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Open Access Ceremonial Entries and the Confirmation of Urban Privileges in France, c. 1350–1550

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Ceremonial Entries and the Confirmation of Urban Privileges in France, c. 1350–1550

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Chapter Summary

Between the mid-fourteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries the French ceremonial entry underwent significant change, as new elements, such as dramatic performances, were added to the basic processional structure to transform it into a lavish feast for all the senses. Rituals are distinct from ceremonies in that they effect a change or transformation, and the incorporation of the oath-taking element within the structure of an entry transformed it into a ceremony with a ritual at its centre. Although the theatre, decorations, and display all had important roles to play in the entry, it was the swearing of oaths and confirmation of urban privileges that had a lasting effect. Following the death or removal from power of a town's ruler, there was a period of instability where the bond between the two was broken. The form of the oath at Paris was set by the Louis XII's entry into the capital in 1498.

Keywords: French ceremonial entry; Louis XII; oath-taking element; Rituals; urban privileges



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