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Etiam reges, Even Kings

Author(s): Jordan, William Chester

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dc.contributor.authorJordan, William Chester-
dc.identifier.citationJordan, William Chester. "Etiam reges, Even Kings." Speculum 90, no. 3 (2015): 613-634. doi:10.1017/S0038713415000822.en_US
dc.description.abstract“He could not believe that the army had been brought so far, through so many dangers, only to fail at the last.” With these few words Joseph Strayer grasped the essence of Louis IX's feelings during the critical phase of the king's first crusade and the French defeat in Egypt in the spring of the year 1250. The king's captivity at the hands of his Muslim adversaries followed soon after the French disaster. My aim in this paper is to suggest and explore some consequences of Louis's experiences in this period, an undertaking that is, I think, historically significant inasmuch as many people over the centuries have idealized the king's rule as the purest form of Christian governance. In large part my story is a tale of what might have been if the king had accomplished the three central goals he set for himself after 1250: his own purification, his kingdom's purification, and the assurance that this purified realm would perdure beyond his lifetime. In an essay of the present length I cannot be comprehensive or even review the considerable recent scholarship on the king's reign and the periods immediately before and after that are relevant to my aims, a daunting task that Sean Field and Cecilia Gaposchkin have made an excellent, if, by their own acknowledgment, partial attempt at accomplishing,2 but I do hope to show that there is much still to be learned from pursuing research on the effects of the defeat in Egypt; much to be learned, that is to say, both about the underlying motivations of the king's modes of governance and about his vision of the kingdom's future if these modes of governance were adopted and rigorously pursued by his successors.en_US
dc.format.extent613 - 634en_US
dc.rightsFinal published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.en_US
dc.titleEtiam reges, Even Kingsen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US

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