Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => French Royals => Topic started by: umigon on August 18, 2005, 06:59:18 PM

Title: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 18, 2005, 06:59:18 PM


Well, she is one of my favourite historical figures, so I would like to start a new thread on her...


What do you think about this woman?? Was she a fantastic politician, as I think, or do you really believe the black press she received in her times who called her 'Madame Serpent'?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Lisa on August 19, 2005, 02:33:48 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/CatherineMedicis1.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/CatherineMedicis.jpg)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 19, 2005, 04:02:51 AM
Quote

Well, she is one of my favourite historical figures, so I would like to start a new thread on her...


What do you think about this woman?? Was she a fantastic politician, as I think, or do you really believe the black press she received in her times who called her 'Madame Serpent'?


She was, without doubt, a wonderful politician, as was any woman who made it 'in a man's world' in those days. At the same time, though, she was a cold, hard, calculating and often cruel woman who orchestrated the slaughter of many Hugenots at the St Bartholemew's Day Massacre.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 19, 2005, 04:16:43 AM


The issue of the Saint Bartholomew is not an easy one. I mean, Catherine had spent 13 years, since her husbands death, trying to bring Catholics and Huguenots together. She had tried with all her heart and her own desire was that of peace. But, from one side or the other, they continued to quarrel.


Then, after Margot's marriage to Navarre, people still thought that Catherine had murdered Jeanne d'Albret (which was untrue). Coligny had an enormous influence in the King, an influence that went against France's interests... Catherine just did what the politics of those times urged her to do: kill  Coligny, he had escaped justice too many times, he had been pardoned by Charles IX and his mother too many times and he had become a manipulating governor...

King Charles, after hearing his mother's advice, accepted on the killing of Coligny, whom he called 'father', but said that then all the big bosses should be killed aswell. The people that were going to die were 14, at a start, and they were going to leave Henry of Navarre alive.

But, Guise and his companions (ie the King's brother, Anjou), gave other orders... So, it was not all Catherine's fault. She was the one who thought of the idea and the one who ordered it, but she was not directly responsible of thousands of deaths, she never thought that order would have such an impact on her Catholic subjects, who took justice by their own hand, killing with impunity men, women and children if they were suspected of being a Huguenot.


Although the massacre might seem nonsense after marrying her daughter the most important of the Huguenot leaders, it was some kind of 'political' need. Believe me, that thing had reached a point that it was just a matter of time that one party massacred the other. Catholics took  the first step....

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 19, 2005, 04:57:20 AM
Hmm . . . what you say may be true, there, umigon.

In any case, I admire Catherine for her patience - she waited and waited all through Henri II's reign until he died, and then waited through the brief influence of the Guise's through Francois's reign. After that, France was hers to rule.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 19, 2005, 05:43:44 AM


Even when the Guises had Mary Stuart under their control (which was the same as having François II), they had to quarrel with Catherine in some things, François was manipulated by both sides.

Still, in those times, and although Catherine personally disliked  the Guises, they were still allies!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 19, 2005, 05:58:29 AM
I have often heard that Henri III was Catherine's favourite son . . . she must have been the mother-in-law from hell for all her son's wives!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 19, 2005, 07:06:49 AM
In fact, and maybe not as surprisingly as it may seem, she was not so bad a mother-in-law!

Yes she was an overprotective mother who loved all of her children dearly, loving Henry above all! Here is how she felt for her children's partners:

1. Mary Stuart, wife of her son François II. Their relationship was cordial, but not affectionate. Catherine always considered Mary as if she was one of her own children, but a disloyal and ungrateful one! Mary was no saint and called her mother-in-law the merchant. This infuriated Catherine. However, when in 1587 Mary was executed, Catherine was really sorry for her and said that her death was an affront!

2. Felipe II, husband of her daughter Elisabeth. She always tried to gain his favour, but never achieved it, as she always denied him his desires: eliminating all trace of protestantism in France and implantig the Inquisition, along with other demands. Felipe ended by treating Catherine as a traitor to his religious cause and a protector of heretics. Despite this fact, Catherine always tried to regain his favour trying to marry her children with Felipe's family, but Felipe was categorical: no more Valois marriages (he would only consent in his niece marrying Charles ix).

3. Charles III de Lorraine, husband of her daughter Claude. She had a great affinity with Charles, who gave her permission to educate some of his children when Claude died. As far as I know Catherine was a good mother-in-law to Charles and she brought up his orphaned children.

4. Elisabeth of Austria, wife of her son Charles IX. She considered her a great woman, full of virtue and a calm spirit, just what France and her King, the violent and impatient Charles IX, needed. She encouraged her son's relations with her in order to get an heir. In vain, only a daughter was born and she would die aged 5.

5. Louise de Lorraine, wife of her son Henry III. Catherine loved her tenderness and her sweet character. She had the desire that it would be Louise who would give her favourite and homosexual son the heir that France needed. But that baby never arrived.

6. Henri III de Navarre, husband of her daughter Marguerite. She hated him since he was a small child because a sorcerer had told her that he would substitute the Valois in the French throne when their family died out. In the end Catherine found him useful to manipulate the protestant parties and her own children (the intrigant Margot and Hercule François). When he was no longer useful, he escaped to Navarre, where Margot, dismissed from the French court, followed soon after.

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 19, 2005, 10:11:36 PM
Personally this is one woman I don't admire, and look at as evil incarnate.  Just my opinion.  I just think she was absolutely vile.

Her reputation may not be deserved...but I doubt that.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: ilyala on August 22, 2005, 01:23:02 AM
i don't think she was as evil as everyone portrayed her. i think she was a very intelligent, but cold woman. and i think her coldness was the way it was because of the circumstances she grew up in. she was an orphaned child pawned around for her immense dowry. then she married henry and she thought it was going to get better but of course he neglected her for a woman twenty years his senior. not a very happy life...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 22, 2005, 04:54:33 AM


Absolutely true, ilyala. Not only that, when she was an small child, she was in danger because all of the revolutions and wars that were taking place in Italy.


She was very intelligent and she was also very cold indeed. But she had her little heart and she wasn't a woman who recreated herself in revenge. The magnanimity she showed towards Diane de Poitiers when Henry died speaks for itself!! She was no devil, she was a woman born in the wrong time!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 22, 2005, 09:51:19 AM
Quote

Absolutely true, ilyala. Not only that, when she was an small child, she was in danger because all of the revolutions and wars that were taking place in Italy.


She was very intelligent and she was also very cold indeed. But she had her little heart and she wasn't a woman who recreated herself in revenge. The magnanimity she showed towards Diane de Poitiers when Henry died speaks for itself!! She was no devil, she was a woman born in the wrong time!



Yes the magnaminity she showed during the St Bartholomew's Day massacre was generosity itself, but what's a few thousand dead heretics or so, right?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 22, 2005, 09:54:42 AM


Do you know what really happened that night?? And the nights afterwards? She showed much more mercy than your beloved Elizabeth Tudor...


What is more important: do you know what happened between July 1559 and August 1572? What was Catherine's attitude towards religion? By your assertions I assume you don't...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: cimbrio on August 22, 2005, 10:08:13 AM
Well frankly I don't know much about her, but I know that considering the times she lived, not many monarchs could be called saints. Some are admirable, some aren't, but for both good and bad things they did. I don't, for example, think too highly of Nicholas II of Russia, but I do like to read about him and his family (obviously...), though I personally think he was a pathetic ruler.

Catherien de Medicis, Elizabeth I of England, they're all the same. All killed, all loved, all were good sometimes and bad at others, so who here can say this and this person were truly saintly? In some cases (I believe it's the same with you Umigon) I think one admires a person but not because she was good; she probably did her best to avoid killings, I don't know, but I find your admiration as natural for her as mine for Nicholas. I'm not sure what my point is but I think I can assure everyone that there are very few people in royalty even today that diserve the status of "prince", let alone King or Saint... Still, it's history, there's no point in saying "what if..." let's just enjoy reading about these odd and fabulous people :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 22, 2005, 12:28:46 PM
Quote

Do you know what really happened that night?? And the nights afterwards? She showed much more mercy than your beloved Elizabeth Tudor...


What is more important: do you know what happened between July 1559 and August 1572? What was Catherine's attitude towards religion? By your assertions I assume you don't...


Umigon, Elizabeth I is not my "beloved", she surely behaved in a much more sane manner than Catherine.
Yes I do know what happened that between those years, and in looking at it , IMO Catherine is still an evil woman.  I dislike revisionism in history.  Catherine's motives were quite clear in what she was doing, and I believe in holding leaders responsible for their actions.
It's not a religious issue with me.  I just don't like the portrayal of Catherine as this admirable person.

First regardless of "what happened" that night, or "what was planned", this is an event of the same calibre in my opinion as Kristallnacht in Germany in the 1930's, but as I stated what's the death of 70,000 "heretics" more or less....


Below from Wikipedia:

The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy in French) was a wave of Catholic mob violence against the Huguenots (French Protestants), under the authority of Catherine de Medici, starting on August 24, 1572, and lasting for several months. It marked a turning-point in the French Wars of Religion by stiffening Huguenot intransigence.

In 1572, a series of inter-related incidents occurred after the royal wedding of Marguerite of Valois to Henry of Navarre, an alliance that strengthened his claim to the throne of France. On 22 August, Catherine de' Medici's agent, a Catholic named Maurevel, attempted to assassinate Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, leader of the Huguenots, in Paris, but succeeded only in wounding him and infuriating the Huguenot party. Then in the early hours of the morning of 24 August, St. Bartholomew's Day, Admiral de Coligny and several dozen other Huguenot leaders were murdered in Paris, a series of coordinated assassinations that could only have been planned at the highest level. That was the signal for a widespread massacre. Beginning on 24 August, and lasting to 17 September, there was a wave of popular killings of Huguenots by the Paris mob, as if spontaneous.

From August to October, similar seemingly spontaneous massacres of Huguenots took place in other towns, such as Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon, Bourges, Rouen, and Orléans. Estimates of the number of those murdered range as high as 100,000. Historians generally agree on the figure of 70,000. Among the slain was composer Claude Goudimel.

"Catholics say only 30,000 were slain in the Inquisition of France. Protestants put the number at 70,000. We would prefer the latter figure. If there were 70,000 Huguenots in Paris on the night of the massacre, so much more the justification for the slaughter… We have heard ring out many times that the very bells that called the Catholics together on that fatal night. They always sounded sweetly in our ears." (Western Watchman, No. 21, 1912)  Contemporary accounts report bodies in the rivers for months afterwards, so that no one would eat fish. Pope Gregory XIII's reaction was jubilant: all the bells of Rome pealed for a public day of thanksgiving, the guns of the castle of St. Angelo sounded a joyous salute, a special commemorative medal was struck, to honor the occasion, and Gregory commissioned Giorgio Vasari to paint a mural celebrating the Massacre, which is in the Vatican. In Paris, the poet Jean-Antoine de Baïf, founder of the Academie de musique et de poésie, wrote a sonnet extravagantly praising the killings. The Pope sent Cardinal Orsini to convey, in person, his happy blessings and goodwill to the Queen Mother for her butchery. It was not the first such pogrom of the Wars of Religion, nor would it be the last.

Background to the massacres
After the third war in 1570, there was a possibility of peace. The House of Guise had fallen from favor at the court and had been replaced by moderates who were more willing to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Huguenots were in a strong military position as a result of the Edict of Saint-Germain (August 1570). They controlled the fortified towns of La Rochelle, La Charité, Cognac, and Montauban. Catherine de Medici had hoped that the marriage alliances of her children would support her move for peace, including the proposed marriage of her son the Duke of Anjou (Henry III) and Elizabeth I of England.

By 1571, however, hopes of peace were collapsing. Relations between the Huguenots and the Catholics had deteriorated, and in Rouen on a Sunday in March, forty Huguenots were killed because they refused to kneel in front of the host (the eucharist) during a Catholic procession.

The Guise faction had fallen from favor at the French court, and the Huguenot leader, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, was readmitted into the king's council in September 1571. The Guises hated de Coligny for two reasons: he was the leader of the Huguenots, and they thought he was implicated in the assassination of Francis, Duke of Guise, in February 1563.

The Catholic fleet assembled under Don John of Austria defeated the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto. This confirmed to the Huguenots that Catholicism could resurge across Western Europe, led by Philip II of Spain. In April 1572, 'Sea Beggars' took control of Brielle thus taking control of Holland. This meant that there was pressure within France to intervene on behalf of the rebels in the Netherlands to prevent a Spanish intervention in France. De Coligny was the main supporter of this intervention. There was then the possibility of either another civil war or a major war against Spain, which was at that time western Europe's greatest Catholic power.

Ostensibly to quell the rancour between the Protestants and the Catholics (the House of Bourbon and the House of Guise), the Queen-Mother, Catherine de Medici, arranged for Henry of Navarre, Duke of Bourbon (the patron of the Huguenots) to marry her daughter Marguerite. The wedding provided an extraordinary occasion to get all of the powerful Huguenots in one place. Catherine therefore planned the massacre of many of the Huguenots while they were in town for the wedding, but she had a hard time convincing her son, King Charles IX of France, to go along, since he had developed a friendly relationship with de Coligny. Finally, after much argument, Charles became furious and lashed out at his mother, commanding the massacre to be done thoroughly if it were to be done at all (in other words, he didn't want to face any retaliation, so he ordered them all to be killed).


Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 22, 2005, 01:14:04 PM


Pretty vague reading just one opinion... It is not only that background between 1570-1572 which is important, is the way Catherine had been trying to bring peace to both parties between 1559 and 1572. Try reading "Catherine de Medicis" by Jean Orieux, it is all bvery well explained in that book.


That deaths were not a religious massacre, but a political need, just as Mary Stuart's death was a political need for Elizabeth. And please stop writing "heretics" as if I were to burn all protestants in the stake. I am not a religious fanatic, what's more, I am not a good Catholic, but I recognise what monarchs of both religions did well and what they did wrong. You seem to only acknowledge the good thing protestant monarchs did and the bad things that catholic monarchs did. That is historical revisionism...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 22, 2005, 01:23:02 PM
I have to say that I think everything that was done in the 16th and 17th centuries has to be taken into perspective - things then were not simply like things now. Things that seem harsh, even evil to us were political neccessities back then, not that I condone any of it. For example, Richard III is condenmed for his murder of his nephews (whether or not he did do it is neither her nor there) but by the standards of his day he was no crueller than any other monarch that was his contemporary. It is the same with Catherine. She was not the personification of evil. Look at what happened in Spain during the inquisition - Catholics vs. Protestants was a battle fought everywhere in those days, and rulers acted in accordance to the best interests of whichever Church they were a part of.

BTW, Michael G and umigon, I respect your discussion but please tone it down just a little - this is the 21st century: no one is a heretic.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 22, 2005, 01:26:25 PM


O.K. my dearest Prince, I will not be so nasty! Sorry!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 22, 2005, 01:28:32 PM
Quote

O.K. my dearest Prince, I will not be so nasty! Sorry!


No, no, umigon! No one was being nasty! I was just asking you two to try to relate to each other cordially . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 22, 2005, 01:33:20 PM


yes, I know!!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 22, 2005, 01:38:39 PM
Anyway, getting back to Catherine, I was most interested in what you told me about her relationships with her various in laws, umigon. It seems I was under a missapprehension!

Here's a pic:

(http://library.ucsc.edu/slides/decou/lanterns/full/dc1.474.0354r.jpg)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 22, 2005, 01:43:53 PM
Quote

Pretty vague reading just one opinion... It is not only that background between 1570-1572 which is important, is the way Catherine had been trying to bring peace to both parties between 1559 and 1572. Try reading "Catherine de Medicis" by Jean Orieux, it is all bvery well explained in that book.


That deaths were not a religious massacre, but a political need, just as Mary Stuart's death was a political need for Elizabeth. And please stop writing "heretics" as if I were to burn all protestants in the stake. I am not a religious fanatic, what's more, I am not a good Catholic, but I recognise what monarchs of both religions did well and what they did wrong. You seem to only acknowledge the good thing protestant monarchs did and the bad things that catholic monarchs did. That is historical revisionism...



Oh give us a break Umigon, over 70,000 deaths a political need???? You have now just justified all political/religious massacres in history.  If you read that piece CAREFULLY it covers her mediation of the peace between both parties.....jeez, hardly one sided.

Considering she promoted the massacre, one can hardly call her uninvolved.  Come on Umigon, I am not anti Catholic as you suggest,  Catherine is just not a maligned woman in history, the more I read the more well deserved her reputation is.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 22, 2005, 01:44:26 PM


Not so, as I wrote she never got very well with Mary Stuart and she hated Henry of Navarre, but with the others she was a quite loving mother-in-law!


Well, she was obsessed with the prophecy that her sons would die childless and so the Valois line would die out. Maybe her kind treatment to her daughters-in-law was motivated by this fact (she would have been trying to make them comfortable so they could conceive rapidly!). But she admired Elisabeth's religious faith and Louise's tenderness and the love she had to her son, who was not in love with her!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 22, 2005, 01:45:57 PM
How was Catherine regarded aborad? Did other rulers think of her as a mere 'merchant' or did they learn to respect here?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: cimbrio on August 22, 2005, 04:31:16 PM
Quote


Oh give us a break Umigon, over 70,000 deaths a political need???? You have now just justified all political/religious massacres in history.  If you read that piece CAREFULLY it covers her mediation of the peace between both parties.....jeez, hardly one sided.

Considering she promoted the massacre, one can hardly call her uninvolved.  Come on Umigon, I am not anti Catholic as you suggest,  Catherine is just not a maligned woman in history, the more I read the more well deserved her reputation is.



:o  :-/ Peace!!!!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 22, 2005, 04:43:46 PM
Quote


Oh give us a break Umigon, over 70,000 deaths a political need???? You have now just justified all political/religious massacres in history.  If you read that piece CAREFULLY it covers her mediation of the peace between both parties.....jeez, hardly one sided.

Considering she promoted the massacre, one can hardly call her uninvolved.  Come on Umigon, I am not anti Catholic as you suggest,  Catherine is just not a maligned woman in history, the more I read the more well deserved her reputation is.


Michael, please, there is no need to be snide in suggesting that umigon did not read the piece 'carefully'. Clearly the two of you will have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 22, 2005, 05:39:23 PM
Quote

Michael, please, there is no need to be snide in suggesting that umigon did not read the piece 'carefully'. Clearly the two of you will have to agree to disagree.



I wasn't being snide.  I was responding to her statement. She stated the piece was one sided, and it clearly states she mediated for 20 years not taking sides.  I was just pointing out her statement regarding what I posted was incorrect.    I have no problem with agreeing to disagree, but I don't see you calling for her to back down when she refers to Protestants as heretics.  I am all for a balanced view of someone, but for a woman who plans a massacre of all Protestants during the wedding of her daughter to a Protestant, is some what akin to me of a mass genocide.  Not the matronly or loving qualities I would want in a friend or mother or relation.  Clearly if the deaths of over 70,000 doesn't bother you when reading about this woman, and her power, when clearly her dynasty was on it's last leg as the Salic Law ran through France, and she desperately clang to her last son, this clearly bothers me, and after spending a great deal of the time this afternoon reading, I cannot find anything redeemable about her, just my opinion though.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: cimbrio on August 22, 2005, 06:18:36 PM
Michael,
as I said there is no good party in this whole scenario, she was probably what one would call a mass murderer, but she wasn't the only one nor was she the first one, and by far not the worse one... whatever happened during her reign happened for a reason, we must keep that in mind, she wasn't cimply "bloodthirsty". And in this sort of context I think it's not insulting to call Protestamnt "heretics", I'm sure there was no harm intended, it was a way of addressing them. Peace c'mon, lighten up!!!

Regards :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 23, 2005, 05:56:31 AM
Quote


I wasn't being snide.  I was responding to her statement. She stated the piece was one sided, and it clearly states she mediated for 20 years not taking sides.  I was just pointing out her statement regarding what I posted was incorrect.    I have no problem with agreeing to disagree, but I don't see you calling for her to back down when she refers to Protestants as heretics.  I am all for a balanced view of someone, but for a woman who plans a massacre of all Protestants during the wedding of her daughter to a Protestant, is some what akin to me of a mass genocide.  Not the matronly or loving qualities I would want in a friend or mother or relation.  Clearly if the deaths of over 70,000 doesn't bother you when reading about this woman, and her power, when clearly her dynasty was on it's last leg as the Salic Law ran through France, and she desperately clang to her last son, this clearly bothers me, and after spending a great deal of the time this afternoon reading, I cannot find anything redeemable about her, just my opinion though.


Michael, I have pm'ed umigon about this (umigon is a HE by the way, not a SHE). I am not saying that I would like Catherine as a 'mother or relation' and I wasn't defending what she did, I was merely asking you to take it in perspective.

Re umigon calling all Protestants heretics - how I 'call for him to back down' is between him and me as a moderator, and at the moment does not concern you.

I would ask you both to please let the matter rest as of now, and get back to a sensible and amiable discussion.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Silja on August 23, 2005, 08:28:39 AM
Quote


, but I don't see you calling for her to back down when she refers to Protestants as heretics.

.


You never really want to understand that she speaks in the context of the 16th century. She doesn't speak from her own point of view but from Catherine de Medicis' and the French Catholics' to present their, not her own, point of view.  She puts the whole thing in perspective, so it's perfectly alright that from that perspective she should call Protestants "heretics". Protestants then considered Catholics as "papists", also a perfectly legitimate expression in the historical context because it illustrates people's views then.


And now a quote  from David Starkey's Rivals in Power:

"The 'Wars of Religion' of the later sixteenth century were notorious for atrocities, the inevitable consequence of conflicts in which neither side regard its opponents as worthy of mercy. But no other had the impact of the massacre of the French Protestant leadership in Paris on St. Bartholomew's Day (24 August) 1572. This arose from the belief, widespread  throughout the Protestant world, that it had been planned long in advance and that Protestants had been deliberately lured to their fate. [...].
It is now known that the 'plot' was a myth. The Queen mother of France, Catherine de Medici, had been panicked into allowing the massacre because she feared that France was about to be sucked into war with Spain, which she desperately wished to avoid. But the plot appeared to confirm the growing belief in the existence of a 'Catholic League' intended to extirpate Protestantism from Europe" (p.162).

St. Bartholomew's Day can thus not at all be compared to the pogrom night of 1938 in Nazi Germany, but more to the September massacres during the French Revolution. In both cases terrible atrocities were committed by the mob and tolerated by the Government. Both events resulted from panic in a climate of fear and mistrust.


Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 23, 2005, 08:35:08 AM
Thanks for that, Silja. But everyone, please remember, poor old umigon is a HE not a SHE!  :-/
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: cimbrio on August 23, 2005, 09:04:40 AM
Oh la la Umigon you really DO have to post your photo to give proof you're a guy  :D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 23, 2005, 09:21:22 AM
Quote
Oh la la Umigon you really DO have to post your photo to give proof you're a guy  :D


Yes, I'm afraid you will have to go to these lengths!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Silja on August 23, 2005, 09:55:59 AM
Quote
. But everyone, please remember, poor old umigon is a HE not a SHE!  :-/


By now I've finally realized that too  ;).
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 23, 2005, 10:50:41 AM


Finally its been noticed that I am a guy! hehehe!


Well, thank you very much to Silja, Prince and Cimbrio! I know ot is not difficult to see my point for many of you and I am very grateful for your support.


I think we whould get on to discussing Catherine again!


Any suggestions!

P.S. Of course I happily accept critics about her politics or her person, but I think that if we ALL keep the discussion in respectful terms, it will be best for all of us!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 23, 2005, 11:12:09 AM
Quote
How was Catherine regarded aborad? Did other rulers think of her as a mere 'merchant' or did they learn to respect here?


How bout this question for you umigon? Any idea? Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 23, 2005, 04:34:53 PM
Quote
How was Catherine regarded aborad? Did other rulers think of her as a mere 'merchant' or did they learn to respect here?



Catherine was seen as a powerful personality, but foreign Kings and governors didn't tend to love her very much... Philip of Spain considered her a "heretic" (sorry if it offends anyone) because of her approaches to the Huguenots.

Elizabeth Tudor didn't trust her, and Catherine also distrusted Elizabeth.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 23, 2005, 05:33:56 PM
Quote


Catherine was seen as a powerful personality, but foreign Kings and governors didn't tend to love her very much... Philip of Spain considered her a "heretic" (sorry if it offends anyone) because of her approaches to the Huguenots.

Elizabeth Tudor didn't trust her, and Catherine also distrusted Elizabeth.


Elizabeth I didn't trust anyone . . . and don't worry, the word 'heretic' does not offend me.  ;)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 23, 2005, 05:35:35 PM
Quite an intelligent feature of hers!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 23, 2005, 05:37:40 PM
Quite an intelligent feature of hers! Catherine was very much like Elizabeth in that sense, she only trusted her children and herself. Of course, trusting herself gave its triumphs, but it was an error trusting her children...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 23, 2005, 05:56:26 PM
Quote
Quite an intelligent feature of hers! Catherine was very much like Elizabeth in that sense, she only trusted her children and herself. Of course, trusting herself gave its triumphs, but it was an error trusting her children...


Error in trusting her children? How so? I always thought she thoroughly controlled all of them . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 23, 2005, 06:15:12 PM


Well, she didn't!

1.With François II she created a power-balance with the Guises, but yes, she controlled him.

2. She thought she controlled Isabel, but she proved to be more loyal to her Spanish husband than to her mother (see Isabel de Valois thread in Iberian Toyal Families).

3. She certainly did control Claude, but this control was not important. It served to control her son-in-law, Duke Charles III of Lorraine.

4. With Charles IX it was some kind of struggle. He sometimes rebelled against her authority, but he always ended returning to her.

5. Her beloved Henry III (Sandrin) was a frivolous young man who didn't care much about his mother. He was dominated by her, but his egoistic character made him desobey her on many occasions.

6. She loved Marguerite (Margot) tenderly, but she would end nearly hating her and permitting her confinement in Usson. Margot issued some revolts against her mother and brother (Henry III).

7. Hercule François and Catherine never had a close relationship, as he had been educated away from her. He also became some kind of rebel against her and Henry, but he ended reconciliated with both.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 23, 2005, 06:17:41 PM
Thanks for that!  ;D

Was Henri a tranvestite or a homosexual, or am I confusing him with someone else?

Did Hercule die young? Was he Duc d'Alencon or am I confused again?  ???
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 23, 2005, 07:07:42 PM
An Eyewitness Account of the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre
by François Dubois
From the Musée Cantonal Des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne Switzerland


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 24, 1572, was the date of the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France. On that day, over 400 years ago, began one of the most horrifying holocausts in history. The glorious Reformation, begun in Germany on October 31, 1517, had spread to France—and was joyfully received. A great change had come over the people as industry and learning began to flourish, and so rapidly did the Truth spread that over a third of the population embraced the Reformed Christian Faith.

However, alarm bells began to ring at the Vatican! France was her eldest daughter and main pillar—the chief source of money and power. . . . King Pepin of the Franks (the father of Charlemagne) had given the Papal States to the Pope almost 1000 years earlier. Almost half the real estate in the country was owned by the clergy.

Meanwhile, back in Paris, the King of France and his Court spent their time drinking, reveling and carousing. The Court spiritual adviser—a Jesuit priest—  urged them to massacre the Protestants—as penance for their many sins! To catch the Christians off-guard every token of peace, friendship, and ecumenical good will was offered.

Suddenly—and without warning—the devilish work commenced. Beginning at Paris, the French soldiers and the Roman Catholic clergy fell upon the unarmed people, and blood flowed like a river throughout the entire country. Men, women, and children fell in heaps before the mobs and the bloodthirsty troops. In one week, almost 100,100 Protestants perished. The rivers of France were so filled with corpses that for many months no fish were eaten. In the valley of the Loire, wolves came down from the hills to feel upon the decaying bodies of Frenchmen. The list of massacres was as endless as the list of the dead!

Many were imprisoned—many sent as slaves to row the King's ships—and some were able to escape to other countries. . . . The massacres continued for centuries. The best and brightest people fled to Germany, Switzerland, England, Ireland and eventually America and brought their incomparable manufacturing skills with them. . . . France was ruined. . . . Wars, famine, disease and poverty finally led to the French Revolution—the Guillotine—the Reign of Terror—the fall of the Roman Catholic Monarchy—atheism—communism etc., etc.

When news of the Massacre reached the Vatican there was jubilation! Cannons roared—bells rung—and a special commemorative medal was struck—to honor the occasion! The Pope commissioned Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural of the Massacre—which still hangs in the Vatican!


Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on August 24, 2005, 02:08:58 AM
Hercule was the chappie who was a prospective bridegroom for Elizabeth Ist wasn't he. As for Henri, well he was supposedly deeply religious and also an intellectual. The attention he gave to his personal hygiene- in particular his hair,was mocked as effeminate. His "mignons", or favorites were not necessarily Homosexual but were actually superb swordsmen.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 24, 2005, 04:29:44 AM
Quote
Thanks for that!  ;D

Was Henri a tranvestite or a homosexual, or am I confusing him with someone else?

Did Hercule die young? Was he Duc d'Alencon or am I confused again?  ???



Yes, Henri was both a tranvestite and a homosexual. He cared very much for his personal hygenie, as Kim had already told us, but when he was 28 he had lost his hair and his teeth. We don't really know why, but it is very possible that it was due to some type of sexual transmission illness; like syphilis, for example. This habit of bathing himself very frequently and putting perfume was inherited from Catherine, who bathed five times a week! - that is a great record in those times!


Yes, Hercule was known as Alençon on the Court, or François d'Alençon, the name he chose in his religious confirmation. His family, however, continued to call him Hercule. He died aged 29 without having married or having any children. He was indeed one of Elizabeth's possible husbands, but Henri had already been. Henri had refused to his mothers intentions of marrying him to Elizabeth alleging he was a good Catholic and Elizabeth an 'heretic' (again sorry if anyone is offended! :P). Hercule was too ambitious and he would have loved to marry Elizabeth, who was 22 years his senior, in order to become King of England.  They would have made a strange couple, what a pity Elizabeth didn't decide to marry him!!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 24, 2005, 04:31:52 AM
Quote


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 24, 1572, was the date of the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France. On that day, over 400 years ago, began one of the most horrifying holocausts in history. The glorious Reformation, begun in Germany on October 31, 1517, had spread to France—and was joyfully received. A great change had come over the people as industry and learning began to flourish, and so rapidly did the Truth spread that over a third of the population embraced the Reformed Christian Faith.

However, alarm bells began to ring at the Vatican! France was her eldest daughter and main pillar—the chief source of money and power. . . . King Pepin of the Franks (the father of Charlemagne) had given the Papal States to the Pope almost 1000 years earlier. Almost half the real estate in the country was owned by the clergy.

Meanwhile, back in Paris, the King of France and his Court spent their time drinking, reveling and carousing. The Court spiritual adviser—a Jesuit priest—  urged them to massacre the Protestants—as penance for their many sins! To catch the Christians off-guard every token of peace, friendship, and ecumenical good will was offered.

Suddenly—and without warning—the devilish work commenced. Beginning at Paris, the French soldiers and the Roman Catholic clergy fell upon the unarmed people, and blood flowed like a river throughout the entire country. Men, women, and children fell in heaps before the mobs and the bloodthirsty troops. In one week, almost 100,100 Protestants perished. The rivers of France were so filled with corpses that for many months no fish were eaten. In the valley of the Loire, wolves came down from the hills to feel upon the decaying bodies of Frenchmen. The list of massacres was as endless as the list of the dead!

Many were imprisoned—many sent as slaves to row the King's ships—and some were able to escape to other countries. . . . The massacres continued for centuries. The best and brightest people fled to Germany, Switzerland, England, Ireland and eventually America and brought their incomparable manufacturing skills with them. . . . France was ruined. . . . Wars, famine, disease and poverty finally led to the French Revolution—the Guillotine—the Reign of Terror—the fall of the Roman Catholic Monarchy—atheism—communism etc., etc.

When news of the Massacre reached the Vatican there was jubilation! Cannons roared—bells rung—and a special commemorative medal was struck—to honor the occasion! The Pope commissioned Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural of the Massacre—which still hangs in the Vatican!






Michael G. no one os saying the massacre was a matter of jubilation here, everybody knows it was a horrible thing. But was it all Cathrine's fault? Do you think she really ordered the deaths of 70, 000 people...?

You may think it, but it is known it was not that way. She didn't order that 70,000 were killed...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 24, 2005, 06:07:02 AM
Quote



Michael G. no one os saying the massacre was a matter of jubilation here, everybody knows it was a horrible thing. But was it all Cathrine's fault? Do you think she really ordered the deaths of 70, 000 people...?

You may think it, but it is known it was not that way. She didn't order that 70,000 were killed...


Yes Umigon, I beleive that she had with her astute political knowledge every idea that this massacre could turn into a whole sale bloodbath.  She had to have, feigning ignorance is no excuse.  While there is no reason to believe she ordered 70,000, the King said if it was going to be done, they needed to do it completely. My god how savage and cruel of an act this was, without any conscience to murder innocent people just on a matter of religious conviction.  Jubilation from Rome and a portrait of one of the main massacrers still hangs in a place of honor in the Vatican today.  All of this done in the name of God while the pope danced a jig.  I am sure that God was pleased.

Umigon, I FIRMLY believe in holding all leaders responsible for the decisions they make, and these decisions and this one in particular was like starting an avalanche, and they had to know what the outcome would be or could be.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 24, 2005, 06:13:21 AM


If King Charles really ordered that it should be done completely (which I think is not yet totally proven) I think he would mean getting rid of the main leaders, not of every single Huguenot. Catherine didn't want all of them dead and she had very good reasons: the Huguenot army was the bigger and more qualified than the royal army. The plan was to murder the leaders (they were also murderers, so in this we must agree this part of the Saint Bartholomew was a political issue, I am not talking now about the innocents who were murdered afterwards) so that Charles (you can read Catherine there) could control her son-in-law Navarre and the Huguenot army, an army which would be beheaded without its natural leaders and ready for another person to lead it.

This thing about Charles saying that all should be murdered could be true, but there is no real evidence, because the sources are not absolutely reliable. I think Dumas did great harm with his wonderful 'La Reine Margot'!

Of course, this is just my opinion mixed up with historical facts!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: cimbrio on August 24, 2005, 08:14:14 AM
Michael G and Umgon: Happy Saint Bartholomew's Night to you both, don't fall out of any windows! Peace you guys!!!!  :-/
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: ilyala on August 25, 2005, 06:18:43 AM
while i think st bartholomew's night was a horrible thing, i also don't think catherine was fully responsible for it. i think it  was meant to kill the huguenot leaders and it got out of hand... i don't think catherine was the evil personified, i think she was a bit cold as a person but a good politician most of the time (she made quite a few good decisions). the fact that she tried to make peace between the two religions for 13 years speaks volumes.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 25, 2005, 06:19:47 AM
Quote
while i think st bartholomew's night was a horrible thing, i also don't think catherine was fully responsible for it. i think it  was meant to kill the huguenot leaders and it got out of hand... i don't think catherine was the evil personified, i think she was a bit cold as a person but a good politician most of the time (she made quite a few good decisions). the fact that she tried to make peace between the two religions for 13 years speaks volumes.


Very well said ilyala. I completely agree. good point and well made.  :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: ilyala on August 25, 2005, 06:29:01 AM
thank you lieven *bows and blushes*
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 25, 2005, 06:33:00 AM
Quote
thank you lieven *bows and blushes*


:D Don't mention it - I'm wonderful at flattering people mercilessly: just ask cimbrio.  ;D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 25, 2005, 06:53:42 AM
Quote
while i think st bartholomew's night was a horrible thing, i also don't think catherine was fully responsible for it. i think it  was meant to kill the huguenot leaders and it got out of hand... i don't think catherine was the evil personified, i think she was a bit cold as a person but a good politician most of the time (she made quite a few good decisions). the fact that she tried to make peace between the two religions for 13 years speaks volumes.




Absolutely true, ilyala, I agree nin everything, yes, that night things got out of hand...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 25, 2005, 12:58:02 PM
Quote
while i think st bartholomew's night was a horrible thing, i also don't think catherine was fully responsible for it. i think it  was meant to kill the huguenot leaders and it got out of hand... i don't think catherine was the evil personified, i think she was a bit cold as a person but a good politician most of the time (she made quite a few good decisions). the fact that she tried to make peace between the two religions for 13 years speaks volumes.



Au contraire....Catherine was shrewd enough to know what could happen, and Charles IX was against it, she finally persuaded him into it, and the massacre was approved.  Why would you not hold a political leader, be it King, Queen, Prime Minister or President or Fuhrer responsible for this despicable type of behaviour?????
The fact that she mediated peace for those years may speak volumes, but the 100,000 ++ dead in France, wipes away completely the years of good.

I think anyone that could do this just as I view the events of Kristallnacht, the massacres in my own country, where race or religion were involved as sickening, and really hope the souls of those involved found themselves burning in eternity for the willfull murder of innocent citizens and their leaders.

I believe that Catherine was evil in the end, and this event would not have had the depth of breadth of it's eventuality with terror & death against ALL of the protestants had she not sanctioned it.  

Have you ever seen the movie "Judgement At Nuremburg" where  Ernst Janning, played by Burt Lancaster, asked to speak to Spencer Tracy's character, the judge, as a person he really got to know during his trial.  Janning was quite an admired jurist in the movie before the onset of the reich, and he said to Tracy,   "Judge Haywood... the reason I asked you to come. Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. YOU must believe it, YOU MUST believe it.  Tracy's reply was  "Herr Janning, it came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent. "  Truer words were never spoken.

I feel there is no excuse for Catherine's involvement in this.


Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 26, 2005, 07:52:12 AM
Back to the same, old Mike? He he I imagine we will never agree!!

I think there is no possible comparison between Caterina Maria Romola dei Medici and Adolf Hitler. Really, I don't think so. Not only the times, but the character and the circumstances were different. No, it is not the same, bby far.


Catherine didn't know the effects of the Huguenot leaders murders and that is proved by accounts of foreign ambassadors, stating that she was horrified herself while she watched through a window all that was happening. I think even a cold `person would suffer under that spectacle, moreover if it had been 'indirectly' produced by her!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 26, 2005, 09:12:59 AM
Quote
Back to the same, old Mike? He he I imagine we will never agree!!

I think there is no possible comparison between Caterina Maria Romola dei Medici and Adolf Hitler. Really, I don't think so. Not only the times, but the character and the circumstances were different. No, it is not the same, bby far.


Catherine didn't know the effects of the Huguenot leaders murders and that is proved by accounts of foreign ambassadors, stating that she was horrified herself while she watched through a window all that was happening. I think even a cold `person would suffer under that spectacle, moreover if it had been 'indirectly' produced by her!



No the name is Michael.  Sorry Umigon I don't buy any of it.  Again the minute she pushed for the massacre, for whatever unjustified reason, she & the King became legally if not morally responsible for every death. Over 100,00 deaths considering the population of Europe at that time was quite large.    

Again the minute she ordered the first drop of blood shed she knew it could turn into that.  I am comparing the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre to what Hilter did, I am not saying that the merchant's daughter was Hitler.

Regardless of how horrified she became, history records the fact that she planned, ordered, and supported the massacre, and finally got the King to put her plan into action.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 26, 2005, 02:43:49 PM
Quote


No the name is Michael.  


Sorry sir, just trying to make the discussion more friendly. Never mind, Mr. Michael G. it won't happen again, how could I dare writing to you in such terms!

Quote
Sorry Umigon I don't buy any of it.  Again the minute she pushed for the massacre, for whatever unjustified reason, she & the King became legally if not morally responsible for every death. Over 100,00 deaths considering the population of Europe at that time was quite large.    



Weren't they 70.000 (by protestant accounts)? Now they have grown up to 100.000?

Quote
Again the minute she ordered the first drop of blood shed she knew it could turn into that.  I am comparing the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre to what Hilter did, I am not saying that the merchant's daughter was Hitler.


Come on, you know exactly what I was refering to! Precisely to that, I wasn't saying you saw Hitler as Catherine or viceversa, but no, I don't think your comparison has valid standards. And that's for sure, Catherine was not born in Braunau...By the way, if my father was a merchant should I have to feel offended, like when I said, writing in a historical context, that protestants were heretics?

Quote
Regardless of how horrified she became, history records the fact that she planned, ordered, and supported the massacre, and finally got the King to put her plan into action.


No fact in there, Mr. Michael G.. Reports are contradictory. Those which are favorable were written by her friends, those which accused her as the absolut perpetrator were written by her enemies... No points for any of us two in that issue I believe...

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 26, 2005, 04:45:09 PM
Quote

Sorry sir, just trying to make the discussion more friendly. Never mind, Mr. Michael G. it won't happen again, how could I dare writing to you in such terms!



Weren't they 70.000 (by protestant accounts)? Now they have grown up to 100.000?


Come on, you know exactly what I was refering to! Precisely to that, I wasn't saying you saw Hitler as Catherine or viceversa, but no, I don't think your comparison has valid standards. And that's for sure, Catherine was not born in Braunau...By the way, if my father was a merchant should I have to feel offended, like when I said, writing in a historical context, that protestants were heretics?


No fact in there, Mr. Michael G.. Reports are contradictory. Those which are favorable were written by her friends, those which accused her as the absolut perpetrator were written by her enemies... No points for any of us two in that issue I believe...



The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy in French) was a wave of Catholic mob violence against the Huguenots (French Protestants), under the authority of Catherine de Medici, the mother of Charles IX. Starting on August 24, 1572, with the assassination of a prominent Huguenot, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, the massacres spread throughout Paris and later to other cities and the countryside, lasting for several months, during which as many as 70,000 may have been killed. The massacres marked a turning-point in the French Wars of Religion by stiffening Huguenot intransigence.

Background
After the third war in 1570, there was a possibility of peace. The House of Guise had fallen from favour at the court and had been replaced by moderates who were more willing to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Huguenots were in a strong defensive position as a result of the Edict of Saint-Germain (August 1570). They controlled the fortified towns of La Rochelle, La Charité-sur-Loire, Cognac, and Montauban. Catherine de Medici had hoped that the marriage alliances of her children would support her move for peace, including the proposed marriage of her son, François, Duke of Anjou and Elizabeth I of England.

By 1571, however, hopes of peace were collapsing. Relations between the Huguenots and the Catholics had deteriorated, and in Rouen on a Sunday in March, forty Huguenots were killed because they refused to kneel in front of the host (the eucharist) during a Catholic street procession.

With the Guise faction out at the French court, the Huguenot leader, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, was readmitted into the king's council in September 1571. The Guises hated Coligny for two reasons: he was the leader of the Huguenots, and they thought he was implicated in the assassination of Francis, Duke of Guise, in February 1563.

The Catholic fleet assembled under Don John of Austria defeated the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto. This confirmed to the Huguenots that Catholicism could resurge across Western Europe, led by Philip II of Spain. In April 1572, Sea Beggars took control of Brielle, thus taking control of Holland. This meant that there was pressure within France to intervene on behalf of the rebels in the Netherlands to prevent a Spanish intervention in France. Coligny was the main supporter of this intervention. There was then the possibility of either another civil war or a major war against Spain, which was at that time western Europe's greatest Catholic power.

Ostensibly to quell the rancour between the Protestants and the Catholics (the House of Bourbon and the House of Guise), the Queen-Mother, Catherine de Medici, arranged for Henry of Navarre, Duke of Bourbon, the patron of the Huguenots, to marry her daughter Marguerite. The wedding provided an extraordinary occasion to get all of the powerful Huguenots in one place. Catherine therefore planned the massacre of many of the Huguenots while they were in town for the wedding, but she had a hard time convincing her son, Charles IX of France, to go along, since he had developed a friendly relationship with Admiral de Coligny. Finally, after much argument, Charles became furious and lashed out at his mother, commanding the massacre to be done thoroughly if it were to be done at all — in other words, he didn't want to face any retaliation, so he ordered them all to be killed.

The massacres
In 1572, a series of inter-related incidents occurred after the royal wedding of Marguerite of Valois to Henry of Navarre, an alliance that strengthened his claim to the throne of France. On 22 August, Catherine's agent, a Catholic named Maurevel, attempted to assassinate Admiral de Coligny in Paris, but succeeded only in wounding him and infuriating the Huguenot party. Then in the early hours of the morning of 24 August, St. Bartholomew's Day, Coligny and several dozen other Huguenot leaders were murdered in Paris, a series of coordinated assassinations that could only have been planned at the highest level. That was the signal for a widespread massacre. Beginning on 24 August , and lasting to 17 September, there was a wave of popular killings of Huguenots by the Paris mob, as if spontaneous.

From August to October, similar seemingly spontaneous massacres of Huguenots took place in other towns, such as Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon, Bourges, Rouen, and Orléans. Estimates of the number of those murdered range as high as 100,000. a huguenot source gives a figure of 70,000. Other sources estimate 30,000 or fewer. Among the slain was composer Claude Goudimel.

"Catholics say only 30,000 were slain in the Inquisition of France. Protestants put the number at 70,000. We would prefer the latter figure. If there were 70,000 Huguenots in Paris on the night of the massacre, so much more the justification for the slaughter… We have heard ring out many times the very bells that called the Catholics together on that fatal night. They always sounded sweetly in our ears." (Western Watchman, No. 21, 1912)
Contemporary accounts report bodies in the rivers for months afterwards, so that no one would eat fish. Pope Gregory XIII's reaction was jubilant: although Catholic sources indicate that the news he received from France was that of a serious Protestant plot against the King having been thwarted. In any event, all the bells of Rome pealed for a public day of thanksgiving, the guns of the Castel Sant'Angelo sounded a joyous salute, a special commemorative medal was struck, to honour the occasion, and Gregory commissioned Giorgio Vasari to paint a mural celebrating the Massacre, which is in the Vatican. In Paris, the poet Jean-Antoine de Baïf, founder of the Academie de Musique et de Poésie, wrote a sonnet extravagantly praising the killings. The pope sent Cardinal Orsini to convey, in person, his happy blessings and goodwill to the Queen Mother. It was not the first such pogrom of the Wars of Religion, nor would it be the last.

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 26, 2005, 04:55:57 PM
Quote

Sorry sir, just trying to make the discussion more friendly. Never mind, Mr. Michael G. it won't happen again, how could I dare writing to you in such terms!


No, Michael will suffice, "Umi"

Quote
Weren't they 70.000 (by protestant accounts)? Now they have grown up to 100.000?  


Those lower numbers come from the Vatican, of course we know how the Vatican loves to white wash itself and wash the shame & blood from it's hands.....as in the molestation scandal.

Quote
Come on, you know exactly what I was refering to! Precisely to that, I wasn't saying you saw Hitler as Catherine or viceversa, but no, I don't think your comparison has valid standards. And that's for sure, Catherine was not born in Braunau...By the way, if my father was a merchant should I have to feel offended, like when I said, writing in a historical context, that protestants were heretics?


I validly claim that the events of Aug 24 1572 are comparable to those in Germany.  A government sponsored wholesale massacre of a group of people because of race or religion is tantamount to a genocide on the part of that government.  I could care less about references to her heretics coming from a 16th century perspective, which I find offensive,   I am talking from a 21st century perspective, much more enlightened, and one that doesn't believe in the divine right of monarchs.

Quote
No fact in there, Mr. Michael G.. Reports are contradictory. Those which are favorable were written by her friends, those which accused her as the absolut perpetrator were written by her enemies... No points for any of us two in that issue I believe...



Most of the courts of Europe at the time were Catholic with the exception of England, so why wouldn't the account of the ambassadors be favorable?  You really don't expect me to believe that Catherine, with all of her years of political acumen and savvy, was so naieve that she had no idea that the ensuing massacre could happen Umi do you?    I think it is a credit to her that she could watch horrified from the windows of her palace, safe from the massacre...Oh that's right she would be safe, it was her massacre...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 26, 2005, 05:36:59 PM
Michael,

I tend to agree with the thrust of your posts here. It is absurd to think that people only realized mass murder was wrong in the 20th century. Whether Catherine herself was directly responsible for the deaths (and are we really quibbling that 70,000 is appreciably less horrible than 100,000? Surely not.), she contributed to a climate in which it was permissible to do it. Exactly as Hitler did with Kristallnacht, in fact --- read Goebbals' diary. They enjoyed the results, even if in fact much of what happened was popular in nature. But the fact is that the Nazis allowed, even created, a climate in which Jews could be killed with impunity. The Huguenots were in the same boat.

That being said . . . if you meant to offend me as a practicing Catholic in 2005, you have succeeded.

Regards,

Simon
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 26, 2005, 05:55:12 PM
Quote
Michael,

I tend to agree with the thrust of your posts here. It is absurd to think that people only realized mass murder was wrong in the 20th century. Whether Catherine herself was directly responsible for the deaths (and are we really quibbling that 70,000 is appreciably less horrible than 100,000? Surely not.), she contributed to a climate in which it was permissible to do it. Exactly as Hitler did with Kristallnacht, in fact --- read Goebbals' diary. They enjoyed the results, even if in fact much of what happened was popular in nature. But the fact is that the Nazis allowed, even created, a climate in which Jews could be killed with impunity. The Huguenots were in the same boat.

That being said . . . if you meant to offend me as a practicing Catholic in 2005, you have succeeded.

Regards,

Simon



Simon,

I apologize for offending you, my intent was not condeming all Catholic for what Catherine did.  I just like to keep a balanced picture of the historical figures we are examining.

While it may seem that I am anti Catholic, that is not true, I distrust or dislike all organized religion, including the one I was raised in.

Again I apologize to you if I offended you.

Michael

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 27, 2005, 12:56:00 AM
Dear Michael,

I appreciate your sentiments, thank you. Given what has erupted over on the Alexandra's Medical History thread, it means a lot to me that we avoid conflict --- the discussions are too interesting to sacrifice!

Best regards,

Simon

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Silja on August 28, 2005, 12:22:27 PM
Quote
 

Have you ever seen the movie "Judgement At Nuremburg"

I never knew it would come to that. YOU must believe it, YOU MUST believe it.  Tracy's reply was  "Herr Janning, it came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent. "  Truer words were never spoken.
 
I feel there is no excuse for Catherine's involvement in this.




But there is a problem in comparing Catherine's case with that of the character in the movie.

Apparently - and I'm no expert on Catherine, and am thus relying on the comments made above by other posters here - it wasn't Catherine's plan to "sentence anyone to death", that is, to deliberately kill anyone she considered "innocent". If she decided to have the leaders killed - then from her perspective these weren't innocents at all. This doesn't excuse it from our perspective, and doesn't make it less horrific, but it nevertheless explains the deed (of having the leaders killed) within the political context.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on August 28, 2005, 01:03:10 PM
Quote

But there is a problem in comparing Catherine's case with that of the character in the movie.

Apparently - and I'm no expert on Catherine, and am thus relying on the comments made above by other posters here - it wasn't Catherine's plan to "sentence anyone to death", that is, to deliberately kill anyone she considered "innocent". If she decided to have the leaders killed - then from her perspective these weren't innocents at all. This doesn't excuse it from our perspective, and doesn't make it less horrific, but it nevertheless explains the deed (of having the leaders killed) within the political context.



I respectfully & totally disagree with you.  Umigon & others have stated earlier that Catherine stated she had no idea how the massacre would be spread and was horrified by it , supposedly.   My point is that the moment Catherine sanctioned a massacre, no matter how limited she intended it's scope to be,  she is responsible for it's outcome.    

This is one reason the Nuremburg trials reached the scope that they did, down to judges, and administrators.
This is one reason I made that comparison, for surely Catherine with her years of experience & her politica acumen knew that this could snowball out of control.
Silja, Catherine is responsible for all of the deaths during the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, personally, socially, & morally.  I really feel disgusted that people try to defend her actions.  
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 28, 2005, 01:06:08 PM
But a medieval/Renaissance concept of heresy doesn't allow for the kind of "innocent" bystanders that you have killed during the Massacre. The average Huguenot killed by the mob was as guilty of treason as Coligny in Catherine's eyes, if she was of standard 16th century belief. A heretic disputed the right of the state to control the religious beliefs of its' subjects. So I strongly doubt that Catherine shed many tears for those killed in the streets of Paris. In that sense, the comparison with the Janning character in Judgement is reasonably apt in terms of the principle by which he is condemned.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on August 29, 2005, 08:17:05 AM


Catherine wass not a religious fanatics, and that can't be denied even by her worst enemies. In fact, many of her advisors, including the most important one, Michel de L'Hospital, were Huguenots. She also chose teachers and wet nurses for her own children who were Huguenots or from a Huguenot background.


And now, just my opinion about all this discussion about the Saint Bartholomew and Catherine's character. For me, Catherine was as evil as every other 16th century monarch. Not best, not worst. I am talking about her personal character, because as a politician, from my point of view, she was much better than most of the contemporary monarchs. And about the Saint Bartholomew, it could have been a revenge... Well, from Guise's point of view it was. He wanted Coligny dead, as he had killed his father in 1563, and Coligny had escaped from Justice too many times. In fact, when the issue with Coligny had been done, Guise said: 'Now I am satisfied, I had my revenge'.  

I say it could also be a revenge of what had been known as the Saint Bartholomew massacre until that day. Three years later, on 24th August 1569, after the battle of Orthez, Montgomery had the royal soldiers imprisoned. They had given up their arms because Montgomery had promised them by a written act (!!!) that he would spare their lives. Well, he didn't, he just killed 5.000 people who were prisoners and whom he had promised to leave alive!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 29, 2005, 08:28:46 AM
I agree with umigon that, though I do not attempt to defend or justify the Bartholemew's Day Massacre and/or Catherine's role in it, she was no better or worse than any other 16th century monarch.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 01, 2005, 02:36:15 PM


Yesterday night, re-reading the book "Catherine de Médicis" by Jean Orieux, I found some other arguments that prove that Catherine just did what she had to do.

Coligny had been plotting against the entire Royal Family and his intentions were of murdering or imprissoning per life: Charles IX, Catherine, Henri d'Anjou, Hercule-François d'Alençon, Margot and... both Henri of Navarre and Condé, Huguenot princes!!! This info is not false, as it was denounced by Catherine's spies and, after Coligny's death, the documents that proved it were found on his hôtel.

The starting signal for the murders should have been the bells of a church that had to ring before its actual hour. Half an hour before this bells started to ring, Catherine sent a message aborting the murder mission. She was answered that the murders had already started 10 minutes before.

And about the total number of people killed in France from the 24th August 1572 until the end of November by the mob, not by any Catholic or HUguenot Prince, were of about 20-25.000, those are the people that were recorded for Queen Elizabeth Tudor and that number is the one that most people regard as valid nowadays. Besides that, only a 40% of the deceased were Huguenots, and many people killed their personal enemies or, like in a University, a professor killed another one to remplace him! So, a horrible and regretable act, but there are many exagerations in its story just to sully Catherine's name (I don't know if the word sully means what I want it to mean, hope you understand!)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 01, 2005, 02:44:26 PM
That's very interesting umigon - of course it is to be expected that in a situation like the Massacre people would be out to get their personal enemies, Catholic, Hugenot or whatever . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 02, 2005, 10:21:44 AM
Quote

Yesterday night, re-reading the book "Catherine de Médicis" by Jean Orieux, I found some other arguments that prove that Catherine just did what she had to do.

Coligny had been plotting against the entire Royal Family and his intentions were of murdering or imprissoning per life: Charles IX, Catherine, Henri d'Anjou, Hercule-François d'Alençon, Margot and... both Henri of Navarre and Condé, Huguenot princes!!! This info is not false, as it was denounced by Catherine's spies and, after Coligny's death, the documents that proved it were found on his hôtel.

The starting signal for the murders should have been the bells of a church that had to ring before its actual hour. Half an hour before this bells started to ring, Catherine sent a message aborting the murder mission. She was answered that the murders had already started 10 minutes before.

And about the total number of people killed in France from the 24th August 1572 until the end of November by the mob, not by any Catholic or HUguenot Prince, were of about 20-25.000, those are the people that were recorded for Queen Elizabeth Tudor and that number is the one that most people regard as valid nowadays. Besides that, only a 40% of the deceased were Huguenots, and many people killed their personal enemies or, like in a University, a professor killed another one to remplace him! So, a horrible and regretable act, but there are many exagerations in its story just to sully Catherine's name (I don't know if the word sully means what I want it to mean, hope you understand!)



A horrible, regrettable act is how you refer to a WILLING massacre by a government of it's citizens????   That is a  disgrace.    Also the 25,000 estimate was the one sanctioned by Rome.  In the 20th century it would be referred to as a genocide.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 02, 2005, 10:27:13 AM
Michael, you are of course entitled to your opinion, but I would prefer if you do not label umigon's opinion a 'disgrace'. Something like 'I disagree' would have been more tactful.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 02, 2005, 11:42:58 AM
Here’s my take on Catharine and St Bartholemew. I can see how it’s a hot issue - it’s something people really care a lot about.

I was reading this quote from Macaulay about Elizabeth, and I think it applies to Catharine as well:

“she yet subjected that church (the catholics) to a persecution even more odious than the persecution with which her sister had harassed the Protestants. We say more odious. For Mary had at least the plea of fanaticism. If she burned the bodies of her subjects it was in order to rescue their souls. Elizabeth had no such pretext. In opinion she was little more than half a Protestant. There is an excuse, a wretched excuse for the massacres of Piedmont and the Autos da Fe of Spain. But what can be said in defence of a ruler who is at once indifferent and intolerant?”

This is what I find most despicable about Catharine’s part in the St Bartholemew massacres. It was a religious massacre sparked off by someone who actually didn’t care either way about protestant/ catholic. What she cared about was her own power and influence. I think she may not have intended the massacre to go as far as it did, but she wanted Coligny’s influence over her son removed and was prepared to “go the distance”. Whereas Elizabeth didn’t like some of the things she had to do to stay Queen (executing the Queen of Scots for example), I don’t think Catharine was capable of remorse. I think she was at heart a very selfish woman.

It has been argued in her defence that she was fighting for her children. But I think she was one of those colossally selfish people who are always asking what their children can do for them, and not what they can do for their children. Once Margot was no longer any use to her, she got brushed off.

In a way I can’t blame her for instinctively looking after number one. I think she learnt to be this way at a young age (she was orphaned as a baby) and later during a long marriage to a man who was in love with a much older woman. She knew the value of power and was prepared to do anything to keep it.

So I agree with Umigon that she was not religiously motivated, and that she possibly didn’t envisage the dimensions of the massacre. But that makes it even worse!


Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 02, 2005, 11:57:21 AM
Thanks for contributing bell.  :)

I would call Catherine, Elizabeth and indeed Henri IV 'religious by political need' - they were not pious by nature, byt did what they thought neccessary regarding religion.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 02, 2005, 12:41:24 PM
Quote
Michael, you are of course entitled to your opinion, but I would prefer if you do not label umigon's opinion a 'disgrace'. Something like 'I disagree' would have been more tactful.



Prince, I was referring to Umigon's defense of her as being disgusting, however that is just my opinion, & I meant no reference to Umigon personally.  
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 02, 2005, 12:42:34 PM
My sincerest apologies Michael. I cannot of course prevent you from expressing your opinion on umigon's theroy. I am sorry I misunderstood.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 02, 2005, 12:44:07 PM
Yes, bell, I agree with you in most of it. I must disagree in her indifference to the massacre and to her children. As I have already stated with some proof, she HAD to order Coligny's death, it couldn't be other way. It was either Coligny or herself (including all of her family, as Coligny's plans said!). And about her children, she loved them all. Her weak point: loving Sandrin (Henry), more than anything else in this world. But Margot... well, she had been conspiring against Charles IX and Catherine, in order to force the first one to crown her brother Alençon (Hercule-François) and imprison her mother in a remote convent!

And even though those were Margot's intentions (in 1573) and even though she continued conspiring against Henri III and Catherine, it was not until 1586 that they agreed on her imprisonment in Usson. Perhaps the son for whom Catherine had less affection was Hercule-François, the youngest, who was an absolut traitor and changed from party constantly. He feared Catherine, but he had also said to her once that her only mother had been Diane de Poitiers. Catherine could never forgive him that, but she still cared for him and apeased Henri III many times, thus avoiding Hercule-François's imprisonment and, possibly, death.


I think she is a maligned character in History, although I give in that she was cold and had a calculating mind.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 03, 2005, 05:02:10 AM
I think it possible that for Catharine there was “no other way”. However I think another person would not have got herself into a corner like that. This to me shows another aspect of Catharine – she was an inept politician.

This is not surprising: she arrived on the political scene in her forties, with not even second-hand experience. I don’t think Henri talked to her about very much at all during their marriage, let alone statecraft. She wasn’t a “natural” either - she had no talents of charm or persuasion to deal with a very difficult situation, and didn’t have the self knowledge to realise she was out of her depth - turning instead to charlatans and astrologers.

Her children, starting with Francois and with the exception of Henri all drew away from her in the end. Maybe they didn’t trust her either!

It’s also possible that she did feel some remorse for the massacre, but it’s difficult to be sure. One clue: in her later years she was responsible for bringing up her granddaughter Christina of Lorraine, who was later regent of Tuscany for her own son and grandson. I like to think Catharine had learnt from her mistakes and passed on this wisdom to Christina. She may have been a better gran than a mother!

Christina didn’t do a bad job in Florence (Catharine’s home town) – her regency was a period of economic decline, but at least no massacres!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 03, 2005, 06:26:01 AM
Well, most bad parents make better grandparents.  ;)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 03, 2005, 07:27:47 AM


I agree with you that she had made her own trap for herself and that another politician could have done it better. But she fell into that trap because she had been 13 years trying to bring both parties into a peaceful situation. She failed to do that, another monarch would have murdered all  of their political ennemies at a start...


She was not so badly prepared for politics (studied Machiavelli's works) and she had also been a witness to the dangerous and violent times of Italy  during her childhood and then she was a first class witness to the reigns of François I and Henri II. And, she was not at all an inept politician (of course, from my point of view), as she managed to keep her children's throne for thirteen years, challenged by many wars, conspiracies and murders!


About her children, I must agree with you. Claude was also faithful to her mother and François died too young, so we won't know which party he would have finally chosen (Catherine's or Guises, though these two were allies during François's reign). The rest stopped fighting for her interests, even Henri when he decided to follow his mignons advice (an error, in most of the cases!). But she suffered a lot because of Margot and Hercule's plots against her!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 03, 2005, 10:22:38 PM
Quote


I think she is a maligned character in History, although I give in that she was cold and had a calculating mind.



I don't think she is maligned, as she is excused by some for unexcusable behavior.  There is a group of people in the US who love revisionism in history, they take someone like Joseph McCarthy who ruined the lives of many people, and try to say he was a great guy.

This is the same with Catherine, for all of the "good intentions" you claim she had, for all the political wisdom you state she posessed, for all the good she MAY have done, it was all WIPED OUT forever with the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and the genocide of religious politics instigated by the vatican.  

This is what perplexes me about people such as Catherine who had intelligence,  I lose respect for her, or feel she loses any legitimacy in dealing with her entire character for the Massacre.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 03, 2005, 10:35:52 PM
I have read every post on this subject. And, trying to be objective, I must agree with Michael [he and I do not always agree, btw].
How could someone who is admittedly "cold and calculating" be "maligned"? Are those supposed to be positive attributes?
For all the positive attributes she did seem to have, she is indeed condemed [in my opinion] for her aquiessence to to the massacres. Even there, she seems to have been in on it from conception !  The fact that the event did get out-of-hand, beyond her control does not excuse the  fact that she instigated it . Political expediency does not excuse a massacre, no matter what the number or religion of the victims.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 04, 2005, 06:39:02 AM
Quote




This is the same with Catherine, for all of the "good intentions" you claim she had, for all the political wisdom you state she posessed, for all the good she MAY have done, it was all WIPED OUT forever with the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and the genocide of religious politics instigated by the vatican.  

.



I suppose your are not accusing me of historical revisionism! What we must agree in, Michael, is that we didn't live those events. We weren't there and the people we discuss have been long dead. So, the only way we have of knowing about them and discussing their personalities and acts are by written works by people living in their times and people who wrote about them from these same sources. So, I don't think the word is revision. I think it's just two different versions of the same thing. Catherine is a person who will always have her defenders and detractors, the same way other controversial historical figures (Henry VIII, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, Philip II of Spain, Mary Stuart... the list goes on...) also have theirs.

Of course you can think the Saint Bartholomew is an absolut proof of Catherine's evilness and I say it was a mistake. She had trapped herself and it was either herself and her faimly or Coligny and his friends. Catherine always tried to bring the different parts (was it in a war, a political issue or a domestic problem) together in peace, both before and after the Saint Bartholomew. That is something her worst enemies can't deny.

I am not doing historical revisionism, I am just writing my point of view, after what I have read and studied , the same way you do. The thing is we have just adhered to different versions. Logically, mine is, for me, the correct one, the same way yours is the correct one for you. But I am not accusing you of revising history.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 04, 2005, 06:45:16 AM
Quote
The fact that the event did get out-of-hand, beyond her control does not excuse the  fact that she instigated it . Political expediency does not excuse a massacre, no matter what the number or religion of the victims.



I agree with you there, Robert. But again she had no choice. Well, she had: wait for Coligny and his allies to strip power and probably life (as they pretended to do) from all of her family. No mother would have waited for that to occur.

We agree in the fact that if it had been the other way round (Coligny murdering the Royal Family and Huguenots killing catholics on the streets), he would also be regarded as a monster. I am not saying that Catherine was a saint, I have never said that. But I do say that she was not evil, as many think. She didn't order that massacre as a caprice, as many try us to believe.

I wish I have made my point clear!


Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 04, 2005, 07:15:22 AM
Umigon, I don't think she was evil either, but she was selfish and callous.

You say Coligny and the Huguenots would have had them all murdered. I suppose they're was a "fear" that this would happen - as a reprisal for the first botched assassination attempt. How far Catharine was involved in the first attempt has always been a matter of speculation. I don't think that Coligny/ the Huguenots were planning anything when they arrived in Paris for the wedding - they thought they were still in favour with the king. Whether they had time to think of reprisals after the attempt we will never know.

I'm reading up on Catharine and the events of the 1560s. I think it's a fascinating story! I'll let you know if I think better of her political skills after reading up. I'm sure, as you wrote, that she had read Machiavelli. "The Prince" was dedicated to her father I believe. I wonder how many marks out of ten Machiavelli would have given her!

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 04, 2005, 07:34:57 AM
Coligny had been planning that 'coup d'état', that is a fact, as the documents proving it where found in his desk after he was murdered. The plan was deposing the King and his family and start some sort of Republic (with him as the first person of state, of course), similar in many ways to that of Cromwell in England a century later.

About Catherine's involvement in Coligny's murder attempt, she was involved and she tried to make all heads turn to the Guises as the guilty party in the murder attempt. However she finally realised the danger this implied, and the Saint Bartholomew was decided. Catherine and Michel de L'Hospital wanted Coligny dead. Once Charles IX was convinced (after hearing about his 'father's' betrayal) he decided that all the Huguenot leaders should be murdered, so there wouldn't be anyone to point at him. He said: 'Tuez-les tous!' and his message was misunderstood. About 20 people should have been killed, all Huguenot leaders except Henri de Navarre and his cousin Condé ('The blood of France is sacred' had said Catherine) should be killed. Instead, thousands of people were killed because Catherine hadn't the sufficient political view in that occasion as to foresee what would happen. When she tried to stop the murders, she had been disobeyed and it all had already started.


I think Machiavelli would have given her an 8 (hehe! ;)). She was cold when she had to be and warm when circumstances made her be so. She could be pleasant and friendly or cruel, but her only God was power and she was a servant to France and its monarchy. Two black points for a follower of Machiavelli: the great political mistake she did with the Saint Bartholomew, and the great confidence she had in all of her children, even though they would never get tired of betraying her and the Crown.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 10:18:37 AM
Quote


I agree with you there, Robert. But again she had no choice. Well, she had: wait for Coligny and his allies to strip power and probably life (as they pretended to do) from all of her family. No mother would have waited for that to occur.

We agree in the fact that if it had been the other way round (Coligny murdering the Royal Family and Huguenots killing catholics on the streets), he would also be regarded as a monster. I am not saying that Catherine was a saint, I have never said that. But I do say that she was not evil, as many think. She didn't order that massacre as a caprice, as many try us to believe.

I wish I have made my point clear!




No Umigon, you misunderstand my statements, I don't think that this was a caprice, or fleeting idea, I think that the massacre was planned.  It was executed according to her plans, and when it snowballed into what she had to know it could become, it became her cross to bear.    I don't give one ounce of credence that we should judge her by 16th century thought, I judge by I know what her acts & actions to be.  When I see a genocide of people of whatever creed, race, or religion, by a government, for political expediency or religious issues, then I call it what it is, a genocide.  I don't try to hide it nicely and say that Catherine didn't expect this, or wasn't Machavellian, or that she wasn't evil.  She shows us all of the opposite by her actions, just my opinion.

So over 100,000 French citizens paid with their lives & their blood flowed in the rivers of France & stained her soil, because Catherine de Medici believed herself & her family threatened by Coligny????   Your defense of her perplexes me.  
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 04, 2005, 10:36:53 AM


That is just an exaggeration, and you know it. To start with, there were 25,000 dead and not 100,000. Ok that doesn't make it better but lets not pay attention to false legends; if we are talking with facts, lets talk with real facts from a start.


Well, if you are not judging her with a mind as closer as you can to the 16th century, then you simply can't judge her. What would we have to say about so many men marrying 14 years-old... ? When you judge someone that didn't live your era the best is that one tries to put himself in this person's place, not otherwise.


I defend her because she DIDN'T plan the massacre that then occured. Mary Tudor executed people to save their soul, Elizabeth I to end with every threat to her power, Hitler to eliminate what he thought weren't persons, Truman killed thousands of people in order to end with a six-year war and Catherine decided murdering twenty people to save herself and to retain power. All of them had different reasons and that doesn't make their killings better or worse, but it is not the same judging Catherine (1519-1589) or Elizabeth (1533-1603) as judging Hitler (1889-1945) and Truman (1884-1972).
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 04, 2005, 11:43:05 AM
I agree umigon. As I have said from this thread's beginning - things must be looked at in perspective.

Nowadays, we would think a 14-year-old girl being pointed towards a 23-year-old man for marriage was awful and obscene. But do we think of Fritz as a pervert? Or do we think Charles I was a pervert for marrying 15 y/o Henrietta Maria? The answer is no, of course we don't.

And also, as umigon, says, please stick to the facts.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 12:40:32 PM
Quote
And also, as umigon, says, please stick to the facts.



What facts are you referring to, Umigon's use of Vatican statistics on the amount of dead, or the truth?

I will not "judge" people on the standard of behaviour in that century, certainly 25,000 dead by Vatican statistics or 100,000 dead is still a massacre or a genocide.

Let's try to remember that the threat against Catherine was mostly of her own making, and that of her doomed dynasty with her last son on the throne and no heirs from her line.  Again once Catherine authorized this massacre no matter what it's scope became or it's original intention was, she had blood on her hands, and no amount of washing through revisionism will change that fact.

Richard Nixon may not have intended Watergate to turn into the fiasco it did, but in the eyes of history he does bear the blame.    

Umigon, I believe you argue from a religious perspective in defending Catherine as you do Mary Stuart, instead of from a historical perspective.


An Eyewitness Account of the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre
by François Dubois
From the Musée Cantonal Des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne Switzerland


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 24, 1572, was the date of the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France. On that day, over 400 years ago, began one of the most horrifying holocausts in history. The glorious Reformation, begun in Germany on October 31, 1517, had spread to France—and was joyfully received. A great change had come over the people as industry and learning began to flourish, and so rapidly did the Truth spread that over a third of the population embraced the Reformed Christian Faith.

However, alarm bells began to ring at the Vatican! France was her eldest daughter and main pillar—the chief source of money and power. . . . King Pepin of the Franks (the father of Charlemagne) had given the Papal States to the Pope almost 1000 years earlier. Almost half the real estate in the country was owned by the clergy.

Meanwhile, back in Paris, the King of France and his Court spent their time drinking, reveling and carousing. The Court spiritual adviser—a Jesuit priest—  urged them to massacre the Protestants—as penance for their many sins! To catch the Christians off-guard every token of peace, friendship, and ecumenical good will was offered.

Suddenly—and without warning—the devilish work commenced. Beginning at Paris, the French soldiers and the Roman Catholic clergy fell upon the unarmed people, and blood flowed like a river throughout the entire country. Men, women, and children fell in heaps before the mobs and the bloodthirsty troops. In one week, almost 100,100 Protestants perished. The rivers of France were so filled with corpses that for many months no fish were eaten. In the valley of the Loire, wolves came down from the hills to feel upon the decaying bodies of Frenchmen. The list of massacres was as endless as the list of the dead!

Many were imprisoned—many sent as slaves to row the King's ships—and some were able to escape to other countries. . . . The massacres continued for centuries. The best and brightest people fled to Germany, Switzerland, England, Ireland and eventually America and brought their incomparable manufacturing skills with them. . . . France was ruined. . . . Wars, famine, disease and poverty finally led to the French Revolution—the Guillotine—the Reign of Terror—the fall of the Roman Catholic Monarchy—atheism—communism etc., etc.

When news of the Massacre reached the Vatican there was jubilation! Cannons roared—bells rung—and a special commemorative medal was struck—to honor the occasion! The Pope commissioned Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural of the Massacre—which still hangs in the Vatican!

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 12:42:50 PM
Modern History Sourcebook:
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, Aug. 24, 1572

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As recorded by statesman and historian, De Thou (1553-1617), who was a witness to the events on St. Bartholomew Day as a youth. Here, he is relating the events leading up to the Massacre and the orders of the Queen of France, Catherine de'Medici.

So it was determined to exterminate all the Protestants and the plan was approved by the queen. They discussed for some time whether they should make an exception of the king of Navarre and the prince of Condé. All agreed that the king of Navarre should be spared by reason of the royal dignity and the new alliance. The duke of Guise, who was put in full command of the enterprise, summoned by night several captains of the Catholic Swiss mercenaries from the five little cantons, and some commanders of French companies, and told them that it was the will of the king that, according to God's will, they should take vengeance on the band of rebels while they had the beasts in the toils. Victory was easy and the booty great and to be obtained without danger. The signal to commence the massacre should be given by the bell of the palace, and the marks by which they should recognize each other in the darkness were a bit of white linen tied around the left arm and a white cross on the hat.
Meanwhile Coligny awoke and recognized from the noise that a riot was taking place. Nevertheless he remained assured of the king's good will, being persuaded thereof either by his credulity or by Teligny, his son-in-law: be believed the populace had been stirred up by the Guises and that quiet would be restored as soon as it was seen that soldiers of the guard, under the command of Cosseins, bad been detailed to protect him and guard his property.
But when he perceived that the noise increased and that some one had fired an arquebus in the courtyard of his dwelling, then at length, conjecturing what it might be, but too late, he arose from his bed and having put on his dressing gown he said his prayers, leaning against the wall. Labonne held the key of the house, and when Cosseins commanded him, in the king's name, to open the door he obeyed at once without fear and apprehending nothing. But scarcely had Cosseins entered when Labonne, who stood in his way, was killed with a dagger thrust. The Swiss who were in the courtyard, when they saw this, fled into the house and closed the door, piling against it tables and all the furniture they could find. It was in the first scrimmage that a Swiss was killed with a ball from an arquebus fired by one of Cosseins' people. But finally the conspirators broke through the door and mounted the stairway, Cosseins, Attin, Corberan de Cordillac, Seigneur de Sarlabous, first captains of the regiment of the guards, Achilles Petrucci of Siena, all armed with cuirasses, and Besme the German, who had been brought up as a page in the house of Guise; for the duke of Guise was lodged at court, together with the great nobles and others who accompanied him.
After Coligny had said his prayers with Merlin the minister, he said, without any appearance of alarm, to those who were present (and almost all were surgeons, for few of them were of his retinue) : "I see clearly that which they seek, and I am ready steadfastly to suffer that death which I have never feared and which for a long time past I have pictured to myself. I consider myself happy in feeling the approach of death and in being ready to die in God, by whose grace I hope for the life everlasting. I have no further need of human succor. Go then from this place, my friends, as quickly as you may, for fear lest you shall be involved in my misfortune, and that some day your wives shall curse me as the author of your loss. For me it is enough that God is here, to whose goodness I commend my soul, which is so soon to issue from my body. After these words they ascended to an upper room, whence they sought safety in flight here and there over the roofs.
Meanwhile the conspirators; having burst through the door of the chamber, entered, and when Besme, sword in hand, had demanded of Coligny, who stood near the door, "Are you Coligny ?" Coligny replied, "Yes, I am he," with fearless countenance. "But you, young man, respect these white hairs. What is it you would do? You cannot shorten by many days this life of mine." As he spoke, Besme gave him a sword thrust through the body, and having withdrawn his sword, another thrust in the mouth, by which his face was disfigured. So Coligny fell, killed with many thrusts. Others have written that Coligny in dying pronounced as though in anger these words: "Would that I might at least die at the hands of a soldier and not of a valet." But Attin, one of the murderers, has reported as I have written, and added that he never saw any one less afraid in so great a peril, nor die more steadfastly.
Then the duke of Guise inquired of Besme from the courtyard if the thing were done, and when Besme answered him that it was, the duke replied that the Chevalier d'Angouleme was unable to believe it unless he saw it; and at the same time that he made the inquiry they threw the body through the window into the courtyard, disfigured as it was with blood. When the Chevalier d'Angouleme, who could scarcely believe his eyes, had wiped away with a cloth the blood which overran the face and finally had recognized him, some say that he spurned the body with his foot. However this may be, when he left the house with his followers he said: "Cheer up, my friends! Let us do thoroughly that which we have begun. The king commands it." He frequently repeated these words, and as soon as they had caused the bell of the palace clock to ring, on every side arose the cry, "To arms !" and the people ran to the house of Coligny. After his body had been treated to all sorts of insults, they threw it into a neighboring stable, and finally cut off his head, which they sent to Rome. They also shamefully mutilated him, and dragged his body through the streets to the bank of the Seine, a thing which he had formerly almost prophesied, although he did not think of anything like this.
As some children were in the act of throwing the body into the river, it was dragged out and placed upon the gibbet of Montfaucon, where it hung by the feet in chains of iron; and then they built a fire beneath, by which he was burned without being consumed; so that he was, so to speak, tortured with all the elements, since he was killed upon the earth, thrown into the water, placed upon the fire, and finally put to hang in the air. After he had served for several days as a spectacle to gratify the hate of many and arouse the just indignation of many others, who reckoned that this fury of the people would cost the king and France many a sorrowful day, Francois de Montmorency, who was nearly related to the dead man, and still more his friend, and who moreover had escaped the danger in time, had him taken by night from the gibbet by trusty men and carried to Chantilly, where he was buried in the chapel.

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 04, 2005, 12:44:28 PM
Quote


Umigon, I believe you argue from a religious perspective in defending Catherine as you do Mary Stuart, instead of from a historical perspective.




What is wrong with arguing from a religious point of view? You yourself have frequently brought up the issue of religion on the Tudor Queens thread.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 12:49:34 PM
In 1572, a series of inter-related incidents occurred after the royal wedding of Marguerite of Valois to Henry of Navarre, an alliance that strengthened his claim to the throne of France. On 22 August, Catherine's agent, a Catholic named Maurevel, attempted to assassinate Admiral de Coligny in Paris, but succeeded only in wounding him and infuriating the Huguenot party. Then in the early hours of the morning of 24 August, St. Bartholomew's Day, Coligny and several dozen other Huguenot leaders were murdered in Paris, a series of coordinated assassinations that could only have been planned at the highest level. That was the signal for a widespread massacre. Beginning on 24 August , and lasting to 17 September, there was a wave of popular killings of Huguenots by the Paris mob, as if spontaneous.

"To be a Huguenot," wrote the historian, Mézeray, "was to have money, enviable position, or avaricious heirs." Hence, according to Mézeray, when on the following morning the houses of the rich were pillaged and blood flowed in streams, it was an outpouring of popular envy and resentment, mixed with religious zeal. As the massacres spread to the countryside, it was carried out by the peasantry against Huguenots who were perceived, for no small reason, to be anti-Catholic and anti-national enemies of France.

From August to October, similar seemingly spontaneous massacres of Huguenots took place in other towns, such as Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon, Bourges, Rouen, and Orléans. Again, carried out by the populace, not regimens of the crown. Estimates of the number of those murdered range as high as 100,000. a Huguenot source gives a figure of 70,000. Other sources estimate 30,000 or fewer. Among the slain was composer Claude Goudimel. The great and reliable British historian Hilaire Belloc gave the most sober number at around "perhaps 2,000" as he surmised the lasting impact of the massacres thus: "...for a time [the massacres] thoroughly cowed anti-Catholic nobles. The fury of the populace had a lasting effect which could never be undone." The number of victims in the provinces is unknown, the figures varying between 2000 and 100,000. The "Martyrologe des Huguenots", published in 1581, brings it up to 15,138, but mentions only 786 dead. At any rate only a short time afterwards the reformers were preparing for a fourth civil war.

"Catholics say only 30,000 were slain in the Inquisition of France. Protestants put the number at 70,000. We would prefer the latter figure. If there were 70,000 Huguenots in Paris on the night of the massacre, so much more the justification for the slaughter… We have heard ring out many times the very bells that called the Catholics together on that fatal night. They always sounded sweetly in our ears." (Western Watchman, No. 21, 1912)

Contemporary accounts report bodies in the rivers for months afterwards, so that no one would eat fish. Pope Gregory XIII's reaction was jubilant: although Catholic sources indicate that the news he received from France was that of a serious Protestant plot against the King having been thwarted. Indeed, communications were extremely slow and disparate in the sixteenth century; but this view may not explain why all the bells of Rome pealed for a public day of thanksgiving, the guns of the Castel Sant'Angelo sounded a joyous salute, a special commemorative medal was struck to honour the occasion, and Gregory commissioned Giorgio Vasari to paint a mural depicting the Massacre, which is in the Vatican. Gregory XIII, a cultured and scientific man, believed this would ultimately lead to peace in France, a noble motivation by any measure. In any event, In Paris, the poet Jean-Antoine de Baïf, founder of the Academie de Musique et de Poésie, wrote a sonnet extravagantly praising the killings. Clearly, the prevailing view was that the Protestants got what they deserved.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 01:56:41 PM
Quote

What is wrong with arguing from a religious point of view? You yourself have frequently brought up the issue of religion on the Tudor Queens thread.



There is a DIFFERENCE between making yourself a martyr for faith, which I see as ridiculous and a waste, and using religion as a reason for a government to massacre up to 100,000 of it's citizens.  I see this from a historical perspective and not a religious one as Umigon does.  What happened was horrible, and in my opinion is non defensible.    

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 04, 2005, 02:00:28 PM
Obviously you would see it as ridiculous, but a more pious person would disagree I'm sure . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 03:30:51 PM
Quote
Obviously you would see it as ridiculous, but a more pious person would disagree I'm sure . . .



pious or brain dead?????
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 04, 2005, 03:32:17 PM
That is a rather offensive remark. For some people, religion is all they have left . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Silja on September 04, 2005, 03:38:11 PM
Quote
Modern History Sourcebook:
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, Aug. 24, 1572

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As recorded by statesman and historian, De Thou (1553-1617), who was a witness to the events on St. Bartholomew Day as a youth. Here, he is relating the events leading up to the Massacre and the orders of the Queen of France, Catherine de'Medici.

So it was determined to exterminate all the Protestants and the plan was approved by the queen.
.



Well, an eye witness account as such is not necessarily a sound proof of this account's accuracy. It was quite obvious that the Protestants, and also the Protestant nations then were convinced that the massacre had all been planned in advance.
But apparently, according to Starkey's comment, modern research has come to the conclusion that it had not been planned in advance "to exterminate all the Protestants", that this had indeed been a myth.

If you post an eye-witness account it would be helpful if you also gave the eye witness's background and circumstances etc., so that the reader could more easily decide how to judge this respective account in terms of reliability.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 04, 2005, 03:40:53 PM
Good point Silja.  :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 04:12:30 PM
Quote

Well, an eye witness account as such is not necessarily a sound proof of this account's accuracy. It was quite obvious that the Protestants, and also the Protestant nations then were convinced that the massacre had all been planned in advance.
But apparently, according to Starkey's comment, modern research has come to the conclusion that it had not been planned in advance "to exterminate all the Protestants", that this had indeed been a myth.

If you post an eye-witness account it would be helpful if you also gave the eye witness's background and circumstances etc., so that the reader could more easily decide how to judge this respective account in terms of reliability.



More revisionism....are you catholic also, just curious?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 04:14:28 PM
Quote
That is a rather offensive remark. For some people, religion is all they have left . . .



As I consider your remarks offensive, as I don't believe in religion.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 04, 2005, 04:19:34 PM
You consider it offensive that I say a pious person might die for their religion? Then you are being a little hypersensitive, IMHO.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Silja on September 04, 2005, 04:31:52 PM
Quote


More revisionism....


Actually it has nothing to do with revisionism, but with scholarship.

Eye witness accounts, as any other historic source, can only always be judged in context. I wonder what your problem is with that?

And, yes, I'm Catholic. And this has nothing to do with it   :D.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Louis_Charles on September 04, 2005, 04:50:41 PM
The source for Michael G.'s posts about the massacre would appear to be the Wikipedia article on this topic. It gives a brief bio of the man that wrote the "eyewitness" account. The "Western Watchman" was a midwestern Catholic newspaper that went out of business in 1933 (it is quoted in the article, and again by Michael G. in his post).
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 04, 2005, 05:37:30 PM
I also think this has nothing to do with religion, but the same could apply to you, Michael, always defending non-Catholic parties (Catherine's supposed evilness in this case or Elizabeth I great political view when she executed Mary Stuart).


Catherine had blood on her hands the same way Coligny had. The same way everyone had in those days. Your posts are offensive for any non-fanatical member of these forums. Who is revising history here?


By the way, is there anything wrong in being a Catholic? I already wrote in another post that I am not a particularly religious people (I don't need to give any more details) but of course you are free to believe whatever you want. I am in no need to give you any excuses for the History I have studied. You want to go on and on posting the same account of witnesses without understanding that that point had already come through... well, go on then!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 04, 2005, 06:02:29 PM
Now lets talk a little about Catherine's private life, here is the complete list of her children:

1. FRANÇOIS II DE FRANCE. Born François de Valois (16/1/1544,Fontainebleau-5/12/1560, Orleans), he was known as Franchot by the members of his family. He married Mary Stuart (1542-1587), Queen of Scotland, in 1558 and died without issue. Reigned: 1559-1560.

(http://fotos.miarroba.com/fotos/2/b/2bb6f8eb.jpg)

2. ÉLISABETH DE FRANCE. Born Élisabeth de Valois (13/4/1546, Fontainebleau-3/10/1568, Madrid), Diane de Poitiers called her Elise, but her mother refused to call her by that nickname and called her Élisabeth.She married Felipe II of Austria (1527-1598), in 1559 and had three daughters: Isabel Clara Eugenia, Catalina Micaela and Juana.

(http://fotos.miarroba.com/fotos/0/6/0620874e.jpg)

3. CLAUDE DE FRANCE. Born Claude de Valois (12/11/1547, Fontainebleau-21/2/1575, Nancy), she was called Claudette by her family. She married Duke Charles III of Lorraine (1543-1608) in 1559. They had 9 children: Henri, Chrétienne, Charles, Antoinette, Anne, François, Catherine, Élisabeth Renée and Claude.

(http://fotos.miarroba.com/fotos/3/a/3a736aa7.jpg)

4. LOUIS DE FRANCE. Born Louis de Valois (3/2/1549, Saint-Germain-en-Laye-24/10/1550, Fontainebleau). Died young.

5. CHARLES IX DE FRANCE. Born Charles Maximilien de Valois (27/6/1550, Saint-Germain-30/5/1574, Vincennes), he was known as Charlet. He married Elisabeth of Austria (1554-1592) in 1570. They had one daughter, Marie-Ysabel. Charles also had a bastard son, Charles de Valois, by his mistress Marie Touchet. Reigned: 1560-1574.

(http://fotos.miarroba.com/fotos/6/5/65cca341.jpg)


6. HENRI III DE FRANCE. Born Alexandre-Edouard de Valois (19/9/1551, Fontainebleau-2/8/1589, Saint Cloud), he was known as Sandrin. Changed his name in 1563 to Henri Alexandre Edouard. Married Louise de Lorraine (1553-1601) in 1575. Died without issue. Reigned: 1574-1589.

(http://fotos.miarroba.com/fotos/f/3/f322ae6e.jpg)

7. MARGUERITE DE FRANCE. Born Marguerite de Valois (14/5/1553, Saint-Germain- 27/3/1615, Louvre), she was known as Margot. She married King Henri III of Navarre (1553-1610, Bourbon dynasty) in 1572. Her marriage was annulled in 1599 and she died without issue. Queen consort of France: 1589-1599.

(http://fotos.miarroba.com/fotos/3/a/3aabdb2c.jpg)

8. FRANÇOIS DE FRANCE. Born Hercule de Valois (18/3/1555, Saint-Germain - 10/6/1584, Thierry), he was known as Hercule, Benjamin or 'mon tout petit' (like 'my little thing') because he was a small child, and he wouldn't be taller when he grew older. Changed his name in 1563 to François-Hercule. Died unmarried and without issue.

(http://fotos.miarroba.com/fotos/a/5/a53510e1.jpg)

9. JEANNE DE FRANCE. Born Jeanne de Valois (24/6/1556, Fontainebleau - 25/6/1556, Fontainebleau). Died young. Twin sister to Victoire.

10. VICTOIRE DE FRANCE. Born Victoire de Valois (24/6/1556, Fontainebleau - 17/8/1556, Amboise). Died young, twin sister to Jeanne.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 04, 2005, 06:15:45 PM
Thank you, Umigon, for assembling and posting the information of the infamous Catherine's children. For some reason,  "Hercule" intriques me. I would like to know more about him in particular. He actually looks like someone I know !
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 09:13:29 PM
Quote


And, yes, I'm Catholic. And this has nothing to do with it   :D.


Well if you think I believe that, then I have Bridge in Brooklyn for sale, interested in buying it?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 09:20:45 PM
Quote
I also think this has nothing to do with religion, but the same could apply to you, Michael, always defending non-Catholic parties (Catherine's supposed evilness in this case or Elizabeth I great political view when she executed Mary Stuart).


Catherine had blood on her hands the same way Coligny had. The same way everyone had in those days. Your posts are offensive for any non-fanatical member of these forums. Who is revising history here?


By the way, is there anything wrong in being a Catholic? I already wrote in another post that I am not a particularly religious people (I don't need to give any more details) but of course you are free to believe whatever you want. I am in no need to give you any excuses for the History I have studied. You want to go on and on posting the same account of witnesses without understanding that that point had already come through... well, go on then!



Well then tell me why you admire her, be specific, tell me what GREAT things she did for France, and the world, what an elightened monarch she was, pre-massacre.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 04, 2005, 09:31:19 PM
Quote
You consider it offensive that I say a pious person might die for their religion? Then you are being a little hypersensitive, IMHO.



Ridiculous.....If someone wants to die for their religion go ahead, be my guest, but don't expect me to pity them.  I consider it offensive that a woman who plans and executes a government organized & supported massacre gets defended for doing it, as it was us or them.  Now I can see going after Coligny or the leaders, in an effective way of jailing them or her usual methods of poison, however, to undertake a massacre of the entire opposition, because of a difference in a matter of faith is beyond my comprehension, and again it perplexes me how anyone can defend this morally indefensible act, and the woman who planned it, and watched with feigned horror from the safety of her palace at the murder in the streets.   Just like New Orleans today with the hurricane, you cannot defend the indefensible, and no action led to tragedy and anarchy.   In this case the government planned the massacre and it led to anarchy, so is either less responsible for their actions???  NO, they are not.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 05, 2005, 02:16:41 AM
Well I’m Church of Scotland! Thought I’d better get that over with.

It’s dangerous to imagine that only monsters or evil people plan, instigate or participate in massacres. The Bartholomew story repeats itself thoughout history – think of Rwanda, or the massacres which took place a couple of years back in Gujarat, India. If we think that these events are solely the results of the actions of “evil” people, how can we hope to avoid them in the future?

Therefore I think it’s a legitimate discussion to look into Catharine’s “reasons” behind the decisions she made, and to make an assessment of what her aims were, what her overall strategy was to achieve these ends (if any), and whether her short term decision-making tended to further or reverse her long-term planning (and perhaps achieved the reverse of what she intended.

I’ve been looking at Catharine’s first years in power. Umigon says that her aims were to preserve the crown for her family. I don’t think this can have been an issue to start off with, as Catharine’s sons were in the fortunate and relatively rare position of having no realistic rivals to the throne. The brothers and Henry of Navarre were all children, and under her control. Basically her aims at this point were to strengthen royal power and make sure that no group of nobles (the Guise or the Bourbons) achieved too much power for themselves.

Her policy was therefore to play them of against each other, and she used the religious issue to appear to be a neutral broker. As such she came quite well out of the 1563 crisis, during which the royal family had been held to ransom by the Guise. The Edict of Toleration of that year allowed that Protestants and Catholics had right of worship. This was Catharine’s idea to keep both sides happy.

Why didn’t the Edict of Toleration work? Maybe it was doomed from the start (but on the other hand it seemed to work quite well under Henry IV, much later). However Catharine didn’t help one bit when she went to the Spanish border in 1565 to meet her daughter, the Queen of Spain. In the heat of the moment she agreed to support the Spanish king’s measures against the Protestants in the Netherlands and thus alienated the Protestants at one stroke.

This is one example of her political ineptness. If her long term strategy was religious toleration, why throw it all out of the window two years later? It makes it look as if the toleration was also just a short-term fix to get her out of a mess. Such manoeuvring lost her the trust of the Catholics as well – they didn’t know which side she was on!

The lack of a clear policy and the consequent escalating climate of insecurity must surely be one of the factors which led to the tragedy of St Bartholemew.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 05, 2005, 04:54:31 AM
Quote


Well then tell me why you admire her, be specific, tell me what GREAT things she did for France, and the world, what an elightened monarch she was, pre-massacre.



I'll tell you, then. She was an intelligent and cultivated woman, who had read the Classics, Machiavelli and was in touch with the new humanistic ideas. Because she brought refinement into France, a country that was still medieval in some aspects (no forks, bad-manners at the table, no personal hygiene...). Because she learnt to survive since she was a small child, because death was around her and starting with her parents, following with her children and finishing with the Guises, nearly everyone who was ever close to her died before she died. Because she believed in peace and tried to stablish many treaties of cult freedom (the 1563 Treaty was not the last one) in a moment in which most monarchs would have simply executed their religious-political enemies (Felipe II, Elizabeth Tudor...). Beacuse she maintained the Crown for her family in the middle of seven civil wars, because she was no religious fanatic in a time when it was quite 'à la mode'. And finally, because she did things every male monarch did in a world in which women weren't suppose to have that strenght .


Satisfied?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 05, 2005, 05:06:33 AM
Quote
Thank you, Umigon, for assembling and posting the information of the infamous Catherine's children. For some reason,  "Hercule" intriques me. I would like to know more about him in particular. He actually looks like someone I know !



He was brought up away from Court with his sister Margot. They went to visit their mother and siblings from time to time but their contact with the rest of the family wasn't much. Then they were also separated. Hercule went to live at Court when he was 8, for the long journey Catherine had planned for the Court in order to give propaganda to her young son, King Charles IX. In that journey, and because Catherine's astrologists had said that the Valois dynasty would finish with her children, she had decided that her children Alexandre and Hercule should change their names, in order to have a more French name if they were to succeed to the throne. Alexandre was then called Henri and Hercule was called François, although Catherine continued to call him Hercule until his death.

He was very small and not very intelligent. Living at Court with Margot, who joined them, he became her best friend and confident and together they plotted against Charles IX, Catherine and, on top of all, against Henri (whom they hated because they were jealous of him and Margot had probably been his lover).

From 1572 onwards, Hercule's life was a succession of plots and flights to his domains. He persisted in his intention of invading the Spanish Netherlands and becoming their new King. However, in the regions he conquered he left so many dead people and destroyed so many crops that the Flemish wanted the return of the Spaniards, which they achieved. He had also the ambition, fed by his mother, of marrying Queen Elizabeth Tudor. In 1581 he even went to London to seek for her hand for a couple of months. Elizabeth didn't dislike him (he was 22 years her junior!), but the great politician in her decided that she couldn't marry him (he was not only a foreign prince, but also a rebelious one). But Elizabeth continued to play the game until Catherine, realising Henri III would never had children and that Hercule was his heir she decided to search a Spanish infanta (her grandaaughters) for her youngest son.

The issue of the infanta never went far - Felipe II ahd said he wanted no more affairs with the Valois family - and Hercule died, having reconciled with his hated brother in 1584.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 05, 2005, 10:04:57 AM
I have decided that something needs to be made clear here. I'm going to say this once, so I hope everyone listens.

From the start, this thread has been controversial. Certain posters argue in Catherine's favour, others against her. There is no problem in this - this is what a Discussion Board is all about.

However, on the subject of the St Bartholemew's Day Massacre, I think enough has been said unless a new poster wishes to give his/her opinion (in which case they are more than welcome). But among the current posters, everything that can be said, has been said. Further discussion will cause further aggresive agument and unpleasantness.

Already this topic has deviated onto relgion, always a contentious issue. This board is about royalty - religion need not and should not be discussed here, especially the religious beleifs of certain posters and it's 'relevancy' to their posts.

There are plenty of people here with a wealth of knowlege and curiousity, and really have something to contribute, and I am NOT about to allow their discussion to be hindered by posters who think this is an ideal place to argue about religion.

Naturally posters may and, I'm sure, shall disagree with each other, but I respectfully ask you to do this is polite terms.

The Forum Admin has assured me that I speak with his full authority. I  trust I made myself clear. Anyone who has any issues or disagreements with what I have said here, feel free to pm me.

Prince_Lieven (moderator).

Now, back to Catherine de Medici . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 05, 2005, 11:11:58 AM
I forgot to thank Umigon for the wonderful portraits of  Catharine's children. I agree with Robert that Hercule is the most intriguing (perhaps because it is a great picture). Hercule really looks as if he could do with a couple of months in boot camp! A juvenile delinquent if ever I saw one. Claude looks a bit tired, not surprising given her many children.

A bit trivial I know, but I know Prince_Lieven likes this kind of thing:
was Victoire the first royal baby to be called Victoria? There were lots after her, but I can't think of any before.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 05, 2005, 11:13:57 AM
Which Victoire?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 05, 2005, 11:30:47 AM
Hercule was only 29 when he died ? Anyone know what caused his early demise?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: trentk80 on September 05, 2005, 11:43:58 AM
Quote
Which Victoire?


Catherine's youngest daughter, who died when she was only 2 months old.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 05, 2005, 11:59:57 AM
Hercule died of tuberculosis, like his brother Charles.

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 05, 2005, 12:02:39 PM
Quote

Catherine's youngest daughter, who died when she was only 2 months old.


Yes thanks trentk80 that's the one.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 05, 2005, 01:09:25 PM
Quote
Hercule died of tuberculosis, like his brother Charles.




Yes, it was either tuberculosis or a related disease. He died during an attack of the illness in which he was for two hours coughing blood. Then he laid on his bed and died. Contemporary accounts described him as mummified even before he died! Certainly the last legitimate Valois generation was of tuberculose nature (similar to the Tudors!)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 05, 2005, 10:11:34 PM
Quote


I'll tell you, then. She was an intelligent and cultivated woman, who had read the Classics, Machiavelli and was in touch with the new humanistic ideas. Because she brought refinement into France, a country that was still medieval in some aspects (no forks, bad-manners at the table, no personal hygiene...). Because she learnt to survive since she was a small child, because death was around her and starting with her parents, following with her children and finishing with the Guises, nearly everyone who was ever close to her died before she died. Because she believed in peace and tried to stablish many treaties of cult freedom (the 1563 Treaty was not the last one) in a moment in which most monarchs would have simply executed their religious-political enemies (Felipe II, Elizabeth Tudor...). Beacuse she maintained the Crown for her family in the middle of seven civil wars, because she was no religious fanatic in a time when it was quite 'à la mode'. And finally, because she did things every male monarch did in a world in which women weren't suppose to have that strenght .


Satisfied?



No I am not satisfied, again you overlook what has been written of her character, and regardless of what the "Prince" or the FA thinks, the massacre itself overhangs and removes any minimal good that you claim this woman accomplished.  She was an evil, disgusting woman, she poisoned, she murdered, she planned a massacre which up to 100,000 of French citizens were killed in a government sponsored genocide.


Prince this is my last post on this thread, I am going to say this to you, you have behaved in a very heavy handed and interfering manner, if you expect or want free or open discussion then running to the FA with every problem you think you have, threatening me with whatever, let me tell you Prince I am very unhappy with the way you have handled this issue.  So have your love fest on Catherine with no interference from me and no further participation from me, and I will be removing my posts from the french royal jewels thread, and if you have any problems with this, than PM, where I will frankly discuss any issues with you.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: ilyala on September 06, 2005, 06:00:34 AM
i do not wish to offend anyone but i can't help but notice that  while umigon has kept the conversation on the tone of a simple history discussion, michael has taken it a bit too far with adjectives like 'disgusting' etc.

michael, this is a conversation that should be amicable. i am not a moderator and maybe i have no right to interfear but maybe you should tone down a notch.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 06, 2005, 11:19:53 AM
Quote


Prince this is my last post on this thread, I am going to say this to you, you have behaved in a very heavy handed and interfering manner, if you expect or want free or open discussion then running to the FA with every problem you think you have, threatening me with whatever, let me tell you Prince I am very unhappy with the way you have handled this issue.  So have your love fest on Catherine with no interference from me and no further participation from me, and I will be removing my posts from the french royal jewels thread, and if you have any problems with this, than PM, where I will frankly discuss any issues with you.


I  specifically asked you to pm me if you had any problems, but you insist of bringing personal issues to bear on this thread, as you have from the start. I am NOT about to tolerate it, and you can say what you like - you're the only one who seems to think this way.

I requested no further discussion of the Massacre, but you persisted. If this is how you feel, and since you seem to think that it is only your opinion that counts, then I don't want you here, and I will say good riddance.

To everyone else, I apologise that these petty arguments have lowered the tone of the discussion. Thanks so much for remaining polite and amicable in the face of provocation.

Prince_Lieven
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 06, 2005, 02:29:07 PM
And thank you Prince Lieven for being so polite and circumspect.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 06, 2005, 02:34:02 PM
My pleasure Kim - chivalry is neccessary in the presence of a lady like yourself.  ;D

Getting back to Catherine, does anyone have any info on her early life in Italy? Her parents, her relationship with them? Brothers, sisters?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 06, 2005, 02:41:05 PM
I seem to remember she was an only child, as her parents died shortly after her birth :'(

There may have been illegitimate relatives (most of them became pope eventually!)

I'll have to look it up.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 06, 2005, 02:43:51 PM
Thanks, bell.  :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 06, 2005, 02:48:44 PM
Well, I have kept my mouth shut but I have an excellent biography on Catherine by Leonie Frieda. I haven't had chance to read it yet though. :-/
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 06, 2005, 02:52:10 PM
Poor Kim, tied to her desk day and night.  ;)

Is that the very recent bio that came out this or last year?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 06, 2005, 03:18:21 PM
I thnk only 2 relatives became Popes- Giovanni as Leo X and Giulio as Clement VII.
There was a fascinating PBS series on the Medici a couple of years ago. I think it is available on dvd. Not sure who produced it- probably BBC !
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: cimbrio on September 06, 2005, 03:19:20 PM
I cannot believe how things get out of hand with some members of this page, clearly there's more to this web site than pure interest in history... If we can't be amicable online, with people we don't even know and may never meet, how can we be civil with people overseas, or our neighbour??? If the inhabitants of Iraq or Biloxi or New Orleans are expecting human relief and civility and decency they should just read this aprticular thread to read how humans can get to behave like complete dirt! I'm a moderator but I'd feel extremely sorry to erase just ONE person; however when I read things like a certain member has been writing posts here, I just think: To hell with it... I suggest that any personal differences two members have should be kept to e-mails, but I'd ask EVERYONE to keep an open mind. What is "disgusting" here is the way we all address each other, the cold and uncivil way certain members (and yes, there is more than one on here, take my word for it) post or send Private Messages to me and the few friends I've made here. I do not look upon this page as my private realm I can govern, and I know we all come from very different backgrounds, we have different opinions... but please, be CIVIL and KIND!If we cannot maintain peace on one bloody (sorry!) page, what's the chance of being happy in our daily life, let alone between Nations... this is turning into a disgusting page, contaminating the memory of many famous, some good, some bad characters in History, and we keep forgetting this. People, log on MSN and discuss your differences there, not here, this is not a friendship page, nor a place to fight. Consider things twice before you post OK????????????????????????????????????????????
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 06, 2005, 04:11:32 PM
Quote

I  specifically asked you to pm me if you had any problems, but you insist of bringing personal issues to bear on this thread, as you have from the start. I am NOT about to tolerate it, and you can say what you like - you're the only one who seems to think this way.

I requested no further discussion of the Massacre, but you persisted. If this is how you feel, and since you seem to think that it is only your opinion that counts, then I don't want you here, and I will say good riddance.

To everyone else, I apologise that these petty arguments have lowered the tone of the discussion. Thanks so much for remaining polite and amicable in the face of provocation.

Prince_Lieven



Prince you are tiresome to say the least, I could care less about your position as a moderator, and in my opinion you are doing a lousy job of it.   Since you didn't have the COURTESY as a moderator to address me privately instead of publicly with your concerns, after all YOU  supposedly "lead" the discussion, and show your obvious bias, I say goodbye and good riddance to you also.  
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: cimbrio on September 06, 2005, 09:44:57 PM
Seriously Michael, you're going too far. You have over 1200 posts on this webpage, are you going to stop participating just for some little qaurrel over someone neither Lieven, Umigon or you ever met? C'mon! Lets be cordial huh? If some things displease you just ignore them, no need to turn it all into a ridiculous imbroglio... if this goes on I'd suggest erasing all messages on this thread that seem offensive to anyone and don't talk about Catherine... she is, I remind you ALL, the main subject here, kee your eye on the ball everyone please????
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: ilyala on September 07, 2005, 07:09:59 AM
ok, since someone asked for info about catherine as a child and since we do need a subject change...

catherine is the daughter of lorenzo of medici and madeleinde de la tour d'auvergne, who was a countess of boulogne (daughter of jean 3rd de la tour and jeanne de bourbon-vendome - royal blood). she wasn't a complete merchant then :). the marriage was actually proposed by francis 1st who wanted to become friends with the pope of the time, leon 10th who was the son of lorenzo the magnificent (a medici himself). francis wanted to invade naples, he needed some sort of consent from leon and tried to bribe him with an amazing marriage for his nephew...

madeleine and lorenzo had an amazing wedding courtesy of francis 1st. the wedding was around the same time as the baptism of the dauphin (francis) and lorenzo was the representative of the pope at that particular event.

a few months after the marriage, lorenzo got really ill and was sent to villa sasetti. a few other months later (13 april 1519) catherine was born (baptised caterina maria romula). her mother died 15 days later and 5 more days later her father died.  as a result of their deaths the pope broke the relation to the french king and got closer to emperror charles. catherine was taken to rome by her grandmother, alfonsina orsini (mother of her father) and her cousin giulio de medici who was administring florence after her father's death. francis claimed catherine to raise her himself but the pope refused because he was planning to marry her to ipolito de medici who was the bastard son of giuliano, duke of nemours. also because the pope planned to break the french alliance...

catherine's cousin, giulio de medici was elected pope in 1523 and took the name clement 7th. (the guy who refused henry 8th divorce...). because he was elected pope, the official head of the family became ippolito, catherine's bethrothed (not officially but still...). he was 13 years old. catherine and the bastard son of giulio, alessandro, moved to poggio a caiano.

in the meantime charles defeated francis and imprisoned him for a year. when he released him he asked for his two sons, henry and francis as hostages as a condition for the release. the two bys spent 4 years in prison because of that and were released as a result of the ladies treaty, called like that because it was done at the initiative of francis' new wife, leonora (sister of the emperror) and the emperror's wife, isabel.

catherine was moved back to florence in a monastery of benedictines, who were offering education for the young daughters of the high society of italy. the nuns are recorded to have loved little catherine a lot. but the medicis were suffering a crisis of popularity and lots of people tried to get catherine out and kill her or send her to a brothel (!). the florentine government decided to transfer to santa lucia, a safer convent.

in 1530, her uncle, clement 7th arranged for catherine to be taken to rome. at that time the rumour was still going around about her marrying ippolito. but at that time he was a cardinal and his uncle had better ideas so he sent him as a papal legate to hungary. a number of suitors were considered: ercole d'este (son of the duke of ferrara - also son of lucrezia borgia :)), james 5th of scotland (catherine's mother's sister had married a duke of albany from scotland), henry fitzroy, the bastard son of henry 8th.  at some point the pope wanted to marry her to philibert de chalon, prince of orange who had helped him with a few battles, but the prince died soon after that. other possible husbands were federico gonzaga (duke of mantua), guidobaldo delle rovere (prince of urbino). the most serious was, apparently, francesco sforza but the pope had some reservations.

it was at this point that francis 1st suggested his second son, henry (duke of orleans at the time). he offered to take catherine until she was fit to marry and wanted as dowry pisa, leghorn, reggio and modena along with parma and piacenza... clement accepted the contract but refused to hand over catherine until the actual marriage took place. the king then changed the ambassador to francois de tournon who was a cousin of catherine's who got ill on the road and reached rome very late. by the time he got there, francis had signed an alliance with henry 8th meant to pressure the pope into granting henry his divorce. so the ambassador also had to handle that because the two kings agreed on approaching the pope together about the matter. the pope agreed to talk to them as long as the emperror charles didn't find out about it. on the 21st of january 1533, the pope announced officially the marriage between catherine and henry.

catherine returned to the medici palace in florence which was administred by a guy called ottaviano de medici. she started participating to social events such as welcoming the new duchess of medici, margaret of austria (illegitimate daughter of the emperror). it was around that time that giorgio vasari, sebastiano del piombo and bronzino all painted her portrait. she was described as small and thin, with huge eyes and not very nice facial features. she seemed to have a little bit of malice. when vasari was painting her portrait for the french king and left it unsupervised she added some colours of her own, practically destroying it. he didn't seem to mind, though, he wrote he was 'very devoted to her'.

the wedding preparations began. on the 28th of august she got lots of jewels, present from francis. her dowry was estimated at 100000 gold scuds (? how are they called in english) plus 30000 more in exchange for her rights as a medici, an anual rent of 10000 scuds and jewels estimated at 27900 scuds. she left florence at the 1st of september after a farewell banquet.  she was taken to villefranche where she waited for the pope. on the 11th of october catherine reached marseille where she was welcomed officially by the french. francis arrived on the 13th of october. he had a long meeting with the pope but no-one knows exactly what they talked about, except one project of some sort of offensive alliance. on the 27th of october the marriage contract was signed and the next day the actual marriage took place. the two newlyweds (14 both)  were led by king eleanor to the nuptials and it is said that francis witnessed the consumation of the marriage declaring that they 'both showed value at the comfrontation' ( :-/). the next day clement is supposed to have found them still in bed and said they looked satisfied...

most of this is courtesy of rj knecht, with some added comments by yours truly :)

as you can see not the happiest of childhoods and most definitely not the safest...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 07, 2005, 07:23:04 AM


Wonderful account, ilyala! I had been planning to write about her childhood today, but this is just... perfect!


Congratulations! I'd love reading it!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: ilyala on September 07, 2005, 07:38:33 AM
thanx umigon :)

i hope it's not too heavy with dates (i tried to make it like a story...)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 07, 2005, 09:45:28 AM
Another anecdote from the time of her marriage: when Clement had to return to Rome after about 2 months in Marseille, he gave some advice to his niece:  when he was talking to her, he asked her:

- There is still no sign of pregnancy?

- No, Your Holiness, I am not pregnant yet.

- Then remember, Catherine, "a spirited young girl will never lack children"


Clement wanted Catherine to conceive a child of Henri but, if that wasn't possible, she could deceive him and become pregnant of another man. Catherine, as her 10 years of infertility prooved it, didn't follow Clement's advice!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 07, 2005, 10:12:07 AM
Catherine thought that she was sexually inadequate because after 10 years there was no sign of pregnancy. She had holes drilled through the floor so that she could watch her husband making love to Diane de Poitiers and what she saw suggested that they were doing something very different to what she and Henry were doing.A doctor -Jean Fernel- was called and on examinig Henry and Catherine he noticed that they both had slight physical abnormalities.(what- we do not know)The couple were told what to do ( again, what, we donot know). Henry duly performed and Catherine rapidly became pregnant.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 07, 2005, 10:15:22 AM
She had previously tried several remedies, such as drinking mules urine(yum) and smearing her "front bottom" with crushed stags antlers and cow dung. Maybe it was the stench which put Henry off.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 07, 2005, 10:41:04 AM
Thanks for that great account, ilyala.  :)

And umigon and Kim, what you say is also very interesting - and umigon's words just about sum-up the depravity of the Popes of those days! I wonder what Henri and Catherine were doing wrong . . . apart from Catherine smearing herself with excrement of course.  :P
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 07, 2005, 10:49:39 AM


Yes, Catherine must have felt so badly having to do those disgusting things, she was obsessed with personal hygiene, and she bathed 5 times a week! A wonderful practice of someone of her times!


Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 07, 2005, 10:57:44 AM
Yes indeed - was it Louis XIV or XVI who only bathed once a year?  ??? :P
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 07, 2005, 11:05:01 AM
Henri IV bathed 5 times in whole lifetime , James I of England was too disgusting for words and don't even get me started on my boys ;D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 07, 2005, 11:17:25 AM
Quote
Henri IV bathed 5 times in whole lifetime , James I of England was too disgusting for words and don't even get me started on my boys ;D


;D ;D ;D Or my brother.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 07, 2005, 12:59:35 PM
Quote
Catherine thought that she was sexually inadequate because after 10 years there was no sign of pregnancy. She had holes drilled through the floor so that she could watch her husband making love to Diane de Poitiers and what she saw suggested that they were doing something very different to what she and Henry were doing.A doctor -Jean Fernel- was called and on examinig Henry and Catherine he noticed that they both had slight physical abnormalities.(what- we do not know)The couple were told what to do ( again, what, we donot know). Henry duly performed and Catherine rapidly became pregnant.


I read that Catherine's womb was oddly-shaped, and that Marguerite, François I's sister, said that Catherine was just late being fertile and would be around twenty-five, when the other women of her family were. As I recall, that's when Catherine DID get pregnant. Also, Diane de Poitiers apparently took it upon herself to guide Catherine, had her get rid of all the 'natural' remedies, and gently suggested a few positions that might aid conception. Shortly afterward, Catherine became pregnant, and Diane was praised for making it possible.

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 07, 2005, 02:09:32 PM
How very sporting of Diane! And oddly shaped womb? That's a condition I've never heard off . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 07, 2005, 02:23:15 PM
Ahem re" womens things" ::) i think her uterus sounds like it was anteverted or retroverted( tilted forwards or backwards) Maybe thats why conception was difficult until, certain positions were "taken" which would tilt the womb into a better position. I don't think it would have been one of the rarer uterine abnomalities cos she had a good obstetric history once she got going 8) Here endeth the sermon on gynaecology...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 07, 2005, 02:29:10 PM
Thanks nurse Kim.  ;D

Catherine certainly proved fertile enough once she 'got going' . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 07, 2005, 02:31:36 PM
Diane "the expert", only had one daughter with Henri didn't she?

This daughter was also called Diane and lived 1538-1619, the Duchess of Montmorency. She survived all of Catharine's children though!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 07, 2005, 02:39:54 PM
Sorry folks my post duplicated so I removed one of 'em.My "I book" has just gone t!ts up so I am on the boys 'one ( and their room is none too fragrant, )thank goodness this isn't a "scratch n sniff " site ;)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 07, 2005, 03:44:55 PM
Quote
Diane "the expert", only had one daughter with Henri didn't she?

This daughter was also called Diane and lived 1538-1619, the Duchess of Montmorency. She survived all of Catharine's children though!


Actually, Diane just raised the daughter, her namesake. The mother was an Italian Henri II had dallied with while away from her, and Diane agreed to take her in along with her two daughters from her first marriage. Considering those two daughters were with a man in his sixties or seventies, I get the feeling Diane's fertility wasn't long-lived, or they were taking precautions.

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 07, 2005, 04:04:27 PM
Thanks Ari, I thought that Diane had two daughters by her first husband but I got called away and didn't have chance to double check before I posted.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 07, 2005, 04:16:37 PM
Quote

Actually, Diane just raised the daughter, her namesake. The mother was an Italian Henri II had dallied with while away from her, and Diane agreed to take her in along with her two daughters from her first marriage. Considering those two daughters were with a man in his sixties or seventies, I get the feeling Diane's fertility wasn't long-lived, or they were taking precautions.

Regards,
Arianwen


Yes, Diane (1538-1619) was the daughter of Filippa Duco. She was taken from her mother's arms and given to Diane de Poitiers, whose youngest daughter was 20 in 1538. About Diane de Poitier's fertility, well, she had two girl very quickly after marrying Louis de Brézé and then she had no more. Possibly her husband became infertile and she, after so much time without being pregnant, became prematurely sterile. I think I read somewhere that is possible!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 07, 2005, 05:39:04 PM
All right, because Arianwen can't keep her mouth shut on this one, and I qualify under the moderators' rules, I'm posting regarding the massacre.

I'm Catholic. Born, raised, continue to be, with a vast, Anglican family and one small, Catholic family. If you want to hear my religious views, visit the 'Tudor Queens' thread. I'm not a particularly good Catholic, but to me, while I'm not ashamed of my faith, it's a private, personal thing. No two members of ANY religion have the same beliefs on every point, so allow for that when judging my opinion, for it IS just that, an opinion, formed by education, reading the primary sources in the original languages, and lots of personal letters. For the massacre, I had one Huguenot branch of my family, roughly thirty people, wiped out, and another branch of my ancestors are the de Guise family, so if you try to tell me I'm biased, don't forget to tell me which way I'm leaning.

That being said, my being Catholic doesn't change the fact that the massacre was, in my mind, mass murder and inexcusable. I agree that the 70,000 number is most accurate, and the Catholic me agrees with it, but I'd like to point out one very important thing: the Paris numbers, the ones the royal command was directly responsible for, were between 3,000 and 10,000. Toulouse, Dijon, and the other cities accounted for the vast majority of the deaths, and why did those happen? Because Catholics used the excuse of Paris to take out the Protestants, because they heard the rumours of what had happened, and followed suit. So let's play the blame game, shall we?

Catherine wanted Coligny out of the way, whether he was plotting against her family or not. If Starkey published that, I tend to believe it, but it's still news to me. Catherine worked with de Guise to assassinate Coligny, because Coligny was the leader of the Protestants who killed de Guise's father and because Coligny was upsetting the balance between Catholics and Protestants that Catherine had spent THIRTEEN YEARS trying to uphold. De Guise swore revenge on Coligny for the murder, and probably the rest of the Protestants. As for Catherine...to me, self-defense or defense of loved ones is the ONLY excuse for taking life, and in my own defense, I probably couldn't. That's me, though, and I didn't live Catherine's life. She didn't want all Protestants dead, or even many. She wanted ONE.

As for the Guise family, they were the vicious Catholic faction, and I say that being descended from them. When Coligny didn't die, Catherine, de Guise, and the future Henri III knew the job had to be finished, and either eleven or thirteen leaders were decided upon. Catherine refused to allow certain leaders to be taken out because of royal blood, and quite frankly, because she was scared. So Catherine and the others finally get Charles IX to agree to murder Coligny and the others. Charles then says to kill them all. De Guise and Henri, well-satisfied, then leave and start gathering Catholics. At that point, what could Catherine have done? Gone after her son and de Guise? The king had given orders, the word had spread among the militant Catholics, and Catherine really had no choice. She could stand by her son, or she could alienate both factions and put her entire family in danger. What would YOU all have done?

So Charles IX gave the command to kill them all, and the chief among the bands of Catholic murderers was the Duc de Guise. Let's put blame where it's due. Want to guess how many innocent people de Guise killed, or how many died because Charles IX couldn't bear for anyone to accuse him of betraying Coligny? Also, when the killing was SPECIFICALLY planned for Paris, how logical is it to hold Catherine responsible for what other cities did upon hearing the news? They were obviously looking for an excuse to kill off their Huguenots, and they did it. Everywhere but Paris accounted for most of the death toll, so is Catherine really responsible? Is Charles IX? Is the Duc de Guise? Is Henri III? I put the most blame on the Catholics who did the actual killing, in Paris and elsewhere, on Charles IX for the order he gave to 'kill them all', the Duc de Guise for leading the patrols and killing many Huguenots himself, and Henri III for doing much the same. Catherine wanted one man dead, for right or for wrong.

My other question is this: Michael, you say Catherine's preferred method was poisoning someone. Yes, the Italians did prefer poison, and poison was ALWAYS suspected when someone young and noble died, but what instances are you referring to? Victims, methods, etc? When Jeanne d'Albret, mother of Henri IV of Navarre, died suddenly before the wedding of Henri and Margot, it was said Catherine had poisoned Jeanne by means of perfumed gloves. Physiologically, my husband (a medical student who works in an ER and studied biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins) says this is all but impossible. Any chemical that would have poisoned Jeanne from smell alone would have been easily detected, and people knew that arsenic smelled like almonds, but also had to be ingested. Also, Catherine was cleared of her brother-in-law's death by her father-in-law and the rest of court. Therefore, where are your poison examples?

What I'm trying to say is that Catherine was far from a saint, but I think her biggest sin was loving her children too much, and loving power almost as much. She ruled through them, yes, but look at how some of them, Margot and Henri III in particular, ended up betraying her, and she forgave them time and again. That's what parents DO. She had to wait ten years to have children, and when she finally did, they were all but taken away from her, but still that precious to her.

When judging the actions of another, you have to be able to put yourself in their time, place, morals, upbringing, etc. This, in the 21st century, is almost impossible to do. I once heard history defined (brilliantly) as 'an interpretation of the past for the present'. There is revisionism because new documents are always being found, society and governments are changing, and perhaps, we come to understand historical figures in a new light. For example, we know now that Stonewall Jackson died not of losing his arm, but of pneumonia he had before the battle ever began. We know now that Jeanne d'Arc existed and about her life and death, something we had forgotten a century ago. History keeps changing because we keep learning more about it. How is that a bad thing?

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 08, 2005, 01:23:07 AM
Hi Arianwen, and thanks for the info about Diane's daughter  - I didn't know that !

Your post on the massacre was very balanced. I think I agree with almost all of it. I'm inclined to believe she loved power a tiny bit more than she loved her children (and a lot more than she loved any innocent people who happened to get in the way), but maybe that's just me. She certainly didn't love all of her children equally!

I've never understood how Charles always gets let of the hook on this one. He was a grown man, married with a daughter. He usually is regarded as not guilty on grounds of "diminished responsibility"!

Does anyone know where we get the account of the infamous meeting during which it was decided to take out the protestant leadership, and effectively extend the murder of one man to an unlimited licence to kill any protestant ("Kill them all")?

Present were the King, his mother, his brother Anjou, and the Duc de Guise.

How do we know what happened at this meeting? Is it from Margot's memoirs or do other accounts survive (perhaps minutes)?

Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Silja on September 08, 2005, 03:24:45 PM
Thanks Arianwen for this enlightening contribution!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 09, 2005, 04:29:05 AM


Thanks for your contribution Arianwen! I agree with you, that's more or less what I have been trying to say all this time, she was no saint, but she wasn't either evil!


Bell, I have that scene written somewhere, I'll try to find it and i'll post it, ok?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 11:53:17 AM
Quote
Hi Arianwen, and thanks for the info about Diane's daughter  - I didn't know that !


This is what I'm here for, happy to help. ;D

Quote
Your post on the massacre was very balanced. I think I agree with almost all of it. I'm inclined to believe she loved power a tiny bit more than she loved her children (and a lot more than she loved any innocent people who happened to get in the way), but maybe that's just me. She certainly didn't love all of her children equally!


They say no mother does. I only have my daughter for now, so I can't tell you, but I thought for years my younger brother was the favourite, only to find that if my parents were FORCED to choose, I'd be the favoured child. That knocked about a decade off my life...;)

Here's food for thought, though...you have the choice between saving your family and saving a group of innocent people. Your family, you love more than life itself. Could you honestly send them to their deaths instead of people you didn't and would never know? I know what I'd do (tell the person asking that choice to kill me instead of ANYONE else), but what wouldn't we do for the people we love? It's a bloody hard decision, either way...

Thanks for everyone's kind comments on my post, though! I'm glad I could be of some sort of assistance. :)

Quote
I've never understood how Charles always gets let of the hook on this one. He was a grown man, married with a daughter. He usually is regarded as not guilty on grounds of "diminished responsibility"!


I don't get that, either. Catherine might have ruled through him, but Charles still had a mind of his own, and tried to defy her when he could. He WAS a grown man, he made the decision, and I consider him more guilty than his mother.

Quote
Does anyone know where we get the account of the infamous meeting during which it was decided to take out the protestant leadership, and effectively extend the murder of one man to an unlimited licence to kill any protestant ("Kill them all")?

Present were the King, his mother, his brother Anjou, and the Duc de Guise.

How do we know what happened at this meeting? Is it from Margot's memoirs or do other accounts survive (perhaps minutes)?


I can't imagine minutes existing. Who would have written them? I believe we know what happened because of Margot's memoirs (she would have been told by her brothers, if not her mother, and I seem to remember hearing that she heard from her sister, Claude, and Catherine tried to quiet Claude, but Margot then figured out what was going on), and people who were told of the King's command by de Guise and Henri III. My French history sources are in a folder buried in a box, unfortunately (that's where the original Jeanne d'Arc trial transcript is), and I'm trying like mad to find it today, so I'm doing this off the top of my head. My apologies if I'm mucking it up. lol

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 12:03:41 PM
Quote


Thanks for everyone's kind comments on my post, though! I'm glad I could be of some sort of assistance. :)



You're always helpful to us, Arianwen.  ;D Thanks for your contributions.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 12:06:56 PM
Quote

You're always helpful to us, Arianwen.  ;D Thanks for your contributions.


*curtsies gracefully* Like I said, happy to help where I can. It just occurred to me that most of my sources are in the original French (I don't do with translations when I can avoid it), so I'll have to translate those, too. lol Poor Jon, his wife's going to be speaking nothing but French for a solid twelve hours...;) The man doesn't speak a word of it, either, so he's REALLY in trouble. lol

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 12:44:42 PM
<shocked> Your hubby doesn't speak the language of love??  ???
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 12:47:57 PM
Quote
<shocked> Your hubby doesn't speak the language of love??  ???


lol The best answer to that you're getting is that he took Spanish, not French, and can write, understand, and read Spanish, but can't speak it anymore. I say he's just rusty. As for the language of love...;)

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 12:51:50 PM
Quote
As for the language of love...;)


<all innocence> what does that mean?  ::)

;D ;D ;D ;D

Seriously though, we had better get back to the topic at hand.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 12:55:36 PM
Quote

<all innocence> what does that mean?  ::)

 ;D ;D ;D ;D

Seriously though, we had better get back to the topic at hand.


*falls out of chair, laughing* Indeed, back on topic...lol

In the film 'La Reine Margot', the actress playing Catherine, Verna Lisi, got some sort of award for her performance. How do you lot think she did? Personally, I thought she was spot-on for the role, and deserved that award completely.

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 09, 2005, 01:09:38 PM
La Reine Margot, loved it ;) all of it.
As for the language of LURVE my hubby says " brace yourself girl"..<sigh> I am sooo lucky ;D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 01:14:17 PM
*falls out of chair AGAIN* God, I need a more Ari-proof chair...lol Kim, have I mentioned lately that I adore you? ;)

I loved 'La Reine Margot' myself. I thought the casting was perfect, Isabelle Adjani was mind-blowing and absolutely gorgeous, and I AM making several of those gowns. lol I even found earrings and brooches to wear in my hair like she wears with the white gown at the end...

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 02:04:10 PM
I only saw Margot once, and it was ab-fab. Catherine's actress was wonderful, and Margot's - one of my teachers once said (and she was right) that the thing about foreign films is they are either God-awful, or billiant, but with a very high-cert - like Margot, it was 18s.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 09, 2005, 02:23:23 PM
Yes, it was a bit "hot" wasn't it 8) :o
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 02:29:49 PM
Definitely, and very violent. BTW, I thought the woman who played Margot's maid or friend or something, with the frizzy hair, was very good, but I didn't really understand her role . . .
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 03:06:40 PM
Quote
Definitely, and very violent. BTW, I thought the woman who played Margot's maid or friend or something, with the frizzy hair, was very good, but I didn't really understand her role . . .


Henriette, Duchesse de Nevers. She was pretty much Margot's companion, lady-in-waiting, aide, etc. Coconnas' lover, the one who gets La Môle back in touch with Margot after the massacre, etc. She was REALLY good, too...

I remember having to get signed permission slips to watch the film in French class if we were under eighteen (which all five of us were), and sitting there, shocked, at the brutality, and then, at Vincent Perez...;) The movie was amazing, though. Hell, Verna Lisi LOOKED like Catherine, in addition to getting the character perfect and even being from Italy (Rome as opposed to Florence, I believe, but didn't Catherine spend a fair bit of her childhood in Rome?). The cast was eerily well-chosen, beautifully-acted, the sets, scenery, and costumes were perfect...definitely an under-rated classic.

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 03:12:25 PM
Yes, wonderful movie - lol I didn't need a permisson slip though, though I was a little . . .  shocked . . . after watching it.  ;D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 03:18:44 PM
Quote
Yes, wonderful movie - lol I didn't need a permisson slip though, though I was a little . . .  shocked . . . after watching it.  ;D


It's intense, but I imagine VERY close to what the real thing was like, so a good thing. It brought that home to the viewers, just how brutal the massacre really was, what the Valois family was really like, the marriage between Margot and Henri de Navarre, etc...

I'll still watch it for Vincent Perez, though...;)

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 03:25:43 PM
I can't say I watched it for Isabelle Adjani.  ;) I was really bored, and just stumbled across it - very fortuitious!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 09, 2005, 03:41:09 PM
Well I watched it on DVD cos I thought it was going to be rude.... and I wasn't disappointed ;D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 09, 2005, 03:48:11 PM
Quote
Well I watched it on DVD cos I thought it was going to be rude.... and I wasn't disappointed ;D


Kim has high standards in what she watches.  ;D
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 09, 2005, 04:06:43 PM
Yep.. top shelf, blockbusters. ;)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 09, 2005, 04:07:48 PM
its my husband who likes the "chick flicks"or "rom coms" Yuck.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 09, 2005, 05:09:46 PM
Quote


Here's food for thought, though...you have the choice between saving your family and saving a group of innocent people. Your family, you love more than life itself. Could you honestly send them to their deaths instead of people you didn't and would never know? I know what I'd do (tell the person asking that choice to kill me instead of ANYONE else), but what wouldn't we do for the people we love? It's a bloody hard decision, either way...


I'll have to think about this one.

Is it really the situation she was in? And even if it was, wasn't she to blame (with her inconsistent policy and possible involvement in botched assassination attempt) for things having escalated to such a fever pitch?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 07:20:29 PM
Quote

I'll have to think about this one.

Is it really the situation she was in? And even if it was, wasn't she to blame (with her inconsistent policy and possible involvement in botched assassination attempt) for things having escalated to such a fever pitch?


Is it really the situation she was in? I don't know. I haven't read Starkey on the issue, so I'm not sure what evidence he found of a plot by Coligny, but while Starkey isn't perfect and occasionally irks me, he's generally a VERY reputable historian. That at least gives me pause and makes me desperate to read his work on the subject and view his evidence.

Did she believe that's the situation she was in? Again, I don't know, but she could either stand by her son, or lose her family when the public outcry arose and the Protestants took retribution. Because this WAS a time of retribution. Both sides butchered each other, and there was already a lot of talk against the Royal Family for the attempted assassination of Coligny. I think what matters most is whether Catherine FELT that was her choice, her family or innocent people. If to her, that was the choice, that's how she should be judged, on her own perception of the situation. Why do we read as many books as we can find on a given subject? Each author has his/her own bias, and reading several opinions gives us the most balance. It's the same when looking at a person's reaction to a situation. Some say Catherine had no choice, some say she was cold-bloodedly responsible for what happened, I say there was an in-between, that she chose her children over people she didn't know. A choice, yes, but it seems a fairly natural one, and I don't presume to judge.

The botched assassination attempt...yeah, I'd say that was her fault, but also the fault of Maurevel, the assassin, and de Guise. Catherine did what she could to stop the damage, going and visiting Coligny along with the king, and as for her 'inconsistent' policy, it was generally that of making peace between the two sides, but a few times, she just didn't THINK. Like going to visit Élisabeth/Isabel at the Spanish border. To me, that's the act of a mother who wants desperately to see her daughter and doesn't think of anything else. Then, she comes home and gets the backlash. Felipe was urging her to root out Protestantism, she refused. She went for tolerance before violence. Then, the massacre happened. Her efforts didn't stop in 1572, either. She kept trying for peace, she kept advocating tolerance, and she kept forgiving her children whatever their betrayals. I say to even START to judge Catherine, we have to look at her entire life and what she did from her husband's death until her own as the force behind the throne.

As usual, just my tuppence. Awesome questions, though, bell_the_cat. Archibald Douglas was an interesting character himself, so I love your username. ;D

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 09, 2005, 07:25:29 PM
Quote
I can't say I watched it for Isabelle Adjani.  ;) I was really bored, and just stumbled across it - very fortuitious!


I think I found the book first, when I was looking for something else. I was rather young at the time, but the film had just come out, so a profile shot of Isabelle Adjani was on the cover, in her wedding garb. Upon reading it, I found that Isabelle became my visualisation of Margot, and when I tracked down the film, I fell in love. God, I'd kill to look like her...lol The movie shocked me, but it was seeing how horrible the massacre was, and realising just what both sides of my family experienced, as well as thousands of other people. Let's just say it brought it home in a way that reading accounts hadn't been able to do, and for that alone, I applaud the director, for not being afraid to take those risks and show the horror with the beauty.

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 10, 2005, 10:49:01 AM
Quote


As usual, just my tuppence. Awesome questions, though, bell_the_cat. Archibald Douglas was an interesting character himself, so I love your username. ;D

Regards,
Arianwen



Thanks Arianwen - you've almost persuaded me!

Another hard question though. Do you think that if Catherine had been better at public relations there would have been a chance of keeping the peace between the two sides, or was it an enterprise doomed to failure from the start? I've had some training in "mediation"/conflict management and believe me, it seems to be generally a thankless task. It usually ends up with the fighting parties turning on the person who is trying to get them to agree!

In order to succeed the mediator has to gain the respect of both partners - and must be open about any predisposition they may have towards either party. Otherwise there is a complete meltdown, as happened with Catherine. I agree with you about the Bayonne meeting, it must have looked so bad!

I'm glad someone else likes Archibald. The choice of username is because of my surname in "real" life which is the same as the place where he acquired the soubriquet! I'm planning to do Margaret of Denmark on the Stuart "Queen Consorts" thread shortly, so he should show up there. Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 10, 2005, 03:46:16 PM
Quote
Thanks Arianwen - you've almost persuaded me!


Wow...I take that as a high compliment! ;D

Quote
Another hard question though. Do you think that if Catherine had been better at public relations there would have been a chance of keeping the peace between the two sides, or was it an enterprise doomed to failure from the start? I've had some training in "mediation"/conflict management and believe me, it seems to be generally a thankless task. It usually ends up with the fighting parties turning on the person who is trying to get them to agree!

In order to succeed the mediator has to gain the respect of both partners - and must be open about any predisposition they may have towards either party. Otherwise there is a complete meltdown, as happened with Catherine. I agree with you about the Bayonne meeting, it must have looked so bad!


Usually being the in-between myself, I know how thankless it is, and how you usually get turned on. I think at that point, NO ONE could have kept both sides in order, and the only reason Henri IV achieved any sort of peace was based on the work Catherine had done before him. The Catholics and Protestants just hated each other TOO much, and the Protestants had done just as much violence and butchery as the Catholics. For the most part, I think Catherine was great with public relations, but she made a few stupid moves, like the Bayonne meeting, occasionally putting her children above the good of the country, etc. That makes me lean toward the efforts being doomed, but 'doomed' doesn't mean efforts shouldn't be made regardless. As my daddy is fond of saying, 'Every good deed is a drop of water in the bucket. One screw up, and you kick the bucket over to start over.' Every time Catherine took any kind of mis-step, all her good deeds were forgotten, and she had to practically start over. I think Catherine was Catholic, but less fervently Catholic than most believe. I always got the impression she was more open-minded than she was ever given credit for, and she really wanted peace between ALL her subjects.

Quote
I'm glad someone else likes Archibald. The choice of username is because of my surname in "real" life which is the same as the place where he acquired the soubriquet! I'm planning to do Margaret of Denmark on the Stuart "Queen Consorts" thread shortly, so he should show up there. Stay tuned!


Fantastic! Do many people get the reference?

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 10, 2005, 05:42:03 PM
Quote


Fantastic! Do many people get the reference?

Regards,
Arianwen


This person certainly didn't . . .   ::)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 11, 2005, 07:22:28 AM



I can see you've written quite a lot! I thought 'La Reine Margot' was a good film, although not always historically accurate, but at least partially faithful to what happened and what was the Court like at the times of the last Valois Kings.

About the rumours concerning Catherine's poisons, it was just that, a rumour. It is unproven and almost unlikely that she ever posioned anyone. About Jeanne d'Albret's death, she was very ill with tuberculosis when she was in Paris and she had already signed her son's marriage contract with Margot. Why could anyone want to kill her? Jeanne died of tuberculosis, as the autopsy proved after she died!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Prince_Lieven on September 11, 2005, 07:23:52 AM
You're quite right Umigon. In those days, when any important person died of any sort of illness people cried 'poison!!'  :o
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 12, 2005, 10:56:57 PM
Quote

Actually, Diane just raised the daughter, her namesake. The mother was an Italian Henri II had dallied with while away from her, and Diane agreed to take her in along with her two daughters from her first marriage. Considering those two daughters were with a man in his sixties or seventies, I get the feeling Diane's fertility wasn't long-lived, or they were taking precautions.

Regards,
Arianwen


Sorry Arianwen, I no longer post on ANY of the threads moderated by the biased Prince Lieven, and her coteriere of sycophants who admire and fawn & fall over any bloodthirsty monarch who wore a crown.

In fact Catherine and her entire story revulses me, there is something just so inherently evil about this woman.  Just my opinion, however, on this thread it doesn't count, unless you are fawning over her.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Arianwen on September 12, 2005, 11:39:14 PM
Quote

Sorry Arianwen, I no longer post on ANY of the threads moderated by the biased Prince Lieven, and her coteriere of sycophants who admire and fawn & fall over any bloodthirsty monarch who wore a crown.

In fact Catherine and her entire story revulses me, there is something just so inherently evil about this woman.  Just my opinion, however, on this thread it doesn't count, unless you are fawning over her.


Michael, you know I believe you're entitled to your opinion, and I know how hard it is being in the minority. Your opinion DOES count, as much as anyone else's. To be perfectly frank, I was offended when you told Silja her being Catholic made her automatically biased, as the same argument could be turned on me because I'm Catholic. As I said, an entire branch of my family was wiped out that night in Paris, so being Catholic certainly doesn't mean I see the massacre as justifiable. I even said that I agreed with you that the 70,000 number was most accurate, there are just some points I disagree on, and that's because we're different people and see things through other eyes.

I consider you a friend, but so too is PrinceLieven (male, by the by), and I hate feeling as I am now, forced to choose between two people I respect. People were upset by the aggression you showed, Prince had to act, and did so with FA's full backing. No one person was targeted at first, either, until posters started getting offended and/or insulted and asking that action be taken. We're really lucky this thread wasn't locked by FA. As a moderator myself, I understand how hard it is to make certain judgement calls, and I hate having to come down on people, but sometimes, it has to be done. For as much offense as you took to posters calling Protestants 'heretics' when trying to explain the 16th century viewpoint, some of us were just as offended when Catholic opinions were brushed aside with insults and accusations of bias.

All I'm trying to say, to everyone here, is that there's a middle ground, that we don't have to rip each other to shreds, and the sooner we learn that everyone's opinion has equal value, the better.

Regards,
Arianwen
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Kimberly on September 14, 2005, 10:31:20 AM
Quote
Definitely, and very violent. BTW, I thought the woman who played Margot's maid or friend or something, with the frizzy hair, was very good, but I didn't really understand her role . . .

S he was Margot's great friend and confidante- The Duchess de Nevers. She was also the lover of Annibal, Comte de Coconas,( friend of Le Molle) ;) They were the ringleaders of a botched escape and were beheaded for treason.Their embalmed heads were rumoured to have been taken to Margot and the Duchess- who kept them to mourn their lost lovers.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Mgmstl on September 16, 2005, 10:58:32 PM
Quote

Michael, you know I believe you're entitled to your opinion, and I know how hard it is being in the minority. Your opinion DOES count, as much as anyone else's. To be perfectly frank, I was offended when you told Silja her being Catholic made her automatically biased, as the same argument could be turned on me because I'm Catholic. As I said, an entire branch of my family was wiped out that night in Paris, so being Catholic certainly doesn't mean I see the massacre as justifiable. I even said that I agreed with you that the 70,000 number was most accurate, there are just some points I disagree on, and that's because we're different people and see things through other eyes.

I consider you a friend, but so too is PrinceLieven (male, by the by), and I hate feeling as I am now, forced to choose between two people I respect. People were upset by the aggression you showed, Prince had to act, and did so with FA's full backing. No one person was targeted at first, either, until posters started getting offended and/or insulted and asking that action be taken. We're really lucky this thread wasn't locked by FA. As a moderator myself, I understand how hard it is to make certain judgement calls, and I hate having to come down on people, but sometimes, it has to be done. For as much offense as you took to posters calling Protestants 'heretics' when trying to explain the 16th century viewpoint, some of us were just as offended when Catholic opinions were brushed aside with insults and accusations of bias.

All I'm trying to say, to everyone here, is that there's a middle ground, that we don't have to rip each other to shreds, and the sooner we learn that everyone's opinion has equal value, the better.

Regards,
Arianwen



Arianwen, I personally don't believe that Umigon was speaking from anything other than personal opinion when calling protestant's heretics, that is MY opinion.
Again, you can hide behind that " I am speaking from a 16th century perspective", all you want, but from a 21st century perspective I say bull.

While you may have been offended by what I said, I speak from the perspective that very few people can judge fairly or non biased, when faced with these issues, and those that can are extremely exceptional.

When you have people defending the actions of that woman and her massacre by saying "she had to do it" or"I see why she did it" or "she had to defend her children" that 70 -100,000 people had to die for her children is sick, I think they are hiding behind a bigger issue.  Just my opinion.

I wasn't damning all Catholics.  However not being a religious person, actually not believing in religion at all, I find the protestant religions just as bad.   I feel this coterie of crown worshipping sycophants that seem to have started to inhabit here, with innocuous thread titles, such as "fav royal"  "least fav royal" etc..., they would find an excuse for the actions of any dictator or person wearing a crown that was descended from Charlemagne.  Some of these people and their actions are indefensible in my point of view, and one of them is Catherine de Medici.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on September 17, 2005, 12:05:41 AM
Quote


Arianwen, I personally don't believe that Umigon was speaking from anything other than personal opinion when calling protestant's heretics, that is MY opinion.
Again, you can hide behind that " I am speaking from a 16th century perspective", all you want, but from a 21st century perspective I say bull.

While you may have been offended by what I said, I speak from the perspective that very few people can judge fairly or non biased, when faced with these issues, and those that can are extremely exceptional.

When you have people defending the actions of that woman and her massacre by saying "she had to do it" or"I see why she did it" or "she had to defend her children" that 70 -100,000 people had to die for her children is sick, I think they are hiding behind a bigger issue.  Just my opinion.

I wasn't damning all Catholics.  However not being a religious person, actually not believing in religion at all, I find the protestant religions just as bad.   I feel this coterie of crown worshipping sycophants that seem to have started to inhabit here, with innocuous thread titles, such as "fav royal"  "least fav royal" etc..., they would find an excuse for the actions of any dictator or person wearing a crown that was descended from Charlemagne.  Some of these people and their actions are indefensible in my point of view, and one of them is Catherine de Medici.



Nothing to do with my personal opinion so... you have been longing for it: here it is: I laugh at your intolerant ideas and posts. From my point of view I0ve always tried to have a friendly discussion with everyone - you included- and I even sent a PM to you in order to keep a friendly argument. (PM that, by the way, never received a response). You keep insulting me... so I think I have no other option than laughing at your stubborn hatred of people who do not think or feel like you. Might just be my opinion, the opinion of a mortal being - just as your are- but you are always offensive even though people don't mean to offend you, as was my case, you keep "atacking" us...


You said there was nothing more to say about this issue... well, you've said much more that I could stand. Please, stop it, it's not pleasant anymore. Thanks

Gonzalo


P.S. I never in my life wrote a 'fav royal' thread, so I really don't know what you are talking about...Sorry if I "offend" YOU...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Angie_H on October 19, 2005, 10:44:47 AM
I've always been interested in Catherine de Medici.

Correct me if I am wrong in this but didn't Diane de Poitiers get a venereal  disease from Francis I which she in turn gave to Henry II which is one of the reasons why his children weren't in the best of health?

Didn't Hercule get small pox as a child that scarred his face?

And didn't Catherine at one time bring Nostradamus to the palace to make predictions regarding her family and he said he saw a ring of blood around Mary Stuart's head?
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on October 20, 2005, 04:16:01 AM


1. Nope, Francis I and Henry II were both very probably infected with Syphillis, but Diane de Poitiers never slept with Francis! Sorry to disappoint you, I know the story about father and son sleeping with the same woman seems very interesting!

2. Yes, Hercule suffered from small pox. But this ddidn't stop Queen Elizabeth Tudor of thinking that he was handsome enough to be her husband!


3. Yes, Catherine was a friend to many astrologers, and Nostradamus was probably the one she liked the most with the Italian Ruggieri. Yes, he said that about Mary Stuart and predicted many other things, like Henry II's fate...
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: lady on March 05, 2006, 06:25:21 AM
I like the Claude picture, I had never seen it before.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on March 05, 2006, 01:27:48 PM
Quote
I like the Claude picture, I had never seen it before.


She wasn't very good looking though to be quite honest!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on May 07, 2006, 05:34:56 PM
Just a quick housekeeping question: how did Catherine de Medici's "Flying Squadron" get their name?  I can find no reference to the origin of the title, only general blurbs on the group itself.  Thanks,
 - Liz  
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Yseult on May 07, 2006, 10:11:16 PM
You put an interesting question, Liz! I tried to find the origin of the tittle but my research was in vain. Just speculating: I suppose that Catherine named the group "le escadron volant" due to the fact that she conceived it as a gallant troops that were always moving from a place to another. All the beauties of this time, around two hundred women, were made ladies-in-waiting of queen Catherine, and the italian queen used them for her purposes in every corner of her kingdom. The ladies did not rest at the same place, they usually accompanied the queen and often moved with their lovers to make sure the men were under their control. Just speculating...

 ;)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on May 08, 2006, 09:51:55 AM
Quote
You put an interesting question, Liz! I tried to find the origin of the tittle but my research was in vain. Just speculating: I suppose that Catherine named the group "le escadron volant" due to the fact that she conceived it as a gallant troops that were always moving from a place to another. All the beauties of this time, around two hundred women, were made ladies-in-waiting of queen Catherine, and the italian queen used them for her purposes in every corner of her kingdom. The ladies did not rest at the same place, they usually accompanied the queen and often moved with their lovers to make sure the men were under their control. Just speculating...

 ;)

That's a very interesting speculation, Yseult.  I hadn't thought of it like that!   :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on May 24, 2006, 10:33:36 AM
Well, the name was originated within the Court, it was nickname given to it by French nobles over the years. So, I don't really think I've helped you much there!

The name in itself means that it was a squadron with very relaxed moral attitudes! It played with the sense of the verb to fly, meaning that the women that integrated the group were 'of easy virtue'. I don't think I can explain this better as I think there's no equivalent with a similar meaning in English.

But for those who speak French the thing would be: to fly; birds fly; birds are supposedly of small weighth (léger). The word 'léger' can also mean that someone is frivolous and of easy virtue. So there is the meaning.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on May 24, 2006, 10:57:25 AM
Quote
Well, the name was originated within the Court, it was nickname given to it by French nobles over the years. So, I don't really think I've helped you much there!

The name in itself means that it was a squadron with very relaxed moral attitudes! It played with the sense of the verb to fly, meaning that the women that integrated the group were 'of easy virtue'. I don't think I can explain this better as I think there's no equivalent with a similar meaning in English.

But for those who speak French the thing would be: to fly; birds fly; birds are supposedly of small weighth (léger). The word 'léger' can also mean that someone is frivolous and of easy virtue. So there is the meaning.

So were they "l'escadron volant" [flying squadron] or "l'escadron leger" [light squadron]?  Or did it depend on who was speaking?    
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: umigon on May 28, 2006, 06:21:39 PM
It was 'volant' but using the word in a metaphorical and ironic sense, like what 'leger' means.
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on May 28, 2006, 07:01:50 PM
Quote
It was 'volant' but using the word in a metaphorical and ironic sense, like what 'leger' means.

Gotcha  :)
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: bell_the_cat on May 29, 2006, 01:50:27 AM
Quote
It was 'volant' but using the word in a metaphorical and ironic sense, like what 'leger' means.

I think Umigon is right.

In Scotland there was a political party called the "squadrone volante" in the early eighteenth century. It was at the time that the Scottish parliament was being encouraged to vote for the Union with England and many members were receiving large bribes from the English government. The squadrone was a group of members who had no particular allegiance, and would change sides overnight depending on the amount of bribes offered!
Title: Re: Catherine de Medicis
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on May 29, 2006, 12:16:29 PM
Any remaining records of who these women were and what happened to them after they left the Squadron?  I'm guessing there was a steady stream of them who all eventually made proper marriages thanks to Catherine's influence.