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Flori, Jean

Flori, Jean

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale (CESCM), 24 rue de la Chaine, BP 603, F-86022 Poitiers, Cedex, France.

CAREER:

Academic and historian. Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale, Poitiers, France, director of research.

WRITINGS:

(With Henri Rasolofomasoandro) Évolution ou Création?, Éditions SDT (Dammarie les Lys, France), 1973, 2nd edition, 1974.

(With Evelyne Torre and Marie-Josèphe Grisoni) Quelques Aspects Des Communautés Rurales Corses du 16ème au 19ème Siècle, CRDP Corse (Ajaccio, France), 1979.

Genèse, ou, L'anti-mythe, SDT (Dammarie les Lys, France), 1980.

L'Idéologie du Glaive: Préhistoire de la Chevalerie, preface by Georges Duby, Droz (Geneva, Switzerland), 1983.

L'Essor de la Chevalerie: XIe-XIIe Siècles, preface by Léopold Genicot, Droz (Geneva, Switzerland), 1986.

La Première Croisade, 1095-1099: L'Occident Chrétien contre l'Islam (aux Origines des Idéologies Occidentales), Editions Complexe (Brussels, Belgium), 1992.

Chevaliers et Chevalerie au Moyen Age, Hachette Littératures (Paris, France), 1998.

Croisade et Chevalerie: XIe-XIIe Siècles, De Boeck Université (Brussels, Belgium), 1998.

Pierre l'Ermite et la Première Croisade, Fayard (Paris, France), 1999.

Richard Coeur de Lion: Le Roi-Chevalier, Payot & Rivages (Paris, France), 1999, translation by Jean Birrell published as Richard the Lionheart: King and Knight, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2006.

La Guerre Sainte: La Formation de l'Idée de Croisade Dans l'Occident Chrétien, Aubier (Paris, France), 2001.

Guerre Sainte, Jihad, Croisade: Violence et Religion dans le Christianisme et l'Islam, Editions du Seuil (Paris, France), 2002.

Philippe Auguste: La Naissance de l'état Monarchique, Tallandier (Paris, France), 2002.

Aliénor d'Aquitaine: La Reine Insoumise, Payot (Paris, France), 2004.

L'Islam et la Fin des Temps: L'interpretation Prophétique des Invasions Musulmanes dans la Chrétienté Médiévale, Seuil (Paris, France), 2007.

Bohémond d'Antioche: Chevalier d'Aventure, Payot (Paris, France), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jean Flori is an academic and historian. He is the director of research at Poitiers, France's Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale. His primary research focuses on the medieval and Crusades periods in Europe.

Flori published his first book, Évolution ou Création?, with Henri Rasolofomasoandro in 1973, with a second edition in 1974. In 1979, Flori published Quelques Aspects Des Communautés Rurales Corses du 16ème au 19ème Siècle with Evelyne Torre and Marie-Josèphe Grisoni. The following year, Flori published Genèse, ou, L'anti-mythe. In 1983, he published L'Idéologie du Glaive: Préhistoire de la Chevalerie, including a preface by Georges Duby. Flori published L'Essor de la Chevalerie: XIe-XIIe Siècles in 1986, with a preface by Léopold Genicot.

Flori published La Première Croisade, 1095-1099: L'Occident Chrétien contre l'Islam (aux Origines des Idéologies Occidentales), in 1992. The account deals with the Crusade that took place between 1095 and 1099 between European Christian coalition forces and Muslim groups that were then bordering Europe.

Writing in the English Historical Review, K.S.B. Keats-Rohan found "nothing new" about "the Crusade, except for the appearance of a mysterious person called Hugues le Grand, duc de Vermandois." Keats-Rohan also noted that the predominant emphasis on "the fanaticism, barbarism, and anti-Semitism of the event is rebarbative and unhelpful."

In 1998, Flori published Chevaliers et Chevalerie au Moyen Age. The book looks at knighthood and chivalry in Europe's Middle Ages, covering attitudes towards using force in conflict, the knightly class, tournaments, armour, field tactics, and chivalric ideology.

Jean Dunbabin, writing in the English Historical Review, remarked that the author "has provided French students with an up-to-date and chronologically broad survey of knighthood and chivalry, in an affordable paperback with adequate footnotes. But this format has required the author to sacrifice the extended analysis of Latin and French literary sources that distinguished his L'Idéologie du Glaive (Geneva, 1983) and L'Essor de la Chevalerie (Geneva, 1986)."

Flori also published Croisade et Chevalerie: XIe-XIIe Siècles in 1998. In this book, Flori discusses chivalry across five distinct sections, including "L'Eglise et la Guerre Sainte," "Croisade et Chevalerie," "Diabolisation de l'Adversaire," "Pièrre l'Ermite ou la Croisade ‘populaire’," and "Les Protagonistes: Chevaliers Croises et Musulmans." The book contains sixteen papers on the topic that had not previously been published.

Keats-Rohan, writing in the English Historical Review, commented that "first-time readers of Flori's work, and those new to crusade historiography, will find it an attractive and readable book, which clearly sets out all the main issues of the First Crusade and the debates surrounding them." Keats-Rohan found that "Flori makes a good case for challenging the view that Peter was one of those who tried to flee the army at Antioch," but lamented that his "solution, however, is unconvincing."

In 1999, Flori published Richard Coeur de Lion: Le Roi-Chevalier, which was later translated by Jean Birrell and published as Richard the Lionheart: King and Knight in the United States. The account looks into the life and legend of Richard the Lionheart, chronicling his upbringing in the fighting arts before being unexpectedly named as king through succession. Flori shows how Richard dealt with the debate between violence and Christian ethics in his pursuit of the Crusades and how it eventually led to a tempering of violence among European royalty.

A contributor to the French Book News called Richard the Lionheart "a tour de force that provides the reader with a reappraisal of Richard's life" and of the myths surrounding him. Jim Doyle, writing in Library Journal, noted that the author's knowledge of Richard's chroniclers "lends an authenticity to this work" unmatched by other medievalists. Doyle added that the translation into English "makes this distinguished work an essential selection for all medieval history collections."

Flori published La Guerre Sainte: La Formation de l'Idée de Croisade Dans l'Occident Chrétien in 2001. The book looks at the various rationalizations for holy war in Europe, ranging from papal decrees for protecting their lands from nonbelievers to Ottonian bishops' offensive war.

C.J. Tyerman, writing in the English Historical Review, noted that "despite going far to demythologize the First Crusade by seeing it as a military war of conquest, Flori's stimulating and important study retains oddly traditional typology; 1095 still appears as a culmination and a new beginning; a climax, not an event or accident only later vested with lasting resonance."

Following up his previous study, Flori published Guerre Sainte, Jihad, Croisade: Violence et Religion dans le Christianisme et l'Islam in 2002. The book focuses more exclusively on the concept of Islamic jihad than the previous account on holy war. Flori shows how a number of factors came together to create a rivalry between Christian Europe and Muslim kingdoms to the East, including barbarian invasions of the West, anti-Islamic polemics across Europe, and a less passive Church after the conversion of Constantine.

Norman Housley, reviewing the book in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, observed that "Flori is very much at home with this historical terrain and he writes lucidly and with authority." Housley additionally called the writing about jihad "sound," but lamented that the points Flori makes throughout the book "are hardly original." Writing in the English Historical Review, Peter Partner found that the author, "in Guerre Sainte, Jihad, Croisade, has produced an able and agile short survey of a complex and politically thorny subject. There are elements in his exposition of the subject that are perhaps excessively schematic, like his discussion of the so-called pillars of Islam." H.E.J. Cowdrey, writing in the Catholic Historical Review, called the book a "timely and useful survey," adding that "Flori well explains the ambiguities and complexities of the notion of jihad in the Koran and in Islamic tradition." Cowdrey appended that "a valuable feature of the book is the appendix of thirty-one documents in French translation, some of them unfamiliar or not easily accessible."

Flori also published Philippe Auguste: La Naissance de l'état Monarchique that same year. In 2004, he published Aliénor d'Aquitaine: La Reine Insoumise. In 2007, Flori published both L'Islam et la Fin des Temps: L'interpretation Prophétique des Invasions Musulmanes dans la Chrétienté Médiévale and Bohémond d'Antioche: Chevalier d'Aventure.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Catholic Historical Review, July, 1999, H.E.J. Cowdrey, review of Pierre l'Ermite et la Première Croisade; p. 446; October, 2001, H.E.J. Cowdrey, review of La Guerre Sainte: La Formation de l'Idée de Croisade Dans l'Occident Chrétien, p. 727; January, 2003, review of Guerre Sainte, Jihad, Croisade: Violence et Religion dans le Christianisme et l'Islam, p. 92.

English Historical Review, September, 1998, K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, review of La Première Croisade, 1095-1099: L'Occident Chrétien contre l'Islam (aux Origines des Idéologies Occidentales), p. 968; November, 1999, Jean Dunbabin, review of Chevaliers et Chevalerie au Moyen Age, p. 1289; February, 2001, K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, review of L'Essor de la Chevalerie: XIe-XIIe Siècles, p. 187; February, 2001, K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, review of Pierre l'Ermite et la Première Croisade, p. 187; September, 2002, C.J. Tyerman, review of La Guerre Sainte, p. 954; February, 2004, Peter Partner, review of Guerre Sainte, Jihad, Croisade, p. 188; April, 2005, Elizabeth A.R. Brown, review of Aliénor d'Aquitaine: La Reine Insoumise, p. 503.

French Book News, Accessed April 1, 2008, review of Richard the Lionheart: King and Knight.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April, 2003, Norman Housley, review of Guerre Sainte, Jihad, Croisade, p. 338.

Library Journal, July 1, 2007, Jim Doyle, review of Richard the Lionheart, p. 98.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2007, review of Richard the Lionheart.

Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, October, 1987, Brigitte Bedos Rezak, review of L'Essor de la Chevalerie, p. 936; April, 1999, Jennifer R. Goodman, review of Chevaliers et Chevalerie au Moyen Age, p. 417; October, 1999, Frederick H. Russell, review of La Première Croisade, p. 1062; April, 2000, review of Croisade et Chevalerie XIe-XIIe Siècles, p. 456; July, 2001, Corliss Slack, review of Pierre l'Ermite et la Première Croisade, p. 723; October, 2002, review of Richard Coeur de Lion: Le Roi-Chevalier, p. 1284.

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