The Medieval Entry Ceremony at Paris
Lawrence M. Bryant
The aim of this article is to reconstruct, to the degree that it can be done, the meanings that the medieval entries of rulers into Paris had for the people who staged and acted in them. The base of the study is the Parisian receptions for kings listed in table 6.1. This table represents the "processual units," to take Victor Turner's concept, from which one can analyze the dynamics of the interaction between spontaneous communitas and the structural parts of social existence. Each reception and entry of a king was a "social drama," and the sum of these performances over time supplied interested parties with the materials for constructing a ceremonial tradition and for representing models of political society.
The focus of the study is on Parisian entries because the Parisians found the receptions of new kings to be a good place to articulate their claims both to a dominant place in the kingdom and in the king's affection and because the records of the entry celebrations there are relatively continuous and complete. Furthermore, Parisian influences help to illustrate the ways by which a local ceremony, with the king as the symbolic center of civic expression, came to be a manifestation of French Public Law (what in English is called constitutionalism). Historians have pointed out that as a medieval institution the entry formed "l'occasion d'un dialogue " between the king and subjects as well as a revelation of a "sentiment national " and a "sentiment monarchique ." In this discussion, the Parisian side and ritual gestures of this "dialogue" with the king are shown both to represent aspects of Parisian political consciousness and to be sources in the development of a monarchical symbolic system.
As a processional, the medieval entry shared a major characteristic with the imperial adventus ceremony, with the medieval jocundus adventus of the clergy, and with the seventeenth-century absolutist entrée royale . However, the medieval entry was unique because its ceremonial gestures directly con-
(table continued on next page)
(table continued from previous page)
tained their meaning and statement while the classical and ecclesiastical processionals dramatized rhetorical and written formulae. Only in the production of late medieval entries did textual sources start to prescribe the form for staging an entry. Even this regulation called attention to the demonstrations of reciprocity between two legal personalities: king and city. In distinct and nonconfrontational ways the event balanced between the community's deference to the king as symbol of justice and right order and the urban corporations' assertions of rights and liberties as juridical personalities. Thus, the impulse for staging medieval entries in cities and giving structure to their drama was constitutional as well as social. While in the ceremony we find no direct quotation of quod omnes tanqit , we nevertheless see Parisian representation of this romano-canonical maxim in their gestures before the king.
Simply stated, the entry ceremony consisted of processions out of a city to greet a ruler and a procession into the city by the ruler after the greeting. In the Middle Ages, each performance led to additions that augmented and altered the meanings that contemporaries found in the ritual. In Paris, as elsewhere in Europe, the entry took place in the wake of the potentially threatening circumstances caused by the death or collapse of a prince's power and the need to install a new ruler. Like the English progress to the coronation in London and the famous joyeuse entrée de Brabant , the Parisian première, joyeuse , or solennelle entries were in place by the middle of the fourteenth century. Since the twelfth century, townsmen in Flanders, England, Italy, and the empire had greeted new rulers with requests of a legal nature before they escorted them to the place of investiture. However, in France urban receptions followed the coronation at Reims. In the gestures, speeches, entertainments, costume, and processionals staged for the newly crowned king, citizens like those at Paris were anxious to secure old rights and win new favors. Having no part in the rites of making a king, the Parisians looked to defining the duties of the king.
Cities like Paris and London, where the kings were lords, freely asserted their identity when welcoming and giving hospitality to new rulers. Towns were so successful in entertaining lords, that by the late Middle Ages feudal and princely receptions paled in comparison with them. At this time, the word entrée came to denote a ritual of welcoming as well as an action, and by the fifteenth century the subject of kings' entries filled chronicles and town registers. Representations of entries also became a genre of manuscript painting, and it is entirely appropriate to start describing the Parisian entry ceremony with the image of one from a medieval manuscript.
Figure 6.1, is a fifteenth-century depiction of Charles V's entry into Paris (28 May 1364). The artist—perhaps Jean Foucquet—has succeeded in condensing into one idealized pictorial frame much of the symbolism that in actual entries extended through time and space. The groups in the picture include the king-in-regalia, uniformly costumed Parisians kneeling reverently before him, and magistrates in robes-of-office in an attitude of submission, as reflected by their downcast eyes. The setting is before the Port St. Denis, the traditional place for living kings to enter Paris for the first time and for dead ones to leave it for the last time. The artist correctly excluded the clergy and Christian images from among the royal and civic groups gathered before the important public space of the gate in 1364, for only after 1431 did the clergy join the citizens in extending extramural greetings to kings, queens, and other dignitaries. In figure 6.2—a fifteenth-century imaginary rendering of Louis IX's entry into Antioch—closely represents the later form for a
Parisian entry processional: clergy first, then notables on horseback to welcome the king, and costumed citizens before the gate. In contrast to this idealized portrait from Les Passages d'Outre-Mer (1472), the first century of Parisian processions for greeting kings remained secular affairs only.
In the first phase of the ceremony, the Parisians marched out of the city to encounter the king. The processions consisted of the prévôt de marchands, échevins , other officials of the Hotel-de-ville , and members of the corps de métier . They exited from the Port St. Martin several hundred feet from the point of entry at the Port St. Denis, and after witnessing the greeting of the king most citizens returned via the same route, like the people in the background of figure 6.1. The officials with hooded robes in figure 6.1 probably represent the Parlement of Paris. From 1431 (but not in Charles V's time), these magistrates also participated in the processions in order to make requests and to give reverence to the entering king. The officials kneeling in the foreground probably represent the few Parisians who would march through the Port St. Denis and down the freshly sanded rue St. Denis with the king; that is, the échevins and guildmasters who held the canopy over their lord from the moment of his actual entrance into the city (fig. 6.3).
This miniature with the king riding into the city well illustrates submission of subjects in the entry ceremony, but it offers little hint of another and related feature of the entry productions, the requests by the prévôt des marchands for the preservation of the city's liberties. In figure 6.2, illustrating the first encounter between the king and citizens, the raised drawbridge in the background indicates an important aspect of the dialogue of the ritual of greeting, since for the entry to take place it would be dramatically lowered only after the king acknowledges his escort and responds to their requests. Such a practice would be a secular counterpart of the ecclesiastical rites for a jocundus adventus conducted before Notre Dame Cathedral where the doors closed behind the exiting clergy and only were opened after the king promised to protect the liberties of that church.
The pictorial evidence captures the static aspects of the king-in-regalia before his subjects and the mobile aspects of his entry into the city by combining the movement of the herald's horse with the fixed stance of the king on horseback. However, in an actual performance of an entry, the king and regalia would have been extended in the processional. According to Christine de Pizan (tab. 6.2), the king's ceremonial entry into Paris—where "all ordinance was preserved"—specified that the royal appurtenances go before the king, who entered in "pontifical estate." Among "les nobles anciennes coustumes royales " she included the "fleurs-de-lis en escherps " (probably the flowered coronet frequently seen on fourteenth-century portraits of Charles V) and the royal sword. Figure 6.1 shows the heralds wearing the hat and carrying the sword, while the king wears the cloak and carries the scepter, rather than having them factored out before him. Christine mentioned that the people
Table 6.2. Le chevauchier de Charles V According to Christine de Pizan
1. Gens d'armes
5. Parement de roy
i. "les fleurs de lis en escherpe"
ii. Le Grand Écuyer avec "le mantel d'armines"
iii. "l'espée et le chappel royal"
6. Le Roy "vestu en habit royal"
7. "Princes de son sang"
8. Destriers de parement
came to greet leur seigneur , and that the king, "en signe d'amour et begninité recevant le salut de tant de gent, il ostoit son chappel ." Most of the king's companions were to proceed him, but the princes of the blood rode immediately behind him. Figure 6.2 indicates a major change that had taken place by the end of the fifteenth century, since the king is shown entering in military uniform, although he is represented as having changed into royal dress, but not into his ermine robe by the time he entered the city. What is not shown in either miniature is the canopy, and for good reason, since this was a gift of the city to the king. It pertained only to the space within the walls.
Royal entry ceremonies at Paris took place in the specific space before the Port St. Denis and down the rue St. Denis and across the Seine to the cathedral. By the fourteenth century it was customary for kings to make their return to Paris from any major undertaking, such as the coronation or going to battle, via the royal necropolis at St. Denis. With the route to Paris so defined, the appropriate rituals for the encounter of king and city appeared in the additions of royal appurtenances and civic gestures expressing reciprocal respect as well as honoring the king.
The specific stations for the pageantry and ritual acts of the entry ceremony are charted on the map in figure 6.4: a set location for encountering the king, the point of entry at the Port St. Denis, stations for the pageantry along the rue St. Denis, a special program at Châtelet, a passage to the Cathedral, the ecclesiastical jocundus adventus and oration in the name of the University of Paris, and the conclusion of the entry and banquet at the palais de justice . The route carried the king through the heart of the merchant community, and he could have gathered some sense of resident patterns and guild identities in the commercial part of Paris in witnessing the changes of canopy carriers as described in table 6.3.
Only from 1360 was the canopy mentioned in Parisian entries, although its use was well established elsewhere. It appeared to receive the ransomed King John II back from his English captivity. In bringing out the canopy, the Parisians conflated its religious function in the Corpus Christi processions with the extraordinary circumstances that required a ceremony or reunion between the king and the community. The Parisians along with other French towns had paid for the king's return, and he was displayed as a
treasure and the agent for restoring order to the kingdom. The canopy became an important device for joining the extramural urban greeting with the intramural monarchical processional; it implied a continuous ceremony. It also framed the king in a particular identity, for his refusal of the greeting and gift of the canopy would have been the equivalent of a refusal to acknowledge the authority and privileges of its carriers—the officials and leaders of the Hotel-de-ville—and, thus, for him to enter the city as a military conqueror rather than as the agent of justice and right order. As it was, the leaders of Paris became his bodyguards at the entrance into the popular sphere; in the streets of the city the king received the shouts of joy and viewed the pageants presented by those whose liberties he had recognized. In 1360, it was also those subjects who had begrudgingly paid a considerable part of his ransom.
The activities along the route of the king's processional mixed religious and secular aspects. Religious dramas were appropriated from the church calendar. Secular presentations were commissioned and they spoke, sometimes in veiled allegories, to contemporary issues. In either case, wherever the king passed urban groups sought to pull him into some action or dialogue. The compilation in table 6.4 gives an overview of the rhetoric and rituals of the medieval Parisian programs. At times, in a spirit of experimentation, the keys of the city were given to the king, refreshment and silver cups were offered, religious instruction presented, and enthroned actors played king and judges from a "lit de justice"—a term pregnant for the future even if only descriptive of stagings at the time. In songs, dances, tableaux vivants, mock battles, play trials, pretended assemblies, and courtly allegories the king witnessed the varieties of Parisian sentiments and was called to acknowledge some maxim or moral pertaining to his office.
The clergy at the cathedral conducted the last act of the Parisian entry. In the account of 1350, the richly habited clerics proceeded out of the cathedral with the treasures of their church. The presiding bishop labeled the rites a novus et jocundus adventus , thus connecting the Parisian practice with the traditional form used by religious establishments for greeting dignitaries. However, in Paris the form contained a special request for the king to make a jocundus adventus promise, and John II, with hand on scriptures, swore to preserve the privileges of the cathedral clergy. This juridical rite, and not the religious service, was the only one reported by the notary commissioned to record the event. After the king gave his promise, the cathedral doors opened.
There was a tradition that an orator from the University of Paris address the king on his return from the coronation. In 1286 when Philippe le Bel reached Paris, his former tutor and Parisian theologian, Gilles de Rome, had the honor of speaking for the University. Over time this greeting that included a formal request for renewal of priviliges was joined to the entry cere-
mony: first at the exit of the king from Notre Dame Cathedral and next, from 1549, at the extramural reception. In the fifteenth century, this speech for the University completed the series of encounters between the entering king and the receiving urban corporations that constituted an entry ceremony. In the totality of the ceremony, something like a representative description of the body politic had been made.
A banquet at the Palais de Justice followed the jocundus adventus at the cathedral, but it was quite separate from the entry ceremony. At the banquet, princes and great lords claimed back the king given to the citizens for the entry. In later times, when the Parlement of Paris entered into the processionals, it tended to mediate between the Parisians' assembly and the king's entourage; the banquet came to echo a bit more the events of the street. In the sixteenth century the activities of a royal entry were expanded to include tournaments, and even an auto-da-fe in 1549, but these spectacles were alien additions to the popular and legal inspirations that shaped and sustained the medieval Parisian ceremony.
Ceremonial and Symbols
Long before they became formalized into a ceremony, Parisians made demonstrations of support and zeal for new kings. As early as 1226 armed Parisians escorted to Paris the young Louis IX and his regent mother who were threatened by a baronial revolt. Parisians showed equal zeal in welcoming and supporting Philip V in 1316 who also faced a major revolt of the barons. No one reported the rituals or cries such as Noel ! and Vive le Roi ! that appeared in the fifteenth century, but one does see the emergence of Paris as a ritual place and as a personality in political dialogue. When the succession to the crown was questioned, as it was in 1316 and 1328, the importance to a king of "les quiex le rechurent à roy " was attested to by chroniclers including among the proofs of legitimate right to the French crown the name of the Parisian échevins. Several years after being so received by the Parisians, Philip VI remembered the gesture when he granted them a special favor, noting "comment les bourgois et tout le peuple de Paris de leur auctorité le rechurent à seigneur ."
In receiving a new lord and king, Paris and its great corporations demonstrated their legal personality in a way comparable to a great lord. By the fifteenth century, heralds of the city went out to the king in advance of the urban processional and reminded the king of the city's virtues and status. Then came the requests of the Parisian authorities in their robes of office. Any gesture of the king, such as going into the city, constituted a response. In reaction to the city's assertion of its identity, the role of the king became more ritualized and remote. In the process the chancellor or some other principal royal official began to speak for the king. The shaping of the ritual can be
followed in the evolution of the extramural greeting, the king in the procession, and the rhetoric of the pageantry stations.
The ritual upgrading of the Parisian reception of a king first took place through the symbolism of costumes. In 1350, various Parisian groups donned distinctive uniforms for John II's postcoronation entry. Guildsmen put on identical costumes in order to contrast with the dress of uniformed "Lombards." The échevins took the same cut as the guildsmen, but in a different color. In 1380, two thousand Parisians wore green and white; in 1389, twelve hundred wore green. As other corporations—that is juridical persons—joined the processional, the symbolism of the polity becomes evident: first the clergy, then guildsmen and officials of the Hotel-de-ville, then of the Châtelet, and finally the magistrates of the Parlement of Paris. When the parlementaires first appeared in the processional in 1431, the first president wore what was described as habit royal and exercised the prerogative of a powerful lord in having "son bonnet fourré " carried in front of him by an usher of the Parlement. The earliest recorded debates about the processional took place over the claim of the Parlement to have a monopoly on the right to wear red robes in entries of kings—a claim that resulted in the Parlement of Paris taking over regulation of the ceremonial performance of entries by urban groups.
Whether or not the costumed Parisian hosts in 1350 made any verbal request is not known. In 1360, they received John II with a gift of plate worth a thousand marks. In 1380, the prévôt des marchands greeted the newly crowned king with a request for tax relief, an item on the agenda of the meeting of the Estates general in Paris the next day. The dominant gesture of the entry in 1383 was submission, and, before the entry, the prévôt des marchands and échevins journeyed over fifty miles to try to placate the king who was angry at the Parisian refusal to support his war with the Flemish cities. Charles VI returned from Flanders victorious, and he prepared to enter Paris in military dress and with his army. Because of the crisis and potential for violence, the ceremonial forms of this entry stand out.
In 1383, the Constable of France—approaching the city in advance of the king's party—encountered armed Parisians who sought to demonstrate both the might of Paris and to submit to the commander of the king's forces. Then the prévôt des marchands with five hundred Parisians went to the king to render reverence and submission and to request his mercy. The king refused to acknowledge the gestures and then proceeded to enter the city with his armed entourage. Nevertheless, even in the strained circumstances, the ceremonial form for the entry balanced between the obvious military might of the king and his juridical obligations; for although Charles VI entered in armor followed by troops, he promised those Parisian leaders who exited to greet him a future hearing before deciding the fate of the city. According to an Italian witness, he replied to the prévôt des marchands: "Tornate a Parigi, e
quand io saro a sedere in luogho di guistizia venite, e domanderete, e parte troverte ." Over a century later, Louis XII followed the same juridical procedures after defeating and entering in armor his cities of Genoa and Milan and, likewise, Henry II in his dealings with a rebellious Bordeaux.
What was delayed until a hearing and judgment at the Palais de Justice in 1383 had been in previous entries part of the ritual choreography for the first encounter between king and city. In that encounter, the gestures by the city and the ready response by the king dramatized the reciprocity between the two parties. Even when the bond was broken and the rituals for entries refused, any change in the status quo required a juridical process with the king presiding and the citizens seeking justice. Paris lost its independent government and the restoration of Parisian liberties only came about when Charles VI escaped the tutelage of his uncles: an event celebrated in the Parisian entry and coronation of his queen, Isabella of Bavaria (20 June 1389), the best-described entry of the period.
The circumstances of the reign of Charles VI (the madness of the king, the collapse of the French army, religious schism, and the Burgundian and English control of Paris) had an important impact on Parisian ritual symbolism. The number and scale of public processions greatly increased. Parisians more frequently went en masse to attend the king when he visited the city and they often did the same for powerful lords and around religious objects. The more events seemed out of human control, the more civic and religious processionals were conducted to elicit divine intervention in averting disasters. The new civic and religious union in processionals influenced the Parisian conduct of the traditional first entry ceremony, and fourteenth-century symbolism and gestures, which had called attention to the right order of the city and its officials, gave way to calls on the king to be the instrument for bringing prosperity and good government to the city. The request for renewal of specific liberties and offices continued, but the idea was enlarged to include the king as the instrument of all good in the life of the body politic. At this time, the Parlement of Paris joined both processions in the city and the entry processional to greet the king.
The Lancastrian rulers of Paris proved particularly accomplished at using entries to demonstrate their control of government and to legitimize their usurpation of Valois authority. The Parisians received Henry V in the same manner as Charles VI after they had publicly sworn to uphold Henry's right to the crown. In this way, they bound themselves to a treaty and policy rather than to a newly crowned king. After Henry V's death, the reception of the Duke of Bedford as regent was carefully coordinated by "l'ordannance du conseil du Roy " and orders were given for the clergy to join the extramural processional. Following the London practice, Henry VI added the new touch of a precoronation entry that was staged on Advent (2 December) 1431. His reception of the urban processionals at the little La-Chapelle-
Saint-Denis outside the city's walls altered the synbolism of the entry, and now—in a closed setting—the king first "received" representatives of the corporations residing in Paris before allowing them to receive him. At this moment the Parlement of Paris first acted in the cermonial. It entered because of the Parlement's failure to influence the council of the English king and to obtain security of offices and salaries. In the entry, the parlementaires found a well-established ritual structure to acquire an access to the king and an occasion for freedom of address otherwise closed to them. Their most potent symbol was the first president of the Parlement in the red fur-lined robe that only he, the three other presidents, the chancellor, and the king could wear. Since, in another departure from tradition, the king entered in military dress, the first president's costume also served to remind all—even the English conquerors of France—to do justice and to preserve the highest law court of his French subjects.
The ceremonial improvisations that took place under the Lancastrian kings were continued in the entry rituals of the late Valois rulers. At Charles VII's reception, the gift of the keys of the city first was mentioned for a Parisian entry. The gesture common elsewhere, but not at Paris, was somewhat like that illustrated in the miniature of the submission of Troyes in 1429 (fig. 6.5). Here, the chancellor and Jeanne d'Arc flank the king-in-regalia. Jeanne points to the chancellor and shifts the focus from a rite of submission to a military conqueror to a submission to the chief juridical official of the
kingdom. The chancellor gestures with one hand for the magistrates to kneel and, seeing obeisance, indicates with the other hand for him to rise. Figure 6.2 also illustrates the same balance between submission and liberty by having the king gesture for the dignitaries who are in the process of kneeling to rise. In future entry ceremonies at Paris and elsewhere, the king-in-armor replaced Jeanne d'Arc, and the chancellor in robe-of-office carried out the acts of recognition and justice. Over time, the chancellor came to respond for the king to panegyrics and requests; he was the intermediary for justice and peace—the image of reciprocity—over the reserved right of the king to use force.
Louis XI showed sensitivity to the power of symbolism by not renewing parliamentary and other offices in advance of the Parisian entry—including his dismissal of the Chancellor Guillaume Juvenal des Ursins. However, the refusal of the new king to renew offices deprived many civic officials of a legal identity and a ritual place in the ceremony. The splendor of the nobility of France and Burgundy—one of the greatest host of nobility seen in Paris during the century—stood in stark contrast to the civic form of the entry; one chronicler commented, "la roy et les bourgeois de Paris allèrent au-de-vant du roy, mais ce fust bien peu de chose au regard de la puissance de ladite ville ." Charles VIII returned the ceremony to the forms of Henry VI and Charles VII. Thereafter, the Parisians and the Parlement de Paris made certain of their places in the ceremony and that in process of the entry kings were reminded of their duty to preserve the city, the kingdom, French laws, and the Parlement.
If to some degree the wave of civic processions compelled the king to act in a juridical manner by granting a hearing to the petitions brought by his subjects, and, at least by tacit gesture, to acquiesce in their requests, the king in entry had more freedom with his entourage in the royal cavalcade. When he started into the city the ranking of his following took place according to the various ways that one could be connected to the king: family or blood relatives, feudal status, military chains of command, position in the royal household, place in the administration of the kingdom, or even by the special favor of the king. As with the Parisian participants, so too with those around the king: to perform ceremonial honors was both to show one's duty and to claim one's rights and privileges. The very nature of the occasion required that each participant in the order of march elicit from those among the audience in the street an anticipation of the arrival of the king. But in calling attention to the king, each also singled out himself and his status. Women did not appear in the kings' entries, nor kings in those of queens.
The presentation of Charles VII in the entry (tab. 6.5) differed from the form prescribed by Christine de Pizan (table 6.2). First, as even a miniature portrait of the time shows, he entered in armor (fig. 6.3). The rich blue tunic with golden fleurs-de-lis, the crown, and the canopy somewhat mitigated the military aspects. The canopy gave the échevins a chance to symbolically
TABLE 6.5. The Cavalcade for the Parisian Entry of Charles VII,
1. 800 royal archers
2. Great and noble lords
3. Squires with
i. Great sword with fleurs-de-lis in gold
ii. Coat of arms on a blue velvet banner with fleurs-de-lis in gold
iii. Giant fleurs-de-lis on a saddle on a riderless horse
iv. Crowned helmet with fleurs-de-lis at apex carried on a baton
4. King armed on horse with blue duster
5. Dauphin Louis in silver armor
6. Charles d'Anjou, "contes de Perdriach et de La Marche"
7. Other knights and lords
show their reverence for authority and right order. In what we can not see, but know from the chronicles, the ermine-lined robe and the royal hat had ceased to be among the appurtenances. In their place, there went a riderless horse and a crowned helmet with fleurs-de-lis at the apex. The fleurs-de-lis mark the Valois attention to the French royal cult. The Lancastrian kings first brought the crowned helmet to entries as a sign of conquest, but the Valois kings continued its use as a symbol of authority. Over time it came to represent the maiestas of the French kings, as in 1498 when it was described as the mark of imperial authority: "Et au dessus du heaulme, au millieu de ladicte couronne, avoit une fleur de lys d'or comme empereur. " Like the change to military costume that the king wore in the entry, the appurtenances asserted the independence of the ruler from juridical limitations—as an emperor—and distanced him from the image of kingship advanced by the Parisian host for over a century of entry ceremonies, that of judge.
Traditionally, kings received the royal sword (another of the preeminent symbols of sovereign magnificence in the entry) at their coronation, and they had it carried in front of them as they left the cathedral at Reims. Christine de Pizan gave it a place of prominence in Charles V's equipage, and the English did not alter a practice already traditional in the London royal progresses. When the Valois ruler returned to Paris, a chronicler took careful notice of Charles VII's exquisite "grande espee toute semee de fleurs de lis de fin or de orfavrerie ." Since the death of his father and during the ebb of his fortune, this sword had been carried before Charles VII as symbol of his right to the crown. Louis XI's master of the horse conveyed the royal sword in the 1461 entry, but in 1484 Charles VIII and in 1498 Louis XII had neither the royal sword nor royal robe among their appurtenances. Rather, the chivalric imperial crowned helmet announced their majesty to the crowds. Francis I returned the sword, but not the robe, to the ranks before the king.
Symbols changed or realized their potential for richer meanings, always
resident in the atmosphere of the entry ceremony, in response to circumstances. Most striking of all the changes that took place in the late medieval Parisian entry ceremony was the addition of the chancellor and the royal seal to the appurtenances immediately before the king. The practice had been rehearsed in provincial entries at Rouen in 1449 and Bordeaux in 1451. At Bordeaux and elsewhere in the recovery of France, the seal and chancellor substituted for the person of the king who was absent. Only in 1484 were the seal and chancellor added at Paris, but, for the rest of the history of the entry ceremony, the chancellor held the place of honor immediately before the king.
Like the changes in the forms for greeting the king by the urban processionals, the additions to the order of march before the king emphasized his might in the crowned helmet and his right in the fleurs-de-lis. The royal hat and robe of office denoting the kingly duty to justice were transferred to the symbolism of the chancellor and seal. Even if the chancellor entered in armor at Bordeaux, he followed the seal and wore the fur bonnet: the latter being a symbol first brought to the entry ceremony by the first president of the Parlement de Paris in 1431. At Bordeaux in 1451 the chancellor received the submission of the town, its expression of loyalty, its requests, and confirmed its liberties. The seal supplied the symbolic center for the juridical theater and rites of reciprocity. When the king was present in entries, he symbolically gained flexibility in assuming the military role, and he gave a suggestion of his right to rule by conquest. But justice lost little in ritual honors and gained in having the major official for justice securely placed in the entry rituals. The same principle that the parlementaires argued as a fundamental law, that is, that the Parlement of Paris as guardian of law represented "the person of the king," had symbolic statement in the entry treatment of the chancellor.
The retinue of the king greatly expanded after 1431, but other than the addition of symbols of juridical kingship, most changes were of lesser importance. The growth in the royal ranks was such that the great lords continued to have places of honor, but they tended to appear because they held offices of the crown or places in the royal household, particularly after 1484. In this sense, the evolution of the entry ceremony chronicles a shift from an occasion when great lords temporarily gathered around the king in rituals marking the change of suzerains to an occasion projecting the image of a court of servants and officials who permanentlly served the needs of the king. The seal and the chancellor represented the highest duty of traditional kingship: to preserve through justice the entire "body moral" of the kingdom. All the parts of the civic and royal processions of the entry ceremony taken together represented in microcosm the union of such a body politic and moral.
Finally, and briefly, note needs to be taken of how the expressions in the
art of the street pageantry relate to the structure of the entry ceremony. The representations, gestures, and rhetoric of the street pageantry produced at stations along the rue St. Denis (as marked out in fig. 6.3) were playful variations inspired by the rituals that the king and Parisian corporations conducted within the entry frame. These productions strike the modern reader as the work of youthful members or even children of the leaders of the corporations and guilds—such as those who formed abbayes de jeunesse , the basoches , and the enfants de la ville —who in miming the acts of their elders and rulers reinforced community values and learned rules of decorum. Thus, although occasionally satires were included, the performances before kings and queens making an entry presented forms of right-rule rather than misrule.
Although almost from the beginning of the ceremonial for an entry Parisians had conducted ritual greetings at St. Denis Gate, decorations and dramatic play at that place only began in 1389. It is no chance occurrence that the Parisians started occasional civic pageantry there at the time when assemblies of estates ceased to be held in conjunction with Parisian entries. The pageants assumed the voice of estates and spoke clearly to the king through their personified representatives (see tab. 6.6). Personifications of the estates appeared in 1431, perhaps in 1437, in 1461, 1483, 1491, as late as 1549. Similarly, the debut of the Parlement of Paris in the entry can be paralleled with the pageant artistry that personified and represented the role of justice in the kingdom. These representations made efforts to reach an increasing remote king in the serious play of entry artistry. The age of organized civic street pageantry developed as kings tended to free themselves from the juridical restraints imposed by institutions, rituals, and customs.
The gesture of actual corporations and officials in the extramural ceremonies found counterparts in the pageantry before the gate and elsewhere. The dominant image of the king at the Port St. Denis was that of the ruler as child. There may be some influence of the popular imagery of great lords kneeling before the Christ Child in these tableaux vivants of submission to the king. More pointedly, the representation of the king as child with his subjects as adult personifications made the statement that the new ruler depended on good counsel and trusted supporters when he took over "France," "the Lily," "Paris," or the "ship of state." Such didactic programs again balanced the necessary act of submission with instruction. All along the ceremonial route, the playful guise of the street pageantry explicitly expressed the meaning of the graver rituals of the entry ceremony; one can gain a sense of the scale and subjects of these dramas from the list in table 6.4. The new patronage and censorship of Renaissance princes ended the artistic playfulness and political inventiveness of their medieval Parisian subjects. Parisian communal control of pageantry space and direct representation
(table continued on next page)
(table continued from previous page)
of political thought vanished before the allegory-filled, but peopleless, arches of wood and plaster favored by new aesthetic values and a new political agenda.
The medieval pageantry stations dramatized political commonplaces such as those expressed in the famous sermon of Jean Gerson on the image of true kingship. In a well-run civic government, he preached, the royal council would maintain Prudence, the nobility would provide Force, the judiciary would ensure Justice, and the people would act with Temperance. As head and symbol of the whole body, "le Roy doibt estre assis au throne non point quelconque, mais de iustice et de equité ." In art and reality the king should be shown to make clear that "il n'est pas personne singuliere mais est une puissance publique ordonnee pour le salut de tout le commun ." Gerson cautioned against the dangers of flatterers who tell kings that others are beasts to do their bidding, and he warned against portraying the king in any other costume than that of justice and particularly against dressing him as a warrior. Gerson noted that he preached with "grand franchise et liberté " because he represented the University of Paris; as he rhetorically asked, "l'Université ne represente elle pas tout le Royaume de France, voire tout le monde, en tant que de toutes parts viennent ou peuvent venir supposts pour acquerir doctrine et sapience ?"
In the entry ceremony, other Parisians and members of the body politic found an occasion to act, or at least to play, at being a royal counsel. The specific guise of these counselors varied—including the cerf volant of the Parlement of Paris, Fama as the genius of the city, or the Three Estates—but the message was consistent: the good king ruled to preserve his subjects and he consulted them; the ideal king did not embody but rather brought to his person those whose offices completed his personality as king; the virtues necessary for preserving the common good were in a balance of power such as that visualized in the entry ceremony. The art and ritual of the entry activities clearly attest to both a public consciousness and an arrangement of institutions that emphasized reciprocity and consensus. In consideration of these expressions of their sense of right government, there can be no basis for considering the French Middle Ages weak in constitutional habits of mind and particularly fertile ground for the growth of absolutism. Contrary to arguments such as those put forth by Professor Bryce Lyon that "there was in France no balance of power, all power resided in the king," balance of power was everywhere evident. The historian's problem is to recognize how it was expressed and by whom.
The Entry Ceremony and Medieval Constitutionalism
The image of composite and corporate kingship reveals both the source for the metaphors and models that shaped the medieval entry into a full-scale ceremonial and the key to the symbolism of such rituals as the parlementaire
processional and the chancellor's increased importance in the ceremonies. While the groups associated with the cathedral and the Hotel-de-ville marched to assure local liberties, the Parlement de Paris sought to show the continuity of the principal institution for preserving justice. The chancellor and the royal seal in the ceremony acknowledged the legal character of the reciprocal rites between king and corporations and the delicate balance of submission of subjects and recognition of privileges and liberties. Both the chancellor and the Parlement of Paris used this symbolism to remind the king and the kingdom of the great divide between the mortal, error-prone body of the king and his immortal, always just body. Each particular corporation in the entry ceremony deferred to the universal obligation all had to the virtue of justice.
Paolo Emili has the earliest printed account of a king being lectured to in Paris after his return from Reims. He wrote that the eminent political thinker Gilles de Rome told his former student, Philip IV, about the ability that justice had to impart immortal qualities. Whether or not this speech in the name of the University was part of an entry activity can not be established and is not important. It did become part of entry lore after the entry became a Parisian ceremony. Gilles des Rome praised justice commenting "ut omnia semel complectar—religionis, moderationis, fortitudinis, prudentiae, liberalitatis, justitia parens est; nec diuelli ab Rege potest, incolumi Regio nomine ." The immortality of Philip's name depended on his service to justice, and he urged the new king always to keep this "queen of virtues" in his counsel, to plant its image in his soul, to fashion himself according to it, and to act as it inspired him. Although this speech referred to abstract justice, its myth became such that three hundred years later François Belleforest could comment that the speech had prompted Philip IV "d'establir celle souveraine et Auguste cour de Parlement de Paris ." At the least, the notion was in the spirit of the later symbolism of the Parlement of Paris in the entry ceremony.
The king gave his explicit assent to the ideal of juridical kingship in the entry ritual when, as a rhymed account reported, after the customary promise to the clergy, Charles VIII
Aprés jura qu'il soustiendroit
Les Nobles et les laboureurs
Et les marchans, en son endroit
Chascun, sans quelconques faveurs.
Et non plus aux grands qu'aux mineurs,
Il ne feroit tort n'injustice;
Mais en tous leurs droits souteneurs
Commettroit, pour tenir police.
The jocundus adventus promise, a fourteenth-century Parisian innovation for receptions of new kings, became in the fifteenth century a stage for cere-
monial innovation and constitutional statement. As early as 1437 it was popularly believed that the promise pertained to more than the clergy and that the king swore "qu'il tendroit loyalment et bonnement tout ce que bon roy faire devoit ." The promise became something like a Parisian equivalent to that of the coronation: to preserve the kingdom and its people in their rights, to render justice to all, and to protect the church and clergy. In Paris, the king even came specifically to confirm each order in its privileges.
The creation of tradition was continued in 1498 when Louis XII promised
qu'il entretiendroit les nobles, aussi les laboreurs, ensemble les marchans en leurs bonnes loix et coustumes anciennes, et qu'il feroit justice au petit comme au grant au garderoit son peuples des ennemys et adversaires.
The promise to the estates was on its way to becoming a prescriptive part of the entry activities. The informal-customary definitions of an entry ceremony had acquired a formal-juridical focus.
From the late fifteenth century the Parlement of Paris had experimented with a veriety of rituals to show abstract justice bound to a particular place and institution. To the degree that it succeeded in separating justice from the person of the king and associating it with a representative body, the Parlement of Paris made itself more directly subject to the will of the king by mediating for other legal bodies in the name of justice. At the same time, the Parlement made other groups more dependant on its patronage and favor to have their legal voice and petitions heard. This turn of events is exactly what happened to the ordinance of the medieval entry ceremony. The entry promise by the king became a matter for litigation, and sixteenth-century lawyers could even dismiss such promises when made "du temps des guerres du novel advenement à la coronne ." The strong appearance of reciprocity acted out in the rituals of the entry acquired definitions in the chambers of justice and within the contexts of kingly majesty. However, some French writers of the sixteenth century kept alive the constitutional image of the entry, particularly provincial ones, where the king bound himself directly to his promise rather than through the intermediary of justice and the Parlement. They took the fading side of the medieval entry tradition that corresponded more to the confirmations made by the new duke in the joyeuse entrée of Brabant. Even at Paris the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century entry ceremony continued the traditional request for preservation of liberties, but its legal importance and focus were lost in the flattering orations on royal magnificence of which the request formed a small part. The medieval ceremonial had evolved as a mise en scène for the union of the body politic; later times transformed the staging and costuming. The setting came to take the form of architectural monuments suitable for the royal majesty. Although rather than in juridical robes
the king appeared as conqueror in armor or later as grand seigneur in rich fashions of the day, all others in the state ceremony continued to march in robes of office.
The entry ceremony as elaboration of the royal cult called attention to the divinity of the king that through allegory was always part of the atmosphere of royal ceremonies. George Chastellain well illustrates this potential in the medieval entry that was only realized in its fullness in the seventeenth century. In an allégorie mystique he paralleled the entry of the new king Louis XI into Paris with the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. The other participants in the entry were given guises appropriate to the analogy: the princes and lords who held "cure et commission sur la chose publique " were compared to the shepherds who hastened to Bethlehem "voir ce que Dieu a fait et manifesté à leurs yeux; certes un roy nouvellement couronné, un roy produit du mot et volenté de Dieu ." Notions of the divine origins of monarchy and of God's design abound in the allegory; the French peers were even labeled the new people of God and the French king "l'enoint et le souverain christ en terre ." Like the Christ Child, the new king promised peace, social good will, and irrevocably bound all society into a harmonious whole. In the long view this rhetorical image triumphed over the juridical traditions in interpretations of the entry ceremony. Several centuries later the image of the entry was of David and Jerusalem—of Christ and paradise. Along with the demigod Hercules and the god Apollo, these images appear to be part of a revival of late antique and early medieval imagery for adventus ceremonies. The focus on peace and justice continued, but not the focus on distinct personalities, legal or otherwise. The ceremony in the ancien régime represented a transcendent moment and an expression of a universal truth rather than the reciprocal rites between a particular king and city. The medieval theme was of the body politic, the absolute one was concord in the state. The celebration turned to defining the king's "messianic-eschatalogical" mission, not the particulars of his government. In this way, the medieval Parisian entries came to appear only as submission to a divine plan and its manifested agent. The "joyeuse entrée " in France ceased to be performed and one only spoke of the "entrée royale ."