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Sacred FollyA New History of the Feast of Fools$
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Max Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449567

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449567.001.0001

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A Durable Feast

A Durable Feast

(p.225) Chapter 20 A Durable Feast
Sacred Folly

Max Harris

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the persistence of the Feast of Fools despite various efforts to suppress it. Some cathedral chapters capitulated quickly to pressure for supression: the Feast of Fools was expelled from Auxerre's cathedral in 1411, reappearing in the sixteenth century as a communal outdoor summer festivity. In Troyes, the cathedral church of Saint Peter removed all offensive material from its ordinal in April 1445, but the collegiate church of Saint Urban was still supporting the feast in 1468. Other chapters managed to extend their feast for at least 100 years. In the meantime, church councils at various levels continued to restrict the Feast of Fools. This chapter focuses on five French cities with extensive published evidence of a clerical Feast of Fools after 1445: Châlons-en-Champagne, Besançon, Beaune, Autun, and Reims.

Keywords:   cathedral chapters, Feast of Fools, church councils, Châlons-en-Champagne, Besançon, Beaune, Autun, Reims

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