‘Y avoit si grant charté a Paris […] par défaulté du roy’ : Pratique du gouvernement et géographie coutumière de l’absence et de la présence du roi (royaume de France, v. 1364-1515)

Abstract : In the later Middle Ages the power of the French king was personal but the kings could not cover the whole of the 400,000 km2 of their kingdom.. Its sacred character manifested itself in the contact the king established with his subjects; in practice, the physical presence of the king was a major political factor. The slow growth of administration did not displace this, but rather reinforced the king’s ‘power in representation’. In this paper we shall study the absence of the king, but instead of examining political theory, we shall follow the king on his journeys and observe him through the reactions of public opinion. The itinerary of the king draws a kind of ‘customary map’, showing the proximity of power to its subjects: by default, the map suggests how distant power was, or how it was delegated. And on this map two scales overlap, a geographical one and a social.
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Léonard Dauphant. ‘Y avoit si grant charté a Paris […] par défaulté du roy’ : Pratique du gouvernement et géographie coutumière de l’absence et de la présence du roi (royaume de France, v. 1364-1515). 2015. ⟨hal-02063077⟩

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