Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 09:20:25 -0400

Subject: [SCA-AS] Medieval Paris

Greetings everyone.

This week in honor of Aethelmearc's newest beloved Monarch, His Majesty Sir Henri d'Artois, we visit that Mecca of medieval knowledge, Paris. Most learned and moneyed men (and quite a few learned and moneyed women) went there at least once during their Medieval lifetimes, so we shall visit and see what it was they found so fascinating. They came to learn, to play, or to attack. They passed through on a tour or a pilgrimage. They left behind a little of themselves, and took a great deal away with them. Let's see what it was they found so fascianting on our own tour of sites dedicated to Medieval Paris. We'll look at Prisian Food, Parisian Universities, Famous Citizens of Paris, French music likely to have been heard in Paris, French Coins, Artifacts in Museums dedicated to Medieval Paris and France, look at Le Cathedral de Notre Dame de Paris, go on a Parisian Pilgrimage, and check out maps, abbeys and architecture.

This list is designed to be forwarded by the readers to people and lists who will find it interesting. Please forward it on to those who will appreciate it.

Au Revoir,

Aoife Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon Aethelmearc

Paris at the time of Philippe August
(Site Excerpt) That they bought most was bread as for a long time a basic element of food. It seems that the corn which fed initially Paris is the corn of Beauce, because the oldest market, in the Ile de la Cité , was called "Beauce market". The corn arrived by the river Seine and was discharged at the "Greve" market (currently "Town Hall" square). The mills of the "Grand Pont" changed it in flour. During the reign of Philippe-Auguste, this market became too small and at this point in time the king had the "Halles" market open. The ordinance of March 12, 1322 specified the opening hours of the three markets: the "Greve", mentioned above: 6 a.m. then the "Juiverie", then the last one, the "Halles" at 9 a.m.

Medieval Sourcebook: Jacques de Vitry: Life of the Students at Paris
(Site Excerpt) They affirmed that the English were drunkards and had tails; the sons of France proud, effeminate and carefully adorned like women. They said that the Germans were furious and obscene at their feasts; the Normans, vain and boastful; the Poitevins, traitors and always adventurers. The Burgundians they considered vulgar and stupid. The Bretons were reputed to be fickle and changeable, and were often reproached for the death of Arthur. The Lombards were called avaricious, vicious and cowardly; the Romans, seditious, turbulent and slanderous; the Sicilians, tyrannical and cruel; the inhabitants of Brabant, men of blood, incendiaries, brigands and ravishers; the Flemish, fickle, prodigal, gluttonous, yielding as butter, and slothful. After such insults from words they often came to blows.

(Site Excerpt) Many of de Pisan's works urged that women be allowed to participate more fully in society. She also denounced the way women were portrayed in Medieval literature. In her long poem, Letter to the God of Love, she complained that women were often described as dishonest and unreliable. "Between Mother Nature and myself As long as the world lasts, we won't let Them be so uncherished and unloved," she vows. She reminds her readers about the single-minded loyalty of classical heroines like Penelope and of the Virgin Mary. Some modem scholars consider de Pisan to be history's first feminist.

Life of Saint Denis
(Site Excerpt) In 1317, King Philip V of France (The Tall) received from his chaplain Gilles, the abbot of Saint Denis, a luxury copy of a text entitled The Life of Saint Denis. The manuscript was begun during the reign of Philip IV (The Fair) at the command of Jean de Pontoise, Abbot of Saint Denis. The manuscript now preserved in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris (French 2090 -2092) contains seventy-seven miniatures illustrating the life and martyrdom of Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris and the patron saint of France.

Medieval Sourcebook: The Great Schism: University of Paris and the Schism, 1393
(Site Excerpt) In 1393 the king of France asked the University of Paris to devise a way of ending the schism. In response to this request, each member of the faculty was asked to propose in writing the way which seemed best to him, and to advance -all the possible arguments in its favor. A commission of fifty-four professors, masters, and doctors was then appointed to examine all the proposed ways and means. After mature deliberation this commission proposed three possible ways of ending the schism and drew them up in writing and forwarded them to the king. They discussed at some length the relative advantages and disadvantages of each way. Their letter to the king is a long one. We give only three brief extracts from it, to show the three ways which they proposed.

French Medieval Coins

Branle de Bourgoigne, Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie, Bransles, Bas Dances, Canarie in A, etc... Midi Downloads
Site also contains non-French music for midi download, much of it medieval or renaissance in nature.

Musee National du Moyen Age (The former Musee Cluny)
While the site is entirely in French with no English translation available, there are some great pieces shown, and it is well worth a look. At the bottom of the page, there is a link for free electronic postcards ("cart postal") with medieval themes.

Webmuseum Paris
This webmuseum houses some famous artworks and the Tres Riche Heures du Duc de Berry. It also hosts a virtual tour of Paris.

Notre Dame de Paris
(Site Excerpt) In thinking of Gothic architecture, our thoughts always ascend. For that which embodies Gothic style most is lofty; Rose windows of stained glass, ornately crafted spires, and the guardians of grand cathedrals, the Gargoyles. Each is distinctly Gothic, and all distinctly Notre Dame de Paris.

Centre de musique médiévale de Paris
While this site is also only in French, if you click Choix Discographiques, you will find another menu which will take you to a bibliography of recorded medieval music, which IS intelligible to the English reader. Useful for the music researcher. Also included is a section entitled Quelques instruments utilisés au moyen-âge (Various instruments used in the Middle Ages), which provides illustrations of the instruments being used, and their names in French.

Map of Medieval Paris
(Site Excerpt) The sixteenth-century Englishman, Fynes Moryson, has provided us with as good a map of Paris as he has of Rome. Here I have left Moryson's own description of the monuments below the map. His 'Roman Cathedral' is, of course, the Notre Dame. Please note, however, that Moryson has put North at the bottom of the map rather than at the top left as we tend to do now.

The Medieval Paris
(Site Excerpt) By the middle of the 11th century, Paris was administered by the provost of Paris. During the same century, the first Parisian guilds were formed. Later, in 1141, the king sold Paris' principal Seine port to the river-merchants' guild. Their coat of arms subsequently became Paris' coat of arms. It wasn't until 1171 that Louis VII conferred a charter upon the river-merchants' guild, confirming its "ancient right" to monopolize the river trade.

Paris Muse: Make a Pilgrimage to Medieval Paris
(Site Excerpt) "See those greenish sculpted figures there, climbing up the spire?" Kristen asked visitors on a recent tour. "One of them is holding up his hand, and turning his head away from the the sun. That is a portrait of the 19th-century restorer Viollet le Duc, shown as if he were blinded by the beauty of his own creation." Viollet le Duc's now controversial 19th-century restorations (of which he must have been quite proud!) comprise just one of the many episodes of a complex history that began in 1163, when the first stone was laid. In the centuries that followed, generations of craftsmen and builders all left their mark.

Sainte-Geneviève abbey
(A collection of Paris Maps with descriptions and juicy tid-bits. Site Excerpt) Sainte-Geneviève abbey, at a top of a hill, was one of the oldest churches of Paris. Here had been buried the saint patroness of the city, and Clovis, first Frankish merovingian king. Nearby is the actual Pantheon. All over the hill settled colleges, schools, and the University, called the Sorbonne. Part of Braun and Hogenberg map of Paris from Civitates Orbis Terrarum I -7 published in 1572.

Medieval Women Scriptorum: A Parisian Journal
(Site Excerpt) As soon as people heard in Paris that the King was in his enemies' country, they arranged by common consent the most touching processions that anyone had ever seen in living memory. On Monday, the next to last day of May in the same year, the people of the Palais in Paris and the mendicant orders and others all went in procession barefoot, carrying various most worthy shrines and the Holy True Cross of the Palais; also the members of the Parlement of every rank, all two by two, with some thirty thousand people following after, and all of them barefoot. On Tuesday, the last day of May in the same year, some of the town's parishes made processions, the parishioners going around their own parishes. All the priests wore copes or surplices, each carried a candle and relics, all barefoot; the shrine of St. Blanchard, of St. Magloire, and two hundred or more little children going in front, all barefoot and each with a candle or taper in his hand. Everyone who could afford it carried a torch; all were barefooted, women and men.

Living And Dining In Medieval Paris The Household of a Fourteenth-Century Knight (Book for Sale)
(Site Excerpt) A richly detailed account of the culinary world of fourteenth-century Paris. At the centre of this account lies the Ménagier de Paris, a medieval manuscript covering all aspects of food preparation and household skills, written by a well-to-do knight for his fifteen-year-old wife. Through her meticulous study of the manuscript, Nicole Crossley-Holland paints a vivid picture of life in the knight's household: his city residence with its walled vegetable and herb garden; his home farm which provided meat and dairy produce; the country estate where he trained sparrowhawks and hunted wild boar.

(Site Excerpt) The Latin Quarter is so called because it was the place where the students at the University of Paris (now the Sorbonne) lived and studied, and they were required to speak Latin with each other even when they weren't in class. Most of the Sorbonne is now nondescript office and classroom buildings. Their monotony is only broken by a simple plaque on one of them reading "La Sorbonne". The plaque spellbound me; it reminded me that I was walking in the footsteps of scholars like Peter Abelard, St. Thomas Aquinas and Erasmus of Rotterdam. But there is a picturesque district right next to these dull buildings. It is closed to traffic for obvious reasons. The streets retain their medieval narrowness, and only accommodate pedestrian two-way traffic. The buildings have a romantic, quaint look to them. They now mostly house either restaurants or cabarets, with the strange exception of an old church. One of my travel vouchers was admission to one o f these cabarets. This included a free crawl through a tunnel into "an authentic dungeon" supposedly dating from the fourteenth century. It was only a block away from the oldest street in Paris, also dating from the fourteenth century. I knew I had to check this out.

Medieval Paris Comes to Huntington Beach Revival of An Ancient Devotion By Charles A. Coulombe
(Site Excerpt) "As you are approaching l'Ile de la Cite," continued Turpin, "where lies one of the jewels of all the European Cathedrals, Notre Dame de Paris, you hear Gregorian chant. You turn around the corner and see a beautiful procession. Clad in a golden cope, a priest bears the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance, while four laymen hold a canopy over him. Before them a thurifer swings his censer, and other acolytes scatter flowers. The choir precedes this group, singing the Pange Lingua Gloriosi; and still further forward, all the parish is solemnly walking.

The International Medieval Society, Paris
(Site Excerpt) Each year, a great number of academics come to Paris to conduct research in a field of medieval studies. Because most operate independently, precious time is wasted in simple orientation to the different institutions and in gaining access to specialized research locations. Numerous opportunities are missed..The International Medieval Society aims to resolve this by creating a center for international researchers in Paris.

Le Menagier de Paris
(Site Excerpt) This was translated from the French edition of Jerome Pichon published in 1846. Footnotes marked JP are by him; those marked JH are by Janet Hinson, the translator; those marked DDF and EGC are by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, respectively.........(c) Janet Hinson ......After these matters it is desirable to tell you of various general terms relating to cookery of any quality, and then you will be shown how to know and choose the foods with which you will work, as follows :First, when you grind spices and bread for any sauces or soups, you must grind the spices first and remove them from the mortar, for as you grind the bread it will gather up any spices remaining; thus you do not lose any speck which would be lost otherwise.Item, sauces and thickening agents for soups should never be strained, whereas for sauces they should be so that the sauces be clearer and also more pleasing.

Gothic Architecture
A series of thumbnails (which expand to full size) and sites dedicated to the subject.

Middle Ages Crisis: The Medieval Garden (a news article)
(Site Excerpt) The Square de Cluny hid behind billboards detailing the park's conversion into a garden resembling that of the time when knights slew dragons and swept damsels in distress off their feet. Those of us who love Paris like a lady waited impatiently for the day when the gardens would be unveiled. Well, the idea looked good on parchment. The first section stands as a monument to the architect's imagination. A small circle bordered by benches is referred to as a "clearing" and a tatty patch of grass is named the Forest of the Unicorn. The sign explaining the appellation describes a mythical place based on the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry series on display in the neighboring museum, yet the only mystical creatures large enough for this savage forest are catnaps. (And for the opposing viewpoint, also see this site: In busy Paris, a quiet garden of medieval delights

Beautiful Medieval Riddles Of Paris (An article from the Herald Tribune)
(Site Excerpt) The house of the abbots of Cluny where the gems are displayed was built in the early 16th century (and alas, restored around 1900). It remains charming. History is next door, literally. The Gallo-Roman baths of Lutetia - as the Romans called the city of the Celtic ''Parisii'' - stand there in ruins, incorporated with the museum. The first room is dominated by early 16th-century tapestries from Brussels. Their ''Millefleur'' (''Thousand Blossoms''), amid which pages and damsels go about their dallying and other business, have a touch of the enchanted garden.'S Medieval Louvre Castle
(Site Excerpt) The medieval castle at the origin of the current palate was built by king Philippe-Auguste at the end of XIIe century. Work of restoration of the Square court and the excavations necessary to the construction of the pyramid and new spaces of the Carrousel made it possible to carry out archaeological excavations, to recognize the various phases of the occupation of the palate and district. The architectural structures of the basement from now on are included in the circuits of visit. Thus one can circulate, under the Carrée court, in the ditches of the medieval fortress, circumvent the base of the keep to gain the Saint-Louis room (XIIIe century) or, with the outlet of the underground car park, to go along the ditches known as of Charles V..

David Brown Books: List of Books on Medieval Paris

French Medieval Libraries: A Bibliography (A book for sale)

Medieval Universities
(Site Excerpt) The University of Paris grew out of the schools originally situated on the Ile de la Cité, around the Cathedral of Notre Dame, but began to achieve its independence when teachers and students withdrew to the left bank of the Seine River, to the Street of Straw, in the near vicinity of the Church of St. Genevieve.

The Central Middle Ages: Reform, Revival, and Expansion States in the Making: England and France Timeline
(Site excerpt) 1189-1199 Richard Richard I "the Lionheart" was king of England, but spent most of his reign in defending his territories in France and as one of the leaders of the Third Crusade.