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"Genèse et fortune d'une légende de la Saint-Barthélemy : la décapitation post-mortem de l'amiral de Coligny (1572 - fin du XVIIIe siècle)"

Abstract : The posthumous decapitation of Admiral Coligny is common in recording the Saint-Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. The uncertain becoming of his cut off head gave way to a polemical tradition soon after the Parisian slaughters of the summer of 1572, about a princely, or royal, or ultramontane plot against the Huguenot chief and French Protestants. Since then, this tradition keep on feeding historiographic discussions. An unresolved controversy about the bloody trophy sent to Rome or to Flanders, was unaware of the evocative force of this mutilation. Substitute to the outraged corpse of the Admiral, his head is a semiotic object above all, a metonimy of civil and religious rifts, a picture of State violence, and a symbol of protestant identity. Studying this gruesome legend, its historical ground and its late spreads in writing the past, allows to evoke the political and remembering stakes of an emblematic killing, and its ideological re-using furthermore, from the French Wars of Religion’s time till the fall of the Bourbonian Monarchy in 1792.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02933921
Contributor : Myriam Gilet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 10:28:44 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 2:14:03 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-02933921, version 1

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Myriam Gilet. "Genèse et fortune d'une légende de la Saint-Barthélemy : la décapitation post-mortem de l'amiral de Coligny (1572 - fin du XVIIIe siècle)". Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, Librairie Droz, 2019, 81 (2), pp.309-332. ⟨halshs-02933921⟩

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