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The City Defeated And Defended. Civism As Political Identity In The Habsburg-Burgundian Netherlands

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Chapter Summary

The strategy of exemplary display exercised by the Valois dukes and their Habsburg successors modelled the prince as paternalistic, the font of wisdom and clemency, but also the dispenser of punishment if necessary. A rite of victory that twined princely triumph with collective forms of pillage, the ritual punishment of a city had complicated political resonances, which is exactly why it was imposed only rarely during the incessant warfare of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Burgundian Netherlands. The exemplary punishment of cities, as Wim Blockmans and Marc Boone have shown, was a political strategy of the Burgundian and early Habsburg dynasties in the Low Countries. In the Low Countries, Ghent's punishment was the end point of its famed late medieval chapter, but as a political ritual, it is best interpreted less as an apex than as a mid point in the Burgundian- Habsburg campaign against urban public life.

Keywords: Burgundian; Ghent; Habsburg; Netherlands; Wim Blockmans



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