  1. 4. The King's Three Functions
  2. pp. 519-546
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  1. 5. Saint Louis: Feudal King or Modern King?
  2. pp. 547-572
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  1. 6. Saint Louis and His Family
  2. pp. 573-608
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  1. 7. Saint Louis' Religion
  2. pp. 609-639
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  1. 8. Conflicts and Criticisms
  2. pp. 640-676
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  1. 9. Saint Louis, Sacred King, Thaumaturge, and Saint
  2. pp. 677-702
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  1. 10. The Suffering King, The Christ King
  2. pp. 703-724
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 725-735
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  1. Appendix 1. Saint Louis’ “Somatic Formula” According to Dr. Auguste Brachet (1894)
  2. pp. 736-738
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  1. Appendix 2. Louis IX’s Letter to His Subjects from the Holy Land (1250)
  2. pp. 739-746
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  1. Chronology
  2. pp. 747-753
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 754-860
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  1. List of Abridged Titles
  2. p. 861
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 862-876
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268085681
Related ISBN
9780268033811
MARC Record
OCLC
704518609
Pages
952
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-26
Language
English
Open Access
No
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