name _________________ uaLe__________ Þer ________ PWŦversallles 8eadlng

At the Court of Versa|||es (vL8ŴSlCP)

when versoi//es wos bui/tţ it wos /orqest royo/ residence in £urope ond it sti// stonds os one of
the most /ovishŦ Members of the kinq´s qovernment were housed hereţ os we// os thousonds
of lrench nob/es ond their entire househo/dsŦ why did Louis insist his nob/es reside in

ln 1660ţ Louls xlv (14
) of lrance declded Lo bulld a palace aL versalllesţ near ÞarlsŦ noL
unLll unLold sums of money had been spenL and Lens of Lhousands of workers had labored
lncessanLly was mosL of Lhe work compleLedŦ 1he enormous palace housed Lhousands of
Llfe aL versallles became a courL ceremonyţ wlLh Louls xlv (14
) aL Lhe cenLer of lL allŦ
1he klng had llLLle prlvacyŦ Cnly when he vlslLed hls wlfeţ moLherţ mlsLressţ or meL wlLh hls
mlnlsLers was he free of Lhe nobles who swarmed abouL Lhe palaceŦ MosL dally ceremonles
were carefully sLagedţ such as Lhose aLLendlng Louls rlslng from bedţ dlnlngţ praylng aLLendlng
massţ and golng Lo bedŦ A mob of nobles compeLed Lo asslsL Lhe klng ln carrylng ouL Lhese
solemn acLlvlLlesŦ lL was consldered a greaL honorţ for exampleţ for a noble Lo be chosen Lo
hand Lhe klng hls shlrL whlle dresslngŦ Why dld Lhe nobles Lake parL ln Lhese ceremonles? Louls
made lL clear LhaL anyone who hoped Lo obLaln an offlceţ LlLleţ or penslon żmoneyŽ from Lhe
klng had Lo parLlclpaLe ln Lhese acLlvlLlesŦ 1hls was Louls' way of conLrolllng Lhelr behavlorŦ
CourL eLlqueLLe became very complexŦ nobles and royal prlnces were expecLed Lo
follow cerLaln rulesŦ Who could slL where aL meals wlLh Lhe klng was carefully regulaLedŦ Cnce
aL dlnnerţ when Lhe wlfe of Lhe mlnlsLer saL closer Lo Lhe klng Lhan dld a duchessţ Louls Lhe xlv
) became so angry LhaL he dld noL eaL for Lhe resL of Lhe evenlngŦ 1hose who pleased Lhe
klng were awarded hlgher LlLles and greaLer respecL (see cbott ot bottom of teoJloq)Ŧ
ually llfe aL versallles lncludlng many forms of enLerLalnmenLŦ Louls and hls nobles
hunLed once a weekŦ Walks Lhrough Lhe versallles gardensţ boaLlng Lrlpsţ playsţ balleLsţ and
concerLs were all sources of pleasureŦ Cne form of enLerLalnmenLŴ gambllngŴ became an
obsesslon aL versalllesŦ Many nobles gambled regularly and losL enormous sums of moneyŦ
Cne prlncess descrlbed Lhe sceneŦ ºPere ln lrance as soon as people geL LogeLher Lhey do
noLhlng buL play cardsŤ Lhey play for frlghLful sumsţ and Lhe players seem berefL of Lhelr sensesŦ
Cne shouLs aL Lhe Lop of hls volceţ anoLher sLrlkes Lhe Lable wlLh hls flsLŦ lL ls horrlble Lo waLch
LhemŦ" Louls dld noL Lhlnk soŦ Pe was pleased by an acLlvlLy LhaL kepL Lhe versallles nobles
busy and ouL of pollLlcsŦ As Lhe wlfe of Lhe head of Lhe chaLeau's mlllLla wroLeţ ºżllfe aL
versallles was #½eosoteŴseekloq ŧ AmlJ o tbese ½eosotesţ we wete ooqbloq ooJ Joocloq oot woy to
tbe ½tecl½lceŧ 1be wotJ ´tevootloo´ wos oevet otteteJŦ noJ ooyooe JoteJ to ose ltţ be wooJ bove beeo
tbooqbt moJŧ´

1) Why dld Louls xlv(14
) lnslsL hls nobles reslde aL versallles? Pow was Lhls llke Lhe
hosLage sysLem of Lhe 1okugawa ShogunaLe?

2) WhaL ls et|quette? ln whaL way was Lhe sysLem of court et|quette anoLher way Louls
conLrolled hls nobles?

3) Why dld Louls llke Lhe gambllng LhaL wenL on aL versallles?

aslc rankť @he onors
of Versa|||es (nobles
and up)
ŴLhe rlghL Lo be presenLed aL courL
ŴMusL nC1 knock on any door (lnsLeadţ uslng Lhe lefL plnkle flngerţ Lhey had Lo genLly
scraLch on Lhe doorţ unLll Lhey were granLed permlsslon Lo enLerŦ As a resulLţ many
courLlers grew LhaL flngernall longer Lhan Lhe oLhers)
Ŵ MusL nC1 slL or use cushlons when kneellng ln presence of klng
Medlum rankť @he
onors of the Court
(hlgh ranklng nobles)
ŴLhe rlghL Lo rlde klngs carrlages and be lnvlLed Lo courL ballsŦ
ŴLhe rlghL Lo greeL lnferlors by placlng lefL fooL forward and bowlng sllghLly
Ŵ MusL nC1 slL or use cushlons when kneellng ln presence of klng
ŴMusL nC1 knock buL scraLch
PlghesL rankť @he
onors of the Lovre
(uukes and up)
ŴrlghL Lo have a Lhrone room wlLh a velveL dals ln your own palaceţ dlsplaylng your own
arms ln Lhe back curLaln
ŴLhe rlghL Lo goldŴleaf your carrlage all over and use a red velveL Lo cover Lhe roof Lo
your carrlage
ŴLhe rlghL Lo enLer wlLh a carrlage pulled by 4 horses Lo Lhe lnnermosL courLyards of
royal palaces
ŴLhe rlghL (for women) Lo slL on a LaboureL (sLool) ln Lhe presence of Lhe klng and 8oyal
ŴLhe rlghL (for Lhe womenţ Lhen slowly also Lhe men) Lo have a square cushlon/hassock
on whlch Lo kneel durlng mass ln Lhe presence of Lhe klngŦ
ŴLhe rlghL Lo greeL lnferlors by placlng lefL fooL forward and bowlng sllghLly
ŴMusL nC1 knock buL scraLch

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