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The Parisian Summit, 1377-78


The Czech king and Roman Emperor Charles IV met with the French king Charles V in Paris in 1378. Reconstructing the journey to this meeting with deft narrative talent, František Šmahel traces the king's progress from Prague to Paris, piecing together a modern chronicle from contemporary French scholarship and medieval literature. The result is an appealing account of medieval life, everyday intellectualism, grand European politics of the time, and even medieval cuisine.
Šmahel sets the stage by presenting details of the life of Charles IV, including his early days in Paris and the political and international goals of his father, John of Bohemia. The author then presents a transcription of richly illustrated French chronicles of the historic meeting and offers an analysis of the importance of the conclave of the two most powerful European rulers of the time. Finally, Šmahel considers, in individual studies, the practical organization of medieval festivities, including their logistics, transportation, culinary details, court manners, relationships, and symbols.
With techniques borrowed from the fields of archaeology and microhistory as well as cultural anthropology and iconography, The Parisian Summit, 1377–78 is a highly readable account of medieval lives and times that will appeal to historians as well as nonacademic audiences.

Author(s): František Šmahel
Publisher: Karolinum
Publication Type: monograph
Language: English
Place: Prague
Year: 2015
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9788024625225
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