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The Huguenots And The St Bartholomew’s Massacre

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses a synthesis of recent scholarship, rather than of original research. It provides understanding of why the St Bartholomew's massacres occurred and it examines their legacy, which subsequent generations of Protestants, within and without France, memorialised. The chapter argues that the massacres have to be seen in the context of the religious violence that escalated into three civil wars in the 1560s, in which Huguenots tended to attack objects, rather than people-the mass, images, shrines-though also sometimes the priests who kept the system going; Catholics, on the other hand, tended to attack the persons of heretics, because of the prevalent concept of heresy as a deadly infection and pollution.

Keywords: France; Huguenots; Protestants; St Bartholomew's massacre



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