Talk:Louis XIV of France

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Strasbourg[edit]

I have lodged the following request with User:Blaue Max:

Kindly stop removing "(German: Strassburg)" from Louis XIV. The city's name is derived from German (Strasse = road/street, Burg = fort/castle), and the French spelling is a later adaptation of the German name.

It may interest you to know that according to the British historian Geoffrey Barraclough, "the unprovoked French occupation of Strassburg in 1681 aroused — for almost the last time in the history of the old empire — a wave of resentment and [German] national feeling." (Barraclough, Geoffrey: The Origins of Modern Germany, Capricorn Books edition, 1963, p. 386.) Please note that Barraclough refers to the city, c. 1681, by its German name.

Thank you. Sca (talk) 16:39, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Further, I note that "(German: Strassburg") has once again been removed from the article text. I don't think this should be done unless agreement is reached that it should be removed. The German origin and medieval history of Alsace and its primary city are known and accepted everywhere. In 1681, the city was known to its inhabitants as Strassburg (or Straßburg).
Sca (talk) 17:02, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
The etymology of Strasbourg doesn't have to be pointed out in this article about Louis XIV, it is just out of the topic as Strasbourg is the most commonly used term in both English and French. For notes about Strasbourg's etymology see the specific article: Strasbourg. Blaue Max (talk) 07:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Au contraire. I realize that Strasbourg today is a francophone city and is known in English by the French name. However, casual readers may not know its history and assume from the French spelling that such always has been the case. In this instance, the aggressive character of Louis XIV's policy may be illustrated by the fact that up until that up until roughly the Peace of Westphalia the city was known by its German name, and until 1681 was indeed considered "German" (to the extent that the German nation can be said to have retained a legal status in the loose-knit Empire). This says something about the despotic reign of Louis XIV.
But I agree that the etymology of Strasbourg doesn't need to be spelled out here, and I have not suggested that it should. My contention is merely that the older German form of the name be included in parentheses; readers who are interested in knowing more can indeed consult Strasbourg. Sca (talk) 16:46, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
You have sufficiently emphasized the aggressive policy of Louis XIV and the Germanic origin of Strasbourg in previous edits[1]. "Strassburg" adds no information and it's burdening the text for nothing. Furthermore, it is misleading to add the standard German name of Strassburg, as Strasbourg was locally known as Strossburi and in Latin, the "official" language of the Holy Roman Empire, Strasbourg was known as Argentoratum [2]. Favouring Strassburg, instead of its other names, would be non-neutral, and adding the three names would be absurd. By the way, the German identity of the Holy Roman Empire is very blurry and such concept should be used with care as it was considered as the successor State of the Roman Empire, not as the precursor of Germany. Qualifying the Holy Empire as "German" is also anachronistic for Louis XIV's era. Blaue Max (talk) 19:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I've noted parenthetically above the dubious 'national' status of the Empire as it was after Westphalia — divided into 234 territorial units. (To say nothing of having lost half its population.) But when one speaks of "Germany" in this era, the HRE usually is what is meant, however loosely.
I simply contend that there should be some indication in Louis XIV that the king of France was annexing a German city within the contemporary meaning of the term. At the time the city was "German" in ethnicity, name and legal status. (And BTW, I don't believe that most of its inhabitants spoke Latin. Of course, the educated elite all over Europe knew Latin, but not the masses — other than liturgical phrases.)
PS: I don't accept that two parenthetical words "burden the text."
Sca (talk) 21:46, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Educated people called it Argentoratum and uneducated masses called it Strossburi. That doesn't give much legitimacy to Strassburg... Strasbourg wasn't precisely "German" as we understand it today. German nationality is a concept of the 19th century, before that the German nation could have very different meanings[3]. On Wikipedia, it's very unusual to add alternative names of a city in an unrelated article and it is absolutely unjustified in this case, as it is irrelevant, non-neutral and anachronistic. Blaue Max (talk) 07:45, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Not agreed. I realize that nationality was a different matter in the Middle Ages than in modern times. (Was Copernicus Polish, German, Prussian or Warmian? — or none of the above?) The local dialect may have been Strossburi — which seems essentially a colloquial pronunciation — but the formal name was Straßburg, and had long been so.
I'm certainly not suggesting that all these details be covered in Louis XIV. I don't understand why you're protesting so much over two (2) words in parentheses, giving an alternate spelling, in an article that comprises 11,000 words. Sca (talk) 15:27, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, I do not understand why you insist about putting something biased and fallacious in this article. Blaue Max (talk) 17:57, 22 February 2013 (UTC)


I find your insinuations of bias and mendacity offensive, and I object to your tone.
"Argentina / Straßburg" as seen in 1644
Three questions:
1) What's the linguistic derivation of the name of the city, French or German?
2) The language spoken by most inhabitants of the city at the time of its annexation was a dialect of which parent language, French or German?
3) Annexation denotes a taking by one country from another. Which country did the taking in 1681, France, or "Germany" (fragmented as it then was)?
According to Wiki's Strasbourg article, the University of Strasbourg (founded 1631) originally was a German university, and "the German Lutheran university persisted until the French Revolution."
Sca (talk) 22:07, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Assuming that the Holy Roman Empire was the precursor of Germany is simply anachronistic and biased. It was considered as the successor of the Roman Empire and its official language was latin. It had many vernacular languages and the concept of German nationality emerged only in the 19th c. Therefore, arguing that Strassburg is the only "true" name of the city for that period is unencyclopedic and misleading, in addition of being irrelevant.
As I said earlier, the standard German name of Strasbourg is not related to this article. We are on the English Wikipedia on an article about Louis XIV, not on the German Wikipedia. You are free to argue endlessly about Strasbourg's toponymy, but not on this article about Louis XIV, this is not the place. Adding the German translation of Strasbourg, in an unrelated context, would be a dangerous precedent for Wikipedia, which would see every occurrences of Strasbourg in Wikipedia attached to a useless "(German:Strassburg)". Let us be clear, I do not dispute the Germanic origin of the city, but it is absurd to add its translation in a context inadequate. Like adding "(Deutschland)" every time the word "Germany" appears would be inapropriate.
Thank you for pointing out another bias in the article about the Strasbourg University. Blaue Max (talk) 23:30, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Like what? That German continued to be used at the university for a century or so after the French annexation? If indeed such was the case, as the Wiki entry indicates, I fail to see why mentioning it in the history section would constitute "bias."

Adding "(German: Strassburg)" here is not out of context. The context is provided by "heretofore a Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation." The parenthetical phrase is entirely relevant in the historical context.

Indeed, there would be no reason to add "(German: Strassburg)" to articles or sentences about Strasbourg not related to its history. The parenthetical phrase would be irrelevant in, for example, an article about the European Parliament.

That the "official" language of the HRE was Latin is irrelevant to this discussion. Latin, as mentioned previously, was spoken by the educated elites. Of course the polyglot HRE encompassed a number of vernacular languages spoken by the common people. They included numerous dialects of German — among which was Alsatian German (Elsässerditsch).

Sca (talk) 22:57, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Strasbourg is the common English name of an Imperial city detached from the Holy Roman Empire in 1681. That's an historical fact.
"Strassburg" being~the "real" name of a "German" city detached from "Germany" in 1681, is a anachronistic point of view.
The "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" is also an anachronistic term for Louis XIV's era.
I still don't understand why you want to put "German" everywhere, as the concept of nationality was very loosely defined before the 19th c. You should use it with care, instead of pushing it everywhere. Blaue Max (talk) 15:58, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
From an outsider's point of view, I have to agree with Blaue Max. Adding the German name in this context when it can be found with one click on the link to Strasbourg is not suitable. As to the HRE of the German Nation, even though the emperors were all from German-speaking countries, this titling is in fact a dubious affair when referring to the times of Louis XIV. See also source No. 13 of de.wiki de:Heiliges Römisches Reich for the increasing use of "German Nation" only in the 19th century by German historians. The fact that there was a large German community in Strasbourg and Alsace in general is not relevant to this article about Louis because the adherence of Strasbourg to the HRE has already been pointed out in the article. I think in this article we're better off using the common French/English name of "Strasbourg" only. De728631 (talk) 17:32, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Based on my own reading over the years, I can't buy the argument that there was no continuity between the HRE and the inchoate concept of the German nation. I return to the quote from Geoffrey Barraclough about "national feeling" with which I began this discussion. Barraclough has a good deal more to say on the subject of French encroachment on the German realm in The Origins of Modern Germany, including this observation, from the point of view of 1945:
"French memories of invasion reach back to 1870; but German memories of unprovoked French aggression reach back to the thirteenth century." (Barraclough, Geoffrey: The Origins of Modern Germany, Capricorn Books edition, 1963, p. 461.)
It's interesting to note that Barraclough wrote most of Origins while he was on active duty with the RAF in the European Theater of WWII. I commend this very well-written volume to your review.
I've said what I have to say. Adieu to Blaue Max and Louis. Sca (talk) 23:35, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

This dispute is ridiculous. Encyclopedias are supposed to summarise the information. At the first mention of Strasbourg, the article is very explicit about what kind of city it was: "heretofore a Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire". In the next sentence it also implicitly dispels any misconception a reader might have that the Alsace might have been culturally French at the time: "Although a part of Alsace, Strasbourg was not part of Habsburg-ruled Alsace and was thus not ceded to France in the Peace of Westphalia."

That's more than enough. Adding the German spelling for Straßburg would add so close to nothing to the article that it's simply not defensible to waste space and reader attention on this minor detail of hardly any relevance to the subject of the article. Hans Adler 21:05, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Sun King[edit]

Could someone provide an explanation for the nickname in the article?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 13:04, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Fatherhood[edit]

I am sorry for claiming Louis XIV to have been illegitimate. This claim has been forensically disproven. A sample of dried blood from Louis XVI has been compared to the embalmed head of Henri IV. The dried blood sample had been collected on a handkerchief at Louis XVI execution. The embalmed head had been taken as a trophy during the French Revolution. It was forensically identified in 2012. Now we know that Henri IV was Louis XIII’s father. We also know that Louis XVI was a fifth generation, male line only descendant of Louis XIV. DNA testing showed that Henri IV and Louis XVI had the same Y chromosome. Of cause, there could have been a contamination of the blood sample. But to give a false positive the contamination would have to have come from a man with the same Y chromosome as Henri IV. Considering how accurate male line only haplogroups can be determined I find this too unlikely. One of the scientists involved said it was 250 times more likely that the two men were related on their father’s side than not. This is enough likelihood for me.

2013-12-30 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.114.157.228 (talk) 18:51, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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Leibniz reference[edit]

Hello, I'm troubled by the quotation attributed to Leibniz that "one of the greatest kings that ever was." I'm about 2/3 of the way through reading a massive and comprehensive biography of Leibniz, and Leibniz's view seems to be quite the opposite, considering he wrote a satire of Louis XIV calling him "Mars Christianissimus" (Most Christian War-God). The quote in the Wikipedia entry cited a book by Bluche called "Louis XIV". I don't have access to this text at the moment, but I'd like to know what reference Bluche gives, because it seems a bit sketchy. If Leibniz did say this, I'd like to know the context. --Substantial form (talk) 06:18, 18 January 2015 (UTC)