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Les noix, les espions et les historiens. Réflexion sur la prise d'Amiens (11 mars 1597)

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  • Olivia Carpi
  • José Javier Ruiz Ibáfiez
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    Abstract

    [fre] Cet article est consacré à cet événement notoire mais paradoxalement méconnu qu'est la prise d'Amiens par les Espagnols, le 1 1 mars 1597. Car s'il a fortement marqué les contemporains et retenu l'attention des historiens, en raison de ses implications considérables, jamais ou presque il n'a été analysé de manière objective, en faisant abstraction de la légende qui s'est d'emblée bâtie autour de lui et dont il semble aujourd'hui prisonnier. Nous nous proposons donc de revenir à la fois sur la construction littéraire et idéologique dont il a fait l'objet, reflet de l'imaginaire militaire, politique et religieux des auteurs du temps et sur le contexte précis et complexe de cet événement, afin de lui rendre toute son épaisseur mais aussi de corriger, autant que possible, la vision volontiers caricaturale que l'on a de lui, d'autant plus dommageable qu'il constitue l'une des clefs d'interprétation des relations et de la configuration politique contrastée des deux royaumes. De fait, contrairement à ce que l'on a longtemps prétendu, cette surprise n'avait, en soi, rien d'extraordinaire, si ce n'est qu'elle a réussi, ce qui n'était pas évident du tout. C'est pourquoi il nous a semblé judicieux de nous interroger sur les raisons du succès de cette opération, certes soigneusement préparée mais qui ne répondait à aucun impératif stratégique, et dirigée contre une place réputée imprenable. Ce faisant, si on peut mettre en évidence l'interaction de paramètres à la fois conjoncturels et structurels, entre l'initiative individuelle et les dysfonctionnements d'un système communautaire de défense, entre la mise en œuvre de techniques militaires bien rodées et le jeu des affects, il apparaît que la chance a également joué un grand rôle dans cette affaire et que toute tentative d'explication se heurte à cette part, irréductible, d'impondérable. [eng] This article is devoted to the notorious but paradoxically unknown event that is the storming of Amiens by the Spanish, the 11th of March 1597. For if it left a deep mark on its contemporaries and attracted the attention of historians because of its considerable implications, never before or almost ever before has it been analysed objectively, disregarding the legend that had at once been built around it, and of which it seems to be a prisoner today. Therefore, we suggest looking back both upon the literary and ideological construction to which it was subjected, reflected in the military, political and religious representation made by authors of its time and upon the precise and complex context of this event. Proceeding in this manner not only restores depth to this event, but also corrects as much as possible the voluntary caricatured vision that surrounds it, which is even more prejudicial as it constitutes one of the key interpretations of the relationship between and the contrasted political configuration of the two kingdoms. In fact, contrary to what has been claimed for a long time, this surprise attack was in no way extraordinary except for fact that it succeeded; this success was a difficult feat in itself. Therefore, it seemed judicious to question the reasons for the success of this operation which was certainly carefully prepared but did not answer any strategic imperative and was directed against a place which was reputed to be impregnable. Although one was able to give prominence to the interaction of parameters both circumstantial and structural between the individual initiative and the dysfunctions of a system of community defense, between the implementation of well ironed out military techniques and the interplay of emotions, it appears that luck equally played a large role in this matter and all attempts to explain this success lead to this irreducible and imponderable fact.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/hes.2004.2428
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Histoire, économie et société.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 323-348

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2004_num_23_3_2428

    Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2004.2428
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    Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/hes

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