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The book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) online

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very closely. Connected
with the Grail legends is
also the Lorraine poem of
the swan -rider " Lohen-
grin." Like the old
Carolingian, Breton, and
Lorraine legends, the
history of antiquity, the
Trojan war, and the
deeds of Alexander the
Great, were also treated
so as to transform the
Greek heroes into medi-
aeval knights and Cru-
saders.

The rising citizen class
was bound to express its
thoughts in literature no
less than the knightly
class. This was done in
the Fabliaux, which origi-
nated in the East, but
were modelled on the
daily life of the citizen as
it was at that time.
Their satire is directed
against the upper classes
or the cultured clergy
and physicians, but also
depicts the gloomier side
of citizen life, the narrow-
mindedness, drunkenness,
and jealousy of the men,
the infidelity and false-
hood of the women. The
needs of the middle class
upon the stage were satisfied by such pro-
ductions as the two musical plays of Adam
de la Halle about 1235 to 1287 while
mystery and miracle plays taken from the
Bible and the legends of the saints attracted
the whole of the people to the Church.
There were at the same time allegorical
pieces, or " moralities," also based upon




THE LEGENDARY KING ARTHUR
The deeds of the half-mythical Arthur and his
knights have been immortalised in poetry and
romance. According to the legend, he led the
Britons to the overthrow of the Saxon invaders.



From the bronz



the teaching of Christian morality. The
ironical mockery of the lower classes at
the court and the clergy is expressed in
the thirteenth century by the " Roman
du Renart," with its later continuations,
which was composed in the Netherlands
upon Northern French models. The fox
is here a satire upon the intriguing
courtier who insinuates himself within the
despotic government of
the king of beasts, the
lion, and brings ruin upon
defenceless or honourable
people. The monks are
his accomplices, and he
shows a hypocritical sub-
mission to the Popes and
the Church.

The animosity which
was cherished against the
feudal system and the
mediaeval Church, with
its miracles, pilgrimages,
crusading sermons, and
ritual, and also that
against the laity with
their different classes and
representatives, appears
in the "bibles" of Guyot
de Provins and Hugues
de Berze ; these are ency-
clopaedic narratives, in
metrical form, of some
34,000 lines. They origi-
nated at the beginning of
the thirteenth century ;
men of every class co-
operated in their produc-
tion, laity and clergy
alike, and their compo-
sition, like their general
tendency, thus far re-
sembles the encyclo-
paedias of Diderot and
D'Alembert.

A compendium of the
thought and knowledge of
this scholastic age, with
a criticism of Church,
religion, and morality,
may be found in the
allegorical, stilted, and wearisome " Roman
de la Rose," which was composed and con-
tinued by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de
Meun.who lived in the thirteenth century.
The sleeping poet attempts in a dream to
pluck a rose from the hedge of love;
Obstacles and annoyances of every kind
try to defeat his object and to drive him

3*07



at Innsbr



HISTORY OF THE WORLD



he sees that Hugo is inferior to himself ;
his companions mock at the Byzantine
and his Greeks, but are preserved by
Divine Providence from the misfortunes
which they had deserved. Here we have
clearly a Crusader's conception of his
own fortunes. The influence of Crusading
ideas is also obvious in the description of
the great emperor, ascribed to
French Archbishop Turpin of Rheims,

Heroes of an but really composed at the

end of the eleventh or the
beginning of the twelfth century ;
this was the " Historia de vita Caroli
magni et Rolandi ejus nepotis," which
dealt with his struggles with the unbe-
lievers in Spain, the heroic death of
Roland, the warden of the Breton March,
in the valley of Roncesvalles, and the
treachery of Ganelon ; the latter subject
is also treated in the Latin poem concern-
ing the treachery of Ganelon. The
figure of Charles is sometimes modelled
on that of Christ, and his twelve paladins
correspond to the twelve disciples ; he
also appears as an idealised Crusader.

The model for Ganelon's character seems
to have been the treacherous and voluble
Greek who, in the opinion of the Cru-
saders betrayed by him, was in secret
connection with the infidels. This
chronicle was soon translated into the
dialect of the Isle de France, which from
the twelfth century onwards became a
more uniform literary language. The
subject of this somewhat poetical cycle
was reduced to writing in its earliest form
about 1090 as the " Chanson de Geste de
Roland." It was an amalgamation of
older poems, perhaps fragments from
Charles' lost collection of epics, and was
edited in its present form about 1170 by
the minstrel Turold ; the hero resembles
the Teutonic warrior rather than the
Crusader inspired by religious ideals. In
comparison with Roland, the Emperor
Charles is a somewhat feeble figure, and is

depicted rather as a querulous
The Great oM man than ^ ^ boM and

Charles f ,,

. p energetic restorer of the em-

pire. The character drawing is
elementary, and produced by the simplest
means and often by nothing more than the
conventional adjective. The lights and
shadows are distributed unequally. On
the one side we see subtlety and cunning,
on the other invincible heroism and super-
natural power, friendship and fidelity to
death, and heartrending grief, inspired by
3806



the warmest patriotism, for the death of
so many nobles. The poem arose within
the area of the Norman dialect, and was
intended to celebrate the praises of the
Breton race, to which the historical Roland
belongs. Several other narratives from
the Carolingian cycle describe the
battles of Charles with his disobedient
vassals, apparently modelled upon that
war of suppression which the Capets
waged against the feudal nobility of the
twelfth century. As the poets belong to
the retinues of the great lords who were
conquered, they are invariably found in
sympathy with the losing side.

About the middle of the twelfth century
a fresh body of material for French epic
poetry was provided from England and
Brittany. In the sixth century the Britons
had retreated from modern Britain before
the Anglo-Saxons and brought with them
their legends of King Arthur and the
heroes of the round table ; these stories
had also been disseminated by Geoffrey
of Monmouth, who was for some time in
French service, in his " Historia Brit-
taniae," or " Historia Britonum," com-
posed before 1135. In the

anTthe ' " Roman de Brut " f Robert
~ Wace, Arthur, like the legend-
Holy Grail ~, .

ary Charlemagne, is repre-
sented as the chief of twelve peers, and as
accomplishing marvellous exploits with
these bold knights. The religious element
was introduced into this cycle by the
amalgamation of the Arthur traditions
with the legend of the Holy Grail.

The best known of these Grail epics is the
" Perceval " of Chrestien de Troyes, a poet
acquainted with Latin authors and especially
with Ovid ; his works were composed at
the courts of Champagne and Flanders
between 1155 and 1188. In this epic is
shown the picture of a knight inspired
by religious enthusiasm and moral purity,
without fear or reproach, which is ex-
pressed in a series of adventures, and at
times in exquisite form ; the same poet
in his " Chevalier de la Charette " (Lance-
lot) and in his " Tristan," which is now
lost, depicts two knights of more human
character, who are made traitors or
weaklings by the seductions of love. The
remarkable versatility of this epic poet
appears in another form in the love epic
of " Erec and Enite " and the " Chevalier
au Lion." Love is here a source of true
heroism and chivalrous spirit. Chrestien
thus displays a series of knightly crusades



FRANCE AS THE LAND OF LIBERTY



in their most different forms, especially
as affected by the service of love, which
may bring either destruction or blessing.

Two German epic poets entered into the
labours of Chrestien, Hartmann von Aue,
the author of " Erec " about 1190 and of
" Iwein " about 1200, and Gottfried of
Strassburg, the author of " Tristan and
Isolde " about 1210. Wolfram von
Eschenbach in his "Par-
zival " shortly after 1200
uses the material which
appears in Chrestien's
poem of the same name,
and follows his model
very closely. Connected
with the Grail legends is
also the Lorraine poem of
the swan-rider " Lohen-
grin." Like the old
Carolingian, Breton, and
Lorraine legends, the
history of antiquity, the
Trojan war, and the
deeds of Alexander the
Great, were also treated
so as to transform the
Greek heroes into medi-
aeval knights and Cru-
saders.

The rising citizen class
was bound to express its
thoughts in literature no
less than the knightly
class. This was done in
the Fabliaux, which origi-
nated in the East, but
were modelled on the
daily life of the citizen as
it was at that time.
Their satire is directed
against the upper classes
or the cultured clergy
and physicians, but also
depicts the gloomier side
of citizen life, the narrow-
mindedness, drunkenness,
and jealousy of the men,
the infidelity and false-
hood of the women. The
needs of the middle class
upon the stage were satisfied by such pro-
ductions as the two musical plays of Adam
de la Halle about 1235 to 1287 while
mystery and miracle plays taken from the
Bible and the legends of the saints attracted
the whole of the people to the Church.
There were at the same time allegorical
pieces, or " moralities," also based upon




THE LEGENDARY KING ARTHUR
The deeds of the half-mythical Arthur and his
knights have been immortalised in poetry and
romance. According to the legend, he led the
Britons to the overthrow of the Saxon invaders.

Maximilian at Innsbruck



the teaching of Christian morality. The
ironical mockery of the lower classes at
the court and the clergy is expressed in
the thirteenth century by the " Roman
du Renart," with its later continuations,
which was composed in the Netherlands
upon Northern French models. The fox
is here a satire upon the intriguing
courtier who insinuates himself within the
despotic government of
the king of beasts, the
lion, and brings ruin upon
defenceless or honourable
people. The monks are
his accomplices, and he
shows a hypocritical sub-
mission to the Popes and
the Church.

The animosity which
was cherished against the
feudal system and the
mediaeval Church, with
its miracles, pilgrimages,
crusading sermons, and
ritual, and also that
against the laity with
their different classes and
representatives, appears
in the " bibles " of Guyot
de Provins and Hugues
de Berze ; these are ency-
clopaedic narratives, in
metrical form, of some
34,000 lines. They origi-
nated at the beginning of
the thirteenth century ;
men of every class co-
operated in their produc-
tion, laity and clergy
alike, and their compo-
sition, like their general
tendency, thus far re-
sembles the encyclo-
paedias of Diderot and
D'Alembert.

A compendium of the
thought and knowledge of
this scholastic age, with
a criticism of Church,
religion, and morality,
may be found in the
allegorical, stilted, and wearisome " Roman
de la Rose," which was composed and con-
tinued by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de
Meun,who lived in the thirteenth century.
The sleeping poet attempts in a dream to
pluck a rose from the hedge of love;
Obstacles and annoyances of every kind
try to defeat his object and to drive him



HISTORY OF THE WORLD



The Early
Literature
of France



from his purpose. Only when his guardian
spirit, Belaccueil, has freed him from the
prison in which Jalousie has confined him
can he pluck the rose. The subject-matter
of this romance was turned to account by
Moliere ; the truly French flavour of the
satire consoles the reader for its
weary scholasticism and the dry-
ness of the allegorical treatment.
One of the most charming pro-
ductions of early French narrative art is the
novel " Aucassin et Nicolete." Thus we see
that the poetical literature of North France,
which attained its highest point rather in
the twelfth than the thirteenth century,
gives a many-sided and yet a true picture of
the general and varied society of the time.
This poetry reflects with a special clear-
ness the transition from the age of the
Crusades, which began with the triumphs

r



writing decayed ; the chronicle of Regino
at the outset of the tenth century was
the last attempt for the moment to
produce a universal history from the
beginning of the world. In the Eastern, as
in the Western empire, local history takes
the place of imperial history. The disrup-
tion prevailing in France during the tenth
and eleventh centuries held out no induce-
ment to the historian. It was not until later
that Philip Augustus and his grandson
Louis IX. found important historians of
their deeds in Rigor d, who died about 1209,
and William of Nangis, who died about
1300, but the historical revival is closely
connected with the Crusades.

With the thirteenth century the descrip-
tion of the Crusades passes into the hands
of the Crusaders themselves, the knights.
In place of the Latin chronicles of the




A HOME OF THE TROUBADOURS: THE CASTLE OF TARASCON

The Castle of Tarascon, picturesquely situated on the Rhone, was founded by Count Louis II. in the fourteenth century,
In the days of the Troubadours and the Courts of Love this castle was a notable centre of these knights errant of literature.



of the Church in religious belief, but ended
with the undermining of both by the
influence of foreign religions and philo-
sophies. Perceval marks the height of
Catholicism, the earnest belief of undoubt-
ing devotees ; the bible of Guyot is inspired
not only by the heresy of the Waldenses,
but is also the expression of that destructive
worldly wisdom which Voltaire was to
represent five centuries later.

After centuries of torpidity, the writing
of history was revived by the general
shock of the Crusading movement. Great
changes in French history have invariably
introduced new departures in historical
writing. Gregory of Tours was inspired
by the foundation of the Prankish state
under Clovis, the authors of the Prankish
annals by the greatness of Charlemagne.
When his empire broke up, historical

3808



monks come French histories inspired with
the chivalrous spirit. Godfrey of Ville-
hardouin (1160-1213) describes with
dramatic power and ruthless regard for
truth that Fourth Crusade which placed the
Byzantine Empire for some decades in the
hands of the Northern French Count Bald-
win of Flanders and his successors. John
of Joinville (1224-1318) describes in a
straightforward, faithful, and religious
narrative the personality and

de< r ds of St ' Louis ' Historical
and Arts w " tm g na d tnus emancipated

itself from clerical control and
had assumed a national character. On
the other hand, philology and philosophy,
with painting, architecture, and music
among the arts, remained for the moment
entirely or principally in the hands of
ecclesiastics. RICHARD MAHRENHOLTZ



FRANCE UNDER THE VALOIS



THE HUNDRED YEARS WAR WITH ENGLAND



A PART from the so-called Salic Law,
** the next heir to the throne after
the death of Charles IV. would have been
Joan, the daughter of Louis X. and
grand- daughter of Philip IV., but her
claim was hardly discussed at the time ;
she was given Navarre as an indemnity.
But the right of Philip of Valois to the
crown was formally challenged by Edward
III. of England (1327-1377), who claimed
as grandson of Philip IV., whose daughter
Isabella was his mother. At first, indeed,
Edward did homage to the new king as
Duke of Guienne, and thus acknowledged
him in his character of a feudal lord, which
was due, however, only to his royal title ;
but so soon as his intimate relations
with the Flemish town of Ghent, where
Jacob van Artevelde was in power, and
his growing influence in the Netherlands
generally the Emperor Lewis had nomi-
nated him Stadtholder of the
' ' * . empire in Lower Lorraine led

18 him to believe that the moment
t ranee ... ,

was propitious, he assumed

the title of King of France and invaded
the country in 1339 m order to conquer it.
But no battle was fought. In the spring
of 1340 Philip collected a fleet in the
harbour of Sluys in order to prevent
Edward's cross-
ing; the latter,
however, won a
brilliant naval
engagement in
June in that
very harbour.
The land forces
were less suc-
cessful ; Tour-
nay offered a
vigorous resist-
ance, and Ed-
ward, through
pressing need of
pecuniary re-
sources could
not wait any



England's

Great

Victories



longer and concluded a truce. A dispute
had broken out in Brittany in the
year 1341 about the ducal dignity. One
claimant was supported by France, the
other sought the help of Edward, who
thus had a pretext for a new
war. An English army marched
victoriously thrdugh Nor-
mandy in 1346, and then went
up the Seine to the gates of Paris. There
first the French under the command of
their king confronted it. But no decisive
blow was struck until Edward, falling
back towards Flanders, took up a strong
position at Crecy-en-Ponthieu, and was
immediately attacked by the advancing
French on August 25th ; in spite of an
immense numerical advantage (68,000
against 20,000) Philip was defeated.
The day marked a glorious victory for
the English arms. Edward then marched
to Calais, and besieged the town, so im-
portant to him, for eleven months ; when
it finally surrendered, English settlers were
placed in it, in order to create a per-
manent base for the English regal power.
But the resources for carrying on
the war were exhausted by these opera-
tions. Through the good services of the
Pope a treaty was concluded, which did

not, however, at
once apply to
Brittany. The
struggle for the
supremacy in
the country still
continued there.
In August, 1350,
Philip VI. died ;
he was succeeded
on the throne
by his son John,
surnamed " the
Good " (1350-
1^64), who tried

The right of Philip VI. to the throne of France was challenged by , , .-,

Edward III. of England, who claimed the throne as grandson of Philip IV. tO prolong tne

This claim was the pretext for the Hundred Years War. On the death truce with EnS-

of Philip, in 1350, his son John, surnamed "the Good," succeeded him ; 1 . ._

he was defeated at Poitiers and taken to England as a prisoner, land. But he

3809




AN 1S SON JOHN "THE GOOD-

VI. to the throne of France was



HISTORY OF THE WORLD



did not succeed in changing it into a per-
manent peace, for Edward trusted to the
fortune of his arms and had not yet re-
linquished his hope of the French throne.
His son also, Edward the " Black Prince,"
to whom the victory at Crecy was chiefly
due, would not hear of a peace. When,
therefore, John refused to comply with the
demand of Edward that the English
possessions on French soil should be
relieved from feudal jurisdiction, the war
began afresh in 1355. Its outbreak was
hastened by the circumstance that
Charles of Navarre, with whom John had



A two years' truce between the two
hostile powers had been arranged even
before the return of the young Edward to
Bordeaux ; but dangerous disturbances in
the interior shook the monarchy during
John's imprisonment. The government,
and especially the method of levying
taxes, had aroused discontent among the
towns, which were increasing in wealth,
and formed the most powerful part of the
States-General. When, after the king's
imprisonment, the dauphin, afterwards
Charles V., summoned the states of North
France and asked for their support in the




QUEEN PHILIPPA PLEADING BEFORE EDWARD III. FOR THE MEN OF CALAIS
Wishing to be king- of France as well as king of his own country, Edward III. of England landed an army on
French soil and won a great victory over King Philip VI. at Crecy-en-Ponthieu. Advancing next on Calais, Edward
took it after a siege of eleven months. The picture shows his queen, Philippa, on her knees making her successful
appeal for the lives of the men of Calais, whom Edward, enraged at their stubborn resistance, had determined to execute.

From the painting by H. C. Selous

crisis, the representatives of the towns
desired redress for all abuses in the ad-
ministration, and had their definite de-
mands laid singly before the dauphin by
a committee. Under the stress of cir-
cumstances the crown was compelled to
concede every request of the towns.

Nevertheless, an open insurrection broke
out in Paris in 1358. Charles of Navarre,
who was still in captivity, was liberated,
his adherents, who had been executed,
were declared innocent, the prisons also
were opened, and the red and blue cap,



quarrelled, implored the help of England
against him. The opportunity for new
enterprises was eagerly seized. The
Black Prince with a small force raided the
Loire district from his headquarters at
Bordeaux. John met him with superior
numbers. After a vain attempt to come
to an agreement, John was completely
defeated at Poitiers on September iQth,
1356, and himself fell into the hands
of the English. He was conducted to
England, where the king of Scotland also
was living as a prisoner of Edward.

3810



HISTORY OF THE WORLD



the badge of the revolutionists, was
forcibly placed on the head of the dauphin
himself. The example of the towns was
followed by the rising of the peasants in the
country, the so-called Jacquerie, which
was suppressed only by most merciless
severity. Common cause against the
peasant revolt drove the nobility over to
the side of the dauphin, and the Spiritual
Estates stood by him. When he escaped






EDWARD III., OF ENGLAND, ON HIS WHITE PALFREY AT CRECY

from the hands of the Parisian mob he
had a considerable body of adherents at
his command. In Paris the insurgents
were not agreed among themselves. There
were three factions who fought against
each other. The dauphin was soon able
to march into the capital, hold a Bloody
Assize, and in due form carry on the
government for his captive father. Charles

3812



of Navarre, however, began a war against
him which did not end until 1359.

In that year Edward appeared again
with an army on French soil, after the
States-General had rejected the terms of
peace already accepted by King John ;
but he was unable to capture Rheims, in
spite of a siege which lasted many weeks.
The investment of Paris, which he
attempted in the next year, proved in-
effective owing to deficiency
of provisions. A peace,
therefore, was concluded at
Bretigny in May, 1360,
according to which France
renounced all feudal juris-
diction over the English
possessions, while Edward
abandoned his claim to the
throne of France, and at
the same time handed over
Normandy and Anjou to
John. But, notwithstand-
ing the conclusion of peace,
for a long time there was
no tranquillity in France,
for the English soldiers
remained in the country,
contrary to the royal orders,
and actually defeated a
French army specially
levied to oppose them.

The raising of the heavy
ransom for King John, who
returned to his country
after a five years' captivity,
produced much misery. In
one place only could John
record a favourable result.
The duchy of Burgundy
had fallen to the crown in
1361, and the king con-
ferred it, two years later,
on his youngest son, Philip
the Bold. The latter
founded the new Burgun-
dian dynasty, and through
Margaret of Flanders ac-
quired the Franche Comte,
belonging to the German
Empire, and the Flemish provinces. As one
of the princes who was detained in England
as a hostage for the ransom had escaped,
John himself returned to England once
more in 1363, and died there in captivity
in the spring of 1364. The father was
succeeded by the eldest son, Charles V.
(1364-1380), who as dauphin had already
conducted the government after 1356,



FRANCE UNDER THE VALOIS



then succeeded in conquering all the
English possessions by the end of 1372.
Calais was the only fortified place remain-
ing in English hands. All the English
attacks on France were fruitless, since the
French on their side avoided every battle,
but were indefatigable in skirmishes and
pursuits. Du Guesclin, indeed, was the first
great guerrilla leader of mediaeval times.
King Edward III. died in 1377, leaving



and had acquired some experience in home
politics. Certainly he had no ability as



Online LibraryJames Bryce BryceThe book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) → online text (page 43 of 55)