Research

Research seminar ‘Meetings of princes in Europe’

Research seminar ‘Meetings of princes in Europe’ organised by the université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles.

The modern era is often characterised by a sedentary princely lifestyle and state bureaucracy. Although inter-princely relations primarily consisted of relationships between States, they were mediatised by the rise of the epistolary government and by a system of in-residence diplomats. The history of international relationships is therefore focused on ambassadors, their professionalisation and on the colourful world of their associates.
With this in mind, meetings between princes were judged as anecdotal, few and far between and dangerous. At the time of the assertion of absolute sovereignty and the decline of feudal and personal relationships between princes, the latter were encouraged to dwell in the midst of their subjects to avoid the risk of falling into the hands of others. Political literature also encouraged them to conceal their intentions and their secrets and not to expose themselves to decryption by other sovereigns or to comparison with the same. A situation that did not promote the proliferation of high-level discussions which were further complicated by lapses of protocol and religious divisions.
The creation of a database listing meetings between the sovereign princes of Europe, their wives and their children between the 16th and 18th century nevertheless revealed several thousand princely encounters. These were the foundations of the society of princes which was transformed in the modern age as a risk society gave way to a society based on trust, the mechanisms of which need to be understood.
The seminars will present the sources of the meetings, their critique, the proposed codification, the data processing computer programme and the problems and will deliver results.

Team

  • Julien Alerini, certified professor at the université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne (UFR 09, École d’histoire de la Sorbonne / UMR 8066 - IHMC),
  • Mathieu da Vinha, senior research officer at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles,
  • Anne-Madeleine Goulet, performing arts researcher (Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance - CNRS),
  • Stéphane Lamassé, lecturer at the université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne (UFR 09, École d’histoire de la Sorbonne / UMR 8589 - LAMOP),
  • Jean-Marie Le Gall, professor of Modern History at the université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (UFR 09, École d’histoire de la Sorbonne / UMR 8066 - IHMC),
  • Claude Michaud, professor emeritus at the université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne,
  • Isabelle Pluvieux, in charge of the databases at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles,
  • Benjamin Ringot, project manager research at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles.

Programme

Closed to the public, the research seminar will be divided into three working sessions which will be held at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles (1 rue de l’Indépendance américaine, 78000 Versailles):

  • Friday 22 November 2019: Meetings of princes in Europe: sources, critique, database, questionnaire, computer programme, digital distribution
  • Friday 6 March 2020: Meetings of princes in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries
  • Friday 24 April 2020: Meetings of princes in Europe during the Enlightenment.

URL project reference: http://www.ihmc.ens.fr/-rencontres-princieres-europe-16-18-siecle-2019-2020-.html

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