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The Salic Law and the Valois succession to the French crown

Taylor, C. (2001) The Salic Law and the Valois succession to the French crown. French History, 15 (4). pp. 358-377. ISSN 0269-1191

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The entry of Charles Vm into Reims in 1484 for his royal coronation was accompanied by a number of historical and allegorical tableaux vivants. Amongst these was a scene where Clovis received the holy balm used to anoint all French monarchs, an appropriate illustration of the mystical and liturgical nature of French kingship. Just before this there was another dramatic performance in which the first king of France, Pharamond, commissioned and received the Salic Law from four wise men; this celebrated the historical origins of the monarchy, the role of the king as law-giver and most famously the exclusion of women from the royal succession.1 This public celebration of the importance of the Salic Law in the fabric of the French constitution demonstrated the success of Valois writers such as Jean de Montreuil and Jean Juvenal des Ursins who had championed the authority of the Salic Law in the debate over female succession to the throne for over eighty years. In the following century this famous authority was upheld by eminent scholars including Claude de Seyssel, Charles de Grassaille, Barthelemi de Chasseneuz, Jean d'Angleberme and Charles Du Moulin, and thereby was established as a central pillar of French public law and a cornerstone of the constitution.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2009 09:51
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2009 09:51
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fh/15.4.358
Status: Published
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Identification Number: 10.1093/fh/15.4.358
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6093

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