Paris in 1200 was a city in transition. The great cathedral of Notre Dame was halfway through its construction and walls were being built to enclose the new, larger limits of the city. Pope Innocent III ordered all French churches closed to punish King Philip Augustus for his remarriage; the king himself negotiated an unprecedented truce with the English; and the students of Paris threatened a general strike, punctuated with incidents of violence, to protest infringements of their rights.
John W. Baldwin brilliantly resurrects this key moment in Parisian history using documents only from 1190 to 1210-a narrow focus made possible by the availability of collections of the Capetian monarchy and the medieval scholastic thinkers. This unique approach results in a vivid snapshot of the city at the turn of the thirteenth century.
Paris, 1200 introduces the reader to the city itself and its inhabitants. Three "faces" exemplify these inhabitants: that of the celebrated scholar Pierre the Chanter, of King Philip Augustus, and of the more deeply hidden visages of women. The book examines the city's primary institutions: the royal government, the Church, and its celebrated schools that evolved into the university at Paris. Finally, it offers an account of the delights and pleasures, as well as the fears and sorrows, of Parisian life in this period.