The Huguenots, whose belief system incorporated a blend of unorthodox Waldensian and Calvinist teachings, continued to bloom, which did not sit well with the authorities. Critics attributed the rise of Protestant-led riots to the no-good Huguenots. The Huguenots were known iconoclasts who rejected statues, paintings, idols, and other religious images, as often seen in the numerous statues and stained glass artwork in Catholic churches. Across Europe, rebellious Protestants seized Catholic churches and swiped all heretical images, destroying them with axes and hurling them into roaring bonfires. The string of ambushes included the 1562 Looting of the Churches in Lyon, which were followed by similar attacks in Zurich, Copenhagen, Geneva, and many more.
Even in the face of persecution, the Huguenot influence gained momentum in France. A year before the looting, 2,500 Protestant congregations had already been established across the nation. The Huguenots held their services behind the curtains of secrecy, most commonly in the dead of the night. Some historians believe this clandestine operation could be related to the origin of their name. Le roi Huguet, meaning "King Huguet", referred to purgatory spirits who haunted the living at night. Their perseverance eventually caught the eye of a pallid-faced Venetian ambassador, who purportedly warned his Catholic superiors that "3/4 of France was contaminated with the heretical doctrine".
The Huguenots' burgeoning power and alleged attempts to infiltrate the world of politics soon alarmed the French authorities. They suspected that these Huguenots were low-profile republicans, involved in a terrible conspiracy to conjure up an uprising to overthrow the monarchy and re-brand France as a federal state. The royal government of France would attempt to tread lightly in the beginning, keeping their hands clean on neutral grounds, but a nightmare was about to unfold.
In the 1560s, French authorities called for the violent and bloody persecution of all Huguenots. This hostile period of 36 years, fraught with conflict, upheaval, and civil vendettas between the Huguenots and Catholics, is now known as the French Wars of Religion, or simply, the Huguenot Wars. A short stretch of peace would later emerge as the wars began to wind down, but bloodshed was once again resurrected by rebellions brought forth by the persecuted.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John A on 03-05-18
Buy the print edition don't waste your time listening to audio book. Narration is rushed and names are miss-pronounced.
By Matt on 04-06-17
Utter rubbish. Been regurgitated 500+ years. Nothing accurate in light of modern scholarship. Really worthless tripe.