Absolutism in Early Modern Europe

The theory and practice of absolute monarchy in Early Modern Europe provides a wide array of examples, some successful and others less so, on how to run the emerging state. This seminar will explore some of the theories behind absolutism and the notion of the "king’s two bodies" before turning to the development of absolutism in practice. While examples will be drawn from Europe as a whole, special attention will be given to France and King Louis XIV’s version of absolute monarchy, his use of images and ritual to express his position, and the role played by the palace of Versailles.