Author Topic: Catherine de Medicis  (Read 55323 times)

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Mgmstl

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #90 on: September 04, 2005, 12:40:32 PM »
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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!


Mgmstl

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #91 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.


Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #92 on: September 04, 2005, 12:44:28 PM »
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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.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Mgmstl

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #93 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.

Mgmstl

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #94 on: September 04, 2005, 01:56:41 PM »
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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.    


Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #95 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 . . .
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Mgmstl

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #96 on: September 04, 2005, 03:30:51 PM »
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Obviously you would see it as ridiculous, but a more pious person would disagree I'm sure . . .



pious or brain dead?????

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #97 on: September 04, 2005, 03:32:17 PM »
That is a rather offensive remark. For some people, religion is all they have left . . .
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Silja

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #98 on: September 04, 2005, 03:38:11 PM »
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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.

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #99 on: September 04, 2005, 03:40:53 PM »
Good point Silja.  :)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Mgmstl

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #100 on: September 04, 2005, 04:12:30 PM »
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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?

Mgmstl

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #101 on: September 04, 2005, 04:14:28 PM »
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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.

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #102 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.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Silja

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #103 on: September 04, 2005, 04:31:52 PM »
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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.

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Catherine de Medicis
« Reply #104 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).
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