The Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Roman Catholic mendicant religious order founded in the 12th century, on Mount Carmel in the Crusader States, hence the name Carmelites. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain. Berthold of Calabria has traditionally been associated with the founding of the order, but few clear records of early Carmelite history have survived; the charism of the Carmelite Order is contemplation. Carmelites understand contemplation in a broad sense encompassing prayer and service; these three elements are at the heart of the Carmelite charism. The most recent statement about the charism of Carmel was in the 1995 Constitutions of the Order, in which Chapter 2 is devoted to the idea of charism. Carmel understands action to be complementary, not contradictory. What is distinctive of Carmelites is the way that they practice the elements of prayer and service, taking particular inspiration from the prophet Elijah and the Blessed Virgin Mary, patrons of the order.
The order is considered by the Catholic Church to be under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, thus has a strong Marian devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. As in most of the orders dating to medieval times, the First Order is the friars, the Second Order is the nuns, the Third Order consists of laypeople who continue to live in the world, can be married, but participate in the charism of the order by liturgical prayers and contemplative prayer. There are offshoots such as active Carmelite sisters. Carmelite tradition traces the origin of the order to a community of hermits on Mount Carmel, which succeeded the schools of the prophets in ancient Israel or the Crusader states. There are no certain records of hermits on this mountain before the 1190s. By this date a group of men had gathered at the well of Elijah on Mount Carmel; these men, who had gone to Palestine from Europe either as pilgrims or as crusaders, chose Mount Carmel in part because it was the traditional home of Elijah.
The foundation is believed to have been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Some time between 1206 and 1214 the hermits, about whom little is known, approached Albert of Jerusalem, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and papal legate, for a rule. Albert created a document, the Rule of St Albert, both juridically terse and replete with Scriptural allusions, thereby grounding the hermits in the life of the universal Church and their own aspirations; the rule consisted of sixteen articles, which enjoined strict obedience to their prior, residence in individual cells, constancy in prayer, the hearing of Mass every morning in the oratory of the community, vows of poverty and toil, daily silence from vespers until terce the next morning, abstinence from all forms of meat except in cases of severe illness, fasting from Holy Cross Day until the Easter of the following year. The Rule of St. Albert addresses a prior whose name is only listed as "B." When required to name their founders, the Brothers referred to both Elijah and the Blessed Virgin as early models of the community.
Under pressure from other European mendicant orders to be more specific, the name "Saint Berthold" was given drawn from the oral tradition of the order. Nothing is known of the Carmelites from 1214, when Albert died, until 1238; the Rule of St. Albert was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226, again by Pope Gregory IX in 1229, with a modification regarding ownership of property and permission to celebrate divine services; the Carmelites next appear in the historical record, in 1238, when with the increasing cleavage between the West and the East, the Carmelites found it advisable to leave the Near East. Many moved to Sicily. In 1242, the Carmelites migrated west, establishing a settlement at Aylesford, Kent and Hulne, near Alnwick in Northumberland. Two years they established a chapter in southern France. Settlements were established at Losenham and Bradmer, on the north Norfolk coast, before 1247. By 1245 the Carmelites were so numerous in England that they were able to hold their first general chapter at Aylesford, where Simon Stock eighty years old, was chosen general.
During his rule of twenty years the order prospered: foundations were made at London and Cambridge, Cologne, Monpellier, Norwich and Bristol, elsewhere. By 1274, there were 22 Carmelite houses in England, about the same number in France, eleven in Catalonia, three in Scotland, as well as some in Italy and elsewhere. Acknowledging the changed circumstances of life outside the Holy Land, the Carmelites appealed to the papal curia for a modification of the Rule. Pope Innocent IV entrusted the drafting of a modified Rule to two Dominicans, the new Rule was promulgate
Theology is the critical study of the nature of the divine. It is taught as an academic discipline in universities and seminaries. Theology is the study of deities or their scriptures in order to discover what they have revealed about themselves, it occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supernatural, but especially with epistemology, asks and seeks to answer the question of revelation. Revelation pertains to the acceptance of God, gods, or deities, as not only transcendent or above the natural world, but willing and able to interact with the natural world and, in particular, to reveal themselves to humankind. While theology has turned into a secular field, religious adherents still consider theology to be a discipline that helps them live and understand concepts such as life and love and that helps them lead lives of obedience to the deities they follow or worship. Theology is derived from the Greek theologia, which derived from Τheos, meaning "God", -logia, meaning "utterances, sayings, or oracles" which had passed into Latin as theologia and into French as théologie.
The English equivalent "theology" had evolved by 1362. The sense the word has in English depends in large part on the sense the Latin and Greek equivalents had acquired in patristic and medieval Christian usage, although the English term has now spread beyond Christian contexts. Augustine of Hippo defined the Latin equivalent, theologia, as "reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity"; the term can, however, be used for a variety of fields of study. Theology begins with the assumption that the divine exists in some form, such as in physical, mental, or social realities, that evidence for and about it may be found via personal spiritual experiences or historical records of such experiences as documented by others; the study of these assumptions is not part of theology proper but is found in the philosophy of religion, through the psychology of religion and neurotheology. Theology aims to structure and understand these experiences and concepts, to use them to derive normative prescriptions for how to live our lives.
Theologians use various forms of analysis and argument to help understand, test, defend or promote any myriad of religious topics. As in philosophy of ethics and case law, arguments assume the existence of resolved questions, develop by making analogies from them to draw new inferences in new situations; the study of theology may help a theologian more understand their own religious tradition, another religious tradition, or it may enable them to explore the nature of divinity without reference to any specific tradition. Theology may be used to propagate, reform, or justify a religious tradition or it may be used to compare, challenge, or oppose a religious tradition or world-view. Theology might help a theologian address some present situation or need through a religious tradition, or to explore possible ways of interpreting the world. Greek theologia was used with the meaning "discourse on god" in the fourth century BC by Plato in The Republic, Book ii, Ch. 18. Aristotle divided theoretical philosophy into mathematike and theologike, with the last corresponding to metaphysics, for Aristotle, included discourse on the nature of the divine.
Drawing on Greek Stoic sources, the Latin writer Varro distinguished three forms of such discourse: mythical and civil. Theologos related to theologia, appears once in some biblical manuscripts, in the heading to the Book of Revelation: apokalypsis ioannoy toy theologoy, "the revelation of John the theologos". There, the word refers not to John the "theologian" in the modern English sense of the word but—using a different sense of the root logos, meaning not "rational discourse" but "word" or "message"—one who speaks the words of God, logoi toy theoy; some Latin Christian authors, such as Tertullian and Augustine, followed Varro's threefold usage, though Augustine used the term more to mean'reasoning or discussion concerning the deity'In patristic Greek Christian sources, theologia could refer narrowly to devout and inspired knowledge of, teaching about, the essential nature of God. The Latin author Boethius, writing in the early 6th century, used theologia to denote a subdivision of philosophy as a subject of academic study, dealing with the motionless, incorporeal reality.
Boethius' definition influenced medieval Latin usage. In scholastic Latin sources, the term came to denote the rational study of the doctrines of the Christian religion, or the academic discipline which investigated the coherence and implications of the language and claims of the Bible and of the theological tradition. In the Renaissance with Florentine Platonist apologists of Dante's poetics, the distinction between "poetic theology" and "revealed" or Biblical theology serves as steppingstone for a revival of philosophy as independent of theological authority, it is in this last sense, theology as an academic discipline involving rational study of Christian teaching
Anointing of the sick
Anointing of the sick, known by other names, is a form of religious anointing or "unction" for the benefit of a sick person. It is practiced by denominations. Anointing of the sick was a customary practice in many civilizations, including among the ancient Greeks and early Jewish communities; the use of oil for healing purposes is referred to in the writings of Hippocrates. Anointing of the sick should be distinguished from other religious anointings that occur in relation to other sacraments, in particular baptism and ordination, in the coronation of a monarch. Since 1972, the Roman Catholic Church uses the name "Anointing of the Sick" both in the English translations issued by the Holy See of its official documents in Latin and in the English official documents of Episcopal conferences, it does not, of course, forbid the use of other names, for example the more archaic term "Unction of the Sick" or the term "Extreme Unction". Cardinal Walter Kasper used the latter term in his intervention at the 2005 Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
However, the Church declared that "'Extreme unction'... may and more fittingly be called'anointing of the sick'", has itself adopted the latter term, while not outlawing the former. This is to emphasize that the sacrament is available, recommended, to all those suffering from any serious illness, to dispel the common misconception that it is for those at or near the point of death. Extreme Unction was the usual name for the sacrament in the West from the late twelfth century until 1972, was thus used at the Council of Trent and in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia. Peter Lombard is the first writer known to have used the term, which did not become the usual name in the West till towards the end of the twelfth century, never became current in the East; the word "extreme" indicated either that it was the last of the sacramental unctions or because at that time it was administered only when a patient was in extremis. Other names used in the West include the unction or blessing of consecrated oil, the unction of God, the office of the unction.
Among some Protestant bodies, who do not consider it a sacrament, but instead as a practice suggested rather than commanded by Scripture, it is called anointing with oil. In the Greek Church the sacrament is called Euchelaion. Other names are used, such as ἅγιον ἔλαιον, ἡγιασμένον ἔλαιον, χρῖσις or χρῖσμα; the Community of Christ uses the term administration to the sick. The term "last rites" refers to administration to a dying person not only of this sacrament but of Penance and Holy Communion, the last of which, when administered in such circumstances, is known as "Viaticum", a word whose original meaning in Latin was "provision for the journey"; the normal order of administration is: first Penance. The chief biblical text concerning the rite is James 5:14–15: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. Matthew 10:8, Luke 10:8–9 and Mark 6:13 are quoted in this context; the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Coptic and Old Catholic Churches consider this anointing to be a sacrament.
Other Christians too, in particular Anglicans and some Protestant and other Christian communities use a rite of anointing the sick, without classifying it as a sacrament. In the Churches mentioned here by name, the oil used is blessed for this purpose. An extensive account of the teaching of the Catholic Church on Anointing of the Sick is given in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1499–1532. Anointing of the Sick is one of the seven Sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church, is associated with not only bodily healing but forgiveness of sins. Only ordained priests can administer it, "any priest may carry the holy oil with him, so that in a case of necessity he can administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick." The Catholic Church sees the effects of the sacrament. As the sacrament of Marriage gives grace for the married state, the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick gives grace for the state into which people enter through sickness. Through the sacrament a gift of the Holy Spirit is given, that renews confidence and faith in God and strengthens against temptations to discouragement and anguish at the thought of death and the struggle of death.
The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church. The duly blessed oil used in the sacrament is, as laid down in the Apostolic Constitution Sacram unctionem infirmorum, pressed from olives or from other plants, it is blessed by the bishop of the
According to apocryphal Christian and Islamic tradition, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels nor in the Qur'an. In writing, Anne's name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Gospel of James seems to be the earliest that mentions them; the story bears a similarity to that of the birth of Samuel, whose mother Hannah had been childless. Although Anne receives little attention in the Latin Church prior to the late 12th century, dedications to Anne in Eastern Christianity occur as early as the 6th century. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, she is revered as Hannah. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Hannah is ascribed the title Forebear of God, both the Nativity of Mary and the Presentation of Mary are celebrated as two of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church; the Dormition of Hannah is a minor feast in Eastern Christianity. In Lutheran Protestantism, it is held that Martin Luther chose to enter religious life as an Augustinian friar after crying out to St. Anne while endangered by lightning.
Anne is revered in Islam, recognized as a spiritual woman and as the mother of Mary. She is not named in the Quran; the Qur'an describes her remaining childless until her old age. One day, Hannah saw a bird feeding its young while sitting in the shade of a tree, which awakened her desire to have children of her own, she prayed for a child and conceived. Expecting the child to be male, Hannah vowed to dedicate him to isolation and service in the Second Temple. However, Hannah bore a daughter instead, named her Mary, her words upon delivering Mary reflect her status as a great mystic, realising that while she had wanted a son, this daughter was God's gift to her:Then, when she brought forth she said: My Lord! I brought her forth, a female, and God is greater in knowledge of. And the male is not like the female. So her Lord received her with the best acceptance, and her bringing forth caused the best to develop in her. Although the canonical books of the New Testament never mention the mother of the Virgin Mary, traditions about her family, childhood and eventual betrothal to Joseph developed early in the history of the church.
The oldest and most influential source for these is the apocryphal Gospel of James, first written in Koine Greek around the middle of the second century AD. In the West, the Gospel of James fell under a cloud in the fourth and fifth centuries when it was accused of "absurdities" by Jerome and condemned as untrustworthy by Pope Damasus I, Pope Innocent I, Pope Gelasius I. Ancient belief, attested to by a sermon of John of Damascus, was. In the Late Middle Ages, legend held that Anne was married three times first to Joachim to Clopas and to a man named Solomas and that each marriage produced one daughter: Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary of Clopas, Mary Salome, respectively; the sister of Saint Anne was mother of Elizabeth. In the 4th century and much in the 15th century, a belief arose that Mary was born of Anne by virgin birth, preserving Anne's body and soul intact as distinct from the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception that preserved her daughter's body and soul intact and sinless from the first moment of existence.
Adherents included the 16th-century Lutheran mystic Valentin Weigel, who claimed Anne conceived Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit rather than conventional conjugal relations. This belief was condemned as an error by the Catholic Church in 1677. In the fifteenth century, the Catholic cleric Johann Eck related in a sermon that St Anne's parents were named Stollanus and Emerentia; the Catholic Encyclopedia regards this genealogy as spurious. In the Eastern church, the cult of Anne herself may go back as far as c. 550, when Justinian built a church in Constantinople in her honor. The earliest pictorial sign of her veneration in the West is an 8th-century fresco in the church of Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome. Virginia Nixon sees an economic incentive in the local promotion of the cult of St. Anne in order to attract pilgrims; the identification of Sepphoris as the birthplace of Mary may reflect competition with a similar site in Jerusalem. A shrine at Douai, in northern France, was one of the early centers of devotion to St. Anne in the West.
Two well-known shrines to St. Anne are that of Ste. Anne d'Auray in Brittany, France. Anne de Beaupré near the city of Québec; the number of visitors to the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Beaupré is greatest on St Anne's Feast Day, 26 July, the Sunday before Nativity of the Virgin Mary, 8 September. In 1892, Pope Leo XIII sent a relic of St Anne to the church. In the Maltese language, the Milky Way galaxy is called It-Triq ta' Sant'Anna "The Way of St. Anne". In Imperial Russia, the Order of St Anne was one of the leading state decorations; the supposed relics of St. Anne were brought from the Holy Land to Constantinople in 710 and were kept there in the church of St. Sophia as late as 1333. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, returning crusaders and pilgrims from the East brought relics of Anne to a number of churches, including most famously those at Apt, in Provence and Chartres. St. Anne's relics have been preserved and venerated in the many cathedrals and monasteries dedicated to her name, for example in Austria, Germany and Greece in Holy Mount and the city of Katerini.
Edward I of England
Edward I known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Before his accession to the throne, he was referred to as The Lord Edward; the first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and joined the fight against Simon de Montfort. Montfort was defeated at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, within two years the rebellion was extinguished. With England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land; the crusade accomplished little, Edward was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died.
Making a slow return, he was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 19 August. He spent much of his reign reforming common law. Through an extensive legal inquiry, Edward investigated the tenure of various feudal liberties, while the law was reformed through a series of statutes regulating criminal and property law. However, Edward's attention was drawn towards military affairs. After suppressing a minor rebellion in Wales in 1276–77, Edward responded to a second rebellion in 1282–83 with a full-scale war of conquest. After a successful campaign, Edward subjected Wales to English rule, built a series of castles and towns in the countryside and settled them with English people. Next, his efforts were directed towards Scotland. Invited to arbitrate a succession dispute, Edward claimed feudal suzerainty over the kingdom; the war that followed continued after Edward's death though the English seemed victorious at several points. Edward I found himself at war with France after the French king Philip IV had confiscated the duchy of Aquitaine, which until had been held in personal union with the Kingdom of England.
Although Edward recovered his duchy, this conflict relieved English military pressure against Scotland. At the same time there were problems at home. In the mid-1290s, extensive military campaigns required high levels of taxation, Edward met with both lay and ecclesiastical opposition; these crises were averted, but issues remained unsettled. When the King died in 1307, he left to his son Edward II an ongoing war with Scotland and many financial and political problems. Edward I was a tall man for his era, hence the nickname "Longshanks", he was temperamental, this, along with his height, made him an intimidating man, he instilled fear in his contemporaries. He held the respect of his subjects for the way he embodied the medieval ideal of kingship, as a soldier, an administrator and a man of faith. Modern historians are divided on their assessment of Edward I: while some have praised him for his contribution to the law and administration, others have criticised him for his uncompromising attitude towards his nobility.
Edward I is credited with many accomplishments during his reign, including restoring royal authority after the reign of Henry III, establishing Parliament as a permanent institution and thereby a functional system for raising taxes, reforming the law through statutes. At the same time, he is often criticised for other actions, such as his brutal conduct towards the Welsh and Scots, issuing the Edict of Expulsion in 1290, by which the Jews were expelled from England; the Edict remained in effect for the rest of the Middle Ages, it was over 350 years until it was formally overturned under Oliver Cromwell in 1657. Edward was born at the Palace of Westminster on the night of 17–18 June 1239, to King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. Edward is an Anglo-Saxon name, was not given among the aristocracy of England after the Norman conquest, but Henry was devoted to the veneration of Edward the Confessor, decided to name his firstborn son after the saint. Among his childhood friends was his cousin Henry of Almain, son of King Henry's brother Richard of Cornwall.
Henry of Almain would remain a close companion of the prince, both through the civil war that followed, during the crusade. Edward was in the care of Hugh Giffard – father of the future Chancellor Godfrey Giffard – until Bartholomew Pecche took over at Giffard's death in 1246. There were concerns about Edward's health as a child, he fell ill in 1246, 1247, 1251. Nonetheless, he became an imposing man; the historian Michael Prestwich states that his "long arms gave him an advantage as a swordsman, long thighs one as a horseman. In youth, his curly hair was blond, his speech, despite a lisp, was said to be persuasive."In 1254, English fears of a Castilian invasion of the English province of Gascony induced Edward's father to arrange a politically expedient marriage between his fifteen-year-old son and thirteen-year-old Eleanor, the half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile. Eleanor and Edward were married on 1 November 1254 in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Castile; as part of the marriage agreement, the young prince received grants of land worth 15,000 marks a year.
Although the endowments King Henry made were sizeable, they offered Edwa
Estates General (France)
In France under the Old Regime, the Estates General or States-General was a legislative and consultative assembly of the different classes of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king, it had no true power in its own right—unlike the English parliament it was not required to approve royal taxation or legislation—instead it functioned as an advisory body to the king by presenting petitions from the various estates and consulting on fiscal policy. The Estates General met intermittently until 1614 and only once afterwards, in 1789, but was not definitively dissolved until after the French Revolution, it is comparable to similar institutions across Europe, such as the States General of the Netherlands, the Parliament of England, the Estates of Parliament of Scotland, the Cortes of Portugal or Spain, the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire or Germanic Empire, the Diets of the "Lands", the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates.
In 1302, expanding French royal power led to a general assembly consisting of the chief lords, both lay and ecclesiastical, the representatives of the principal privileged towns, which were like distinct lordships. Certain precedents paved the way for this institution: representatives of principal towns had several times been convoked by the king, under Philip III there had been assemblies of nobles and ecclesiastics in which the two orders deliberated separately, it was the dispute between Philip the Fair and Pope Boniface VIII which led to the States-General of 1302. The letters summoning the assembly of 1302 are published by M. Georges Picot in his collection of Documents inédits pour servir à l'histoire de France. During the same reign they were subsequently assembled several times to give him aid by granting subsidies. Over time subsidies came to be the most frequent motive for their convocation. In one sense, the composition and powers of the Estates General always remained the same, they always included representatives of the First Estate, Second Estate, Third Estate, monarchs always summoned them either to grant subsidies or to advise the Crown, to give aid and counsel.
Their composition, however, as well as their effective powers, varied at different times. In their primitive form in the 14th and the first half of the 15th centuries, the Estates General had only a limited elective element; the lay lords and the ecclesiastical lords who made up the Estates General were not elected by their peers, but directly chosen and summoned by the king. In the order of the clergy, since certain ecclesiastical bodies, e.g. abbeys and chapters of cathedrals, were summoned to the assembly, as these bodies, being persons in the moral but not in the physical sense, could not appear in person, their representative had to be chosen by the monks of the convent or the canons of the chapter. It was only the representation of the Third Estate, furnished by election; the latter was not called upon as a whole to seek representation in the estates. It was the privileged towns, which were called upon, they were represented by elected procureurs, who were the municipal officials of the town, but deputies were elected for the purpose.
The country districts, were not represented. Within the bonnes villes, the franchise was quite narrow; the effective powers of the Estates General varied over time. In the 14th century they were considerable; the king could not, in theory, levy general taxation. In the provinces attached to the domain of the Crown, he could only levy it where he had retained the haute justice over the inhabitants, but not on the subjects of lords having the haute justice; the privileged towns had the right of taxing themselves. To collect general taxes, the king required consent of the lay and ecclesiastical lords, of the towns; this amounted to needing authorization from the Estates General, which only granted these subsidies temporarily for short periods. As a result, they were summoned and their power over the Crown became considerable. In the second half of the 14th century, certain royal taxes, levied throughout the Crown's domain, tended to become permanent and independent of the vote of the estates; this sprang from one in particular.
For instance, it was in this way that the necessary taxes were raised for twenty years to pay the ransom of King John II of France without a vote of the Estates General, although they met several times during this period. Custom confined this tendency, thus during the second half of the 15th century the chief taxes, the taille and gabelle became permanent for the benefit of the Crown, sometimes by the formal consent of the Estates General, as in 1437 in the case of the aids. The critical periods of the Hundred Years' War favoured the Estates General, though at the price of great sacrifices. Under the reign of King John II they had controlled, from 1355 to 1358, not only the voting, but through their commissaries, the administration of and jurisdiction over the taxes. In the first half of the reign of Charles VII they had been summoned every year and had dutifully
The Jacquerie was a popular revolt by peasants that took place in northern France in the early summer of 1358 during the Hundred Years' War. The revolt was centred in the valley of the Oise north of Paris and was suppressed after a few weeks of violence; this rebellion became known as "the Jacquerie" because the nobles derided peasants as "Jacques" or "Jacques Bonhomme" for their padded surplice, called a "jacque". The aristocratic chronicler Jean Froissart and his source, the chronicle of Jean le Bel, referred to the leader of the revolt as Jacque Bonhomme, though in fact the Jacquerie'great captain' was named Guillaume Cale; the word jacquerie became a synonym of peasant uprisings in general in both French. After the capture of the French king by the English during the Battle of Poitiers in September 1356, power in France devolved fruitlessly among the Estates-General, King Charles II of Navarre and John's son, the Dauphin Charles V; the Estates-General was too divided to provide effective government and the disputes between the two rulers provoked disunity amongst the nobles.
The prestige of the French nobility sank to a new low. The century had begun poorly for the nobles at Courtrai, where they fled the field and left their infantry to be hacked to pieces. To secure their rights, the French privileged classes — the nobility, the merchant elite, the clergy — forced the peasantry to pay ever-increasing taxes and to repair their war-damaged properties under corvée — without compensation; the passage of a law that required the peasants to defend the châteaux that were emblems of their oppression was the immediate cause of the spontaneous uprising. The law was resented as many commoners blamed the nobility for the defeat at Poitiers; the chronicle of Jean de Venette articulates the perceived problems between the nobility and the peasants, yet some historians, such as Samuel K. Cohn, see the Jacquerie revolts as a reaction to a combination of short- and long-term effects dating from as early as the grain crisis and famine of 1315. In addition, bands of English, Gascon and Spanish routiers — unemployed mercenaries and bandits employed by the English during outbreaks of the Hundred Years' War — were left uncontrolled to loot and plunder the lands of northern France at will, with the Estates-General powerless to stop them.
Many peasants questioned why they should work for an upper class that would not meet its feudal obligation to protect them. This combination of problems set the stage for a brief series of bloody rebellions in northern France in 1358; the uprisings began in a village of St. Leu near the Oise river, where a group of peasants met in a cemetery after vespers to discuss their perception that the nobles had abandoned the King at Poitiers. "They shamed and despoiled the realm, it would be a good thing to destroy them all."The account of the rising by the contemporary chronicler Jean le Bel includes a description of horrifying violence. According to him, "peasants killed a knight, put him on a spit, roasted him with his wife and children looking on. After ten or twelve of them raped the lady, they wished to force feed them the roasted flesh of their father and husband and made them die by a miserable death". Examples of violence on this scale by the French peasants are offered throughout the medieval sources, including accounts by Jean de Venette and Jean Froissart, an aristocrat, unsympathetic to the peasants.
Among the chroniclers, the one sympathetic to their plight is Jean de Venette, sometimes known as the continuator of the chronicle of Guillaume de Nangis. The peasants involved in the rebellion seem to have lacked any real organization, instead rising up locally as an unstructured mass. Jean le Bel speculated that governors and tax collectors spread the word of rebellion from village to village to inspire the peasants to rebel against the nobility; when asked as to the cause of their discontent they replied that they were just doing what they had witnessed others doing. Additionally it seems that the rebellion contained some idea that it was possible to rid the world of nobles. Froissart's account portrays the rebels as mindless savages bent on destruction, which they wrought on over 150 noble houses and castles, murdering the families in horrific ways. Outbreaks occurred in Rheims, while Senlis and Montdidier were sacked by the peasant army; the bourgeoisie of Beauvais, Paris and Meaux, sorely pressed by the court party, accepted the Jacquerie, the urban underclass were sympathetic.
A small number of knights and squires provided leadership for some of the peasant bands, although in letters of pardon issued after the suppression of the rising, such individuals claimed that they were forced to do so. The Jacquerie must be seen in the context of this period of internal instability. At a time of personal government, the absence of a charismatic king was detrimental to the still-feudal state; the Dauphin had to contend with roaming free companies of out-of-work mercenaries, the plotting of Charles the Bad, the possibility of another English invasion. The Dauphin gained effective control of the realm only after the supposed surrender of the city of Paris under the high bourgeois Étienne Marcel, prevôt des marchands in July 1358. Marcel had joined Cale's rebellion somewhat inadvisedly, when his wealthy supporters deserted his cause, it cost him the city and his life, in September, it is notable that churches were not the targets of peasant fury, except in certain regions. The revolt was suppressed