Constructing the Nobility: the Noble Estate in the Works of French Erudites
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Constructing the Nobility: the Noble Estate in the Works of French Erudites
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Ekaterina Terentieva 
Affiliation: Bonch-Bruevich Saint Petersburg State University of Telecommunications
Address: Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

The article outlines the specific of views of French erudites on the noble estate in early modern France, focusing on the image of nobility in erudite writings. The erudite intellectual current inextricably intertwined with major political, social and cultural processes in France of the Ancien Régime, till the end of the seventeenth century staying in the area of highly topical subjects, though seen through the prism of specific erudite themes and with the use of erudite methods. In the epoch when the humanities were little segmented a knowledge area such approach was quite natural and turned out to be fruitful. The position of the second estate in the French society and even the definition of the sense of nobility itself were the questions that France faced in the early modern epoch and especially after the Wars of Religion. The late sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries brought many novelties both into the social composition of nobility and its mode of existence. Both changes were reflected in and at the same time constructed by the intellectuals we can pleno jure rate among early modern erudites. A large amount of literature of various genres and consecrated to different aspects of nobility emerged in that period. Two of such works may be concerned significant, having almost similar titles and being published with a centennial interval, the first in 1577, and the second in 1678. These are the treatises of the nobility by François de l’Alouette and Gilles André de la Rocque de la Lontière, briefly analyzed and contextualized in the present paper. The phenomenon of the researches of nobility, the genre of genealogy and genealogic history, the professions of genealogists, feodists and historiographers, the European tradition of memoria etc. are also involved into the analysis.

historical writing, France, erudites, genealogy, sixteenth century, seventeenth century, François de l’Alouette, Gilles André de la Rocque
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