Talk:Gilles de Rais

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Born 10 September 1404?[edit]

There seems to be some belief that his birth date can be pinned down to 10 September 1404. Is this supported by reputable sources? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC) His date of birth is unknown, but his parents married on February 5th 1404 so an early September birth was unlikely. Morbid Morag (talk) 16:26, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Previously Mentioned but Unresolved: Siege of Paris Hyperlink in 'Military' Section[edit]

Last noted over a year ago, the hyperlink 'Siege of Paris' in the 'Military' section leads to an article on the Franco-Prussian era siege, which occurred some 400 years later. Such a link may not even be necessary as the previous 'Hundred Years War' link provides sufficient context in absence of any separate article of the event being referenced. :) (talk) 02:36, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Impossible: Rais Secured Duke John V's release in 1420? Duke John V (1339 – 1 November 1399)[edit]

This reference in the article, under "Military career," obviously cannot refer correctly to Duke John V, who died in 1399; note that Rais was reportedly born 1404. However, there was confusion in this lineage due to the Breton War of Succession; the French view was that they denied legitimacy of the earlier John IV of Montfort. So perhaps here the intended reference was not John V, but instead was his son, John VI the Wise? The French at the time would have referred to this John VI as Jean V le Sage, but not as John V, the generally acknowledged English designation for his father. (talk) 19:24, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, pity no-one responded to this comment over the last year and a bit! Paul B (talk) 19:02, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Cultural References 2[edit]

Would it be improper to mention Cradle of Filth's album "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder" here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

For that matter, why hasn't anybody mentioned Fate/Zero's "Caster"? He is Bluebeard, AKA Gilles de Rais after all. Granted, he's a supporting character in the light novel and anime adaptation of said light novel by Urobuchi Gen-san, with Emiya Kiritsugu as the alleged main character, but with such a large ensemble cast, -- in the anime adaptation at least -- even Kiritsugu appeared to be a supporting character. My point is, supporting character or not, I think Fate/Zero's "Caster" deserves a mention here. (Urobuchi, Gen. Fate/Zero. Tokyo: Type-Moon, 2006.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 10 February 2013 (UTC)


Is it relevant that Jean-Yves Goëau-Brissonnière was and is a Freemason? To underline this so heavily hardly seems neutral, considering that the Catholic Church regards the rehabilitation trial as a Freemasonic conspiracy. He was not, in any case, the prime mover of the retrial; that would be Gilbert Prouteau. As he tells it, M. Goëau-Brissonnière was a good friend who offered his legal expertise and advocacy. Morbid Morag (talk) 15:39, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Seems important if the Catholic Church regards the rehabilitation trial as a Freemasonic conspiracy. Would be nice to see a source for that. --2001:4898:80E8:F:0:0:0:168 (talk) 20:28, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Did the Catholic Church ever regard the rehabilitation trial as a "Freemasonic conspiracy" ? At that time, Gilbert Prouteau send also a letter to the pope in order to rehabilitate Gilles de Rais ; according to Prouteau, the answer was evasive but not unfriendly (see Gilbert Prouteau and Xavier Armange, « Je passe aux aveux ! » : entretiens avec Xavier Armange, Le Château-d'Olonne, d'Orbestier, coll. "Élite & rature",‎ 2002, ISBN 2-84238-045-2)... Nonetheless, Goëau-Brissonnière was unquestionably a Freemason who also prefaced the book Plaidoyer pour Gilles de Rais written by the Freemason Jean-Pierre Bayard, another literary attempt to exonerate De Rais (read the French article for the sources). But I can only remember the book of the historian Jacques Heers criticizing the "cliché" of the terrible Inquisition used as a argument by some partisans of de Rais' innocence, so it's not safe to assume that Heers specifically mentions an anticlericalism traditionally associated (in France at least) with Freemasonry. Guise (talk) 14:18, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Number of victims discrepency[edit]

The text puts it at 80-200 with a high end estimate of 600. The textbox summary says 300-900. Nothing is sourced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 3 April 2014 (UTC)


Was he a homosexual? -- (talk) 18:53, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

The concept of sexual morality at the time was not nearly as developed as it is in modern times - this is one reason why scholars still debate the context behind the procreation sonnets to this day. They didn't differentiate that much between what today we call homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, or extramarital sex. Laws proscribing sodomy were selectively enforced, to put it mildly. Regardless, it is highly unlikely that we will find a reliable source specifically describing de Rais as a homosexual. Most of the sources we have describing him as a sadist and a pedophile derive from contemporary screeds, and are prone to the same bias that cast Richard III as an evil, deformed megalomaniac. More to the point: since the sources suggest de Rais tortured and defiled both boys and girls, the answer is likely no. <> Alt lys er svunnet hen (talk) 04:57, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

He spoke fluent Latin as a child, really?[edit]

This is actually not possible. There was no Latin vernacular in the 15th century, or for quite a while before that. Latin was then and is a dead language with no fluent speakers. Latin had segued into the Romance languages. It was a dead language. I don't have the sources referenced at hand (Benedetti and Wolf) or I'd just correct it myself. Someone's either misreading them (likely) or the sources are wrong - so I don't know whether he read Latin or whether the assertion itself is simply entirely wrong and part of some rather extensive hyperbole on his childhood genius.

While it's vaguely possible, I rather doubt he was illuminating manuscripts as a boy either. Monks did that, not children. A lot of this article seems rather dubious. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Indeed. Since Benedetti and Wolf are not medieval historians by profession, theirs works about Gilles de Rais are more literary than scientific. The result is an extremely disappointing article... for now, at least. Guise (talk) 21:11, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Of course it is possible. Many learned individuals learnt and spoke Latin from an early age. Many still do. This is nothing to do with Latin being the vernacular.Royalcourtier (talk) 03:00, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it's possible, you're right about that. :-) But we don't know much about Gilles de Rais' childhood, and certainly nothing about his Latin speaking abilities at this time. Regards. Guise (talk) 14:45, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Moot courts[edit]

It is not correct to say that "Gilles was retried in a Moot court, an unofficial process of rehabilitation in his home country of France". A moot is not a real court - it is more of a debate. It is known world wide, not specifically in France. And it is not a unofficial form of rehabilitation. This one in particular seems to have been a publicity stunt, rather than a serious trial. A "moot court" is a different, mediaeval, institution, which has nothing to do with the trial that occurred.Royalcourtier (talk) 03:03, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

From what I can gather from the referenced sourced, you are correct. How about if you go ahead and make the changes to the article that you deem needed? --Legion fi (talk) 06:34, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I used Moot court as a (bad) translation but indeed, it was mostly a publicity stunt rather than a serious trial, as specified in the references I have mentioned in the article. The public authorities and the judicial body had no involvement in this media event organised by a bunch of buddies, so even the term "process" is inadequate (I wanted to focus clumsily on the "unofficial" term). Thanks for your remarks, Royalcourtier. Regards. Guise (talk) 15:19, 5 January 2016 (UTC)