Tears of blood: War and Grief at the End of the 15th and the Beginning of the 16th Centuries

  • Benjamin Deruelle Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
  • Laurent Vissière Université de Paris-Sorbonne, France

Abstract

Contrary to what traditional historiography asserts, the expression of emotions was not absent from the narrative and literary sources that provide information on the condition of men of war at the turning point of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. While the art of war underwent unexpected metamorphoses, tears manifested mourning and sadness, but also compassion, joy or anger. They demonstrated the changing sensitivity to death, to the necessary commemoration of officers of high birth, as well as to the more humble laments linked to the disappearance of a parent, a comrade-in-arms, or even a beloved animal. A symptom of a real emotional wounds, grief also sometimes lead to murderous fury and revenge. Tears then come along with emotions considered as an objective parameter of war.

Author Biography

Laurent Vissière, Université de Paris-Sorbonne, France

Contrary to what traditional historiography asserts, the expression of emotions was not absent from the narrative and literary sources that provide information on the condition of men of war at the turning point of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. While the art of war underwent unexpected metamorphoses, tears manifested mourning and sadness, but also compassion, joy or anger. They demonstrated the changing sensitivity to death, to the necessary commemoration of officers of high birth, as well as to the more humble laments linked to the disappearance of a parent, a comrade-in-arms, or even a beloved animal. A symptom of a real emotional wounds, grief also sometimes lead to murderous fury and revenge. Tears then come along with emotions considered as an objective parameter of war.

Published
2020-07-15