What was the Saint Bartholomew Massacre, which took place 450 years ago

  • Edison Veiga
  • From Bled (Slovenia) to BBC News Brazil

The Saint Bartholomew Massacre, canvas by François Dubois, in public domain

Credit, Public domain

It was a massacre, a veritable carnage that was seen in Paris 450 years ago. The episode went down in history as Saint Bartholomew’s Night, because it began in the early hours of the morning of the 24th, the date on which Catholics celebrate the saint.

The great slaughter, which according to reports at the time even dyed the waters of the River Seine with blood, was an attempt by the Catholic majority to exterminate the Protestant minority – in this case, the Huguenots, followers of the Protestant line of French theologian Jean Calvin (1509-1509). 1564).

But the religious contours were actually a pretext, in a world where power was far from secular, for geopolitical disputes. In the context, it is worth mentioning that France was experiencing the so-called religious wars, with eight episodes confronting Catholics and reformers between 1560 and the end of the 16th century.

If the French throne was occupied by a Catholic family — the House of Valouis, which reigned between 1328 and 1589 — Calvinism advanced mainly in the southern and western regions, with many nobles among its adherents.

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