thread: 2011-07-11 : Hooray for Religion

On 2011-09-04, Dennis K wrote:

Okay, so France in 1300:  I'm absolutely godawful with European history, but let's try to make a go of it.

So you've got the Holy Roman Empire, right? That's where the Pope of the day usually chills, out in the Vatican.  There's a serious bit of overlap between church and state- the Holy in Holy Roman Empire isn't there for shits and giggles, after all.  There's been a couple of bitchin' Crusades, lots of power and prestige for the Popes- the leaders of the nations were basically just 'marshals for the Pope's army', or so says Wikipedia.

But that was like a hundred years ago.  Meanwhile in France, some bishops get into a tiff over the borders of their diocese or something so the King sends one of em to jail.  The Pope is all "This is a church matter, don't bring your petty sovereignty into this" and King Philippe of France was all "We ain't nobody's bitch, son" and straight up capped the Pope's ass.  For reals, yo.  For extra bonus points, there's enough French priests in the papal conclave that the next pope is French, and guess what?  He decides to stay in Avignon, France, and just declare that the new Vatican.

Where does this put the average Jacques?  Well, for starters the pope is now right in your fucking backyard giving the holy middle finger to the Holy Roman Empire.  The new French pope is French like you, and he's setting up his papal court based on France's royal court. You know, the same fuckers who think that their divinely ordained royal blood makes them immune to English longbowmen in about a hundred years.  But that hasn't happened yet, so the French nobility are basically the be-all and end-all of French life- what they say goes because old God Himself personally gave them the big thumbs up.  Who are you going to complain to, the Pope who the fucking French installed after they busted a cap in the old Pope?  When they pass around the collection plate and you don't even own the land you farm on, do you really have the balls to keep your hands in your own pockets and think nobody's going to notice?  Or do you pay lip service to the new alliance between the French court and the head of the most powerful religious authority in the known world?

You could try and be smart and observant and curious and shit, but only the rich and the clergy get to go to university, and once you're in there you're getting the official line right down the throat because they're glorified seminaries until the 1400s and you *know* how the Church gets about heresy and dissenters.  You could try and science your way out of it, but the scientific method doesn't come around for another couple hundred years *at least*.  I mean shit, doctors haven't even figured out to wash their hands between patients yet (that's another fifty years or so).

...Yeah, this stuff eventually led to the French Revolution, where the average Jacques got fucking tired of being poor and starving while the royals yukked it up in Versailles.  The Popes also got so spoiled in France that they did a nice lovely downward slide till the Protestant Reformation, and we all know how that works out.

Life wasn't any less complex back then, you just didn't really have the option of publicly denying the official party line.  Written disagreements are, as cc says, recorded as reforms when accepted and heresies when not so accepted, but Heavy Social Pressures are all up ins.


This makes...
short response
optional explanation (be brief!):

if you're human, not a spambot, type "human":