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The Emancipation Of The Past, As Due To The Revolutionary French Ideology Of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité

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Chapter Summary

On 20 September 1793 Charles-Gilbert Romme, one of the delegates to the National Convention in Paris, had addressed the meeting in full session. Romme declared that the customary calendar had been the chronology of cruelty and lies, of falsity and servitude. The past should be closed, a new chronology should serve as a sign of the rupture with the past. Romme wants to renounce the past; by means of his new calendar the revolutionary government wants to make a clean break with the past. The transition of history from a closed environment to the public sphere is where the three items - the appropriation of history, a growing interest, and domain expansion - actually took place. Public access to the libraries runs in parallel, and this gave an enormous boost to the cultivation of history. The French Royal Library was turned into a national library.

Keywords: calendar; Charles-Gilbert Romme; chronology; French Royal Library; Paris; public sphere

10.1163/ej.9789004180291.i-334.10
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