From This Lesson, What Does Salic Law State?

From This Lesson, What Does Salic Law State
Salic Law of Succession, the rule by which, in certain sovereign dynasties, persons descended from a previous sovereign only through a woman were excluded from succession to the throne. Gradually formulated in France, the rule takes its name from the code of the Salian Franks, the Lex Salica ( Salic Law ).

  • Because each French king from the late 10th century to the early 14th century had a son who could succeed him, the Capetian dynasty was not faced with any controversy over succession to the throne.
  • After the Capetian king Louis X died in 1316 leaving no male heir and a pregnant widow, who gave birth to a son who died after five days, Philip V, a brother of Louis X, convened the Estates-General (1317), which established the principle that women would be excluded from succession to the French throne.

During the same period the corollary principle also came to be accepted—i.e., that descent from a daughter of a French king could not constitute a claim to royal succession. During the 14th and 15th centuries, attempts were made to provide juridical grounds for the exclusion of women from the royal succession.

The main reason adduced in each case was custom, though Roman law and the priestly character of kingship were also used as justifications. The Salic Law was first mentioned in 1410 in a treatise against the claims to the French throne by Henry IV of England. In the 16th century the text of the Salic Law was taken up by expositors of the theory of royal power, who advanced it as a fundamental law of the kingdom.

In 1593 the authority of the Salic Law was expressly invoked to deny the candidature for the French throne of the Spanish infanta Isabella, the granddaughter of Henry II of France by his daughter’s marriage to Philip II of Spain, despite the strongly pro-Spanish attitude of the dominant faction in Paris at the time.

Thereafter, the Salic Law was invariably accepted as fundamental, though it was not always the explicit reason given for excluding women from the throne. Napoleon also adopted the Salic Law, which was applied in France as late as 1883. There was no principle against succession by daughters in default of sons in England, Scandinavia, and Angevin Naples (1265–1442).

Likewise, Spain had no such principle until Philip V, the first Spanish king to come from the French house of Bourbon, introduced a less-stringent variation of the Salic Law by his Auto Acordado of 1713, which was later repealed. The Salic Law of Succession was applied when Victoria, who was from the house of Hanover, became queen of England in 1837 but was barred from succession to the Hanover crown, which went to her uncle.

What is Salic Law in Henry V?

When Andrew asked me if I would write a post for Shakespeare’s birthday, I enthusiastically agreed. I had just been rewatching Kenneth Branagh’s film, Henry V and as a dedicated Anglophile thought, this will be easy! I subsequently realized that as a writer for the Law Library’s blog I would need to write about Shakespeare and the law – and what did Henry V have to do with the law? Surely it is a play about war and Henry’s conquest of France with the penultimate scenes at the battle of Agincourt and the rallying St. Theatrical portraiture no.1 – Henry V Henry V opens with a setting of the scene by the Chorus and then a brief discussion between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely, The bishops are concerned about a bill currently pending in Parliament : “If it pass against us, We lose the better half of our possession” (Act I, Scene I).

The bishops then move on to a discussion of the transformation of the king’s character from the rough, wild youth found in Henry IV to a king “full of grace and fair regard and a true lover of the holy Church.” However, to ensure the permanence of this transformation, the Archbishop of Canterbury reveals to his fellow prelate that he has offered a large sum in support of Henry’s ambitions in France: “For I have made an offer to his Majesty, as touching France, to give a greater sum than ever at one time the clergy yet did to his predecessors part withal.” Moreover, this selfsame Archbishop would provide Henry with a justification for his war.

Henry’s claim to the throne of France could be traced back to his great grandfather, Edward III, whose mother, Isabella of France, was the daughter of Philip IV of France. When Philip’s son, Charles IV, died without a direct male heir the throne passed to Philip, Count of Valois, who was a first cousin to the French king.

Edward III initially did not press a claim to the throne of France but later disputes between the French and English led Edward to assert his claim and initiate the 100 Years War, It is this claim about which Henry V is seeking advice at the beginning of play: “My learned lord, we pray you to proceed,/ Why the law Salic, that they have in France/ Or should or should not bar us in our claim.” (Act I, Scene 2).

The Archbishop’s speech on Salic law, which supposedly prohibits a woman from inheriting, is a masterpiece of legalistic reasoning. He begins by summarizing the French argument against Henry’s claim: “But this, which they produce from Pharamond : No woman shall succeed in Salic land.” This would mean that not only could a woman not succeed but also that she could not pass on to any male children a claim to inherit.

  1. Despite this seemingly clear bar to Henry’s claim, however, the Archbishop argues that this is not the case at all.
  2. The reason? Salic law does not operate in France! “Which Salic land the French unjustly gloze to be the realm of France Yet their own authors faithfully affirm/ That the land Salic is in Germany,/ Between the floods of Saale and Elbe.” The Archbishop of Canterbury continues to throw out justification after justification, arguing next that various French kings, including the usurping Hugh Capet, had in fact justified their claims to the French throne through the female line.

He finishes his argument with a declaration that the French are entirely in the wrong and have illegally “usurped” the French throne from Henry and his ” progenitors,” The Salic Law is the name given to a legal code composed during the time of Clovis of France in the 6th century.

The code was composed of 65 articles which covered various issues including theft, murder, rape, magicians and wergeld (Titles II, III, XI, XII, XIII, XIX, XLI, LXII). Article LIX covered the inheritance of private property. According to this law, women could inherit private property except in Salic territory: “But of Salic land no portion of the inheritance shall come to a woman: but the whole inheritance of the land shall come to the male sex.” It is interesting to note, that some scholars believe that this legal code was lost for much of the Middle Ages.

Certainly, the first occurrence of the term, Salic Law according to the Oxford English Dictionary, dates to 1548. Shakespeare’s Henry V is convinced of the rightfulness of his claim and proves it by his conquest of the French territory. But, as the Chorus tells us in the play’s Epilogue, right is not enough to ensure the welfare of a kingdom or two: “Small time, but in that small most greatly lived This star of England. From This Lesson, What Does Salic Law State Stratford on Avon, the birth-place of Shakespeare A note: there is no record of Shakespeare’s actual birth date, but many believe he was born on April 23, 1564. This idea is particularly popular since he died on April 23, 1616, and it seems right to many that the playwright’s life should itself be so tidily bracketed.

What role does Salic Law in the 100 Years War?

Salic law a law excluding females from dynastic succession, especially as the alleged fundamental law of the French monarchy. Such a law was used in the 14th century by the French to deny Edward III’s claim to the French throne (based on descent from his Capetian mother Isabella), so initiating the Hundred Years War.

Why was the Salic Law important?

Definition: The Salic Law was the early Germanic law code of the Salian Franks. Originally dealing primarily with criminal penalties and procedures, with some civil law included, the Salic Law evolved over the centuries, and it would later play an important role in the rules governing royal succession; specifically, it would be used in the rule barring women from inheriting the throne.

In the early Middle Ages, when barbarian kingdoms were forming in the wake of the dissolution of the western Roman empire, law codes like the Breviary of Alaric were issued by royal decree. Most of these, while focusing on the Germanic subjects of the kingdom, were clearly influenced by Roman law and Christian morals.

The earliest written Salic Law, which had been transmitted orally for generations, is generally free of such influences, and thus provides a valuable window into early Germanic culture. The Salic Law was first officially issued toward the end of the reign of Clovis in the early 6th century.

Written in Latin, it had a list of fines for offenses ranging from petty theft to rape and murder (the only crime that would expressly result in death was “if a bondsman of the king, or a leet, should carry off a free woman.”) Fines for insults and practicing magic were also included. In addition to laws delineating specific penalties, there were also sections on honoring summonses, the transference of property, and migration; and there was one section on inheritance of private property that expressly barred women from inheriting land.

Over the centuries, the law would be altered, systematized, and re-issued, especially under Charlemagne and his successors, who translated it into Old High German. It would apply in the lands that had been part of the Carolingian Empire, most especially in France.

But it would not be directly applied to the laws of succession until the 15th century. Beginning in the 1300s, French legal scholars began attempting to provide juridical grounds to keep women from succeeding to the throne. Custom, Roman law, and the “priestly” aspects of kingship were used to justify this exclusion.

Barring women and descent through women was especially important to the nobility of France when Edward III of England tried to lay claim to the French throne through descent on his mother’s side, an action that led to the Hundred Years’ War. In 1410, the first recorded mention of Salic Law appeared in a treatise rebutting Henry IV of England ‘s claims to the the French crown.

  • Strictly speaking, this was not a correct application of the law; the original code did not address the inheritance of titles.
  • But in this treatise a legal precedent had been set that would thenceforward be associated with the Salic Law.
  • In the 1500s, scholars dealing with the theory of royal power promoted the Salic Law as an essential law of France.
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It was used expressly to deny the candidacy for the French throne of the Spanish infanta Isabella in 1593. From then on, the Salic Law of Succession was accepted as a core legal premise, although other reasons were also given for barring women from the crown.

  • The Salic Law was used in this context in France up until 1883.
  • The Salic Law of Succession was by no means universally applied in Europe.
  • England and the Scandinavian lands allowed women to rule; and Spain had no such law until the 18th century, when Philip V of the House of Bourbon introduced a less strict variation of the code (it was later repealed).

But, though Queen Victoria would reign over a vast British Empire and even hold the title “Empress of India,” she was barred by the Salic Law from succeeding to the throne of Hanover, which was separated from Britain’s holdings when she became queen of England and was ruled over by her uncle.

When was Salic Law?

Salic law
Record of a judgement by Childebert III, who reigned from 694-711 AD.
Created c.500 CE
Commissioned by King Clovis
Subject Law, justice
Purpose Civil law code
Full Text
The Salic Law at Wikisource

The Salic law ( or ; Latin : Lex salica ), also called the Salian law, was the ancient Frankish civil law code compiled around AD 500 by the first Frankish King, Clovis, The written text is in Latin and contains some of the earliest known instances of Old Dutch,

  1. It remained the basis of Frankish law throughout the early Medieval period, and influenced future European legal systems,
  2. The best-known tenet of the old law is the principle of exclusion of women from inheritance of thrones, fiefs, and other property.
  3. The Salic laws were arbitrated by a committee appointed and empowered by the King of the Franks,

Dozens of manuscripts dating from the sixth to eighth centuries and three emendations as late as the ninth century have survived. Salic law provided written codification of both civil law, such as the statutes governing inheritance, and criminal law, such as the punishment for murder,

Although it was originally intended as the law of the Franks, it has had a formative influence on the tradition of statute law that extended to modern history in much of Europe, especially in the German states and Austria-Hungary in Central Europe, the Low Countries in Western Europe, Balkan kingdoms in Southeastern Europe, and parts of Italy and Spain in Southern Europe,

Its use of agnatic succession governed the succession of kings in kingdoms such as France and Italy,

What is the meaning of Salic?

Salic in British English (ˈsælɪk, ˈseɪ- ) adjective. (of rocks and minerals) having a high content of silica and alumina. Word origin.

How does Salic Law play a role in the passing of the crown from one king to the next?

Advertisement – Guide continues below Salic Law At the beginning of the play, there’s a whole lot of talk about Salic Law. It seems like it’s always “Salic Law this” and “Salic Law that.” We have to admit that all this Salic Law talk can be pretty confusing.

The first time it comes up, Canterbury says that the French have been using it as an excuse to prevent English kings from inheriting the French crown (1.2). Okay. Fine. What exactly is the Salic Law and what the heck does it have to do with whether or not Henry has a right to rule France? Well, Salic Law is just the name of a French rule that prevented men from inheriting the crown through a female line.

In other words, if a king had a daughter, she couldn’t inherit the throne and her sons and grandsons couldn’t inherit it either. Sounds simple enough, right? Why does Canterbury take this very basic concept and twist it into a messy, complicated explanation (over 60 lines long!) about why Henry should get to rule France in Act 1, Scene 2? Don’t worry, Shmoopsters, we’ve taken a look at Canterbury’s lengthy speech and broken it down.

  1. According to Canterbury, the Salic Law doesn’t actually hold any water because a boatload of French kings have inherited the crown through their mothers.
  2. Plus, says Canterbury, the original authors of the Salic Law said that it should only apply to Germany, not France.
  3. Therefore, Canterbury argues, King Henry V has a legal right to rule France because his great-great-grandmother (Isabel) was the daughter of the French King Phillip IV.

(Isabel married Edward II of England and had a son, Edward III, who also tried to lay claim to the French crown.) If you’re baffled by this lengthy justification, then you’re not alone. Canterbury’s tedious explanation isn’t necessarily a good enough reason for Henry to claim the French throne, which is probably why he makes the argument sound more complicated than it is.

Who wrote the Salic laws?

Background – In early medieval times, Germanic nations created legal codes, influenced by both Roman legal codes and Christian canon law. The Salic law, originally passed down through oral tradition and less influenced by Roman and Christian tradition, was issued in the 6th century C.E.

  • In written form in Latin by the Merovingian Frankish King Clovis I,
  • It was a comprehensive legal code, covering such major legal areas as inheritance, property rights, and penalties for offenses against property or persons.
  • In the section on inheritance, women were excluded from being able to inherit land.

Nothing was mentioned about inheriting titles, nothing was mentioned about the monarchy. “Of Salic land no portion of the inheritance shall come to a woman: but the whole inheritance of the land shall come to the male sex.” ( The Law of the Salian Franks ) French legal scholars, inheriting the Frankish code, evolved the law over time, including translating it into Old High German and then French for easier use.

Who wrote the law of the Salian Franks?

The earliest written Frankish code is attributed to King Clovis, who is thought to have issued his code (Pactus Lcgis Salicae) some time between 507 and 511.¹⁷ What was the background of Clovis’s legislative activity and what

What is the purpose of the law of war?

The laws of war in a nutshell

The rules of war, or international humanitarian law (as it is known formally) are a set of international rules that set out what can and cannot be done during an armed conflict.The main purpose of international humanitarian law (IHL) is to maintain some humanity in armed conflicts, saving lives and reducing suffering.To do that, IHL regulates how wars are fought, balancing two aspects: weakening the enemy and limiting suffering.The rules of war are universal. The Geneva Conventions (which are the core element of IHL) have been ratified by all 196 states. Very few international treaties have this level of support.Everyone fighting a war needs to respect IHL, both governmental forces and non-State armed groups.If the rules of war are broken, there are consequences. War crimes are documented and investigated by States and international courts. Individuals can be prosecuted for war crimes.

In this short clip we tell you all about the rules of war: : The laws of war in a nutshell

What are the main functions of law explain the importance of law for the subsistence of harmony in the society?

Law is very important for a society for it serves as a norm of conduct for citizens. It was also made to provide for proper guidelines and order upon the behaviour for all citizens and to sustain the equity on the three branches of the government. It keeps society running.

  • Without law there would be chaos and it would be survival of the fittest and everyman for himself.
  • Not an ideal lifestyle for most part.
  • Society is a ‘web-relationship’ and social change obviously means a change in the system of social relationship where a social relationship is understood in terms of social processes and social interactions and social organizations.

Thus, the term, ‘social change’ is used to indicate desirable variations in social institution, social processes and social organization. It includes alterations in the structure and functions of the society. Closer analysis of the role of law vis-à-vis social change leads us to distinguish between the direct and the indirect aspects of the role of law.

The law is important because it acts as a guideline as to what is accepted in society. Without it, there would be conflicts between social groups and communities. It is pivotal that we follow them. The law allows for easy adoption to changes that occur in society. Leading law firms, among them Schmidt and Clark, provide assistance that helps protect individuals’ rights and liberties, thus ensuring a more equitable society.1.

Law plays an important indirect role in regard to social change by shaping a direct impact on society. For example: A law setting up a compulsory educational system.2. On the other hand, law interacts in many cases indirectly with basic social institutions in a manner constituting a direct relationship between law and social change.

  1. For example, a law designed to prohibit polygamy.
  2. Law plays an agent of modernization and social change.
  3. It is also an indicator of the nature of societal complexity and its attendant problems of integration.
  4. Further, the reinforcement of our belief in the age-old panchayat system, the abolition of the abhorable practices of untouchability, child marriage, sati, dowry etc are typical illustrations of social change being brought about in the country trough laws.
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Law is an effective medium or agency, instrumental in bringing about social change in the country or in any region in particular. Therefore, we rejuvenate our belief that law has been pivotal in introducing changes in the societal structure and relationships and continues to be so.

Law certainly has acted as a catalyst in the process of social transformation of people wherein the dilution of caste inequalities, protective measures for the weak and vulnerable sections, providing for the dignified existence of those living under unwholesome conditions etc. are the illustrious examples in this regard.

Social change involves an alteration of society; its economic structure, values and beliefs, and its economic, political and social dimensions also undergo modification. However, social change does not affect all aspects of society in the same manner.

While much of social change is brought about by material changes such as technology, new patterns of production, etc., other conditions are also necessary. For example, as we have discussed it before, legal prohibition of untouchability in free India has not succeeded because of inadequate social support.

Nonetheless, when law cannot bring about change without social support, it still can create certain preconditions for social change. Moreover, after independence, the Constitution of India provided far-reaching guidelines for change. Its directive principle suggested a blueprint for a new nation.

  1. The de-recognition of the caste system, equality before the law and equal opportunities for all in economic, political and social spheres were some of the high points of the Indian Constitution.
  2. The Relationship between Law and Society Theorists have traditionally maintained that there are certain broad views on the substantive criminal law.

One set of such constraints concerns the sorts of behaviour that may legitimately be prohibited. Is it proper, for example, to criminalize a certain kind of action on the grounds that most people in one’s society regard it as immoral? The other set of constraints which concerns what is needed in order to establish criminal responsibility that is liability, independently of the content of the particular statute whose violation is in question.

  • Legal system reflects all the energy of life within in any society.
  • Law has the complex vitality of a living organism.
  • We can say that law is a social science characterized by movement and adaptation.
  • Rules are neither created nor applied in a vacuum, on the other hand they created and used time and again for a purpose.

Rules are intended to move us in a certain direction that we assume is good, or prohibit movement in direction that we believe is bad. The social rules are made by the members of the society. Disobedience of the social rules is followed by punishment of social disapproval.

  1. There is no positive penalty associated with the violation of rules except excommunication or ostracism.
  2. On the other hand, law is enforced by the state.
  3. The objective of law is to bring order in the society so the members of society can progress and develop with some sort of security regarding the future.

The state makes laws. Disobedience of state laws invites penalty, which is enforced by the government by the power of the state. What is not enforceable is not Law. Also Read: Top 6 Benefits of Choosing Law Career Conclusion Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour, wherever possible.

  1. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people.
  2. If the harm is criminalized in legislation, criminal law offers means by which the state can prosecute the perpetrator.
  3. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives.

Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies, while international law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to environmental regulation or military action. The legal response to a given social or technological problem is therefore in itself a major social action which may aggravate a given problem or alleviate and help to solve it.

Where did the Salian Franks originate?

Origins – The Salians, unlike other Franks, first appear living inside the Roman Empire, living in the Rhine delta in the modern Netherlands. Although often treated as a tribe it has also been argued by Matthias Springer that this might represent a misunderstanding.

  • All of the classical mentions of them seem to derive from one mention by Ammianus Marcellinus of “Franks, those namely whom custom calls the Salii “.
  • Ammianus, who served in the Roman military, reported that the Salii were pushed from their home in Batavia (the civitas of Nijmegen ), into Toxandria (both within the empire), by the non-Roman Chamavi,

The account implies that they entered into the civitas of Tongeren. The first historian to say that the Salians had been pushed into the empire from outside was Zosimus, but his description of events seems to be confused and derived from others. The account of Zosimus, that the Salians had been pushed into the empire as a single tribe, is still often accepted.

  • In this case, their homeland may have been between the Rhine and the IJssel in the modern day Dutch region of the Veluwe, Gelderland, and they may have given their name to the region of Salland,
  • It has also been proposed that the Salii might have been one of the peoples making up the large nation of the Chauci during the Roman Empire, most of whom apparently became Saxons,

(The difference between Saxons and Franks in the earliest records which mention them is not clear.) In 358, the Salians came to some form of agreement with the Romans, which allowed them to keep settlements south of the delta in Toxandria, between the rivers Scheldt, Meuse, and Demer, roughly the area of the Campine, which contains the modern Dutch province of North Brabant, and adjacent parts of the two bordering Belgian Limburg and Antwerp Provinces,

What Frankish king converted to Latin Christianity and published the Salic Law Code?

The Lex Salica, or Salic Law, is the legal code of the Salian Franks, written around the time of Clovis (ruled 481-511), the Merovingian king who united all of the Franks under his rule.

What language did Franks speak?

Frankish language West Germanic language spoken by the Franks from the 5th to 9th century This article is about the extinct Germanic language. For the modern Romance language, see, This article is about Franconian dialects spoken from the 5th to 9th century. For their descendant language also known as Old Low Franconian, see,

This article is missing information about Frankish phonology. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the, ( February 2018 )

FrankishOld Franconian * Frenkisk Native toRegionEthnicityEra c.  5th to 9th century, gradually evolved into, dissolved with other varieties into, and influenced as a,

        • Frankish

(not widely used)Language codes Approximation of the Old Frankish Sprachraum in late antiquity, without smaller exclaves in, Legend: Old Frankish Varieties (1.) North Sea (2.) and Elbe Germanic (3.) Varieties Romance Varieties Somme-Aisne-Line, north of which germanic toponyms dominate.

Border of the later High German Consonant shift, which spread from Elbe germanic areas in the 7th century. Frankish ( : * Frenkisk ), also known as Old Franconian or Old Frankish, was the spoken by the from the 5th to 9th century. After the settled in, its speakers in and were outnumbered by the local populace who spoke dialects.

However, a number of modern words and place names, including the eventual country’s name of “France”, have a Frankish (i.e.) origin. France itself is still known by terms literally meaning the “” in languages such as ( ), ( Frankraykh ), ( ), the derived ( ), and ( ) as well as and ( ).

  • Between the 5th and 9th centuries, Frankish spoken in Northwestern France, present-day Belgium and the Netherlands is subsequently referred to as, whereas the Frankish varieties spoken in the Rhineland were heavily influenced by and the and would form part of the modern and dialects of and,
  • The Old Frankish language is poorly attested and mostly reconstructed from Frankish loanwords in, and from Old Dutch, as recorded in the 6th to 12th centuries.

A notable exception is the, which may represent a primary record of 5th-century Frankish.

What is the meaning of salicylic?

Salicylic acid in British English (ˌsælɪˈsɪlɪk ) noun. a white crystalline slightly water-soluble substance with a sweet taste and bitter aftertaste, used in the manufacture of aspirin, dyes, and perfumes, and as a fungicide. Formula: C6 H4(OH)(COOH)

What are synonyms for salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid (Synonyms: 2-Hydroxybenzoic acid) Salicylic acid (2-Hydroxybenzoic acid) inhibits cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity independently of transcription factor (NF-κB) activation.

Is Salics a Scrabble word?

Yes, salic is in the scrabble dictionary.

What role does the Queen play in passing laws?

Queen’s Speech The Crown informs Parliament of the government’s policy ideas and plans for new legislation in a speech delivered from the throne in the House of Lords. Although the King makes the speech the government draws up the content.

What is the law of the king?

Text and publication – The King’s Law was published during the reign of Frederick IV, engraved throughout, the royal copy bound in red velvet elaborately embroidered in gold and silver thread with the king’s monogram in the centre. Essentially, the King’s Law stated that the King was to be ‘revered and considered the most perfect and supreme person on the Earth by all his subjects, standing above all human laws and having no judge above his person, except God alone’.

On what principle does Henry claim the throne of France?

Summary and Analysis Act I: Scene 2 – Summary Scene Two takes place in the “presence chamber” of the palace. The king wants to hear from the bishops concerning the rightness of his claims in France before he sees the ambassadors from France. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely enter to explain to the king his rightful claim to the French throne.

  1. But before they begin, the king warns them to tell the truth.
  2. Henry understands that a legitimate claim would mean a war with France and would cost thousands of lives.
  3. He wants more information about the “Salic law” that France is using to disprove Henry’s claim.
  4. Therefore, he urges Canterbury to begin and to speak with “your conscience wash’d / As pure as sin with baptism.” In a very long and involved speech, Canterbury explains that the king has a legitimate claim to the French crown.
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The Salique (Salic) laws were once applied to a small area in Germany (not even France) called Salique Land. There was, long ago, a decision made by the settlers of the area that decreed that the family’s inheritance would not pass on to the women. This law “was not devised for the realm of France,” for several of the kings of France obtained their right to the throne through their mothers’ line.

What is more, Canterbury explains, the French are simply using this law to keep Henry from the French throne. King Henry asks if he can in good conscience make the claim. The Archbishop of Canterbury responds with a biblical quote from the Book of Numbers: “When a man dies, let the inheritance / Descend unto the daughter.” He then urges the king to fight for his claim by remembering the great exploits of his great-grandfather, Edward III, whose mother was Isabella, the daughter of Phillip IV of France.

Here, the Bishop of Ely, Exeter, and Westmoreland all implore the king to remember his noble ancestry and his regal blood. They remind the king of his courageous heritage and the unswerving loyalty of his subjects. The Archbishop of Canterbury promises him that not only his subjects, but the clergy as well, will financially support him in his fight for the French throne: In aid whereof we of the spiritualty Will raise your Highness such a mighty sum As never did the clergy at one time Bring in to any of your ancestors.

(132-35) Henry expresses his fears for the Scottish defenses if he were to leave, recalling that every time that English kings have gone off to war, the Scots “come pouring like the tide into a breach.” While Canterbury believes there is nothing to worry about, Ely and Exeter seem to agree with the king.

Canterbury responds, then, using the metaphor of a bee colony in which he compares the working of a kingdom to that of a beehive: every bee has an assigned task to perform, and they all work to accomplish a common goal for the total good. Therefore, he urges Henry to divide up his forces into quarters and, with one quarter, he can conquer France and leave the other three-fourths to defend the homeland: If we, with thrice such powers left at home Cannot defend our own doors from the dog, Let us be worried, and our nation lose The name of hardiness and policy.

(217-20) The king seems satisfied with this suggestion and pronounces that he and his forces are going to France. He then summons the ambassadors from France. They are sent by the Dauphin (the king’s son) and not by the King of France. Henry assures the ambassadors that they can speak freely and safely because “We are no tyrant, but a Christian king,” and he urges them to speak frankly about what is on the Dauphin’s mind.

They say that the Dauphin is aware of Henry’s claim upon the French throne, but that the Dauphin believes Henry to be young and immature and worthy only of the gift which he sent with his ambassadors: tennis balls. King Henry, with dignity and clarity, responds that he will go to France to play a match that will “dazzle all the eyes of France.” The tennis balls, he says, will be transformed into cannonballs, and many will “curse the Dauphin’s scorn.” Granting the ambassadors safe conduct, Henry bids them farewell.

  • After their exit, he says that he hopes that he will make the “sender blush at it,” and then he begins to prepare for war with France.
  • Analysis In Scene One, we only heard about King Henry V; now, in Scene Two, the praise we heard is justified with Henry’s appearance.
  • Here is the ideal Christian king who has rejected the depraved companions of his youth.

King Henry is seen as a prudent and conscientious ruler; that is, he has apparently already decided to wage war against France, and now he seeks from the Archbishop a public statement justifying his actions. And furthermore, he is fully and conscientiously aware of the loss of lives that this struggle will entail.

  • To the Archbishop, he admonishes: Therefore take heed how you impawn our person, How you awake our sleeping sword of war: We charge you, in the name of God, take heed; For never two such kingdoms did contend Without much fall of blood.
  • 21-25) With this speech emerges the theme which will be carried forth to the battlefield later in the play — the theme of the horrors of war and the loss of many lives which this encounter will entail and, thereby, the heavy responsibility which it places upon the conscience of the king who decides to wage such a war.

Consequently, the king commands the Archbishop to consult his own conscience before speaking and justifying such an undertaking. Here is the mature Christian king, concerned not with just matters of state, but with the conscience of the entire state (or nation) as well.

The Archbishop explains the justification for Henry’s actions in a speech that has to be one of the most garbled, confused, and tedious speeches in all of Shakespeare’s works (in dramatic productions, this speech is usually cut and altered severely). When the Archbishop, the head of the church of England, pleads with Henry to let “the sin upon my head” if there be any wrongdoing, Henry resolves to proceed; he has full assurance that he can go to war with a clear conscience.

When Henry expresses concern about an invasion from Scotland (it has happened before when the king and his army are absent from England), the Archbishop answers with the now-famous beehive comparison. This elaborate comparison of the state or human society to a beehive is a familiar Renaissance idea which supports the idea that all classes (royalty, workers, drones, and fighters) are necessary for the welfare of the perfect state.

Another facet of Henry’s character is revealed during his handling of the ambassadors from France. The Dauphin has apparently heard a great deal about the wildness and immaturity of the young Prince Hal and is openly insulting to the newly reformed king. (By the Dauphin’s assumptions about Henry’s past life, Shakespeare also assumed that his audience was familiar with his earlier plays about Prince Hal.) But Henry is not rankled by the Dauphin’s insults; instead, he responds with an evenness of temper, amazing self-control, and complete courtesy: We understand him well, How he comes o’er us with our wilder days, Not measuring what use we made of them.

(266-68) Henry means, as was indicated in Scene One by the Archbishop, that the “wilder days” were a part of the king’s training and have been put to good use in his present knowledge of human nature. In this scene, the Archbishop is presented as a person of great learning and one who is a master at garbling the English language in a serious manner.

He is completely dedicated to England, to the king, and, last but not least, to the church. He is an admirable diplomat in the manner in which he is able to inspire and convince the king of the rightness of the engagement against France. We, however, must always keep in mind that the Archbishop’s insistence upon the rightness of the claims against France are due, in part, to his desire to retain the church’s revenues — with this in mind, he even promises more revenues for the war than any clergy has ever before provided.

With all the noblemen, kinsmen, and churchmen united behind the king, the first act ends with a perfect sense of unity of state and church and citizenry. There is total and utter confusion concerning how anyone could make a strong, legitimate case for Henry’s claim to the French throne.

  1. Henry’s claim is based on a flimsy assertion that his great-great-grandinother, who was in line for the French throne, married his great-great-grandfather, Edward II of England.
  2. Yet there were many in the male line of descendants who are much more entitled to claiming a legitimacy to the French throne.

And aside from all other matters, King Edward III renounced forever any claim by any of the sovereigns of England to the throne of France. In conclusion, King Henry V has absolutely no claim whatsoever, and the Archbishop’s speech simply obscures all these issues.

What is Salic land?

As commonly used, Salic Law refers to a tradition in some royal families of Europe which prohibited females and descendants in the female line from inheriting land, titles, and offices. The actual Salic Law, Lex Salica, a pre-Roman Germanic code from the Salian Franks and instituted under Clovis, dealt with property inheritance, but not the passing of titles.

What did Henry V do to the rules of chivalry?

In 1415, Henry V ordered the execution of French prisoners at the Battle of Agincourt. In doing so, he made the rules of war – usually rigorously upheld – entirely obsolete and brought an end to the centuries-old practice of chivalry on the battlefield.

What do the tennis balls mean in Henry V?

The Tun of Tennis Balls – The Dauphin knows that Henry was an idler before becoming king, and he sends Henry a tun, or chest, of tennis balls to remind Henry of his reputation for being a careless pleasure-seeker. This gift symbolizes the Dauphin’s scorn for Henry.

What is the common law Henry II?

The legal reforms implemented under Henry II produced a body of law and custom that formed the basis of the English Common Law. Institutions seen as the foundation for legal administration and procedural due process owe their existence to these assizes and ordinances instituted during the twelfth century.