Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,725,466 articles and books

La France, Les Femmes et Le Pouvoir: L'invention de la loi salique (Ve-XVIe siecle).



Eliane Viennot. La France La France was a single that was released by Dutch popgroup BZN in 1986. It is about a man and woman who met and fell in love while in France. , Les Femmes et Le Pouvoir: L'invention de la loi salique Sa·lique  
adj.
Variant of Salic.
 (Ve-XVIe siecle).

Paris: Perrin, 2006. 728 pp. index. bibl. [euro]27. ISBN ISBN
abbr.
International Standard Book Number


ISBN International Standard Book Number

ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m 
: 2-262-02061-2.

Eliane Viennot's recent book Marguerite de Valois

For other people named Marguerite de Valois, see Marguerite de Valois (disambiguation).
Marguerite de Valois [1] [2] (May 14, 1553 – May 27, 1615), "Queen Margot" (La reine Margot
: "La reine Margo" (2005) explores both the life and the myth of that queen. In this new work on women's power in France she does something similar for the Salic Law Salic law, rule of succession
Salic law (sā`lĭk), rule of succession in certain royal and noble families of Europe, forbidding females and those descended in the female line to succeed to the titles or offices in the family.
. She first acquaints her readers with the original laws of the Salian Franks
''Salians redirects here, for the eleventh-century dynasty, see Salian dynasty.


The Salian Franks or Salii are a subgroup of the early Franks who had been living North of the limes in the coastal area above the Rhine.
, which said nothing about women being excluded from ruling, and did not exclude them from landholding land·hold·er  
n.
One that owns land.



landholding n.
 either. She then proceeds to examine the position of women in relation to power in four chronological periods from the time of the Franks through the developments of sixteenth-century France. The connecting theme is the search for how and why the Salic Law code became the (fictitious) source for the Salic Law excluding women from the throne and what its influence has been.

Part 1 covers the fifth through tenth centuries and shows the status of women in Frankish laws, and the power and influence of both secular and religious women. Viennot begins with the early Frankish culture and society that practiced relative gender equality. She compares the relevant passage of several sixth- and eighth-century editions of the original law code of the Salian Franks, none of which mention the crown. She points out that in the early centuries women, especially queens and noblewomen, played an important part in the Christianization of the Franks. In contrast to the later misogyny misogyny /mi·sog·y·ny/ (mi-soj´i-ne) hatred of women.

mi·sog·y·ny
n.
Hatred of women.



mi·sog
 of the Church, local bishops often worked with elite women to obtain conversions and supported their establishment of religious foundations.

The original law of the Salian Franks is of fundamental importance to the thesis of the book, but the book is much more than a description of how the law was misused. In the second part, covering the ninth through twelfth centuries, new laws New Laws: see Las Casas, Bartolomé de.  reflected the new political conditions, and the Frankish laws were largely forgotten. The French Church gained power as it took over secular protective and administrative roles during the post-Carolingian disorder. Restoration and growth were gradually achieved and ladies, the feminine equivalent of lords, held fiefs Fiefs may refer to:
  • Fiefdom
  • Fiefs, a commune of the Pas-de-Calais département in northern France
 and exercised administrative and even judicial powers in their territories. The French Church's close association with powerful women was scrutinized by the Roman Church as the latter launched the Gregorian Reform The Gregorian Reform was a series of reforms initiated by Pope Gregory VII and the circle he formed in the papal curia, circa 1050–1080, which dealt with the moral integrity and independence of the clergy. . The Roman Church expanded its control over Western Christendom, elevating the role of men in the Church at the expense of both secular and religious women.

Viennot's third period covers the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when the submission of women to men became a foundation of clerical culture. The period is marked by the emergence of the clergy as a social group that was increasingly important in secular society because their administrative skills were important to centralizing secular governments. The exclusion of daughters in the direct line from the throne in favor of more distant male heirs also marks this period. The need to justify male inheritance to the throne led to the revival of the old Salic Law, or, rather, the fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration.
 of a new Salic Law into something entirely different.

The fourth part covers the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and comprises about one-half of the book. It is here that the effect of the new, fabricated Salic Law really began to show culturally. The value of this portion of the book is in its intricate description of French society and the interplay between this Salic Law and other elements of French culture in the Renaissance. Viennot covers women's status and power, and their loss of status and power in this period for a broad range of society. The fabrication of the law was itself an important element in the loss of female power, but it was also a manifestation of other political and cultural trends in favor of male power. It was these trends which sustained the Salic Law even after Renaissance historians realized it was false. These power losses were not universal, however, nor were they entirely unopposed even in this period.

Viennot has created a work full of images of women's power and influence in both church and state from the fifth through the sixteenth century. Because of its breadth and depth, specialists may wish to argue points in particular areas, but one remarkable quality of this work is how sharply focused and carefully crafted it is. It develops the theme of the invention of the Salic Law, but puts it thoroughly in its historical context over the centuries. In that way it functions as a comprehensive gendered history of the period and provides another valuable layer to the history of France The History of France has been divided into a series of separate historical articles navigable through the list to the right. The chronological era articles (highlighted in blue) address broad French historical, cultural and sociological developments. .

KATHLEEN A. PARROW

Black Hills State University
COPYRIGHT 2007 The Renaissance Society of America
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Parrow, Kathleen A.
Publication:Renaissance Quarterly
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2007
Words:787
Previous Article:The Cambridge Companion to Moliere.
Next Article:Charting Change in France around 1540.
Topics:



Related Articles
Ethos et pathos: Le statut du sujet rhetorique.
Gender apartheid and womens rights.
Les femmes burundaises et le processus de paix. (Burundi).
Jacqueline Boudard. Rome au XIXe siecle vue a travers les guides de l'epoque.
Du spectaculaire a l'intime: Un Siecle de commedia erudita en Italie et en France (debut du XVIe siecle-milieu du XVIIe siecle).
Ecritures de l'histoire (XIVe-XVIe siecle): Actes du colloque du Centre Montaigne, Bordeaux, 19-21 septembre 2002.
Avant le Roman: L'allegorie et l'emergence de la narration francaise au 16eme siecle.
Men's Travelling Conference/Conference Itinerante des Hommes--Men's Travelling Conference.
Impliquer le genre dans le forum social mondial.
Update on FEMNET's advocacy and communication approach in reproductive and sexual health rights in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda/Mise a jour sur...

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters