Aulica Coll. No 7 - Les funérailles princières en Europe, XVIe-XVIIIe siècle, vol. 3

Publication resulting from the research programme “Dynasties, Nations, Europe, Princes’ Funerals and the Collective Memory from 16th to 18th century” led by the Research Centre.

Les funérailles princières en Europe, XVIe-XVIIIe siècle : apothéoses monumentales (publication following the international symposium held on 26, 27 and 28 November 2009 in Versailles and Saint-Denis), directed by Juliusz A. Chrościcki, Mark Hengerer and Gérard Sabatier, joint publication Centre de recherche du château de Versailles / Presses universitaires de Rennes (“Histoire” collection, “Aulica. L’Univers de la cour” series), June 2015, 17 × 24 cm, 440 pages, 39 black & white illustrations, 8 colour plates, index, €22 (ISBN: 978-2-7535-4075-0).


Far from remaining a unique, localised event, accounts of princes’ funerals in the modern age were widely disseminated through ambassadors’ reports, hagiographic publications, administrative documents, as well as through press articles and the sale of engravings. The custom of mourning a sovereign within their kingdom came from the wish to feel “as one”. Varying widely from one country to another, this practice was indicative of the state of a society and of the relationship between a prince and his subjects. In France and in England, mourning was institutionalised and made commonplace. In the Germanic Empire and in Russia, it took various forms depending on the status of the States and sovereigns, or on the level of integration of social groups into the body politic. In the Iberian Empires, any notion of an event was erased by the great distances, and replaced with a belief in an immutable destiny. Funeral ceremonies, repeated everywhere on the same model, are both a rite of political integration and a device to restore sacrality. Mourning foreign princes became a new practice adopted by European powers, who exploited it and developed real memorial strategies: for reinforcing political alliances (Florence and the first Medici Grand Dukes), for asserting oneself as caput mundi (Papal Rome), or for promoting a Bourbon internationale to counter that of the Habsburgs. This use of funerals for one’s own ends continues in our societies today, ensuring the survival of a practice that could not be confined to the past.

This volume is the last of a trilogy on princely funerals in modern Europe. The first volume, Le grand théâtre de la mort, deals with rituals. The second, Apothéoses monumentales, analyzes the strategies of the tomb and artistic practices.

See the presentation of the other volumes:

Download the cumulative bibliography of the three volumes (in French):


Book reviews

Read Claude Michaud’s review published in the Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine 4/2017 (n°64-4) (subscription or pay-per-view access on (in French).

Read Julien Noblet’ review published in the Bulletin monumental, 2017-3, pp. 282-284 (in French).

J. Noblet (in French)

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