THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD

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The Sun King (page 115)

King Louis XIV of France is known as “the Sun King”. Louis XIV was born in 1638 and was King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715, a 72-year reign. Throughout his life, he substantially reformed France’s government into a more stable political body and also helped implement the arts into the country’s culture. Louis XIV was Louis XV’s great-grandfather.

Portrait of Louis XIV.

Louis XIV. Image source URL: http://faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/louis_xiv.htm

The Sun King was a nickname that King Louis XIV received because he chose the sun as his personal symbol. Some sources state that “the Sun King” was a nickname that the king called himself, but others say it was given to him by his subjects. During his childhood he participated in a ballet where he played a character representing the sun. King Louis XIV was also compared to Apollo, the Greek god of the sun. He was a peaceful monarch who liked to perform and dance, just like Apollo. Another connection with King Louis XIV and the sun is the king’s habit of waking and sleeping as well as performing certain tasks at precise times. Other sources claim that Louis XIV was associated with the sun because of the brilliance with which he controlled his court at Versailles, which he built. Today, in the Palace of Versailles, the Apollo Room in the Grand Apartment was named in honor of the Sun God because this room was King Louis XIV’s chamber. The architecture and decoration of the city of Versailles features images of the king and aspects of Apollo combined to further emphasize his association with the sun.

Louis's 'sun king' personal crest.

Louis XIV's personal 'sun king' crest. Source URL: http://www.louis-xiv.de/index.php?id=39

Mentioning the Sun King at this point in the story helped to exaggerate the flamboyant nature of the designing of Christophe's Citadel that Ti Noel was helping build and to reiterate the power of the French royalty, who influenced the designing of the physical world and architecture around them.

For further information, including more images, go to:

http://www.louis-xiv.de/index.php?id=39

http://faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/louis_xiv.htm

http://www.biography.com/people/louis-xiv-9386885



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