The Monarchy and its Image
The Court was the mirror or stage of the monarchy. As such it was the creation of François I and Henri II, and as such it survived down to the Revolution. Of course, the origins of the Court lie far back in history, with the origins of power itself. Every chief, however uncouth, had his entourage of comrades and priests. But under François I and Henri II the Court was formally organised. This development was common to the other monarchies heading for authoritarian rule, such as England and above all Spain, but the model came from Italy, where, in the princely cities of Florence, Urbino and Modena, those complex institutions, with their combination of social, political, cultural and symbolic roles, had first come into existence. From this time on women took a full part in daily life at the hub of politics, making the medieval assembly of barons a thing of the past.
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