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By William Chester Jordan

3 photographs of fellows who have been on the very middle of governance in thirteenth-century France males who strove within the shadow of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) to impose a redemptive regime at the realm. Professor Jordan treats them as contributors, yet in a feeling also they are varieties: Robert of Sorbon, a churchman; Etienne Boileau, a bourgeois; and Simon de Nesle, an aristocrat. Robert used to be the founding father of the Sorbonne; Boileau used to be the prévôt or royal administrator of Paris; and Simon used to be two times co-regent of the dominion. brooding about them and their family members with Louis IX opens up a brand new and altogether sobering vista for exploring the character of the king s rule and the impression of his rule on his topics.

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Extra resources for Men at the Center: Redemptive Governance Under Louis IX

Sample text

43 None of the scenarios I have suggested about Louis IX’s consultation of administrative personnel on an appropriate appointee to the prévôté of Paris seems quite to describe the voice of the people. Is it just a phrase, an exaggeration, mythography? An alternative explanation seems better to me. The king must have been in touch at least indirectly with many leading merchants, heads of the craft guilds and other worthies of Paris, whose residences and businesses were located in those parts of the city under royal administration.

Indd 27 2012-09-12 15:39:21 hymn mimics the sentiments of the last stanza of the thirteenth-century poem. The protagonist desires God’s help to be vigilant in the struggle against sin. But the specific mode of behavior which the hymnist pledges in order to induce the Lord to bestow divine protection is in itself revealing in that it elegantly and precisely coheres with the moral and sacramental vision of Robert of Sorbon: Te, sancte Christe, poscimus; / ignosce tu criminibus, / ad confitendum surgimus / morasque noctis rumpimus (Holy Christ, we beg thee, / forgive our sins, / we arise [in the morning] to confess them / and we break through the interval of night).

Douce Dame, the classic chivalric mode of salutation, is how she is addressed, this virginal flower, who inspires good works. And then by stanza eight the tone changes to that of a sinner begging for help, for counsel and for salvation through the intervention of the gloriosa domina. This appeal allows her to invoke her Son as well as the Holy Spirit (veni creator spiritus) as those hypostases of the godhead that will redeem the sinner. The Virgin is Mater misericordie, the mother of mercy, in effecting this divine intervention, which in turn lifts the poet to a state of heavenly bliss.

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